30 May 2013

Schools Of Subversion: How Public Education Lays The Foundation For University

Subverting patriotism and "what Americans need to know to be a self-governing people rather than merely subjects or clients or clogs of an ever-growing encompassing state." 

For the non-believers out there . . . 
It has become common knowledge [unless you're a member of the flat-earth society] that universities are bastions of political correctness, but that waterfall is spilling down through public education institutions all the way to the elementary level. Even a cursory look at headlines reveals that innocent children are being subjected to an all too often vicious form of political indoctrination designed to create a liberal mindset as early as possible.
From elevating Che Guevara to hero status, to demonizing the Three Little Pigs, the institutional left is fundamentally transforming American culture by exploiting the minds of children - and many history and academic bloggers seem to be in the dark about this or, much more likely, they're simply complicit.

28 May 2013

Removing The Ancient Landmark

"Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set." ~ Proverbs 22:28

While that particular verse has a very practical application - being honest and not changing property boundaries - it also has a "spiritual" application as well: that of remembrance. With some of the recent discussion about renaming military bases named after Confederate officers, I thought this article was both timely and troubling:

Around the country, war memorials are fallling apart while funds that could be used to repair them are spent on more contemporary and "meaningful" matters.

For example, according to Newsmax, in Greensboro, NC, where the decades-old memorial to soldiers of WWI is crumbling, University of North Carolina-Greensboro professor David Wharton fears the funds needed to repair the structure will be hard to secure. He thinks that because "the war was a long time ago," the memorial isn't "meaningful for most people" anymore. It seems Wharton's concern is well-founded. In Honolulu, Hawaii, officials are thinking about bulldozing a faltering WWI memorial in order to replace it with a beach.
This begs the question: Why aren't these memorials "meaningful for most people"? Could it be because, for "most people", days like Memorial Day and Independence Day have been turned into little more than opportunities for self-indulgence, partying, and vacations? Could part of the blame be assigned to the ruling class elites who, for the most part, depsise our foundings and who use these "days of remembrance" as convenient and annual opportunities for American Exceptionalism bashing and for narcissistic morality plays about previous generations?

This points to a moral failing - not of past generations as some in academia like to focus on  - but to OUR generation; a moral failing to instill in "most people" respect, honor, and admiration for those who have gone before us and sacrificed so that we could enjoy better lives.

In addition to the reasons noted above, could we as a nation, after more than a decade on a "war-footing", be growing weary of all the memorials and honoring of veterans? Fellow blogger Robert Moore sent me an email earlier today alerting me to the fact that our local public schools here in Augusta County, Virginia were in session yesterday to make up for snow days. What kind of message is that sending to students? 

Yesterday I, along with members of my family - children, grandchildren, and sons-in-law - visited the graves of some of our own fathers and grandfathers. There we placed flags, thought in silence, and shared memories of what these men had done and their sacrifices. We do this every year at Memorial Day and, sometimes, Veteran's Day. Sure, we enjoy hot dogs and cookouts as well, but we want those days to mean so much more. Sadly, I think our nation is slowly letting some of these memories slip away. This does not speak well of us.

Note: The photo shown here was taken by historian Robert Moore. This monument sits in Riverview Cemetery (Waynesboro, VA) and overlooks part of the area on which the Battle of Waynesboro occurred in March of 1865. I have ancestors buried in Riverview and spent many happy childhood days exploring that whole area.

27 May 2013

May God Bless Our Nation's Oldest Veteran

Our Nation's oldest veteran - a Texan - celebrates his 107th Memorial Day. God Bless him.

Overton credits his longevity to aspirin, which he takes daily, and the relatively stress-free life he’s enjoyed since getting out of the service in October 1945. He then worked at local furniture stores before taking a position with the Texas Treasury Department in Austin. He married twice but never fathered any children and still attends church every Sunday.
Story here.

25 May 2013

Memorial Day & Confederate Loathing

Robert Krick was so right. The latest example comes from a contributor at the New York Times who wants to rename all the U.S. military bases named after Confederate officers.

In the end, I suspect this is much more about the writer wanting to get out in front on the next cause célèbre and get noticed than it is anything else. What a way to celebrate Memorial Day.

Of course, using the writer's logic, we'll need to change the name of things named after President Lincoln, since he was guilty of many racist attitudes and comments. And let's not forget things named after the various military leaders who slaughtered American Indians - they will need to purge those as well. And, of course, everything named after FDR needs to be looked at since he interned American citizens because of their race and nationality. And I recently read that JFK apparently had a man-crush on Adolf Hitler, so anything named after ol' Jack has gotta go as well.

