links to 10 items worth your time

1. Now Streaming: The Entire Catalogue of ‘Sesame Street’ Songs

“… new ‘Sesame Street’ music will soon be released on a consistent schedule, for the first time in more than two decades.”

2. I’ll Have Consequences

“… I have no magic formula for dealing with disobedient and unruly children, and certainly in a world where some children’s behavior has been malformed almost from the very start, we should not underplay the difficulties and frustrations parents face. But surely we also want to place the bond between parents and children within that circle of deeply personal relationships.”

3. Why you need a little resistance in your life

“We need the rain and the occasional storm.”

4. Why Did Early Christians Prefer the Codex to the Bookroll

“When we say ‘book’ today, we generally mean a tome of bound pages. Known as the ‘codex,’ this common book form has always (over the past two millennia, anyway) looked the same — like any book on your desk. While the origins of the codex are not sufficiently explained, evidence shows that the preserved early Christian manuscripts are more often codices (plural of codex) than the then-established bookrolls. Why?”

5. Science and Theology: Two Witnesses to Reality

“… we generally have it backwards in how we think the reasoning process works. We tend to think that we work out our conclusions through the process of reasoning about the topic. But the controlled studies show pretty clearly that most of the time we already have a conclusion based on our instincts and that our process of reasoning is employed to justify what we already think. And it’s not like the smarter you are, the more open you are to other possible conclusions. The higher your IQ, the better you are at producing reasons to support your views; you’re no more likely to change your views than people with lower IQs. This might be depressing to those who have an exalted view of the human intellect, but it sure explains the inability for rational discourse to move us closer together, even when the facts are overwhelmingly on one side.”

6. Archaeologists map centuries of history beneath world’s oldest cathedral

“So far, that data has helped create a 3D digital reconstruction of what the basilica would have looked like in the 4th century. And Haynes and his colleagues are also trying to understand what it would have sounded like. Using the laser scans and information from earlier excavations, they created a simple 3D model to reconstruct the acoustics of the original cathedral.”

7. The Costs of the Confederacy

“‘It was like we were not even there,’ she said, as if slavery ‘never happened.'”

8. ‘Prosperity preachers’ like Joel Osteen can cause risky financial behavior, university report says

“The University of Toronto recently released a report saying preaching the ‘prosperity gospel’ — which centers around the belief that material wealth is part of God’s will — can lead to unrealistic optimism and risky financial behavior. The report used Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church as an example of a televangelist who touts this belief.”

9. The 25 Healthiest Foods You Can Buy for $5 or Less

“… cooking your own meals and having snacks on-hand will drastically cut the amount of money you spend on food throughout the week.”

10. The Steward of Middle-earth

“Now, after more than 40 years, at the age of 94, Christopher Tolkien has laid down his editor’s pen, having completed a great labor of quiet, scholastic commitment to his father’s vision [J.R.R. Tolkien]. It is the concluding public act of … the last member of a club that became a pivotal part of 20th-century literature: the Inklings. It is the end of an era.”

Civil War & Stephens County, OK (29)


Andrew Daniel Smith (1835-1916)

Andrew Daniel Smith was born to Rebecca Smith on January 3, 1835 in Campbellsville, Kentucky (Green County). I know nothing of his growing up years, but I do know that in 1859, at the age of twenty-four, A.D. moved to Texas. And it was on December 12, 1861, in Fannin County, Texas, A.D. married Louisa George Tackitt* (b. 1843 or 1844 in Springfield, Illinois; d. January 4, 1930 in Fort Worth, Texas), the eighth child of John Hilyard & Louisa [Richardson] Tackitt. Louisa had moved to Fannin County, Texas from Illinois sometime before 1847.

Over the course of time, A.D. & Louisa had five children: (1) Sarah Rebecca (b. March 7, 1863 in Texas; d. October 13, 1945 in Texas), (2) George Henry (b. March 25, 1869 in Illinois; d. December 7, 1938 in Beeville, Texas), (3) Minnie Belle (b. March 7, 1871 in Illinois; d. Sept. 27, 1948 in Dallas, Texas), (4) Martha (b. about 1876 in Texas), and (5) Edward Dan Smith (b. February 2, 1876; d. 1940).

