Monday, June 21, 2010

19th Century Manners

Senator Zebulon Vance sailed down Cheasapeake Bay with a group of men and women. He chose to step aside to allow a certain woman to mount one of the ladders on the boat. As the lady climbed, she noticed Vance glancing at her from behind.

She told him,"I can see, Senator, that you are not a gentleman."

Vance retorted,"Madam, beg your pardon but I too can see that you are not."
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rating Army Life

A Confederate soldier got an advance notice on army life from his grandfather who fought in the Mexican-American War.

When asked about army life, the old codger told his grandson,"The drinkin' is plumb fine along with the card playin'. Them Mexican women ain't bad but them battles...I tell ya...them battles is mighty dangerous."
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Civil War Vocabulary

During the Civil War, the troops cooked their own food. Their lack of prior culinary experience gave rise to some interesting concoctions. This situation gave rise to the term "hellfire stew." In other words, the cook made a brew composed of any ingredients he could find.

Source: A Treasury of Military Humor, James Myers
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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Civil War Vocabulary

The Civil War soldiers frequently used this instrument to dig trenches. They called it the army banjo. We call it a shovel.
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stephen Douglas

Today in 1861, a good American died. I pay Stephen Douglas this compliment because of his conduct during the election of 1860 and afterward. By the summer of 1860, it became clear to him that he would not win the presidential election. Instead of going home to Illinois, he toured the South in an active attempt to keep it in the Union. After Lincoln's election and secession, Douglas gave his former rival his complete support in the war effort.

He was a good American.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Retreat Etiquette

A Confederate colonel led his men on a brisk retreat. The Federals followed close behind. A Southern soldier would occasionally pause to fire a potshot at the Union troops.

Finally, the colonel told his men,"Quit firing. It only makes them madder."
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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fort Morgan and BP

Globs of oil washed up by Fort Morgan, a Civil War fort, in Mobile Bay, Alabama. This is one of the many forms of collateral damage from the BP spill. The damage is human, economic, environmental and now, historical. This is an Olympic-sized disaster.

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Zinger from Abe

President Lincoln fended off a bit of congressional criticism with this one.

Senator Wade told him,"Mr. President, we will go to the devil if we do not adopt a proposition for the emancipation of the colored man. Right now, we are not a mile away from hell."

Lincoln replied,"That may be but by a curious arrangement of the facts, that is just the distance from where you stand to the Capitol, where you gentlemen are in session."
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Real Reason the Civil War Continued

The soldiers in Helena, Arkansas speculated on the true reason for the war's continuation.

When the two presidents Lincoln and Davis grew weary of the war, they met on neutral ground to settle it. After an hour of dickering, they agreed to split the West and the southern and northern states between them.

On the subject of Arkansas, they could not agree. Neither president wanted it and they could not agree to split it. And so the war continued.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Civil War Joke-War News

A Richmond woman asked her slave for encouraging news toward the end of the Civil War.

He told her,"Well, Madam, after a day's fighting, them Yankees are retreating forward and we are advancing backward."

Source: A Treasury of Military Humor, edited by James Myers
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Monday, May 24, 2010

The Quaker Debate

Two Quaker women debated on who they thought would win the Civil War.

One said,"Jefferson Davis will win."

"Why?" the other asked.

"Because Davis is a praying man."

"Mr. Lincoln prays too."

"Yes, I know but the Lord will think that Abraham is only joking."
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Civil War Vocabulary

The Civil War troops used the expression to "bring a brick along." The modern-day equivalent is drunk as a skunk.

Source: A Treasury of Military Humor, James Myers
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No Great Loss

When told of the capture of Brigadier General Stoughton at Fairfax, President Lincoln said,"I don't much mind the loss of the brigadier as I do the loss of the horses. I can make a much better brigadier in five minutes, but the horses cost one hundred twenty-five dollars apiece."

Source: A Treasury of Military Humor
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Monday, May 17, 2010

Zinger from Old Abe

Lincoln often had to decide where to put his generals. One of them, John C. Fremont, found himself without a command. Lincoln could not find a suitable army for the man.

The situation reminded him of a father who told his son to take a wife.

The son considered the idea and asked his father,"Which wife shall I take?"

