Monday, October 23, 2017

Kevin Levin: Another New Englander who believes the north is sinless


Kevin Levin "The All Knowing"

       The "All Knowing" in the above quote is meant to be sarcastic as hell, but I'm sure that will pass over the heads of some readers. Allow me to quote his "advertisement" for lack of a better word on amazon about his book: Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder.
       Here is that quote "The battle of the Crater is known as one of the Civil War's bloodiest struggles―a Union loss with combined casualties of 5,000, many of whom were members of the United States Colored Troops (USCT) under Union Brigadier General Edward Ferrero. The battle was a violent clash of forces as Confederate soldiers fought for the first time against African American soldiers (that quote is a bald faced lie, see Battery Wagner, Fort Pillow, and Brice's Crossroads). After the Union lost the battle, these black soldiers were captured and subject both to extensive abuse and the threat of being returned to slavery in the South. Yet, despite their heroism and sacrifice, these men are often overlooked in public memory of the war." 
       Now, upon reading the review, I asked my wife, "Where do you think this idiot is from?" Her first answer was a little off. She said, "New York." "Wrong," I said, "Try Massachusetts." "Of course," she replied, "so get him." 
       There is more to this blog than Mr. Levin's one-sided story of "The Crater," much more. I visited his blog and a woman asked him if it wasn't as much fault of the North as the South the institution of slavery. He replied by degrading this lady and encouraging others to degrade her. Kevin Levin is another of those "Holy north against the evil South." He has a one sided image of the War Between The States. His is a one sided battle, because he thinks his intellect is superior to all others. He obviously hasn't read my blog. Nor does he want to know the truth about that war, it would break his heart. 
       This typical New Englander ignores a few facts. I'm not going to rehash all those known facts. I will just direct you to my past blog at http://trrcobb.blogspot.com/2016/11/the-truth-about-confederate-massacres.html. This would upset Mr. Levin in the extreme because it would go against all he has taught for all these years. 
       He belittles a lady named Connie because she called his attention to the fact that it wasn't all the South's fault. He treats her as if she is ignorant for calling him out. I don't understand how a guy with such a closed mind can make money by selling books and then it hit me. I'm sure, he requires all his students to buy his book for his class. Of course, I have seen this before. You must agree with his view of the world to pass his course and woe be to you who do not agree. I often went to class in college, forced to buy a professor's ridiculously over-priced book and agree with his single-minded view to pass an exam. Welcome Kevin Levin to that list I'm sure. 
       So what happened at the Battle of the Crater? Well, if you believe Mr. Levin's one-sided story, evil Southerners mistreated poor innocent black Federal troops who had been captured in battle. I've read this before. How about we take a serious look at what really happened without a New England point of view. 
       Before the attack began, let's just quote an officer of the colored soldiers. His name was Colonel John Bross of the 29th United States Colored Troops. He stated to the press before the attack, "When I lead these men into battle, we shall expect no quarter, and shall not ask for quarter." In a Northern officers own words, they were not going to take prisoners. During the assault it was noted that the black Federal troops were shouting, "No quarter!" When the fighting was winding down, the Northern white troops began to kill all the black Federal soldiers (yeah, you heard me right), killed their own men, because they were afraid of being captured along with black troops. Allow me to quote a Federal white soldier who had joined in the process of shooting and bayoneting his fellow black soldiers stated, "We was not about to be taken prisoner amongst them niggers." 
       According to Mr. Levin, this only occurred during the brief advance of the colored troops. Of course he does say "as far as I know." It appears he doesn't know much. The damage is done, he has minimized the effect of the black troops murdering of unarmed prisoners and made sure the entire world knows that the Confederate troops were very guilty of the same deed. You'd have to be from New England to think like Mr. Levin. Like all "Holier than thou" New Englanders, it's alright for his side to perform some barbarity, but not the side he's fighting against. Typical Yankee. 
       Let's take a brief look at Confederate Major General William Mahone. He led the counterattack at the Battle of the Crater that saved the day for the South. As the break through occurred on Major General Bushrod Rust Johnson's sector of the line, General Mahone with three small brigades were called up by General Robert E. Lee to stop the Federal advance. (Side note: Bushrod Rust Johnson was a quaker from Ohio who fought for the South, but don't tell any Yankee's because they don't want to hear it.)
       Leading the three brigades belonging to Mahone's Division were Colonel David A. Weisiger commanding Mahone's old brigade of the 6th, 12th, 16th, 41st, and 61st Virginia Infantry. Colonel John Caldwell Calhoun Sanders commanded a brigade of Alabama troops, the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 14th Alabama Infantry Regiments. Lieutenant Colonel Matthew R. Hall commanded the third brigade containing the 3rd, 22nd, 48th, and 64th Georgia Infantry Regiments. These three small brigades would contain the breakthrough. 
       Major General Mahone was upset because he arrived at Bushrod Johnson's headquarters and asked Johnson for help positioning his division to stop the assault. Johnson was more concerned with eating breakfast, so Mahone decided to handle matters himself. As he began to lead his division forward toward the sounds of battle, his division began to meet retreating Confederate troops who reported that the black Federal soldiers were taking no prisoners. Mahone ordered his troops to take no black Federal soldiers prisoners because they were calling for no quarter. Thus, the Battle of the Crater was under way. Now if your from New England, it's a great and deserved thing for black troops to take no prisoners, but for Southerners to do the same, it is horrendous. You must be a self serving New England idiot to believe this. 
       Now we move on a few years to William Mahone, ex-Confederate general, and now a member of the Readjuster Party. General Mahone defended the African-Americans in his district and were even presented with a nice watch from his black constituents. The watch is now in a private collection. I have read a blog about how the SCV and Southerner's should be ashamed of General Mahone. Why should we be ashamed of this fine general? The author of this blog is none other than (you guessed it) Kevin Levin, the above mentioned idiot. 
       So tell us Kevin Levin in all your infinite wisdom why I should be ashamed of General Mahone? Levin tells us that General Mahone helped the black citizens of the Southern States. We should be ashamed of him for this? Why would Southerners be ashamed of General Mahone for caring for black citizens of the South? After all, many of those black citizens supported the Southern States. Without the black Southern citizens, there could have been no rebellion. So Mr. Levin lives in his own New England world of fantasy. The most evil South versus the sinless North in a war over good and evil, ad nauseam. Please see my article in the Alabama Confederate Newsletter in January for more about these New Englander's and their theories about the South. They are often mislead, knowing little about the culture of the South, but this doesn't stop them from spreading their vitriol side of the story.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Another Typical Politician

