Friday, July 26, 2013

Cannons Pointed North.


Cannons Pointed North.©
By David Tatum JR.

And “Then” the war was over.
Angry rifles were laid to rest.
A final order came by messenger 
And this is what it said!

“Take your rifles with you men,
But stray not from homes course.
And though they are not loaded,
Keep your cannons pointed north“.

The final salvo had been fired,
They fought bravely to the end,
And though the “Cause” was halted,
It’s the TRUTH, WE now defend!

And though the wars long over,
Dixie’s enemies still abound.
The TRUTH with our brave soldiers, 
Must not get buried in the ground.

We can not let this happed.
Bending history as it gets old,
To repay our southern Fathers 
It’s the Truth that must be told

So when my time in Dixie ends
A last request of all my friends!

Place my ashes in a cannon.

Make sure it’s pointed north!
Sing Dixie one more time - for me!
Then fire that Damn thing off!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Men in Battle, Boys in Camp.

This is one of my favorite stories of the Howitzers, From the book --

REMINISCENCES of the First Company Richmond Howitzers

It was at Mead's Farm that a piece of fun occurred. At the battle of Manassas, an ambulance with a horse was captured. The ambulance was a clumsy affair, shaped like a large box poised up on two wheels, with a seat in front, and doors in the rear, with shafts attached to it. At Fairfax Court House two recruits, brothers, joined the Company, Benjamin and John Grover. Benjamin was the youngest, not over sixteen or seventeen years old. He was as wild and unlettered as a Comanche Indian. Ben was detailed as driver of the ambulance, he used it to sleep in. One night, when he was sleeping soundly, a cannoneer tied his feet to the seat, and threw the shafts up. His feet were up and his head down, he bellowed like a good fellow. His brother came to his assistance, and cut him down.

Ben complained to Captain Shields of the treatment he had received. The Captain took the situation in at once and told Ben that he should have re- dress for the ill treatment. The Captain said that he would hold the guard that was on duty the night it occurred responsible. The guard consisted of six cannoneers. They were court-martialed. Everything was conducted in accordance with army regulations, charges, specifications, and finding of the court. Lieutenant Henry Williams was judge-advocate; Taylor Martin was the matter. He called Benjamin to him and lectured him upon the evil of cursing, and if he continued where it would land him. After the Captain concluded he paused, and asked Ben, "What good does it do to curse the horse"?
  Ben promptly replied, "It makes the old scoundrel stand still when I am currying him." The Captain turned off with a smile on his face. He had been lecturing the boy for half an hour and had produced no effect whatever. The seed had fallen on stony ground and brought forth no fruit,

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Narrow Escape of an Entire Company.


The Narrow Escape of an Entire Company.

In the midst of all this, an incident took place that created a great deal of amusement. Along the line, just back of and somewhat protected by the works, the Texans had pitched several of the little “shelter tents” we used to capture from the enemy, and found such a convenience. One of these stood apart. It had a piece of cloth, buttoned on the back, and closing that end up to about eighteen inches from the top, leaving thus, a triangular hole just under the ridge pole. In this little tent sat four men, a captain and three privates, all that were left of a Company in this Texan Brigade. These fellows were playing “Seven-up” and, despite the confusion around, were having a good time. Suddenly, one of the shells from the hill behind, struck, tumbled over once or twice, and stopped, right in the mouth of that tent, the fuse still burning. The game stopped! The players were up, instantly. The next moment, one fellow came diving headforemost out of that triangular hole at the back, followed fast by the other three—the captain last. It only took “one time and one motion” to get out of that. Soon as they could pick themselves up, they, all four, jumped behind a tree that stood there; and then, the fuse went out, and the shell didn't burst. Everybody had seen the shell fall, and were horror stricken at the apparently certain fate of those four men. Now, the absurdity of the scene struck us all, and there were shouts of laughter at their expense. Despite their sudden, hasty retreat through that narrow hole everyone of the scamps had held on to his “hand,” and they promptly kicked the shell aside, crawled into the tent again, and continued their little game; interrupted, however, by jokes from all sides. It was very funny! The smoking shell, in front, and those fellows shooting through that hole at the back, and alighting all in a heap, and then the scramble for that tree. As the shell went out, it was a roaring farce. If it hadn't  it would have been a tragedy. The Captain said that these three men were his whole company, and when that lighted shell struck, he thought that his company was “gone up” for good and all.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

“Independent Battalion of Fusiliers.”

