Sunday, September 23, 2018


“There are many very good people who keep most of the Lord’s commandments with respect to the virtuous side of life, but who overlook His commandments in temporal things. 

They do not heed His warning to prepare for a possible future emergency, apparently feeling that in the midst of all this trouble ‘it won’t happen to us.’ It is not always the other fellow’s problem. It can be our problem too

    “To prepare for the future is part of God’s eternal plan, both spiritually and temporally. To protect ourselves against reversals and hardships is only good sense.
    “…[God] teaches us to be self-reliant and industrious, to plan ahead, to provide for possible hard times, to avoid obligations unless we are sure we can handle them, and then to serve him with such devotion that He will be pleased to augment all of our own earnest efforts.


If you walk south on the Richard Martin Trail from the railroad depot in Elkmont, you will find some of Elkmont's  Civil War history.  On the 25th of September, the battle for Sulphur Creek Trestle began.  This battle and the events that led up to it covered a three day period starting on September 23 with the battle of Athens. 

The Decatur and Nashville line, was a major route for moving Union troops and supplies to Atlanta and to Union positions at Chattanooga. Heavy fortifications and blockhouses had been built along its route to ensure safe passage for the trains. 

On September 24, 1864, Forrest and his cavalry moved north from Athens along the railway toward a strategic point in the line known as the Sulphur Branch Trestle.

Built in 1863, the trestle itself was 74 feet high and over 300 feet long.  It spanned a deep gorge between two ridge lines with Sulphur Creek at the bottom.  It was guarded by a fortification with 1000 union soliders as well as by two blockhouses at either end of the bridge. This gave the troops stationed there, a commanding sweep of the entire valley.

Several Union units protected the trestle:

*9th and 10th Indiana Infantry - 200 troops 
*3rd Tennessee Calvary - 400 troops (mostly from East Tennessee)
*111th U.S. Colored Infantry - 400 troops

General Nathan Bedford Forrest's Confederate cavalry, supported by Morton's battery of four cannons attacked the trestle on the morning of September 25, 1864.   Forrest ordered his cavalry under Colonel Kelly to attack the outer pickets and skirmish lines of the Union troops to drive them back into the fort.  

Captain John Morton's  three artillery batteries were placed on hills located to the southwest, east and north of the fort. The devastating barrage opened up at dawn with  800 pound rounds crashing into the fort and its earthworks and continued for 2 hours. With the union position located at a lower point than the confederate artillery positions, the bombardment was tantamount to "shooting fish in a barrel".  

The "awful rebel yell" of the confederates rang in the valley as they charged toward the picket lines. The Union lines were quickly overrun by the confederates and driven back up the hill toward the main fortification.

Over 200 Union officers and men, including Col. Lathrop, lay dead within the walls of the garrison, with "relatively few wounded, so complete was the devastation". The fort's commander had been killed early on in the bombardment. His last words were, "Do not surrender the fort". His second in command, Colonel Minnis was wounded by shrapnel soon after.  Command passed to Major Eli Lilly (Lilly and Company Pharmaceuticals) for a time. Minnis recovered enough to assume command and accepted Forrest's terms of surrender. After the garrison surrendered, the trestle and blockhouses were burned. 

Forrest's after-action report summed up the carnage, "The enemy suffered severely in this assault.  Every house was perforated with shell and the dead lay thick." An member of his troop recalled. " I saw no more horrid spectacle during the war than the one which the interior of that fort presented.  If a cyclone has struck the place, the damage could hardly have been worse."

The battlefield is on private property so no metal detectors or exploring is allowed if you choose to visit the battle area.  The fort earthworks are all that remain but the surrounding area is mostly undeveloped lending itself to imagining the battle.  There is also a sign with fort illustrations and battle placements. 

Saturday, September 22, 2018


This is another "do it yourself" project. Do you need something to burn? Before you start hacking up your furniture for fuel, you should consider making paper logs.   First you drill some holes in the bucket. Then you basically just mix paper and water in a big bucket to make a paper pulp. Put something heavy on the pulp to drain the water out. When it dries, you will have a big briquette made out of paper. It will burn for hours.


Ok, so as the elementary assistant Principal, I take over when our Principal is away. I was dismissing classes in the gym after breakfast when a young man in kindergarten said, "wait!" "The Principal does that!" His teacher said, "Today Coach Pugh is the Principal". He looked a little confused...Held up his hands horizontal to each other and said "ummm...He's a little short to be in charge".......humility again....humility....

Friday, September 21, 2018


For those of us starting out preparing our families for whatever emergency comes our way, it can seem quite overwhelming. There is so much information on what needs to be done, and the tendency is to just give up before we’ve really started because it is too daunting of a task. My focus is always how I can prepare my family for our own ‘end of the world’ scenario. I can’t get wrapped up in world ending crisis because just losing one of our jobs would be crisis enough for us  – so that’s where I focus. The rest will come.


Start Small

Just start with something small, knowing each day you can accomplish a little more.
Just starting? Make a small goal for today – gather up your important papers and put them in a folder in a safe spot. This way, you can grab them in case you need to evacuate quickly. 


Make a Plan

If you have a plan, it’s easier to see where you are accomplishing great things to keep you motivated. Just a small plan at first of things to accomplish this week or this month to get you started. Having it down on paper is less daunting than all those crazy plans running around in your head. It gives you a box to tick when you’ve done something, and gives you a feeling of confidence that this is something that you can do!

Just starting? Make a meal plan for the next month, then buy what you would need to make it 3x. You can store the extras for your emergency stash to build your food storage. Or create your emergency contact list – info on who to contact in state and out of state in an emergency (or to check in), your doctors, utiility companies, family work numbers, etc.