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Another Political Idiot mayor mitchell landrieu

       For those of you who have no mental capacity at all, New Orleans mayor mitchell landrieu is your man. He has visions of himself in the White House of this country. He will do anything for a vote, so dream up anything you can and he will perform that very deed for your vote. He is the leader of what my college Political Science professor often called a "Skillet head." I would refer to him as an "Onion Head," but Uncle Frank understood this idiot better than I do. 
       In a country where we are in serious economical trouble, you, my tax paying friends will be happy to know that mayor landrieu has spent 2.1 million dollars of your hard earned money to remove four statues of great Confederate leaders from his city. Does he care? If you think this mayor gives one little cent about anyone other than himself, you are the idiot he proves himself to be. Uncle Frank used to teach me in political science class that politicians like landrieu would slit their mother's throat for a vote. The shallow minded, that can't think for themselves will willingly vote for mayor landieu and he will become richer as they become poorer. How far would 2.1 million dollars go in education for the children of New Orleans? Hey, it doesn't matter because mayor landrieu will get more votes wasting the cities money on removing statues. As Uncle Frank would have said, "What an idiot or worse yet, what an idiot he makes the voters appear?"
       Now we've come to Charlottesville, Virginia. I'm not a white supremacist, nor am I associated with any that I know of. I do understand that all people, regardless of their beliefs under the American constitution have a right to what they believe in. Not anymore obviously. I have spent the last hour reading reactions to what has occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia. Every comment basically states, it is perfectly fine in this country to protest as long as your protesting for the black race, the homosexuals, or the muslims. If you disagree with any of those three movements, you have no right to protest. What city in the United States doesn't have a street named after "Martin Luther King?" Now we understand that is fine, but we can't have one monument to Confederate heroes like Robert E. Lee or Stonewall Jackson. 



