Christmas Cards
Starting the season off, we wanted to direct our friends to the fantastic article written on the Victoria and Albert website, tracing the history of Christmas cards.

Anna Worden Bauersmith
For Anna, straw millinery is about more than just the finished hats and bonnets. It is about a connection with the thousands of nineteenth century women and children who worked the straw transforming blades of golden grass into the styles of the season. It is the many hands along the journey from field to cottage industry to millinery shop for fashion.

She prefers to use wheat and rye straw plait for its authenticity, loving the shapes it can achieve as well as the smell of the straw. Her shapes and styles come from studying original millinery pieces and working from her collection of original and antique millinery blocks.

Anna is a nearly life-long volunteer at the Genesee Country Village and Museum. She is the author of From Field to Fashion: The Straw Bonnet, Fanciful Utility: Victorian Sewing Cases & Needle-books, Paisley, Plaid, & Purled: Mid-nineteenth Century Shawls, and To Net, or Not to Net.

Anna publishers her blog at, and her hats are avaialble for sale at her etsy store, Anna Bauersmith
Those interested in researching the park’s artifacts can make an appointment by using the same phone number above or by contacting Park Ranger Chuck Mood at during business hours.
Camp Floyd is open from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. every day of the week, except Sundays. 

It is located in Fairfield, Utah. The park can be reached at (801)-768-8932 or on the facebook page
Camp Floyd
 In 1857, a newly elected President James Buchanan believed that the Territory of Utah was in rebellion against the United States. He had been receiving reports that his Federal officials were fleeing the territory and the only laws that the Mormons obeyed were that of Brigham Young who was then Territorial Governor, Indian Agent, and head of the Church of Latter Days Saints.
This would lead to the Utah Expedition or Mormon War (1857-1858). Hence President Buchanan dispatched 2,500 troops to Utah to put down the rebellion, replace Brigham Young, and install a new governor and federal officials.

They met with resistance. The president’s failure to inform Brigham Young of his intentions led the Mormons to believe that he planned to kick them out of Utah. The Mormons had already been kicked out of Missouri and Illinois. The Mormon militia harassed the Army, set the prairie afire, stole cattle, and managed to burn three unguarded wagon trains (72 wagons) containing over 300,000 pounds of the Army’s food. But word was given not to take life until it could be determined of the Army’s intention. Worse, over 3,000 animals perished in a blizzard after the army traversed South Pass.

Unable to advance further, winter and the Mormons had stalled the Army’s 1,100-mile march to Salt Lake and had forced them to set up a winter camp at Fort Bridger. The Army suffered. Due to the loss of 300,000 pounds of food and over 3,000 animals the army was forced to live on half-rations until a heroic winter march over the Rocky Mountains by Captain Randolph B. Marcy resupplied the army with new animals, and as new food stuffs arrived from the East.
Intervention took place by Thomas Kane, a friend of the Mormons, and a well connected Pennsylvanian whose brother was a famous Artic explorer and whose father was head of the Democratic political party. Sent unofficially by President Buchanan, Kane worked with Brigham Young and the new incoming governor to work things out. In the mean time President Buchanan also sent two Peace Commissioners to address the issues. Although a blanket pardon was issued by the President to the Mormons, the army found no rebellion and it has gone down in history as “Buchanan’s blunder.”
The outcome was that the Mormons would accept the new governor and new officials, and that the army could establish a post, but that it could not be near Salt Lake City. A site was selected west of Utah Lake in Cedar Valley and Camp Floyd was established. By this time the Army of Utah had swelled from its original 2,500 troops to 3,500 troops making Camp Floyd home to one third of the entire United State Army.

The Camp was made out of adobe brick made by the local Mormons and sold to the army for a penny a piece. It took over one million, six hundred thousand bricks to make the over 350 buildings of Camp Floyd. The Camp was over 110 acres. Company Streets were over a half mile long, and with 3,500 troops, it was the largest concentration of Federal troops anywhere in the United States at the time.

Fifty-nine future Civil War Generals called Camp Floyd home including such Gettysburg alumni as John Reynolds, Henry Heth, and John Buford. Of these 59 generals, their loyalties split almost fifty-fifty with only one more confederate general serving than on the union side. The army back then consisted almost entirely of immigrants commanded by American officers, so the enlisted sided mostly with their paycheck and the North versus any state loyalty.
Today Camp Floyd is a Utah State Park with only one of its original buildings and the cemetery remaining. That building is now the park’s museum. It contains artifacts from archaeological digs performed by Dr. Dale Berge of Brigham Young University who conducted an archaeological field school at the site in the 1980s and 1990s. The artifacts contain a rare look at the antebellum army as the camp was only occupied from 1859-1861, and has very little contamination from other time periods. Items not on display are stored at the Fort Douglas Museum in Salt Lake City in climate controlled storage.

