Tag: American Civil War

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American history is replete with examples of military leaders making foolish and erroneous declarations. Perhaps none did so more frequently and with such significant consequences than George B. McClellan, arguably the worst commander in U.S. military history, a man who never missed an opportunity to be wrong with a spectacular inability to recognize it. As […]

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Where Now, Republicans?

 

Pickett’s Charge, Battle of Gettysburg, 1863.

Republicans were reeling before last week’s criminal breach of the US Capitol. But that breach, led by lunatics who deserve serious jail time, tossed Democrats a cudgel with which to drive a wedge between pro- and anti-Trump Republicans.

It reminds me of the infamous “Pickett’s charge” during the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. General George Pickett led his Confederate troops in an ill-fated charge across an open field in an effort to break the center of the Union line. It failed, but the Democrat’s own version of Pickett’s charge, with the artillery cover of the Capitol “insurrection,” has indeed breached the GOP middle. And how has the GOP responded? By shooting at each other.

Fighting On Despite Desperate Odds

 

Why do men fight, and why are willing they willing to continue to fight to the last man, preferring death to surrender? T. E. Lawrence’s said men go to war “because the women were watching.” According to Michael Walsh, in his new book, Lawrence’s answer holds more truth than irony. Men fight for their families.

“Last Stands: Why Men Fight When All is Lost,” by Michael Walsh, investigates the last man phenomena. It explores why men fight, and why they are willing to continue fighting even when they know they will lose.

Walsh examines history through the lens of combat, starting with the Ancient Greek Battle of Thermopylae and continuing through the Marine retreat from the Chosin Reservoir in the Twentieth Century. In thirteen chapters he explores sixteen last-stand battles.  Some, including Thermopylae, Masada, and the Alamo, the defenders lost and dying almost to the last man. In others, like Rorke’s Drift and the Battle of Pavlov’s House at Stalingrad, defenders triumphed against terrible odds.

Supreme Court Says Oklahoma Indian ‘Reservations’ Are Real

 

Well, this is interesting. Especially if you live in eastern Oklahoma, including the state’s second-largest city, Tulsa.

While much of the media will focus on the two US Supreme Court decisions involving whether 1) Congress or 2) Manhattan prosecutors may access President Trump’s tax returns, I find the McGirt v. Oklahoma State Appeals Court decision of greater interest. Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the court’s four “liberals” in what read to me like a walk through history, except the parts he glossed over (like, the post-Civil War treaties in 1866, which were described in great detail in Chief Justice John Roberts’ dissent).

The Civil War: Some Random Observations from Quarantine

 

With more time on my hands, I’ve taken the time to re-introduce myself to the American Civil War in both fiction and non-fiction. Not the happiest subject, I admit, but one that, at least for me, is endlessly fascinating and reminds me that things could be far worse.

On the non-fiction side, I’m halfway through the first volume of Shelby Foote’s three-volume history of the war. Yes, he was a man of the south (Mississippi), and the southern view of the war permeates his history. But his history falls far short of southern hagiography, and he writes like a dream. You’ve got to love studying the war to read these books, but they reward the reader’s diligence. Next up, I’m going to re-read Allen Guelzo’s Gettysburg: The Last Invasion, which I consider the best book on the subject.

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SF authors are generally viewed as being mainly concerned with the future, but Connie Willis is more interested in the past…and, particularly, the way in which the past lives in the present. Her novels and short stories explore this connection using various hypothetical forms of time displacement. In Lincoln’s Dreams, a young woman starts having […]

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(This is my second article for the Abbeville blog and I understand that it will be offensive to some of you, that’s fine. I love this community because we can disagree peacefully with each other. I also understand that there is some romanticization on my part here, the human heart needs some romance from time […]

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I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday. Book Review The Civil War along the Rio Grande examined By MARK LARDAS […]

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The Bad Guys? Part 1

 

The scene is one of the most iconic in film history. The Battle of Atlanta near the middle of Gone With The Wind depicts the carnage of war. As Scarlett O’Hara searches for Dr. Meade among several wounded and dying Confederate soldiers, the camera pulls back to reveal dozens more, then hundreds of bodies, 1,600 in all. It was at this point of watching the film when my daughter asked if Joshua Chamberlain (her namesake) was there.

“No,” I told her. “He was a Union officer. But remember earlier, when they were reading the dispatches from Gettysburg? He was in that battle.”

The nine-year-old absorbed this, then followed up her question. “So these are the bad guys?”

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Of all the stupid, asinine, and nasty things hard left idiots have done in the last several years, nothing makes me nearly as spitting mad as this does: Late Sunday morning, hundreds of Civil War reenactors concluded their battle on a rolling patch of grass 80 miles west of Washington. Preview Open

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Putting aside the Civil War, is America more divided culturally and politically now than ever before? Bill tackles that question with one of America’s great historians, Dr. Allen Guelzo. Bill also shares his thoughts on the GOP failure to repeal and replace Obamacare and what this means for Pres. Trump’s agenda and the future of the GOP majority. Finally, with college football season right around the corner, the man who knows more about college football than anyone else, Phil Steele, joins Bill to preview the upcoming season and give his predictions. 

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For many years there has been controversy over whether confederate symbols should have a prominent place on government property.  Some politicians have been asked about the meaning of the confederate flag while others have talked about the legacy the president of the confederacy, Jefferson Davis.  Books critical of Abraham Lincoln have been written including “The Real […]

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Immigration is on the agenda this political cycle. But, surprisingly, Americans, including such esteemed Americans as the Ricochetti, don’t actually know much about its history or significance. Essential parts of the story have been buried by the relentless onslaught of political correctness. America is a nation of immigrants, most of whom came as members of […]

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Appomattox Court House, 150 Years On

 

591px-McLean_house_1865_AprilAt daybreak, the Army of Northern Virginia launched its last offensive, designed to push the Federal cavalry off the road from Appomattox Court House to Appomattox Station. After their long ride and fight of the previous evening, Custer’s troopers had been relieved and two other Union cavalry brigades held the position astride the road.

Initially, the rebel infantry was successful driving the outnumbered Union horsemen back but then — at the last possible moment — General Ord’s infantry arrived, having marched more than 30 miles in 24 hours. They sealed off the escape route with Custer riding rapidly to the scene. The end had come.

In his memoirs, General Edward Porter Alexander recounted meeting with Lee, who told him of his plans to surrender. Alexander recommended Lee instead order the army to scatter and make their way to either join General Johnston in North Carolina or report to their state governors for assignment. He describes verbatim, and at length, both his argument and Lee’s response which — since the memoir was written 30 years after the event — is unlikely to be word-for-word accurate. Nonetheless, the commander’s response, as described by Alexander, is very much what we would have wanted the Lee of our imagination to say:

The Truth About States’ Rights

 

As the 2016 presidential campaign gets underway, we can expect the usual savage critique of any conservative who dares to advocate states’ rights, as Rick Perry tried to do in the last cycle. The unspoken premise of such attacks is that “states’ rights” is a philosophy born in the antebellum South to defend slavery. Ergo, anyone who supports states’ rights today must be a closet racist.

A 2013 New York Times op-ed by Michael C. Dawson, for example, declared that “since the nation’s founding, ‘states’ rights’ has been a rallying cry for those who wished to systematically disenfranchise and exploit large segments of their population.”