Source: A Treasury of Military Humor, edited by James Myers
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Friday, May 14, 2010

More Civil War Vocabulary

The Confederate soldiers in the West showed a contempt for their commanding general, Braxton Bragg. They also had problems with lice. As a reflection of their opinion of the little critters and their commander, they called the lice "General Bragg's Bodyguard."
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Endangered Battlefields

The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) issued its report on endangered battlefields. It named the Wilderness but also discussed the casino at Gettysburg and a site in Arizona.

Places like Gettysburg and the site in Arizona will only be preserved if the public is involved. Well-known outsiders can sign all the petitions they want. The people who live in the Gettysburg area and the place in Arizona must write to their legislators. For that to happen, organizations like the CWPT must do a public relations campaign in these areas. If the local politicians see that a casino or budget cuts will affect their reelection, they will suddenly become Civil War preservationists. Other efforts will help but eventually prove to be ineffective. Monetary needs will always trump history unless public opinion dictates otherwise.

Let's see if we can mobilize some people power.
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More Civil War Vocabulary

Like all wars, the Civil War had its skulkers. The soldiers called these men wagon dogs. They received this name because they hid behind wagon trains during times of battle where they could liberate their comrades' military supplies.

Source: A Treasury of Military Humor, edited by James Myers
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Time-Honored Game

Even during the Civil War, the politicians played their games. Today in 1863, Salmon Chase offered his resignation from the Treasury Department and President Lincoln rejected it. Hoping to keep his rival in the Cabinet where he could watch him, Lincoln kept Chase in his post.

Politicians have been playing this game for centuries. Otto von Bismarck often tendered his resignation during his reign as Chancellor of Germany. In 1996, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (nicknamed "Bibi") allowed his chief rival Ariel Sharon to serve in his cabinet as National Infrastructures Minister. He figured Sharon would be less dangerous on the inside. When Sharon became Prime Minister in 2001, he returned the favor by making Bibi his Finance Minister. What did they say in the second Godfather movie about your friends and your enemies? Well, you know.

The names and the accents change, but the games remain the same.
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Monday, May 10, 2010

Civil War Vocabulary

The Civil War soldiers gave a creative name for a demotion. They called it the Irish promotion.
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Friday, May 7, 2010

Civil War Vocabulary

The toughest of woods in America is white oak. The soldiers on both sides ate a breaded wafer called hardtack. The troops called this snack "white oak chips."
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010


A Southern cavalry officer ordered his men to mount their horses. He commanded,"Prepare fer to git on them critters."

For his second command, he told them,"Git!"

Source: A Treasury of Military Humor, James Myers
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Monday, May 3, 2010


The Civil War soldiers had a special expression for troops who fled their units in the middle of the night. They said,"The owls caught him."
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Friday, April 30, 2010

Zinger from Old Abe

President Lincoln opined at times about General McClellan's lack of aggressiveness.

He remarked,"General McClellan is an admirable engineer but he seems to have a talent for operating a stationary engine."
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Makeshift Military

The military-industrial complex had not yet made its appearance.

Today in 1861, President Lincoln visited the Seventh New York Regiment. He found them in the chamber for the House of Representatives in the unfinished Capitol Building.

You know that the situation is desperate and the military unprepared when a president greets his troops in a congressional building. This is why we need a standing army and a strong military. Emergencies will occur.
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The New Recruits

Civil War soldiers had a charming name for new recruits. They called them "palefaces."
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Monday, April 26, 2010

Civil War Joke-A Poor Opinion

A sergeat took a dim view of one of the new recruits.

When a private complained of the pain from a wooden splinter set deep in his finger, Sergeant Patrick O'Toole told him,"You should know better than to scratch your head."

Source: A Collection of Military Humor, edited by James Myers
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Washington Gossip

Loose tongues ran legion in Civil War Washington. When one of them asked him about where he thought the army would strike next, Secretary of State Seward replied,"Madam, if I did not know, I would be happy to tell you."

Source: A Treasury of Military Humor, edited by James Myers
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Civil War Joke-A Zinger from Honest Abe

After relieving General McClellan with Fighting Joe Hooker, Lincoln received a message from Hooker stating,"Headquarters in the saddle."

