27 September 2017

Thought For The Day

"If Kaepernick truly cared about abuses of authority and Oppressed Peoples of the Land on his Blame America First tour, he’d be a lot easier to take seriously if he didn’t show up in Fidel Castro t-shirts, as the late dictator held an entire island of slaves for the better part of a half-century." ~ Matt Labash

23 September 2017

Quote For the Week

The elite see their virtue, rectitude, and moral superiority reflected back to them in the films, newspapers, advertisements, TV shows, [add academia] and magazines they themselves create, and it is intoxicating – a gauzy reverie of self-ratifying congratulation. ~ The American Thinker
Reminds me of Gordon Wood's thoughts on the "incestuous conversations" of academic historians.

22 September 2017

Relic Hunting Post #164 - Civil War Pontoon Bridge Discovered

Beau Ouimette ( pronounced We met) is one of the better known producers of relic hunting videos on Youtube. He's also a recognized expert on Civil War artillery shells. He currently has over 800,000 Youtube subscribers. I've had the opportunity to meet and chat with him at several organized relic hunts and he's been kind enough to advise me about the operation of a certain metal detector that we both own. Below is a video Beau recently posted showing the remains of a Civil War pontoon bridge that he found while exploring a river in the eastern United States. Quite interesting.

16 September 2017

Relic Post #163 ~ Find Featured in American Digger + More!

Despite the trials and tribulations of life, I have had some great news lately. One of my recent relic recoveries is featured in the latest issue of American Digger Magazine. The coin described below was found on property (with permission, of course) that has direct ties to Thomas Jefferson. In fact, there is circumstantial evidence that Jefferson likely visited the location on several occasions. 

("Incrusted" should be "encrusted.")

Also, as mentioned in a previous post, I was recently invited to become a contributing editor to America's oldest metal detecting, treasure hunting and relic hunting publication: Western & Eastern Treasures Magazine. This is a professional milestone for me and I'm very proud to be associated with this publication. The magazine has been in continuous publication since 1966. W&E T made it official in their latest issue:
 Note: As I prepare to transition to the new blog/webiste, I will slowly be bringing back the previously archived posts I intend to keep. Baby steps, baby steps . . . 

15 September 2017

Relic Hunting Post #162 - Flood Salvage

I know I said my next post's topic would be Robert E. Lee. However, I wanted to pass this timely information along since I recently experienced a flooded basement that put my collection at risk (no serious damage for me), but also due to all the flood damage in the South. Thanks to the good folks at Relic Record for posting this helpful article:

Salvaging Collectibles After a Flood
When the flood waters subside, Houston and its surrounding areas will be required to put forth a mammoth effort in the cleanup, demolition, and reconstruction of homes, businesses, and infrastructure. For those fortunate enough to have survived the storm and return home, some of their possessions, including collectibles, may be salvageable.
Read the rest here

14 September 2017

I'm Back - Well, Sorta

Flooded Office 1

Flooded Office 2
After announcing a sabbatical and reflection on taking a new direction a few weeks ago, readers will notice I'm still posting, though not near as frequent as I previously was. My wife's health is still paramount and consuming some of my time and concentration, as well as other things going on personally.

I'm endeavoring to make my posts less frequent, but more "thoughtful." We'll see how that goes. I'm also still trying to find the time to finish one more project before launching the new blog and website and, at the same time, work on my next book and other writing projects. It's a difficult juggling task. 

I don't know if I mentioned this before, but my basement (where my office is located) flooded this past May and we've just now finished laying the new floor. (See progress above.) We had to tear out all the old carpet and replace it with porcelain tile. It was a labor intensive project, but well worth it.

The good thing about that event is that it forced me to clean out old paperwork, discard some unnecessary books and magazines and organize and de-clutter my office. This has also put most of my other projects on hold as the chaos and disruption consumed my time and hindered my writing efforts.

Anyway, stay tuned. My next post will be titled: "There's More to Robert E. Lee."