michael signer letting the world know what he's after

       Now all this brings us to another "Lawyer" Mayor Michael Signer of Charlottesville, Virginia and another idiot the governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe. Both men are stirring the pot over Confederate monuments for votes. Mayor Signer, who loves anybody that votes regardless of their beliefs has already began his war on Robert E. Lee. I can basically say, if any of my readers have studied anything about Robert E. Lee, you will know that Michael Signer doesn't even deserve being mentioned in the same sentence because Lee was a great leader and hero, while Signer is an "ass kissing" politician. He is also a coward. Like all politicians and lawyers, he doesn't have the guts to stand up for what he believes, but tells us what we need to hear to get the majority of the votes. He has had his fifteen minutes of fame. 
       Now, as I said earlier, we all have a right to protest, regardless of our beliefs in this country. At least, we used to have that right. Today, you must agree with the far left or you are labelled a racist, homophobe, anti-muslim, etc. Now, the Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe has sent a clear message to people in Charlottesville, Virginia. If you are a white supremacist, you need to go home, if you are pro-black, pro-homosexual, pro-muslim, we welcome you in Virginia in open arms. Does Governor McAuliffe truly believe this way? We can't possibly know, because he, like all lawyers will tell you anything you want to hear for his vote. Fortunately, some of us are intelligent enough to figure out for ourselves what the truth is. But, the people with an actual mind of their own are few and far between, thus we have idiots like Signer, McAuliffe, and Landrieu running our country. God help us, for we are too stupid to help ourselves. Welcome to 21st Century America. 


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Virginia Governor terry mcAuliffe




Why our Southern Heritage is under attack?

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A Guest Blog by a friend of mine Jay Gregory

