Showing posts from March, 2014


On Sunday July 21, 1861 Judith Henry was an 85 year old invalid living on a farm in Manassas Virginia. Her house sat on a hill that would come to be called Henry House Hill by the Union and Confederate Armies that fought there at the Battle of First Bull Run. I have visited this hill and there is a majestic statue of Stonewall Jackson on horseback near the restored Henry House. The original house was destroyed in the battle. This is where Jackson earned his famous nickname "Stonewall". General Bernard E. Bee was trying to rally his men as he pointed toward Jackson with his sword. "There stands Jackson like a stone wall, rally around the Virginians". These were Bee's last words just before he was shot dead.

 On that day Mrs. Henry's daughter Ellen, and a hired black servant girl were at the house when the battle began. Her son John was coming and going to check on his mother. It was decided to abandon the house and try to find shelter from the bullets. Th…


My family is related to at least two presidents. John Tyler and Zachary Taylor. My grandmother's maiden name was Ella Belle Frogge and through the Frogge family we are related to William Dabney Strother who was my grandfather with a bunch of greats in front of his name. He had a daughter born in 1719 by the name of Alice who would be John Tyler's grandmother. She was by his first wife.

 William's second wife produced Sarah Dabney Strother who was Zachary Taylor's mother. She was born in 1760 and died in 1822. John Tyler has been rated as a slightly below average president. He was a one term president and is recognized for at least two major accomplishments. Tyler was a Democrat elected as Vice President under William Henry Harrison. Harrison was a Whig. Although Tyler was a Democrat he was thought to agree with Whig policies. Harrison's famous campaign slogan was "Tippecanoe and Tyler too".

 Until Ronald Reagan Harrison was the oldest president ever ele…



  Okay guys this story is hard to believe. It rivals that of the Christiana girl named Thankful Taylor who supposedly swallowed a small snake while drinking out of a creek and it grew to full size in her stomach. The November 7, 1874 issue of the American Medical Weekly had an article written by a Dr. L.G. Capers Jr. entitled "Notes from the Diary of a Field and Hospital Surgeon, C.S.A". Dr. Capers stated that on May 12, 1863, during the siege of Vicksburg, a young soldier was shot in the left tibia, which was his shinbone, and ricocheted upward through the man's body, exiting through his groin. While the doctor was working on the soldier a woman came running from the porch of a nearby home. One of her daughters had been wounded. Dr. Capers ran to her aid and found that she had been shot in the left side of her stomach. He did all that he could but he was forced to retreat with the army. After the battle he visited the young girl freq…


Jane Pierce, the wife of President Franklin Pierce, did not want to go to Washington because she had a terrible premonition of tragedy. She was terrified that her husband would be assassinated while in office. Jane had experienced enough tragedy already. Her first two children had died very young. One son died only three days after birth and her second son Frank died of Typhus in 1843. The death of children was a common occurrence in families of the 1800's but no less painful and tragic as it is today. Her third son Benjamin or Bennie was born on April 13, 1841. Jane was opposed to her husband Franklin being in politics and she fainted when she heard that her husband had been elected president. On January 6, 1853, two months before the inauguration, Franklin, Jane and Bennie were traveling on a train in Massachusetts. An axle broke on the passenger car that they were riding in and the car derailed and went over the side of a steep embankment. There were moans and screams as the…


Southerners have always been famous for their chivalry toward women, especially during the Civil War. The code of chivalry, however; was put to the test in December of 1864. General John Hunt Morgan was one of the most famous Confederate cavalrymen of the Civil War, second only to Nathan Bedford Forrest in the western theater. He had won a brilliant victory at Hartsville Tennessee early in the war. Embarrassing the Yankee's and he had led the deepest raid into Northern territory in 1863. Morgan was captured with his men in Ohio and was imprisoned there. He would later escape in one of the most daring prison escapes ever made, returning to lead more cavalry raids against the enemy. His raids tied up thousands of Union troops and cost the Union millions of dollars in destroyed and captured property. As a result there was a price of a 1,000 dollars placed on the heads of Morgan and his troopers. On September 4, 1864 General Morgan was staying  at the Williams home in Greenville Te…


Over 26,000 American airmen died flying bombing missions over Europe in World War II. This is more men than the Marine Corps lost in the island hopping campaigns of the Pacific war. Tod Haffield, who is my nephew by marriage shared this picture with me of his grandfather's B-17 that barely made it back from a mission bombing a German railroad yard. I believe that the plane was hit by flack killing the ball turret gunner. I have seen many pictures of bombers that survived with massive battle damage but this bomber has more damage to it's fuselage than most pictures that I have ever seen. His grandfathers name was Warren Lipscomb who is the airman squatting in the center of the picture. He was a door gunner if I am not mistaken and in my opinion a very brave and lucky man to survive the war in one piece. Todd has every right to be very proud of his grandfather. There are far too few Warren Lipscomb's in the world today.