09 September 2017

Majority of Americans Oppose Removing Confederate Monuments

If you read many of the sophmoric advocacy posts on some Civil War related blogs and websites, you'll get the distinct impression that most Americans are completely on board with the anti-Confederate monument feeding frenzy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Consider the results noted in a recent Reuters/IPSOS poll:
"A majority of Americans think Confederate monuments should be preserved in public spaces, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll, a view that is at odds with efforts in many cities to remove them."
It is also a view "that is at odds" with many academic historians and politicians. Of course, that's nothing new.
"The Aug. 18-21 poll found that 54 percent of adults said Confederate monuments “should remain in all public spaces” while 27 percent said they 'should be removed from all public spaces.' Another 19 percent said they 'don’t know.'"
And there was another poll which came up with even more favorable results for Confederate monuments. A NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll that . . .
"asked voters if Confederate statues should remain or be removed. Sixty-two percent of the poll’s participants said that the statues should remain. Only 27 percent of the participants believe the statues should be removed."
"Only 27 percent . . . believe the statues should be removed." Not even 1/3 of those polled.

And that same poll revealed:
"Forty-four percent of African Americans believe the Confederate statues should stay in place, while 11 percent said they’re unsure. The remaining 40 percent of African Americans polled said the statues should be removed."
Now, imagine what these numbers would be were it not for the incessant anti-Confederate narrative now dominating the national conversation. Yet, despite the daily anti-Confederate monument drama we're hearing and seeing from most media outlets and from many "objective" historians, the truth is that this is not the view of the majority of Americans. In fact, it's not even close.

04 September 2017

Dr. Jeb Stuart V on Confederate Monuments: Honest Discussion

My great-great grandfather and many others who fought for the Confederacy never wrote about fighting to preserve the enslavement of other human beings. In fact, many found the institution of slavery abhorrent. These soldiers chose to defend their home states, which included slavery. Today, that moral choice stands as the largest stain on our Southern ancestors, regardless of their struggles of conscience or the standards of the day. . . .

We as a community bear the collective responsibility to come to peace with past injustices and do better in the future. The sacrifices of all our ancestors should never be marginalized. The piecemeal revision of our shared history takes away the shining light that defines us as a nation. To borrow the tagline from the Washington Post: Democracy dies in darkness. ~ Dr. Jeb Stuart V
You can read more of Dr. Stuart's thoughts on this topic here.

02 September 2017

Add, Don't Subtract

He deserves his own monument. Add, don't subtract.

01 September 2017

News Lost in the Anti-Monument Frenzy

In North Carolina, there have been more Civil War monuments erected in the last 17 years, than there were in the 50 years from 1940 to 1990. I found that fact stunning. And, of the 36 erected, the majority were Confederate monuments.
“There has been a Civil War memorial boom going on over the last 20 years,” said W. Fitzhugh Brundage, the chairman of the history department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At least 36 have gone up in North Carolina alone since 2000, he said, as many as were put up between 1940 and 1990. Of those, 20 are to Confederates and four are to Union forces. The rest memorialize the war in general, including one dedicated in 2012 to Civil War horses. [Emphasis mine.] Source: New York Times
Though the NYT piece has a number of factual errors in it, it's still an interesting read. I suspect this trend of adding more monuments on private property will grow. And there are some good arguments being made for "privatizing" monuments and memorials, though that too is problematic; especially since the tradition of a nation honoring its military leaders is deeply entrenched and far older than the United States. Also, despite all the noise and hype over Confederate monuments, a Reuters poll reveals the majority of Americans oppose removing them.

Personally, I prefer adding new monuments, not removing old ones. 

(Also, you will notice that the historians who are most in favor of removing these monuments have,  for the most part, remained silent about the slippery slope that has led to serious efforts to remove monuments honoring everyone from Bill Clinton, to FDR to former New York Mayor Frank Rizzo. I predicted this would happen a long time ago. Where does one draw the line? I think that "drawing of the line" is now impossible and we will ultimately lose a great many works of art, as well as prominently displayed historic artifacts. They will, at best, be tucked away in a museum where few Americans will venture to view them or learn about them.)