Over the past 18 months or two years, it has been nearly impossible to check your local or national news without finding at least one report of a Confederate Monument being vandalized, a cemetery being desiccated, or lawless rioters destroying property while demanding one of the above. We don’t often see are discussions about why our Heritage is under attack, why now, and why is it important for the SCV and similar organizations to continue the struggle to preserve our culture.
My father only had a third grade education.  He could sign his name, and struggle through the headlines of the newspaper. But, once and a while he would come up with “real wisdom.”  One of those pearls was, “The man who knows how will always have a job, but the man who knows why, will always be his boss.”  So, please allow me to beg your indulgence.  Grasping “why” in societal issues usually requires at least a rudimentary understanding of the “back story” leading up to the present.
I truly hate to quote someone from Massachusetts, but remember the quote from John Adams, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (October 11, 1798.),
Our founders, North and South, knew from the beginning that a free people could only govern themselves if they were an honorable and moral people with an innate sense of right and wrong; of Nature and Natures God. 
The Apostle Paul suggest in Romans 1:25 that the magnificence of creation alone presents “nature’s god” as self-evident.  There is “someone out there” bigger than ourselves and He is the source of man’s equality, and has endowed us with our unalienable rights, and among these rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of property.
I think the story of where we started getting off track, at least as it relates to this issue, begins with Horace Mann, an early education reformer, who with a man named John Dewey, knew better than Adams and the other founders. They believed that man, not God must be the ultimate arbiter.  In 1843 they traveled to Prussia to visit the schools and study them. They returned with the teachings of philosophers Pestalozzi and Kant.
Pestalozzi was opposed learning by memorization and to strict discipline. He pioneered using physical objects in the teaching of natural science. He also promoted broad liberal education followed by professional training for teachers.
Kant believed that as humans we are autonomous. He argued that the human intellect is the source of the general laws of nature; and that by reason humans give themselves the moral law, which is our basis for belief in “a god,” freedom, and mortality. Therefore, scientific knowledge, morality, and religious belief all rest on the same foundation of human reason and understanding.
For a 100 years after their deaths, the compulsion to put the material before the symbolic, the physical before the spiritual, the order of nature before human tradition, dominated the very psyche of everything and everyone involved in government funded education.  The unstoppable drift away from the first founding principles had begun.
This drift began to accelerate in 1852, the year Massachusetts became the first state to require children ages six through 16 attend government funded schools. Of course, when the government uses its citizens’ money to pay for schools, they get to decide what is to be taught.  By 1918 all states had compulsory government school attendance laws.
In 1908 Woodrow Wilson published a book entitled “Constitutional Government in the United States.”  In it he asserted that In order to “render government more accountable to public opinion,” that the business of politics—namely elections—should be separated from actual governance. He believed that “nonpartisan”, and therefore “neutral,” experts (Read that unelected, deep state bureaucrats) should actually rule the people.  Further, he thought the president, as the only nationally elected public official, would best exemplify the will of the people. Thus the President should “rule” through this bureaucracy of “neutral (unelected) experts”.  In other words, Wilson believed we should be ruled by an oligarch with him, and his successors at its head.  Huh, that seems vaguely familiar, somehow.
The next big shift came in 1963 when the SCOTUS ruled in Abington School District v. Schempp that group Bible reading and recitation of the Lord's Prayer were both unlawful in government schools.
Then in 1964 – 65 Johnson brought us the Great Society.  It contained no less than 60 separate laws that provided for “better” classrooms, minority scholarships, and low-interest student loans.  (e.g. More national money, more national control, lowering standards, and more social engineering.)
In 1979 the Department of Education was created.  It initially had 3,000 employees and a $12 Billion budget.  In 2004 the budget was five times that amount and with the “No Child Left Behind” program a national government school curriculum was fully in place.
During ‘95 and ‘96 we all witnessed scandal of President Clinton’s public dalliances in the Oval Office.  We’ll just set the details of that episode aside.  His conduct and its handling by our courts and elected representatives, openly announced to the world the end of one of our most important founding principles.  In fact this principle goes back all the way to the Magna Charta; that is all men are equal under the law. That ended with Bill Clinton.
Our descent down the slippery slope accelerated on Election Day 2008. In my opinion, a clearly documented case of voter intimidation occurred in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.  The Bush DOJ correctly filed charges before leaving office. In April 2009 when none of the defendants appeared in court to answer the charges, the DOJ “civil service” attorneys moved for a default judgment against them.  To the lawyers’ surprise they were overruled by two of their bosses, politically appointed Assistant Attorneys General from the incoming administration.
The lessons and implications of this case, have played out in public dozens of times since; from April 2009 onward, some crimes are sanctioned by the regime in Washington and other simply ignored.
From that tipping point, on at least 43 occasions between May 19, 2010 and April 23, 2013 various offices within the Executive branch of the National government announced that they simply would not enforce valid US criminal law.  This is another BIG DEAL. It represents the collapse of another key tenant of our form of government.  The principle is that it does not matter which party passes a law and signs into effect, nor which party occupies the Executive (Presidency); all existing laws are equally enforced. If a current administration disagrees with a law, fine the Constitution provides a means of changing it under Article I.
If you are still with me, thank you.  I believe we have finally laid out the minimum facts to support my answer to our central question; why is our Confederate Heritage under assault? 
It has been four generations since Mann and Dewey began proclaiming man as the source of the truth of right and wrong.  It has been two generations since prayer or Bible reading outside the home or the church house virtually ceased.  According the Barna Group, we have 75+ million young people (people with limited life experience), people born after 1981, who agree with this statement, “Whatever is right for you or works best for you is the only truth you can know.” So, they are convinced that the truth of right from wrong comes from within themselves.    
The Clinton, Lewinsky scandal began demonstrating that some people are above the law when the oldest among this same group were 13 years of age – entering puberty. Of course the outgoing Obama administration has demonstrated this lawlessness on dozens of occasions over the past eight years.
Let me see if I can pull this all together.
·        For the past 108 years the stated objective of the progressive left has been to replace our democratic republic with an oligarchy.
·        75 million young people have been trained in what boils down to anarchy – a personal since of right and wrong, with little concern for the rights of others
·        Since that group reached adolescence they have witnessed public officials flaunting that the law doesn’t apply to them.  Illegal acts in support of the progressive left (“the oligarch”) are either ignored or encouraged.
·        In short, there is no deterrent to lawlessness
What is driving the mob, the pursuit of Wilson’s goal? So, we must ask, what barriers to that objectives remain?  The short answer is the shreds of the memory of liberty.
So, large, conspicuous monuments to a group of men who believed in liberty so strongly that they took up arms in defense of that liberty simply must go.  That memory MUST be erased; especially if some of the descendants of those men still don’t consider themselves defeated.
Can these forces be mollified by compromise?  I’ll let you decide. Here is a quote from a “Take Em Down NOLA” communication published the day after the General Lee monument was removed.
 “We've appreciated you being on the battlefield with us. Now we need you to join us in the bunker [to] plan how to truly rid this city of racism. There are over 100 symbols to white supremacy still standing in this city. To make sure the removal of the monuments is more than just a surface change, but instead a reconfiguration of systemic racism in the city [they must be removed] - - -“
Will new laws or regulations be the solution? We’ve already established and witnessed that these are lawless people. Laws are scant deterrent to lawless people. 
On May 25th Joseph Goodman wrote on AL.com,
“On Wednesday, with the eloquent and powerful words of New Orleans' mayor still making national headlines, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law a bill protecting the state's Confederate statues. - - - Let's be clear, - - - removing the names of Confederate leaders from public schools is the correct and moral thing to do.”
In my opinion this is merely a first step.  It is perceived by “those people” that Confederate monuments are a relatively easy target.  After-all, who would defend slavery?
But remember Wilson’s objective.  In order to reach that objective all remembrance of liberty must disappear.  My guess – emphasize that word, guess – is that the rest of the founders are not far behind General Lee.  Then they will move on to others according to the degree of difficulty.  On it will go until perhaps Woodrow Wilson himself will be one of the “founding fathers” or perhaps rejected for the Confederate skeletons in his own closet.
You see, dignity comes from God.  Thus, monuments to men of dignity, like General Lee or Jefferson Davis, highlight the presence God, and by extension remind us of those unalienable rights which come from God, not government.  They therefore must go.
Never underestimate your enemy.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Offensive History: What should we do?


