Tag: civil war

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The overcast sky rested heavily on the landscape on the day we visited Valley Forge. Few people were there on that day, as if they were avoiding a reminder of the chilly autumn season that lay ahead and the brutal memories long past. An admirer of General George Washington during the Revolutionary War, I wanted […]

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Will of the Wisp

 

will-o’-the-wisp: noun

  1. (Also called: friar’s lantern, ignis fatuus, jack-o’-lantern) A pale flame or phosphorescence sometimes seen over marshy ground at night. It is believed to be due to the spontaneous combustion of methane or other hydrocarbons originating from decomposing organic matter
  2. A person or thing that is elusive or allures and misleads

There are probably few ship types surrounded by as much romance as the Civil War blockade runner. It was risky, but not illegal. It was not smuggling. Rather, it was an attempt to circumvent a wartime blockade – a blockade that was legal only in so far as it could stop neutrals from entering or exiting a port declared blockaded.

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Issued by General Gordon Granger “19th of June”, 1865 Galveston, TX, General Order #3 “The people are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property, between former masters and slaves, and the connection […]

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Quote of the Day: Savoring the Enemy’s Losses

 

“Grant had captured an army of at least 13,000 men, a record of the North American continent. He showed mercy toward the conquered force, giving them food and letting them keep their side arms. Avoiding any show of celebration, he refused to shame soldiers and vetoed any ceremony in which they marched. ‘Why should we go through with vain forms and mortify and injure the spirit of brave men, who, after all, are our own countrymen,’ he asked.” — from Grant, by Ron Chernow

“If your enemy falls, do not exult; if he trips, let your heart not rejoice, lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and avert his wrath from him.” —Proverbs, 24: 17-18

For all his overindulgence with alcohol, Ulysses S. Grant was a brilliant general. Although he had some embarrassing losses, he was relentless, strategic and smart. Yet he agonized over those left dead on the battlefield, whether they were his own men or the men of the Confederate army. He was not only determined to lessen their misery, but tried to treat the wounded and dead on both sides, with dignity and compassion.

A New Book to Be Read and Treasured

 

Twenty-five years ago, I published a massive tome, 1,200 pages in length, titled Republics Ancient and Modern: Classical Republicanism and the American Revolution. It sold out within 13 months. It was picked up by the History Book Club, then reprinted in 1994 in three paperback volumes; and it is still in print and was recently released on Kindle.

One of the arguments that I advanced in that work was that the chief cause of the American Revolution was regime difference. Put simply, after 1688, England went one direction, and America went another. On our side of the Atlantic, the government was in practice organized in accord with the principles advanced by the Radical Whigs. On the other side of the Atlantic, the government was organized on the basis of an agreement gradually worked out in the wake of the Glorious Revolution between the Tories who had sought James II’s ouster and those of the Whigs who were willing to settle for de facto parliamentary dominion.

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It seems to be my lot to point out flaws in Professor Epstein’s reasoning. In the 100th podcast of Law Talk, he repeated his contention that the Roman law of partnership should be viewed as the model for the relationship of the States to the Federal government. Under Roman law, and English and U.S. common […]

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Was Slavery the Cause of the Civil War?

 

The great American tragedy is raising its ugly head once more, as it does occasionally. People on both sides are viciously accused by people on opposite sides, sometimes justly, sometimes not, as America divides along fault lines remarkably similar to the one that ruptured in 1861. My contention is that the horrible war could only be justified by the victorious side by making it a moral war. Was it?

In GFHandle’s piece, “Should We Honor Lee?,” several of us discussed that question, i.e., whether slavery was the cause. I contend that, in fact, the American Civil War was a cultural war, a refight of the English Civil War of the 1630s. Members of each side fled England to escape the other during the seventeenth century, one side to Massachusetts to seed northern culture, the other to Virginia to seed southern culture — and maintained both their cultures and their animosities to such an extent that they would fight again in the 1860s.

In the wake of violent protests in Charlottesville, Richard Epstein looks at the limits on government power to restrict inflammatory speech, considers Donald Trump’s rhetorical response to the protests, and weighs in on whether confederate monuments should start coming down.

A Confederacy of Dunces

 

I absolutely despise “alternative history” fiction. The distortion of real history is bad enough.

Enter David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and executives at HBO. Time-Warner’s pay channel has commissioned the creators of “Game of Thrones” to create “Confederate,” an alt-history series where the American Civil War ended in a stalemate and the Confederacy is now a 21st Century nation with institutionalized slavery. This is, as liberals would say, “problematic.”

The biggest hurdle the lead writers (the spousal African-American team of Malcolm and Nichelle Tramble Spellman) will have to overcome is the raison d’etre for slavery in the first place: large agricultural plantations needing vast numbers of cheap laborers to operate. At some point between 1865 and 2017 technology will overtake it. Will they suggest that slavery will be transferred out of the fields and into the factories? Will they be able to plausibly explain why white people will have no jobs in an industrialized South? And what about the rest of the world? Will there have been no world wars? No Great Depression? No Holocaust? Just 152 years of peaceful co-existence between the US and the Confederacy? No uprisings before 2017? It’s absurd.