Lincoln promptly informed his Cabinet,"General Hooker's headquarters are where his hindquarters ought to be."
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Monday, April 19, 2010

Civil War Joke-A Civil War Newborn

Like any war, the Civil War gave rise to new terms.

A child born to a Civil War soldier was called a brown-spit baby. This newborn was considered tough as a mule. Unlike today's children, brown-spit babies received a steady diet of chewing tobacco.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The End of the Beginning

Today in 1862, the Battle of Shiloh began. This was the first battle with masses of casualties like those that characterized the battles that followed it. After this one, both sides realized that they faced a long and bloody conflict.

After the Allies had driven the Axis out of North Africa in 1943, Churchill said,"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. It is perhaps the end of the beginning." In a grim way, Shiloh served as the end of the beginning for North and South.
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Monday, April 5, 2010

Mind vs. Mind

Today in 1862, Confederate General John Magruder brilliantly stalled for time. Facing an enemy army of twice his size, he marched his troops around in a number of directions to make McClellan think he had a large army at his disposal. Due to his clever maneuvers, Magruder induced McClellan to waste time on a siege of Yorktown, Va rather than an attack. In so doing, he bought time for Joseph Johnston's reinforcements to arrive and stand fast against the Union forces.

Magruder's maneuver showed that war is not only about men and material. It is mind versus mind.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Winston Churchill: McClellan and Grant

I'm interested in your thoughts on this matter.

In his History of the English Speaking Peoples, Winston Churchill says that Grant pursued McClellan's original strategy except he did it in 1864. Though I read that book years ago, the idea stuck in my head.

I am a Churchill admirer but I don't agree. McClellan focused on capturing Richmond with as few casualties as possible. Grant aimed to destroy Lee's army by fighting battles and then besieging Petersburg. Their strategies could not have been more different.

What is your view?
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Friday, March 26, 2010

Take Cover!

Two men carried a wounded soldier in a stretcher. A shell exploded near them and all three men ran away.

Source: Robert McClernon's website of Civil War Humor
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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gettysburg Tours

So Gettysburg Tours has endorsed the casino. It's going to be interesting.

Just imagine the advertising,"See the battle site and after that, come lose your money."

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Confederate Heritage Weekend

The Ekton Historical Society will be hosting Confederate Heritage Weekend on April 10th and 11th. They will be serving Jackson's Stew, a meal served in the Confederate Army.

If Jackson's Stew is anything like hardtack, the visitors to the Society will be going to two places afterward: McDonalds and the dentist. The soldiers in the Army of Northern Virginia did not call themselves "Lee's Miserables" for nothing.
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Civil War Joke-Recruitment

Conscription in the Confederacy did not recruit. It corraled men into service.

No one learned this better than the four Quakers who were conscripted in London, Virginia and brought to Lee's headquarters in Orange Court House. When told to fall in, the men refused, saying that they would follow but not fall in. After the gentle persuasion of several steel bayonets, their resolve evaporated and they fell in and marched to camp.

Source: The Court Jester website
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

An Ill-Omen

A local Pennsylvania newspaper just reported on a poll in which nearly two-thirds of Adams County residents support a casino near Gettysburg.

As I've said before, the struggle will revolve around the opinions of the residents there. Of course, this could be a case of push polling. However, if this poll is to be believed, then the casino will be built. The local politicians will blow with the wind.

For these reasons, the CWPT and other organizations need to engage in a public relations campaign to win over the local people. Only such an effort will keep the casino from getting a permit.
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Casino in Gettysburg-It's All About the Locals

That's right. The people of the Gettysburg area will be the most decisive factor in whether a new casino will be established there.

Like the situation with the Wilderness Wal Mart, public sentiment will decide if this bit of economic development will go forward. The area has lost many businesses in the past decade and the number of tourists has declined. The people may decide that the economy needs a casino.

The job of Civil War preservationists will be to convince them otherwise. That is where the CWPT and other organizations need to focus.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This is a change

How about that? A town that actually wants to preserve a Civil War site. The town of Hartford, New York is working to rebuild the crumbling foundation of a building that once served as a recruitment site for the Union Army. It is the last known Civil War recruitment site in all of New York State.