Constructed by Slave Labor

Image result for egyptian pyramids       Looking at the photograph above you will find something built by slave labor. The Jewish people were forced to build these monuments by Africans. However, it is perfectly fine for Africans to own slaves and force them to work. In America, the only people allowed to be upset about slavery are the very same race that forced the Jew's to build these pyramids. What a bunch of hypocrites. If you read today's news, no race of people in history has been more mistreated than the black race. They sold their own race into slavery just 300 years ago, but it's everyone else's fault but theirs. This brings us to the situation with ISIS. This very hypocritical country wants to stop ISIS from tearing down monuments that are offensive to their history. Is this country not doing the same thing?
       I never was a John Wayne fan, but he said some things that made a lot of sense. He was frustrated with the politicians of the 1970's. He said they bowed down to anything a certain minority race demanded in order to obtain their votes. If he were only alive to see the state of affairs today. My fellow Sons of Confederate Veteran brothers are offended when we see monuments praising Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, and others. Do you see any politicians removing their monuments to appease us? Absolutely not. There has never been a more mistreated race than the Native Americans. They weren't made slaves, they were simply slaughtered, their land taken, and they were treated like animals. Do monuments that offend them get removed in this country? Absolutely not, they don't have the votes to matter. 
       There is another race that has been more mistreated than the black race and that race happens to be the Celtic people. For those simple people of America who have no idea what a Celt is, its a person of Irish or Scottish descent. These people have been treated little better than animals throughout history. Do politicians attempt to pacify them in any way? Absolutely not. They don't organize themselves each election and vote for the person that kisses their ass the most. In the 19th Century there was no such of thing as a "Polish Joke." Back in that century, there were "Irish Jokes." It was always the dumb Irishman and the super intelligent Englishman. Now, there are Polish jokes poking fun at the people of Eastern Europe. All of that is perfectly fine as long as no one offends the people of African decent. 
       This brings us to a true weakling named Roy Cooper. He is obviously a democrat or he would have a little backbone, but Roy Cooper has none. There is a law in North Carolina that protects historical markers. Takiyah Thompson (African), Ngoc Loan Tran (Asian, who has no ancestors in the war), Dante Strobino (I've searched this name and his ancestors didn't serve in either army during the war, just another idiot showing up for his 15 minutes of fame), and Peter Gilbert (a Germanic name, same type people that brought Hitler to power) were arrested for violating the historic markers law. Now the governor of North Carolina should have condemned these law breakers, but he didn't. Why did he not condemn their actions? Because he wants the votes of these very idiots. I have often said that democracy is a joke. You have these lawyers who never stand up for what is right, but as my Dad has always taught me, they will slit their own mother's throats for a dollar. That is the trouble with this country. Politicians want money and to steal your money, they need your vote. The American people are just too stupid to understand this. They vote for the guy they think believes what they believe. I assure you, Roy Cooper will believe anything that gets him elected next time. Remember that when you go cast your vote and make him richer off your tax money. 
       In closing, I can truly say democracy has been the world's biggest failure as a government. Politicians will tell you the world is flat if you will simply cast your vote their way and let them rob you blind in the meantime. I can assure you, not one of them gives one cent for you. It's all about a dollar with these lawyers. I went through school and was taught Shakespeare. It was extremely boring, but one thing Shakespeare said that made perfect sense to me. Kill all the lawyers and make the world a better place. Truer words have never been spoken. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Lack of Cavalry

A Lack of Cavalry: Understanding Why Some Armies Were Better Than Others



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Great Cavalry Battle of the Civil War

