Friday, October 4, 2019

Apocalypse

Boston Harbor
Google Street View
March 17, 1776 - Just imagine, your family has lived in the New World for over one hundred years. You have been a loyal subject of the Crown living in Boston for a long time. Now, because of political disagreements which have escalated into hostilities, you are leaving the only home you have ever known. Never to return...

I've just finished reading the section of Rick Atkinson's book, The British Are Coming, covering the period of the siege of Boston from the spring of 1775 into early 1776. Henry Knox has completed his mission of hauling cannon down from Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York to Boston and the Continental Army has emplaced those cannon on Dorchester Heights, overlooking the besieged British Army in Boston.

Lord Howe, the British commander in chief in North America realizes that he has no choice but to evacuate the city. Rations are running low and the memory of Bunker Hill still haunts him. He has no desire to fling his infantry against the Dorchester Heights into the teeth of a rebel army now amply stocked with cannon.

Also his fleet is now at risk, those same cannon dominate Boston Harbor. If the British stay they risk the loss of the bulk of their army and navy in North America. He gives the order, he determines not to destroy the city but makes it known that if the rebels attack him while he is evacuating, he will put Boston to the torch.
On March 10, 1776, General Howe issued a proclamation ordering the inhabitants to give up all linen and woolen goods that could be used by the colonists to continue the war. A Loyalist, Crean Brush, was authorized to receive these goods, in return for which he gave certificates that were effectively worthless. Over the next week, the British fleet sat in Boston harbor waiting for favorable winds, while Loyalists and British soldiers were loaded onto the ships. During this time, American naval activities outside the harbor successfully captured and diverted to ports under colonial control several British supply ships.
On March 15, the wind became favorable, but before they could leave, it turned against them. On March 17, the wind once again turned favorable. The troops, who were authorized to burn the town if there were any disturbances while they were marching to their ships, began to move out at 4:00 a.m. By 9:00 a.m., all ships were underway. The fleet departing from Boston included 120 ships, with more than 11,000 people aboard. Of those, 9,906 were British troops, 667 were women, and 553 were children. (Source)
Some of the civilian Loyalists eventually returned to the United States, some stayed in Canada, some went to England. It must have been a bitter pill to swallow.


While the departure of the British from Boston was not technically an apocalypse, it must have felt that way to the people aboard ship, looking back towards the only home they have ever known as it sinks below the horizon. I can't imagine being forced from my home due to circumstances beyond my control. The Loyalists had done nothing wrong, nothing illegal but they paid the price for it anyway.

I have read that during the Revolution about a third were for the Crown, a third were for independence, and another third just wanted to be left alone. Why did it happen at all?

Well, in the early years of Europeans living on this continent in numbers significant to really worry the original inhabitants, there were two powers in the north, the French in Canada, their influence running down the Mississippi to Louisiana, and the British along the Atlantic coast. The French, with the exception of what is now Quebec, were pretty thin on the ground. They claimed a lot of territory but they couldn't really control it, from the St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico is a lot of ground. The British were more concentrated.

Now some British folks began eyeing all of that land on the other side of the Appalachian mountains stretching down from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. The population of British America was growing, more land was desired, besides which the French and the English had been rivals for centuries. Eventually matters had to come to a head.

What kicked the party off was the death of a French officer named Jumonville out in the back of beyond (which described western Pennsylvania and out Ohio way pretty well in the first half of the 18th Century), I've mentioned him before. A fellow named Washington was there, as he was a number of years later at Yorktown when the rest of the British were on their way to heading back to England. Their colonies south of Canada gone forever.

But that war against the French in Canada had cost a lot of money. Parliament felt that the Americans should help pay for it, so they taxed things. Some didn't like it, most of those who imposed the taxes didn't care if the bumptious colonials didn't like it. Weapons were stockpiled and things eventually escalated to the point where the Crown felt they had to act. Lexington and Concord followed. Bunker Hill happened.

Too much blood had been spilled, there could be no reconciliation and the people who could end it all were 3,000 miles away in London, trying to fight a war by remote control and doing it not all that well. (There's a lesson we should have paid heed to!)

I guess the moral of this story is, even if you don't pick a side, you're going to get swept up by the events of the day. Whether you like it or not.

I'd rather not see the country I grew up in disappear over the horizon.

Choose wisely.

