31 May 2012

You Might Be A Redneck If . . .

Some of my grandkids and their cousins cooling off Memorial Day in the horse trough. Just horsin' around ;o). Ahhh, the wonders of livin' in the country!

My Confederate Ancestor - John McGann

The photo at the very top of the header on this blog is one taken of my great-great grandfather, John McGann and his family. Grandpa McGann fought with the 51st Virginia. Recently, I was contacted by another descendant of McGann who made this comment:

What I can't figure out is that John enlisted in the 51st. However I think he was one of the twelve that surrendered at Appomattox with Rives Battery Nelson Light Artillery. I just can't find the connection. ~ James McGann
So there's some confusion over his service, but I have pension records which indicate he served in the 51st. Below are some photos I've collected over the years, including a couple shared by James. More to come later.

John McGann later in life, in front of the homeplace - still owned by McGann descendants.

John McGann as a younger man.
McGann family graves around 2005 - just crude field stones turned on end for headstones.
Same spot in 1913. We believe this is a photograph from John's funeral.
The property in all the photos is still owned by McGanns. I live within 10 miles of the property. I have a number of ancestors - McGanns, Campbells, Coffeys - buried in the hollows of the Blue Ridge Mountains. My home sits within the shadows cast by the mountains literally, and my ancestors figuratively.

29 May 2012

Metal Detecting Post #76 - Battle Of McDowell 150 & A Kind Providence

I recently loaded some comments and pictures from my recent trip to McDowell, Virginia. The week after I spoke at the commemoration of the150th anniversary of the Battle of McDowell, I had the privilege of doing some metal detecting on private land near the battlefield. The terrain was tough - steep, lots of underbrush and low-hanging limbs and slippery from all the recent rains. It also started to drizzle right after I got there to hunt for what I had hoped was going to be three to four hours. But I was only there a little over an hour, then it started to pour and I had to cut my exploration short. However, I was able to recover a .64 caliber musket ball. The size threw me so I did a little research and found out that it could be "a .64 caliber paper patched ball cartridge for a Hall Carbine. The carbine was built by Bizhar, Hall Company in Virginia for the Confederacy from 1862-1864." According to one source, there were only about 400 of these made.

The timing and location are right, but I don't know if mine is one of these rare Confederate musket balls or if there is even any way to know with any reasonable amount of certainty. But what really made this recovery significant was the date I pulled it from the ground: May the 8th, 2012 - 150 years to the day Stonewall Jackson secured a Confederate victory at the Battle of McDowell and marking the beginning of his legendary Valley Campaign. I'm going to frame it, along with this letter of appreciation from the Highland Historical Society for my presentation at the 150th anniversary of the battle. Hopefully, one day, my grandchildren will appreciate the history and heritage of these items.

(Click on image to read.)

Another Homeschooling Success

Six-year-old Lori Anne Madison is the youngest person ever to quality for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The little girl is home-schooled and beat out 21 other kids in her Virginia county to advance to the national competition.

She was taught by experts - her parents. Story here.

26 May 2012

Looking Into The Minds Of Moderns Or Understanding Children?

An interesting article at today's American Thinker by Cindy Simpson is a perfect follow up to yesterday's post. Simpson's piece uses Diane West's book, The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization as a springboard. The article dovetails nicely with much of what I've written about "Botox for the Brain":

Ever wonder why conversations with adults often leave you feeling like you were arguing with teenagers? . . . Peer approval greatly influences immature minds.  It's the juvenile thinkers that call others names like "racist" and "birther" (and are especially fearful of being called such names themselves), protest with actual sticks and stones, and bully those who don't agree with them.  Gray-haired ponytail types dominate college campuses, teaching groupthink to the next generation . . . Tocqueville warned of the nanny state and the power of despotism as resembling "parental authority if, fatherlike, it tried to prepare its charges for a man's life but on the contrary, it only tries to keep them in perpetual childhood."

Fundamentally, much of the "groupthink" which dominates our educational system is, quite simply, juvenile and the product of those locked in adolescence. Just remember that when you are debating someone with that mindset: you are having a conversation with someone who is, for the sake of your debate, a child. The more one reads their writings about history and listens to their political speeches, the more evident that becomes. This is why I find them so hard to suffer. The older I get, the less patience I have with adults who act like children.

The author of the American Thinker piece concludes with:

More than "stand athwart history, yelling stop" -- we must shift -- not always into "forward," but even reverse at times, to find our way back to the road that leads to the shining city on the hill. [And adulthood.]
The AT piece reminded me of something Richard Weaver once wrote:

Their institutional world is a product of toil and discipline; of this they are no longer aware. Like the children of rich parents, they have been pampered by the labor and self-discipline of those who  went before; they begin to think that luxuries, though unearned, are rightfully theirs. They fret when their wishes are not gratified; they turn to cursing and abusing; they look for scapegoats."

I am repulsed by that mindset - often disguised as "historical analysis" by "historians" and others to ostensibly garnish their own reputation. Unable to measure up to previous generations, they attempt to tear them down. Like a child throwing a temper tantrum over being denied a toy, it gets them noticed - at least by their peers. It is, at its core, pure narcissism; the self-centered and clueless world of a child. 

