Christmas on the Mountain

Thomas Jefferson celebrated Christmas… but not with stockings and Christmas trees- modern incarnations of the season didn’t take hold in America until after the Civil War.  Jefferson’s Christmas was a time for family, friends, and as he described it, “merriment.”   Family was all important to the Sage of Monticello, and he described the day”  “theContinue reading “Christmas on the Mountain”

Tearing Down to Build Up

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu made national headlines for rationalizing his city’s iconoclastic fury in 2017. “Another friend asked me to consider these four monuments from the perspective of an African American mother or father trying to explain to their fifth grade daughter who Robert E. Lee is and why he stands atop of ourContinue reading “Tearing Down to Build Up”

None Braver

The charge of the Irish Brigade against the Confederate position at Marye’s Heights outside Fredericksburg is the stuff of legend.        The legendary  stature of these men and their deeds is largely due to the reminiscences of their opponents. James Longstreet, whose troops occupied the stonewall position at Marye’s Heights remembered: “The manner inContinue reading “None Braver”

Garry Owen!

The Irish Brigade crossed the Rappahannock river at Fredericksburg… a shadow of its former self.  Three months earlier, along the banks of the Antietam Creek, the Irish Brigade marched to glory with more than 2,000 men.  At Fredericksburg, the newly arrived 28th Massachusetts regiment bolstered the ranks to 1,200, but the veteran regiments had been decimatedContinue reading “Garry Owen!”

Uncommon Valor

Lt. Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain describes the horrific night of December 13th, 1862 at the base of Marye’s Heights. Fredericksburg, Virginia- December 14, 1862 “But out of that silence rose new sounds more appalling still; a strange ventriloquism, of which you could not locate the source, a smothered moan, as if a thousand discords wereContinue reading “Uncommon Valor”

Jefferson Bible Exists

Despite the best efforts of pseudo-historians to argue otherwise, Jefferson’s personal bible is on display at the Smithsonian’s American History museum. Religiously motivated writers do their best to portray Jefferson as a devout Christian despite the historical record.  Jefferson’ s religious beliefs were a deeply personal matter and he shared them with few. “Our particularContinue reading “Jefferson Bible Exists”

Jefferson on Love

A periodic look into the mind of Jefferson Jefferson loved two women in his life… both brought him periods of blissful happiness and profound sadness.  Through all the sadness, Jefferson’s optimism could always be felt-  He told his second love, Maria Cosway in 1786: “Heaven has submitted our being to some unkind laws.  When thoseContinue reading “Jefferson on Love”

On Impeachment

Should the current Chief Executive be worried? Supporters of corrupt Presidents, from Andrew Johnson to Bill Clinton… all use the same erroneous argument about the Impeachment provision of the Constitution.  “But he didn’t commit a high crime!”      If only our Framers had specific indictable crimes in mind when they included… the all important ImpeachmentContinue reading “On Impeachment”

Confederate Monument Dilemma

Practically Historical Offers the Following Solutions The Confederate flag should never be flown over government buildings or property The Confederate flag should not be banned Monuments to Confederate leaders, political or military, should not be kept on government or public property Monuments dedicated to unnamed soldiers who fought for the Confederacy should be allowed onContinue reading “Confederate Monument Dilemma”