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  • Log Cabin Christmas Blog Hop – Day 2

    Welcome to Day 2 of the Log Cabin Christmas author blog hop! I’m so excited that you’ve joined me today.

    I’ve previously written about how I came up with the idea for A Star in the Night (my contribution to A Log Cabin Christmas) when I visited Carnton–a Civil War-era plantation in Franklin, Tennessee. Carnton served as a field hospital following the Battle of Franklin, an unexpected but deadly skirmish south of Nashville.

    As I mention in my novella, Carrie McGavock was the mistress of Carnton at the time of the battle, and offered her home to the wounded (both Confederate and Union soldiers). The guides at Carnton speak of her with the utmost respect, and it’s easy to see why. She served breakfast to the soldiers the morning after the battle and offered her home’s rooms–including all the bedrooms–as operating rooms. She tirelessly served the men in her home–some who were there for weeks.


    One of the most beautiful features of the property at Carnton is the Confederate cemetary, a labor of love for Carrie and her husband. Following the war, the McGavocks tirelessly worked to identify and bury each of the fallen soldiers, and even today the rows of headstones bring to mind the immense loss of American life on both sides of the war.

    But the truth is, there isn’t a whole lot really known about Carrie. The facts of her life are sparse, which allowed me lots of room to dream and take a little literary license. Carrie doesn’t actually appear in A Star in the Night, although she is mentioned several times, and my characters’ interactions with her are, of course, fictional. But I tried to be true to her legacy and character. I like to think that Carrie and Cora would have been fast friends.

    Here’s a question for you:
    What historical figure do you think you would be great friends with?


    Don’t forget to comment on this post and then pop over to Jane Kirkpatrick’s blog tomorrow for a special blog post from Wanda Brunstetter and comment there and on the other posts.

    For a list of all the participating blogs, and full contest details, click here.

    If you can’t wait to get your hands on a copy of the book, you can order it here or here.

    43 thoughts on “Log Cabin Christmas Blog Hop – Day 2

    1. Beverly Gerres

      There is a civil war-era plantation home around the corner from me that was also used as a Hospital. It has always made me curious. Sounds like a great read.

    2. Ladette

      Sounds like a beautiful place!! Of course, TN is mostly just beautiful (esp E TN). Yeah, I used to live in Knoxville.

      I think I would be great friends with Laura Ingalls Wilder.

    3. Beverly Gerres

      Juliette Gordon Low (1860-1927) – Founder of the American Girl Scouts. She would be a good friend.

    4. Margie Mijares

      I was always fascinated with the life of Clara Barton. I am not a nurse but I read a lot about her when I was growing up. I think because of her compassionate nature, we would have been great friends. I’m from SC and we have lots of historical houses here. Even though a great effort was made to burn them all, many survived. My brother lives in one that was used by nuns during the civil war. They hid some confederae troops there (along with their horses) during Sherman’s march through SC. The imprints of the horses’ hooves are still in the flooring.

    5. Joan

      This is an interesting question. Novels can give us a sense of history and like millions of youngsters I was enthralled with all four of the Little Women, at times identifying with each of them, and later with their mother, too. I think I would have been friends with Louisa May Alcott their creator.

    6. Laura Holbrook

      I love the respect and honor given Carrie and her husband who sacrificed and served so diligently. The Liz Johnson created a history from what is left behind of the great work Carrie gave.

    7. I have A Log Cabin Christmas and look forward to reading the novellas during December.

      I’m with Ladette. I’d like to have met Laura Ingalls Wilder and had the opportunity to learn more about her, her family, and her writing.

    8. Amy

      I’ve always wanted to be friends with Helen Keller. I think we’d have a lot of fun together, and I could learn sign language, Braille and everything else!

    9. I love this question. I would love to meet and get to know Winston Churchill. Brilliant, bull-headed, and brave.

      I think it admirable the care Carrie and her husband gave to honoring the sacrifice made by the soldiers of the Civil War.