When I consider the hardships of past generations, I realize how easy our generation has lived - reaping the benefits of our forefathers' sacrifices; standing on their shoulders so to speak. I think of my grandfathers who fought in WWI and WWII, survived and raised large families during the Great Depression and, with guts and sheer determination, rebuilt America into a powerhouse never seen before in world history. And then I observe far too many Americans whine because someone else won't pay their mortgage while they pop another Prozac and flop their collective obese butts on the couch in their air-conditioned homes, remote in hand one hand, a large bag of potato chips in the other while they listen to some other child "expert" reinforce their own lack of personal responsibility - a mindset that now seems to permeate American culture. It's just all so nauseating - and un-American.

Ultimately, historians who represent this mindset have very little understanding of the craft in which they self-proclaim to be experts.  As historian Paul Johnson so aptly points out:

From the early Thirties . . . the intellectuals, carrying with them a predominant part of academia and workers in the media, moved into a position of criticism and hostility towards the structural ideas of the American consensus: the free market, capitalism, individualism, enterprise, independence, and personal responsibility.

Is this not the ideological bent of much of academia and the youth-dominated Occupy Wall Street crowd? Ah, the wide-eyed wonder and naïveté of childhood!

But where are the adults?

25 May 2012

A Historian Defines The Power Of Cool

Victor Davis Hanson recently explained the power of cool. His piece is reminiscent of some things I've written:

. . . the correct approach to this topic is one of a "mature mindset" - something sorely lacking in the Botox-brained academic elites constantly trying to appear "cool" and "in the know." They remind me of all the snooty, primped and pruned "in crowd" in my senior high school class - obsessed with the latest fad and trend and wanting to remain "forever young." Ever wonder why so many of these leftist, radical anti-American Exceptionalism academics want to connect with their younger students? Botox for the brain. Botox is the perfect metaphor for these folks: phony, cosmetic, shallow, and narcissistic. ~ RGW

But Hanson expands on the "Botox for the Brain" idea by slicing and dicing much more skillfully than I ever could in a recent piece titled, The Power of Cool:

It would seem that the disconnect is liberal politics, the coin by which one buys a sort of medieval indulgence from liberal gatekeepers in the media, academia, the arts, and the foundations that permits one to continue the pursuit and enjoyment of lucre and to indulge the baser appetites without harassment — in the manner that the medieval moneylender or sexual zealot still got to heaven by buying marble for the cash-strapped cathedral . . . In short, millions of well-off Americans, from the entering college student to the full professor of law, from the billionaire thief to the president of the United States himself, endlessly chase cool.

You can read the rest of Hanson's piece here.

24 May 2012

As I Suspected - Just More Confirmation About Fox News "Dummies"

This is a follow up to a previous post about Fox News and the fact most Americans are getting their news and opinions there. If you'll go to that post, you can read the exchange I had with a professional historian who suggested that those who get their news from Fox are "less informed." He cited an academic study as his proof. (Eye roll) - Yes, of course, we should be listening to and watching government funded propaganda outlets like NPR and PBS. Well, as it turns out I was right. The "statistics" from the academic study were apparently skewed - I believe purposely - to make it appear Fox News viewers are less informed. 

The academic "study" to which the commenter referred to in that previous most is just more propaganda; pushing a self-serving narrative and agenda that conservatives are just dumb Neanderthals.

But does it really? MSNBC received similarly low scores, and their numbers were not oversampled. In fact, if this graph showing knowledge of domestic affairs is to be believed, the people who ended up the most misinformed were conservatives who made the mistake of watching MSNBC. The only people who ended up misinformed after watching Fox, on the other hand, were liberals:

Keep it up - you folks continue to confirm what a growing number of Americans already suspect know. As I am lamenting more and more, this is just getting way too easy. The ruling class elites no longer own the narrative. The alternative media, the blogosphere, homeschooling, and technology are all working in synergy and tearing down your ivory towers. You are going to have to deal with reality, whether you like it or not. You can read more details about this bogus study here, as well as another one here. As always, when the facts don't fit the left's agenda, they just create their own. It's really fun to watch them have a head-on collision with the truth.

23 May 2012

Metal Detecting Post #75 - The Civil War Uncovered - Episode 6

Another great video production by the folks at Minelab. This is history, relic hunting, and metal detecting done correctly.

22 May 2012

It's All Just A Mirage

There is no indoctrination nor politicization in government schools. Follow up to yesterday's post:

20 May 2012

Old Virginia Blog - Seventh Anniversary

Today marks the 7th anniversary of this blog. I can't believe I'm still doing this.

18 May 2012

Heritage Takes An Academic Phony To School

Here's an update to my earlier post about forked tongue Harvard academic Elizabeth Warren's phony claim that she's part Cherokee . . . 

You have claimed something you had no right to claim -- our history and our heritage and our identity.

So you see, heritage and history do go together; that is if you know how to tell the truth about both which, as we know, is an uncommon trait among a number of academics.

Complete story here. I'm telling you, this is just getting way too easy.

16 May 2012

Article Update

I just received notice that my article about restoring dug ax heads will run in the October issue of Western and Eastern Treasures Magazine. To date, I've recovered a pre-revolutionary ax head, one Union issued camp ax head used during the WBTS, and several 19th century ax heads, including a double-bitted one.

Federal issued camp ax head ~
Found near Brandy Station
(Before restoration)

Indoctrination At Our Universities

Some of you who have been reading this blog for a while will know that a number of academic historians and history bloggers have come here to challenge the empirical evidence that colleges and universities are dominated by leftists. How stupid they look. Anyway, here's yet more egg on their collective faces.

