Desecration of Major Ballou

Major Sullivan Ballou of the 2nd Rhode Island Volunteers was mortally wounded leading his regiment on Mathews Hill during the First Battle of Bull Run. Solid shot from a Rebel battery smashed his right leg beyond repair. The shattered limb was amputated later that afternoon; Ballou died on July 28th. He was buried near theContinue reading “Desecration of Major Ballou”

Chickamauga- Plenty of Blame to Share

William S. Rosecrans fought  nearly perfect campaign  forcing his Confederate opponent out of Tennessee.  When the newly reinforced Confederates finally turned to fight Southeast of Chattanooga, he and his subordinates were unprepared for the strategic implications.  George H. Thomas, “The Rock of Chickamauga,”  is justly praised for his dogged defense of Horseshoe Ridge on SeptemberContinue reading “Chickamauga- Plenty of Blame to Share”

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”

Gallantly Streaming

The United States needed a national anthem…. since the War of 1812, the de facto anthem had been “My Country, Tis of Thee” – or as it is better known, “God Save the Queen” – The British national anthem.  The march entitled “Hail Columbia” also was considered our anthem for a short period. A brief historyContinue reading “Gallantly Streaming”

A Feud Begins

Following his dramatic victory on Lake Erie, Oliver Hazard Perry submitted his after-action report to the Secretary of the Navy. This report would spark a decade long feud with a querulous subordinate. These events ultimately led to the Naval hero’s death. Perry observed, “At half past two, the wind springing up, Capt. Elliott was enabledContinue reading “A Feud Begins”

They are Ours!

Light winds on September 10, 1813… turned the battle of Lake Erie into a slug fest.  Neither commander could gain any true advantage in weather gauge- the two squadrons lay opposite one another, blasting away.  American Oliver Hazard Perry’s flagship, Lawrence  was taking the brunt of British fire as the rest of his command struggledContinue reading “They are Ours!”

Frontier Feud

Searching for the causes of the War of 1812… will invariably lead to the Indiana frontier.  William Henry Harrison was granted power by President Thomas Jefferson to negotiate with the Indian nations (13 treaties and over 1 million acres.)   Harrison orchestrated the Treaty of Ft. Wayne in 1809, granting US settlers unlimited access toContinue reading “Frontier Feud”

Washington and Vaccination

In a 1777 letter to Continental Congress President John Hancock, George Washington called on the army to be inoculated against smallpox. He feared it every bit as much as the muskets of the British. “Finding the smallpox to be spreading much and fearing that no precaution can prevent it from running through the whole ofContinue reading “Washington and Vaccination”

Truman’s Decision

Historical revisionists cannot win all the debates… but they believed the issue of Hiroshima/Nagasaki was open and shut.  Impressionable undergraduates inundated with nonsense about Japanese intent to surrender and Truman’s secret agenda to begin the Cold War.  Minor Japanese diplomats approaching anonymous Soviet delegates with talk of negotiating conditional surrender to the US hardly constitute seriousContinue reading “Truman’s Decision”

Reynolds and Destiny

Lincoln summoned Major General John F. Reynolds to the White House on June 2, 1863. The situation was pressing as Lee’s army continued its drive northward. Reynolds left his beloved First Corps on the dusty roads of Virginia to hear the entreaties of his Commander-in-Chief. No firsthand accounts remain, but a preponderance of evidence indicateContinue reading “Reynolds and Destiny”