8.25.17 Longstreet

OK, attention all you polo-wearing skinheads out there who say that defending statues of Confederate generals isn’t hatred, it’s just an effort to “preserve your heritage.” Well I’ve got two words for you: James Longstreet. C’mon, really, even if you haven’t picked up a history book in your life, you’ve heard of this guy. Born […]

10.9.15 Bright Star

South Sudan is the 144th-ranked nation in world soccer. (The operative word here is “nation.”) The deep history of Sudan reads like the script of a Cecil B. DeMille movie. In ancient times, it was known as the Kingdom of Kush. The Egyptians took it over and referred to it as Nubia. Later it became […]

9.5.14 Oh Atlanta!

In the summer of 1864, Abraham Lincoln may have been the most hated President in American history. The Union army under U.S. Grant had suffered horrendous casualties as it advanced towards Richmond. Meanwhile, in July, Confederate general Jubal Early came very close to turning the tables and capturing Washington D.C. Financial speculators concluded the Union […]

5.30.14 Last Woman Sitting

This Memorial Day weekend, there is something noteworthy over at the Veterans Administration. No, it’s not the recent news about poor service to veterans themselves. This is about long-term benefits provided to their families. There is a long-standing federal program that provides assistance to dependents who cannot support themselves. So for spouses or dependents of […]

7.4.13 Hancock the Superb

4th of July, 1863.  In the aftermath of Gettysburg came the miraculous news that a second victory of equal importance had been won.  On July 4, Ulysses S. Grant captured Vicksburg after a long siege, removing the last confederate stronghold on the Mississippi and giving the Union complete control of the river.  It was the […]

7.2.13 Day 2

On Day 2 at Gettysburg, the great battle between north and south was brutally contested at the south and at the north. To call Cemetery Ridge a ridge is fairly generous. It’s a mild undulation in the Pennsylvania farmland, maybe two miles long, looking west over open fields down to a line of woods about […]

6.28.13 Hancock

This is how one man became Superb. Winfield Scott Hancock was born in Montgomery Township, PA, just northwest of Philadelphia, in 1824. His parents came from respectable stock that went back several generations. His father was a schoolteacher and later a lawyer. Hancock was educated at the Norristown Academy, was nominated by his local congressman […]