Here’s a shocker: the top 100 universities in America prefer left-leaning commencement speakers to conservatives by a ratio of seven-to-one, according to a new report from the Young America’s Foundation (YAF), the principal youth activism wing of the conservative movement.

And . . .

“An education from leftist professors that—combined with the Obama administration’s policies—has left 53 percent of recent grads unemployed or underemployed. These commencement speakers are just the icing on higher education’s indoctrination cake.”

No, there's no bias on campus. Of course not. Silly me. More here.

14 May 2012

Civil War Magazines - What I Like - Part One

My favorite Civil War print publication has, in the last 18 months, become North South Trader's Civil War. Though I've known of the publication for years (they've been publishing since 1973) and have read numerous issues before, I only started subscribing 2 years ago when I became an avid relic hunter. I'm certainly glad I did. Though geared toward CW relic hunters and collectors, it bills itself as a publication "for collectors, researchers, relic hunters, and historians of the War Between the States." And it is most certainly that. Published 6 times a year, there is enough in each issue to satisfy anyone who studies the WBTS - well almost anyone.

As publisher Steve Sylvia has alluded to in the most recent issue's editorial titled "Apologies and appeasement", those who concentrate on so-called "social history" (I think Robert Krick calls some of this emphasis "psychobabble") may not find the articles "socially conscious" enough; which is why it has become my favorite publication. When I subscribe to magazines which focus on history, I really don't want to read "preachy" styled articles emphasizing a morality play regarding the real Civil War myth: "North good, South bad." 

As  historian Brion McLanahan has pointed out:

The importance of this myth is that it is used to divide the country into progressive and enlightened (the North) and reactionary and racist (the South), and allows historians to portray all of American history through that divide, dismissing the Southern founders and Southern arguments about limited government and states' rights while praising ever-expanding powers for the federal government . . . ( The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers, page 14.)

Quite frankly, I'm sick of it. There's enough of that shallow, agenda-driven, self-serving silliness available in the blogosphere at no charge. There's really no need for me to pay a subscription fee to have it delivered to my home.

Many of these publications (I'll showcase one or two in upcoming posts) have been sucked into blending multicultural identity politics with Civil War history. They often feature writers who - whether in the publication itself on in some other medium - love to mock and poke fun at the Confederate heritage folks; despite the fact that much of these magazine's advertising is directed toward that same demographic. Nothing quite like paying someone to insult you on a monthly basis while they simultaneously try to get you to purchase what many of their most avid fans would call "neo-Confederate art." I don't know about you, but where I come from, we call that hypocrisy. 

Back to NSTCW - Steve Sylvia's editorial in the most recent issue was so spot on that I'd like to share a few excepts with readers here. His comments are often one of the best features of the magazine and so refreshing in offering a different perspective from the "other" all too predictable PC commentary that has become so common in recent years.

From "Apologies and appeasement":

I read something today that made my jaw drop. Marc Pachter, the interim director of the venerable Smithsonian Museum of National History, commented to reporters, "We’re so getting away from the time when history was all about white men on horses." 
"White men on horses"? Doesn't that sound like something some college freshman would write to please his or her flunky professor? (What's he got against horses anyway?) The fact is that the nation's history is, to a large degree, about "white men on horses." Whether it be our founding era, the WBTS, or the expansion west, that's just the way it is. Facts are stubborn things. Now, I'm all for bringing to light some of the lesser known aspects of American history. Some of my own work in the public history arena has done just that. (See here and here.)

But if Pachter isn't hot to trot for the white boys on stallions, what does he like? You're not going to believe this.

This graduate of the University of California at Berkeley has forged ahead with an exhibit featuring Kermit the Frog, Dorothy’s ruby slippers, and electronic gadgetry from 2004, now considered "ancient technology." As he said, "This is a broader definition of what is important to remember."
I told you that you weren't going to believe it. Well, I suppose that will please the chicks with ruby slippers and green slimy skin constituencies. Yes, Kermit and Dorothy are a "broader definition of what is important" than are "white men on horses". And I'm supposed to take "professional historians" seriously? Some of you are becoming quite the caricature. I would suggest you might want to start distancing yourselves from some of this Kookville perspective if you want to retain any sense of credibility. Of course, maybe you can't. Maybe you actually reside in Kookville. Or maybe you're just lacking in gastrointestinal parts.

Sylvia then goes after Waite Rawls who, as many of you know, is the current president and CEO of the Museum of the Confederacy. Now, to be fair to Mr. Rawls, he's got a tightrope to walk - trying to please a number of constituencies interested in Civil War history. I'm sure its a challenging job. I've had a few conversations with Waite and have come to his defense on a number of occasions. However, I would have to agree with Sylvia in regards to his comments about Rawls' and the recent flag flap over the opening of a new MOC branch in Appomattox. I think Rawls' reasoning is lacking in any real logic. It's political correctness dressed up in drag as "history":

. . . Rawls, has refused to allow the Confederate flag to be flown over the new satellite museum of the Confederacy at Appomattox . . . In explanation, the ebullient director stated, "Appomattox is a metaphor for the reunification of the country. To put the Confederate flag into that display would be a historical untruth."

So how does Sylvia respond to this rather strange explanation put forth by the son of a Confederate Veteran and member of the SCV?

