31 October 2011

30 October 2011

A Nine Hour Relic Hunt . . .

Yielded over 30 Civil War bullets, a cap box finial, and an iron butt plate from an 1841 U.S. musket. Video episode #8 of "Diggin' in the Old Dominion" is in production. It was an amazing adventure.

27 October 2011

Bobby Horton On Shiloh & Dixie

Thanks to David Corbett for passing this along to me. Horton comments on the stacking of several Confederate soldiers into one burial grave. Sad, but not all that unique during times of war. My own great-great grandfather shares a grave with two other Confederate soldiers in Oakwood Cemetery.

Still coming . . . Institutional Academia, The Tea Party & Occupy Wall Street ~ Who's Right?

26 October 2011

American Exceptionalism 2.0?

"American Exceptionalism has routinely been underestimated by America’s *adversaries. We  have argued for the last year that powerful trends are reshaping U.S. that will lead to result a rebirth of American manufacturing, coupled with positive business trends, and just as powerful political trends are shrinking the size of government and its capacity to intervene in the economy. The combination of these trends will create a sustained upward spike in the American economy." ~ Chris W. Street at BigGovernment.com

This is the second time this week I've read an article about America's comeback.

British business writer, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard just wrote a piece about world power being centered, once again, in the United States. Evans-Pritchard begins his piece with this assertion:

The American phoenix is slowly rising again. Within five years or so, the US will be well on its way to self-sufficiency in fuel and energy. Manufacturing will have closed the labour gap with China in a clutch of key industries. The current account might even be in surplus. (More here.)

With the wreckage we see all around us (brought to you by ruling class elites in government and academia), it's hard to fathom America recovering from our current mess any time in the foreseeable future. But, as someone once said, the darkest hour is right before dawn. (I've also heard the darkest hour is right before it goes pitch black.)

But, I suppose it is possible that institutional academia will have to put off their celebration of America's decline for another century. Now that would be worth celebrating.

*Would that include the enemies of American Exceptionalism?

Next post: Institutional Academia, The Tea Party & Occupy Wall Street ~ Who's Right?

24 October 2011

Modern Lawyers Defend Secession

 Selectively, of course. Britain's position on our Declaration of Independence:

The Declaration of Independence was not only illegal, but actually treasonable. There is no legal principle then or now to allow a group of citizens to establish their own laws because they want to. What if Texas decided today it wanted to secede from the Union?

*Lincoln made the case against secession and he was right. The Declaration of Independence itself, in the absence of any recognised legal basis, had to appeal to "natural law", an undefined concept, and to "self-evident truths", that is to say truths for which no evidence could be provided.

But in defense of America's first secession:

For American lawyers, the answer is simple: "The English had used their own Declaration of Rights to depose James II and these acts were deemed completely lawful and justified," they say in their summary.

And, of course, Southern secessionists used America's secession from Britain to support their position, as did some Northern newspapers:

If [the Declaration of Independence] justifies the secession from the British empire of 3,000,000 of colonists in 1776, we do not see why it would not justify the secession of 5,000,000 of Southrons from the Federal Union in 1861. – New York Tribune, 17 December 1860

Precedent is a powerful and weighty argument. Of course, the legality of secession is one discussion, the wisdom and prudence of it is quite another. Read the complete story here.

*However, following Lincoln's logic he was, himself, illegitimate and should have surrendered the whole nation back to Great Britain - right?

20 October 2011

How To Push Marxism In The Classroom

You won't hear any of the leftist bloggers/educators condemn this. Gee, I wonder why? The first "teacher" is a bit hard to hear, but the second one is quite clear. What's funny is that this woman has absolutely no idea how true Marxist societies function. She claims that teaching socialism and Marxism will allow children to one day decide "for themselves" what they want to do. Though she mentions teaching history, its obvious by that statement that she's quite ignorant of it - especially the history of Marxist/socialist societies. It's amazing that someone teaching American children can have something so backwards and anti-American and teach this garbage in a taxpayer financed school - absolutely jaw-dropping amazing. She notes she wants "complete transformation" - code language for revolution. Just one more reason for homeschooling. By the way, I'm soon going to have to purchase another hard drive to store my ever-growing files of anecdotal evidence of radicalism in public schools. Is this what it means to be an "activist historian?"

