A Glory Sermonette?

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Kelsey Grammar: Historic Battles for America (Fox)

To be fair, I have only watched two episodes – Manassas Jct./Bull Run and The Little Bighorn.

Grammar is just the narrator,  not the producer or show-runner but I have been generally underwhelmed. It’s not a bad series but it’s — myopic with a brush of woke.  

Let me give you an example. In the Little Bighorn Episode, there was no mention of the CAMPAIGN that included General Terry coming from the north or General Crook coming from the south. Only Custer, who lost half his force (and his life). In the film, Crazy Horse personally shoots LTC Custer from his horse.

Custer was likely killed early in the engagement and because he’d cut his hair and wore campaigning clothing, the Indians didn’t know who he was. It was hot that day. It’s unlikely that he wore a buckskin jacket. He was dressed like the rest of the men, many of who wore straw hats because of the heat.

Custer and friends

Monday morning quarterbacking Custer is easy. He was an officer who surrounded his cult of personality with yes-men, alienating Major Reno and Captain Benteen. He left his Gatling guns and pack howitzers behind with the pack train. He divided his forces before knowing his enemy’s disposition.  And he wanted to be a hero to catapult himself into the US Presidency. The series touches on this,  to be fair, but it just doesn’t tell the story fairly.

To understand history,  you need to explore the facts somewhat dispassionately. Custer, “Son of the Morning Star”, liked to attack at dawn, the best time there is to attack historically, and to take his enemy unaware. You can call it a sneak attack if you want to, but I’ve stood-to before dawn more times than I can count, understanding that you should EXPECT an attack in the wee hours.

The American Cavalry post-War (Civil War/War of Northern Aggression – as you see it) were not cavalry, they were dragoons. They moved on horseback and fought on foot in skirmish lines with rifles. Custer didn’t bring sabers on the Little Bighorn Campaign.  Reno and Benteen’s commands survived at 300 to 1 odds against them because they entrenched and fought behind packs on foot with a river to their front, and waited for General Terry to arrive and relieve them. The Souix Confederation didn’t want to lose the warriors in a frontal assault against entrenched dragoons.

Is it worth watching? Up to you.

What if:

~ Custer had moved with the entire Seventh, had set a fixed piece battle in a type of Wellington Square, with the corners anchored by Gatling Guns and howitzers firing grape? His single-shot trapdoor carbines outranged most of the Indian small arms. The Indians would have likely attacked given the odds and would have been defeated somewhat to the extent that they’d have moved on and Custer would have succeeded in locating them (his job). By fixing the Indians and waiting for General Terry (Crook was held up in an ongoing and less famous battle of his own), they stood a chance of defeating the Confederation in the field.

Would Custer have become President? Who knows? Would he have been worse than corrupt, demented Pedo Joe? No.

 

In England

The Church of/in England was established by St Augustine of Canterbury in 597 CE.

Almost nothing is known of the early life of the man who brought Christianity to medieval England. Augustine was most likely living as a monk in Rome when in 595, Pope Gregory the Great chose him to lead a mission to convert the pagan Anglo-Saxons to the Christian faith. Christianity had been present in England during Roman times, but with the arrival of the Saxons, most of the country had once again reverted to paganism.

England in the 6th century was divided into many warring kingdoms. Of these, it was Kent that was chosen as the place to begin Augustine’s mission in England, most likely because of the powerful position of its ruler, King Æthelberht.

The story of St Augustine’s arrival in England has become the stuff of legend and was first told by the 8th-century monk and historian Bede, writing 140 years after the events took place. Bede describes how when Augustine arrived in Kent, Æthelberht met the monk and his 40 companions outdoors, because the pagan king was scared of the new arrivals practicing sorcery.

The monks are said to have held up a silver cross and a panel painted with the image of Christ. We are told that King Æthelberht, while wary of his visitors, did allow them to preach to the gathering.

 

The Blues

Most blues begin, “woke up this morning.”

“I got a good woman” is a bad way to begin the blues, unless you stick something nasty in the next line:  I got a good woman– “with the meanest dog in town”.