I believe that is but one interpretation of the place. It is also where the Confederate flag last flew over Lee’s army in a major conflict. It is where the last blood was shed in Virginia in the most significant war of the 19th century. If we follow Rawls’ interpretation of reunification, wouldn’t it be appropriate to fly both the US and the CS flags together as this was where they last both flew above warring Americans? 
Of course it would be appropriate. Sylvia makes an excellent point. To suggest otherwise is absurd on its face and the kind of thinking which most often finds its dwelling place in an alternate universe; which, come to think of it, is the abode of similar politically correct nonsense. Sylvia continues:

Doesn’t the UN building in New York City fly flags of nations, some of whom terrorize, murder, and enslave people at this moment? Where is the hue and cry against those banners?
Ah, yes, the UN does fly flags of nations which still practice slavery, imprison political dissenters, abuse women, persecute certain faiths, etc, etc, etc. But protesting those flags, in the words of Dr. McLanahan, could not be "used to divide the country into progressive and enlightened (the North) and reactionary and racist (the South), and allows historians to portray all of American history through that divide, dismissing the Southern founders and Southern arguments about limited government and states' rights . . "

See how this works? As Sylvia observes, "I find the contradiction hard to take.This is simply political correctness at its most hypocritical extreme."

Indeed it is. Though I've defended Rawls in the past, he looks rather ridiculous defending the flag decision in Appomattox.

Sylvia concludes his insightful commentary with this:

Maybe I’m an anachronism, but it seems too many of our political leaders and museum directors are too willing to take the easy road and simply apologize to shut up the opposition. That does disservice to our ancestor’s courage, will, and determination. They set the bar for us and it’s difficult to measure up. But it’s easy to lower the flag, mutter, "I’m sorry," and put Kermit on a pedestal.
Me, I’ll stick with the old guys on horseback.

Yeah, me too. Someone at the MOC and the Smithsonian needs to grow some vertebral column. I suppose, as an alternative, they could always borrow some from Kermit.

But there's much more to NSTCW than Steve Sylvia's masterful opining each issue. There's well-written, well-researched articles about personalities, equipment, battles, discoveries,  and, of course, relic hunts. The most recent issue (Vol. 36, No. 3) included articles on Confederate shotgun bayonets, the discovery of a Pennsylvania cavalry camp as well as a fascinating story about Harvey's Scouts - the story of 8 Confederate scouts and their capture of 52 federals, along with their horses and equipment. Often, the articles will center around a particular relic or article of history related to the Civil War. But the articles frequently go deeper than examining the item; often discussing it's discovery, the soldier and/or unit connected to the artifact, their experiences during the war, as well as after. Following the thread of events from the time of the conflict to the present is always a fascinating journey through time. The most recent issue also included a piece by an acquaintance of mine and a frequent contributor, Quindy Robertson. Quindy discusses a surprise attack by John Hunt Morgan and some relics he's uncovered related to that event.

Another recent issue, (Vol. 35, No. 2), featured articles on Civil War photography, "snake" buckles, and a "Mystery Crate" from a Civil War arsenal - all fascinating reads.

Each issue is a collector level publication. By that I'm referring to not only the quality of the articles, but also the actual physical attributes of the magazine. The covers are made of heavy stock and always include beautiful images and photography. Even the ads are exquisite to look at. The inside pages are also made of heavier stock than you'll find in most other history related publications. These magazines are heirloom quality and intended to be kept and collected - a welcome and refreshing rarity in today's mass-produced, throw-it-away society - which is what I usually did with most of the "other" CW magazines I used to subscribe to. 

Bottom line: NSTCW is a publication for adults who prefer to get their preaching in church, without a subscription fee. I would highly recommend it to readers of this blog. Visit their website and subscribe here. You can read Mr. Sylvia's complete opinion piece here.

Civil War Magazines - What I Like - Part Two . . . coming up soon . . . 

Limbaugh Makes History

"Just before 1:00 p.m. the mad scramble in the halls of the state capitol began, barriers started going up and additional Capitol police and the Highway Patrol started drifting in. The word leaked out that today was the day for Limbaugh to take his place in Missouri history . . . As a member of the Hall of Famous Missourians, Limbaugh will have a bronze bust displayed in the Capitol alongside the likes of President Harry Truman, Mark Twain, Walt Disney, George Washington Carver and Stan Musial."

Story here.

12 May 2012

Guest Post - White Slavery In The Ante-Bellum South

White Slavery in the ante-Bellum South and Civil War Era: A Little Known Phenomenon by Daniel N. Rolph, Ph.D.

When one researches primary source material for the 19th-century American South, occasionally one finds enigmatic references to ‘white slaves,’ or individuals who were in reality Caucasians, but were sold or held in bondage, by crooked masters or slave-dealers, for a variety of reasons. A number of publications exist on the subject today, but one wonders exactly how many whites were in reality enslaved, since cases or accounts of such incidents are numerically significant.

For example, the abolitionist newspaper, the National Anti-Slavery Standard, published in New York City, for March 9, 1861, printed an incident of a slave being sent back to Tippah County, Mississippi, from Illinois, who according to the Cairo (IL) Gazette, “claimed he was actually white, and had every appearance of being so.” The individual’s name, was Henry Lee, alias Henry Jones, the property of a Mr. W.C. Faulkner.  The above article declares:

“Mr. Lee…thinks he is a white man, and if the matter were to be determined wholly by color and appearance, some folks might join him in the conclusion. He says that his parents were white, that they dying, when he was very young, left him in the charge of a slaveholder in Alabama, who raised him in slavery, and taught him to believe that he was a mulatto. He further claims that his name was changed so that his relatives might never seek to reclaim him from bondage.”