A Sketch in Personal Narrative of the Scenes a Soldier Saw
Private, First Company
Richmond Howitzers

In between our stated duties, we had some time in which we could amuse ourselves as we chose, and we had many means of entertainment. 
There was one thing from which we got a great deal of fun. We got up an organization amongst the youngsters which was called the “Independent Battalion of Fusiliers.” The basic principle of this kind of heroes was, “In an advance, always in the rear—in a retreat, always in front. Never do anything that you can help. The chief aim of life is to rest. If you should get to a gate, don’t go to the exertion of opening it. Sit down and wait until somebody comes along and opens it for you.”
After the first organizers, no one applied for admission into the Battalion—they were elected into it, without their consent. The way we kept the ranks full was this: Whenever any man in the Battery did any specially trifling, and good-for-nothing thing, or was guilty of any particularly asinine conduct, or did any fool trick, or expressed any idiotic opinion, he was marked out as a desirable recruit for the Fusiliers. We elected him, went and got him and made him march with us in parade of the Battalion, and solemnly invested him with the honor. This was not always a peaceable performance. Sometimes the candidate, not appreciating his privilege, had to be held by force, and was struggling violently, and saying many bad words, during the address of welcome by the C. O.

I grieve to say that an election into this notable corps was treated as an insult, and responded to by hot and unbecoming language. One fellow, when informed of his election, flew into a rage, and said bad words, and offered to lick the whole Battalion. But what would they have? We were obliged to fill up the ranks.
After a while it did come to be better understood, and was treated as a joke, and some of the more sober men entered into the fun, and would go out on parade, and take part in the ceremony. We paraded with a band composed of men beating tin buckets, frying pans, and canteens, with sticks, and whistling military music. It made a noisy and impressive procession. It attracted much attention and furnished much amusement to the camp.

Update !!!! JC Tatum was a member 

A Small Story of Faith !

It’s the small stories that you will never find in History books that our schools supply that I find give a much better picture of our Confederate ancestors.
The following story as given by Robert Styles is one. It’s taken from ---
Major of Artillery in the Army of Northern Virginia

 “An incident occurred, on or near the Nine-Mile road, some time before the week of battle opened, which is strongly illustrative at once of my father's faith and of the childlike simplicity of the great bulk of our soldiery. Two companies, I think from South Carolina, were supporting a section of our battery in an advanced and somewhat isolated position. About the middle of the afternoon father drove down from Richmond, and after he had distributed his provisions and talked with us a while, proposed to have prayers, which was readily acceded to. Quite a number of men from the neighboring commands gathered, and just as we knelt and my father began his petitions the batteries across the way sent two or three shells entirely too close to our heads to be comfortable-- I presume just by way of determining the object of this concourse.”

     “  I confess my faith and devotion were not strong enough to prevent my opening my eyes and glancing around. The scene that met them was almost too much for my reverence and came near being fatal to my decorum. Our Carolina supports, like the rest of us, had knelt and closed their eyes at my father's invocation and, simple-hearted fellows that they were, felt that it would be little less than sacrilege to rise or to open them until the prayer should be completed; and yet their faith was not quite equal to assuring them of God's protection, or at least they felt it would be wise and well to supplement the protection of heaven by the trees and stumps of earth, if they could find them, and so they were actually groping for them with arms wide extended but eyes tight closed, and still on their knees. “”

