Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Graue Mill

 Back To The Old Grind!

Monday, May 29, 2023

Captain Carr, Tenth Illinois Infantry, 1862, New Madrid, Missouri

We are going back 150 years to see what the Tenth and Sixteenth Illinois Infantry regiments were up to.  From Matthew Jamison: " On the  12th of March, 1862, in the evening twilight, our brigade formed and silently moved out from camp, the artillery muffled, and the men cautioned against making unusual noise.  Conversation, when indulged was in undertones.  In the darkness of the moonless night the column moved like an immense serpent winding in and out through the openings of the forest.  I was in the file at the head of our company with Lieutenant Sam Wilson and Captain Carr, whose company (H) preceded us in the column.  That officer was a veteran of the Mexican War, of middle age, who had seen much of the world; was devoted to the service, and kept his men well in hand.  We chatted in low tones as we marched along, Captain Carr admonishing his men at intervals against the clatter of their canteens, or the querulous voice of some man who had difficulty in getting along amicably with his neighbor.  We passed rapidly along in the darkness, and soon debouched upon an open field.  Our engineers and staff officers were at hand and under their guidance we were drawn up in line facing the rebel works; stacked arms; and in the inky darkness found a line of rail-fence, which we lifted bodily, noiselessly,  and extended along our front as a base for a breastwork; then with our trenching tools, working like beavers, we soon had an effective defense against the enemy's siege guns, for at daylight we would be an easy mark for his trained gunners at the rebel fort.  We were now up against the first notable obstruction of the Mississippi south of Cairo, which consisted of a formidable earthwork and siege guns and a line of defense works for infantry, a fleet of gunboats on the river, and the fortifications on Island No. 10 above.  On the left of our line four siege guns were placed in position protected by a still heavier earthwork.  While we were engaged in this work not a shot had been exchanged.  If the rebel pickets heard us, they relied upon their ears rather than upon their rifles for entertainment.  The silence remained unbroken, 'til Captain Carr left his company at their work in the trenches and went out on our front to reconnoitre on his own account.  There was a lane running at right angles to our line of works, and along the "worm" fence the captain stole quietly.  He loved his pipe, and in an unfortunate moment stopped and struck a match! That was the rebel sharp-shooters' opportunity, and in the glare of that little blaze the veteran received a mortal wound.  He was carried to the farm-house near by, where he died shortly afterward.  In the early dawn, our earthworks having been completed, there was  lively exchange of Minie balls, and the gunners in the rebel fort, discovering a big black bunch in the corn-field which they had never seen before, trained some of the best rifled pieces on it and made the morning exercises interesting for Captain Joe Mower and his men.  The captain (later a major-general) in command of our division, and later of our corps, was a fighter, but he was outclassed with his little hunchback of earthwork and four guns against a deliberately built fort of approved pattern"

Many young folks today may not be familiar with the expression "Three On A Match," and probably haven't been around pipe smokers.  The third man lighting a cigarette off of a match was likely to be hit by enemy snipers during WWI.  The above passage illustrates that one man could suffer the same fate if his smoke was a pipe.  I can remember my dad's step-father lighting his pipe when I was a little tyke.  A pipe is rather dramatic when it is being fired up with an Ohio Blue Tip match.  Every draw pulls the flame down into the bowl, and then the flame flares up big and bright before the next puff.  Captain Carr learned the hard way that you can't do that in front of soldiers armed with rifled muskets.  It was a sad end to an experienced veteran of the Mexican War.  During that war, muskets were smooth bores, and the Captain may have gotten away with taunting the enemy while lighting up at night.  I bet that no-one in the Tenth and Sixteenth regiments repeated his mistake during the next three years of war.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

We Remember

 The uncle we never knew...Lloyd Tru Bentrup served on the U.S.S. Colorado during World War II. Three of his brothers also served, all in the Pacific. Donnie served on a seaplane tender, Maurice was in the SeaBees, and O.T. was in the Third Marine Division. Lloyd was mortally wounded on July 24, 1944 when the Colorado was hit 22 times by Japanese shore batteries at Tinian. He was evacuated to Saipan, where he passed one week later. His brother O.T. was fighting on Guam at the time. Lloyd's remains were shipped to St. Joseph, Missouri after the war, and his mother's peonies decorated his grave at Memorial Day for many years. O.T. mourned his brother Lloyd until his dying day.

Weekend Steam II: Western Maryland 734

 Thank You, Merle!

Friday, May 26, 2023

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Squatters Moved In!

The baby squirrels are not happy. They have been on the move seeking new quarters since this invasion happened a couple days ago. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Dead Ones Can Still Bite You!

 This tree would have smacked the house if we cut it from the stump, so we brought out the pole saw and attacked it higher up. I got a reminder to always wear my safety gear!

Monday, May 22, 2023

Tuesday Torque: Power Unit Shorts

 Here are a couple of gas engine Shorts spotted by Merle. Many Thanks, Merle!

Twin City Power Unit

1920s 45 HP Holt Combine Harvester Engine

Sunday, May 21, 2023

More Work Than You Can Shake A Stick At!