Such assertions as above may seem to be distortions of the truth, but it was the case in some Southern states, that children who were products of Black fathers, but White mothers, often obtained their freedom once they reached a certain age. Thus, many African-Americans attempted to ’pass as partial Whites,’ or went to court attesting that their mothers were White and not Black, when the issue became a source of contention between the person enslaved, and his or her master or mistress.

The Philadelphia (PA) Public Ledger, for December 27, 1860, reprinted an article from a Natchez, Mississippi newspaper, entitled, “Painting a White Girl to Make Her a Slave.”  It was stated how a man from Natchez was on a steamboat on its way to Greenville, Mississippi, when he noticed a young girl, “aged about nine or ten years,” with black hair and “yellowish brown skin.” He was told she belonged to a gentleman on board who was taking her to New Orleans to be sold for $160.00. Talking to the young girl alone, the inquisitive passenger was informed by the girl, how “she was an orphan, and had been taken from an asylum in New York,” and that her hair had been light originally, but her ‘master’ had a barber dye her hair black, and also put “some yellow dye on her skin.”
Soon after the above confession, the young girl was taken by the ship captain, who after using potash, soap and water, removed “the dyes…and the light hair and light complexion {were} brought to light.” The pretended “master was seized by the excited passengers,” who caused him to be locked up in a state room until the boat should land.  The young girl was eventually placed in an orphan asylum in New Orleans.

Interestingly, such cases of ‘white slavery’ in the Southern states was not limited only to the ‘ante-bellum’ or pre-Civil War period of history. During the ‘War Between the States,’ in 1863, a correspondent of the Cincinnati (Ohio) Gazette (reprinted in the Philadelphia Daily Evening Bulletin), related that within the 78th Ohio Infantry Regiment, was a man who was taken, “as a runaway slave,” into the Union lines in Tennessee. His features and skin color denoted “Anglo-Saxon” ancestry, while his eyes were also “blue, his lips thin, and his hair light.”  His former Tennessee master had admitted to Colonel Mortimer D. Leggett, “that there was not a drop of African blood in the veins of his slave,” and that he had purchased the man in Richmond, Kentucky years before, and that he’d been “sold into slavery, out of some charitable institution to which he had been committed as a vagrant.”
The Lebanon (PA) Courier, for April 9, 1863, contains a remarkable tale of a white man held as a slave. The account states how a planter’s daughter in Mississippi was seduced, and to “hide her shame” after she became pregnant, her female child was given to a slave woman, along with a certain amount of money, in order to “bring her up as her own.” The child eventually became the “mistress of the planter’s son, who succeeded to the estate. She had by him five children, and among them the man…Charles Grayson. This was in Calhoun County, Mississippi, three miles from Paris.”

Eventually Charles was sold to William Steen, and soon after he learned of his true parentage. Running away, he was “captured and treated with harshness. He was made to do more work than any slave.–The object was to break him down. He proved to be strong and able to bear all the burdens put upon him.”

On December 17, 1862, the Third Michigan Cavalry came into the area, and Grayson procured a horse and rode into their encampment. There he was employed as a cook for one of the non-commissioned officers, Theodore Reese, of Company ‘F.’ He wished to move North, and was thus aided by Lt. Col. G. Rogers as well as citizens of Jackson, Tennessee, who assisted Grayson in carrying out his plan. Not long after he took up residence in Cass County, Michigan, where by 1870 he was working as a farm laborer for a Peter Scofield and his family of Cass County.

Charles Grayson was a ‘slave’ for seventeen of his twenty-three years, but his “straight, light hair, fair blue eyes, a sandy beard,” revealed that he was indeed a Caucasian and not of Black ancestry.

The above accounts are only a few scattered renditions of one little known aspect of the institution of slavery within the Southern States prior to and during the American Civil War. Such incidents reveal that ‘slavery’ is a much more complex issue than anyone has imagined, affecting individuals, both White and Black in a very diverse manner.
Such accounts, like so many other topics included within this blog, may be found here, within the collections at The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Rolph is a Historian for The Historical Society of Pennsylvania and is also a Senior Lecturer in History at Montgomery County Community College.   He also served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Liberal Arts & Applied Sciences at the former Hahnemann University (also Allegheny University) for thirteen years and he lectured for eight years at Gwynedd Mercy College. Visit his blog here.

11 May 2012

Another Academic Lies About History

Her OWN history! I'm talking about Massachusetts senatorial candidate (and big lefty), Elizabeth Warren:

Image from Gateway Pundit

For over a quarter of a century, Elizabeth Warren has described herself as a Native American. When recently asked to provide evidence of her ancestry, she pointed to an unsubstantiated claim on an 1894 Oklahoma Territory marriage license application by her great-great grand uncle William J. Crawford that his mother, O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford, Ms. Warren's great-great-great grandmother, was a Cherokee.
Math is not my strong suit, but I think that would make her 1/32 Cherokee. (Big whoop. I'm related to Adam and Eve.) But not so fast Kimosabe. Seems like Ms. Warren speak with forked tongue:

. . . no evidence supports this claim. O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford had no Cherokee heritage, was listed as "white" in the Census of 1860, and was most likely half Swedish and half English, Scottish, or German, or some combination thereof . . . But the most stunning discovery about the life of O.C. Sarah Smith Crawford is that her husband, Ms. Warren's great-great-great grandfather, was apparently a member of the Tennessee Militia who rounded up Cherokees from their family homes in the Southeastern United States and herded them into government-built stockades in what was then called Ross’s Landing (now Chattanooga), Tennessee—the point of origin for the horrific Trail of Tears, which began in January, 1837.

