And Sheridan Twenty Miles Away

Thomas Buchanan Read was an artist and poet who served as a staff officer in the Civil War.  Inspired by Sheridan’s decisive victory at Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864, Read dashed off the poem, Sheridan’s Ride in an hour.  The poem was a sensation throughout the North.  To a war weary population, Cedar Creek was welcome proof that the seemingly endless War would soon end in Union victory.  Public performances were held throughout the North.   Republican rallies for the upcoming election featured readings of the poem with coconut shells used to mimic the sound of the horse’s hooves on the road.  The Cedar Creek sensation helped to re-elect Lincoln.

Here is a newspaper interview of Phil Sheridan on the poem which originally appeared in the Philadelphia Press: (more…)

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Published in: on October 19, 2018 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Indiana War Memorial

 

My family and I visit Indianapolis each year, but thus far we have not visited the Indiana War Memorial. Judging from the above video we will have to put it on our list.   It certainly has looked impressive as we have observed it from a distance while driving by. The structure was built after World War I in a successful attempt to lure the newly formed American Legion to establish its headquarters in Indie.

Published in: on October 17, 2018 at 5:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Gosnell: A Review

 

(I posted this on The American Catholic and I thought the film Mavens of Almost Chosen People might enjoy it.

 

 

I saw the film Gosnell:  The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer on Saturday with my bride.  I was pleasantly surprised by both the production quality of the film and the skill of the actors and actresses.  Too often message films are long on message and short on film.  I found the film entertaining, as well as packing an emotional wallop, and I heartily recommend it to anyone who wants to see a good film.  Kermit Gosnell was an abortionist in Philadelphia who ran a filthy abortion mill.  From a post on TAC back in 2011:

Every now and then we need a reminder that true evil exists in this world.

An abortionist arrested in Philadelphia faces eight counts of murder, one for the death of a patient, and the other seven for killing babies who survived his botched abortions.  The district attorney alleges that Kermit Gosnell used a pair of scissors to sever their spinal cords.

Ed Morrissey links to the Grand Jury report.  It is truly gruesome.

One woman, for example, was left lying in place for hours after Gosnell tore her cervix and colon while trying, unsuccessfully, to extract the fetus. Relatives who came to pick her up were refused entry into the building; they had to threaten to call the police. They eventually found her inside, bleeding and incoherent, and transported her to the hospital, where doctors had to remove almost half a foot of her intestines.

On another occasion, Gosnell simply sent a patient home, after keeping her mother waiting for hours, without telling either of them that she still had fetal parts inside her. Gosnell insisted she was fine, even after signs of serious infection set in over the next several days. By the time her mother got her to the emergency room, she was unconscious and near death.

A nineteen-year-old girl was held for several hours after Gosnell punctured her uterus.  As a result of the delay, she fell into shock from blood loss, and had to undergo a hysterectomy.

One patient went into convulsions during an abortion, fell off the procedure table,  and hit her head on the floor.  Gosnell wouldn’t call an ambulance, and wouldn’t let the woman’s companion leave the building so that he could call an ambulance.

And to cap things off: the state did nothing to stop this.

We discovered that Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has deliberately chosen not to enforce laws that should afford patients at abortion clinics the same safeguards and assurances of quality health care as patients of other medical service providers. Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety.

The State Legislature has charged the Department of Health (DOH) with responsibility for writing and enforcing regulations to protect health and safety in abortion clinics as well as in hospitals and other health care facilities. Yet a significant difference exists between how DOH monitors abortion clinics and how it monitors facilities where other medical procedures are performed.

Indeed, the department has shown an utter disregard both for the safety of women who seek treatment at abortion clinics and for the health of fetuses after they have become viable. State health officials have also shown a disregard for the laws the department is supposed to enforce. Most appalling of all, the Department of Health’s neglect of abortion patients’ safety and of Pennsylvania laws is clearly not inadvertent: It is by design.