“I hardly know what might have been the effect upon me of this almost impossibly ludicrous scene had I not glanced toward my father. As was his habit in public prayer, he was standing; his tall, majestic figure erect and his worshipful, reverent face upturned to Heaven. Not a nerve trembled, not a note quavered. In a single sentence he committed us all to God's special keeping while we worshipped; and then, evidently, he did worship and supplicate the Divine Being without the slightest further consciousness of the bursting shells, which in a few moments ceased shrieking above or about us, and our little service closed without further interruption. And then it was beautiful to observe how these simple-hearted boys gazed at my father, as if indeed he had been one of the ancient prophets; but I heard some of them say they liked that old preacher mighty well, but they didn't just feel certain whether they wanted him around having prayers so close under the Yankee guns; that he "didn't seem to pay hardly enough attention to them things." 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Court Martial (Howitzer Style)


"On proper occasions, promotions to higher rank were made for distinguished merit in our line. An instance will illustrate. One night, late, I was passing along when I saw this sight. The sentinel on guard in camp was lying down on a pile of bags of corn at the forage pile—sound asleep. He was lying on his left side. One of the long tails of his coat was hanging loose from his body and dangling down alongside the pile of bags. A half-grown cow had noiselessly sneaked up to the forage pile, and been attracted by that piece of cloth hanging loose—and, as calves will] do, took the end of it into her mouth and was chewing it with great satisfaction. I called several of the fellows, and we watched the proceedings. The calf got more and more of the coat tail into her mouth. At length, with her mouth full of the cloth, and perhaps with the purpose of swallowing what she had been chewing she gave a hard jerk. The cloth was old, the seams rotten—that jerk pulled the whole of that tail loose from the body of the coat. The sleeping guard never moved. We rescued the cloth from the calf, and hid it. When the sleeper awoke, to his surprise, one whole tail of his coat was gone, and he was left with only one of the long tails. Our watching group, highly delighted at the show of a sentinel sleeping, while a calf was browsing on him, told him what had happened and that the calf had carried off the other coat tail. He was inconsolable. He was the only private in the company who had a long-tailed coat and it was the pride of his heart. There was no way of repairing the loss, and he had to go around for days, sad and dejected, shorn of his glory—with only one tail to his coat."

" All this was represented to the “Battalion of Fusiliers.” Charges were preferred, and the Court Martial set. The witnesses testified to the facts—also said that if we had not driven off the calf it would have gone on, after getting the coat tail, and chewed up the sentinel, too. The findings of the Court Martial were nicely adjusted to the merits of the case. It was, that the witnesses were sentenced to punishment for driving off the calf, and not letting her eat up the sentinel."

 "For the sentinel, who appeared before the Court with the one tail to his coat, it was decreed that his conduct was the very limit. No one could ever hope to find a more thorough Fusilier than the man who went to sleep on guard and let a calf eat his clothes off. Such conduct deserved most distinguished regard, as an encouragement to the Fusiliers. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General of the Battalion, the highest rank in our corps. After a while the lost coat tail was produced, and sewed on again."

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's a matter of perception !

OK Folks, for years I thought this song was sung by a Black man.
Well jumpin Jack Rabbits, it's sung by Randy Newman, the same guy who did "Short People"

To hear it Click Here

Sail Away

In America, you get food to eat
Won't have to run through the jungle and scuff up your feet
You just sing about Jesus, drink wine all day
It's great to be an American

Ain't no lions or tigers, ain't no mamba snake
Just the sweet watermelon and the buckwheat cake
Everybody is as happy as a man can be
Climb aboard little wog, sail away with me

Sail away, sail away
We will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay
Sail away, sail away
We will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay

In America, every man is free
To take care of his home and his family
You'll be as happy as a monkey in a monkey tree
You all gonna be an American

Sail away, sail away
We will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay
Sail away, sail away

We will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay

It's a wonderful song, I'm amazed at how heartfelt it is !

