28 February 2010

MOC Preserves My Ancestors' Rebel Yell

As a member of the Museum of the Confederacy, I receive their email newsletters on a regular basis. In one of the latest ones, there was some news about  fellow SCV member, and President/CEO of the MOC, Waite Rawls, III's work regarding the Museum of the Confederacy's efforts in preserving the sound which sent chills up the spine of many a Union soldier. Regarding the origin of the Rebel Yell, my guess is that it likely originated spontaneously during the heat of a charge, very possibly from the **ancestral spirit of some Scots-Irish plowboy with blood, fear, and anger in his eyes. Part one below:

And now, fellow SCV member and historical artist, Henry Kidd explains further in Part two . . .

As a kid, my friends and I had our own version (not quite as bone-chilling) of the Rebel Yell which we shouted as we explored the woods, streams, and fields where our ancestors had spilled their blood defending their homes. You might also be interested in my previous post on this subject.

**Update: After reading the MOC's quarterly magazine piece (Winter 2010) about this, I discovered they too considered the Scots-Irish connection to the Rebel Yell:

"Some believe it descends from a Scottish war cry said to have been used by the legendary forces of Robert Bruce and William Wallace and brought to America with the tide of Scots-Irish immigrants."

Route 11

You've not seen Virginia until you've travelled the Vally Pike, aka Lee-Jackson Highway.

27 February 2010

I'm Back

Just a word of thanks to all those who made contact and inquiry regarding my absence over the last couple of weeks. Thanks for your interest and concern as well as your words of encouragement to "blog on." More later as to why I took a break and the future direction of OVB. In the meantime, I wanted to announce the fact that Steve French, a history teacher in West Virginia and who also serves with me on a SCV scholarship committee, recently won
the 2009 Gettysburg Book Award. The award was presented by legendary historian Ed Bearss.

The text of the press release is below:


The 2009 Gettysburg Book Award will be awarded to author Steve French for his book, “Imboden’s Command in the Gettysburg Campaign.” This is an annual award presented by the Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable for a new published history contributing to a better understanding of some facet of the 1863 Gettysburg Campaign, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, or the battlefield at Gettysburg.

French is a history teacher from West Virginia. In this text he examines the role of Brigadier General John D. Imboden, commander of one of Robert E. Lee’s cavalry brigades. Imboden was tasked to use his Virginia troopers in the Shenandoah Valley to destroy railroad tracks and bridges and harass Federal troops.

The Northwestern Virginia Brigade, as Imboden’s command was known, was not directly involved in the battle at Gettysburg. But they had a key role of protecting the rear of the army. Imboden reached Chambersburg on July 1, 1863, where they relieved Pickett’s Division. When Lee retreated, they assumed the crucial mission of guarding the trains and the wounded, doing so under trying circumstances.

The Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable has for 50 years been one of America’s premier study groups focused on the grievous conflict that split our nation. They meet monthly during the school year at the G.A.R. Hall at 53 East Middle Street, Gettysburg. Programs are presented at 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month and are free to the public.

Licensed Battlefield Guide John Winkleman is president of the Gettysburg CWRT. Dr. David Collins serves as chair of the Book Review Committee.

Honorable mention is being accorded to Sue Boardman and Kathryn Porch for their book: “The Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama: A History and Guide.” It explains the huge 1884 oil painting by Paul Philippoteaux, how it was displayed through the years, with a guide to the terrain depicted thereon.

The award will be presented at the monthly meeting of the Roundtable. For further information, you may check their website at www.cwrtgettysburg.org

18 February 2010

Dr. Walter Williams On Civil Disobedience

"Unless a census taker can show me a constitutional requirement, the only information I plan to give are the number and names of the people in my household. The census taker might say, "It's the law." Thomas Jefferson said, "Whensoever the General Government (Washington) assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force." 

You can read the rest of his commentary here.