And then there's the issue with all those buildings and monuments all over America named after the Founding Fathers - many who were slaveholders. Ready the sandblasters. 

But it's really not about that. It's really politics and about loathing the Confederacy which, as David Blight has written explains the real motivation behind much of this:

the Confederacy is to this day the greatest conservative resistance to federal authority in American history

Happy Memorial Day - unless, of course, you're a Southerner with Confederate ancestors.

24 May 2013

My Grandfather's Webley & Scott's No.1 Mk 1 Flare Pistol

Wikipedia describes the Webley & Scott Mk series flare pistol:
Webley & Scott produced a number of single-shot, break open signal flare gun devices used by Commonwealth Military Forces during the First and Second World Wars. Perhaps the most prolific of these was the No.1 MkIII, produced in 1918 at the company's Birmingham facility. A variant, differing only in its use of black plastic grip panels instead of the earlier wood, was produced by Colonial Sugar Refinery in Sydney, Australia in 1942. The pistols can often be seen in films, notably Lawrence of Arabia, where the title character discharges one to signal the beginning of an attack on a disabled enemy train, and The Empire Strikes Back where bounty hunter Boba Fett is seen carrying one as a rifle.
The first image is of one of these guns on display at the National Firearms Museum:

These next three images are of one of these guns that I inherited from my grandfather. This one was manufactured in 1916 (MkI). I'd like to find some flares that would fit it and fire a few rounds on July 4th. Would I attract unwanted attention? ☺

Take note - I don't know the back story as my grandfather served in WWII and this gun is WWI vintage. I suppose it still may have been in use and issued to him during WWII, but I don't know that. It might also have belonged to his father. If you have parents and grandparents alive now, find out your family history before they're gone when much of that history goes to the grave with them.

The Crazy Horse Monument

Brought to you by an American shoe company - Red Wing - a classic example Americana and American Exceptionalism . . .

23 May 2013

A Non-Traditional Route To A College Degree

Bypass the unnecessary fluff, expense, and nonsense promoted by much of academia. This enterprise was started by a homeschooled student . . .

21 May 2013

Choose American

The job you save could be your own . . .

Is College Worth It?

From Amazon on Bill Bennett's latest book:

For many students, a bachelor's degree is considered the golden ticket to a more financially and intellectually fulfilling life. But the disturbing reality is that debt, unemployment, and politically charged pseudo learning are more likely outcomes for many college students today than full-time employment and time-honored knowledge.

 This raises the question: is college still worth it? [Emphasis mine.]
Well one thing we can be sure of, as HNN tells us, it's certainly worth it to college administrators:

According to recent surveys by the Chronicle of Higher Education, thirty-five private university presidents and four public university presidents topped $1 million in total earnings during the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

HNN tells us more. Poor students.

20 May 2013

My Jackson Book Reads Like A College Term Paper

The latest Amazon review on Stonewall Jackson - The Black Man's Friend:
Reads much like a college term paper. Well documented but some of the author's conclusions are suspect in my opinion. I enjoyed the subject and am happy that someone has attempted to explore it. General Jackson was truly an enigma and remarkable man in a very positive way.
Fair enough. I'll take it.

In regards to the reviewers comment that he is ". . . happy that someone has attempted to explore it . . . [Jackson's relationship to African-Americans and his black Sunday school class]", the topic has been explored before, just not in great detail. Interestingly enough, during the four years I spent researching the book, I was given unfettered access to all the related files at the Stonewall Jackson House. In one of those files was a pamphlet which dated, if I recall correctly, to the 1970's and which mentioned this topic. And I believe there was a note attached about the possibility of someone writing a complete booklet or book about the subject. Evidently, that never happened and my book is the first and, as far as I know, only book on this topic in print.

19 May 2013

A Great-Grandson Of Slaves Is The Republican Lt. Governor Candidate For Virginia

EW Jackson served in the United States Marine Corps, graduated from Harvard Law School and studied at Harvard Divinity School.

He practiced law for 15 years in Boston, and later devoted his full time to ministry. His first book, “Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life” was published in 2008. His second book, “America the Beautiful – Reflections of a Patriot Descended from Slaves” is scheduled for release later this year.
This will be an interesting campaign .  .  .