 Should it make a difference if it's sung by a Black Man or a White Man ?

It's not sarcastic in my opinion but I don't know how to classify it now that I know a White Guy sings it !

UPDATE !!!!!!!

My Friend Eddie, over at Face Book has brought me out of the dark !
Click on the link below !
Thanks Eddie !

Friday, July 12, 2013

4/12/1865 Walking Home after the surrender !

Carlton McCarthy gives us a glimpse of the walk home !

About the time when men who have eaten a hearty breakfast become again hungry as
good fortune would have it happen the travelers reached a house pleasantly situated, and
a comfortable place withal. Approaching the house they were met by an exceedingly kind,
energetic, and hospitable woman. She promptly asked,  “You are not deserters”  “No” said the soldiers, “we have our paroles. We are from Richmond ; we are homeward bound, and called to ask if you could spare us a dinner” ?
“Spare you a dinner? certainly I can. My husband is a miller  his mill is right across the road there, down the hill, and I have been cooking all day for the poor starving men. Take a seat on the porch there and I will get you something to eat” By the time the travelers were seated, this admirable woman was in the kitchen at work. The ”pat-a-pat, pat, pat, pat, pat-a-pat-a-pat” of the sifter, and the cracking
and “fizzing” of the fat bacon as it fried, saluted their hungry ears, and the delicious smell tickled their olfactory nerves most delightfully. Sitting thus, entertained by delightful sounds, breathing the fragrant air, and wrapped in meditation, or anticipation rather, the soldiers saw the dust rise in the air, and heard
the sound of an approaching party.
Several horsemen rode up to the road-gate, threw their bridles over the posts or tied to the overhanging boughs, and dismounted. They were evidently officers, well dressed, fine looking men, and about to enter the gate. Almost at once the men on the porch recognized General Lee and his son. An ambulance had arrived at the gate also. Without delay the party entered and approached the house, General Lee
preceding the others. Satisfied that it was the General s intention to enter the house, the two
“brave survivors “ instinctively and respect fully, venerating the approaching man, determined to give him and his companions the porch. As they were executing a rather rapid and undignified flank movement to gain the right and rear of the house, the voice of General Lee overhauled them, thus :
“Where are you men going” ?   “ This lady has offered to give us a dinner, and we are waiting for it”
replied the soldiers. “ Well, you had better move on now this gentleman will have quite
a large party on him to-day” said the General.
The soldiers touched their caps, said “ Yes” and retired, somewhat hurt, to a strong
position on a hencoop in the rear of the house.
The party then settled on the porch. The General had, of course, no authority, and
the surrender of the porch was purely respectful. Knowing this the soldiers were at first
hurt, but a moment s reflection satisfied them that the General was right. He had suspicions
of plunder, and these were increased by the movement of the men to the rear as he approached. He misinterpreted their conduct.
The lady of the house (a reward for her name!) hearing the dialogue in the yard, pushed her head through the crack of the kitchen door, and, as she tossed a lump of dough from hand to hand and gazed eagerly out, addressed the soldiers “ Ain’t that old General Lee” ?
“Yes ; General Lee and his son and other officers come to dine with you”, they replied.
“Well he ain’ t no better than the men that fought for him, and I don t reckon he is as hungry ; so you just come in here. I am going to give you yours first, and then I 11 get something for him” !
What a meal it was ! Seated at the kitchen table, the large-hearted woman bustling about
and talking away, the ravenous tramps attacked a pile of old Virginia hoe-cake and corn-dodger,
a frying pan with an inch of gravy and slices of bacon, streak of lean and streak of fat, very numerous. To finish as much rich butter milk as the drinkers could contain.
 With many heartfelt thanks the survivors bid farewell to this immortal woman, and leaving the General and his party in quiet possession of the front porch, pursued their way.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

DIXIE / by Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan's DIXIE !