                                                                  Back To The Old Grind!

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Weekend Steam II: Colorado Narrow Gauge

 Merle found a great channel. I will be looking at more of the videos there. Thank You, Merle!

Friday, May 19, 2023

Weekend Steam: Beamish Steam Gala 2023!

 Thank You, Merle for spotting this one! It is superb, and current, too. Just one month ago!

In Other Wildife News...

 Tiger Beetles are numerous this Spring! They are a pretty little beast who does no harm. Do not mistake them for emerald ash borer.  Tigers are boxy; ash borers are streamlined.

Murder In The Dog Yard!

 We think one of our baby squirrels was picked off by an owl. I found a couple of bloody spots under their hickory den tree. Owls have wickedly sharp talons that would punch deep into a little gray Squirrel.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Busting Bradford Pear

 We had to pick up these big chunks with the tractor. Before we had a hydraulic splitter we would bust big ones where they laid with the Monster Maul, but I religiously avoid that activity now. It's too hard on the elbows! I put one load in the barn yesterday and have another load split on the RTV.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Wonderful Wildlife Surprise!

 We have four pairs of geese hanging around the pond this year, and also too many raccoons. I had given up on having goslings because of nest predation, but today five goslings appeared, grazing their way around the pond with the proud parents.

It looks like we will have fawns soon.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Tuesday Torque: Steam To Diesel Abominations!

 This is another new one for me, Merle! I must say that I'm agin'it! It is interesting history, and I can see why they would convert a plowing engine that could have its useful life extended. Thank You for the referral!

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Friday, May 12, 2023

Weekend Steam: Western Minnesota Steam Threshers' Reunion At Rollag, MN

 This video is by Seven In All Adventures on YouTube, and was spotted by Merle, our faithful reviewer of engine videos. Thank You, Merle! I must watch every second and see if I spot myself wandering the grounds with my cameras!

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Stump Talk

Here we are looking at a stump from a harvest eight to twelve years ago. We were counting eight nodes on oak seedling sprouts, so we are pretty close on the timeline. Black oak stumps fall apart pretty fast, and you can see that the sapwood is almost totally gone, and bark is hanging on just at the bottom of the stump. One of the things you learn is to estimate the time since a tree was cut by the stump. White oak stumps last much longer, and down in the bottoms, stumps disappear quickly with rot and floods erasing them in short order. We figured out a plan of action for this timber, and the new owners will be busy. They will need to do two or three burns to bring up oak regeneration through the competition, but they have trails in place, so that will be easily managed. They can break up the woods into three burn units and rotate the burn to the next unit every spring. In ten or fifteen years they should see their young oaks popping up throughout their timber.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

More Oil Pull!

 This is Model W 20-30 Rumely Oil Pull. These were made 1928 to 1930, and were rated for 30 horsepower on the belt. The old tractor does pretty well for about 95 years, peaking at 27 horsepower. Kids are special. The little guy doesn't realize that he is getting a rare treat, riding around with his dad on an old Oil Pull tractor. He will figure that out soon enough. This touching scene happened at Rollag, Minnesota, Labor Day weekend, 2023.

Monday, May 8, 2023

Tuesday Torque: Plowing With A 1930 Oil Pull

 Thank You, Merle! Always love the Oil Pulls!

Women On Target, Carmi, IL, 2023


Carmi Rifle Club had our annual Women On Target event this past weekend. Fourteen ladies participated, and all had a great time shooting pistols, rifles and shotguns. Debby, on the right put ten rounds into the Ten Ring on her target, and that is remarkable! She was shooting a Ruger Mk III Target Pistol with the factory trigger and a red dot sight on top, offhand at 15 feet. Valinda Rowe, on the left is our primary instructor. Come to our NRA Day in June at Carmi Rifle Club, and Valinda can teach you to shoot, too!

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Weekend Steam II: 2 1/2% Grade

 The writeup says it is 1 in 42, which is real close to 2 1/2 percent. It doesn't sound like much for money, but for a train, that is a big deal. Watch the engineer deal with it.

Friday, May 5, 2023

Ranger's Ride

 Ranger is exceedingly energetic and he needs extra time to run in the dog yard every day by himself. Once in a while we treat him to a ride in the utility vehicle. He loves a ride.

Weekend Steam: Engines At Rough And Tumble, 2022

 Many Thanks, Merle! In these video shorts you see an Avery Undermounted, Advance Rumely, and an A.D. Baker.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Bean Trellis Is Up!


Susan is hitting the garden hard this year. Last year, with her surgeries running interference, she still managed a great garden. Should be good this year!

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Tiny Thompson Engine

 These cute little engines were not meant to be toys, but were meant to do light work. It's cute, but it was a commercial failure.

Tuesday Torque: Road Roller Rabbit Hole!

 Did you ever hear of McDonald Road Rollers? I sure haven't. Merle sent a clip of one, and you have to drive all the way to Australia to see them. There are several videos on YouTube for our gratification. Thank You, Merle!