And she was a law professor at Harvard. Aren't those people supposed to be the smart ones? So, this genius law professor - from Haawvad - attempted to play the "victim" card and pretend she had Indian ancestry while all along she's actually descended from those who robbed and abused Indians - while working for "big government." Wait a minute, it makes sense now - she also wants to work for big government and abuse folks! Must be in her genes.

As I find myself saying more and more lately, you can't make this stuff up. Will Rogers was right: "There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you."

Story here.

Harvard repeated the lie. But don't worry, you can trust academia.

Sometimes Paranoia Is Based In Reality

10 May 2012

Upcoming Post - Civil War Magazines - What I Like (And Don't)

"Archaeology is the search for fact. Not truth. If it's truth you're interested in, Doctor Tyree's Philosophy class is right down the hall." ~ Indiana Jones

When I subscribe to magazines which focus on Civil War history, I really don't want to read "preachy" styled articles emphasizing a morality play regarding the Civil War: "North good, South bad" and "get your mind right you nasty neo-Confederate", blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Most of these faddish pieces are more about the author and who he/she is trying to impress (or perhaps rid themselves of their own peer-induced guilt), than they are about anything else. When I read some of these articles and magazines, I often feel like I'm being lectured to by a Sunday school teacher - and a very misinformed one at that. Quite frankly, I'm sick of it and I'm voting with my wallet. 

Case(s) in point . . .  

This will be uploaded as a 2 part post. Stay tuned.

Part Of The New Media

"This is an amazing time. A communication revolution is taking place and The Truth is winning out as the liars stare into the abyss of irrelevance and bankruptcy."

The same thing is happening in education as homeschooling continues to explode and academia prices itself out of the marketplace. Long distance learning is the wave of the future that's already arrived. Why waste time and money funding a bunch of anti-American leftists when you can learn, in most cases, just as much or more from your PC?

Both the media and education revolution are also being driven, at least in part, by ideology. Just as many Americans are sick of the state controlled media mouthpieces like CNN, WAPO, NYT, CBS, NBC, ABC, etc, etc., they are also concerned over the leftist ideology which seems to be growing on university campuses. Nothing like paying over $100,000 to have your child indoctrinated and taught to reject many of the values you've strived to teach them. If parents aren't saddled with the debt, the graduate spends years paying off loans and entering a jobless economy created by the "experts" who indoctrinated them. What a deal! If higher ed doesn't soon get their act together, they too may be staring "into the abyss of irrelevance and bankruptcy."

The blogosphere is also part of this revolution as more and more folks go online to get their news and information. This includes information on culture, history, and politics. Truly an amazing time to be alive.

More on the strength of the new media here

09 May 2012

The Confederacy Outflanks Again

Where freedom reigns, commerce can flourish . . .

Below is a ranking for the Best/Worst states for business for 2012. Note that 8 of the top 10 hail from the old Confederacy. Note that 8 of the worst 10 hail from Yankee land. As I've pointed out before, though the South lost the WBTS, it continues to overwhelm Northern states culturally. As is apparent from the chart below, the South also overwhelms the North commercially. This is due, in large measure, to what WBTS historian David Blight has called (both the old and the new South): "the greatest conservative resistance to federal authority in American history."

Note that California, which often serves as the womb for every whacky leftist idea and experiment in the United States, is dead last. Coincidence? Hardly. Utopian, Marxist ideas work in cubicles, classrooms, and faculty lounges, but not in the real world. Note that the vast majority of leading states are governed by, relatively speaking, conservative principles. Apparently, "resistance to federal authority" has its benefits. Conservatism, culturally and economically, still reigns in the South.

It's further worth noting that a number of leftists in Congress desire to impose - federal authority - union membership nationally (Card Check legislation), yet as the source article points out: "It may be no accident that most of the states in the top 20 are also right-to-work states."

Taken alone, this information might be classified as "anecdotal." But the specifics are simply "too" coincidental. The South fought, in part, for economic reasons. Evidently, in losing, they have somehow still managed to outflank the victors. Stonewall Jackson must be smiling.

(Thanks to Lindsay for sharing this with me.)

1 Texas 1 0
2 Florida 3 1
3 North Carolina 2 -1
4 Tennessee 4 0
5 Indiana 6 1

6 Virginia 7 1
7 South Carolina 8 1
8 Georgia 5 -3
9 Utah 9 0
10 Arizona 13 3

11 Colorado 12 1
12 Nevada 10 -2
13 Louisiana 27 14
14 Delaware 16 2
15 North Dakota 21 6

16 Wyoming 14 -2
17 Oklahoma 11 -6
18 Idaho 19 1
19 South Dakota 15 -4
20 Wisconsin 24 4

21 Alabama 26 5
22 Iowa 22 0
23 Kansas 25 2
24 Missouri 23 -1
25 Kentucky 17 -8

26 New Hampshire 18 -8
27 Nebraska 20 -7
28 Montana 28 0
29 Arkansas 30 1
30 Mississippi 38 8

31 Alaska 31 0
32 Maine 36 4
33 New Mexico 32 -1
34 West Virginia 42 8
35 Ohio 41 6

36 Minnesota 29 -7
37 Washington 34 -3
38 Vermont 40 2
39 Rhode Island 35 -4
40 Maryland 37 -3

41 Hawaii 43 2
42 Oregon 33 -9
43 Pennsylvania 39 -4
44 Connecticut 44 0
45 New Jersey 47 2

46 Michigan 46 0
47 Massachusetts 45 -2
48 Illinois 48 0
49 New York 49 0
50 California 50 0

Read the source article here.

