2015 Family Vacation: Chattanooga, TN June 12-16, 2015

I’ve been through Chattanooga a couple of times, but we never stopped and stayed to visit all that they have to offer. First & foremost I must say…it is a beautiful city. They have such a great mixture of old and new that it’s absolutely wonderful. We stayed in Trenton, Georgia while there on our visit (it’s about 15-20 minutes outside of Chattanooga). We rented the house through VRBO (direct link: https://www.vrbo.com/260956)

The house was on a mountain and the views were gorgeous. The first morning we woke up and were greeted by a white duck whose home was the nearby pond. He was a friendly little guy who visited with us every morning for breakfast (we fed him grapes and bird food).

June 13, 2015 – Battle of Lookout Mountain & Coolidge Park
We headed to Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park to visit Point Park where the Battles of Chattanooga took place. It’s a looped walked that will take a mere 15 minutes to walk, but not only do you get to visit this historic place, but the views alone are worth it. While we were there the girls picked up their Junior Ranger workbooks so they could work on them while we were in town and earn their badges before we left. 

11537542_10153463985398055_260117232915326120_o11406687_10153463985378055_2632459989997772961_o11040510_10153463986258055_4101611045119947590_nAfter we left Point Park we decided to take the girls somewhere fun (not that they didn’t enjoy Point Park)…Coolidge Park. Coolidge Park has a water fountain the kiddos can play in and there’s also a Carousel on site. You don’t have to pay to play in the fountain, but the Carousel does cost $1 to ride (and you can’t be wet so ride it first).

For those curious, there are bathrooms on site and it sits on the riverfront. Chattanooga’s downtown location is one that I wish other cities would pick up on. Even their parking lots are easier to maneuver. They have it set-up where you can pay by debit/credit and place yor printed ticket on your windshield. Talk about convenience! 

After leaving Coolidge Park the girls were hungry so we headed to Big River Grille & Brewing Works. I read the reviews on it prior to going and they were a bit mixed. At first I thought we might have discovered something great as our appetizer (2 big pretzels with a cheese sauce was fantastic), but by the time our entrees arrived all hope had vanished. I ordered my Cajun pasta with no shrimp (there was shrimp) and my husband ordered his steak medium rare (it was rare and flavorless). There was never an acknowledgement of the mistake nor an apology. Not to mention it’s pricey for the quality of food that you are served, in my opinion (according to other reviews I’ve read, I’m not alone in that mindset)

June 14, 2015 – Staycation R& R Day
The girls begged to stay in and enjoy the rental house this day. Who was I to argue? It was a vacation after all. So we took pictures, fed the duck, they laid out under the huge tree in the front yard, played Yahtzee and caught lightning bugs — simplicity, yet fulfilling all at the same time.
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June 15, 2015 – Tennessee Valley Railroad, Incline Railway & Southern Belle Dinner Cruise
I had already planned everything we were doing this day. I dubbed it “travel day” as we rode a train, the railway and a riverboat.

10480221_10153463997638055_6949007089160793735_nThe Tennessee Valley Railroad was a truly neat experience! It’s a short ride on a train that talks about the history of the train as well as the area involved. At one point you go over a bridge, through a tunnel and are able to watch them use a turntable so they could turn the engine around and pull us back to the station.

After our ride we visited the gift shop and the cafe. Everyone who works there are very friendly and polite which is always a big thing to me. My daughter found a passion for trains here and just had to have an Engineers hat and began her new coin collection from our trip here.


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11201844_10153463997893055_2276200877121022861_nThe Incline Railway is something I haven’t ridden on since I was 16 years old when my mom, stepdad and stepbrother headed through on our way to Orlando, Florida. It was just as steep as I remembered it! The girls were a bit nervous after seeing how steep it was as we started from the top, but once it started going and they talked about why it’s so safe…they were ALL for it! 

I think the look on their faces speaks volumes; don’t you? 🙂 I found it hilarious how they couldn’t wait to ride back up to the top.

There is a gift shop at both the top and the bottom as well as food and drinks… and their prices are fairly reasonable. Just don’t forget to enjoy the view from the top – it’s serene (and free!) 

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Being sworn in as Junior Rangers — I’ll let the video and picture speak for itself 🙂

11270304_10153463998013055_658956747072969194_oThe Southern Belle Riverboat was a good experience overall, but I do feel as if I have to fill you in on a bit more detail than what was relayed…or rather, what wasn’t relayed to us. I’m just going to copy the review that I left on TripAdvisor.com so you get the full effect:

The outside of the boat looks better than the inside. I’m a picky person, but also reasonable…I never expect perfection, but I do expect it to be above average.

The waitress wasn’t friendly, but she wasn’t rude either. She did manage to keep the tea glasses full and we didn’t have to seek her out to get more. The table setting and area around us was pretty tight, but not ridiculous.

As far as the buffet the dishes were dirty – I had to scrape left over pieces of food off of my plate while standing in the buffet line. It wasn’t just one plate, this was the 2nd one I had picked up that had food on it so I finally just “caved”. The food was pretty decent, no complaints there.

We ordered the “Over the Top” package which was to consist of the following: Window seat, BOTTLE of wine or champagne, 2 logo’d glasses and a souvenir photo. Price $49.00 extra.