(Source)



64 comments:

  1. Hey OldAFSarge;

    I recall the same statistic. 1/3 were revolutionaries. 1/3 were loyalist and 1/3 just wanted to be left alone. Kinda like now. I did wonder what it was like to have to leave your home because you choose poorly on which side to support. I am sure that the ones that did go back were merchants or gentry. the regular people had no place to go. My wife and to a lesser extent watched a show called "Poldark" and it talks about a British officer that returned after the American revolution and the life and hard times the British had, the colonies separating caused mega problems for the British as well the Americans. Their economy was also in the crapper as was ours.

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    1. I started watching Poldark, didn't get past the second episode, it was somewhat entertaining but not enough to hold my interest.

      Smarter people in the British Parliament may have kept us in the Empire, but mostly what they had were stupid, vindictive politicians. As you said, "Kinda like now."

      Plus ça change...

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    2. And all the time, the interfering finger of the French Crown was working on destabilizing England.

      First the Jacobite Rebellions in Scotland. (With France providing munitions and other aid to plucky resistance fighters.)

      Then various intrigues throughout the Caribbean. (With France providing munitions and other aid to plucky resistance fighters.)

      The whole of the 7 years war, which included the "French and Indian War" (With France providing munitions and other aid to plucky resistance fighters.)

      And the Revolutionary War. (With France providing munitions and lots of other aid, especially the French Navy, to plucky resistance fighters.)

      Ah, La Belle France, making England work three times as hard as they should have had.

      But we wouldn't have had a lick of a chance without the Bourbons. Those post-French Revolution Frenchies, well, we'd be fighting them on the ocean in a few years. And end up bailing them out a couple times later on...

      But, I wonder how things would have fared without France juggling the scales from the beginning. We got a solid influx of Scots from all the Jacobite stuff, we learned to fight as an army from the 7 Years War, and we got direct aid in our Revolution.

      Without the stress of constantly fighting French influence, would England have needed to tax us?

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    3. Nope, the French made things twice as hard for the Birts. Of course, the British were constantly interfering with France's policies in Europe.

      Without the Seven Years War, there would have been no need for taxing the colonies like they did. Louis and his wife paid for that.

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  2. While your analogy may not be a perfect fit for modern times, it's certainly close enough to be thought provoking. While I don't usually spend time contemplating conspiracy theories, at least the outlandish ones, I can't help but ask "Qui bono?" WRT the current unsettled political environment. Obviously Russia and China would love to see us taken off the world stage as much as possible. Are they fomenting a lot of this in a long term play for increased influence if not outright dominance?

    And yes, those who seem like they are hoping for CW2 better be very careful they don't get what they wish for. It would be very, very ugly. Let's hope cooler heads prevail, although I get less optimistic that they will. Then I have to remind myself that a lot of the noise we here and react to is MSM BS and that a lot of folks don't pay attention to that or take it for what it's worth (not much!!)

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    1. Yes, the Meejah would love to provoke something along the lines of civil war, they're too stupid to understand the outcome. Most of them, regardless of who won, would be stood up against a wall, no dictatorship can tolerate an independent media.

      I would not be surprised if Russia and China were rooting for us to fail, they are nations ruled by venal assholes after all.

      The current political environment is a direct consequence of the "everybody gets a trophy, you're not responsible" mindset of the Left. They lost an election they thought they had in the bag and refuse to accept that fact. And Shrillary "worried" that Trump wouldn't accept the results. She and her ilk have always plagued our species and always will. But to have a once superb media go all in on one side, hello Pravda, hello Völkischer Beobachter, today's media have become nothing more than propaganda organs for special interests.

      A pox on all their houses.

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    2. Comm China, who are working hard to destroy us? By endowing 'Asian Studies' groups on college campuses that are basically recruiting cells for local hardliners. The widespread infiltration into the government (shades of the USSR in the 20's and 30's and 40's) thanks to feckless idjits like Clinton. The wholescale stealing of our tech. The state-sponsored undercutting of the price of production and materials. The takeover of Hollyweird and backchannel control of many news agencies.

      War in the future? We're at war now.

      Russia is just willing to push already unstable people in order to destabilize. They lost too much after the fall to have the same power that they did during FDR's reign. Though they tried with Shrillery and Barky the Lightbringer, oh, boy, did they ever try.

      We're in as cold or colder war with Red China as we were ever with with the USSR.

      (And I get the subtle feeling that a lot of the stuff they just paraded around for their 70th anniversary was fakey-makey. Like all their 'hypersonic' missiles. I doubt most of their tech works as well as our media says it does. Just got a feeling, like the feeling about the Soviet military parades, shiny, but not really that good.

