The First Memorial Day And Some Other Facts You May Have Missed
**Have a great and safe Memorial Day; Semper Fi…to those who “really” know why.
**Have a great and safe Memorial Day; Semper Fi…to those who “really” know why.
Get the full skinny here >
How to Make Civil War Hoe Cakes
How to Make Hoe cakes, or Johnnycakes for Pioneer Recipes
KEEP IT FLYING!!!!
The Confederacy -the eleven states which tried to break away from the United States to form their own nation during the American Civil War- was dominated in thoughts and actions by its slave owning elite.
Though only a minority of Southern whites owned slaves (the rich; as are to this day-ONLY the rich have…employ servants), a disproportionate number of Southern politicians owned slaves. Their political actions were of course influenced by their stake in the perpetuation and expansion into new territories of slavery and trade.
The white population heard and read a lot of rhetoric often obscuring this fact, and went to war for many different reasons the same reasons are similar today. During the war, however, they quickly came to the realization they were mainly fighting for the interests of their rich neighbors; yeah the one’s with slaves.
The cry ‘A rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight’ became common. Especially after the new slave holding nation passed a law saying you didn’t have to fight if you happened to have 20 slaves back home.
It turned out the elite moved their poorer neighbors into the abyss and weren’t willing to pay the price to get them back out of it. In the end, around 258,000 people died for the perpetuation of a system that benefited only a tiny, fabulously wealthy elite;remember them, the one’s with the slaves.
So always ask yourself when something major happens: Cui Bono? Who benefits? In ANY war, with any variant of this is: Follow the Money. Why does the American political system spew forth pathologically lying demagogues? Cui bono? Who benefits?
Chances are it won’t be the unemployed;lovers of freedom, the working poor or the debt-ridden students…
Credit: more in part to Frank M.
*Thanks Frank; you’re a blessing. Makes people think!
How to Escape from Zip Ties with Shoelaces
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Heritage,…not hate. Keep it flying!
…albeit the hard way.
In a struggle where more than 650,000 men perished over a period of a mere four years, on a fascinating stage where the last vestiges of feudalism clashed with the industrial revolution and modern representative democracy, there are bound to be lessons.
Latest estimates put the tally at around 800,000 deaths caused by the war. A staggering figure given that the US at the time -1860- had only around 31 million inhabitants all together. Percentage wise this is more than France or Germany lost during the First World War.
If so many people were willing to risk their lives in the most destructive of circumstances, for reasons which are not always clear to us today, this war must have seen some fierce characters. Some rose to the occasion and others faltered miserably.
What are some lessons we can derive from these examples?
First, we’ve learned a true leader takes the blame. One of the most inspirational leaders of the American Civil War was no doubt Robert E. Lee. He won a string of victories against opponents that often outnumbered him by two to one and had superior weaponry and logistics. He was not the most brilliant strategist however and his victories were costly. His management of the war’s biggest and most famous battle, Gettysburg, was very poor and based on deep feelings of contempt for the fighting qualities of his enemy; either that or there was some unified agreed upon collusion with the enemy.
When Lee’s last attempt to win the battle -a grand charge over an open field where his men would be exposed to unlimited fire from well-positioned, long-range Union artillery- was bloodily repulsed, he immediately took all the blame; and justly so.
From the approximately 15,000 men that were assigned to make the charge, about half were lost.
He did not make the best decisions during this battle, but it’s equally true several of his key subordinates made vital mistakes as well. Instead of putting all the blame on them, he took full responsibility for the bloody defeat; again, justly so.
This act held the army together for whatever reason, it had a paradoxical effect of maintaining the confidence of the soldiers had in him, and it inspired the army to fight another day.
Anyway, remember, if you go around blaming other people for what went wrong, they will subconsciously realize you are not really in charge and your authority will suffer. If you want to be a leader, take full responsibility for whatever happens to your cause, army, company, business, community…
Another lesson we can draw is that you decide when you are defeated.
Early in the war general Nathan Bedford Forrest and his men were being -sort of- besieged in Fort Donelson, together with about 14,000 other soldiers. His commanders quickly lost all hope, ignoring opportunities to break out and defeat their enemy. Instead they started bickering over who should take care of the details of their surrender.
Nathan Bedford Forrest understood the situation better than his superiors and took matters into his own hands. He decided to at least keep his own little command out of the enemy’s prisons. He told his men: “Boys, these people are talking about surrendering, and I am going out of this place before they do or bust hell wide open.” He took 700 men and somehow managed to slip them past the enemy’s lines, something his demoralized superiors weren’t even willing to consider. Live today, fight tomorrow scenario.