       It makes for great reading and greater imagination when we think about the great cavalry battle's of the American Civil War. In truth, there were very few. Of course Brandy Station was the largest cavalry battle ever fought on the North American continent and the clash at Gettysburg on the third day was dramatic indeed. Yet, fighting mounted battles was not what the cavalry arm was designed to do. As General Robert E. Lee referred to his cavalry arm under Jeb Stuart and later Wade Hampton, the job of cavalry was to be the eyes and ears of the army. The lack of cavalry could mean the success or failure of a campaign. It has been argued that the lack of Stuart's cavalry at Gettysburg led to the defeat of Lee's army in Pennsylvania. Just before that campaign, the lack of cavalry led to the utter defeat of Joe Hooker at Chancellorsville. Yet, it becomes far deeper than just the success or loss of two battles. 
       The Confederate army in the west (Army of Tennessee) never had a commander that understood how to properly use cavalry. Only General Lee in Virginia used his cavalry to effect. He didn't ask them to make great raids, engage in serious battle as infantry did, but only to keep him informed of the whereabouts of the enemy. That didn't occur in Sidney Johnston's army before Shiloh, Beauregard's army following Shiloh, or Bragg's army in Kentucky. An excellent example would be a portion of Bragg's army engaged at Perryville, Kentucky against all of Buell's army, yet despite Joe Wheeler covering his left flank, Bragg finished that battle not realizing he faced a superior Union army. Wheeler did do good service covering Bragg's retreat back into Tennessee, but you still wonder what could have been had Wheeler kept Bragg informed of what he faced.
       When McDowell arrived at Manassas during the summer of 1861, he complained because the Federal government wouldn't allow volunteer cavalry to be recruited. He had to find his enemy using his own staff and this of course proved a failure. When Lee took over the Army of Northern Virginia, he sent Stuart's cavalry around Federal General McClellan's right flank to see if it was vulnerable. McClellan didn't have the cavalry to defend this move and ended up in the dark as Lee swept down on his undefended right flank and drove him away from Richmond. 
       The lack of cavalry continued to haunt the Union high command until the Battle of Gettysburg, where they made a stand in the absence of Stuart's cavalry and helped turn the tide of war. Following Gettysburg, Stuart would remain the eyes and ears of Lee's army and keep the famed Confederate general abreast of what the Federal army under Ulysses Grant had planned. Despite the lesson learned by the Union army at Gettysburg, Grant would overrule Meade and send the Army of the Potomac's own cavalry off on raids that accomplished very little, when they could have been a big help to Meade in his flank movements. The war could have been over a year earlier. Yet, Meade and the Army of the Potomac would blindly disengage Lee and attempt to flank him, only to find him waiting for Meade after each movement because of the inadequacies of "Little Phil" Sheridan. Sheridan wouldn't prove any useful service until the last year of the war and after the loss of manpower in the Confederate army. 
       Let's look at a few Cavalrymen of that war and rate them according to how they did their jobs, not according to how legends have painted them. 


Major General James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart

       I can already hear the Bedford Forrest fans screaming for my head, but I have to rank Jeb Stuart at the top of the list of Civil War cavalrymen. Stuart understood his job as cavalryman. He understood that his sole job was to provide his army commander with information about the enemy. Did Stuart always do his job? No. But, he did it better than any other cavalryman in the North or South and that's the reason I've ranked him the best cavalryman of the war.


Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest

       One of the best commanders of the war, Nathan Bedford Forrest is not the best cavalry commander in my opinion. My buddy Jerry Smith proclaims Forrest as the greatest general of the war and of course I can't blame him. Jerry has at least two grandfathers who fought under Forrest. Yet, I consider Forrest more of a commander of Mounted Infantry than cavalry. Of course, another friend Jay Gregory says that once a bullet whistles by your head, you all become infantry. That's true, but the difference between cavalry and infantry in those days had to do with what your job was. Cavalry was technically providing intelligence to the overall commander (Forrest didn't do that because he was busy arguing with his commander). He served as cavalry in the Chickamauga Campaign and during the Nashville Campaign at the end of the war, other than that, he served as a commander of his own independent army (Mounted Infantry). 


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Major General Phil Sheridan

       Another overrated cavalryman in my opinion is Phil Sheridan. Sheridan spent the first half of the war as an infantryman. He moved up to cavalry command in the Army of the Potomac because of his service under Ulysses Grant in one battle. He arrived in Virginia and because his cavalry blocked the road of the infantry between the Wilderness and Spotsylvania, he and Meade clashed. Sheridan proclaimed he could destroy Stuart's cavalry if given his freedom and Grant granted his request. He then made a raid that succeeded in killing Jeb Stuart and little else. He arrived in southeastern Virginia having left Meade's army blind and without cavalry and groping blindly across Virginia in the Overland Campaign. 