      Not that I want us to find out one way or another.

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    3. Yeah, my money is on fake hypersonic missiles as well. And yes, the Chinese are the biggest threat out there right now.

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    4. not for nothing, but China has been the biggest threat out there for quite some time now - with some treasonous assists coming from some folks inside the beltway, especially Bill and Al back in their day (remember the submarine stealthy tech that just happened to go over the China??)

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    5. True. Those two ee-jits have much to answer for...

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    6. "Qui bono?",is always a good question to ask.

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    7. Answer for, in a dark alley, with big guys with sections of pipes, until the big guys feel better.

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  3. My kin lost it all as well. Left Alabama and Missouri and moved on west to Texas. Ultimately wound up in Oklahoma. I don't know if the stubbornness bred into my line came from that, but it probably didn't hurt it. They farmed in western OK during the dust bowl and didn't run. Stuck it out and survived.

    Seeing history start repeating itself, due to feckless political dolts, is maddening. I'd rather be left alone to live as I choose. But there are those that are unable to tolerate, and have to coerce to feel they are doing right. I feel the ghost of the wrongs against my ancestors some days.... and I don't like it, or the thoughts it elicits.

    Seeing the red map of the US, vs the blue spots that almost brought in HRC, I'm in a hot spot. I figure the red parts will do okay if it pops, but the blue parts won't go quietly. They've proved time and again they can't let sleeping dogs lie....

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    1. The blue bits have a higher than recommended concentration of feckless dolts.

      Keeps me awake some nights.

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  4. "I'd rather not see the country I grew up in disappear over the horizon."

    Nor would I. The problem is...where would you go? There's nowhere else on this earth as good at this country, even with its faults.

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    1. There is no place to go. We stand and fight rather than let this happen.

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    2. Nor would I as well. At the same time, I don't want to see it consumed before my eyes by the ever growing cancer of the progs. Rock, meet hard place. Watched it happen in Kalifornia. Watching it again here in Texas. Not moving again.

      If things do go frosty, places like Chicago, Baltimore, et al, will become over night dumpster fires, especially when the power and water stop working. Funny thing--it doesn't seem to occur to the progs that Starbucks won't be open.

      On time delivery. Very efficient, but no back stock in system. We have not only given up liberty for safety, but for profit and convenience as well.

      As I saw elsewhere--vote like the constitution depends on it.

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    3. Latest good news from Texas is the Governor is telling Austin's mayor to either fix the homeless issue, re: camping on the streets and open pooping and such, or the Great State of Texas will come in and fix the issue, and Austin's leftists and mayor won't like what the Great State of Texas will do.

      Pushback seems to be in the air. Finally.

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    4. It won't be the first time that TX has had to put Austin in its place. Or at least make credible enough threat that Austin fixes its s**t.

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    5. Can't wait to see the outcome.

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    1. I miss the vibrant, productive California of my youth. Now? Nope, not at all. I wish the Californidiots would stay in California, and only good people move out. But really, I wish for some common sense to finally hit that state like a giant flaming meteor, except without all the death and such. Well, depending on who dies....

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    2. The Central Valley is still pretty old-school American. Though the gang-bamgers are a big problem in Fresno.

      I still like my martial law idea...

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    3. I'm waiting for the Committees of Vigilences to arise in San Fran, and extend to LA and Sacramento. And Federal Martial Law to take 2-4 months to get to those cities, like back in the 1850's...

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    4. There is precedent isn't there?

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    5. Precedence, and in California, and in one of the worst-hit cities. What more can you want? Time for the Vigiles to march!

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  6. It's looking like the curse, "May you live in interesting times" is here.

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    1. I have read that the entire curse is, " May you live in interesting times, and come to the attention of the authorities ".

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    2. Well, I'd amend that to ", and come to the attention of anybody." Considering all the whackadoodles and freaks and rampant anarchist organizations (if that isn't an oxymoron, I don't know what an oxymoron is.)

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    3. That's like the mother of all oxymorons.

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  7. This almost happened just after WWII, in Athens. Tennessee, that is. Guns were drawn, lead flew. But the bad guys met their match.

    The Battle of Athens...

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    1. An excellent tale for our times Jim.

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    2. It certainly is - I hadn't heard of it before for some reason - maybe subject of a future post (unless you've already done one that I missed)?

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    3. We're thinking along the same lines. I was vaguely familiar with the story, but a post could be in order. We shall see. (Never touched that one before.)