18 May 2013

Southern Drawls & Dialect

I've been wanting to post something on this topic for some time. Today, I came across a piece in the Los Angelas Times which was about Southern drawls in film:
Accents, and specifically Southern ones, are an art form, yet sorely overlooked. Alabama is different from Georgia; North Florida distinct from South.
Virginia has a number of different dialects within its borders. A college my youngest daughter attended in Florida a few years ago actually had a class students could take in which they could "unlearn" their Southern dialect. Regular readers here can probably imagine the conversation I had with a school official over that. Suffice it to say my daughter did not take that class.

Here's one example demonstrating one strain of accent in Southern Appalachia:

Do I talk like this? In some aspects, yes. Oddly enough, more so as I get older. My wife's dialect is even more pronounced. (I love it, by the way.) My children's dialect was actually more pronounced when they were younger. I attribute that to the impact of modern media, but I'm working on the next generation. My grandchildren are forbidden to use the term "gize" (guys) in my home and must use "y'all" frequently. I reward them for it.☺ Though recent "come heres" - along with mass media - have had an impact on "softening" Southern accents in many regions, it still thrives in certain areas of the South, including the area of the Shenandoah Valley in which I reside. Thank God for that.

Beyond the dialect, our family uses many of these old terms and phrases as well i.e., "yonder", "fetch" and "y'all." Below is a video I may have posted before but it illustrates the very unique dialect (influenced by Elizabethan English) of the inhabitants of Tangier Island, Virginia:

Below is yet another dialect that was heavily influenced by Elizabethan English and is unique to the "Gullah." As Wikipedia notes:
The Gullah are the descendants of slaves who live in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina and Georgia, which includes both the coastal plain and the Sea Islands.

I find all these different Southern dialects - and the history behind them - quite fascinating and something which contributes to the richness of Southern culture. I hope to post more on this topic at some point in the future.

15 May 2013

New Projects Update

I've been invited to be a contributor to a museum's website here in Virginia. The site focuses on the local history of  its respective area and is still in the development stage, though I've seen a preview and it is quite stunning in its layout. It will focus on all aspects of local history - from the Colonial era up to the present. I'm also finishing up another piece for a WBTS related site that should be available very soon. 

Also, work on the Battle of Waynesboro book has intensified as I've come across a treasure trove of information about the battle as a result of my research. During that process, I also stumbled across some interesting family history. This will likely work its way into the book. The book is on schedule to be released late in 2013 or early 2014 and will be published by the History Press.

14 May 2013

Are Professional Educators & Historians Liars Or Ignorant?

Yes, that is a serious question. If you will stroll through some of the posts on this blog about political propaganda in American classrooms, you will read a number of comments from educators and historians who deny that teachers in the classroom have, and are, politicizing education and are steering their students toward a particular worldview.

With all the revelations in recent years, I've come to the conclusion that these individuals have to be either liars or ignorant - there's absolutely no other conclusion to which one can come. Our educational system is doing much more than "educating" - it has become a political tool for radical leftist ideology. The latest chapter in this whole story is Common Core State Standards. "Bat s**t craxy" Glenn Beck has been at the forefront of exposing this latest revelation and, once again, as the facts come out, he's being proven right. A recent article at the "Bat s**t crazy" American Thinker reveals that Common Core is certainly in sync with the ideology promoted by many history bloggers, "professional" historians, and other "professionals" in academia:

The idea of a core curriculum is appealing to conservatives, who imagine replacing the current multicultural smorgasbord with a great books course that communicates the adventure and drama of human experience. In the hands of education bureaucrats, however, this junior high school literature curriculum is a biased collection, selected for the most part to indict America for its sins . . .

America's children should certainly learn about our shameful history of racism, but it is so overdone by our educational establishment that my kids roll their eyes when they're forced to sit through another racism assembly or read another slave narrative.

Leftists like Alinsky and Gramsci preached that the progressive revolution can be achieved by a "long march through the institutions." Taking control of the school curriculum of unformed minds is the most effective way to build the next generation of progressives.
Recently Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill to "pause" implementation of Common Core while they "take a long, hard look" at the standards. Let's hope other states follow suit.

These professionals continue to - day by day, blog post by blog post, book by book, speech by speech, snarky comment by snarky comment - ruin their credibility.