Go here to read the rest.  Over the years TAC stayed on top of this story, even while most of the mainstream media did their best to ignore it.  The film Gosnell tells the story of the initial investigation of Gosnell and his subsequent trial.  How the film was made, and the resistance that Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer, the producers of the film, had to overcome, would make an epic film in its own right.

 

 

 

On to the review below the fold.  The usual caveat as to spoilers is in full force and effect. (more…)

Published in: on October 16, 2018 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Quotes Suitable for Framing: Theodore Roosevelt

 

 

“Only those are fit to live who do not fear to die; and none are fit to die who have shrunk from the joy of life and the duty of life. Both life and death are part of the same Great Adventure.”

Theodore Roosevelt, The Metropolitan, October 1918

Published in: on October 15, 2018 at 3:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Peace Feelers

 

On October 3, 1918 the Imperial German government sent the following note through the Swiss to President Wilson:

The German Government requests the President of the United States of America to take steps for the restoration of peace, to notify all belligerents of this request, and to invite them to delegate plenipotentiaries for the purpose of taking up negotiations. The German Government accepts, as a basis for the peace negotiations, the program laid down by the President of the United States in his message to Congress of January 8, 1918, and in his subsequent pronouncements, particularly in his address of September 27, 1918.1 In order to avoid further bloodshed the German Government requests to bring about the immediate conclusion of a general armistice on land, on water, and in the air.

Max, Prince of Baden
On October 8, 1918 the American Secretary of State, Robert Lansing, responded through the Swiss, asking for clarification and setting conditions for any negotiations:

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge, on behalf of the President, your note of October 6, enclosing a communication from the German Government to the President; and I am instructed by the President to request you to make the following communication to the Imperial German Chancellor:

Before making reply to the request of the Imperial German Government, and in order that that reply shall be as candid and straightforward as the momentous interests involved require, the President of the United States deems it necessary to assure himself of the exact meaning of the note of the Imperial Chancellor. [Does the Imperial Chancellor mean that the Imperial German Government accepts the terms laid down by the President in his address to the Congress of the United States on the 8th of January last] and in subsequent addresses and that its object in entering into discussions would be only to agree upon the practical details of their application?

The President feels bound to say with regard to the suggestion of an armistice that he would not feel at liberty to propose a cessation of arms to the Governments with which the Government of the United States is associated against the Central Powers so long as the armies of these powers are upon their soil. [The good faith of any discussion would manifestly depend upon the consent of the Central Powers immediately to withdraw their forces everywhere from invaded territory.

The President also feels that he is justified in asking whether the Imperial Chancellor is speaking merely for the constituted authorities of the Empire who have so far conducted the war.] He deems the answers to these questions vital from every point of view.

Accept [etc.]

Robert Lansing

 

 

 

On October 12, 1918 the Imperial German government responded, once again through the Swiss:

In reply to the question of the President of the United States of America the German Government hereby declares:

[The German Government has accepted the terms laid down by President Wilson in his address of January 8 and in his subsequent [Page 358]addresses as the foundations of a permanent peace of justice.] Consequently its object in entering into discussions would be only to agree upon practical details of the application of these terms.

The German Government believes that the Governments of the powers associated with the United States also accept the position taken by President Wilson in his addresses.

The German Government in accordance with the Austro-Hungarian Government for the purpose of bringing about an armistice declares itself ready to comply with the propositions of the President in regard to evacuation.

The German Government suggests that the President may occasion the meeting of a mixed commission for making the necessary arrangements concerning the evacuation.

The present German Government which has undertaken the responsibility for this step towards peace has been formed by conferences and in agreement with the great majority of the Reichstag. The Chancellor, supported in all of his actions by the will of this majority, speaks in the name of the German Government and of the German people.

On October 14, 1918 the American Secretary of State responded:

Sir: In reply to the communication of the German Government, dated the 12th instant, which you handed me to-day, I have the honor to request you to transmit the following answer:

The unqualified acceptance by the present German Government and by a large majority of the German Reichstag of the terms laid down by the President of the United States of America in his address to the Congress of the United States on the 8th of January, 1918, and in his subsequent addresses, justifies the President in making a frank and direct statement of his decision with regard to the communications of the German Government of the 8th [6th] and 12th of October, 1918.