Readers might also be interested in this post: The Last Bastion

08 May 2012

"Thanks To God Tor The Victory" - Stonewall Jackson

150 years ago today . . .

Reconnaissance at McDowell - The Valley Campaign
by Bradley Schmehl

GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to submit to you a report of the operations of my command in the battle of McDowell, Highland County, Virginia, on May 8:
        After the battle of Kernstown I retreated in the direction of Harrisonburg. My rear guard– compromising Ashby’s cavalry, Captain Chew’s battery, and from time to time other forces– was placed under the direction of Col. Turner Ashby, an officer whose judgment, coolness, and courage eminently qualified him for the delicate and important trust Although pursued by a greatly superior force, under General Banks, we were enabled to halt for more than a fortnight in the vicinity of Mount Jackson.
        After reaching Harrisonburg we turned toward the Blue Ridge, and on April 19 crossed the South Fork of the Shenandoah, and took position between that river and Swift Run Gap, in Elk Run Valley.
        General R. S. Ewell, having been directed to join my command, left the vicinity of Gordonsville, and on the 30th arrived with his division west of the Blue Ridge.
        The main body of General Banks’ pursuing army did not proceed farther south than the vicinity of Harrisonburg; but a considerable force, under the command of General Milroy, was moving toward Staunton from the direction of Monterey, and, as I satisfactorily learned, part of it had already crossed to the east of the Shenandoah Mountain, and was encamped not far from the Harrisonburg and Warm Springs turnpike. The positions of these two Federal armies were now such that if left unmolested they could readily form a junction on the road just named and move with their united forces against Staunton.
        At this time Brig. Gen. Edward Johnson, with his troops, was near Buffalo Gap, west of Staunton, so that, if the enemy was allowed to effect a junction, it would probably be followed not only by the seizure of a point so important as Staunton, but must compel General Johnson to abandon his position, and he might succeed in getting between us. To avoid these results I determined, if practicable, after strengthening my own division by a union with Johnson’s, first to strike at Milroy and then to concentrate the forces of Ewell and Johnson with my own against Banks.
        To carry out my design against Milroy General Ewell was directed to march his division to the position which I then occupied, in the Elk Run Valley, with a view to holding Banks in check, while I pushed on with my division to Staunton. These movements were made.
        At Staunton I found, according to previous arrangements, Major-General Smith, of the Virginia Military Institute, with the corps of cadets, ready to cooperate in the defense of that portion of the valley.
        On the morning of May 7 General Johnson, whose familiarity with that mountain region and whose high qualities as a soldier admirably fitted him for the advance, moved with his command in the direction of the enemy, followed by the brigades of General Taliaferro, Colonel Campbell, and General Winder, in the order named.
        Encountering the enemy’s advance near the point where the Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike intersects the Harrisonburg and Warm Springs turnpike, General Johnson pressed forward. The Federals rapidly retreated, abandoning their baggage at Rodgers’ and other points east of the Shenandoah Mountain. After the advance had reached the western base of the Shenandoah Mountain the troops bivouacked for the night.
        On the following morning the march was resumed, General Johnson’s brigade still in front. The head of the column was halted near the top of Bull Pasture Mountain, and General Johnson, accompanied by a party of 30 men and several officers, with a view to a reconnaissance of the enemy’s position, ascended Setlington’s Hill, an isolated spur of the Bull Pasture Mountain on the left of the turnpike, and commanding a full view of the village of McDowell. From this point the position, and to some extent the strength, of the enemy could be seen. In the valley in which McDowell is located was observed a considerable force of infantry. To the right, on a height, were two regiments, but too distant for an effective fire to that point. Almost a mile in front was a battery supported by infantry.
        The enemy, observing a reconnoitering party, sent out a small body of skirmishers, which was promptly met by the men with General Johnson and driven back.
        For the purpose of securing the hill, all of General Johnson’s regiments were sent to him. The Fifty-second Virginia Regiment, being the first to reach the ground, was posted on the left as skirmishers, and it was not long before they were engaged in a brisk encounter with the enemy’s skirmishers, whom they handsomely repulsed. Soon after this three other regiments arrived, and were posted as follows: The Twelfth Georgia on the crest of the hill, and forming the center of our line; the Fifty-eighth Virginia on the left, to support the Fifty-second, and the Forty-fourth Virginia on the right near a ravine.
        Milky having during the day been re-enforced by General Schenck, determined to carry the hill, if possible, by a direct attack. Advancing in force along its western slope, protected in his advance by the character of the ground and the wood interposed in our front and driving our skirmishers before him, he emerged from the woods and poured a galling fire into our right, which was returned, and a brisk and animated contest was kept up for some time, when the two remaining regiments of Johnson’s brigade (the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-first) coming up, they were posted to the right. The fire was now rapid and well sustained on both sides and the conflict fierce and sanguinary.
        In ascending to the crest of the hill from the turnpike the troops had to pass to the left through the woods by a narrow and rough route. To prevent the possibility of the enemy’s advancing along the turnpike and seizing the point where the troops left the road to ascend the hill. The Thirty-first Virginia Regiment was posted between that point and the town, and when ordered to join its brigade in action its place was supplied by the Twenty-first Virginia Regiment. The engagement had now not only become general along the entire line, but so intense, that I ordered General Taliaferro to the support of General Johnson. Accordingly, the Twenty-third and Thirty-seventh Virginia Regiments were advanced to the center of the line, which was then held by the Twelfth Georgia with heroic gallantry, and the Tenth Virginia was ordered to support the Fifty-second Virginia, which had already driven the enemy from the left and had now advanced to make a flank movement on him.