Blues are simple. After you have the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes. Sort of:

Got a good woman with the meanest dog in town. He got teeth like Margaret Thatcher and he weighs about 500 pounds.

The blues are not about limitless choice.

Blues cars are Chevies and Cadillacs. Other acceptable blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Walkin’ plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin’ to die.

 

On This Date – in 1942

The Japanese submarine I-17 shelled an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California.

According to legend, submarine commander Kozo Nishino’s motivation for the attack was revenge. Allegedly, while visiting the refinery as the captain of an oil tanker prior to the war, rig workers had laughed at his humiliation when he fell into a prickly-pear cactus and had to have the spines plucked from his rear.

 

Bullet Points:

** NBC has pulled the Wizard of Oz from its lineup because it offends people without brains (among other groups like short people and witches).

** Anti-woke warrior James Lindsay unmasked the fakery in academia when, he, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian wrote several sham papers accepted by seven different academic journals in 2018.  The bogus papers included, “Rape Culture and Queer Performativity at Urban Dog Parks” and “Our Struggle is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice.”  The latter integrated feminist theory in a rewrite of sections of Hitler’s Mein Kampf.  Affilia — “the only peer-reviewed, scholarly social-work journal from a feminist point of view” — published the parody as a scholarly piece…more here.

24 thoughts on “A Glory Sermonette?

  1. History is always shaded by those writing it, especially “140 years after the event”. How can we trust accuracy or if biases have been set aside? Heck, today we have video on top of enough electronic data to fill the universe, and yet we are told to not believe what we are seeing but accept someone else’s opinion as gospel. Or some jerk writes a Yelp review that a restaurant is lousy and it’s actually great. Trust but verify using multiple sources.

    Academic fakery- Gotta be possible to stop emphasizing and supporting these type of PhD snake-oil peddlers. I recall hearing this and thought it stupid then. Anyone generating a published paper entitled “Rape Culture and Queer Performativity at Urban Dog Parks” is fomenting their brand of idiocy and should be dismissed, not given a platform. (Right up there with those who ‘identify’ as ‘X’ only to be discovered as fraud’s.) These people are the ‘moron particles’, unfortunately they stick to society like that piece of TP to your shoe.

    Custer episode- Again, history shaded by the current mentality. I enjoyed this instead: “Black Hills” by Dan Simmons, well researched history intertwined with a novel.

      1. I met a girl who sang the blues, and I asked her for some happy news. She just smiled and turned away. I went down to the sacred store where I’d heard the music once before but the man there said the music wouldn’t play…etc.

        1. Perfect!

          Prime has a terrific documentary on American Pie from the man himself.

          Just saw this: “But for the Bible, we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare are found to be portrayed in it.” Abraham Lincoln

          Truth is God-breathed into our souls, of which we can count on. Others, not so much.

  2. Doing a staff ride of Little Bighorn erases a lot of the romanticized history of the Battle thereof. Custer did make some fatally bad decisions, but he wasn’t the fool most histories make him out to be.

    “The first line of the blues, is always sung a second time
    I say the first line of the blues, is always sung a second time
    So by the time you get to the third line… you’ve had time to think of a rhyme.”
    –Starlight Express

    1. The problem with a reconnaissance in force against an enemy of unknown strength and disposition is that you can end up in Custer’s position no matter how you play it. Custer was a veteran campaigner and much like JEB Stuart, he had that flamboyant way about himself and was confident. Big win/big loss (old pilot vs bold pilot cliche). He was there to locate and fix the enemy for Terry and Crook. Unfortunately, Crook was bogged down in running battles with the tribes as well and wasn’t able to maneuver effectively either and couldn’t have supported the. 7th in any case.

      Chelmsford had a similar problem in the Zulu Campaign in Africa a few years later. He divided his forces in order to fix the Zulu Impis and it didn’t go well for the battalion at Islandlwana. Chelmsford’s army was too small and it wasn’t until it was reinforced. The new army formed a square on an island in the Buffalo River and waited for the Zulus to throw themselves on that square, anchored with Gatlings and cannons, firing canister. The Zulus, impossibly brave, kept coming and the regiments kept firing.