One of the things that is so ironic about this information (as well as other recent stunning news about the ruling class), is that it is becoming more and more obvious that the "experts" are getting so much wrong. Homeschoolers have been aware of this dangerous trend in education for over 30 years, yet they have endured constant criticisms and mocking from these same "experts." The "Bat s**t crazy" homeschooling movement was light years ahead of the curve and are on the cutting edge of improving education options in America - despite opposition from professional educators. It's fascinating time to be alive and watch the deck of cards collapse.

Learn Real History

Instead of Progressive propaganda . . .

Metal Detecting Post #104 - Metal Detectors To The Rescue

Less than two months after British forces captured Savannah in December 1778, patriot militiamen scored a rare Revolutionary War victory in Georgia after a short but violent gunbattle forced British loyalists to abandon a small fort built on a frontiersman's cattle farm. More than 234 years later, archaeologists say they've pinpointed the location of Carr's Fort in northeastern Georgia after a search with metal detectors covering more than 4 square miles turned up musket balls and rifle parts as well as horse shoes and old frying pans.

Story here.

12 May 2013

Propaganda Profiting On The Backs Of The Poor

Hypocritical ruling class elites:

Salaries of presidents of U.S. public universities rose almost 5 percent in the last fiscal year, even as tuition rose and student debt soared, with the median pay package topping $400,000, according to a report released on Sunday. (Story here.)
And . . . 

A new report finds hundreds of schools are charging low-income students obscene prices, even while lavishing tuition discounts on their wealthier classmates. (Story here.)

Sounds like the Occupy Wall Street folks should occupy academia. Wouldn't you just love to see 1960's style sit-ins and protests at some of these schools that are populated by Marxists and that denigrate American Exceptionalism at every opportunity? Protests that "speak truth to power" against overpaid academics? I wonder if the profs and administrators would chime in with "down with capitalism" then?

11 May 2013

First Amazon Review Of Lexington, Virginia & The Civil War

Here's a few excerpts . . . 

Author Richard G. Williams, Jr. provides a front row seat to anyone interested in learning about the most historic town in the Shenandoah Valley. 

Another interesting aspect of the book was Mr. Williams discussion of what motivated Robert E. Lee to cast his lot with the Confederacy and decline Lincoln's offer to command the Union forces. It was Lee's sense of duty and honor, his love for and loyalty to his family and native land of Virginia, where he had roots as far back as 1640, at a time when the United States itself was only 80 years old, that shaped his decision to fight for the Confederacy.

Richard G. Williams, Jr.'s book on Lexington was a real enjoyable read which I would take with me on any getaway to the historic Shenandoah Valley. 
Buy the book at Amazon here.

The Museum Of The Confederacy's Take On Stonewall Jackson's Death

This MOC Youtube video is quite good. It's refreshing to hear John Coski speak matter-of-factly about Jackson's Christian virtues and hero status.
Stonewall Jackson was not only a military hero, he was a Christian hero. A man who exemplified Christian virtues. ~ John Coski
Maybe there's hope yet.

Hat tip to David Corbett for passing this along. Hey Dave, where's my theme song?

Note to readers - I recommend you take the time to read Robert Moore's post on Stonewall Jackson here.  

10 May 2013

Stonewall Jackson Died 150 Years Ago Today

*Update:  Stonewall's death made the Drudge Report today which linked to this article about the cause of death. And, in that piece, Jackson's eminent biographer, Professor James I. Robertson, Jr. is quoted as making some interesting comments:
"Unfortunately, medicine in the mid-19th century was still in the dark ages," he said. "Obviously, I'm not overly concerned with how he died. I'm terribly concerned that he died."
Jackson was a pivotal figure and perhaps the most esteemed soldier in the war, Robertson said. He was known for secrecy and speed to execute surprise flank attacks for Gen. Robert E. Lee's strategy.

"He was killed in what may be the high-water mark of the Confederacy," Robertson said. "You can make a case that after Chancellorsville, it's just a question of time for Lee."

I'll bet the hand-wringing and criticisms will commence shortly.

End of update.

The following narrative is to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of Confederate General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson which occurred on the 10th of May, 1863. The post is adapted from my book, Stonewall Jackson ~ The Black Man's Friend. The original footnotes have been omitted.

Currier & Ives
Stonewall Jackson was shot by one of his own men at about 9:00 p.m. on the evening of May 2, 1863 at the Battle of Chancellorsville. After Jackson’s accidental wounding, his body servant and friend, Jim Lewis was one of his constant companions and comforters as he faced his final enemy. By 2:00 a.m., May 3, Jackson was in the capable hands of Dr. Hunter McGuire. Just twenty-seven years old at the time, McGuire was one of the most talented and respected surgeons in the Confederacy. Jackson and McGuire had become close personal friends in the two years they knew each other. Now, McGuire’s friend’s life was dependent on the young surgeon’s skills. 