11703335_10153463998123055_2726017319819407333_oWe did get a window seat (everyone on board did — only one table in the middle was occupied) and we were told we were the only “VIP’s” (as the staff person mentioned prior to boarding) on board that night. The logo’d glasses were on the table upon being seated, but covered in dust and spots (presentation is everything to me) as if they had been stored away somewhere for a long time, we only received a coupon for 2 free GLASSES of champagne or wine (not a bottle as advertised) that we were to ask the bartender for, and we did receive our souvenir photo. Needless to say I wasn’t impressed and wondered what I spent the extra $50 on exactly.

The photographer was very nice and the only one who seemed as if he enjoyed his job and speaking to people on board.

We had a much better time after dinner by going up on the deck to watch the scenery while we floated down the river. The captain did let our girls up there long enough to take a picture with them and was friendly to them.

When we went downstairs to retrieve the drinks that we purchased at the cash bar and left on our table while we were up top, the table had been cleared and the drinks thrown away so we had to buy more. We didn’t know they would do that so I figured I’d better mention that for anyone else as a “future reference”.

All in all I would not return, but if I did I wouldn’t buy the Over the Top package to anyone considering it. It’s just not worth the extra money for what you get in return in my opinion.

If you go, go for the food (not the service) and the view and ride down the river.

June 16, 2015 – Walking in my Great (x4) Grandfather’s Footsteps & Headed to the Smoky Mountains

11709819_10153464001593055_1182873140655028405_oThis particular part of the trip was more personal and historic for me. My Great (x4) Grandfather, Henry Frizzell, fought in the Battle of Chattanooga. I emailed Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park prior to our trip and a very nice Park Ranger advised me that I could literally walk in Henry’s steps. 

Henry was a recipient of the Medal of Honor for being a part of Forlone Hope during the Battle of Vicksburg. He was taken Prisoner of War (twice) and shot in the head at Vicksburg; he lived to tell about it. Because of his bravery I have been studying his life intensely. In fact, I have more documentation on him than anyone else (and that’s saying a lot).

So, to walk in his steps and get to share that with my family? Priceless. Here’s a short video of my daughter running it <3

Shortly after we headed to the Smoky Mountains. Stay tuned for the 2nd post to our 2015 Family Vacation…coming soon!

To read more in-depth reviews of my experience at restaurants, attractions, hotels and more please see my reviews on TripAdvisor.com by clicking here.


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Throw Back…A Walk Back Into My History

As a lover of history and all things nostalgic, I wanted to make a post to represent my own history. While I live about an hour away from the locations mentioned below, Google maps allows just about anyone to ‘go back in time’ using their program. I recently went on one of my own and figured I’d share some with all of you. All pictures are copyright Google.

My Mom & I lived in this house (the one in the middle) almost 30 years ago. Clearly it’s not what it used to look like, but it’s a big memory from my past. My two biggest memories from there are the fact that my bedroom had the attic stairs in it. I can’t recall how many nights I laid there as a young child staring at that ceiling and wondering how many attic monsters existed there lol My other biggest memory there is of my first puppy, Cuddles. I still have a shirt that belongs to him that reads, “Goochie Poochie”.

I attended Marion Elementary from 1st – 2nd grade and 4th -5th. I attended Tower Grove Baptist Church in Kindergarten when we lived in the city. During 3rd grade I attended Iveland Elementary School as the district had changed the school zone. Fortunately the next year they changed the zones back to what they were originally and I was able to go back to Marion. The front of the school looks different now, but the side of it still looks the same…


I spent years telling (I was a bossy lil thing) all my friends and school mates to meet me at the big tree (on the far right) so we could play games during recess. For some reason I loved that tree and I still do…while bossy we sure had a lot of fun playing around it.


This picture may seem like nothing at first, but there are so many countless memories of it for me. In between those trees lies a creek. A creek that my friends and I must have explored a 100 times. In fact, one time it got a little dangerous as we were swept away into a current and couldn’t stop ourselves until about a 1/2 mile down. What was scary while it was happening ended up being one of my most memorable life experiences. That creek, to this day, holds a lot of memories for me. I’ve been told that the water in it is radioactive as it’s supposedly connected to Coldwater Creek.


The house on the left belonged to a family I knew for years…there were 3 girls and their Mom, Vicky. Vicky was the crossing guard at Marion. My mom needed a sitter for me for before & after school. That led to a friendship of many, many years. I still talk to one of them on Facebook now and then. The house on the right belonged to a guy named Jesse. I think at one point each of us girls ended up having a crush on him. He moved away a few years later, but I did end up seeing him a few years later when I was living on…


Chaucer. We had been living here for about 2 years when Jesse came to visit his friend Alan who lived in a building just to the lower right of this building. It was good to see him, but he had grown into a teenager… I almost didn’t recognize him. I have no idea what happened to him after that. Alan is on my Facebook and he hasn’t heard anything either. Wherever you are Jesse Eubanks, I hope you’re well! My mom ended up getting married when we lived in this apartment.


While living on Chaucer I had a pink Huffy bicycle that I rode around everywhere. I used to go up to the Hallmark store just right of the grocery store (biggest store on the left) and buy my Mom gifts for Mother’s Day or her birthday. I would spend hours looking at everything. The lady that worked there started helping pick things out for my mom when I would go in there. I don’t think I’ve ever told my Mom that…

omalleysAnother highlight was riding my bike up to O’Malley’s Market. I would ride up there and get a soda and a candy bar. It was the simple things in life that I treasured most…

pvilleheightsHowever, after 5th grade my mom, stepdad and I relocated to the Pattonville School District and I started attending Pattonville Heights Middle School in 6th grade. I remember being so nervous, but the move ended up being very good for me. I attended PHMS all 3 years until it was time for high school.