17 February 2010

History Hypocrites

One of the latest ploys of  ideological historians is to compare the Confederacy to the Third Reich and Nazi Germany. It is a mindless, bottom-feeding tactic meant to do nothing but intimidate and marginalize those with whom they disagree on certain historical points and perspective. It is without merit, ideologically motivated, intellectually dishonest, and about as unprofessional as one can become.

Moreover, since the charge most often comes from those with leftist political views, it is quite hypocritical. I didn't start it, but I'll finish it. I'll explain in an upcoming post.

16 February 2010

Bob Krick Has A Great Sense Of Humor

I've had the privilege of hearing Robert K. Krick speak on several occasions - most recently at the Stephen Dill Lee Institute in Northern Virginia in 2007 (pictured here). He's a great speaker and a funny man. I recently paid a visit to his website and read this rather humorous comment:

"He is a well-known speaker and tour guide, ersatz Virginian, mentor to a generation of fine historians, and preservationist. His world is populated by both Krickophiles and ardent Krickophobes. Based on the last census, there are more of the former. The latter includes mostly academics and bureaucrats." (Emphasis mine. I can relate.)

Of course, you gotta love a fella that names one of his sons, Robert Edward Lee Krick.

Slaves & Soldiers

15 February 2010

Stonewall Jackson Symposium

The Stonewall Jackson House's 13 Biennieal Symposium will be held this year April 23-24. Those speaking include: Robert E. L. Krick, Robert K. Krick, and Susan Church (among others.) Mrs. Church was one of the historians who offered commentary on the Jackson documentary I co-produced.

On a related note, one of my fellow SCV camp members who works at the Jackson house as a docent recently told me that the museum (like most museums now) was really hurting from the recession - so much that they closed for January and February. This just serves as a reminder that all of us who love and study history should try to patronize these establishments as often as possible and purchase gift items from them whenever we can.

You Might Also Be Interested In These Posts

In regards to someone who has first hand knowledge about Black Confederates:

I would recommend the following posts:

A Primary Source . . . "I spoke at length with Mr. Winbush about his ancestor and his memories. Louis Napolean Nelson served as a private in Company M, 7th Tennessee Cavalry of the Confederate Army. Private Nelson was a slave. He began his military service as a cook, a soldier, and ended his service as a chaplain."

And . . . a brief follow up here.

By the way, I believe Mr. Winbush is MORE than "sophisticated enough" to comment on his own heritage and offer a unique and worthy perspective.

14 February 2010

Now That's A Boot

The Virginia boot.

"It was 1880 when Sam Lucchese Sr. and his brothers came to America. Although he was just 17 years old, the young Lucchese had a vision for a career in bootmaking, and just three years later, the Lucchese Boot Company was established in San Antonio, Texas . . .
In 1949 Acme Boot Company commissioned Lucchese Boot Company to build the collection for an advertising campaign. It took Lucchese an amazingly short four years to build the entire collection. Each boot features unique and exact colors for the states flag, capital, bird, flower and state commodity."

Photo from their state boots collection. Order yours while they last.

12 February 2010

May I Ask Some Questions, Please?

**Update: See how some mislead: "I'm now aware that other blogs have also alerted their readers to Kevin's posting of Mr. Ijames's letter, and they see any effort to hold Mr. Ijames accountable for his words or to ask him to present his case as an attempt to silence him."

I think it is safe to assume that this comment is directed at this blog. How utterly false and revealing. Read my post below. I SPECIFICALLY said: "While I can understand why Kevin Levin might disagree with some of Mr. Ijames's conclusions and analysis and while I certainly have no problem with Mr. Levin writing about those disagreements . . ."

My criticism is not with Levin's disagreement or "holding Mr. Ijames accountable" as the comment falsely charges - my problem is Levin's rather transparent point of: 1.) Copying the letter to Mr. Ijames's superior  2.) Making that public  3.) Copying the exchange to his employer. 

You'll notice no one who supports Levin's open letter has bothered to answer my questions.

