Thursday, July 2, 2020

Gettysburg and Other Things

The Gettysburg Battlefield in 2019
(Source)

One hundred and fifty-seven years ago, two great armies clashed in the fields around the small Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. It was part of the great struggle which would largely determine the course of this Nation of ours. Some hundred and four thousand men wore the blue uniform of the Union, some seventy-five thousand wore the gray and butternut of the Confederacy.

There were many issues which led to that war. Feckless politicians then, as now, could have acted differently to have avoided all of the blood shed during those years from April 1861 to April of 1865. Some still hold the loyalties from that conflict close to their hearts, rightly or wrongly, that isn't for me to say. But that war is over and has been over for a long time.

I can never let these three days, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of July pass without giving some thought to that battle.

The 1st of July saw the build-up of forces in the vicinity of Gettysburg, oddly enough the Southerners advanced towards the town from the northwest, while the northerners advanced from the southeast. The reasons for that are not really relevant to this blog post, there are many sources where you can read about that yourselves.

The 2nd of July saw Longstreet's Corps attempt to turn the Union left flank, and fail.

The 3rd?

Let us just say that the valor displayed, on both sides, on the 3rd of July, 1863, was monumental. I shall speak of that tomorrow.

There were brave men and capable commanders on both sides of that war. They fought for their beliefs, however misguided some of those beliefs may have been. One thing I will never forget is that they were all Americans. (While some foreign adventurers did serve on both sides, their numbers were statistically insignificant.)

They fought hard and many of them died hard. Many suffered from their wounds and their experiences for the rest of their lives. Folks just can't seem to understand that for many soldiers the war continues, even after the last gun has sounded and all the documents have been signed. The things they saw, the things they survived, the memories of friends lost haunt the soldier. Some handle it better than others.

With all the current turmoil occurring in parts of the country (not everywhere, not even close) we should take a moment to remember the men who fought, and died, at Gettysburg. It is part of our history and always will be, no matter how badly some cowardly group of snot-nosed, filthy, uneducated, communist nitwits want to destroy that history. Remember, their endgame is to destroy the United States, ours is to preserve, support, and defend our liberties and our rights against those who would tear us down.

Again, feckless politicians, on both sides of the aisle, are not doing enough to contain, control, and eliminate these threats to our freedoms. They worry about re-election, that's it. A pox on their houses.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
-- Abraham Lincoln
Nov. 19, 1863
Amen.


I'm stepping away from my tale of Normandy for a couple of days. While the fighting continues, there are no major historical events which occurred on the 2nd and 3rd of July 1944 in which our characters are involved. They are all in reserve and awaiting further orders.

Tomorrow I will be commemorating Pickett's Charge by rerunning two posts, one from 2013, which is mostly pictures, and the other from last year. That latter post was another piece of historical fiction I wrote which I had forgotten about. I need an administrative assistant...

As to the name of the new vehicle, she has one, it was one of those things which occurs and then just feels right afterward. Though I must admit, it ain't very clever, but it fits.

Her name is Blue.

The other day I had to run an errand and after jumping into the car I just said, "Ready to go, Blue?" It just sort of happened. You might say it was completely out of the blue. So to speak.

Up until Big Girl, I considered all my cars to be "he." Why, I have no idea. Not all of them had names. Now Big Girl came to me as a gift and The Nuke had already been calling her by that name. Perhaps I have been completely indoctrinated to the "Navy way," where all ships are "she." (Interestingly, in the Russian Navy they are "he.") So I just consider Blue to be a she. Go figure.

So, enjoy the benefits of liberty, remember those who fought for it, those who worked hard for it, and those who gave their lives for it. They were of all races, creeds, and colors, they all bled the same color.

Remember them.





52 comments:

  1. Both of our current cars are blue. I like the color and I would say you have chosen wisely.
    Your naming convention makes sense and follows the KISS principle.

    We visited Gettysburg during a ship reunion last year, and there is an undefinable feeling when you walk the grounds.

    As I reread Lincoln's Gettysburg Address I began thinking that this sentence, "Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure." might be today's America and prophetic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blue is my favorite color, has been since I was nobbut a lad.

      I thought the same regarding the Gettysburg Address, which is why I included it.

      Delete
  2. Neighbor across the street has a ten year old plus Mustang, in Velocity Blue. Makes me wonder when he's behind the wheel if he says "Zoom...zoom"?......... :) Visited Gettysburg with the parents when I was age ten, can remember how quiet it was. Now 157 years after this battle there's a growing low-level Marxist insurrection in this country aided by a number of feckless (best choice there sarge) politicians.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are Marxists, unwitting dupes of the real powers behind the scenes. They are all damned.

      Delete
  3. I recently ran across 2 concepts that I am still munchning on:

    It wasn't a "civil" war, as one side just wanted to be left alone. I'm not sure I can accept that, but I'm thinking on it. May be a few grains of truth there....

    PTSD has a facet that comes when a person has to be or becomes barbaric in war. Then, after, they are dismayed by the ease at which they left civilized behaviour and depth of their barbarity.

    There are so many layers and colors to history, I feel like it's a never ending quest for the truth. Like finding the smallest subatomic particle. It just keeps on going....