The lesson: you’re not defeated until you give up looking for opportunities to turn the tide.
Credit mostly: Frank M.
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SHTF Bug Out Bag (Cold Environment)
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“The Civil War was brutal. Brother fighting brother- over trade, commodities, and servitude. That’s all there is to it. People of color was never the issue with civil war- people of color joined in willingly to defend their Master’s land; why? Cause it was their land and their life as well. Anyway……..”
While it’s true that the Union soldiers were generally better fed than the Confederate soldiers were, neither side was eating steak and eggs, at least not with any kind of regularity. Because an army really does march on its stomach, food supplies going both directions were interrupted as often as possible.
Unfortunately, often this meant burning fields and slaughtering animals, leaving them to rot, as a regiment passed through an area, in order to keep the other side from eating. The casualties of those actions weren’t just soldiers – the families who depended upon those animals and crops to exist also starved.
Because food conditions became so brutal, especially in the South, both soldiers and families had to learn how to survive with very little food.
What was a man to do if he was on the march and had very little time to cook, and very few ingredients to do it with? What about the women and infirm left at home?
How did they live? The answer is: simply and with what little they had on hand. God provided to those who kept faith in God.
The one advantage that both sides had was that the country was still agricultural. People, at least in the part of the country where they were fighting, weren’t dependent upon outside sources for survival not like we are now with trade and GMO crops. Family or estate gardens were the norm rather than the exception and fruit trees and wild berries grew in abundance. However, with the climate changes from nature we’ve seen, the norm isn’t normal anymore.
With a norms in place soldiers just went to grab food from along the trail and it allowed families who may have lost most of everything else to have at least enough to survive. Remember, too, canning was a huge part of life back then, so if families managed to hide their food or were fortunate enough to remain off the marching trails, they had food stockpiled.
The marching soldiers weren’t quite so lucky, and it wasn’t always because food was scarce. There was also the fact that most of the men had no idea how to cook; they’d never had reason to learn because they had women or servants to do that.
The North had an advantage here at the start of the war because they had the United States Sanitary Commission watching out for them. They were a system of volunteers that were trained to find and distribute food to soldiers in the field. These guys were prepared for an lengthy war with their neighbors.
The Sanitary Commission knew about what was in season where, and how to preserve it and transport it. It was their sole job to keep the soldiers constantly fed. That doesn’t mean the food tasted good, though, and they didn’t always come through so the soldiers were left to their own devices. But hey! they tried.
On the other hand, the Confederacy was a ragtag team who came together as farmers, miners, plantation owners, and other working men who were fighting for what they believed in. They weren’t soldiers and didn’t have any sort of organized system in place. They ate on the run and were dependent on what they could catch, hunt, pick, or pilfer. Families along the way were often sympathetic to the cause and would offer what they could.
Either way, if you have an entire army of people who are great at shooting a rabbit but have no idea how to cook it, you can imagine food-borne illness was a serious issue.
The typical daily allotment for a Confederate soldier was twelve ounces of fat-back (cured pork) and a pound of cornmeal (also called Indian meal) or hardtack. In the beginning, sugar, beans and coffee were part of the allotment, but faded out as food supplies dwindled.
Union soldiers received salted pork or beef, coffee, sugar, vinegar, salt, and dried fruits and veggies when they were in season. There were also civilian merchants called sutlers that set up shop in camps and sold canned fruit, sugar, tobacco, and coffee.
Hardtack was a staple on both sides and often was the only thing that stood between a man and starvation, though it hardly qualified as food and had practically no nutritional value other than carbohydrates because it was only flour, salt and water. Both sides also carried a canvas bag with buckles called a haversack that held their food and anything else they needed to survive for a few days on their own.
Finally, Confederate soldiers would often trade tobacco to Union soldiers for coffee beans, though it was done in secret because, obviously, fraternization was frowned upon.
It’s critical to remember here these were brothers fighting brothers. Unlike other wars, these men were still countrymen, though their convictions had brought them to war. Sometimes, men managed to find uneasy peace long enough to help each other. We may yet need to do this again on U.S. soil.
By the end of the war, things were so bad there were food riots in many southern cities because food lines had been severed, personal food sources had been pillaged and/or destroyed, and people were starving. Even rats were fair game.
We need not forget the beginnings or results of a war or awkward incidents on U.S. soil. I’m not saying it could happen again; but what if it did? Would you and your family be ready?
