Today, hindsight is 2020…


This Day in History (1862-63) 

December 31, 1862-January 2, 1863 – The Battle of Stone’s River/Murfreesboro, TN

35,000 Confederate soldiers’ under BRAXTON BRAGG’ and 44,000 Federals engaged in a bloody’ but inconclusive battle. Each commander planned to attack with his left and hold with his right. If that had taken place at the same time, each army would have swung around each other like a revolving door, but BRAGG struck first.

The Confederate attack made good progress,, but a stout defense in the center of the line by General Phil Sheridan prevented a total collapse on this first day, and the fighting petered out.

On Jan 1, 1863 no combat took place as both sides celebrated the New Year – without much to celebrate. The fighting resumed on January 2, when General Bragg ordered Breckinridge to assault a heavily defended federal position on a hill, anchored by over 50 cannon, firing canister.

Following that repulse, Bragg received a false report that Rosecrans was being reinforced. The Confederates withdrew to Tullahoma, TN with significant losses on both sides. Rosecrans lost 1,677 killed, 7543 wounded and 3,686 captured or missing. Bragg’s Confederates lost 1,294 killed, 7,945 wounded and 2,500 captured or missing. Both armies licked their wounds and didn’t engage in anymore combat for the following six months.


The Prague Astronomical Clock

Installed in this building in 1410, it is the oldest clock still operating. And to think that SiG, Old NFO and WSF were there then….  ;^)


A Historical Sea Story

The passenger steamer SS Warrimoo was quietly knifing its way through the waters of the mid-Pacific on its way from Vancouver to Australia. The navigator had just finished working out a star fix and brought Captain John DS. Phillips, the result. The Warrimoo’s position was LAT 0º 31′ N and LONG 179 30′ W. The date was 31 December 1899.

“Know what this means?” First Mate Payton broke in, “We’re only a few miles from the intersection of the Equator and the International Date Line”. Captain Phillips was prankish enough to take full advantage of the opportunity for achieving the navigational freak of a lifetime. He called his navigator to the bridge to check & double check the ship’s position. He changed course slightly so as to bear directly on his mark. Then he adjusted the engine speed.

The calm weather & clear night worked in his favor. At mid-night the SS Warrimoo lay on the Equator at exactly the point where it crossed the International Date Line! The consequences of this bizarre position were many:

The forward part (bow) of the ship was in the Southern Hemisphere & in the middle of summer.

The rear (stern) was in the Northern Hemisphere & in the middle of winter.

The date in the aft part of the ship was 31 December 1899.

In the bow (forward) part it was 1 January 1900.

This ship was therefore not only in:

Two different days,

Two different months,

Two different years,

Two different seasons

But in two different centuries – all at the same time!


  1. Any of your Atlanta readers get letters from Center for Civic Information? Letter describes how your (your name) neighborhood ranks for voting party versus candidate compared to other (made up?) neighborhoods. Smacks of shaming/intimidation to me.

    • The soft lead Minnie balls smashed out the bones and splintered them. Amputation was the only option. And even then…

    • Old NFO is the original ancient mariner. Some say he was already a great grandpa in 1400. Who do you think it was who whispered in Christopher Columbus’ ear to sail west to the Indies?

  2. Gen. Braxton Bragg was my father’s mother’s great-uncle (he might be one more generation removed but I’m not certain).

  3. if only stuart had done his job at gettysburg. one bad decision changes the course of history. back to work monday, they probably dug up the new market nine while i was off. if things kick off this year i’ll hand out the 2k weapons i maintain and wish the young men godspeed. they’re supposed to march in the inauguration. its going to be virtual? this time assuming biden is the inauguratee. i’m shocked and dismayed at the sheer number of folks that seriously think he won. i don’t know, maybe i’m taking this all to seriously. maybe i need to chill and leave it all to the next generation….but then there’s that pesky oath…………

    • If Stuart had done his job, American history would have been significantly different. There wasn’t anything between George Meade and DC…

    • Old NFO gave advice to Noah when he was pounding nails, and rode out the storm on a raft, lashed to the back of the ark. Some say that was his first sea voyage and it gave him a taste for things nautical. Noah had a lot of animals in the ark, but old NFO trolled for trout.

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