    Happy Birthday everybody.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said STxAR, history truly is a never ending quest for truth.

      Delete
    2. It was technically a revolution, not a civil war. Civil war would have been the South trying to impose Southisms on all states. They just wanted to keep things in the South the way they were and the only way they could do that was to separate. Thus a revolution, and a failed one.

      The War for Southern Independence is a better name, but the winner got to pick the name, and to the North, it was more of a civil war than anything else.

      Kinda.

      Sorta.

      -ish.

      Delete
    3. It was a rebellion, a revolution seeks to overturn an existing government.

      Delete
    4. Ah, true. Got my 'R's wrong.

      Delete
  4. Funny how cars sometimes pick their names, other times they don't. The colors blue and red tend to be appropriate at times, silver and white not so much (with apologies, I guess, to the Lone Ranger). One of my cars acquired the name Dusty - guess I didn't give him a bath often enough. One of my wife's cars, a Nissan 200SX, was a girl named Sylvia, since it had a female for a warning voice and was also called Sylvia in Japan.

    Days of remembrance, like monuments, should be those commemorating historically important events, those that help define us as a nation and as a people. The attempt to erase or 'cancel' our history must be resisted by everyone who does not fall into the camp of "cowardly group of snot-nosed, filthy, uneducated, communist nitwits" (well said, Sarge!). If these nitwits tried to do what they are doing in a country that already has the type of government they are advocating, they'd likely be shot or disappear into a gulag. I fear there will eventually be blood spilled by the actions of the more radical of those nitwits, since it feels like a reply of the 60's and 70's are upon us, more specifically 1968 and the conventions that year. Hope not, since those were pretty violent years back then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is it with these mostly well-to-do, white brats? They were never educated, they were indoctrinated. I can't place on the blame on the school system, the parents have to take the lion's share for raising unthinking Marxist assholes.

      You're right, those raising the ruckus now will be the first to be stood up against the wall if their idiotarian revolution succeeds.

      Delete
    2. I hear ya, Sarge. Seeing privileged white kids, beneficiaries of all the sacrifice of previous American generations, spit in the face, literally and figuratively, of those that endure their freedom, is unbelievable. Especially when those same idiots lecture black policemen and policewomen about how racist they are. You are correct, they been indoctrinated by the system set up by the radicals of the 60s and 70s who have taken over the educational system, and it's the parents who through complicit approval or just lack of attention have let it get to this point. Sad and frustrating to see, especially on the eve of our Independence Day celebration.

      Delete
    3. I don't really believe that today's system was "set up" by the radicals of the '60s and '70s. What I do believe is that the spineless non-entities who run many of the institutes of higher education didn't have the will to stop stupid practices being imposed upon their curriculum. Gutless bastards who bowed to the loud mouths. I would cease ALL Federal funding to ALL colleges and universities (save the four service Academies), cut the funding from the gutless. The quality will somehow find its way to the surface and the diploma mills producing doctorates in gender studies will wither and die on the vine.

      The radicals don't know how to build anything, they just know how to tear things down. I give those assholes zero credit for today's educational problems, I blame the idiots who will "go along to get along" at any cost.

      Traitors, the lot of 'em.

      Delete
    4. It was set up back in the late 40s and early 50s if you subscribe to the theory that the Soviets penetrated our college system after the war and pushed their agenda through our colleges into our public school system.

      There are substantiating records in the halls of the KGB showing they purposely moved to control and fund journalism schools and education schools and programs.

      Makes you wonder, it does.

      Seems that McCarthy fellow was right all along.

      Delete
    5. Of course McCarthy was right.

      Delete
  5. I still get goose bumps every time I read Lincolns speech. So profound, eloquent, and simple but straight forward. A mastery of the English language.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The reason they came from the Northwest is that they’d just gotten done burning the town next door to my grandfather’s place. (Though at the time of the unpleasantness, my family was a bit east of there, in the Lancaster County River Hills.)

    When he was a youngin’, there were still shattered trees and bullets lying on the ground.

    And the Little Antietam Creek ran through his property....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were on the way to Harrisburg as I recall.

      They had no real plan.

      Delete
    2. I think the plan was “draw out the Army of the Potomac and defeat it”. Or maybe not, depending on what day of the week you asked Lee. Lee was, um, “not the best general” when on the offensive.

      Delete
  7. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My first car (88 Monte Carlo SS, black) was the Black Beauty, my next car (06 Monte Carlo SS, laser blue) was the Monkey Carload, and my current car (18 Mazda3, Eternal Blue Mica) doesn’t have a name yet....

    ReplyDelete


  9. What is remarkable is that after the shooting stopped, for the most part the resentments and hatred amongst the soldiers on both sides disappeared. To the point that after WWII, the US Congress passed a law, with presidential signature, designating all Confederate memorials and graveyards as part of the US Military memorials and graveyards, with all the same protections.

    Get that? They was Us. They is Us. Their memorials and graves are our memorials and graves. So this current removal and desecration of Confederate memorials and graveyards is a direct attack on US military memorials and graveyards.

    Maggots. Maggots all. Only thing missing is stylish Mao jackets and little red books, or brown shirts and red brassards, or funky Lenin-type hats.

