J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “Manassas”

Stranger Things

b1bfa5e8ef374322dac8f87db6ed75921e20ff7f

I started watching the series, Stranger Things, on Netflix the other night, and then got to thinking. There is nothing stranger than what is going on in our country right now. I am referring to all the blatant disregard toward American history, and more specifically, toward Confederate history. Monuments are being targeted, whereas last year, it was the Confederate battle flag that was under attack. Now, the statues are supposedly “racist,” and are being accused of displaying “white supremacy.” I have yet to figure out how some people associate these terms with Confederate soldiers’ statues.  The monuments were primarily placed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in the early 1900’s, and I seriously doubt those ladies purchased them to make racist statements. No, funds were raised to erect the monuments in honor of their lost loved ones and their beloved generals. Those soldiers were not racist. They fought to preserve their homes, and many gave their lives in doing so. In retaliation, the UDC is now being called an extension of the KKK. Absurd!

gettyimages-469039702

The latest insanity is the cancellation of an annual reenactment at the Manassas battlefield this weekend. Today, the Charlottesville, Virginia, city council had statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson covered with black tarps, as if that will accomplish anything. And earlier this week, a forum was held in Oxford, Mississippi to discuss the Confederate monument. The forum was not advertised. One woman in attendance complained about the statue of Robert E. Lee in front of City Hall. However, the statue is actually that of William Faulkner.

170823_social_charlottesville_statue_covered_MIX_16x9_384

These idiots don’t even know what they are protesting. Their ignorance is appalling. To claim that every Confederate soldier fought for white supremacy and was a racist is like saying they all fought to preserve slavery. So not true! This foolish misconception and misrepresentation is leading to more destruction and causing deeper rifts, and the amount of taxpayers’ money being used to move the monuments is enormous. In Memphis, it is estimated that it will cost the city around $7-800,000 to move the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest. It’s hard to justify that tremendous expense when the city is drowning in debt, teeming with corruption, and has one of the highest crime rates in the country. When taken to a vote, the majority of citizens do not want the statues removed. Somehow, stupidity reigns supreme.

rts1bt8b

Advertisements

In Honor of Two Famous Generals

This week marks the birthdays of two famous Confederate generals: Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Lee’s birthday was yesterday, January 19, and Jackson’s birthday is tomorrow, January 21.

RobertELee

Robert E. Lee was born on January 19, 1807. He was a son of the famous Revolutionary War hero, “Light Horse Harry” Lee. Robert E. Lee’s upbringing was atypical of Virginia gentry. Although his first home was at Stratford Hall (a beautiful plantation in Virginia that is now a tourist attraction), Lee’s family moved to Alexandria when he was four because his father was thrown into debtor’s prison. Robert E. Lee was accepted into West Point Military Academy in 1825, where he excelled and graduated at the top of his class with no demerits. He served as a military engineer, and married Mary Custis, the great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, at Arlington House.

After fighting in the Mexican War, Lee continued with the United States military until Virginia seceded in April, 1861. He then decided to stay true to his state, so he resigned his commission. He served under Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who eventually gave Lee total control of the Confederate Army. During the first two years of the war, Lee and Jackson fought side-by-side in several battles.

Following his surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, Lee served as the President of Washington and Lee University in Lexington. His tenure was short-lived, however. He died on October 12, 1870, and is buried on campus. Lee was a true patriot, hero, and gentleman. He was deeply religious, and was greatly admired and respected by his men, as well as his students and the citizens of Lexington.

Stonewall_Jackson_-_National_Portrait_Gallery

Thomas J. Jackson, born on January 21, 1824, was also a deeply religious man. He was sometimes ridiculed for his peculiar, eccentric behavior. Jackson was extremely shy, but after a harsh upbringing, he learned to read, and managed to graduate from West Point in 1846. He fought in the Mexican War, where he met Robert E. Lee. In 1851, Jackson became a professor at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in Lexington, Virginia, where his teaching methods received criticism. His first wife died in childbirth, but he remarried a few years later.