(Note: I couldn’t get a picture of the place we lived during this time as it’s a private road and Google doesn’t take images of private roads)


There was a convenience store (the name escapes me) located on the far left that I must have purchased 100’s of teenage and metal magazines from. It became my new O’Malley’s after the move and I would walk a mile to get there from where we lived, up a HUGE hill nonetheless. It was always worth it though.

pvillehighAfter Pattonville Heights I attended Pattonville Senior High. It was like a college campus to me (it was HUGE) and the school spirit was amazing. Freshmen year was particularly special to me because I attended all morning classes there and in the afternoon I was sent, via cab, to a St. Louis City Magnet School called, “Honors Art” where I studied Photography as well as Drawing & Design with some of the best instructors in the local industry. You had to show a talent in art in some fashion to be able to attend as everything was funded by contributors, scholarships and the like. Fortunately I was accepted as I can’t begin to describe how much I loved going there. Between the two schools I was living it up and having the time of my life. Honors Art was shut down (and has since been torn down)  and for the remaining three years I attended PHS full time. They weren’t kidding when they say that your high school years are some of the best of your life…pvillehigh1

Another view of PHS…


One of the perks of attending PHS was during the nice weather we would all get off school and head to Creve Coeur Lake; it was just a few miles down the road.


I must have spent countless hours with my friends either cruising around the park or parking in areas much like this one and enjoying the freedom of being a teenager with wheels. If I didn’t have to work…


My first job was at Schnucks in Olive/Ladue. I worked in the bakery about 3-4 days a week after school for 2 years from 4pm-8pm. My job was to go in and shut it all down by packaging all the leftover donuts, slicing/packaging all the bread, helping customers, etc. I would work every Saturday morning and have to be there at 6am. Opening up the bakery was a lot more fun and the smell of donuts, cookies, bagels, bread and muffins always was a special treat. I remember my managers name was Biff Harris. He was pretty cool, yet sometimes a raging jerk (lol) and the guys who worked in the produce department used to mess with him an awful lot. Once they even picked up his car, turned it completely around so he couldn’t get out very easily. Todd (produce) and I would throw cream filled donuts and grapes at each other (only when customers weren’t around). Neal & Tom who worked in the grocery department, would throw things over the aisles as you walked down. I think the biggest thing we got in trouble for was car surfing on our cars after closing time. We were all young, you’ll have to forgive us… 🙂 Regardless, that place was full of great memories.

I was able to get a job there very easily as I was involved in Junior Achievement for 3 years during high school. Schnucks was one of the companies that sponsored it so I told one of my advisors that I needed a job and was hired on the spot.

Fortunately I had another job offer to work for a franchised 7-11 (at Schuetz & Page) when I turned 17 and headed over there. The pay & hours were better by far…


The coolest thing? We had a drive-thru. Yep, a drive thru 7-11 before it was cool 🙂 The only thing we weren’t allowed to sell through the window was beer & lottery tickets. Everything else was fair game. We had a full on deli (every fresh sandwich you could think of) so that was usually what brought people through if not for a Big Gulp. I worked there for 2 years and even made Shift Manager before I turned 18. Our boss was pretty cool and laid back…as long as your job was getting done he didn’t mind what you did.

My best friend Jennie (R.I.P. beautiful) and I used to go in there, when we were “out painting the town”, for nachos & cheese. We loved their nachos! lol If we didn’t go for nachos we would go to her work (T.G.I.Fridays) for their potato skins. Okay, I would go in there for potato skins, she would go in to eat their brie cheese (blech)

So many memories!

I’ll drop this off here as after this job my life took a completely different turn as Jennie & I moved away and that’s another story in itself. Maybe someday I’ll pick up where I left off… there’s only so much throwback a girl can handle at one time 😉

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Related to a Hero: My Great (x4) Grandfather PVT Henry Frizzell

Henry F Frizzell

Many people already know my connection to one hero, SGT Amanda Pinson, but few are aware of another: our Great (x4) Grandfather PVT Henry Frizzell.

I study my family history and maintain a blog about my journey and research as time permits.

Knowing that we’re heading to Tennessee this summer for a family vacation I knew that a stop that I wanted to make along our destination was Chattanooga/Lookout Mountain.

You see, Henry was a fascinating man. A brave, fascinating man. His story often goes untold as he was sort of lost in the shuffle during his service years in the Union Army during the Civil War.

I’ll let the story about him, written by the Daily Journal’s Sherry Greminger, tell you more about that. However, ever since my cousin, Charles Dalton, told me about Henry I became fascinated and made a vow to share Henry’s story.

In order to tell it, I felt I should learn as much about it as I can. But first, read the first two articles below so it will make more sense…

By SHERRY GREMINGER\Daily Journal Managing Editor

Friday, May 26, 2006 
For more than 100 years, a hero lay buried in St. Louis unknown to his family and unknown to his community. Although a stone at Mount Lebanon Cemetery on St. Charles Rock Road marks his grave site, no one’s really sure the remains of Henry Frizzell are there. Monday, this man who died a pauper in St. Louis in 1904 will be honored here as Madison County’s only recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Finally his family and community will have the opportunity to pay respects to this Union soldier who labored so hard to get his military record cleared and to eke out a meager life for himself and his family in the years following the Civil War.Frizzell’s great-great-grandson Charles Dalton, of St. Louis, and his two uncles Michael Sutton of St. Louis and David Sutton of Cuba, Mo. will be in Fredericktown Memorial Day to honor their ancestor. Dalton said his son might also be there – representing yet another generation who will finally be able to pay tribute to their family’s war hero.