As to A.D.’s military service, I know he served with the Confederacy throughout the course of the war after his enlistment in the spring of 1862. Beyond this, I have been unable to discern any details with certainty. My best guess is that he could possibly be the “A.D. Smith” who served as a 2nd Lieutenant in Co. G of the CSA, 34th Texas Cavalry (Alexander’s) Regiment (aka: 2nd Texas Partisan Rangers). What leads me to speculate such is the fact that: (a) A.D. would have been a bit older than most when he enlisted (27 years old), (b) a man named “W.H. Tackitt” (not a common name) served as a Private in Co. B. of that same regiment, and (c), the 34th Texas Cavalry was organized in the spring of 1862. As to the significance of (a), higher rank upon enlistment typically went to older men and the “A.D. Smith” who served in the 34th Texas Cavalry enlisted at the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. As to the significance of (b), A.D.’s wife, Louisa, had a brother “Wayne Hilyard (W.H.) Tackitt” and kin, be it by blood or marriage, commonly served in the same unit during the Civil War. As to (c), we know that A.D. enlisted at the same time of year, and the same year, that the 34th Texas Cavalry was assembled and accepted into service. Still, all of this is anything but definitive. We need more information to surface to be sure about what outfit A.D.’s served with during the war.

A.D. died at the age of 81 on June 2, 1916 and his body is buried in block 3 of the Duncan Municipal Cemetery in Duncan, Oklahoma (Stephens County). His grave is a bit unusual in that it is one of the few there that has something of ground-level cement “cap” poured over its entire service. As can be seen in the accompanying photograph, his name, and birth and death dates, are hand-drawn in the cement. His obituary, which appeared in the June 9, 1916 issue of the Duncan Banner, reads as follows:

“Mr. A. D. Smith, who lived in the south part of town, died Friday and was buried in the Duncan cemetery Saturday afternoon, Rev. R. O. Callahan reading the funeral ceremony.

“Mr. Smith had been a resident of Stephens County but a short time coming here from Texas this spring. He was a native of Kentucky, having been born at Campbellville, Green County, in 1835. In 1859 he moved to Texas, and in 1861 was married to Miss Louise George Tackett, to which union eight children were born, three boys and five girls, five of whom survive Mr. Smith. In the spring of 1862 Mr. Smith joined the Confederate army and served through the war, after which he went to Illinois. Later he returned to Texas where he remained until a short time before coming to Duncan. The deceased was 81 years, 4 months and 29 days old.”

* Sources vary as to the spelling of A.D.’s wife’s maiden name. Some sources spell her first name as “Louise” and her maiden name “Tackitt.” I don’t know which is the correct spelling.

Civil War & Stephens County, OK (27)


Roland Cornelius Morgan (1835-1928)

Roland Cornelius Morgan, a twenty-two year old native of South Carolina, married fourteen-year old Sarah Vienna Blalock (b. Feb. 25, 1843; d. Mar. 26, 1923) on Dec. 13, 1857 near Carrollton, Georgia.

Late in the summer of 1861, when the CSA, 3rd Battalion, Georgia Infantry was organized at The Rock, Georgia, Roland was one of those that enlisted (Aug. 31). Participating in the Cumberland Gap and Kentucky Campaigns, the 3rd GA Battalion suffered the loss of 13% of their men in the Battle of Murfreesboro (aka: Stones River; Dec. 31, 1862 – Jan. 2, 1863). The following spring, May 1863, the 3rd GA and the 9th GA Battalion were merged to form the 37th Georgia Infantry Regiment and the was assigned to the Army of Tennessee. Roland served as a Private in Co. I in the 37th GA.

The 37th Georgia Infantry “saw the elephant,” fighting with the Army of Tennessee at Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Atlanta, Hood’s winter campaign, and then, late in the war, in North Carolina. Though the 37th Georgia’s most costly experience was at the battle of Chickamauga (Sept. 18-20, 1863) where every other man was lost (50% casualties), surely the most harrowing experience for Roland was when he was captured near Atlanta on Aug. 7, 1864. Roland spent just over nine months as a prisoner of war, finally being released from Camp Chase, Ohio upon taking oath of allegiance on May 13, 1865.

Making his way home following the war, Roland and Sarah were reunited and went on to have at least six children born to them: Tillie Lia (1864-1865), Sarah Sellina (1866-1914), Christopher Cornelius (1868-1934), Dora Elizabeth (1870-1952), Dannil Rolen (1871-1936), and William David (1873-1958). Moving to Texas and living there for a time, Roland and Sarah, all of their children now grown, eventually moved to Pickens County, Indian Territory in 1896, the county that would later become Stephens County, Oklahoma. According to the 1910 Stephens County census, Roland and Sarah lived in the Brown Township at that time (305-308). They lived in Comanche at the time he applied for his Confederate pension (#1192) from the state of Oklahoma.

Roland’s grave is located in the Old Fairlawn cemetery in Comanche, Oklahoma.