Happy Birthday, Indiana!

December 11, 2008

Today is Indiana’s statehood birthday.  I read a unique book to some fourth grade classes today in honor of our state.  The book is called Dadblamed Union Army Cow by Susan Fletcher.  As I have mentioned before, the book jacket frequently shed light on the author’s idea for the book. 

The illustrator, Kimberly Bulcken Root, states, “Because of my family history, I fell in love with two daguerriotypes of my great-grandfather in his cavalry uniform, and some of my earliest drawings were of him.”

Susan Fletcher shares in her author’s note that she first heard of this story from a media specialist in Washington, who learned of it from Mrs. Tethers, the daughter of Captain Lee of the regiment.  The cow traveled with the Fifty-Ninth Regiment of Indiana Volunteers, supplying them with milk and helping keep them alive. “After the war, the cow was written up in the Greencastle, Indiana, newspaper.”  Go to the website linked above to see the real photos of the cow and captain.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Dadblamed Union Army Cow:

  • Voice – “she come in mighty useful”
  • Hyphenated words – sweat-soaked, rope-burned, hoof-bruised
  • Adjectives – a different descriptive word is used for the dadblamed cow, summarizing an event:  persnickety, heavy, dangerous
  • Apostrophes – whittlin’, playin’