Involve Your Family

Having everyone involved in some way makes it less stressful on you to accomplish it all. Your husband probably has great ideas of his own on how to plan for small emergencies or large. Your kids will be helpful in gathering items, organizing, and having information that they’ve learned in school about Fire Awareness (stop, drop & roll), etc.

Just starting? Give your kids the task of keeping the pet’s emergency bag ready, have them help plan, have them drill each other on emergency evacuation routes out of the house. Enroll them in a first-aid class for kids. Or if they are older, have them create the Family Contact Sheets for you.


Don’t Stress Out

It’s so easy to begin reading information on emergency preparedness and becoming completely stressed out about all of the potential dangers in the world, all that you have to buy to feel prepared, and all of what everyone else says has to happen for their standard of ‘preparedness’. Remember, you are preparing YOUR family for YOUR needs. Don’t try to prepare for a global thermonuclear war (remember War Games?). Try to prepare your family for the most immediate concerns you have now. Someone getting hurt, someone being locked out of the house, your car dying on the side of the road in winter. Prepare for those emergencies and you’ll find you’re already on the way to preparing for the bigger ones.


Task to Accomplish Today!

Today – I want  you to be sure you do these two things. they are easy to do, take no time, and can get you started on basic emergency preparedness.
  • Water for your Car – enough drinking water for each member of your family in case you get stuck.
  • A list of Emergency Numbers – make sure your kids know how to dial 9-1-1, know how to get you and your husband on cell phones/work phones, and to contact a neighbor for help. Keep these numbers posted clearly.

Helpful sites:

Food Storage Made Easy
Survival Mom

Final Note

You can do this!!! It’s important for us to make sure our families are prepared for the little emergencies and the big ones. Each step you accomplish to the small one is another step  you’ve already accomplished towards the big one – every step counts!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


The power has gone out and you don't have a clue how to cook if you don't have your grill.  Learning to cook with a dutch oven gives you a lot of options that you may not realize. 


Have you ever cooked a meal by using a dutch oven? This is a cooking vessel that is made to be used on a stove top or placed in a standard oven. If you are looking for a fun way to cook food at home or out on a fun camping trip, then dutch oven cooking might be ideal.

Dutch oven cooking is similar to cooking food wrapped in tin foil on a campfire. Food is placed inside the dutch oven that is then heated by placing it on hot coals. This means you can use a simple campfire or the charcoal grill found in a lot of state parks.

The most important thing to remember about dutch oven cooking is safety. Gloves will be essential for cooking with a dutch oven as the vessel will get extremely hot. The only other thing to keep in mind is the recipes you have to use for the meals you want to cook.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Monday, September 17, 2018



Time to take a real hard look at where you are, where you are going and whether or not progress is being made in your quest to be more self reliant and more self sufficient. 

LINK: Episode-1127- Risk Assessments and Readiness Audits

  • What is disaster probability
  • What is disaster impact scale
  • Why do impact and probability have inverse relationships
  • What does that even matter
  • Why focusing on the mega disasters gets you hurt by the “little” ones

  • Considering your 6 primary needs for survival
    • Food
    • Water
    • Shelter
    • Energy
    • Security
    • Health and Sanitation

  • Questions to Ask
    • How would we and how long could we feed ourselves
    • How would this affect our shelter (house)
    • What would we do for clean and safe water
    • What health risks would this cause if any
    • How long would “recovery” likely take
    • What specific regional issues exist
    • How would existing health issues effect this disaster
    • Would help be available, how long would it take to come
    • What security risks might pop up beyond the normal
    • How would we care for pets
    • What would the impact be on our children (mental and phyical)
    • How do we think we would respond mentally
    • What phyical injuries might be incurred during the onset
    • How would we get out if we were forced to leave
    • How would we get along if forced to stay

  • Disasters You Might Worry About
    • Loss of employment
    • Local storms
    • A house fire
    • Death of a family member or serious illness of the same
    • Economic recession (more severe then 2008)
    • Economic collapse and shift
    • Flu or other pandemic
    • Nuclear power accidents
    • Any true global disaster with long term total system failure

Sunday, September 16, 2018



JV Volleyball @ Elkmont Invitational 


*Billiards, dominoes, TV, joker and other games, 8 a.m. 
*Country Music Jam for all ages. 
Dancers and Musicians invited to participate.
Come on out and enjoy some great fun and music

FOOTBALL @ West Limestone
*Middle School @ 5:30 pm 
*JV @ 7 pm

 154 Years Ago Today 
*Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle*

VOLLEYBALL @ West Limestone
*Varsity/JV/MS 4:15 pm 

*Billiards, dominoes, TV, joker and other games, 8 a.m.
*Golden Age Band

*Billiards, dominoes, TV, joker and other games, 8 a.m.

*Varsity/JV/MS 4:15 pm 
*Varsity @ Lexington; 7 pm 

*Billiards, dominoes, TV, joker and other games, 8 a.m.

Rep. Mo Brooks' Elkmont Satellite Office Open; 9 - 11am

VOLLEYBALL @ East Limestone
*East Limestone JV/MS Tournament   


Those of us who try to live a more prepared life have a ton of reasons why we do it. Here are 10 reasons to be more prepared and 10 reasons to NOT be more prepared.  Many of us are just regular folk who like to have a bit of food and water and safety plans in place for all sorts of reasons

There are some of us in Elkmont who work at being ready to deal with life's trials but most of us don't see the need.  After all, nothing bad happens in our lives. However, if you read the post at the link below, you just might say that could be me. 

150 Reasons to be Prepared for Life Link

Maybe some of these scenarios will connect with you, and encourage you to get started today!