It must be clearly understood that the process of evacuation and the conditions of an armistice are matters which must be left to the judgment and advice of the military advisers of the Government of the United States and the Allied Governments, and the President feels it his duty to say that no arrangement can be accepted by the Government of the United States which does not provide absolutely satisfactory safeguards and guarantees of the maintenance of the present military supremacy of the armies of the United States and of the Allies in the field. He feels confident that he can safely assume that this will also be the judgment and decision of the Allied Governments.

The President feels that it is also his duty to add that neither the Government of the United States nor, he is quite sure, the Governments with which the Government of the United States is associated as a belligerent will consent to consider an armistice so long as the armed forces of Germany continue the illegal and inhumane practices which they still persist in. At the very time that the German Government approaches the Government of the United States with proposals of peace its submarines are engaged in sinking passenger ships at sea, and not the ships alone but the very boats in which their passengers and crews seek to make their way to safety; and in their present enforced withdrawal from Flanders and France the German armies are pursuing a course of wanton destruction which has always been regarded as in direct violation of the rules and practices of civilized warfare. Cities and villages, if not destroyed, are being stripped of all they contain not only but often of their very inhabitants. The nations associated against Germany cannot be expected to agree to a cessation of arms while acts of inhumanity, spoliation, and desolation are being continued which they justly look upon with horror and with burning hearts.

It is necessary, also, in order that there may be no possibility of misunderstanding, that the President should very solemnly call the attention of the Government of Germany to the language and plain intent of one of the terms of peace which the German Government has now accepted. It is contained in the address of the President delivered at Mount Vernon on the Fourth of July last. It is as follows: “The destruction of every arbitrary power anywhere that can separately, secretly, and of its single choice disturb the peace of the world; or, if it cannot be presently destroyed, at least its reduction to virtual impotency.” The power which has hitherto controlled the German Nation is of the sort here described. It is within the choice of the German Nation to alter it. The President’s words just quoted naturally constitute a condition precedent to peace, if peace is to come by the action of the German people themselves. The President feels bound to say that the whole process of peace will, in his judgment, depend upon the definiteness and the satisfactory character of the guarantees which can be given in this fundamental matter. It is indispensable that the Governments associated against Germany should know beyond a peradventure with whom they are dealing.

The President will make a separate reply to the Royal and Imperial Government of Austria-Hungary.

Accept [etc.]

Robert Lansing
Allied military success had brought the German government to the brink of surrender, and they seized upon Wilson’s Fourteen Points as the best possible deal they could hope for.  The fat lady hadn’t yet sung the conclusion of World War I, but she was clearly about to appear on stage.
Published in: on October 14, 2018 at 7:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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Autumn Song

 

Something for the weekend.  The Seasons:  October (Autumn Song) by Peter Illych Tchaikovsky.  Lots of  Autumn showers spurring on rapid leaf changes of color this week in Central Illinois, and this song seems appropriate.

 

Published in: on October 13, 2018 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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October 11, 1918: Archibald Willard Dies

 

You don’t know him but you have seen his painting.  Archibald Willard died on October 11, 1918.  A veteran of the Civil War, Willard began painting while he was serving with the 86th Ohio.  After the War he became a professional painter.  His most famous painting is The Spirit of ’76.  Painted in 1875, the painting became famous during the centennial year of 1876.  Willard’s father served as the model for the middle figure.  I have always like the painting.  It recalls the huge national effort it took to win the American Revolution, with the Americans robbing the cradle and the grave to man their armies.

 

Willard is almost completely forgotten today, but his painting has achieved immortality as a classic symbol of the willingness of Americans to risk all for freedom.  I think that would have pleased the old veteran greatly.

