Jefferson on Jackson

Thomas Jefferson saw enough of Andrew Jackson to form this succinct, remarkably accurate description of the “military chief” in 1823. “I feel much alarmed at the prospect of seeing General Jackson President.  He is one of the most unfit men I know of for such a place.  He has had very little respect for lawsContinue reading “Jefferson on Jackson”

Finest Two Minutes

Lincoln thought he failed November 19, 1863…  obligatory applause from a damp crowd in Gettysburg offered him little consolation.  Lincoln had just followed a masterful two-hour speech from America’s greatest orator, Edward Everett.  The President sat down in his seat and commented to his friend, Ward Lamon, that the speech wouldn’t “scour” (would fail to clearContinue reading “Finest Two Minutes”

Citizen Soldiers Pt. 2

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain answered his… nation’s call with extraordinary valor.  His standing in the social circles of Maine could have won him a Colonel’s commission, but Chamberlain deferred- he wanted to  learn the craft of soldiering before commanding troops.  His training was hands-on and brutal.  The 20th Maine’s baptism of fire was on the killingContinue reading “Citizen Soldiers Pt. 2”

Citizen Soldiers Pt. 1

Olive Wendell Holmes Jr. was a soldier…  Many present day Conservatives strongly dislike him. They accuse him of being a eugenicist (tantamount to being a communist these days,)  and his opinion on national security makes their blood boil.   If ever there were sunshine soldiers and summer patriots, they are in the modern Conservative movement.  OliverContinue reading “Citizen Soldiers Pt. 1”

Wyatt Earp on Film

Wyatt Earp has been the subject of 13 major feature films…and has appeared in dozens of television shows.  Which portrayals stand up to the scrutiny of history? James Garner– Hour of the Gun :   Dark, torn, repressed…Earp at his most troubled.  Garner is the real deal in this John Sturges classic. Kurt Russell- Tombstone : Continue reading “Wyatt Earp on Film”

Infamy in Tombstone

Wyatt Earp fired the most important shot…during the gunfight at the OK Corral.  Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday enjoyed the name recognition, but the most dangerous man on the streets of Tombstone that day was Frank McLaury.  McLaury was known throughout the Arizona territory as a dangerous gunman; but, he was also a notorious cattleContinue reading “Infamy in Tombstone”

Presidential Campaign Scandals in History

John Quincy Adams was in trouble… in his reelection bid in 1828.  Andrew Jackson built a nationwide network of support during Adams’ term in office.  Jackson’s campaign structure was the first of its kind and by 1828 there were pro-Jackson committees in every state.  All property requirements for voting had been removed, drastically increasing the electorate. Continue reading “Presidential Campaign Scandals in History”

Burnside Bridge too Far

General George McClellan ordered the Union IX Corps…. across the Antietam creek as early as 9am on September 17, 1862.  As the battle raged to the North, General Ambrose Burnside’s men stumbled about the East side of the creek searching for an easy ford.  The Rohrbach bridge was defended by Confederates protected in rifle pits.  The properContinue reading “Burnside Bridge too Far”

Duel at the Sunken Road

Lee’s army was under pressure the morning of…. September 17, 1862.  The flow of reinforcements from the southern end of his line to the maelstrom in the Cornfield created weaknesses in the Confederate positions.  Fresh troops crossing the Antietam extended the Union front to the south- and the exposed Confederate line.  The center of Lee’s line wasContinue reading “Duel at the Sunken Road”

Through the Cornfield

Before dawn on September 17, 1862…. Maj. General Joseph Hooker’s men waited pensively in the woods North of Sharpsburg, Maryland.  Neither Hooker nor his troops knew what awaited them on the other side of the Miller cornfield.  Through the pre-dawn mist, Hooker could barely make out a small white building, that would be their target.  HookerContinue reading “Through the Cornfield”