The Medford McClanahan American Legion Post 248 will hold a dedication ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday on the south lawn of the Madison County Courthouse to dedicate a monument to Frizzell, as the county’s only Medal of Honor recipient. 

Dalton said Frizzell died of consumption May 25, 1904 at City Hospital and because he was a pauper he was buried in Potter’s Field. His remains have since been moved twice and now supposedly rest in Mount Lebanon Cemetery on St. Charles Rock Road. When the city sold the ground at Potter’s Field in 1957, all remains were moved to Mount Lebanon Cemetery.

“When they sent the remains to the cemetery, there were no names or markers to accompany them. All of the remains were put in one section of the cemetery. That land was also later sold and the remains were moved to Section F in the cemetery,” Dalton said.

6531621_1025010554According to Dalton a marker was dedicated to his ancestor in 1991. The ceremony was sponsored by the Medal of Honor Historical Society and the Veterans Administration provided a headstone etched in gold. Dalton said it was placed at the front of the cemetery because no one was exactly sure where his remains might be.When Frizzell was buried, there is no indication any of his family was present. One thing, however, is certain – those burying him did not know Frizzell, the man, or Frizzell, the hero.

The attack on Fort Sumter in 1861 coupled with the promise of pay and food to eat were enough to entice a 21-year-old farmer from Fredericktown to join the Union Army. Henry Frizzell went to Pilot Knob on Aug. 6, 1861, and enlisted as a private in Company B, 6th Missouri Infantry. Henry was not a tall man, 5 feet, 6 inches. Through letters written for him, a picture emerges of a fair-haired, gray-eyed man who was born and raised on the Big St. Francois River.

He was born into a poor family and his parents, Jason and Odeel (Smith) Frizzell could neither read nor write. Henry reports in letters written for him that there were no schools for him to attend, so he could not read or write himself. Henry tells of being wounded several times. He was captured twice by Confederates and worked for many years following the end of the Civil War to have desertion charges expunged from his record.

According to historical accounts from the time of Henry’s enlistment, the 6th Missouri Infantry was in the thick of many battles and traveled from Springfield, Mo. in October of 1861 to Vicksburg, Miss., in 1863 where they joined the assault on the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River. It was for his actions during this assault that the Medal of Honor was bestowed upon him.He was shot in the right side of his head just below his right eye as he made an assault on Fort Hill. He was captured by the Confederates and spent one week in their hospital. He was then paroled and sent to the Jeffersonville, Ohio hospital, where he spent two months.

Frizzell was a member of a group nicknamed “Forlorn Hope: Volunteer Stormers.”A book “Deeds of Valor: How America’s Civil War Heroes Won the Congressional Medal of Honor” published in 1903 recounts in detail the deeds of the Volunteer Storming Party of Vicksburg.According to the book, this group, made up entirely of volunteers, led the general assault on Vicksburg on May 22, 1863. The assault was thought to be so dangerous that Union Commander Gen. Ulysses S. Grant would not allow married men to volunteer.

Grant had underestimated the strength of the Confederates and although he had the city circled on three sides with a 12-mile battle line and warships stationed on the Mississippi, things were not going well for the Union general wanting to avoid a lengthy siege, Grant decided to storm the city. The Confederates had dug in along the top of a bluff and Grant chose a portion of that bluff which was to the south of Fort Hill. This fort in addition to being almost perpendicular, was protected by a ditch about 12 feet wide and 5 or 6 feet deep and sloping up toward the enemy’s guns.It was estimated the storming party needed at least 150 men. Twice that number answered the call, with those volunteering first being accepted.The battle plan was formulated. The men were to build a bridge over the ditch and plant scaling ladders against the embankment. By the time they had accomplished this feat, it was expected the supporting brigades would be ready to make the final assault.

forlorn hope 1On the morning of May 22, 1863, the storming party gathered in a ravine out of sight of the Confederates. Here they had a pile of logs, lumber and scaling ladders. The advance party’s job was for two men to carry the logs, run toward the trench and throw them across the ditch to form the basis of a bridge. The second group was to follow closely with the lumber to throw across the logs. The third group was to bring the ladders, run across the bridge and place them against the fort.

From minute one, things did not work out well for the “forlorn hope.” Enemy fire was so heavy that as they advanced at a dead run, about half of them were shot down and the area was thick with smoke.

When the survivors did arrive at the ditch, they could not make a bridge because so many logs and pieces of lumber had been dropped. They also discovered they could not stay where they were because of heavy enemy fire.

Historical accounts relate the survivors jumped into the ditch and Private Howell G. Trogden who carried the storming party’s flag planted it on the parapet of the fort. Trogden kept firing at the enemy when they tried to reach the flag.

Other brigades advanced to support the small group of men, but only 30 men, those of the 11th Missouri reached them. They planted their flag and dug in wherever they could find shelter. It was reported the bottom of the ditch was filled with mangled bodies with heads and limbs blown off.

The assault had plainly failed, but the men in the ditch could neither retreat nor advance. They held their position until, under the cover of darkness, they were able to leave. Of the storming party, 85 percent were killed and there were only a few who escaped without a wound of some kind.

In the fighting that followed, the Union suffered more than 3,000 casualties and 97 Union soldiers earned Medals of Honor (the second largest single-day total in history).

