30 April 2008
29 April 2008
I had pre-arranged for Colonel Keith Gibson to give us a short talk about Stonewall Jackson when we arrived at VMI. He didn’t do that. Instead, he escorted our group on a special 2 hour tour including Jackson Memorial Hall and museum, various buildings around the Institute, inviting us to a special event in the Courtyard/Quadrangle (it was alumni weekend), lunch in Crozet Hall, and an impromptu lecture at the Lee-Jackson House; as well as one at Lee’s
A few shots from the tour: Colonel Gibson holding forth and some calling cards that Union General David Hunter left for VMI during his raid in 1864. I’ll post some more images from the tour later this week.
28 April 2008
"In the summer of 1863, Robert E. Lee led an ill-advised incursion into Pennsylvania. His army was defeated at Gettysburg, and thence afterward Lee beat a fighting retreat until the South lost the Civil War. One hundred and forty-five years later, the South--or what has become the South-Southwest--has won another kind of Civil War. It has transformed the sensibility of the country. It is setting the agenda for our political, social and religious mores--in Pennsylvania and everywhere else."
And Mr. Hirsh is scared. Read the complete article here. The article, though poorly written, warns readers of the influence of the Scots-Irish. Yes, be afraid, be very afraid. And how about this excerpt of hubris to illustrate snobbish elitism and arrogance at its worse:
". . . the Southern frontiersmen never got over their hatred of the East Coast elites and a belief in the morality and nobility of defying them. Their champion was the Indian-fighter Andrew Jackson. The outcome was that a substantial portion of the new nation developed, over many generations, a rather savage, unsophisticated set of mores. Traditionally, it has been balanced by a more diplomatic, communitarian Yankee sensibility from the Northeast and upper Midwest. But that latter sensibility has been losing ground in population numbers--and cultural weight."
Yeah, right. That's why so many of these more "diplomatic, communitarian sensible Yankees" are fleeing the culturally decaying, high-tax, big government areas of the Northeast for the sunny south. It would seem as though they don't like the universe they've created. This man is not only arrogant, he's delusional.
If he really wants a fright, he should read Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb's book, Born Fighting - How the Scots-Irish Shaped America. Worth quoting from the book: “The Scots-Irish were the cultural antithesis of those who had founded *New England” and “Their answer, then as now, was to tell the Eastern Establishment to go to hell.”
I believe, however, that most Southerners would prefer that the Eastern Establishment simply repent and go to heaven.
Hat tip to Southern Appeal.
*Full disclosure: I am a direct descendant (on my father's side) of New England stock: a 9th generation great-grandson of the Reverend Roger Williams, the founder of the colony of Rhode Island and of the first Baptist Church in America. So my distaste is not for New Englanders--I'm proud of that part of my ancestry--but I abhor the elitist attitude expressed by Hirsh which looks down upon Scots-Irish Southerners, from whom I am also descended.
27 April 2008
25 April 2008
“The Bible tells us in the Old Testament, ‘To minister to the needs of God’s creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.’ On this Earth Day, and every day, let us honor the earth and our future generations with a commitment to fight climate change.” ~ Democratic Speaker of the House (and would be Planet Priestess) Nancy Pelosi.
Really your most Highness? And where does the Bible say that oh wise one? Let me answer that for you: it doesn’t. You are either delusional or you lied, and I could believe either.
But the Bible does say this:
“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” ~ Romans 1:25
Hmmm . . . I'm no theologian, but that would appear to be the exact opposite of what Priestess Pelosi said.
Hmmm . . . I'm no theologian, but that would appear to be the exact opposite of what Priestess Pelosi said.
(We are, of course, to be good stewards of all we possess, but not worship what we possess - a big difference.)
24 April 2008
In the meantime, may I recommend reading CWPT's latest "Most Endangered List?" Click here (PDF).
23 April 2008
(But don't panic, we have been able to keep the Bible and Christianity out of public schools, although we did replace the Bible with police officers patrolling the halls. Liberals call all this progress.)
21 April 2008
My office, along with a small portion of my library, is pictured here. (Click on the images if you really want to get a closer look at this disaster.) This is my command post; the nerve center for the most dangerous Civil War blogger in the blogoshpere. This is where I spend countless late hours reading, researching, and writing. This is only part of the mess, it’s actually much worse than it looks here, if you can believe that. (I could not show the rest of my bunker office as the rats and vagrants don’t like to be photographed.) Filled with books, papers, notes, files, historical memorabilia, flags, posters, pictures, empty coffee cups, Oreo cookie crumbs, popcorn kernels, and items yet to be identified, I decided to face the music and bow to the authorities—or face arrest and threatened bodily harm from my sweet wife.