When the Civil War broke out, Jackson was assigned to Harpers Ferry, where he commanded the “Stonewall Brigade.” His strategic military genius helped win battles at First and Second Manassas, the Peninsula and Valley Campaigns, and the Battle of Fredericksburg. During the Battle of Chancellorsville in May, 1863, Jackson was mistaken for the enemy by his own men and wounded. His arm was amputated, and it was thought he would recover. But after eight days, he succumbed to pneumonia. He died on May 10, 1863, and is buried in Lexington Cemetery (his left arm is buried at Ellwood Manor).

Lee and Jackson were two of the most prolific generals of the Civil War. Their religious conviction and military genius will always be admired and revered. Both men, along with Jefferson Davis, are featured in the carving on Stone Mountain, Georgia.

download

The Second Battle of Manassas

From August 28-30, 1862, the Second Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) took place in Prince William County, Virginia.The battle between General Stonewall Jackson’s Confederate troops and General Pope’s Union forces resulted in a Confederate victory.

The first day of battle ended in a stalemate, and the second day nearly ended the same way, until C.S.A. General Longstreet’s army arrived to support Jackson. When Pope renewed his attack on August 30, Longstreet retaliated by sending his 28,000 Confederates to counterattack. It was the largest simultaneous mass attack of the war. The Yankees were driven back, and the battle nearly ended in a repeat of the 1861 battle, when the Union army literally ran back to Washington City (Washington D.C.).

 

Battle of 2nd Manassas

From August 28-30, 1862, the Second Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) took place in Prince William County, Virginia.The battle between General Stonewall Jackson’s Confederate troops and General Pope’s Union forces resulted in a Confederate victory.

The first day of battle ended in a stalemate, and the second day nearly ended the same way, until C.S.A. General Longstreet’s army arrived to support Jackson. When Pope renewed his attack on August 30, Longstreet retaliated by sending his 28,000 Confederates to counterattack. It was the largest simultaneous mass attack of the war. The Yankees were driven back, and the battle nearly ended in a repeat of the 1861 battle, when the Union army literally ran back to Washington.

Last month marked the 151st anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run). Since this year is the sesquicentennial of the Battle of 2nd Manassas, events were slated and took place earlier this week.

A Beautiful Glittering Lie Excerpt

As promised, I have posted an excerpt from my new novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. This segment takes place just after the main characters, Hiram Summers and Bud Samuels, go through the Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run) …

 

It was now two o’clock. All of a sudden, General Bee rode up on his steed, excitably waving his sword.

“What body of troops is this?” he hollered at them.

“Why General, don’t you know your own troops? We’re what remains of the Fourth Alabama!” Enoch Campbell exclaimed.

The general appeared calm but perturbed. “This is all of my brigade I can find,” he stated to the soldiers. “Will you follow me back to where the firin’ is goin’ on?”

“Aye, sir!” yelled Hiram, at first not recognizing his own voice.

“To the death!” added George Anderson.

Bee immediately set the men into action, leading them forward into the fray. On the other side of the ravine awaited a brigade of Virginians commanded by General Thomas Jackson, who sat stoically upon his steed.

General Bee brought him to the men’s attention, and said, “Let us go and support Jackson! See he stands like a stone wall! Rally behind the Virginians!”

As the regiment moved left, an artillery battery cut through their ranks. Bee and his army veered right, while the rest of the regiment moved forward into the woods.

Mayhem prevailed. The men were unable to distinguish friend from foe. Forced to fall back, they retired in a hurricane of bullets to await further orders. Hiram and Bud trailed behind, and as they retreated, Hiram overheard Bee address Jackson.

“General, they’re pushin’ us back!”

Jackson replied calmly, his blue eyes barely visible from beneath his forage cap, “Well, sir, we shall give them the bayonet.”

General Bee ordered his men to retreat to a nearby hill. The Rebels fell behind it, and fortified the hill. Suddenly, the field began to grow quiet, except for the frantic wails of injured soldiers. To the Alabamians relief, the Federals were retreating. With one hand, Hiram withdrew his pocket watch, and wiped sweat from his brow with the other. Clicking the timepiece open, he saw that it was nearly five o’clock. The battle had gone on for seven hours.