The following Missouri men who survived the siege of Vicksburg were recognized by their country with the Medal of Honor: John Ayers, 8th Missouri Infantry; Matthew Bickford, 8th Missouri Infantry; James Cunningham, 8th Missouri Infantry; James Flynn, 6th Missouri Infantry; Henry Frizzell (Frazell), 6th Missouri Infantry; Louis Hunt, 6th Missouri Infantry; David Johnston, 8th Missouri Infantry; George Stockman, 6th Missouri Infantry; Howell Trogden, 8th Missouri Infantry; John Wagner, 8th Missouri Infantry; Joseph Wortick, 8th Missouri Infantry.

A letter written by a friend in Fredericktown found in his Medal of Honor file reported Frizzell believed his regiment was in Alabama when he rejoined it after being released from the hospital following the siege of Vicksburg. He does report in letters that he fought at the battle of Chattanooga, Tenn. on Lookout Mountain.

With his regiment now under the command of General William Sherman, he continued in the March to Atlanta and was shot in the left leg above the knee at the battle of Resaca Georgia and went to the hospital. He rejoined his unit and remained with it though Georgia and Carolina until March of 1864.

On March 1, 1864, at Lynchcreek, North Carolina, Frizzell ended his war years. He went with a friend to a house to rest and was captured by enemy forces. He escaped from the Confederates and thinking the war was over, began his long trek home. This move resulted in desertion charges being brought against him.

In letters written for him to help get the charge removed from his military record, he tells of being tired, confused and captured.

In a letter written Feb. 18, 1891, Frizzell tells how Andy Harness, who was in the same regiment with him persuaded him to go to a private home where they could get some rest. He said Harness convinced him that the “Rebels were whipped and the war would soon be over.”

While they were resting at the home, they were captured by Confederates. They did escape, but their regiment had moved north and with Confederates everywhere, Frizzell is quoted as saying, “It was impossible to rejoin the unit.”

It is reported that everywhere they went they kept hearing that the war was over, so he just started working his way back to Madison County.

Another letter states, “My head hurt and my left leg, which had been wounded, gave out.”

The author of the letter wrote that Frizzell said he only went to the home with Harness because he was not well and was completely worn out. The writer said Frizzell told him that since being wounded at Vicksburg, his memory had been bad and he “cannot recall important things to family and myself. I am satisfied that at times I am not in my right mind. I was laboring under this state of mind when I left my command.”

Several more letters, most written in February of 1891, attested to Frizzell’s good character, but alluded to mental problems probably caused by his injures suffered at Vicksburg.

One letter written by Jonathan Williams said, “After the war he has been of weak mind, almost like an idiot and hardly of a mind to care for himself. He is very poor and destitute and the only support is from what little labor he can do.”

Yet another letter, written by Fielding King who enlisted in the 6th Regiment with Frizzell said, “Henry was shot on the side of the head cutting his ear and corner of the right eye at Vicksburg. When he rejoined the regiment, he never appeared to be entirely himself. He never would have left, with Andrew Harness, on his own accord. He was a good soldier, he never shirked his duty nor tried to keep out of battle. He returned to Madison County in September of 1865.”

Thomas Hollday (sic) stated that he had know Frizzell since childhood and aided him as he could. He said he paid for all the cost for postage and affidavits because “he is very poor, illiterate and ignorant. His mind is weak and memory bad but he is a good citizen.”

All these letters must have helped because in a letter dated March 31, 1891, the War Department removed the charge of desertion from his record.

The last letter in Frizzell’s Medal of Honor file is one dated June 30, 1894 which says that he had been awarded a Medal of Honor medal which would be forwarded by mail.

This letter stated, “I have the honor to inform you that… By direction of the President, and without solicitation from any source – the award being based solely upon the official records – let a Medal of Honor be presented to Private Henry F. Frizzell, Co. B, 6th Missouri Infantry, for most distinguished gallantry in action at Vicksburg, Miss., May 22, 1863.

“The soldier was a member of a volunteer storming party which made a most gallant assault upon the enemy’s works. Signed: Joseph B. Doe, Asst. Secretary of War.”

None of his living descendants know what happened to that medal, nor how Frizzell ended his life destitute in St. Louis.

But on Memorial Day, none of that will matter. A hero will be honored and members of his family and community will be witness to the ceremony.



The DAILY JOURNAL, Friday, May 26, 2006

The Vicksburg campaign was waged from March 29 to July 4, 1863. It included battles in west-central Mississippi at Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hill, Big Black River and numerous smaller battle fields. On the morning of May 22, General Grant launched what he hoped would be a crushing assault against Vicksburg. In the fighting that followed, the Union Infantry was repulsed and thrown back along a three-mile front. The Union Army suffered more than 3,000 casualties, and 97 Union soldiers earned Medals of Honor (the second largest single-day total in history.)

Private Henry Frizzell was one of eighty soldiers cited simply for “Gallantry in the charge of the ‘volunteer storming party,’ seemingly innocuous wording that actually denotes the fact that Private Frizzell was at the head of his attacking force where the enemy fire was hottest and the danger the greatest. Following the failed assault on May 22, a forty-seven day siege was laid against the city, which finally surrendered to Union forces on July 4.