Well being an Old Hippie I found a Bob Dylan song I've never heard !

(Click on this Link )

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The finest body of infantry ever assembled.

From –

The Confederate soldier was peculiar in that he was ever ready to fight, but never ready to submit to the routine duty and discipline of the camp or the march. The soldiers were determined to be soldiers after their own notions, and do their duty, for the love of it, as they thought best. The officers saw the necessity for doing otherwise, and so the conflict was commenced and maintained to the end.

It is doubtful whether the Southern soldier would have submitted to any hardships which were purely the result of discipline, and, on the other hand, no amount of hardship, clearly of necessity, could cool his ardor. And in spite of all this antagonism between the officers and men, the presence of conscripts, the consolidation of commands, and many other discouraging facts, the privates in the ranks so conducted themselves that the historians of the North were forced to call them the finest body of infantry ever assembled.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The parson who led the charge at Brook Church.

The parson who led the charge at Brook Church.


The day General Stuart fell, mortally wounded, there was a severe fight in the woods not far from the old Brook Church, a few miles from Richmond ; the enemy was making a determined stand, in order to gain time to repair a bridge which they were compelled to use, and the Confederate infantry skirmishers were pushing them hard. The fighting was stubborn and the casualties on the Confederate side very numerous. In the midst of the fight a voice was heard shouting, Where’ s my boy? I m looking for my boy! Soon the owner of the voice appeared, tall, slim, aged, with silver gray hair, dressed in a full suit of broadcloth. A tall silk hat and a clerical collar and cravat completed his attire. His voice, familiar to the people of Virginia, was deep and powerful. As he continued to shout, the men replied, Go back, old gentleman you’ll get hurt here. Go back , go back !
No, no ; said he, I can go anywhere my boy has to go, and the Lord is here. I want to see my boy, and I will see him !
Then the order, Forward ! was given and the men made once more for the enemy. The old gentleman, his beaver in one hand, a big stick in the other, his long hair flying, shouting, Come on, Boys ! disappeared in the depths of the woods, well in front. He was a Methodist minister, an old member of the Virginia Conference, but his carriage that day was soldierly and grand. One thought that his boy was there made the old man feel that he might brave the danger, too. No man who saw him there will ever forget the parson who led the charge at Brook Church.

Monday, July 1, 2013


"In 1862 Sherman was having difficulty subduing Confederate sharpshooters who were harassing federal gunboats on the Mississippi River near Memphis. He then adopted the theory of "collective responsibility" to "justify" attacking innocent civilians in retaliation for such attacks. He burned the entire town of Randolph, Tennessee, to the ground. He also began taking civilian hostages and either trading them for federal prisoners of war or executing them. 

Jackson and Meridian, Mississippi, were also burned to the ground by Sherman’s troops even though there was no Confederate army there to oppose them. After the burnings, his soldiers sacked the town, stealing anything of value and destroying the rest. As Sherman biographer John Marzalek writes, his soldiers "entered residences, appropriating whatever appeared to be of value . . . those articles which they could not carry they broke."
After the destruction of Meridian Sherman boasted that "for five days, ten thousand of our men worked hard and with a will, in that work of destruction, with axes, sledges, crowbars, clawbars, and with fire.... Meridian no longer exists."

In The Hard Hand of War historian Mark Grimsley argues that Sherman has been unfairly criticized as the "father" of waging war on civilians because he "pursued a policy quite in keeping with that of other Union commanders from Missouri to Virginia.” Fair enough. Why blame just Sherman when such practices were an essential part of Lincoln’s entire war plan and were routinely practiced by all federal commanders? Sherman was just the most zealous of all federal commanders in targeting Southern civilians, which is apparently, why he became one of Lincoln’s favorite generals.

In his First Inaugural Address Jefferson said that any secessionists should be allowed to "stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.” However, by 1864 Sherman would announce that "to the petulant and persistent secessionists, why, death is mercy.”

(by Gary Adams)