After examining the wounds, McGuire determined that it would be impossible to save the left arm; amputation was the only option. He wrote of his conversation with Jackson: 

At 2 o’clock, Sunday morning, Surgeons Black, Walls and Coleman being present, I informed him that chloroform would be given him, and his wounds examined. I told him that amputation would probably be required, and asked if it was found necessary whether it should be done at once. He replied promptly: "Yes, certainly. Dr. McGuire, do for me whatever you think best."

Late that Sunday afternoon, it was determined that Jackson had to be moved from the temporary tent hospital to a safer location. Federal troops were close, and Jackson’s position was perilous. He would make the twenty-seven mile trip by ambulance to Guiney Station. Jim Lewis was given the important responsibility of following behind “with horses, headquarters supplies, and Jackson’s personal belongings.” Lewis would have witnessed the same heart-rending scenes as McGuire: “At Spotsylvania and along the whole route, men and women rushed to the ambulance, bringing all the food delicacies they had, and with tearful eyes blessed him & prayed for his recovery.” 

Upon arriving at the estate of Thomas Coleman Chandler at Guiney Station, corps chaplain Beverly Tucker Lacy requested that the wounded Jackson and his staff be permitted to use a small frame cottage that was normally used as an office. The Chandlers were more than happy to be of service. Jackson’s room was prepared, a fire was built in the fireplace, and Jackson was brought in and made as comfortable as possible. After having some bread and tea, he went to sleep immediately. McGuire promptly limited access to Jackson. The only ones allowed in the general’s room were himself, Joseph Graham Morrison, staff member James Power Smith, and Jim Lewis. 

Retiring for the evening, McGuire, Morrison, and Smith all rested in the upper room of the cottage. Lewis slept closest to Jackson, in the room next to the wounded general. McGuire knew he could trust Lewis to listen for any sound and watch for any movement coming from Jackson’s room. His recovery seemed promising through Wednesday. Although Jackson did not have much of an appetite, Lewis fetched an occasional glass of cold milk from the Chandler home for him. As James I. Robertson has written, things seemed to be going well. Jackson was in the good hands of those who loved him: “Vital signs looked good into Wednesday night. McGuire felt safe in leaving Jackson in the affectionate care of Jim Lewis. . . . Lewis sat quietly and watched Jackson fall asleep.” 

But Jackson’s condition suddenly worsened. His moaning awakened Lewis, and he and Lacy rushed to his bedside. Jackson, being a believer in water treatments, requested that a wet towel be applied to his left side where he was experiencing severe pain. Lewis soaked a towel in cold spring water and tenderly applied the cool, wet compresses to the general’s side. There was no relief, and the pain grew worse. Lewis was becoming worried and tried for some time to get Jackson’s permission to awaken McGuire. But Jackson knew that McGuire was exhausted and needed rest. He delayed waking his doctor as long as he could stand the pain. Finally, at daybreak, Jackson asked Lewis to fetch McGuire. 

McGuire was startled from a deep sleep by Lewis’ solemn words, “The General wants you.” Lewis watched apprehensively as McGuire examined his patient. McGuire’s eyes and furrowed brow betrayed his fears. McGuire had seen many men die. He had come to recognize the early warning signs immediately, instinctively. Jim knew the situation had grown more serious. His friend was fighting for his life. “The tall, young surgeon stood up and stared for a moment out the window. He was convinced that dreaded pneumonia had developed.”

(Some physicians have since examined the accounts of Hunter, Dabney, and Anna Jackson and have concluded that the cause of Jackson’s death was not pneumonia but more likely a serious secondary infection— sepsis. One study concludes, “The organism responsible for Jackson’s death was probably Group A Streptococcus.” See: "Let Us Cross over the River": The Final Illness of Stonewall Jackson By Rozear, Marvin P.; Greenfield, Joseph C., Jr. Academic journal article from The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 103, No. 1 )

Beverly Tucker Lacy was sent by McGuire to request the assistance of Jubal A. Early’s chief surgeon, Samuel B. Morrison. Before returning, Lacy paid a visit to Robert E. Lee, informing him of Jackson’s worsening condition. Lee told Lacy that he was convinced that God would spare Jackson “at such time when his country so much needed him.” Lee and Jackson were immeasurably close in their respect and admiration for each other, but Lee could not risk visiting his dear friend and comrade in arms for fear of losing control of his emotions. Douglas Southall Freeman noted that Lee “could not trust his emotions” if exposed to the sad sight of his critically ill friend. Lee did what he could—he prayed, as did the whole Confederacy.