The recent dust up at Civil War Memory over Earl Ijames's research on African-Americans who served in the *Confederate Army raises some questions. While I can understand why Kevin Levin might disagree with some of Mr. Ijames's conclusions and analysis and while I certainly have no problem with Mr. Levin writing about those disagreements, I don't quite understand why Mr. Levin found it necessary to attempt to publicly intimidate Mr. Ijames by posting his "open letter" and copying it to one of Mr. Ijames's superiors. Is this an attempt to silence Mr. Ijames?

Why was it necessary to make the request for Mr. Ijames's research public? Why was it necessary to copy the request to Mr. Ijames's superior? And why was it necessary to condescend to Mr. Ijames by suggesting that his work must be flawed because "
he was not trained specifically as a historian?" (This despite the fact that Mr. Ijames is a curator of African-American History at the North Carolina Museum of History and has reserached this topic for 15 years.)

And now Mr. Levin is going to send copies of their exchange to his employer? Why? If this is simply a disagreement and criticism over Mr. Ijames's research and work, then why not write about it, debate it, and have a healthy, robust exchange of information and viewpoints? Again, I ask, is this an attempt to silence Mr. Ijames? And, finallly, since Mr. Levin first criticized Mr. Ijames's work, why won't Mr. Levin accept Mr. Ijames's invitation to debate the subject matter publicly?

(Photograph is of Mr. Earl Ijames )

*Note: Mr. Ijames's research on African Americans in the WBTS is not confined to the Confederacy, as one website notes:

"Earl Ijames, curator of African American history at the N.C. Museum of History, will present a historical vignette about Parker D. Robbins, who fought in the 33rd Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, during the Civil War. Robbins, one of the state’s free blacks, enlisted in the Union army to help end slavery and win freedom. In 1863 he left his Bertie County farm and traveled to Norfolk, Va., to enlist. Robbins eventually reached the rank of sergeant major."

Mr. Ijames has also worked on the digitization of the NC USCT roster.

11 February 2010

From The Enemies Of American Exceptionalism

According to a legal advocacy organization, the Texas State Board of Education has some suggestions for school textbook revisions. Some of the suggestions that have been put forth at various times include:
  • Removing references to Daniel Boone, General George Patton, Nathan Hale, Columbus Day, and Christmas.
  • Including the cultural impact of hip hop music, ACLU lawyer Clarence Darrow, and the Hindu holiday of Diwali.
  • Replacing the term "American" with "Global Citizen"– stating that students need to be shaped "for responsible citizenship in a global society" without any mention of citizenship in American society.
  • Replacing expansionism and free enterprise with imperialism and capitalism.
You can read the details in a press release from the Liberty Counsel here.

10 February 2010

Liberty University's 14th Annual Civil War Seminar

Topic: "Jine the Cavalry" - March 26-28, 2010

Friday Night:

Location: The Pate Chapel at the Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, VA
6:30 p.m.     Banquet/Welcome & Prayer
6:45 p.m.     Meal
      A silent auction will be held tonight to
      benefit the National Civil War Chaplains Museum.
9:30 p.m.     Mr. Kenny Rowlette --Instructions for Saturday Session


Location: The Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center
8:00 a.m.     Breakfast
8:30 a.m.     1st speaker of the day 
4:00 p.m.     Kenny Rowlette--Closing Remarks & Door Prizes

In addition to the speakers' presentations, there will be numerous exhibits of Civil War artifacts and memorabilia for the public, and vendors of Civil War items.

Sunday Morning
9:00 a.m.    

Period Worship Service

Rev. Alan Farley of Reenactors Mission for Jesus Christ will be speaking in the Whorley Prayer Chapel on the campus of Liberty University.