Major General Joseph Wheeler

       Another overrated cavalryman in my book is Joseph Wheeler. His troopers always lacked for discipline under his command. He was supposed to serve as Bragg's intelligence gathering cavalry during the Kentucky Campaign of 1862, yet he accomplished nothing. During the Atlanta Campaign, John Bell Hood sent Wheeler to destroy the railroad between Sherman's army and Chattanooga, yet he rode all the way to Knoxville and out of the theater of operations. 
       Not a lot of cavalrymen understood their roles in the War Between the States. Wade Hampton became a fine cavalryman following the death of Jeb Stuart. Fitzhugh Lee became a descent cavalryman despite his failure at Five Forks in 1865. Turner Ashby was a fine partisan ranger, but failed Stonewall Jackson as a cavalryman during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862. A book could be written on the effectiveness of cavalry during the Civil War, but this is just a blog. 


       

Monday, July 17, 2017

An American Conspiracy: Charles Pomeroy Stone

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Brigadier General Charles P. Stone and his daughter Hettie

       I have had numerous discussions with acquaintances of mine who believe the U.S. government is perfect and sinless. Several conspiracy theories we discuss are always claimed by them to not be true because it would make the central government appear less than honest. One conspiracy that they can't debunk is not a theory, but a known fact. 
       Charles Pomeroy Stone was born in Massachusetts in 1824. One would come to believe that Stone would be an abolitionist being from the state known to be the hotbed of abolitionism, but that wasn't true. Stone was in fact a soldier first. This country was founded on the principle that professional soldiers shouldn't be tied to a certain party, but loyal to the commander in chief and the constitution. That would best describe Charles Stone. He graduated high in the West Point Class of 1845 and served with distinction in the Mexican War. 
       When the secession crisis began, Stone was in Washington, and Lieutenant General Winfield Scott chose Stone to organize the defenses of Washington and hold the capital until reinforcements could arrive. Stone was commissioned colonel and called "the first man mustered into service for the defense of the capital..." He was also in charge of security during Lincoln's inauguration. During the Battle of Manassas, Stone would serve in Patterson's command in the Shenandoah Valley. When George McClellan became commander of the Army of the Potomac, he quickly selected Charles Stone as one of his subordinates. Stone was promoted to brigadier general and sent to guard the upper crossings of the Potomac River. Charles Stone now commanded a division. 
       Per McClellan's orders, Stone had his men returning runaway slaves to their rightful owners. The reason for this is twofold. First, Lincoln wanted the border states (of which Maryland happened to be) to remain in the Union, therefore, he wanted to keep them happy. Secondly, a Federal law called the Fugitive Slave Act was still in effect. (Remember what I stated earlier about soldiers upholding the law?)
       A Massachusetts soldier in Stone's command wrote a letter to abolitionist governor John Andrews of his despicable job as a soldier was chasing down runaway slaves. Andrews became upset and wrote Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner (the same Sumner who'd almost been beat to death by Preston Brooks of South Carolina). Sumner made some very insulting remarks about Stone. Stone complained that governors have no right interfering with army operations and he wrote Sumner a very insulting letter saying it was difficult enough facing an enemy in his front while being attacked by a coward in his rear. Thus, the Radical Republicans were just itching for an excuse to get Charles Stone. 
       The beginning of Charles Stone's downfall happened on October 17, 1861 when he received a report that the Confederates were evacuating the Virginia shore near Leesburg, Virginia. McClellan saw this as a chance to relieve some pressure upon him for an advance and decided to act. He sent McCall's Pennsylvania Reserves to cross about halfway between Washington and Leesburg and advance on Dranesville, Virginia. Stone was then ordered to demonstrate on his front near Leesburg at a place called Ball's Bluff. To make a long story short, on October 20, McClellan called off the operation, notified McCall to fall back, but didn't mention any of this to Stone. Stone began to ferry men across the river into Virginia. He still believed McCall was advancing on Dranesville to his left. 