Soon, Jackson's wife, Anna arrived along with daughter Julia and their slave Hetty. Upon seeing her beloved husband, she said, “He looked like a dying man.” By Thursday, Jackson was becoming delirious, intermittently shouting orders to imaginary subordinates. With Friday’s sunrise, Jackson seemed somewhat better, telling Anna, “I do not believe I shall die at this time.” Though a total of eight physicians attended him, Jackson’s faith was in God. He told his wife, “I am persuaded the Almighty has yet a work for me to perform.” The momentous struggle for life wore on: the fervent prayers of Southerners; the emotional weeping of those attending his bedside, the intense physiological battle being waged by Jackson’s body; and the combined talents of his doctors. McGuire noted, “All that human skill could devise was done to stay the hand of death.” But that hand was tightening its grip. 

Saturday, May 9, dawned with Jackson having endured a mostly sleepless night. Anna informed him that the doctors had told her he would not recover. Jackson, though his wife and his doctors discouraged him, insisted upon seeing Lacy. Jackson told the chaplain there should be a stricter observance of the Sabbath among his army. Lacy promised he would do all he could to honor the general’s request: “His last care and effort for the church of Christ being to secure the sanctification of the Lord’s Day.” Saturday night saw Jackson’s condition turn grave. Anna, along with her brother Joseph, spent the early part of the night singing some of Jackson’s favorite hymns and psalms.

By Sunday morning, Jackson’s body was racked with fever, and he was exhausted—the final condition before death. Through tears, Anna told him, “Before this day closes, you will be with the blessed Savior in His glory.” Jackson confirmed the news with his doctors and responded simply, “Very good, very good. It is all right.” Later, Jackson’s six month-old daughter, Julia, was brought in to see him, along with Hetty. Jackson called out: “Little darling! Sweet one!” Lovingly stroking her head, he then “closed his eyes as if in prayer.” After a few moments of sleep, Jackson awoke to see his young adjutant, Sandie Pendleton, standing by his bedside. The general wanted to know who was preaching at headquarters. After telling him that Lacy was doing the preaching, the boyish Pendleton, barely able to keep his emotions under control, said: “The whole army is praying for you general.” Jackson replied, “Thank God. They are very kind.” No longer able to contain his grief, Pendleton stepped outside, sobbing uncontrollably. He would later tell Anna, “God knows I would have died for him.” 

Shortly after morning worship, Lacy again spoke with General Lee. Lee requested, “When a suitable occasion offers, tell him that I prayed for him last night, as I never prayed, I believe, for myself.” Lee, like Pendleton, could no longer contain his grief. As their conversation ended, Lacy noted that Lee “turned away in overpowering emotion.” It is hard for even the strongest of men to say good-bye to a dear friend. McGuire chronicled Jackson’s final moments and last words: About half-past one, he was told that he had but two hours to live, and he answered again, feebly, but firmly, “Very good, it is all right.” A few moments before he died, he cried out in his delirium. Hunter McQuire wrote of this moment: 

"Order A. P. Hill to prepare for action! pass the infantry to the front rapidly! tell Major Hawks"—then stopped, leaving the sentence unfinished. Presently, a smile of ineffable sweetness spread itself over his pale face, and he said quietly, and with an expression, as if of relief, "Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees;" and then, without pain, or the least struggle, his spirit passed from earth to the God who gave it.

What was Jackson seeing through the shadowy mist of death and eternity? Anna later wondered:

Was his soul wandering back in dreams to the river of his beloved Valley, the Shenandoah (the “river of sparkling waters”), whose verdant meadows and groves he had redeemed from the invader, and across whose floods he had so often won his passage through the toils of battle? Or was he reaching forward across the River of Death, to the golden streets of the Celestial City, and the trees whose leaves are for the healing of the nations? It was to these that God was bringing him, through his last battle and victory; and under their shade he walks, with the blessed company of the redeemed.

