The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to ever one in western Illinois and all readers of The Quill. I'm a hope'n your week is a go'n well fer youn's thus far.
Civil War Reenactment
Did anyone from these parts take in the 27th Annual Civil War Reenactment in Rand Park at Keokuk, Iowa last weekend? It was a sesquicentennial celebration, and that sixteen (16) letter word is a mouthful fer us fellers let alone know'n where it come from.
They reenacted two battles - the battle of Atlanta and the Battle of Ezra Church. I have an ancestor that fought in the battle of Atlanta, so that particular battle was of enterest ta me. I took a young grandson along.
He was full of questions, before and after the event. What's it feel like ta be shot? ...Does it hurt? ...Where would it hurt the most? ...Which is worse, be'n shot or be'n stabbed. ...What's it like after you are shot or stabbed to death? ...Why didn't they make peace instead of war? ...Why have war anyway? ...Who decides ta make a war anyway? ...Aren't those wool clothing the soldiers wore, itchy? ...Were they warm enough in the winter and too hot in the summer? ...Didn't the wool rub their necks raw? ...Did they ever shoot anybody by mistake? ...Did they shoot military officers? ...Was a Colonel, Sgt. Captain, or Major ever shot? ...Can we stay longer and come back tomorrow?
The questions went on, one right after another with hardly enough time ta put the proper thoughts into the answers.
Generals Sherman and Grant were there as actors at the park along with other military officers and plain soldiers. President Lincoln was there also along with professor Farquar's Medicine show.
Jefferson Davis had a toothache and missed the event. A tour of the national cemetery was also given, the only national cemetery west of the Mississippi River.
William Tecumseh Sherman was an enterest'n feller! He hated the South, Georgia, newspapermen, politicians and Indians!
His scorched-earth tactics in the Civil War brought him much hatred and infamy in the South, burning Atlanta and laying waste to innocent folk caught up in war and vast stretches of farmland, with little regard fer widows, the elderly, children, or pregnant womenfolk.
After the Civil War that same harsh hard-hearted tactic was applied ta the Native American Indians in the plains to protect railroad investors. He was outspoken in his belief that Indian policy should be set by the army, of course that meant him, not politicians, and his version of Indian policy as commander of Indian territory and as a member of the peace commission allowed him to put his beliefs into practice.
He once declared that all Indians not on reservations, "Are hostile and will remain so until killed off". He crushed Indian resistance across the plains much as he did Southern victims during the Civil War. It would be called collateral damage today.
Sherman lead his troops to the capture and destruction of Atlanta, which contributed to the re-election of President Lincoln to his second term.
Sherman's tactics for both the South and the plains Indians led to economic malaise fer them folk well into the 20th century.
Enterestingly the Tecumseh middle name of Sherman was taken after the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, who tried to unite Ohio River Valley Native American tribes in the early 19th century. He was raised by family friends after his father died and also tried a career as a banker and lawyer, before the war, and was a failure which might help explain his harsh temperament.
He is credited with helping to stop General Grant from resigning when Grant felt himself hamstrung by orders from Washington. He feuded into the press, displayed emotional problems, and suffered accusations of insanity.
Sherman's skilled opponent before Atlanta was Joseph E. Johnston, however, the frustrated Jefferson Davis replaced Johnston with John B. Hood. Sherman soundly defeated Hood and occupied Atlanta. That surely gave Jefferson Davis a toothache in real life!
After the war, General Joe Johnston, and Sherman who had fought Sherman in Georgia and signed an armistice with him after the Battle of Bentonville, became friends. General Johnston attended Sherman's funeral and stood in the rain. He caught a cold which led to his death two weeks later.
Some would call Sherman a tyrannical-military leader. He gave orders for the City of Atlanta to be evacuated and burned. The citizens of Atlanta appealed for the elderly and pregnant women that would be in peril if moved, however Sherman's decision was final. He made his famous statement, "War is hell". And it uses his specific purpose to be that it was such for any of his opponents whether in the South or Indians.
Today, the press and politicians would probably accuse him of war crimes, especially if the south had anything to do with it and when comparing to events in Iraq, Bosnia, and other parts of the Middle East.
Those were different times and circumstances and it would be wrong to judge any of their actions by todays standards.
Mentally Ill Vets
These thoughts leads a feller to a recent quote by Dianne Feinstein: "All vets are mentally ill in some way and government should prevent them from owning firearms". She said it in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The quote of the day from the Los Angeles Times pertaining to Feinstein's quote is as follows: "Frankly, I don't know what it is about California, but we seem to have a strange urge to elect really obnoxious women to high office. I'm not braggin, ya understand, but no other state, including Maine, even comes close. When it comes to sending left-wing dingbats to Washington, we're number one. There's no getting around the fact that the last time anyone saw the likes of Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Maxine Waters, and Nancy Pelosi, they were stirring a cauldron when the curtain went up on "Macbeth'. The four of them are like donkeys who happen to possess the gift of blab. You don't know if you should condemn them for their stupidity or simply marvel at their ability to form words," columnist Burt Prelutsky, Los Angeles Times.
Well, thar ya has it then, The Good, Bad, and the Ugly. The boys will have a time figure'n all this out. They and all of western Illinois support our vets, hold them in high regard, and dislike the left wing dingbat rhetoric that in anyway is critical of their sacrifices.
Hope'n to see youn's in church this week.
Where ever ya is, whatever ya be a do'n BE A GOOD ONE!!
Keep on Smile'n,
Catch ya later!