Kathie Fraser - Civil War Music and Poetry
When Kathie Fraser lost her job as a scientific editor in a large-scale Federal downsizing at the U.S. Geological Survey in October of 1995, she had no idea that the end result would be the birth of Poetry and Music of the War Between the States. In an effort to reinvent herself and find a new job, she signed up for an HTML class in which students were asked to create a sample Web page. Because of her interest in the War Between the States and her Southern heritage, Kathie chose the literary side of the conflict as her topic. At the end of the day, on the spur of the moment, she copied her class files onto a floppy and took them home with her. With some encouragement from a friend, she began working on the page seriously and put it on line in April of 1996. A short time later, as a direct result of her newly acquired Web skills, she was rehired at the USGS as a Web page designer.
In December of that same year, Kathie was approached by Jack Harris and asked to join a new Web Ring that he was creating to showcase the history, culture, and traditions of the South. The idea appealed to her, and Poetry and Music of the War Between the States became the seventh site to join the fledgling Dixieland Ring. After a few months of operation, when it became evident that the Ring was succeeding beyond anyone's wildest expectations, Kathie signed on as site monitor and has for the past six months been visiting and evaluating every site that applies for membership in the Dixieland Ring. The job, she admits, is sometimes a bit overwhelming but rewarding nonetheless. Watching the Dixieland Ring become the Web's premier Southern Ring has given her as much satisfaction as the knowledge that a true and accurate portrait of the South is now available to anyone who wants it. Her chief enjoyment, however, has been interacting with the members of the Ring, who, she says, are the most interesting, talented, and dedicated group of individuals she's ever had the good fortune to work with.
Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Arlington, Virginia (back when the northern part of the Commonwealth was considerably more Southern than it is today), Kathie grew up celebrating Lee-Jackson Day and singing "Dixie" in school and always felt more connected to her mother's Texas family than she did to the Yankee relatives on her father's side. She knew that her great-grandfather had been in the Confederate Army, but she never researched the family history until her daughter began to show an interest in who did what when. She discovered that Henry Hart, at the age of 16, joined the Texas State militia and served as a prison guard at Camp Ford in Tyler, Texas, the closest an overprotective mother would let him get to following in the footsteps of his revered older brother, William. William served with distinction in the 7th Texas Infantry from 1861 through 1865, earning a promotion for battlefield bravery following the 7th's heroic performance at Missionary Ridge in 1863 and becoming one of only 11 surviving members of Company B who returned to Texas at the war's end.
After learning that her ancestry qualified her for membership in the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Kathie joined that organization and now serves as Third Vice President of the Fairfax Chapter and as Webmaster for the Virginia Division. She is also involved with the reenacting community as a member of the 42nd Virginia Infantry Regiment, whose Web site she maintains. She has also recently signed on as an associate Rebmaster for the League of the South's DixieNet.
Kathie graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English
literature in 1970. She is married to John Watson, known affectionately as the
"Resident Yankee." She and John have a 14-year-old daughter Katie, who is also a
member of the 42nd and president of the Antonia
Ford Chapter of the Children of the Confederacy and recording secretary of the CofC's
Dixieland Ring - Webmaster's note . . .
NOTE: As of this time, Kathie has retired as Dixieland Ring Monitor, but still has three very active and well-honored sites in the Dixieland Ring.
God Save the South - Visit our members - Join the Southern Circuit - Dixieland Ring - Heartbeat of the Southland
This Dixieland Ring page hosted by Get your own Free Home Page