Daniel Greenfield on Communism, America’s New Civil War, Democrats, Israel, and Iran

 

Daniel Greenfield, a frequent contributor to FrontPageMag.com and Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center runs the best-named blog on the internet: SultanKnish where his articles and investigative pieces have been cited by Rush Limbaugh, John Podhoretz, and Michelle Malkin, to name a few. In today’s Whiskey Politics Podcast we discuss the Left’s nostalgia for Communism, America’s new civil war, culture, education, the GOP budget, Democrats treatment of Israel, the Iran Deal, North Korea and much more.

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Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails was on sale for Kindle recently, and I’m sorry I didn’t announce it when it was $1.99. Although the writing is a bit repetitious (the author keeps spiraling back to ideas already stated), this is so far an engaging read with many satisfying “huh!” moments. They are savory enough that I re-read […]

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Ulysses S … Trump?

 

US-TrumpGeneral George McClellan was beloved by his troops. McClellan returned the affection, earning a reputation as a well organized and meticulous commander. Giving credit where due, McClellan turned the Army of the Potomac into a cohesive unit and kept it together, even in the face of defeat. He is also credited with fortifying Washington, DC and securing the Union frontier, all through his skills in logistics. But after some early victories, defeats became all too common. It is a common theme of biographies of McClellan that, when it came to actual battle, the general was overly cautious, unable (or unwilling) to gamble, and failed to take advantage of Confederate mistakes that might have turned stalemates into victories, or victories into routs. According to some, McClellan consistently overestimated his opponents’ strength and, thus, refused to advance or attack for fear of losing. Lincoln came to distrust the general and, when sufficiently frustrated with McClellan’s hesitations and caution, fired him.

The Army of the Potomac then went through a series of generals (Burnside, Meade, Hooker), all of whom were blamed for similar failures of leadership, chiefly the inability or unwillingness to advance against the Confederacy. Then came Ulysses Grant. In the western states, Grant had fought hard against the Confederacy. Unlike the other generals, he was willing to risk casualties to achieve strategic advantages and would try unproven tactics if he thought some advantage could be gained. With the full aid of superior Union industry and a far larger Union population — advantages his predecessors shared but failed to exploit — he was relentless in his advances, racking up casualty numbers that earned him criticism as a butcher of his own troops. But he won battles.

The years since 2008 have reminded me greatly of our Civil War. The Obama administration has effectively declared a cultural war on middle America through an expanded regulatory state, lawsuits in retribution of political appointments, collaboration with far-left activist groups, the stirring-up of racial animosities, attacks on religious institutions, the opening of borders, assaults on the Second Amendment and the attempts to gut the First Amendment, and scores of petty and vindictive skirmishes against small businesses, churches, and private citizens. Our president has pitted half of America against the rest, claiming — like some restless dictator — that his advances and occupations are really defensive in nature, while wielding powers no prior president would have dared try.

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A stock theme for Civil War stories involves lone inventors developing new and revolutionary weapons, only to have them rejected by a Union Army bureaucracy blind to it merits. The inventor then takes the weapon to Abraham Lincoln, who appreciates the genius of the weapon, forcing the Army to buy and deploy the weapon. Union […]

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The latest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, Captain America: Civil War released this past weekend to critical acclaim and huge box office numbers. I saw the movie and loved it. It’s definitely worth seeing for the amazing action set pieces alone. I was surprised that I also found the film’s central disagreement (which […]

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I have been thinking on political violence today; this is the 155th anniversary of the Inaugural Address by which Lincoln tried to prevent the worst kind of political violence, civil war. I will say a few words on prudence in politics as I believe it needs to be learned again, as a concerned foreigner & […]

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“Hi, What Did You Do with the Confederacy?”

 

MercyStreetPosterwSawboneI live in Alexandria, VA, a close-in suburb of Washington. On a good day, I can be in DC in 10 minutes. On a great day, I wouldn’t be in DC (rimshot). I love it here, though. According to our local blog, Red Brick Town, “Alexandria, Virginia is the Most Liberal City in Virginia.” I live in a section of town called Del Ray, which is the tip of the liberal iceberg. I like to call it a hippie commune, with multiple yoga studios, holistic medicine practitioners, and coffee shops mere blocks from each other. One of the coffee shops has a Moms Demand gun control sign in their window. As a pretty hard right conservative, I don’t fit in at all, but, that is pretty much the story of my life.

Recently, I started taking water aerobics at the local YMCA. As a 44-year old man, I am 1) the youngest in the class and 2) the only guy. Not a problem as everyone is kind and welcoming, probably because I haven’t told any of them I work for NRA News. The only time I felt awkward was yesterday, when I couldn’t contribute to the classwide discussion of hot flashes. I just stared at the wall and prayed that it would end.

The water aerobics ladies also discussed “Downton Abbey,” another topic I have no clue about, but at least it’s not cringe-inducing. One of them mentioned PBS was coming out with a new series that took place here in Alexandria, called “Mercy Street.” I found that to be an interesting tidbit, then went back to trying not to drown as we did our underwater karate kicks.