Published in: on October 11, 2018 at 11:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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October 11, 1910: First President to Fly

The first president to fly was of course Theodore Roosevelt, a man who loved a dangerous challenge.   When he flew at Kinloch Field, Saint Louis, Missouri on October 11, 1910, flying was still highly dangerous.  His pilot that day was Arch Hoxsey, one of the great pioneers of aviation, who would die in a plane crash at Los Angeles on December 31, 1910, the day after reaching a world record height by flying to 11,474 feet.  Hoxsey, as did Roosevelt, lived his life according to this maxim of Roosevelt: (more…)

Published in: on October 11, 2018 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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October 10, 732: Battle of Tours

 

“A victorious line of march had been prolonged above a thousand miles from the rock of Gibraltar in Spain to the banks of the Loire in France; the repetition of an equal space would have carried the Saracens to the confines of Poland and the Highlands of Scotland; the Rhine is not more impassable than the Nile or Euphrates, and the Arabian Fleet might have sailed without a naval combat into the mouth of the River Thames. Perhaps the interpretation of the Qur’an would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Muhammed.”

Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

(Originally posted at The American Catholic.  I assume that the history mavens of Almost Chosen People might enjoy it.)

Charles Martel, “The Hammer”, led a life of conflict.  An illegitimate son of Pepin of Herstal, Mayor of the Palace and the true power behind the Merovingian puppet kings, after the death of his father he had to fight his father’s legitimate offspring who sought to deprive him of any share in his father’s inheritance.  Fortunately for Charles a streak of military genius ran through him, and he won battles against the odds, using force multiplying stratagems, including feigned retreats, and attacking in the middle of the day when armies of his time normally took a siesta.  By 717 he was in control of Neustria, showing mercy unusual for his day in letting his defeated adversaries live and treating them with kindness.

The 28 year old ruler now entered a round of endless wars with neighboring kingdoms, gradually extending his power, and building up a professional force of infantry to supplement the peasant levies that made up the vast bulk of most Frankish armies.

A friend and patron of Saint Boniface, he also began the alliance between the rulers of the Franks and the Popes.  He contributed much land to the Church, but roused ecclesiastical ire when he took some back to support his troops.  He might have been excommunicated if both Church and State had not suddenly confronted a common foe.

In 711 the forces of Islam began the conquest of Spain, helped along by Christian traitors.  Within a decade almost all of Spain had fallen, with small proto-kingdoms of Spaniards clinging to a precarious independence in the mountains of northern Spain.  Mohammed had died less than a century before in 632, and in that intervening period Islam had conquered the Middle East, northern Africa and seemed poised to do the same in Europe against the petty Christian kingdoms that specialized in ceaseless internecine war, seemingly weakening themselves before  their Islamic foes lifted a finger.

With Spain subdued, Muslim raids into what is now France became common.  In 732 Abd-al-Raḥmân, governor of Muslim Spain, led a predominantly cavalry army of 25,000 men north on a great raid beyond the Pyrenees, perhaps the prelude to a war of  conquest. (more…)

Published in: on October 10, 2018 at 5:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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October 9, 1861: Battle of Santa Rosa Island

Far away from the big battles that take up most of the space in histories of the Civil War, there was a continual struggle being waged between Union and Confederate forces for control of the Confederate coast line.  Usually lacking the drama and larger than life figures of the Civil War waged inland, this campaign for control of islands, ports and harbors was probably more critical to the outcome of the War than any other campaign, the eventual Union success in the coastal campaign sealing most of the Confederacy off by the end of the War from crucially needed supplies.

One early battle in this campaign, that would stretch from the start to the end of the War, was the battle of Santa Rosa Island.  With the fall of Fort Sumter, Fort Pickens guarding the entrance to Pensacola, Florida, was one of the few coastal positions along the Confederate coast still in the hands of the Union.  Confederate General Richard Anderson, who would eventually lead the First and Fourth Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, was the garrison commander at Pensacola.  After midnight on October 9, 1861 he ferried 1200 men in two small steamers to Santa Rosa Island in a surprise attack on Fort Pickens. (more…)