Reb Marines

Born on March 16, 1861 by an Act of the Confederate Congress,  the Confederate States Marine Corps had an authorized strength of 45 officers and 944 enlisted men, increased in 1862 to 1026 enlisted men.  The Marines never had more than 600 men at one time during the War.  Throughout the War the headquarters and training facilities of the CSMC was at Camp Beal on Drewry’s Bluff and at the Gosport Navy Yard at Norfolk.  The Marines were led by Colonel-Commadant Lloyd J. Beall, a former major and paymaster in the United States Army.  Much of the records of the CSMC were destroyed by a fire in Beall’s home after the War in 1887, which also killed Beall. (more…)

Advertisements
Published in: on November 9, 2017 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Yankee Marines

 

During the Civil War the United States Marine Corp had its authorized strength increased to 3000 men, minuscule compared to the Union Army that reached over a million men.  Marine Commandant Colonel John Harris was a traditionalist who believed that the Marines should guard ships and man artillery batteries, leaving the numerous amphibious invasions that took place during the War to the Army.  Even with this restricted scope, 17 Marines earned the newly created Medals of Honor during the War.  Go here to read a comprehensive list of Marine participation in the Civil War.

Published in: on November 8, 2017 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

The Curse of Tippecanoe

Two hundred and six years ago, Territorial Governor of Indiana William Henry Harrison smashed the forces of the Indian Confederacy being formed by Tecumseh.  His victory would propel him into the White House three decades later.  His thirty-one day tenure, before dying of pneumonia, is the shortest presidential term on record.

 

An odd coincidence in American history is the death of every President in office beginning with William Henry Harrison and ending with John F. Kennedy elected in a year ending in zero.  A myth was developed ascribing this to a curse put on William Henry Harrison by the brother of the great Indian leader Tecumseh, Tenskwatawa, better known as the Prophet: (more…)

November 6, 1860: Lincoln Elected

One hundred and fifty-seven years ago Abraham Lincoln was elected President.  Even though he got only 39.8% of the popular vote, his election came as no surprise.  With the Democrats split, Lincoln was a shoo-in to win the North which dominated the electoral college.  In ten slave states Lincoln’s name did not appear on the ballot.  Lincoln won a grand total of two counties in the fourteen slave states.  Secession fever was in the air in the South and many shrewd observers at the time thought that the United States of America, as then constituted, had elected its last president.  For four decades there had been wrangling between the North and the South over slavery, and now an avowed opponent of slavery had finally been elected president, entirely by Northern votes.  Although Lincoln was pledged not to interfere with slavery in the States, the election of 1860 was a demonstration of the growing political power of the North and the waning of the political strength of the South.  Losing the political battle, the South now looked for other avenues to protect its Peculiar Instituion.

Published in: on November 6, 2017 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

November 5, 1775: Washington Ends Guy Fawkes Day

gwpict

The idiotic anti-Catholic celebration of Guy Fawkes Day , observed each November fifth, was effectively ended two hundred and forty-tw0 years ago in America during the Revolution, in large part due to George Washington.  Here is his order on November 5, 1775:

As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope–He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada. (more…)

Published in: on November 5, 2017 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

La Marseillaise

 

Something for the weekend.   La Marseillaise, sung by New Zealand born opera singer Frances Alda, the toast of New York.  Recorded on June 1, 1917, the week after the US entered World War I, the song was number 22 of the top 40 for the US that year, reflecting the crusade like atmosphere felt by most Americans to save France from the Germans.

Published in: on November 4, 2017 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Theodore Roosevelt

In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here does in good faith become an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with every one else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed or birthplace or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American and nothing but an American.

“If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as an American.

“We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile. We have room for but one language here and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, and American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house; and we have room for but one sole loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.

Theodore Roosevelt, January 5, 1919  (The last public statement made by Roosevelt prior to his death on January 6, 1919.)

Published in: on November 3, 2017 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

November 2, 1864: Saving Private Wilson

images026OXYHG

 

 

During the Civil War Abraham Lincoln commuted, as did Jefferson Davis, almost every military sentence of death for desertion or cowardice that reached his desk.  One of his last acts before his own death was to pardon a soldier on April 13, 1865.   As Lincoln put it,”I don’t believe it will make a man any better to shoot him, while if we keep him alive, we just may get some work out of him.”  