HENRY F FRIZZELL was born Dec 1837 in Area of Silver Mines on Big St Francois River, Madison County Missouri, and died 25 May 1904 in Temporary City Hospital, St Louis, Missouri. He married REBECCA SINCLAIR 1869 in Madison Co. Missouri, daughter of WILLIAM ST. CLAIR and WILEY JOHNSON. She was born 17 Jan 1849 in Madison County Missouri, and died Abt. 1889 in Madison County Missouri. He married SARAH ELLEN CARMACK 11 Oct 1893 in Madison Co. Missouri. She was born 05 Jun 1850 in Madison County Missouri, and died 16 Feb 1924 in Fredericktown, Madison Co. Missouri.

Notes for HENRY F FRIZZELL: Henry was buried in St Louis City’s Potter’s Field in 1904. It was located at Sublette & Fyler which is now the site of the Hampton Gardens Apartments. In 1957 Potter’s Field was moved to Mount Lebanon Cemetery at 11101 St Charles Rock Road. There were no records or markers with the remains received from the City. They were buried at about Cypress and Hunter Drive. In 1995 when the cemetery sold this land, all remains were moved to a a mass grave in Section F graves 450 & 452 in same cemetery. The area sold is now the parking lot for Hunter Engineering.

On May 26 1991 a marker was placed in Section N by the Medal of Honor Historical Society to honor Henry as a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. Sonny Wells of the Medal of Honor Historical Society did the research on Henry and gave the information to the Veterans Administration which provided the head stone etched in gold.

Sonny also arranged the ceremony and Geraldine Sanders Smith gave a speech about Henry. Being that the exact location of his remains were unknown, the Marker was placed in the front of the Cemetery. Henry was shot in the Battle of Vicksburg Mississippi on the outside of his right eye breaking bone, causing vision problems and removing part of right ear. Battle was on May 22, 1863.

He was wounded again in the Battle of Resaca Georgia during May 14, 1864. His wound was a gunshot 2 inches above his left knee.

Letter to: Henry F. Frizzell, Fredericktown, Mo. dated July 30, 1894:

I have the honor to inform you that by the direction of the President, and without solicitation from any source – the award being based solely upon the official records – let a Medal of Honor be presented to Private Henry F. Frizzell, Co. B 6th Missouri Infantry, for most distinguished gallantry in action at Vicksburg, Miss., May 22, 1863. This soldier was a member of a volunteer storming party which made a most gallant assault upon the enemy’s works. signed Joseph B. Doe, Asst. Secretary of War Pvt.

Henry Frizzell is the only person from Madison Co. Mo. to be awarded this esteemed medal, sometimes now called Congressional Medal of Honor. There have been only 3,461 medals awarded from 1862 to 2006, of which 77 were given to people from Missouri.

He received the medal through the mail and signed for it at the post office, in Fredericktown, on 2 Aug. 1894. When the Cyclone of 1896 destroyed the city hospital on Lafayette Avenue the patients were transferred to Emergency Hospital 1. This was the Convent of the House of Good Shepherd located on the block bounded by 17th, 18th, Pine and Chestnut Streets.

By 1901 the hospital became so overcrowded the city purchased the Pius Hospital at 14th and O’Fallon to be Emergency Hospital 2. Number 2 hospital was used for patients with Communicable Diseases. Both was used until August 10, 1905 when the new hospital on Lafayette Avenue was completed. Because Henry died of Consumption, also called TB, I do not know which hospital he may have died in.

On May 29, 2006 the American Legion Post 248 dedicated a monument, on the south lawn of the Fredericktown Courthouse, in honor of Henry Frizzell. They raised the money for the monument from people and businesses around Fredericktown.

Speeches were given by Kent Kooi, from the Medal of Honor Historical Society, and Charles Dalton on behalf of Henry’s descendants. 10 descendants representing 4 generations were present. Mayor Karen Yates welcomed evereyone and Donnie Owens who started the idea was master of ceremony. Geraldine Sanders Smith, who spoke at 1991 ceremony was present but did not speak.


Burial: 1957, Mount Lebanon Cemetery, St Louis Missouri
Burial permit Issued: 29 May 1904, City of St Louis Mo.34

Marriage: 1869, Madison Co. Missouri

Notes for SARAH ELLEN CARMACK: After her 2nd husband died in 1890 she started writing for his pension. She never received his pension because she never proved that she divorced her 1st Husband.The War Department sent several letters explaining that the needed proof that she divorced her 1st husband before she married William Bradshaw. They said she was not the legal wife of Bradshaw. After Henry, her 3rd husband, died she started writing for his pension which she never got because she married him after the Act of 1890 was passed. Several times they sent hers letters that she was not entitled to his pension and why. She first started writing letters herself then got 3 lawyers and finally one person from Fredericktown to also write and try to get either pension. I think she went to each person and after they got the answer that she was not entitled and told her so, she went and found someone else. Her last attempt was in 1918 and I guess it finally sunk in or she could not find anybody else to try. In 1881 in Madison Co. Mo. there is a divorce of a Nathaniel Martin and Sarah Martin. Sarah’s 1st husband was Nathaniel Martin who she stayed with only 3 days after marriage in June 1880.

Hunt for Heroes Ancestors Henry Frizzell

Click to enlarge

What I’ve learned since:

Amanda (my cousin, also his Great(x4) Granddaughter) was honored the same day that he was. She was being honored in Maryland at the National Security Agency as he was being honored in Fredericktown, Missouri. The odds intrigued me. Where else has that possibly taken place before?

On Sunday, July 19, 1959 the government were searching for descendants of Henry Frizzell, through The Kansas City Star newspaper, as he was being honored during a Civil War centennial tribute and they requested his descendants presence (see image to the left)

8638_10151754617693055_131743092_nOn April 9, 2010 they named a bridge in his honor in St. Francois County, Missouri.

