From: Wayne Carlson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, Jan 2, 2012
Subject: The story of The Black Eyed Pea
Why Southerners eat black-eyed peas on New Years: The story of THE BLACK EYED PEA being considered good luck relates directly back to Sherman’s Bloody March to the Sea in late 1864. It was called The Savannah Campaign and was lead by Major General William T. Sherman. The Civil War campaign began on 11/15/64 when Sherman ‘s troops marched from the captured city of Atlanta, Georgia, and ended at the port of Savannah on 12/22/1864.
When the smoke cleared, the southerners who had survived the onslaught and came out of hiding. They found that the blue belly aggressors that had looted, butchered, and/or burned everything of value. Death and destruction were everywhere. While in hiding, few had enough to eat, and starvation was now upon the survivors.
There was no international aid, no Red Cross meal trucks. The Northern invaders had taken everything they could carry and eaten everything they could eat. But they couldn’t take it all. The devastated people of the south discovered that for some unknown reason Sherman ’s bloodthirsty troops had left silos full of black eyed peas.
At the time in the north, the lowly black eyed pea was only used to feed stock. The northern troops saw it as the thing of least value. Taking grain for their horses and livestock and other crops to feed themselves, they just couldn’t take everything. So they left the black eyed peas in great quantities assuming it would be of no use to the survivors, since all the livestock it could feed had either been taken or slaughtered.
Southerners awoke to face a new year in this devastation and were facing massive starvation if not for the good luck of having the black eyed peas to eat. From New Years Day 1866 forward a tradition began of eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck.".