Upcoming posts:

  • The Tea Party Is Right - Academia Is Wrong (That post should shut some mouths and get those still attached to brains to at least think)
  • More Academic Historians Pushing Their Political Agenda
  • A review of  Illustrated Timeline of the Civil War
  • Some History Channel DVD give-aways via trivia questions 

19 October 2011

Top Military History Blogs Awards

Congratulations Richard,

Your Blog has been selected as one of the Top 50 Military History Blogs
for 2011!

The Team here at VeteransBenefitsGIBill has spent the year searching the
Internet for the best Military History Blogs, analyzing them based on their post content, layout and user feedback, and we are excited to award you with our seal of approval as one of the Internet’s Top 50!

In light of your recognition, we would like to present you with a Top 50
Blog badge that you can display on your site.

Thank you gentlemen. I humbly accept. ~ RGW

Lee Decides The Fate Of The Despised Occupiers

*Taken yesterday at an "Occupy Wall Street" kumbaya event in Charlottesville:

As Virginia's peerless Chieftain turns and rides away in disgust, he passes judgment on the despised occupiers of Virginia's sacred sod and utters his famous last words: "Strike the tent!"

*Thanks to Doug Hill for sharing the photo.

18 October 2011

Sacred Relics

In the video below, the Museum of the Confederacy very aptly illustrates the importance of preserving relics - something which I'm proud to be involved in through my metal detecting efforts.

17 October 2011

Occupy Wall Street Is Twisting History

Readers of this blog will recall I had several heated debates with a number of bloggers/historians who thought it their mission to impugn and discredit the Tea Party for ostensibly perverting history for political gain. Now we are witnessing the antithesis of the Tea Party - the Occupy Wall Street mobs. I've waited patiently to see if any of these same critics were going to, in their objective quest for truth, level the same vitriol at the OWS bunch for their twisting of history. I didn't think they would and I was right. No surprise there. 

Below is just one such sampling of OWS twisting history. In the video, you'll see a spokesman for the Communist Party voice his organization's support of and solidarity with the OWS protests. The speaker (remember, he's a communist) compares this movement to the colonies rebellion against King George and the abolishing of slavery. I find that quite interesting, knowing that communist ideology and regimes have enslaved and slaughtered more humans in world history than any other. Watch below.

Now, let's compare this to the Tea Party. Admittedly, they made some gaffes, but, as historian Gordon S. Wood has noted, the TP is more accurate than many are willing to admit. But this current movement doesn't even compare. Yet where is the criticism from academic historians and history bloggers who criticized the Tea Party? They claimed their criticism was based solely on the TP's history twisting, though they found it quite difficult to mask their real distaste for the politics of the TP. The silence is quite troubling. Also, some food for thought, with no editorializing:

Who supports Occupy Wall Street:

I find all this quite disturbing, to say the least. I realize that guilt by association is poor analyzing of facts, but I must admit, the pattern here bothers me. I also realize that some of the individuals involved in these protests come from various political ideologies. I even saw a video online of a speech from a Ron Paul supporter. But there's no denying that most are socialist/Marxist/anarchist in their ideology. 

The support noted above is public information and admitted by the various parties.It has been posted on a number of news websites, including the Drudge Report, which is where I saw it, so I did not go "trolling" for it. It's well known. Where's the outrage?

*Update: Andrew Breitbart ID'd some of the communists marching in the video above. One of them is a professor at the University of Memphis and another is a member of the Young Communist League as well as a member of Organizing for America. The masks have come off and Obama's supporters in academia remain silent. Evidently no concern whatsoever over being in bed with self-proclaimed communists. Amazing.

