Tricounty News

Long ago and far away

Christmas at our home began on Christmas Eve morning, one I remember well. My sister, Dad and I took the sled and went to the forest behind our home and found a nice tree. Dad cut it down and we took it home and it was decorated with homemade ornaments. Since no one had electricity, there were no lights. In the evening we could hardly stand the excitement as we were told we could go to Midnight Mass, which was by horse and sled, the children sat on the floor with straw and warm blankets wrapped around them. It was seven miles, I remember. Everyone kind of left at the same time, with bells on the harness of the horses. We were so happy. We went to the main church; the horses were tied up to the trees, blankets from the sled were put on them while we were in church. The church had large white pillars inside with fir boughs fastened around all the way up. The altar was lit up with lots of candles, the choir sang.

If I close my eyes, I can almost hear it again. When I went home again, we went to the same church. It now is a landmark, everything looked exactly the same.

At Christmas today, I bring out my memories and feel I’ve lived one hundred years, then put them away in a special place in my heart until next year.

Happy Holidays to all.

Note: Mary was born and raised on the island of Newfoundland which was a British Colony until March 1949.

Civil War digest: This week 150 years ago Dec. 9-15, 1863 Dec. 2-8, 1863

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 1863

As the U.S. Congress heard President Abraham Lincoln’s annual message that was read by the clerks, Major General John G. Foster superseded Major General Ambrose Burnside in command of the Department of the Ohio. Burnside, criticized for his handling of the Copperhead movement and for not supporting Major General William Rosecrans at Chickamauga, had for some time wanted to leave his departmental command.

A mutiny of Negro troops at Fort Jackson, La., below New Orleans, was put down by white Federal officers. It arose over alleged mistreatment by one officer of his soldiers.

The English blockade-runner, Minna, was taken off of the coast of Charleston, S.C., just one of many captures during these months.


Pneumonia is fatal to Magnus Johnson

Ex-Senator was laid to rest in Dassel Cemetery yesterday afternoonW-Magnus-Johnson292

Reprinted from the Tri-County News Sept. 19, 2002. Text and photo originally published in the Tri-County Messenger Sept. 17, 1936. Thanks to Ruth Brower for loaning the history treasure for this week’s Historical Society column.

After staging a game fight for his life for over three weeks, Magnus Johnson succumbed to pneumonia at 3:27 a.m. Sunday,
Sept. 13, [1936]. His death had been expected for several days, and all the members of his family were at his bedside when he died at the Litchfield Hospital.

The fatal attack of pneumonia was the second he had suffered in the past year. Last January he developed an attack in a St. Paul hospital where he was recovering from being struck by a car on the streets of that city.


Civil War digest: This week 150 years ago Dec. 2-8, 1863

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 1863

The Federal Army of the Potomac was completing its withdrawal to north of the Rapidan River in Virginia, abandoning the abortive Mine Run Campaign.

In Tennessee, Confederate Lieutenant General James Longstreet was now being threatened from the rear by fast-approaching Federal troops intent on breaking the siege of Knoxville.

Confederate General Braxton Bragg turned over command of the Army of Tennessee to Lieutenant General William J. Hardee at Dalton, Ga. Many of Bragg’s senior officers were glad to see him go. Although the Confederates were losing a fine disciplinarian and dedicated soldier, he was also a man under whom few could operate successfully.


Civil War digest: This week 150 years ago Nov. 25-Dec. 1, 2013

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday November 25, 1863


Federal Major General Ulysses Grant ordered Major General William T. Sherman to move against Tunnel Hill and the north end of Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Major General Joseph Hooker was to move from Lookout Mountain to try to cut off a Confederate retreat into Georgia or to follow the enemy. Major General George Thomas was to move into the center when Sherman reached the ridge, where General Braxton Bragg’s Confederates were dug in though weakened by the loss of Lieutenant General James Longstreet’s corps who were dispatched to Knoxville.

Soon after sunrise, Sherman’s troops attacked without success. Heavy fighting continued until midday which found the Confederates still in control of Missionary Ridge.