I have found a few of Henry’s military records available through research and various resources. In the one below you will see where they list him as “Wounded and Missing” after the Battle of Vicksburg. He’s the 6th name, on page 62.

Henry Frizzell Wounded & Missing Battle of Vicksburg May 22 1863 OfficialrecordsoftheUnionandConfederateArmies186_80994195

Click image to enlarge.

Frizzell, Henry


Since this time I have also discovered that his picture was shown in a book titled, “Deed of Valor – How America’s Civil War Heroes Won the Congressional Medal of Honor”. His picture is on the 2nd image, top right. I now own a copy of this book that will no doubt be passed down generation after generation.

To summarize the story of Henry Frizzell and bring our trip to Chattanooga into perspective I sent an email to the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park and asked them how I might learn more while visiting. A very nice Park Ranger by the name of Chris Barr responded to me. His response was very intriguing and I can’t wait to visit and literally walk in my Great Great Great Great Grandfather’s footsteps…and yes, I did exactly as he suggested and ordered Henry’s military records in case I’m missing anything important 🙂

Thank you for your recent inquiry about your ancestor who fought here with the 6th Missouri Infantry.
Henry Frizzell was with the 6th Missouri Infantry, which was a part of Giles Smith’s Brigade of Morgan Smith’s Division. Based on that information you can easily visit many of the areas in Chattanooga where your ancestor fought.
Your ancestor would have arrived in Chattanooga floating down the Tennessee River on pontoon boats from the north. Elements of Sherman’s men crossed the Tennessee River at the mouth of the South Chickamauga Creek and quickly built a pontoon bridge for the rest of his forces to cross. Sherman’s men then moved against the north end of Missionary Ridge and eventually attacked Confederate forces on Tunnel Hill (the northernmost end of Missionary Ridge). Based on this information, it’s actually pretty easy to find these areas and quite literally let your daughter walk in her ancestor’s footsteps.
To start, you can visit the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway. This is a trail system that the city of Chattanooga has set up for outdoor recreational use. The benefit to Civil War visitors is that the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway trail and boardwalk follows Morgan Smith’s division’s route from the river to near where they cut over to attack first Billy Goat Hill and then Tunnel Hill. So you can walk his footsteps on a relatively comfortable and well maintained trail and boardwalk.  For more information about the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway visit https://outdoorchattanooga.com/land/south-chickamauga-creek-greenway-running
Sherman’s men first moved into an area called Billy Goat Hill – they thought it was part of Missionary Ridge, but it wasn’t. Today Billy Goat Hill is a residential housing area. So there’s not really anywhere you can get out and walk around. After Billy Goat Hill, Sherman’s men moved into position to attack Tunnel Hill from the north. The area where the hardest fighting took place is preserved as part of our national military park in what is called the Sherman Reservation. There are at least a couple of tablets and markers on the Sherman Reservation that indicate where the 6th Missouri was located, and the Sherman Reservation is accessible by car.
Hopefully this gives you a little more information to help plan your trip. I’d also encourage you to visit the Chickamauga Battlefield – this is our main visitor center and museum for campaign for Chattanooga.
Please let me know if you have any further questions or if there’s anything I can do to help you out. I’ve attached to this email a copy of a map showing these troop positions. Also, if you’ve not done so, I’d encourage you to contact the National Archives at www.archives.gov to order copies of his service records. These documents will give you a more complete picture of his service in the Civil War.
Chris Barr

Map attached to email

After this vacation my next stop is Vicksburg. To learn more about it, watch this amazing video completed by Vicksburg National Military Park. It made me feel SO proud to be related to such a brave and honorable man who was shot in the head during this well known battle and lived to tell about it.

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TEMPTATIONS® Snacky Mouse Review


Disclaimer: I received a TEMPTATIONS® Snacky Mouse for free for review purposes.

We have three cats with varying ages in our home. With that said, the oldest, Gabriel, is the most playful one until you spring out paracord; that’s more a “Tanner thing”. So I knew I had to product test this with Gabriel if I wanted a true reaction and honest review.

At first he was a little shy to it, but as I showed him that it dispensed treats his curiosity piqued. Its almost as if he was thinking, “What is this contraption…?”

But he was more intrigued by the treats themselves. The more he knocked it around the more treats it would dispense and the more playful he became. It was quite comical to witness.

I did let our other two cats around it, but in the realm of keeping it honest, Tanner smelled the treats inside and moved along. Perhaps chicken wasn’t his forte? Loki was more content watching Gabriel play with it – he’s always made a better observer than participator.

As far as my opinion? I think it’s a clever idea that cat lovers around the world should give a try. Well, let their cats try. There’s not a lot in the realm of cat toys so anything that sparks that playtime is worthy.

As a side note: our puppy, Stryker (a husky), absolutely LOVES it! Hilarious…

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Travels, Opinions and Tips (w/kids)

Just like anyone else who is a member of TripAdvisor.com we receive those emails to let us know our ranking. Mine always reads that I’m one of the most popular reviewers in St. Louis. This doesn’t come as a surprise to me…not gloating. Clearly, I’m opinionated.

I think it’s important for people to read real, honest and unsolicited reviews from everyday people and I aim to offer just that. I include pictures because they’ll often tell the stories without any commentary needed at all.

I’ll be back at it again this summer as we take a much needed (and deserved) vacation to Tennessee. As usual, I won’t be posting exactly when we’re going (safety first), but I’ll make a follow-up post when we get back with all the highlights and recommendations.