      And I loved your story, Liz. 🙂

    10. I would have loved to have met Abraham Lincoln, but he would have been too busy writing heady speeches to have much time for friends. I think Lucy Maud Montgomery and I would have had fun exploring for fairies in the woods, I would like to help Amelia Stewart Knight tote her babies on the Oregon Trail, and I would thrill to have galloped alongside Crazy Horse.

    11. Thanks for your blog piece, Liz. Lovely pictures, too. It’s great to be in a book with you and I hope readers will come back for your Christmas surprises later this month. I will! Jane

    12. I’d like to start with a chance to talk to my Great-aunt Clara…I was only 6 when she died, not old enough to know what questions I’d like to ask her about the many mysteries in her life. Looking forward to reading your story!

      1. Great comments, folks! Thanks for dropping by.
        Ladette and Keli – I think it would be amazing to be friends with Laura Ingalls Wilder, too.
        Beverly – I had a good friend in high school who was a girl scout, and she had many lovely things to say about Juliette Gordon Low. She sounds like an amazing woman.
        Margie – I think Clara Barton and Carrie McGavock would have been friends, too. 🙂
        Joan – Louisa May Alcott, is a favorite of mine, too. I’d have loved to know her. I’d also have liked to know her character Jo.
        Amy – I could see you and Helen Keller just hanging out, signing up a storm. 🙂
        Erica – I love that you chose Winston Churchill! He was an amazing leader!
        Victoria – Did you know that L.M. Montgomery’s friends and family called her Maud? And because of Maud’s amazing books, I’ve been to Prince Edward Island. Twice! :)If you get a chance, check out the pictures from my last trip there posted here on my blog. Maud was an incredible woman, and every trip to the Island is like a lesson on her life and the Island she loved so much.

        Thanks again to everyone who’s commented! Hope you’ll come back and visit again. And don’t forget to head back to Jane’s blog tomorrow for a note from Wanda!

    13. Deanna Ingbretson

      Good question not sure who but I think I would have enjoyed meeting Juliette Gordon Low,I was a girl scout when in grade school and absolutly loved it some of my fondess memories are from that time my Mom was one of our troup leaders along with her friend we all had so much fun and learned so much.

    14. Michelle Durben

      I would have liked to meet Annie Oakley. She had alot of spunk! And she was from Ohio my stomping grounds.

    15. Brandi Fitzpatrick

      I loved your contribution to this novel! Next time I’m in the Nashville area I’m going to have to see if I can look this up.

      As far as historical figures goes…I think I would be friends with Annie Armstrong…love reading about her!

    16. I agree with many of the above, but also would love to meet Elizabeth Ballard Waddy–my ancestress who named all seven of her sons with family names. Her foresight enabled me to jump back to 1620 Virginia in my family tree search. Very impressive to me since my own mother was born in Sicily!

    17. I would say Gene Stratton-Porter! I loved all of her books.

    18. Pam Kellogg

      I think stories are even more interesting when the setting is real. This was a fascinating bit of history you related; it is wonderful that Carrie and her husband established a cemetery for the soldiers that is still in existence today.
      I’ve always thought it would be fun to be a friend of Laura Ingalls Wilder; my kids and I had such fun reading her books.

    19. Gabby Sprenger

      I think I would love it if I could be friends with Eleanor Roosevelt. She was a woman way ahead of her time.

    20. Nancy

      Well, I love this question. It gives me a chance for an anonymous confession. My girls are a little bit correct when they call me, Mrs. Bennett. I do like to dawdle in romance, notably my where my girls are concerned. I have 5 daughters. My older three like to quote Mrs Bennett, “When you have five daughters, Lizzie, tell me what else will occupy your thoughts, and then perhaps you will understand”. I usually get the message and stop match-making :D.