      Plains Tribes didn’t fight like Zulus and wouldn’t have/couldn’t have taken losses like that and survive. But Custer would have lived to fight another day.

      1. I think a lot of mid-century commanders — Custer and Chelmsford among them — were far too enamored with the “Austerlitz Chimera.” They wanted the single big, decisive battle so they could be just like Napoleon. The American Civil War beat this out of some commanders, but a lot still believed that the sun rose and set in the crack of Napoleon’s ass.

      2. Thought I read somewhere that the Zulus figured out the timing sequence for the British cannon fire, and would fall flat on the ground during BOOM time. Then back up and charging. Can’t say if this is an accurate memory.

    2. Custer was a fool in that he disbelieved the reports of his scouts about the numbers he faced, and was more worried about the Indians getting away than the possibility of sticking his neck out too far and getting it chopped off. He was a glory hound if he was anything. Worse, he’d always been lucky, and so his confidence in battle had never been shaken. That turned out to be a bad combination that day.

  3. Woke up this mornin’
    Read myself a blog
    Guy who writes it
    has a mean ole dog
    But that dog ain’t scary
    compared to ole Larry

    Oh yeah I woke up this mornin’
    (repeat)

  4. I had never heard of the steamboat “Far West” evacuating wounded troopers from The Little Big Horn until I read the Time-Life book series “The Old West”.

    “And Lefty, he can’t sing the blues
    All night long like he used to
    The dust that Pancho bit down south
    Ended up in Lefty’s mouth”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoKvUYbGu7A

    1. Depending on the time of year, paddlewheel steamers serviced the Montana Territory. John Johnson, the Crow Killer (Jeremiah Johnson Movie) cut wood along the Rosebud for the steamers in the autumn and they’d leave money for him in a coffee can when they came up in. the spring. One source of cash.

  5. The Wizard of Oz is in the Turner Classic Movies collection and it also available on Amazon Prime. When you watch it as an adult there a lot of things that are disturbing in that movie.

    1. Frank L. Baum wrote the Oz series for children because he didn’t like the moralistic stories found in most fairly tales. Having tried to read the Oz books, well, they’re messed up.

      They’re far more weird than “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” At least Dear Alice had some moralistic background in amongst all the weirdness.

      Bleh. Much rather read “The Blue Fairy Book,” especially any copy printed before the 1900s. Good stories, sex, drugs, alcohol, murder most foul, backstabbery, medieval ‘rock’ music, it’s all there.

  6. Was Custer an ass? Yes. Was he an arrogant ass? Yes. Was he a complete idiot? No.

    He had a plan. He carried it out. Unfortunately, the Indians had a better plan and did a rather good job of carrying out their plan.

    Funny, all the talk of how many of Custer’s men died. But how many of the Indians were dead within a year to three years? One of those Phyrric victory thingies. Turning point, to me, of the later Indian Wars. A “Remember the Maine” moment before, well, the Maine blew up.

    I understand Custer wanting to leave the Gatlings and howitzers behind as he was making a fast recon in force. But me? Should have been some going light forward with a strong armed center moving slower but moving forward, always seeking the best ground to fight.

    1. It led to the elimination of the bison. The government killed them all and the tribes starved to death. They came starving to the reservations and the government cut out some beeves for them… It was war by other means. And it’s a good lesson.

  7. “but I’ve stood-to before dawn more times than I can count, understanding that you should EXPECT an attack in the wee hours.”

    Many senior NCOs were WWII and/or Korea War vets when I was in. Several times a year we would get woke up to stand to. Usually the wake up was followed by a pity lesson. We weren’t allowed to become complacent.

  8. Generals- compare and contrast:
    Alexander/Genghis Kahn
    Napoleon/Hitler
    Monty/Patton/Eisenhower
    Mac/Ridgeway
    Caesar/Boudicca
    Westy/Ho

  9. Back in the day there was a reason for “The Mad Minute” just before sunrise: it provided a weapons check, cycled fresh ammo in, and shot the heck out of anybody lurking in the brush getting ready to do harm to the firebase.

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