What the Private Saw - The Civil War Letters and Diaries of Oney Foster Sweet


The music commenced.


   Book Launch . . .

What the Private Saw

The Book Launch, April 12, 2015 . . .

Oney Foster Sweet - What the Private Saw
Oney F. Sweet portrait, circa 1869, and book poster. Attached to the frame is a Civil War veteran's medal.


What the Private Saw: The Civil War Letters & Diaries of Oney Foster Sweet
Unveiling: What the Private Saw: The Civil War Letters & Diaries of Oney Foster Sweet.


a ration of whiskey
"a ration of whiskey"

licour in camp
"licour in camp"


Al Haun and Civil War artifacts on display
Civil War reenactor Al Haun and Civil War-era military equipment on display. Lt. Col. Al Haun s represents G Company, 6th US Infantry, which was stationed in San Diego prior to the Civil War. The regiment left for the East Coast by steamship in the summer of 1861 and spent two years with the Army of the Potomac. Corp. Lou Fraley (not pictured) accompanied him.

The regiment's barracks stood near what is now the foot of Market Street, the current site of a hotel. A monument to the barracks, California State Historic Landmark No. 523, sits near the site on Market Street, between Kettner Boulevard and California Street.



Civil War artifacts on display
Civil War-era military equipment: gun blanket with checkers/chess board on the back; cartridge case; canteen; dummy cannon shell; cavalry sword; artillery/cannoneer cap with red piping; haversack, dinner plate and eating utensils; brass telescope; binoculars; drinking cup.


What the Private Saw - nice turnout for the book launch
Nice turnout for the book launch.


What the Private Saw - nice turnout for the book launch
Oney F. Sweet great-grandson William J. Ketchum (center) explains how What the Private Saw came to be published, with book editor Larry "Friar" Edwards (left) and Oney F. Sweet great-granddaughter Joan Ketchum Reamer (right).


Soldier's Joy: book editor Larry Friar Edwards (fiddle), Carl Broken Hand Costantino (guitar) and Searlait Charli the Mule Skinner Davin (bodhran) playing Soldier's Joy
Soldier's Joy: book editor Larry "Friar" Edwards (fiddle), Carl "Broken Hand" Costantino (guitar) and Searlait "Charli the Mule Skinner" Davin (bodhran) playing "Soldier's Joy," a popular dance tune during and pre-dating the Civil War. Friar and Broken Hand, historical reenactors of fur trade era, here depict army scouts. Charli is a real-life mule skinner and horse wrangler.

Oney F. Sweet wrote in his diary on January 30, 1863: "A soldier’s delight: the mail, the paymaster and tobacco." The dance tune is also known as "Payday in the Army."

Watch the video . . .





pre-Civil War quilt
Charli displayed a pre-Civil War quilt an ancestor used to swaddle her baby and flee Atlanta ahead of General William Tecumseh Sherman and Union troops on their "March to the Sea."


Capt. Friar lead a sing-a-long:
Capt. Friar lead a sing-a-long: "Johnny came marching home again, hurrah, hurrah . . .


William J. Ketchum (left) and book editor Larry Friar Edwards
Oney F. Sweet great-grandson William J. Ketchum (left) and book editor Larry "Friar" Edwards serving "a ration of whiskey" for the toast.


Oney F. Sweet great-grandson William J. Ketchum offers a toast
Oney F. Sweet great-grandson William J. Ketchum (right), accompanied by Broken Hand and Friar, offers a toast to Oney, Oney's Civil War comrades, all Civil War veterans — North and South — and all service men and women who have served in the military of the United States of America. Every generation of Oney's family has served in the military, beginning with the Revolutionary War.

Two members of Bill Ketchum's family fought on opposites sides at the Battle of Shiloh, and ancestor Capt. Jonanthan Walker was a noted abolitionist, memorialized in the book The Man with the Branded Hand by Alvin F. Oickle.



Downing the toast
Downing the toast — a "ration of whiskey" (or licour, depending on one's preference).


Photos and video courtesy of Carl Costantino, Tim Brittain, Janis Cadwallader and Connie Saindon.

What the Private Saw - The Civil War Letters and Diaries of Oney Foster Sweet

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    Copyright © 2014-, Larry M. Edwards