George B McClellan - retouched.jpg

George McClellan and Edward Baker

       At that point, Stone still on the Maryland side of the river, had Edward Baker (one of his subordinates) commanding the field atop Ball's Bluff. Colonel Edward Baker was a senator from Oregon and close friend of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln had actually named one of his son's after Baker. Although Baker had seen service during the Mexican War, he made serious mistakes at Ball's Bluff. Stone told Baker if the position was found untenable, he was to fall back to the Maryland shore. He ignored the directive and immediately crossed his entire command to the Virginia shore. Most professional soldiers stated that no military man would have chosen to fight on Ball's Bluff with his back to a river a hundred feet below a bluff with a single cow path leading to the water below. Baker chose to do so. 
       Confederate Brigadier General Nathan G. Evans continued to encircle and apply pressure to the Federal line until it broke. The result was a disaster. There weren't enough boats to ferry all the troops back across. The men tumbled down the bluff as best they could, many jumped into the river and drowned. The entire operation was a disaster costing the Federal army about 1,000 casualties, the Confederates losing about 155 men. The man who was truly at fault was Edward Baker, but to make matters worse, he lay dead on the field with a bullet in the chest and another in the head. Lincoln was so distraught that tears coursed down his cheeks on receiving the news and he stumbled as he stepped into the street. 
       What does any of this have to do with a conspiracy? This episode gave Governor Andrews and Charles Sumner the ammunition they needed to take Charles Stone out of the army. McClellan immediately sent Stone orders not to reveal any orders that he'd been issued during the investigation. The Committee on the Conduct of the War was formed and the Radical Republicans set out to get their man. A fellow member of the Senate had been killed in battle and someone had to pay the price. The Committee wanted McClellan, but settled on Stone to send McClellan a message. 
       Witnesses were brought in to testify against Stone, some of which weren't even at Ball's Bluff. One witness testified that Stone had been swapping secret papers with the Confederates (he had actually been swapping mail going to and from Federal prisoners captured at the battle which was perfectly legal). He was charged with treason, they cared not that he had saved Washington at the beginning of the war and protected Lincoln during his inauguration. They were out for blood. 
       Stone was imprisoned for six months on nothing more than hearsay. McClellan must be given some blame in the affair. He found nothing wrong with Stone's action at Ball's Bluff, but he refused to stand up for him and allow the nation to see how he had been partly responsible for the disaster. Many of the military men criticized Charles Sumner over the "trumped up charges." They referred to the investigation and sentence as ridiculous. General Winfield Scott became so upset at the charges that he stated, "Why, if he is a traitor, I am a traitor, and we are all traitors!"


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Anthony Johnson: The Father of American Slavery


Anthony Johnson

       As promised in the last blog, here is the story of Anthony Johnson, nicknamed "The Father of American Slavery." What makes Anthony Johnson special, just take a look at the drawing depicting him above. Johnson was born around 1600 in Angola, Africa. He was brought to Virginia as an indentured servant around 1621. He worked his required years and was freed and given land. He became a successful tobacco farmer in Maryland. It was there that he obtained five indentured servants, four white, and one black. Make sure you understand what I just told you. He had four white servants (slaves). Bet you never were taught that in school. 
       The period of indentured service at the time was four to seven years. Anthony married another African slave named Mary and they had gained their freedom by 1635. By 1651, Anthony had a successful tobacco farm and owned five servants, four white, and one black. In 1653, John Casor, the black servant claimed his indenture had expired and he was being held illegally by Johnson. The story is complicated with a neighbor attempting to gain the services of Casor and a court case resolved the issue. It was the first time in America that a person was held in servitude (slavery) for life. Prior to this time, one could be held in servitude for a lifetime only if he'd committed a crime. Two white planters swore in court that Casor had served his time, yet the court still sided with Johnson. Now we have all been convinced by modern historians that black men could not win in court versus whites. This case proves that assumption wrong. Anthony Johnson died around 1670 after earning the nickname "The Father of American Slavery." 
       I looked up Anthony Johnson on Snopes and found they agreed with everything I've written above. Its easy to tell by the way they worded their article that it galled them somewhat to admit the above was true, but they had little choice. They go on to list other facts about slavery that very few want to admit was true. Here is what they list. In 1830, 3,775 black people owned 12,740 black slaves. At the time of the Indian removal in 1838, three tribes, the Creeks, Choctaws, and Chickasaws owned 3,500 African slaves. At a latter point the Cherokee tribe owned 3,500. In 1860, William Ellison, a free black man in South Carolina owned 63 black slaves. There were 171 black slave owners at the time in South Carolina alone. There are a lot more interesting facts on Snopes and you can tell they attempt to put a spin on the ones that aren't politically correct. 
       My buddy Pat, a member of the S.C.V. in the Joe Wheeler Camp in Birmingham said that he liked me because I just tell it like it is. I wish everyone else would do the same and quit trying to be so politically correct. If your statement is a fact, just say this is how it was, there is no need to say this is correct, but let me put a spin on it so it doesn't hurt so much.