So tonight I ordered a new desk from Staples and have begun the task of sorting through the stacks of books, files, etc. I've purchased poison to get rid of the rats and served eviction notices on the vagrants who have have taken up residence in a closet and have been living off of the cookie crumbs I leave behind. This was not easy. We've become rather close. Upon completion of this monumental task (assuming I survive), I plan to record a video tour of my newly organized office, complete with commentary and post it on YouTube. I’m sure y’all can’t wait to see it. I have to go now. Some of the vagrants have organized and are picketing in the hall. This could get ugly.
"This year, taxpayers will receive an Economic Stimulus Payment. This is a very exciting new program that I will explain using the Q and A format:
"Q. What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
"A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.
"Q. Where will the government get this money?
"A. From taxpayers.
"Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
"A. Only a smidgen.
"Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
"A. The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.
"Q. But isn't that stimulating the economy of
"A. Shut up."
(Which is what those in power always say when you're on to them.)
17 April 2008
Yesterday, I received the following email from a homeschooled student who is also enrolled in college:
Dear Mr. Williams,
My name is C_____ M_____, and I am a 17-year-old high school junior from __________,
Although I am a high school junior, I am currently enrolled full-time in a local community college as part of a dual-enrollment program (prior to joining this program, I was homeschooled for my entire academic career). For this academic quarter, I am enrolled in an online English class titled "English 201: The Research Paper". Of course, the overall goal of this class is to write an 8-10 page paper that will not only educate the reader regarding a certain topic, but also persuade the reader to adopt the writer's viewpoint regarding the topic. Due to my passion for American history, especially for the history of the Civil War, I knew I wanted to write a paper that dealt with an issue from the War Between the States. . . Specifically, I will focus on
As I was formulating my thesis, the title of your book--"Stonewall Jackson: The Black Man's Friend"--suddenly jumped to my mind. I am not able to recall where I first heard of your book--I believe it may have been mentioned on The Michael Medved Show--but I am grateful that the Lord brought it to my remembrance, as I know that it will be the most crucial source of information regarding my topic. I immediately placed an interlibrary loan request for your book, and am eagerly awaiting its arrival.
This is where I would humbly request your assistance. Although I am completely responsible for researching and gathering all of the information needed for my topic, (information which will come from a variety of print and media sources), and although I am sure that your book will greatly assist me in my research, I may find myself in a situation where none of the available resources provide me with the information I seek. In this situation, would you be available to answer questions from me by e-mail? I understand that you have many obligations in life, and thus may not be able to help me at this time. However, I would greatly appreciate any assistance you could offer. A prospectus containing my thesis for this research paper is attached to this e-mail, so that you can get a clear idea of what I am attempting to accomplish through my paper.
Any assistance that you would offer me will, of course, be properly credited and cited in my paper. You would also receive a copy of my paper once the final draft is completed.
Thank you for your work in educating me and the American people in regards to our national history. It will be a privilege to read your work regarding Stonewall Jackson.
Of course, I agreed to assist this young person and consider it an honor to be asked for my input and help. I will keep readers posted as the project develops. My own daughter won best in the state in 2006 among homeschooled and private school students for an essay contest sponsored by the Lee-Jackson Foundation. The prize was a $2000 scholarship.
16 April 2008
I hope to visit their physical site one day, but will be keeping a sharp eye on this site as it develops. You can read a great magazine article about Circa and its founding here (PDF). Congratulations Bill!
15 April 2008
"First, please let me extend my belated thanks for your visit to Culpeper and your support of the Friends of Cedar Mt. Battlefield. Everyone enjoyed the event and left very inspired. It was a total delight to become acquainted with you and Diane, and I sense that this is just the beginning of an important friendship. I finished your fabulous book today and I must admit that I had tears in my eyes. You did a phenomenal job of picturing the vital Christian atmosphere of antebellum
Thank you Virginia - I just happened to need a little encouragement this evening!
14 April 2008
Knives Scare Me: 0% (Anyone answering yes to that one is probably reading the wrong blog.)
Of course, these are scientific results and can be applied to the male population nation wide. The poll question was the result of a previous post. I am in the "Always" category. A new "Real Man" poll question will be posted some time tomorrow. Suggestions for future poll questions welcome. You get the theme.
Click on the images to see more details - notice the lemons? Lemons were NOT Jackson's favorite fruit. Peaches were. Psssttt . . . there never have been any lemon groves in Virginia.
11 April 2008
10 April 2008
Here's a shot I took this afternoon - it was a great day at the office!