After the Wilderness Walmart and Gettysburg Gambling, it is heartening to see a municipality that wants to maintain a Civil War site. If only we could ship the local water to Orange County, Virginia and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
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Monday, March 8, 2010

Civil War Joke-No Complaints

During a retreat, a slightly wounded man complained that he had to walk to the rear.

A more seriously wounded man told him to hush up and said,"There is a lad over there with his head shot off and he's not making a complaint at all."

Source: Patrick O'Flaherty, History of the Sixty Ninth
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Monday, March 1, 2010

New Jersey

On this day in 1865, New Jersey rejected the 13th Amendment ending slavery. The state had a grand total of nine slaves. That institution needed an economy of scale to be remotely useful. What were those slaves doing that they had to be kept in bondage? As I last recall, New Jersey grew no cotton or tobacco. That was a serious case of misplaced priorities.

As a New Yorker, I am mortified over the fact that they currently have a better hockey team. In any conversation, I can now hold this historical fact over a New Jerseyan's head. That and the bad road signs.
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Civil War Blooper-Damn the Torpedoes!

Lieutenant Commander Thomas Selfridge of the Union Navy had a unique method for removing torpedoes encroaching toward his vessel. He moved his ship and disposed of the torpedoes by placing his vessel over them.

Source: Civil War Blunders by Clint Johnson
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Friday, February 19, 2010

Totally Burst my Bubble

I just read that the Ashokan Farewell from the Civil War documentary was not a period piece. It was written in the late 1980's. It sounded like an authentic piece of music from the Civil War. I thought so all these years. What is a Civil War buff to do now? Life will never be the same.
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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Civil War Joke-Retreat Song

The experience of battle produced a variety of reactions, among them retreat. This parody of the song Just Before the Battle expressed the rush to the rear:

Just Before the Battle, Mother
I was drinking mountain dew,
When I saw the rebels coming,
To the rear I quickly flew.

Source: A Collection of Civil War Humor by Robert McLernon
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Conscription Day

Today in 1863, the U.S. Senate passed its version of conscription. The South had already had a draft for over a year. Previously, the North had relied on volunteers. It shows that the weaker side always has to be more innovative in fighting a war.
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Friday, February 12, 2010

Reflection on Lincoln

On this birth anniversary of our great president, I'd like to reflect on one of Lincoln's key personality traits: his lack of ego.

In his pursuit of victory in the war, he was willing to absorb blows to his pride and even his position. When George McClellan snubbed him on a visit to the general's house in Washington, Lincoln said,"I will hold McClellan's horse if he will get me victories." In a letter to Joe Hooker, who had proposed a dictatorship in order to win the war, the president told him,"I will risk the dictatorship if you will get me victories." Lincoln stood ready to sacrifice his own pride and even risk his position as president on the altar of the Union.

In our age of selfish and self-aggrandizing politicians, Abraham Lincoln is a lesson in leadership.
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Abraham Lincoln-Fireman?

On this day in 1864, Abraham Lincoln dashed outside the White House to fight a fire that broke out in a nearby group of stables. He joined a District of Columbia fire brigade. When it was over, a total of six horses and donkeys died. Already upset because of his son's typhoid fever, tears filled Lincoln's eyes.

The president not only fought fires, but tested weapons. When new armaments came to his attention, he tried them himself. He allegedly inspected the Gatling gun, which eventually led to the machine gun.

At that time, the Presidency was a hands-on affair.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Civil War Story: A Donkey's Love

Monsieur Chillon, a veteran of the French army, decided to throw his lot with the Confederate cause in 1861. He walked across the country through Indian territory accompanied by his donkey, Jason. He reached the French-speaking Third Confederate Louisiana Confederate regiment and enlisted. Unfortunately, the regimental colonel looked very similar to Monsieur Chillon. One night, Jason entered the colonel's tent and tried to curl up next to him.

Source: Robert Burke, Our Incredible Civil War
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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lee's Ascension

On this day in 1865, Robert E. Lee became General-in-Chief of the Confederate armies. He did not want the job. A theater commander at heart, he said that he would be guided by the judgments of the field commanders. Until that point, the Confederacy's only supreme commander had been Jefferson Davis. For most of the war, the South did not have a general-in-chief like Halleck or Grant.