Lewis looked on as he watched Jackson’s eyes close, the general’s shallow breathing finally stilled, not wanting to accept that Jackson was gone. It was 3:15 p.m. Anna was weeping softly. Though he had predicted the time of death almost to the minute, Hunter McGuire stood in unbelieving silence. As reality sank in, hot tears began to flow down Jim Lewis’s face. Anna took special note of his sorrow: “Tears were shed over that dying bed by strong men who were unused to weep, and it was touching to see the genuine grief of his servant, Jim, who nursed him faithfully to the end.”

VMI Cadets Firing a Volley at Jackon's Grave ~ 1913

09 May 2013

One Of The Most Important Counties In The Country

I have lived in Augusta County, Virginia (including the City of Waynesboro) all my 55 years. My family has deep roots here, both on my mother's side as well as my father's side. Many readers may already know the historical significance of Augusta County. Now comes this news:
There were a lot of unhappy people in Augusta County in 1803 after the United States acquired 828,000 square miles of land from France in the Louisiana Purchase. In fact, lots of individuals concerned about the value of their land in the face of such cheap land offerings, filed complaints at the Augusta County Circuit Courthouse.

Those documents still exist. And now anyone with a computer can view almost 900,000 pages of documents detailing the interesting history of Augusta County.

Formed in 1738, Augusta County may be one of the most important counties in the country, said Nancy Sorrells, local historian and publisher. It was certainly one of the largest, stretching all the way to the Mississippi River and as far north as Pittsburgh. Reductions in its extent began in 1770.

Due to a stroke of luck, the Augusta County Courthouse has never burned down, flooded or moved since it was created in 1745, although the building has been rebuilt a number of times. As a result, hundreds of thousands of legal documents have survived and can shed light on family histories, land, court cases and historical events.

And from the Library of Virginia, where you can access these documents and records:

The final images from the Augusta County chancery causes are now available on the Library of Virginia’s Chancery Records Index. With this addition, all Augusta County chancery causes covering the time period from 1746 to 1912 can be viewed online—a  total of 10,268 suits and 878,490 images.  The collection is one of the most significant collections of historic legal records in the nation.  From 1745 to 1770, the boundaries of Augusta County encompassed most of western Virginia and what became the states of West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, and Ohio, and parts of present-day Pennsylvania as far north as Pittsburgh. The Augusta County chancery causes are the most voluminous of any locality in Virginia and are one of the longest and most complete continuous collections of chancery records of any locality in the country.  
This truly is a monumental accomplishment and will prove invaluable to researchers, historians, writers,  and genealogists. As I recently wrote to fellow history blogger Robert Moore, "Great - just what I needed, another way to spend endless hours on the internet researching local history." ;-)

The records can be accessed here.

08 May 2013

My Great x 9 Grandfather ~ Roger Williams

"It is indeed a glorious thing to be well descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors." ~ Phaedrus.

07 May 2013

Are NRA Members One Step Away From A KKK Rally?

This is a follow up to my previous post about Kevin Levin's rant against the new NRA president and NRA members. The video below is an excerpt from a speech by NRA's Executive VP and spokesman, Wayne LaPierre. I post it as a second response to Levin's post, and the comments that followed, suggesting NRA members who are concerned over the threat of tyranny (which is the basis for our Bill of Rights) and who jokingly refer to the Civil War as "the War of Northern Aggression" are "bats**t crazy." In one of the follow up comments, Levin called down a reader for saying "An unarmed citizen is a slave," yet apparently had no problem with another reader who suggested that the NRA folks are "one step away from a big old fashioned KKK rally." Wow.

This demonstrates how absolutely out of touch Levin and his elitists friends in academia really are. The NRA is 5 million strong and growing. I called the NRA yesterday to discuss upgrading my membership to lifetime status. I was told the switchboard was overloaded and I'd have a very long wait. The nice lady on the phone recommended I call back in a day or two. Poetic justice is the sweetest of all. By the way, this year's convention set a new record for attendees - more than 86,000 - almost 15,000 more than last year. I hope these out of touch elites keep on running their mouths.

If you really want to see who fills the membership rolls of the National Rifle Association, start watching the video below at about the 6:40 mark.

04 May 2013

WBTS Revolvers - Part 1: The 1858 Remington

The world that was the antebellum period in United States was one of rapid industrial expansion and in the 1850s firearms makers were stumbling all over themselves to produce the next great gun to roll off the line. One such gunmaker was Fordyce Beals. After studying the factory process for S&W and Colt revolvers, he came up with a design that was significantly improved in function and production. His design, patented and licensed to Remington in 1858, used a solid frame design that included a top strap that went over the cylinder. This was stronger, more durable, allowed the user to swap cylinders out easily and added a layer of safety to the user if the cap and ball revolver chain fired.