The park’s reenacting arm consists of the Utah Living History Association who field Company D of the 5 th U.S. Infantry, and portray the soldiers of General Albert Sidney Johnston’s Army of Utah during park events. In addition to the 5 th, members also field a full size artillery piece and portray Captain John Phelp’s Battery B, 4 th U.S. Light Artillery.  They are always looking for new recruits to join their ranks, and they portray almost every time period from the American Revolution to the Civil War.
The Citizen’s Forum of the 1860s will be just that: a non-profit conference for all history-lovers. I think our mission statement sums up our attitude best:

Our mission is to organize The Citizen’s Forum of the 1860s to provide educational speakers and workshops for men, women, and teen Civil War reenactors, along with vendors who offer quality reenacting goods. We will create a welcoming environment for sharing knowledge and personal growth as a living historian.

And we go beyond clothing, digging into the deeper why of history. Our topic list appeals to different age groups, and certainly men and women too! These include:

  • Victorian Hair Jewelry
  • Bookbinding
  • Men’s Shirts
  • Women’s Underclothing
  • Youth in Reenacting
  • Gymnastics
  • 1860s Repro Fabric Selection
And more!

But there’s so much more than presentations. Friday night will boast a soiree in the Historic Wolcott House. Imagine 19th century music floating in the air, with delicious period snacks and amusing games. Feel free to “dress to the nines” or wear modern clothing; we want everyone to feel welcome, even our most beginning of beginners! Items original to the era will be available for your perusal, in case you find yourself wandering away from the food, dancing, and polite conversation.

The final piece of the puzzle remains: How much will it cost? I’m very aware of budget and savings, so we’ve set the adult registration cost at $110 for the entire weekend, and only $45 for young people (11-18 yrs). Can’t pay all at once? We have a flexible payment plan available through the website. Sitting down with the math, one can attend an entire 19th century conference with an affordable price tag.

As a reenactor, business owner, and teacher, event organizer Kristen Mroz finds these kinds of events hard to come by. Please support our learning opportunity by sharing this post online, or signing up to attend. While this is the first year for The Citizen’s Forum of the 1860s, we have the potential to create generations of learning and personal growth.

If you have any questions or would like to sign up, go online today at:
Customer Profile
Eddie Price

Our featured customer, Eddie Price is a retired history teacher who now writes award-winning books. Widder’s Landing, a historical novel set in Kentucky in 1811-1815, has won several gold medals for “Best Historical Fiction”. One Drop—A Slave! (2018) has also garnered critical acclaim, winning the 2018 Gold Medal for Best Historical Fiction at the Florida Authors & Publishers Awards.  ​ His historical novels Widder’s Landing and One Drop-A Slave! gained instant critical acclaim and he began presenting programs to historical and genealogical societies, libraries and arts councils, patriotic organizations, schools, colleges, and universities.

You can find him presenting in many places across America, Canada, and Great Britain. Readers might see him in a preschool classroom or school gymnasium one day, and on a War of 1812 battlefield reenactment the next.
Eddie has presented in national and state parks, frontier villages, and other historic sites, and for many state and national organizations like the Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution, the Society of 1812 and Daughters of 1812, the Readers’ Favorite Awards, “Maryland, Kentucky and Beyond,” the National Dutch Cousins, and other national genealogical societies.

We applaud is ability to roll up his sleeves and make things happen and are proud of the navy uniform that he purchased form us for his presentations.

Eddie's works can be found at:

Blanket options to be offered!
We have been working with another mill to develop other blankets. They are not the mill doing the vegetable dyeing, but are a third generation mill specializing in the woolen trade.They are also working on the current production of Federal issue blankets. and we expect to have a shipment date to announce shortly.

Follow us on facebook for contact us for updates.
American Battlefield Trust
Join Kristopher White and Garry Adelman of the American Battlefield Trust as they examine Civil War era artifacts housed at the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum in New Orleans.

The American Battlefield trust is doing some vital work in acquiring and maintaining parcels of land, that would otherwise fall to commercial development. We urge all our friends to support their efforts, either through donation or living history events.