15 October 2011

Metal Detecting Post #52 - Amazing Inventory

Beau Ouimette is going to have to build an addition to his home if he keeps this up. Amazing.

14 October 2011

Metal Detecting Post #51 - Recovery Of The Month - October 2011

Fellow relic hunter and detectorist, Beau Ouimette, made quite the find this past summer. You've got to watch this to believe it.

By the way, I have laid tentative plans to do a joint article/interview about metal detecting with a professional historian for one of the national relic hunting publications. The actual interview with a legendary relic hunter and collector will take place some time in November or December. The piece will likely be published some time next spring. I'll discuss this more once the piece is completed and has been officially accepted for publication. It should be a fascinating article.

12 October 2011

My Peer Reviewed Essay On Civil War Chaplains

Though I generally write for non-academic audiences, I have written a piece or two for scholarly journals. (See the Spring 2009 issue of Houston Baptist University's The City) Recently, *I was afforded the opportunity and privilege of contributing an essay on Civil War chaplains to the Essential Civil War Curriculum

The Essential Civil War Curriculum is a Sesquicentennial project Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech. It is sponsored by two eminent Civil War scholars and authors, Dr. James I. (Bud) Robertson and Professor William C. (Jack) Davis both Professors at Virigina Tech. The Executive Director and Editor of the website is Mr. J.L.D. (Laurie) Woodruff of Toronto Ontario. The site content is subject to rigorous quality control with all essays and resources peer reviewed by a member of our Board of Historians who are today's foremost Civil War scholars.
My essay was recently added to the topics at ECWC. The piece is titled: A Great Deal of Good: The Work and Impact of Chaplains During the American Civil War

I begin the essay with a quote from my great-great grandfather, John Meredith Crutchfield. The quote was taken from a letter written to my great-great grandmother, Alcinda Douglas Crutchfield:

“There is a protracted meeting going on in camp. We have preaching in the forenoon and prayer meeting in the evening . . . and it is my opinion it will do us a great deal of good.” ~ Private John Meredith Crutchfield, Co. I, 60th Regiment, Virginia Infantry, Princeton, Mercer County, VA, 26 April 1863

You can read the complete essay by going to ECWC's website and clicking on "C." You'll see the link there. There are other excellent essays which one can read there as well. 

*(No, this does not make me a "professional" historian. I consider myself simply a writer who focuses on Virginia history and the War Between the States.)

The Southern Military Tradition

Continues . . .

As a follow up to a previous post:

"Recruits joining the U.S. Army in 2008 disproportionately came from rural and exurban communities — especially from southern states . . . Alabama sent the highest proportion of men and women to the Army, followed by Nevada, Georgia, Arizona and Texas."

(8 of the top 12 would be considered Southern states.)

More here.

08 October 2011

Metal Detecting Post # 50 - We Come From All Walks Of Life

Rolling Stones gather no moss, but some of them gather relics . . .

07 October 2011

Citadel Cadets Affirm American Exceptionalism

While the elites continue to sneer . . .

"I believe we are an exceptional country with a unique destiny and role in the world," [Mitt] Romney said, with an audience of cadets sitting behind him. "Not exceptional, as the president has derisively said, in the way that the British think Great Britain is exceptional or the Greeks think Greece is exceptional. In Barack Obama’s profoundly mistaken view, there is nothing unique about the United States."
And . . . 

"I will not surrender America’s role in the world," he said. "This is very simple. If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your president. You have that president today." The cadets applauded.

Of course they applauded. These cadets are among the most patriotic among us. And let's not forget, this is the Citadel - in the heart of the Old Confederacy. The Confederacy which, after the WBTS, supplied more soldiers,  *per capita based on percentage of population, for America's wars than any other region of the United States. Yet, the elites continue to mock and impugn the region's values and traditions - which includes American Exceptionalism.

*Thanks to Robert Moore for pointing out my error. See his remarks in the comments.