I think that fact highlighted one of the Confederacy's great errors: the lack of an overall military strategy. Much of what Lee or Johnston or Bragg did was tactical. Davis had a political strategy but not a military one. The generals seemed to do their own thing and no military staff in Richmond gave them true dictation. This fundamental weakness hurt the South throughout the war.
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Monday, February 8, 2010

A Modest Proposal

In the spirit of Jonathan Swift, I have a modest proposal for the North Carolina Board of Education. In case you haven't heard, the Board is proposing a change to the teaching of history in the state. Under the rationale that events before that year are too distant for students to remember, the Board has proposed that American history be taught from 1877 onward.

Since certain key events occurred before that year, I propose that those events be redated. I think the Declaration of Independence should be recalibrated to 1876. I think the kids wouldn't mind one extra year of rememberance. As for the Civil War, we could move that period from 1861 to 1961. Yes, the surrender at Appomattox occurred in 1965. The troops must have been singing "Satisfaction" and "Hard Day's Night" as they went into battle. We could lop a hundred years off our country's existence, but a little liposuction never hurt anyone.

I hope the North Carolina Board of Education will adopt my suggestion. I hope and pray that the kids' brains will remain free and uncluttered.
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Friday, January 29, 2010

The Wilderness in Gettysburg

It's deja vu all over again. Someone wants to develop the land on the periphery of a battlefield. We have seen this movie before. It is called the Wilderness Wal Mart.

The CWPT and other preservationists will go through the hearing process again. When it does, it should do a public relations campaign to win the support of the people in and around Gettysburg. They should focus more on them than on getting well-known outsiders to oppose the project. Ultimately, the local politicians will do what all politicians do: follow the poll numbers. We have to influence those numbers.

And if the hearing process doesn't go our way, we should find the preservationist-minded people in the area and sign them up to be ready to be plaintiffs in a lawsuit. Without them, we will not have legal standing. We better be ready to do some serious litigation. As a lawyer, I do not find that prospect unappetizing.

We know the playbook and we know how to play it. Jim Lighthizer will be our quarterback (it is Super Bowl season after all).

Like the Civil War, this will be a protracted conflict.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Civil War Joke-Confederate Pride

Even when the military situation went against them, Confederate pride ran strong. During a Union offensive, a Yankee soldier spoke with a group of Southern women as masses of Union troops moved toward the front.

The soldier asked,"Have you ladies seen so many Yankee soldiers?"

One of the women replied,"Not at liberty, sir."

Source: Noah Andre Trudeau, Bloody Roads South
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Gettysburg Term

It's amazing how the Civil War can invade your daily speech.

It was the day after the election in Massachussetts. The people there just elected a new Senator last Tuesday.

I spoke with a colleague about the result. We discussed the election's effect on the health care bill being advanced in Congress.

I said,"We've been spared the monstrosity."

My colleague said,"For now."

I shook my head. "The Dems have reached their high water mark."

Once again, you see how an expression from the Civil War can apply to our lives.
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lincoln's Prerogative

On this day in 1864, President Lincoln exercised his executive prerogative and suspended the death sentences of five soldiers found guilty of desertion.

Naturally, this act and others like it annoyed his generals to no end. They saw them, perhaps justifiably, as a slackening of military discipline.

These suspensions were part of the Lincoln we know. Mercy and magnanimity were key parts of his personality. After a defeat in one of his elections, he went to the winner's victory party. After the capture of Richmond, he gave the famous advice about how to treat the defeated Southerners,"I'd go easy on 'em."

These commutations were in sync with his character.

I think Lincoln would have agreed with Churchill's four-part maxim about war and its aftermath.

"In war-resolution, in defeat-defiance, in victory-magnanimity, in peace-goodwill."
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Did He Say It?

When I traveled to Tennessee in the summer of 2007, I met a man who provided me with an interesting quote by General Lee. The man worked in a Civil War relics shop near Shiloh National Park. He told me that Robert E. Lee, bemoaning the results of Reconstruction, had said,"If I had known it would be this way, I would have kept fighting."

Last Wednesday, Noah Andre Trudeau, the author of a recent book on Lee, came to speak at the New York Civil War Roundtable. During the question time, I asked him if Lee had made the above-mentioned statement. Trudeau said no, though Lee had expressed his misgivings about Reconstruction.