    Bastiges. No respect for history, no respect for their own roots. And the anger is rising to the surface far too quickly.

    I fear the future.

    And after 5 years of ugliness, all Lincoln wanted was for both sides to join back together. But thanks to some asshat who couldn't leave well enough alone, Lincoln died, leaving us with the stain of Reconstruction as it was, not as it should have been. (And what is it with leftist assassins? Have there been any right-wing assassins?)

    His words, and Dr. King's words, seem to have been forgotten by far too many people, or never taught to far too many people that live today. Along with the words of Washington, Addams, Henry, Jefferson, Franklin and so many others.

    Sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If, 10 years after the war, the Sons of the Confederacy and the Grand Army of the Republic members can sit down and have a picnic and dance and get along, then why can't we, today, do the same? Makes one wonder what exactly is being fed to fuel the idiocy and stupidity we see today.

      Delete
    2. They don't think and they have no instincts, lowest form of life on the planet.

      Delete
    3. (Don McCollor)...Both sides were tired and sick of the war. In 1868, Sgt Gilbert Bates, a Union soldier, walked alone through the heart of the Confederacy from Vicksburg to Richmond carrying an American flag (that the ladies of Vicksburg had sewn for him). The only place he was not welcomed and feted was when he got to Washington DC...

      Delete
    4. The same thing would probably happen today...

      Delete
  10. Cars, like cats, show their names. You can't force a name on either and have it work out right.

    How is driving Blue different from driving Big Girl?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm surprised one isn't called Papa Smurf and the other Mama Smurf! :-)

      Delete
    2. Beans - She's bigger for one thing and far more luxurious.

      Delete
    3. Smurfs weren't a thing when my kids were little. So that never came to mind.

      Delete
    4. Best use of Smurfs I ever saw was one DM used them for large monsters. And also had a Smurf torture room, accurately depicting many medieval torture methods.

      Very funny.

      Delete
    5. I've always wondered what color smurfs turn when they hold their breath!??

      Delete
  11. It is for us...

    Great post Sarge, Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. While we rightly focus on the battles and their horrific casualty count, we must not forget that during the Civil War TWICE AS MANY soldiers died of diseases as from combat. People had a different outlook on death and life expectancy and relative risks then.

    As for the current intolerant insanity to cleanse the country or any trace of our past history, and especially to erase Confederate related figures from history, we should learn from the past.
    The 1913 reunion at Gettysburg brought together veterans from both armies. While past events and suffering were certainly not forgotten by the participants, they had become reunited under one flag, and respected and forgave the other side.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/Reunion_of_Confederate_and_Federal_veterans_at_Gettysburg.jpg

    I will neither forget nor forgive the Marxists who are working to destroy not just all traces of our history, but our country itself. They are as despicable as the Russians who airbrush out of favor leaders from photos, and the Taliban and ISIS which dynamite ancient historic cultural sites deemed offensive to their religious zealotry.
    John Blackshoe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are all cut from the same mold and are despicable.

      Delete
  13. You remind me it is time to return to the letters of the Civil War. There are still hundreds unscribed by me.
    I have a blue car. I call it Pokey for it is 20 years old now and for a time was shaggy and showing its age by not running but it's better now and works fine. Still, Pokey. It earned its name back when it was paired with Petey, a PT Cruiser.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like your Civil War letters posts!

      Pokey, I like the name. Petey, heh.

      Delete
    2. (Don McCollor)...My third car (first one I bought) was a 60's VW Beetle in the late 1970's was named Monique - because she seemed part French. Always temperamental with little things always upsetting her and wrong, but so faithful I would always forgive her. Almost blinding acceleration at a stop light - through three gears before clearing the intersection (then set a kitchen timer to get her up to interstate speed). Great in winter, would start any time (even when I wished she wouldn't) Drove round GFND with the driver window open (not all that much colder inside) to keep the windows clear. Rear one had an electric heater, and I could reach all the others with a scraper from the driver's seat..

      Delete
    3. They just don't make 'em like that anymore!

      Delete
    4. (Don McCollor)..Miss her. Real cold, (-35) she would start up, having to hold the clutch in transmission in neutral for ten minutes till she warmed up a little without killing her engine...Then she would go...And snow! Rear engine and flat unibody underneath - just hit it fast and slide over a couple foot drift like a sled...

      Delete
    5. Been there, done that. Owned two Beetles back in the day, a '71 and a '74. Loved those cars.

      Delete
  14. I don't know for sure, never having been to war, but I suspect that the reason the North and the South, and the WWII soldiers who fought in Europe and in the Pacific and the came home and supported the Marshall Plan, was that those wars were so horrible, that so many saw so much death, destruction for the sake of destruction, that civilized men who survived and made it home said Never Again, and worked to make that so. They forgave, even if they couldn't forget. Because, like in your WWII story, they found that there are a lot more similarities in folks around the world than differences. Sometimes that fact can be startling, and scary.
    I think the dumb stupid Marxist unwashed masses haven't truly seen too much of life yet. They need to get outside the US and see what other folks around the world have to put up with.

    ReplyDelete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...