These old iron truss bridges, most of them built in the early 1900's, have seen many a horse-drawn wagon cross them, not to mention all the bikes, cars, and pick-ups. I find them charming and ruggedly beautiful and, unlike the ugly, no-character, concrete ones that replace them, they allow you to actually see the river or stream below! If my memory serves me correctly, Augusta County still has 7 or 8 of these bridges in service. We recently lost one near Waynesboro. It was replaced by. . . you guessed it: an ugly concrete bridge with no character from which you can't see the South River below. Ahh, the wonder of progress.
If you'll click on the image, you will be able to see a lot more detail. The building in the background is a 100-year+ old mill. This bridge spans the Middle River in western Augusta County. The Middle River, along with the South and North Rivers, come together to form the historic Shenandoah which, of course, meets the Potomac at Harper's Ferry. Most readers recall that the Shenandoah River, along with the Massanutten Mountain Range, were used strategically by Stonewall Jackson to avoid and deceive those pesky Yankees during his legendary Valley campaign.
And that's your history and geography lesson for today class.
09 April 2008
Chamberlain would later write this fitting description of Lee at Appomattox:
“I turned about, and there behind me, riding between my two lines, appeared a commanding form, superbly mounted, richly accoutered, of imposing bearing, noble countenance, with expression of deep sadness overmastered by deeper strength. It is none other than Robert E. Lee! … I sat immovable, with a certain awe and admiration.” ~ Union General Joshua Chamberlain at Appomattox.
(Just another sappy, sentimental lost-causer I suppose.)
Print by Mort Kunstler.
08 April 2008
The screening was held at historic St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, which has a very interesting history:
“In the winter of 1863, when General J. E. B. Stuart and his staff were quartered in Culpeper, the General and his aide regularly attended services at St. Stephen’s. Later the rector’s daughter, Fannie Cole, afraid the Yankees would steal the metal church bell, climbed to the belfry, draped the bell in black cloth so it could not be seen, cut the bell rope, and thus saved the bell.”
The images here include a picture with local historian and author Virginia Morton, yours truly holding forth during the Q & A, and a shot of the church. Mrs. Morton organized the whole event and was a most gracious hostess.
05 April 2008
02 April 2008
Growing up in Western Virginia, a pocket knife was considered "standard equipment" for every boy. I can remember playing mumbly-peg (or "mumblety-peg"), comparing knives with other boys, and "whittlin' sticks" together. Playing mumbly-peg today in a government school would get a boy expelled and require that some shrink psycho-analyze the poor kid. Funny, we never had school shootings when Bibles and pocket-knives were allowed in schools. In our modern age of "homeland security" (a joke), the feminization of American males, and boys who prefer video games to the great outdoors, carrying a pocket knife is seen by many as quaint and old-fashioned. Not so, not so!
Read the excellent article from one of my favorite sites here if you doubt me. This is a great piece and gives a little history of the pocket knife as well as why every real man should carry one. :)
Here's an excerpt:
"Pocket knives have been an essential tool for soldiers throughout American history. New York and New Hampshire required their militias to carry pocket knives during the American Revolution. Even George Washington toted one around as he led his troops. The U.S. Navy began issuing pocket knives to sailors during the Civil War. During WWII, the pocket knife was standard issue for American GIs."
One well known incident involving the use of a pocket knife by a Civil War soldier involved Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest stabbed his adversary in the abdomen with his pen knife after the man had shot Forrest in the gut during an argument. Forrest is alleged to have said: "No damned man kills me and lives!" Forrest did live. His adversary did not.
One version of the incident can be read here. A better version is in Andrew Neslon Lytle's Bedford Forrest and His Critter Company.
01 April 2008
We would be very interested if any readers know of any correspondence written by Chaplain Thomas. Thomas is mentioned in Faith in the Fight - Civil War Chaplains, which was written by John W. Brinsfield, William C. Davis, Benedict Maryniak, and James I. Robertson, Jr. The piece has a split in the top, as you can see, but otherwise is in mint condition. Despite the crack, it is a solid piece and makes a very nice addition to the museum's growing collection. We are delighted to have found it. Anyone having items related to the museum's mission that they wish to donate, loan, or sell, please feel free to shoot me an email. There will be more details in a new release soon. (Click on any image to see a larger, detailed version of the photo.)
The nerve of these buffoons in Congress! They won't let oil companies drill in Anwar, or allow new offshore exploration, regulations stifle investment for new refineries and they have the audacity to blame oil companies. What about the federal gas tax Mr. Markey? What about the government's market stifling regulations? You, sir, are a laughing-stock and an an utter fool. April Fool's Day indeed!