We’re truly excited about what will be taking place over our vacation as, naturally, I’ve made just enough plans not to be bombarded with things to do and left more than enough open to try those off-the-wall places no one knows about. Quite frankly, those are usually some of the best places to visit (and I often wonder if people don’t keep them a secret on purpose).

Make it personable, memorable & fun!

I’m doing what I can to make things fun for the kiddos (Alexis & Kiley). I’ve even created a memory book of sorts for the car. I thought I’d share the idea with all of you here in case you needed something to keep your kiddos entertained while you’re traveling to your vacation destination.

This is the cover of my daughter’s memory book (I’ll put it in the front of a binder with the clear cover on front for protection). It shows what State we’ll be visiting, what states surround it, etc. It offers a means to teach her as well which I’m a huge fan of!

The pages below are random: scavenger hunts, license plate lookup, hangman & tic tac toe. They can fill these in on the trip to our locations or on the way back. Choice is theirs completely…I just wanted it to be fun and personable. You can find images like this that are free to print, use, etc. Google.com is your friend 🙂

find hangman licenseplatelookout scavengerhunt tictactoe

My favorite part will be the daily journal entry where they can write about what we did, places we visited, etc. each day. On the 2nd page they can even draw a picture or glue a photo in their “Photo of the Day” section. I changed it around a bit to reflect more of where we’re going.


Add even more to the memories

I also made certain to make the trip a little more exciting for the girls by buying them inexpensive matching luggage sets that are monogrammed with the first letter of their first names. Seriously they were only $20 a set.

You can still make great memories and keep it inexpensive. I also purchased Snackeez for the trip. No offense, but two kids in the backseat of a rental tells me one thing…protect that interior! The last picture is a trunk organizer, but I’m using it to go between the girls in the back seat to keep extra drinks (the middle part is insulated) and snacks in, plus their travel journeys and anything else they might want to store. There’s nothing worse than arriving somewhere and finding out that you have to clean up & find all of the loose items that were spilled during the trip when all you want to do is get out of the car and explore. Plus, if they happen to have crayons or markers this will help to protect the interior as well. Yes, I’ve had that happen once; never again.

You can click the link of each picture to take you to where to purchase these items. No, I make nothing by sending you there (before anyone asks) 🙂



So let’s discuss WHERE to stay when traveling. I know the first thing people think of when traveling are hotels. However, did you know that most places (especially tourist towns) have houses that you can rent for around the same price as a hotel would cost you?

Some may be a little more expensive than a night at the hotel, but not when you factor in that you have privacy (instead of 2 beds in a room, you could have 2 bedrooms), a full kitchen with everything you would need to cook & eat, more than one bathroom, a living room (not just a couch in a room) and available, free parking. That doesn’t include the other amenities you may find with the house.

For example, one that I manage a website for has a pool; a private pool. It’s right outside of Orlando, but away from the hustle and bustle. Check it out: rentourfloridavacationhome.com (and no, I don’t receive anything if you book through me or the website. I’m just the website designer and I’ve used the home a couple of times. It’s one of my favorite places to stay…anywhere)

So we rented a farm house for the 1st leg of our vacation and a cabin for the 2nd (and longest) leg of the vacation. I’m huge about real reviews from real people and both places came highly recommended.

The farmhouse

The farmhouse sits on 20 acres on a mountain so there is privacy and room for the kids to go outside, run around and be free. You’ll notice that there are several beds and a few bedrooms, a farm, a pond, a really neat looking creek to explore and walk along, a grill, etc. It’s a mere 10 minutes from the location (not posting that publicly, yet) where we’ll be visiting, but away from the hustle and bustle. We’re staying four nights here and w/taxes, cleaning fee, etc we’re only paying $800 for it. Two decent hotels rooms (one for us, one for them) with no kitchen, one bathroom, no place for the kids to really play would have cost us around $300 each night. One thing people kept talking about is how the fireflies come out at night and make the scenery that much more beautiful; we can hardly wait.


The cabin

The cabin is a privately owned cabin that sits on a mountain that is booked through a rental agency. It has 2 bedrooms (both beds are king-sized), 2 bathroom (whirlpool bathtubs IN the bedrooms), it has 2 decks (one downstairs, one upstairs), with a jacuzzi, a pool table, a place campfire setting (for making s’mores), a BBQ grill, and has TONS of space inside & out for the girls to play. I went into a lot of thought with this one (which also has rave reviews) because the upstairs bedroom has it’s own deck with no way to get to it (security for the girls). We also have access to 3 different pools. It’s in the city that we’re visiting so travel will be minimal. We’ll be staying at this location for 10 days. Cost: $1500 (no, not kidding) – I would have never found a decent hotel that could offer ALL of this for that price. It was a great deal that I booked through the rental agency that has an A+ score with the BBB and comes highly recommended. (Bonus: the staff have all been extremely nice & personable)

No worries, if you’re interested in renting these properties I can always tell you after we get back where they’re located and how to contact the property management. I’m very safety conscious (online & off) so I won’t be giving out that information until we get back. If nothing else, you can read my reviews on both properties and see if they live up to everything I’ve read thus far 😉

All in all I hope this information helps you plan a better vacation and offers you some ideas as that’s the intent here. Life is short, live it up, but don’t break your bank or be uninformed. Enjoy it!

If you have any tips for traveling, especially with kids, feel free to share them in a comment below.


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