      1. Wow! You all came up with some great friends to make through history! 🙂 Nancy, I like your comment on Mrs. Bennett. If your girls are tired of your match-making, feel free to work your magic here in Nashville. We’ve a plethora of lovely single gals waiting for their Mr. Darcys. 🙂

        Michelle, your comment about Annie Oakley cracked me up, as one of the men where I work was recently in a local production of Annie Get Your Gun! It was such a fun show!

    21. A native of TN, I lived not too far from Franklin and in the midst of Civil War history and battlefields. Recently, I read Widow of the South, a historical novel also about Carnton and Carrie’s role in caring for the wounded on both sides. Really interesting figure in the South’s history.

      Love your question! I first thought of Eleanor Roosevelt, a woman whom I admire for a variety of reasons; but also Jane Austen came to mind as a writer who has paved the way for the rest of us to follow.

    22. Jackie Tessnair

      I love TN.I would love to live there.It is a beautiful place.I love to read and love this contest.Thanks….

    23. Marea

      I have always loved to book of Ruth from the Bible and would loved to have been her friend.
      She had such a strength of character, good priorities, and love of the Lord.

    24. Renee

      Maybe it’s far-fetched, but I think I would have been good friends with Abraham Lincoln! This man had such faith in God to lead him through the events of the Civil War. To have been able to just see this man let alone talk to him, wow…

    25. Donna

      I bought the book and am looking forward to reading your story! I would like to have known Queen Esther from the Bible who set aside what was best for herself to do what was best for others. “And who knows but that you have come to your position for such a time as this?”

    26. So, Jane Kirkpatrick! What historical figure do you think you would be great friends with?? I love your historical fiction!!

    27. This is a terrific question. Much harder to answer than the standard, “Who would you want to have lunch with?”
      I would like to think L.M. Montgomery would be a great friend. I have read her books too many times to keep count. I love the way she uses words and language to paint such vivid pictures.

    28. Lenita

      I can’t tell you the number of imaginary chats I’ve had with Jane Austen. To have tea with Jane…
      Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to learning about Carrie McGavock, while enjoying your delightful story.

    29. Orita Kirkman

      Abagail Adams would be a great friend, she was moral ahd smart woman who told it like it was!! and took care of the house and farm all those years by herself while John was away.

    30. Gilda Weisskopf

      I am looking forward to reading these stories and becoming acquainted with some new authors. Jane Kirkpatrick is an awesome historical writer as I am sure the other 8 authors are too. I would love to meet Laura Ingalls Wilder as several others have mentioned. Living the life on Little House on the Prairie has always fascinated me. There are so many historical role models it is really hard to just pick one person for my BFF.

    31. I’ll go for Galileo as my historical friend.

    32. Alice Greer

      I’d love to discuss teaching with Annie Sullivan.

    33. Cindy Regnier

      Great question! I would have to say Laura Ingalls Wilder. i think I’m like her in a lot of ways. We all know Laura very well. The part about her knowing me – not yet anyway.

    34. Becky W

      I would like to have met “Calamity Jane”.

    35. Kayce Phillips

      I would like to have met ANY of the pioneer women who came West. To have had the Faith in God to leave everything they knew, and start with basicly nothing. WOW!

    36. Dolly Madison. I have learned that I am distantly related and would love to know more about how she functioned as a First Lady.

    37. Jackie H.

      A historical woman I would have loved to have been friends with is the unsinkable Molly Brown. I love her exuberant spirit and down to earth personality.

    38. Catherine DaCosta

      I LOVE the Carnton! And I love the fact that we’re so close to so much in Nashville 🙂

      What historical figure do I think I’d be great friends with? I love the Civil War era so maybe the belles of the ball there. But as I told some girls a couple days back…with my luck, I’d be the servant and not the belle!

    39. Sandi Schwab

      Betsy Ross. I would love to hear how her mind worked and her thoughts that went into creating our flag. It evokes such strong emotions from Americans to this day, even bringing us to tears at times. I wonder what she would think if she knew that.

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