Always Safe, Always Prepared
Credit: Frank M.
*WOW! Thanks a lot for this info Frank!
The 5Cs – Survival vs Bushcraft
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Keep the flag flying! It’s Heritage, not hate.
as told by the yanks….;)
On the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s last attempt at breaking the Union line ends in disastrous failure, bringing the most decisive battle of the American Civil War to an end.
In June 1863, following his masterful victory at the Battle of Chancellorsville, General Lee launched his second invasion of the Union in less than a year. He led his 75,000-man Army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac River, through Maryland, and into Pennsylvania, seeking to win a major battle on Northern soil that would further dispirit the Union war effort and induce Britain or France to intervene on the Confederacy’s behalf. The 90,000-strong Army of the Potomac pursued the Confederates into Maryland, but its commander, General Joseph Hooker, was still stinging from his defeat at Chancellorsville and seemed reluctant to chase Lee further. Meanwhile, the Confederates divided their forces and investigated various targets, such as Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania capital.
On June 28, President Abraham Lincoln replaced Hooker with General George Meade, and Lee learned of the presence of the Army of the Potomac in Maryland. Lee ordered his army to concentrate in the vicinity of the crossroads town of Gettysburg and prepare to meet the Federal army. At the same time, Meade sent ahead part of his force into Pennsylvania but intended to make a stand at Pipe Creek in Maryland.
On July 1, a Confederate division under General Henry Heth marched into Gettysburg hoping to seize supplies but finding instead three brigades of Union cavalry. Thus began the Battle of Gettysburg, and Lee and Meade ordered their massive armies to converge on the impromptu battle site. The Union cavalrymen defiantly held the field against overwhelming numbers until the arrival of Federal reinforcements. Later, the Confederates were reinforced, and by mid-afternoon some 19,000 Federals faced 24,000 Confederates. Lee arrived to the battlefield soon afterward and ordered a general advance that forced the Union line back to Cemetery Hill, just south of the town.
During the night, the rest of Meade’s force arrived, and by the morning Union General Winfield Hancock had formed a strong Union line. On July 2, against the Union left, General James Longstreet led the main Confederate attack, but it was not carried out until about 4 p.m., and the Federals had time to consolidate their positions. Thus began some of the heaviest fighting of the battle, and Union forces retained control of their strategic positions at heavy cost. After three hours, the battle ended, and the total number of dead at Gettysburg stood at 35,000.
On July 3, Lee, having failed on the right and the left, planned an assault on Meade’s center. A 15,000-man strong column under General George Pickett was organized, and Lee ordered a massive bombardment of the Union positions. The 10,000 Federals answered the Confederate artillery onslaught, and for more than an hour the guns raged in the heaviest cannonade of the Civil War. At 3 p.m., Pickett led his force into no-man’s-land and found that Lee’s bombardment had failed. As Pickett’s force attempted to cross the mile distance to Cemetery Ridge, Union artillery blew great holes in their lines. Meanwhile, Yankee infantry flanked the main body of “Pickett’s charge” and began cutting down the Confederates. Only a few hundred Virginians reached the Union line, and within minutes they all were dead, dying, or captured. In less than an hour, more than 7,000 Confederate troops had been killed or wounded.
Both armies, exhausted, held their positions until the night of July 4, when Lee withdrew. The Army of the Potomac was too weak to pursue the Confederates, and Lee led his army out of the North, never to invade it again. The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point in the Civil War, costing the Union 23,000 killed, wounded, or missing in action. The Confederates suffered some 25,000 casualties. On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address during the dedication of a new national cemetery at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg. The Civil War effectively ended with the surrender of General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in April 1865.
A father had a family of sons who were perpetually quarreling among themselves. When he failed to heal their disputes by his exhortations, he determined to give them a practical illustration of the evils of disunion; and for this purpose he one day told them to bring him a bundle of sticks. When they had done so, he placed the bundle of sticks into the hands of each of them in succession, and ordered them to break it in pieces.
They tried with all their strength, and were not able to do it. He next opened the bundle of sticks, took the sticks separately, one by one, and again put them into his sons’ hands, upon which they broke them easily. He then addressed them in these words: “My sons, if you are of one mind, and unite to assist each other, you will be as this bundle of sticks, uninjured by all the attempts of your enemies; but if you are divided among yourselves, you will be broken as easily as these sticks.”
Lk 11:17 “But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.”
1 Cor 1:10 “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”