This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Milroy open house

The Library had their open house on Friday as part of Rensselaer's "Honor Milroy weekend."
The swords and guns were back in their display case, which now has a new and improved lock on it.
I had mentioned a theft of some of these artifacts in the past. The library had found an article from the Lafayette Journal and Courier that mentioned it, and had a long piece explaining the story of Milroy. He really wanted to be a soldier, and had failed to become on officer until the Civil War. Early in that war he had success, but after a battle in which his division was surrounded by the Confederate Army, he retreated with a great loss of troops and never overcame that defeat.
There were about a dozen people attending while I was there. As promised, they had some food. The cake was very good, but more interesting were some of the other items. In the front of the table you can see peanuts, beef jerky, and hardtack. I tried one piece of hardtack and had no desire for any more. It was definitely hard. Apparently the soldiers would put it and the beef into a pot of water and cook it to make a stew-like meal. They also ate peanuts, which seems a bit strange since they are primarily a crop of the south. (The cookies were not part of the historical meal.)
Below is the lady who made the hardtack, Nancy the Librarian. She and her daughter (not pictured) were wearing hoops skirts that looked uncomfortable
If you missed this bit of Milroy fun, you can still check out the display case in the library, or go to the Historical Society today (hours 10:00 to 1:00) and check out their Milroy holdings, or you can attend the Fourth of July centennial celebration from 2:00 to 3:00 in Milroy Park, sponsored by the Jasper County Historical Society. There will be a parade from Austin Ave to Milroy Park, In the park there will be music and some Civil War reenactors, and who knows what else. Maybe Nancy will even bring some of her hardtack and you can see if it will break your teeth.


Anonymous said...

Hoop skirts can actually be quite comfortable, and are easy to move around in once you've had a little practice. They can even be cool to wear on hot days.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great write up! Actually the cookies were applesauce cookies, which would have been baked on the home front, and might have been given to the troops when they were home on furlough. The definitely would have been enjoyed by soldiers families.