Robert E. Lee chose General John B. Gordon… to officially surrender the Army of Northern Virginia to the Union on April 12, 1865. Gordon was an amateur soldier who proved to be the consummate warrior. Through the course of the conflict Gordon was badly wounded seven times, with five minnie balls hitting him at the battle of Antietam in 1862. Lee often praised Gordon’s actions in battle, “characterized by splendid audacity.”
True citizen soldier
US Grant selected General Joshua L. Chamberlain… to accept the Confederate surrender. Chamberlain was a college professor (of rhetoric) who enlisted in the 20th Maine Vols. He served with distinction from Fredericksburg to Petersburg, winning the Medal of Honor for his defense of Little Round Top during the Gettysburg campaign. Chamberlain was wounded six times (nearly dying at Petersburg in 1864) and cited for bravery four times during his service.
Soul of a Lion
As Gordon led the Confederate army past… the Army of the Potomac, Chamberlain ordered the men to “Carry Arms”, the snap of the leather and metal signaled a marching salute. Gordon, surprised by the gesture, ordered the Confederates to respond. Chamberlain described Gordon’s performance, “At the sound of that machine like snap of arms, however, General Gordon started, caught in a moment its significance, and instantly assumed the finest attitude of a soldier. He wheeled his horse facing me, touching him gently with the spur, so that the animal slightly reared, and as he wheeled, horse and rider made one motion, the horse’s head swung down with a graceful bow, and General Gordon dropped his sword point to his toe in salutation.” Gordon truly understood the significance of the gesture, “Chamberlain called his men into line and as the Confederate soldiers marched in front of them, the veterans in blue gave a soldierly salute to those vanquished heroes—a token of respect from Americans to Americans.”
Americans to Americans
US Grant was not his name…but since his enrollment at West Point he had lived with it. The Civil War brought him a nickname, Unconditional Surrender. His victories at Forts Henry and Donelson had cemented his reputation for no-nonsense. The best man at his wedding, Simon Bolivar Buckner, asked for terms when surrendering Fort Donelson- Grant’s response, “No terms other than unconditional surrender.” The name stuck, along with the dour disposition.
First Lt. General since Washington
Robert E. Lee could not bear the thought…of surrendering the Army of Northern Virginia. The desperate situation of April, 1865 made the note he received from Grant on April 7 more difficult, “GENERAL: The result of the last week must convince you of the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia in this struggle. I feel that it is so, and regard it as my duty to shift from myself the responsibility of any further effusion of blood, by asking of you the surrender of that portion of the C. S. Army known as the Army of Northern Virginia.” Lee’s response was simple, what terms did Grant propose? History showed the possibility of terms was all but impossible, but the absurdity of war takes history in strange directions.
Most accurate depiction of the meeting
Grant and Lee talked as if they were old friends… in Wilmer McLean’s parlor. Lee had to bring Grant’s attention to the matter at hand. Grant offered generous terms by military standards of the day. He also agreed to feed Lee’s starving men. Lee saw this gesture’s magnitude, “it will do much toward reconciling our country.” As Lee rode away, Union troops broke into cheers… Grant ordered them silenced, “The Confederates were now our countrymen, and we did not want to exult over their downfall.”
Like dying a thousand deaths
Some perspective on tax day….
- At the original tax rates established in 1913 after ratification of the 16th amendment, only 1% of the population paid federal income tax
- Single filers paid taxes on every dollar after $17,000 and married couples after $20,000 - Adjusted to today’s dollars, that is $374, 440 for individuals and $440,400 for couples
- The top marginal rate in 1913 was 7% and applied to incomes over $500,000 – adjusted to today’s dollars that would be $11.1 million
- Top to bottom ratio in 1913 was 7:1 or 7%- 1%
- In 1980, the top to bottom ratio was 70%-11% (roughly the same disparity)
- Currently, top to bottom is 35%- 10%
- Under the current brackets, individuals are only exempted $9,350 and couples $18,700 – - adjusted percentages from 1913 would be $66,100 for singles and $88,100 for couples
I want you…with less exempt income
Originally posted on pacificparatrooper:
Lt. Gerry Meynell, 3RCR
Lt. Gerry Meynell
The Battle of Hill 187; 3RCR, Korea
On 2 May 1953 at 2220 hours, on a dark, moonless night, a 16 man Canadian fighting patrol faced an ambush position. The men were from Able Company, 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment. The patrol was in “No Man’s Land” on the floor of the Sami-ch’on River Valley. They had left Hill 187 to face Hill 166 and the Chinese bastion. This patrol was commanded by Lt. Gerry Meynell and each man from the onset could sense that they had become the prey rather than the hunter.
Maynell ordered his men to shift positions and take cover behind a bank of a rice paddy. Over the radio, he called for illumination and a flare from a 60mm mortar of Charlie Company lit the sky to reveal 60 Chinese soldiers. The RCR oped…
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Was Jesus really married?… scientist determine gospel of his wife not a forgery
101 year old message in bottle delivered… granddaughter receives message found on the Baltic
LBJ conference provides new perspectives… three former Presidents attend the opening ceremonies
Jim DeMint should visit this blog more often… Senator makes some curious remarks about history
PBS to air documentary on western theater of Civil War… Elizabeth McGovern narrates 5 part series filmed at National Battlefields
Nothing like the Johnson treatment
It’s open season on our Founders… writers today attack them more vigorously than ever before. 21st century sensibilities substitute for constructive analysis of these men in their time. The judgements are harsh because of perceived failures in our history. Racism, sexism, and elitism exist because our Founders were all of the above.
Do you really know us?
We are so far removed from our Founders… that we cannot see them for the men they were. We blame our imperfections on them and disregard their efforts in the formation of our republic. They have been relegated to lifeless marble and ridiculous caricatures. Sadly, the Founders were much more than that- their essence, utterly eludes today’s ambitious biographers. Public virtue and social character mattered…
James Madison Preparatory School presents the annual History Dinner- Thursday, April 10, 2014. 6pm JMPS auditorium
The Senate of the United States was designed… to give equal representation to the States- a more disciplined, stable, and experienced legislative body. Madison saw the dangers in the popularly elected House, for people were often, “subject to the [periodic] infection of violent passions… that such an institution may be sometimes necessary as a defense to the people against their own temporary errors and delusions.”
You still doubt my ideas?
Popular elections are often driven by partisanship, misinformation, and demagoguery. The States were to choose Senators to insure, “In these critical moments, how salutary will be the interference of some temperate and respectable body of citizens, in order to check the misguided career, and to suspend the blow meditated by the people against themselves, until reason, justice, and truth can regain their authority over the public mind?”
Madison discernibly demonstrates the need for… a portion of government that can rise above the passions and partisanship that too often sweeps through popular elections. Federalist 63 uses this reasoning to support the original intent of the election of Senators- State governments deliberately selecting their representatives through legislatures- the voice of the people held within those bodies…
Henry Clay of Kentucky- impossible to elect him under the 17th amendment
Current reformers arguing for the repeal of… 17th amendment miss this point entirely. Conservatives claim the amendment impedes Federalism and limits States rights- but they ignore the more fundamental issue- original intent. By putting the election of Senators to a popular vote, the body has been subjected to the political passions of any given election cycle. Partisanship grinds the political process to a halt- the Senate has become an overpaid debating society where grandstanding members play to their bases to insure reelection. Rank amateurs, never elected to a public office, are foolishly thrust into our most powerful legislative body. The misguided Progressivism that brought on the 17th amendment is in dire need of reconsideration; the amendment’s repeal being the only logical conclusion.
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