Our Special Guest Speakers and
their topics:

Dr. James I. Robertson
Keynote Address - Topic TBA

Kent Masterson Brown
John Hunt Morgan

Brenda Ayres
Flora: Mrs. J.E.B. Stuart

Scott Patchan
Phillip Sheridan: The Man Behind the Myth 

Eric J. Wittenberg
Custer and the Calvary Actions at Gettysburg

Jeffrey Wert
J.E.B. Stuart

Horace Mewborn
John Mosby

Clark Hall
The Battle of Brandy Station

Steven Alexander
George Custer During the Latter Years of the Civil War

Delanie Stephenson
Libby Custer: In the Shadow of Her Husband

Brian Wills
Nathan Bedford Forrest

Rev. Alan Farley
Period Church Service (Sunday, March 28,2010)  

Global Warming Hearing Cancelled - Due To Snow

Oh, this is just too good to ignore . . . 

The following Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearings have been postponed due to inclement weather this week:

"Global Warming Impacts, Including Public Health, in the United States."

Gotta be tough to be Al Gore these days.

09 February 2010

I'm Not The Only One

I often comment here about the arrogant, condescending attitude of the left and many of those in academia - yes, I know, somewhat redundant. What's so amazing is their apparent inability - or unwillingness - to recognize their glaring flaw in this area. As I also often point out - arrogance is a blinding vice. Or, perhaps they do recognize it but believe it's actually justified. A number of CW bloggers, academics, and others who approach history from the left constantly lament that much historical analysis just isn't "sophisticated" enough - Read: "They don't agree with me and my leftist worldview and the analysis that follows it. Therefore they aren't as smart as I am."

Many of them want to go so far as to silence those who would disagree with them - even put them in jail. Their own feelings of superiority just won't allow opposition to their views and historical analysis, which is also why they are quick to ban those who disagree with their perspective from commenting on their blogs or turn disagreements into personal, ad hominen attacks - the last refuge of those who have nothing of substance left to say. As a recent piece appearing in the Washington Post (of all places) by associate professor Gerald Alexander at the University of Virginia points out:

"American liberals, to a degree far surpassing conservatives, appear committed to the proposition that their views are correct, self-evident, and based on fact and reason, while conservative positions are not just wrong but illegitimate, ideological and unworthy of serious consideration . . . leading liberal voices have joined in a chorus of intellectual condescension." (Emphasis mine).

As the writer of that piece further notes:

". . . there is no need to take seriously the arguments of 'these people' -- only to plumb the depths of their errors and imagine hidden motives."  (Emphasis mine.)

At least more and more folks are noticing.

States' Rights - Round 2

"On February 1, Virginia's Senate passed a bill to outlaw the individual mandate, which seems destined to be signed by their new GOP governor. "Lawmakers in 35 states have filed or proposed amendments to their state constitutions or statutes rejecting health insurance mandates," reports the Associated Press. The states seem to be spoiling for a showdown with the feds over the issue of state sovereignty."


08 February 2010

America's Third Great Awakening?

"America’s prior Great Awakenings, in the 18th and 19th Centuries, were religious in nature. Unimpressed with self-serving, ossified, and often corrupt religious institutions, Americans responded with a bottom-up reassertion of faith, and independence."

"This time, it’s different.  It’s not America’s churches and seminaries that are in trouble:  It’s America’s politicians and parties.  They’ve grown corrupt, venal, and out-of-touch with the values, and the people, that they’re supposed to represent.  So the people, once again, are reasserting themselves."

More here.

07 February 2010

Baptist Missionaries Falsely Accused In Haiti

Some of you may have been following this story. I have some personal interest due to the fact I have a friend who is a missionary (not part of this group) in Haiti and one of my daughters-in-law was born in the Dominican Republic. Please pray for these good folks whose only motive was to help orphan children. This truly is a travesty of justice. Where's our state department on this one?

Fracking Zinn

"The 'educated class' is just the indoctrinated class today, the mass of PC-whipped, totally predictable minds. If you want to see individualism, if you want to see courage, creativity, and original thought, don't look at the college-educated class. They all march in mental lockstep, even as the WaPo marches to the drum and fife corps of those brainiacs at the NYT."