        At this time the Federals were pressing forward in strong force on our extreme right, with a view of flanking that position. This movement of the enemy was speedily detected and met by General Taliaferro’s brigade and the Twelfth Georgia with great promptitude. Further to check it, portions of the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-first Virginia Regiments were sent to occupy an elevated piece of woodland on our right and rear, so situated as to fully command the position of the enemy. The brigade commanded by Colonel Campbell coming up about this time was, together with the Tenth Virginia, ordered down the ridge into the woods to guard against movements against our right flank, which they, in connection with the other force, effectually prevented.
        The battle lasted about four hours-from 4.30 in the afternoon until 8.30. Every attempt by front or flank movement to attain the crest of the hill, where our line was formed, was signally and effectually repulsed. Finally, after dark, their force ceased firing, and the enemy retired.
        The enemy’s artillery, posted on a hill in our front, was active in throwing shot and shell up to the period when the infantry fight commenced, but in consequence of the great angle of elevation at which they fired, and our sheltered position, they inflicted no loss upon our troops. Our own artillery was not brought up, there being no road to the rear by which our guns could be withdrawn in event of disaster, and the prospect of successfully using them did not compensate for the risk.
        General Johnson, to whom I had entrusted the management of the troops engaged, proved himself eminently worthy of the confidence reposed in him by the skill, gallantry, and presence of mind which he displayed on the occasion. Having received a wound near the close of the engagement which compelled him to leave the field, he turned over the command to General Taliaferro.
        During the night the Federals made a hurried retreat towards Franklin, in Pendleton County, leaving their dead upon the field. Before doing so, however, they succeeded in destroying most of their ammunition, camp equipage, and commissary stores, which they could not remove.
        Official reports show a loss in this action of 71 killed and 390 wounded, making a total loss of 461.
        Among the killed was Colonel Gibbons, of the Tenth Virginia Regiment. Colonel Harman, of the Fifty-second, Col. George H. Smith and Maj. John C. Higginbotham, of the Twenty-fifth, and Major Campbell, of the Forty-eighth Virginia, were among the wounded.
        To prevent Banks from re-enforcing Milroy, Mr. J. Hotchkiss, who was on topographical duty with the army, proceeded with a party to blockade the roads through North River and Dry River Gaps, while a detachment of cavalry obstructed the road through Brock’s Gap.
        As the Federals continued to fight until night and retreated before morning, but few of their number were captured. Besides quartermaster  and commissary stores, some arms and other ordnance stores fell into our hands.
        Dr. Hunter McGuire, my medical director, managed his department admirably.
        Lieut. Hugh H. Lee, chief of ordnance, rendered valuable assistance in seeing my instructions respecting the manner in which the troops should go into action faithfully carried out. I regret to say that during the action he was so seriously wounded as to render it necessary for him to leave the field.
        First Lieut. A. S. Pendleton, aide-de camp; First Lieut. J. K. Boswell, chief engineer, and Second Lieut. R. K. Meade, assistant chief of ordnance, were actively engaged in transmitting orders.
        Previous to the battle the enemy had such complete control of the pass through which our artillery would have to pass, if it continued to advance on the direct road to McDowell, that I determined to postpone the attack until the morning of the 9th. Owing to the action having been brought on by Milroy’s advancing to the attack on the 8th, Maj. R. L. Dabney, assistant adjutant-general, was not with me during the engagement.
        Maj. J. A. Harman, chief quartermaster, and Maj. W. J. Hawks, chief commissary, had their departments in good condition.
        Leaving Lieut. Col. J. T. L. Preston, with a detachment of cadets and a small body of cavalry, in charge of the prisoners and public property, the main body of the army, preceded by Capt. George Sheetz, with his cavalry, pursued the retreating Federals to the vicinity of Franklin, but succeeded in capturing only a few prisoners and stores along the line of march.
        The junction between Banks and Milroy having been prevented, and becoming satisfied of the impracticability of capturing the defeated enemy, owing to the mountainous character of the country being favorable for a retreating army to make its escape, I determined, as the enemy had made another stand at Franklin, with a prospect of being soon re-enforced, that I would not attempt to press farther, but return to the open country of the Shenandoah Valley, hoping, through the blessing of Providence, to defeat Banks before he should receive re-enforcements.
        On Thursday, the 15th, the army, after divine service, for the purpose of rendering thanks to God for the victory with which He had blessed us and to implore His continued favor, began to retrace its course.
        Great praise is due the officers and men for their conduct in action and on the march.
        Though Colonel Crutchfield, chief of artillery, did not have an opportunity of bringing his command into action on the 8th, it was used with effect on several occasions during the expedition.
        My special thanks are due Maj. Gen. F. H. Smith for his conduct and patriotic co-operation during the expedition.
        Col. T. H. Williamson, of the Engineers, rendered valuable service. For further information respecting the engagement and those who distinguished themselves I respectfully refer you to the accompanying reports of brigade and other commanders.
 I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
        T. J. JACKSON,