One of the greatest struggles that soldiers of all eras face is boredom. In the Civil war there were few winter battles. Fredricksburg, Stones River, Franklin and Nashville were the exception. Most campaigning was done in the Spring, Summer and Fall. Winter camps were boring and unhealthy. Hundreds of Union soldiers died of disease during the winter camp at Falmouth Virginia in early 1863. Soldiers on the march were always healthier than men sitting idle in camp.

 The Confederates on the other hand had gigantic snowball fights to break the monotony. There was one in Fredricksburg Virginia on February 25, 1863, another at Dalton Georgia on March 22 1864, and the next day March 23, near Orange Court House Virginia. Soldiers diaries showed that it snowed 8 inches on February 19, 1863, and another 9 inches two days later near Fredricksburg. On February 25, the weather turned off milder making ideal conditions for snowballs.

 Witnesses said that at least 10,000 men formed in their regim…


If you are from Murfreesboro you may already be familiar with the story of the Human Fly. In 1923 two young men were traveling through town and one billed himself as the "The World's Youngest Human Fly". His travelling companion performed stunts on a bicycle and both men claimed to be from St. Louis. The 1920's were famous for acrobatic acts from itinerant drifters. This was the age of Houdini and silent film star Harold Lloyd who was famous for performing dangerous stunts in his movies. There were flag pole sitters and various human fly's that climbed buildings all over the country thrilling crowds. The human fly approached county officials in the court house asking for permission to climb to the top of the court house cupola using only his bare hands and feet. They thought it over and granted him permission.

 The court house was built in 1859 and had been attacked by General Nathan Bedford Forrest on July 13, 1862. Cannonballs and bullets have been found in …


There was nothing small about Robert Smalls. He was born a slave in  Beaufort South Carolina in 1839 behind the house of his master. When he was twelve his master leased him out to work in Charleston. He started out working in a hotel, then as a lamplighter, and eventually while in his teens he became a dockworker, rigger, sail maker and finally a wheel man on a ship. Which is essentially a pilot, although blacks were not officially allowed to be pilots. He learned Charleston Harbor like the back of his hand. Robert met and married a hotel maid who was five years his senior. She already had a daughter and the couple had two children together, but one would die in infancy. In the Fall of 1861, early in the American Civil War, Smalls became the pilot of the CSS Planter, an armed Confederate transport. On May 12, 1862 the Planters three white officers decided to stay on shore for the night. Smalls hatched a plan to escape. At 3:00 AM on the 13th he dressed in a Captains uniform and ha…


Robert Estienne, a Parisian printer published a Latin version of the Bible in 1524 which made it possible for the common man to be able to read and understand the Bible. He ran afoul of the Catholic Church which did not want farmers, shopkeepers and average people to be able to understand the Bible. It is my opinion that Satan has always tried to make God's word unavailable or difficult for man to understand. I believe, however; that even if Satan was able to destroy every Bible in the world someone would have it memorized or stored in a memory. Matthew 24:35 says "Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall never pass away.

 Estienne continued to publish the works of Bible reformers which got him in further hot water with the Catholic Church. The quality of his work appealed to the King of France so this is what protected him for awhile from the established church. He published the entire Hebrew Old Testament and a Greek version of the New Testament. This was the …

America the Insane

In December 1860 James L. Petigru, a Unionist from South Carolina, when he heard that his state was seceding from the Union said "South Carolina is too small to be a Republic and too large to be an insane asylum". I am of the opinion that America is no longer a Republic and we are an insane asylum. Everyday I see something on the news that makes me believe that our government has lost it's frigging mind.We have a president that is a tyrant. He has a pen and a telephone and if there is a law that stands in his way then he will just go around it. The Congress and the press are okay with it. We have an attorney general that is openly telling the attorney generals of individual states to ignore their laws regarding gay marriage that were passed by the majority of the people of those states through the democratic process. Now we have a Federal Court telling American students that they are not allowed to wear an American flag on their tee-shirt on cinco-de-mayo day because …

The History Of The Car Radio

The following story illustrates one reason that I am a big believer in capitalism despite the anti-capitalist rhetoric that you hear from the political left.all of the time. William Lear and Elmer Wavering were double dating one night in 1929 and drove their car to a high lookout point on the Mississippi River in Quincy Illinois to watch the sunset. It was a romantic evening but cars were not equipped with radio's back then and one of the women mentioned that it would be nice to be able to listen to music in the car. This gave Lear and Wavering an idea. Lear had been a radio operator in the Navy in World War I and both men tinkered with radio's. They took apart a radio and tried to get it to work in a car. It wasn't easy because the electrical system in a car caused so much interference it was nearly impossible to hear a radio with the engine running. Over time they were able to solve each problem and they took their radio to a radio convention in Chicago where they met…