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Showing posts from May, 2018

COLUMBIA AND JAMES K. POLK

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It is amazing to me that the two men who acquired more territory for the United States than anyone else in American history claimed Tennessee as their home. Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk. President Polk was a protege of Andrew Jackson. He was called Old Hickory and Polk was called Young Hickory. He was one of the most effective presidents in history. Polk achieved a great deal in only four years. He ran for president on a four point platform. All of which he achieved. Polk lowered tariffs, reestablished an independent U.S. treasury, secured the Oregon territory which fixed the northern boundary of the U.S, and secured California and the southwest from Mexico. Although Polk worked hard to avoid sectional differences this acquisition of territory was the primary reason for the Civil War. The South wanted to expand slavery into the new territories and the North wanted to prevent it. This was the issue that would eventually result in war. On Sunday May 20, 2018 I visited Polk's …

THE ANGRY ATHEIST

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As a teenager during the 1960's I became aware of the famous atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair. I didn't know at the time that she had been responsible for one of the court cases that was successful in removing prayer from public schools. Her son Bill was used as a pawn in her scheme to bring this about. William J. Murray III, or Bill Murray ultimately rejected his mothers atheism and became a Christian pastor. His mother disowned him. Not until I was in my late 40's did I begin to learn the real meaning of the 1st Amendment in regard to religious liberty. Although I was a Christian I sided with O'Hairs interpretation of the Constitution and belief in a so called separation of church and state. By chance I ran across a small book in a Dollar Tree by William J. Murray III called Let Us Pray.

 It was ironic that the boy that was used to eliminate prayer in public school would grow up to write a book that would explain the true meaning of the 1st Amendment and make a b…

A TIME FOR ACTION

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Well meaning people are just plain tired of these mass shootings, whether they are in schools, restaurants, malls or churches. Regardless of whether you are for gun control or you stand for the 2nd Amendment, like myself, we are all tired of it. There are good people on both sides of the issue although I believe that many that are pushing for more gun control are just misinformed. There is no doubt that the politicians are simply wanting more power over the people, which is their motivation for wanting to disarm us. Second Amendment people are tired of useless talk. I am tired of talking about these shootings and writing about them. And I am especially tired of spineless governments like Tennessee that refuses to act to remedy the problem. As Reagan said government isn't the solution it is the problem. In my view government created the environment in which these shootings are thriving. I am not just tired of the killings by active shooters I am tired of the carnage going on in o…

ZION PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN COLUMBIA TENNESSEE

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A church was built in Columbia Tennessee between 1805 and 1806 by Scots-Irish settlers from South Carolina. The church was named Zion Presbyterian church. They purchased the land from the heirs of Revolutionary War hero Nathaniel Greene. The present church was finished in 1849 by church members and their slaves. There are 15 Revolutionary War veterans buried there along with 3 veterans from the War of 1812 and 60 Confederate veterans. There is even one veteran of the Seminole War of 1836. In addition there are over 1500 total burials in this graveyard. A slave named "Daddy Ben" is honored by a monument in the graveyard. He refused to tell the British Army during the American Revolution where his master was hiding and survived three attempts by the British to hang him. There is one grave marker to a little girl that simply says Alice Sleeps Here. Another grave belongs to a Sarah N. DeGraffenreid born in 1796 and is buried alongside her 4 young children who died on the nigh…

MY VISIT WITH SAM AND JENNIE WATKINS

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Yesterday, May 20, 2018, I had the pleasure of visiting the grave of Sam Watkins and his wife Virginia (Jennie) Mayes Watkins. My favorite memoir of the Civil War is Company Aytch. It was written by Sam in 1881. Twenty years after the beginning of the war. It was serialized by the Columbia Herald from 1881 to 1882 and was first published as a book in 1882. At one point he operated a store in Columbia and members of his family encouraged him to write an account of the war to leave to his children and descendants. Like any combat veteran he probably suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While writing his book he could be seen by an old pot bellied stove on cold mornings writing with a pencil and laughing as he thought of something funny and quietly weeping as he recalled the horrors of war.

 Watkins enlisted with 120 men in 1861 and was one of only 7 men left when General Johnston surrendered the Army of Tennessee to General Sherman on April 26, 1865 in Durham North Carolina.…

MY CIVIL WAR POV - PART THREE

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Chickamauga - September 19, 20, 1863

 The Chickamauga campaign was nothing but one lost opportunity after another for the Confederacy. Bragg squandered the opportunity to destroy the Union Army piecemeal in the mountain passes below Chattanooga. Another opportunity was wasted by not destroying the Union Army at Chickamauga after Longstreets's Corps split the enemy in half near the Brotherton cabin on September 20th. Instead Bragg wasted thousands of valuable men trying to destroy George H. Thomas. If he had been smart he would have left a small force to hold Thomas in place while he rode down the panic stricken Union Army scrambling into Chattanooga. The city would have been his without much of a fight. Nathan Bedford Forrest would question why Bragg even bothered to fight battles. Running down the routed Union Army is exactly what Forrest wanted to do and there was none better than he when it came to pursuing a defeated army. Brices Crossroads and Streights capture were great ex…