Why History Really Matters - Steve Jobs & King David

Steve Jobs' authorized biographer, Walter Isaachson, noted the following:

A few weeks ago, I visited Jobs for the last time in his Palo Alto, Calif., home. He had moved to a downstairs bedroom because he was too weak to go up and down stairs. He was curled up in some pain, but his mind was still sharp and his humor vibrant. We talked about his childhood, and he gave me some pictures of his father and family to use in my biography. As a writer, I was used to being detached, but I was hit by a wave of sadness as I tried to say goodbye. In order to mask my emotion, I asked the one question that was still puzzling me: Why had he been so eager, during close to 50 interviews and conversations over the course of two years, to open up so much for a book when he was usually so private? “I wanted my kids to know me,” he said. “I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.

Jobs' last thoughts were focused on passing on his legacy--his history so to speak--so that his children would "know why and to understand what I did." Now, isn't that what real history is really all about?

It is a universal desire that the next generation would understand:

"That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children" ~ King David in Psalms 78

06 October 2011

History & Hollywood - Related Perspectives

The related interpretations of the left and right . . . this sounds eerily familiar . . .

► Democrats are bigger moviegoers This is likely fueled by Hollywood's reputation -- among both parties -- for churning out movies that promote liberalism (Avatar was named by the most moviegoers as having a liberal agenda). During the past six months, Democrats have seen on average 5.7 movies in a theater, while Republicans have seen fewer than four.
► Republicans are more likely to wait for home video Democrats are likelier to see movies on opening weekend, while GOP members prefer waiting it out. Republicans assume their values will be assaulted onscreen -- so why pay the big bucks? -- while Democrats embrace pop culture more and want to be "in the know," says Penn.
►  Republicans prefer family films; Democrats like edge From hundreds of Oscar winners and classics, Republicans were far more likely to name as favorites The Sound of Music and It's a Wonderful Life; Democrats favored Bonnie and Clyde and The Silence of the Lambs. Among recent films, Republicans were likelier to choose Soul Surfer and Secretariat. Democrats? The Social Network, Bad Teacher and Easy A.
► Republicans tsk-tsk sex, violence and cursing While majorities of both parties think movies contain too much of all those, the numbers are greater for Republicans. A majority of Democrats think Hollywood films are generally inspiring and morally uplifting; a majority of Republicans don't.
► Democrats think America is portrayed well While 62 percent of Dems say Hollywood shows America in a positive light, only 39 percent of Republicans concur. And 44 percent of Republicans think Hollywood portrays the U.S. military negatively, but only 21 percent of Democrats agree. "Typically, when you see a movie, it will reflect a Democrat's values," says Penn. "Republicans aren't getting the films they want."

Complete story here at the Hollywood Reporter. 

04 October 2011

Bud Robertson At Lee Chapel

Remembering Robert E. Lee Program ~
October 10, 2011 at 12:15pm

 The Fall program honoring Robert E. Lee
will feature Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr.,
noted author and Civil War Scholar. 

Topic:  "Lee and the Mobilization of Virginia Forces, 1861"

Booksigning in the Lee Chapel Museum Shop at 10:30am 

will feature many of his books, plus autographed copies of Dr. Robertson's new book,

will be pre-sold.  This book will be released later in October .

Metal Detecting Post #49 - Braveheart Artifacts

I'll dream about this tonight . . . closer to Heaven than West Virginia . . . amazing video, beautiful country, patriotism, touching the past . . . makes my Scots-Irish spirit soar . . .

03 October 2011

Metal Detecting Post #48 - Recovery of the Month - September 2011

The bits of history one can find metal detecting continues to amaze and fascinate me. Take the example below. Civil War soldiers often found themselves with lots of time on their hands. Bored minds can become quite creative. The carved .69 caliber 3 ringer was no doubt created by some soldier, bored to death, awaiting the next march or, perhaps, on the eve of some battle. An acorn that never grew to a tree, but did survive the war to tell a story.

Details here.