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  8. The 'European' population, foreign-born and native-born, of Revolutionary Times America still remembered the horrors of the English Civil War, the 30 Years War in Europe, the Jacobite Rebellions in Scotland and the 7 Years War, all wars where the population was brutally savaged by one side or another. Where whole villages, towns and cities were razed.

    Having that specter hanging over one's shoulder, as War bloomed in the nascent States, must have been frightening to many, and may have been the impetus behind our forefathers acting so... stubborn and free-spirited.

    Horrible times.

    Like how I feel for the conservative people who are bailing out of New York and California after generations and generations of living in one place. Forced out because of others. Loss of heritage, of values, of history. Sad, so very sad.

    War is hell, especially on civilians caught in it. The idea of 'civilized war' involving only 'soldiers' is noble, but just doesn't exist.

    Let us all hope that some sense, or many prison sentences, come to the Dem and Leftist leadeships, before a new Fall of Rome occurs.

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  9. When empires fall, they fall hard. The Roman Forum was for centuries known as the Campo Vaccino, the cow field. The population fell from around a million to maybe 30,000 or so.

    Now, turning the National Mall into a cow field does have its attraction, no doubt, but a lot of folks will end up on the wrong side of the grass in that journey. The stupidity of our "elites" is really something.

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  10. Tiny error in para 2- The artillery transportation and use expert was Henry, not John, Knox.

    As a Boston bookseller, he should be something of a role model for our militia heritage where patriots with real jobs volunteer to leave their job, family and home to defend our freedom against tyrants. Much like those embattled farmers who marched to the rube bridge that arched the flood, and then proceeded to harass the lobsterbacks as they returned to Boston.

    My own people were in central Pennsylvania at the time, eager to be left alone (like many of the German immigrants).
    John Blackshoe

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    1. Fixed it. (What was I thinking?)

      Especially vexing to commit that error when Gen'l Knox is a hero of mine.

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    2. Maybe fix "the rube bridge" while you're at it?

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    3. Not to be confused with the "rude bridge" outside Concord, the "rube bridge" is in Cambridge. 😉

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    4. Dang Spell Czech!
      JB

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    5. Maybe you need to Polish your skills, else Spell Czech will come to your door and whack your shins...

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    6. For some reason I'm Hungary.

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  11. Chaplain Tim at Blue Collar Prepping has continued his thoughts on America's Civil War 2
    http://bluecollarprepping.blogspot.com/2019/10/a-potential-man-made-disaster-part-3.html

    Here are parts One and Two.
    https://bluecollarprepping.blogspot.com/2019/09/a-potential-man-made-disaster-part-1.html
    https://bluecollarprepping.blogspot.com/2019/09/a-potential-man-made-disaster-part-2.html

    I recent said that the left has gone insane, but then I realized they are finally showing just how insane they have been all along.

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    1. I'll have to give those a read.

      I guess we've been confusing insanity with evil as well.

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    2. There is evil among them, and perhaps a larger percentage of those who fit into the often quoted definition of insanity that says, "Insanity is taking the same actions and expecting different results."
      Socialism springs immediately to mind, and that is quickly followed by the logic of, "Let's pass a law against it!"

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    3. There is insanity as in 'not tracking in the same reality as everyone else because brain chemistry or genetics' and then there's insanity caused by evil, either men doing evil for their own reasons, or evil caused by demonic or devilish forces.

      I have met people who, behind their eyes, something else is lurking. Something not human. And the human is just the shell.

      There are just evil people who are evil. There are evil people who do the devil or demon's work. And there are shells that contain actual evil-evil somethings, what one would call a demon or devil.

      It's a dark world out there. And if you look hard enough, the darkness has form.

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  12. Another version on that last statement is Choose a side, or one will be chosen for you. Then again, not picking a side, is in itself a choice- for the side that relishes apathy and ignorance.

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  13. As Markey-Mark Twain may have said, "The past doesn't repeat itself, but current events seem to rhyme like a motherfiretrucker."

    As for the term evil, I don't personally approve of the way it's commonly used and so frequently bandied about. Just my opinion of course, as is this: At the end of the day calling something evil is a subjective judgement and it doesn't get down to actual causes and effects. It's a lazy shortcut. Far better men than I said something about a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requiring a declaration of causes...

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    1. Yup.

      Evil is a term one should be careful with. Often, true evil doesn't look like what you'd expect.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)