And . . . 

"A Politically Correct campus is incapable of educating students because it suffocates free thought. The kids know that. They get their real education elsewhere, or they just allow themselves to be brain-stomped. Indoctrination is not education. The only kids to be really educated on the PC campus are the young  conservatives, because all that brainwashing forces them to think for themselves. The others just end up reciting the catechism."

06 February 2010

Snowstorm Update

It began snowing here at the foot of the Blue Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley about daybreak yesterday and is still snowing as I post this photo taken about 15 minutes ago. This shot was taken from my porch looking south toward my daughter's and son in law's home. We have close to 2 feet and the snow is supposed to continue until this evening some time. (Click image to enlarge.)

**Relevant Update:

“The global warming movement as we have known it is dead,” the brilliant analyst Walter Russell Mead says in his blog on The American Interest. It was done in by a combination of bad science and bad politics. 

Which is why one should always be skeptical of so-called "experts." More here.

The Intellectual President

Can't blame this on the teleprompter - he says it twice: "Corpseman."

05 February 2010

Hunkered Down In The Shenandoah Valley

As many of you are no doubt aware, western Virginia, along with much of the rest of the eastern seaboard, is hunkered down for what some are predicting will be a record-breaking snowstorm. The amounts being predicted run the gamut. Originally, our local weather gurus were predicting 6"-12". Rumors were flying yesterday in the post office, bank, and local restaurants with folks saying we were going to get up to 40". The National Weather Service report I heard broadcast late yesterday called for 12"-18" and now, the latest NWS forecast is saying this storm might produce 20"-30" or more:

In addition to the amount of snow, we are also looking at 20-30 MPH winds later tonight. This should be a doozy. This is our 2nd major snowstorm of the season. I posted some photos here of our previous one which dumped 24" on us just days before Christmas.

As I've told my children, this is the kind of Winters I recall as a child . . . snows beginning in December and the white stuff sticking around for weeks. I can recall sleigh riding on the street in front of our house for days after most snowstorms back then. Anyway, I plan to venture out tomorrow morning some time. Our home lies close to the George Washington National Forest and there's an old Army Corps of Engineers flood control lake behind our home. The weather and landscape should provide some great scenery for some photographs.

04 February 2010

DVD History Package

Click on image for more information.

03 February 2010

Dr. Thomas Sowell On Intellectuals

Sowell's comments dovetail perfectly with my previous post on academic theory and reality. 

Intellectuals are not my heroes, though some of my heroes--like Sowell--happen to be intellectuals. I base that determination on fact, not theory. 

Natural Law Trumps Theory Every Time

Once again, the American Thinker has posted a must read, wonderfully insightful piece on its website. Here are just a few of the gems taken from the piece:

"Government depends heavily on academic testimony and research for informed decision-making. The contemporary American university, academics' home turf, is the fountainhead of politically correct thought. P.C. has become like a physical constant, as is gravity. It is balanced into every academic discussion."


"Climategate revealed 'researchers discussing how to manipulate historical temperature data.' This is a glaring example of the willingness of academics to falsify data and propagate unproven assumptions."


"University professors, consciously or unconsciously, tend to mold students into their own image. Gospel for the academic progressive is this: 'If it is good to use men as they are,' Rousseau writes, "it is much better to transform them into what one intends them to be." Duke professor Michael Gillespie said of students that after attending 'four years of college, they are 40 percent more liberal than their parents.' Without natural, real-world incentives, universities expose conservative students to grade reduction and the possible denial of credit and credentials."

And this piercingly profound observation:

"The natural tendency of academics in government may be to transfer the modus operandi of their native institution to governance, leading them to insist rather than request, demand rather than serve, and scold rather than listen. Citizens may be seen as undergraduates, who when becoming too noisy and contrary can be threatened with demotions and fines."

Sound familiar? (See here and here.)

You can read the rest of the piece here.

01 February 2010