While the Army still went with the Colt design in 1860 as their new revolver, over 132,000 of the tenacious Remingtons were sold during the Civil War to the Union military machine. Buffalo Bill Cody, Frank James, George Maddox and others carried the guns during the Old West era which led to them still being popular today in replicas made by Uberti, Pietta, and Ruger (as the Old Army). With 150 years of excitement over these guns, you owe it to yourself to pick up one of these monsters and experience the crack-pow thrill of a black powder revolver at least once. ~ From Guns.com

Part 2 coming soon . . .

03 May 2013

VMI Program - Stonewall Jackson's Final Hours

On Sunday May 19 at 3:15 p.m. in Jackson Memorial Hall, VMI Post, National Park Service historian Frank O’Reilly will present a lecture on Jackson’s final hours and last journey to Lexington. A reception will follow in the VMI Museum.

The Stonewall Jackson House will offer house tours from 1:00p.m. until 5:00p.m. that day.
More here

Also, historian and WBTS blogger Robert Moore offers an interesting post on the passing of a gentleman who "may well have been the last surviving child of any member of the Stonewall Brigade" here.

Justice Clarence Thomas On "The Elites"

". . . I guess I’ve always thought there would be black coaches, heads of universities -- maybe again as I said I’m naïve but the thing I always knew is that it would have to be a black president who was approved by the elites and the media because anybody that they didn’t agree with, they would take apart. And that will happen with virtually -- you pick your person, any black person who says something that is not the prescribed things that they expect from a black person will be picked apart. You can pick anybody, don’t pick me, pick anyone who has decided not to go along with it; there’s a price to pay. So, I always assumed it would be somebody the media had to agree with."~ Justice Clarence Thomas

02 May 2013

The B.A.R. Society

Bigots Against Rednecks.

Oh, this is just becoming way too easy. I was reading a blog post at one of the progressive oriented blogs earlier today which had yet another anti-Confederate flag rant. Yawn. The discussion pretty much stuck to the widely circulated script - Southern/Confederate Heritage folks are all bigots, blah, blah, blah. We all know the drill.

Then someone called these folks "rednecks." Here's one definition of redneck:
Used as a disparaging term for a member of the white rural laboring class, especially in the southern United States.
And Wikipedia had this to say about the term:
Redneck is a derogatory slang term used in reference to poor, uneducated white farmers, especially from the southern United States. It is similar in meaning to cracker (especially regarding Georgia and Florida), hillbilly (especially regarding Appalachia and the Ozarks), and white trash (but without the last term's suggestions of immorality).
My oh my, the irony.

01 May 2013

Dr. Thomas Sowell On Indoctrination In Academia

Education is not merely neglected in many of our schools today, but is replaced to a great extent by ideological indoctrination. Moreover, it is largely indoctrination based on the same set of underlying and unexamined assumptions among teachers and institutions.

If our educational institutions – from the schools to the universities – were as interested in a diversity of ideas as they are obsessed with racial diversity, students would at least gain experience in seeing the assumptions behind different visions and the role of logic and evidence in debating those differences.

Instead, a student can go all the way from elementary school to a Ph.D. without encountering any fundamentally different vision of the world from that of the prevailing political correctness.

Moreover, the moral perspective that goes with this prevailing ideological view is all too often that of people who see themselves as being on the side of the angels against the forces of evil – whether the particular issue at hand is gun control, environmentalism, race or whatever. ~ Dr. Thomas Sowell [Emphasis mine.]

And, I would add, historiography.

More here.   

*I'm working on a lengthy post with a working title, "It's Not History - It's Sociology." Stay tuned.

First The Flag, Then The Monuments

Well, here we go: Petition wants Stone Mt. Confederate carving removed

So the petition - according to that article - has 35 signatures. (That will increase, I'm sure.)  And some professional educators chime in with criticisms of the SCV and "Southrons" for opposing this, instead of criticism of the ridiculous petition. Anyone surprised? I gotta give it to them though, they are disciplined about sticking to the script.

Of course, we've seen this type of censorship and destruction of art before. Cultural cleansing on the march. 

The online poll is running 10 to 1 against. So why is it even news? Because the media wants to help drive the agenda, that's why. In other news today, it seems like secession is more popular than is the idiotic idea of pulverizing Stone Mountain. And, once again, the left leads the charge.