On November 2, 1864 he telegramed General Grant ordering him to suspend the pending execution of Nathan Wilson, who had been found guilty of desertion from the 22nd Massachusetts.  Unlike most men Lincoln pardoned, Private Wilson was politically connected.  His uncle was New York State Senator Albert Hobbs, a Republican, who had interceded with Lincoln on behalf of his nephew.  (more…)

Published in: on November 2, 2017 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Harry Truman’s Ghost Letter

 

 

A suitable topic for Halloween.  Harry Truman, soon after he became President, wrote a letter to his wife in which he referred to ghosts in the White House:

THE WHITE HOUSE
WASHINGTON

June 12, 1945

Dear Bess:- Just two months ago today, I was a reasonably happy and contented Vice-President. Maybe you can remember that far back too. But things have changed so much it hardly seems real.

I sit here in this old house and work on foreign affairs, read reports, and work on speeches — all the while listening to the ghosts walk up and down the hallway and even right in here in the study. The floors pop and the drapes move back and forth — I can just imagine old Andy and Teddy having an argument over Franklin. Or James Buchanan and Franklin Pierce deciding which was the more useless to the country. And when Millard Fillmore and Chester Arthur join in for place and show, the din is almost unbearable. But I still get some work done.

Hope the weather lets up and you will be able to do some work on the house. The Gibson boy should have been taken care of long ago. I’ll see what’s happened. I’m not able to do as many things for my friends now as I did when I was just a dirty organisation Democrat and a County Judge.

Guess you and Helen will have a grand time. Hope you do. We are working on Dr. Wallace. Glad everybody was in his right mind at the family party. Undoubtedly they were walking the straight and narrow for your mother. But I’m sure you had a nice time anyway.

That address mixed up is causing me some embarrassment (if that’s the way you spell that blushing word.) I addressed a letter to you at 4701 Conn. Ave. Independence Mo., and another one 219 North Delaware, Washington, D. C. Now it seems I sent one to the Rolands. The boys in the House here didn’t catch that one but they did the other two.

I’ll have Reathal attend to the chores you suggest. I haven’t seen her but twice since you left. She comes in after I go over to the office, usually goes out to lunch and doesn’t come back until I am gone again and then goes home before I get over here.

Had Charlie Ross and Rosenman to lunch yesterday. We worked on my San Francisco speech. ,that date is postponed until next week now on account of the slow wind-up and Gen. Eisenhower’s visit.

Write me when you can – I hope every day.

Lots of love.

Harry. (more…)

Published in: on November 1, 2017 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

The Night America Trembled

 

 

Broadcast on September 9, 1957, The Night America Trembled recreated the reaction to the radio broadcast of the War of the Worlds on October 30, 1938.

 

How little it took to panic the country 79 years ago!  The War of the Worlds broadcast on Halloween Eve 1938 by Orson Welles and his Mercury Theater demonstrated the power of radio and how edgy the country was.  Or did it?  Recent studies have contended that the panic was not widespread and that relatively few radios in the country were tuned to the broadcast.  At any rate there was enough of an uproar that CBS called a press conference the next morning at which Welles appeared and took questions:

 

MR. WELLES: Despite my deep regret over any misapprehension that our broadcast might have created among some listeners, I am even more bewildered over this misunderstanding in the light of an analysis of the broadcast itself.

It seems to me that they’re our four factors, which should have in any event maintained the illusion of fiction in the broadcast. The first was that the broadcast was performed as if occurring in the future, and as if it were then related by a survivor of a past occurrence. The date of this fanciful invasion of this planet by Martians was clearly given as 1939 and was so announced at the outset of the broadcast.

The second element was the fact that the broadcast took place at our weekly Mercury Theatre period and had been so announced in all the papers. For seventeen consecutive weeks we have been broadcasting radio sixteen of these seventeen broadcasts have been fiction and have been presented as such. Only one in the series was a true story, the broadcast of Hell on Ice by Commander Ellsberg, and was identified as a true story in the framework of radio drama.

The third element was the fact that at the very outset of the broadcast, and twice during its enactment, listeners were told that this was a play that it was an adaptation of an old novel by H. G. Wells. Furthermore, at the conclusion, a detailed statement to this effect was made.

The fourth factor seems to me to have been the most pertinent of all. That is the familiarity of the fable, within the American idiom, of Mars and the Martians.

For many decades “The Man From Mars” has been almost a synonym for fantasy. In very old morgues of many newspapers there will be found a series of grotesque cartoons that ran daily, which gave this fantasy imaginary form. As a matter of fact, the fantasy as such has been used in radio programs many times. In these broadcasts, conflict between citizens of Mars and other planets been a familiarly accepted fairy-tale. The same make-believe is familiar to newspaper readers through a comic strip that uses the same device. (more…)

Published in: on October 31, 2017 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,