That should have settled my mind but it didn't.

A fellow member of the Roundtable commented on this blog and gave me an account and a cite of a similar quote by Lee in 1870 (thank you for the information). Lee apparently stated that he would have preferred to die fighting at Appomattox than see the results of Reconstruction.

So now I'm confused. Who's right?
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Rebel Yell

Shelby Foote was wrong. In Ken Burns's Civil War documentary, he claimed that no one really knew what the rebel yell sounded like.

At the New York Civil War Roundtable meeting yesterday, we heard a recording of the yell. In the 1930's, recordings of it by different Confederate veterans were made. I and my dinner companions listened to the recordings of the individuals. It sounded like the high-pitched squawking of a mad chicken.

The Museum of the Confederacy then did something amazing. They combined the sounds of the individuals and duplicated them many times. First, the sound of a platoon was played, then a brigade and finally, a corps. The final recording sent chills up my spine. It was a cascade of high-pitched, never-ending squawks. They continued and crowded out all other sounds. Imagine having to repel that with only one or two combined shots with smoke billowing around you. One woman grimaced. I paused in eating my dessert. I could not digest. I now understand why the Union troops at Gaines Mill broke and ran. I would've on hearing those terrible sounds.

When the moderator offered a copy of a CD with the rebel yell, there were no takers. We needed no vicarious terror in our lives.
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Frustrations of Being Commander-in-Chief

On this day in 1862, President Lincoln telegraphed his generals in the West and urged them to attack the Confederate armies. He also grew frustrated with General McClellan's unwillingness to move the Army of the Potomac against the Confederates in Virginia. He faced the eternal problem of presidents urging and asking with few results.

The problem remained almost a century later.

In 1952, Harry Truman made a prediction about his successor, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Reflecting on Ike's status as an ex-general, Truman said,"Ike is going to find it hard to be president. He'll have to suffer the experience of giving orders with nothing happening." If he could, Lincoln would have sympathized with Truman's plight.

As the French say,"The more things change, the more they stay the same."
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Robert Hicks's A Separate Peace

This post is in response to an article in Civil War Interactive about Robert Hicks's new book. The headline bills the book as a novel about the Civil War. As I've mentioned in this blog, A Separate Peace largely deals with the Civil War's aftermath. If one could put a percentage on it, the novel is 5% Civil War and the rest concerns Reconstruction. I think it is important for people to be aware.
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Monday, January 11, 2010

The Perils of Coalition

Today in 1862, President Lincoln accepted the resignation of of his War Secretary, Simon Cameron. The man had a corrupt aura to him and rumors had tainted his tenure. Lincoln had taken him on because he had been a powerful Senator from Pennsylvania and he gave that important state its representation in the Cabinet.

Every Administration is a coalition of different interests and regions. To keep a faction happy or at least quiet, a president sometimes has to pick unsavory characters to keep his coalition stable. That is what Lincoln had to do. Every president probably wants decent, honest people serving under him. However, the exigencies of coalition politics can militate against that desire. Lincoln had to make that concession. Fortunately, he did not have to compromise for too long.
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Friday, January 8, 2010

Stonewall's Eccentricities

Today in 1862, Stonewall Jackson ordered a halt for his "foot cavalry" so that his men could take a bath. They stopped at Unger's Store, Virginia and bathed in water he had ordered to be heated.

Stonewall had beliefs on health that were considered strange for his time. To aid his eyesight and disgestion, he sucked on lemons and ate other fruits. He also believed in baths. These were minority views at that time. Today, they are commonplace.

The prevalence of Stonewall's views today show one essential thing: a majority view is not always right.
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year for President Lincoln

I'd first like to explain for my lack of posts in the past month or two. Let's just say life got in the way, big time, and a lot of it has not been good.

However, it was a new year for President Lincoln in 1865. With his new and incoming Administration, he had to attend to the part of the job he hated: the officeseekers. At that time, the President had to interview the men seeking that postmaster job or this judgeship. Lincoln had to serve as his own Human Resources department. Imagine that you could march into the White House and have a fifteen-minute interview with the President. Nowadays, you have to waltz past layers of lax security, like the Salafis recently.

Times were different then.
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