RoweClan Haversack

Civil War Stationery Journal


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Sharing personal reflections and ideas on letter writing as a part
of reenacting and on our family's reenacting experiences

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who want to explore Civil War history "hands-on"

(Description of content & excepts)

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Stamp information Page
Contains information on both US and CS Civil War era stamps and postage rates along with suggestions of how to use the reproduction stamps included in the stationery sets




O'Murphy's Law & Other Astute Observations of Military Life*

   It seems Civil War research is never done.  Case in point is the recent discovery in the basement of an old pub which served the local Irish in Home, Pa. during the 1870s and 80s.  Uncovered in the basement rubbish was an Army Cracker box containing the ruminations of Danny O'Murphy, who served with the 67th PVI, 13th NJ, 142nd NY, 46th OVI (evidently he was often a substitute for a lot of rich boys), as well as the 7th Ga. Home Guards ("better to serve 'n rot 'n prison" he said).  O'Murphy saw a lot of action from a distance as a teamster, as a balloon line holder aeronaut 3d class (twice demoted for letting the line slip), and as a regimental staff procurement orderly ("unofficially paid" so he was unable to collect a pension).  His colorful career gave him broad insight into the workings of the 1860's military system. 
     In his post-war years he ran the local bar ("if it tastes watered down, y'ain't drunk'nough" he used to always say).  It is evidently during this time that he wrote Laws and Other Astute Observations of Military Life:  Based on the Experience of Other Losers.  He never got it published because his 6th wife stole it from him in revenge when she left him for the 12th and final time, hiding it in the basement clutter of his bar, the famous O'Murphy's Homestyle Spring of Erin. 
     Yet oral history has preserved bits and pieces of O'Murphy's work, commonly misquoted as "Murphy's Laws".  Below are excerpts of his laws as originally written in brown ink with a turkey quill pen in Spenserian Irish-scrawl on the back of old 7 by 10 ledger paper with faded blue lines 9/32ds apart (I share these details so that the hardcore may accurately reproduce O'Murphy's work).

O'Murphy's Cental Law:  Everythin that kin go wrong will go wrong 'n yer wife will tell ya'bout it so ye mightis will drink tuit.

Odds of Promotion:  Good experienced officers donna live.  Inept brass polishers get promoted.

Burnsides's Theory of Advancement:  March in winter and avoid the mud!

Cavalry Theorm:  The more you need 'em, the greater the chance the Cavalry will be lost. July2-4,'63.

Engineer's Rule 13:  Local guides who claim to know the way, don't.

O'Murphy's Cosmic Observation:  God has a sense of humor.

*This is just for fun.  If we can't laugh at ourselves in doing this hobby, why do it?



This site was last updated 03/18/11