Bud glanced over at him, sweat trickling down his darkened face, leaving streaked rivulets, but said nothing.

The Yankees fled northeast toward Washington, and in their chaos, became more panic-stricken, until their escape became a rout. The 4th Alabama, however, could only observe from a distance, since their exhaustion captivated them.

“Has anyone seen my cousin?” asked William Rivers in a daze.

Bud wiped the sweat from his face with his shirt sleeve. “I saw him over yonder,” he said to the young man, his voice hoarse from breathing smoke. He stopped William by clasping onto his arm. “I don’t     recommend you go over there,” he said quietly. “He’s in a bad way.”

William glared at him for a moment, contemplating his words, but then hurried off.

The men were requested to return to the field and gather the fallen. It wasn’t long before Hiram wished he had been assigned to a less gruesome task. All across the field, swarming flies swirled about strewn body parts, broken soldiers cried out in pain, and the wounded, both men and horses alike, writhed in agony as gathering buzzards slowly circled overhead. A white clapboard house that had been at the center of the commotion was now splattered with bullet holes, the wooden sideboards shattered from gunfire. Hiram passed his canteen from one thirsty casualty to the next until it was drained, and still they cried out for more. Finally, an ambulance arrived. Litter-bearers carried off the wounded. Colonel Jones was discovered where he had fallen, and was transported to a nearby hospital at Orange Court House.

Hiram came upon James Alexander. His cousin, William Rivers, was kneeling beside him, holding a white cloth to his cousin’s wounded stomach, which was quickly becoming soaked with bright red blood.

“Can you help me?” William pleaded, his voice quivering as he neared tears.

Unsure of what to do, Hiram could only stare in piteous distress. James reached up, took hold of his cousin’s arm, and smiled.

“It’s all right, Will,” he said. “I don’t feel a thing.” Suddenly, he gasped, spurting blood from his mouth. A final sigh escaped him. He grew silent, and his eyes glazed over.

William began to cry. Hiram could see he was struggling to contain himself, so he offered to help him up, but William refused. Finally, Bud came along, and insisted. Slowly, William rose to his feet, dropped the bloody rag, and allowed Bud to escort him away. Hiram remorsefully followed, glancing at James’ lifeless body over his shoulder while they stumbled off. It was too easy for him to picture his own son lying there, lifeless on the darkening earth. Biting his lower lip, he expelled the ghastly thought from his mind as sunset approached.

Noticing another young casualty, he drew closer, recognizing him to be George Anderson, the young diarist. All the horror of what had happened started sinking in. Unable to contain his emotions, sobs escaped him while he walked off to join his surviving comrades.

Later in the day, President Davis rode at a gallop past the regiment on his way to the front. At sundown, the men found their way back, and rested in their bivouac, reflecting on the day’s events. They felt miserable about their performance, because they had turned their backs to the Yankees and retreated. The camp died down, with only the sounds of chirping crickets in the distance.

“I never expected to see anything like that,” Bud quietly said.

“Neither did I,” agreed Hiram in solemn realization.

“But it was jist like the vision I dreamt,” elaborated Bud, “as if it was foretold.”

Hiram was still so shaken that finding appropriate words was difficult. “I saw that young feller, George, lyin’ there dead,” he finally muttered.

Bud only nodded. The campfire flickered across his face.

“It was right strange,” Hiram finally said, breaking the foreboding silence. “Last summer, I read about a meteor shower that happened over the Hudson River. They were sayin’ it was a sign of what was to come.” He glanced at his comrade, who lay motionless beside him. “I laughed it off at the time.”

Bud turned his head, and glared at him. Both agreed without saying as much. It had been their first introduction into Hell, their baptism of fire.

2nd Manassas

From August 28-30, 1862, the Second Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) took place in Prince William County, Virginia.The battle between General Stonewall Jackson’s Confederate troops and General Pope’s Union forces resulted in a Confederate victory.

The first day of battle ended in a stalemate, and the second day nearly ended the same way, until C.S.A. General Longstreet’s army arrived to support Jackson. When Pope renewed his attack on August 30, Longstreet retaliated by sending his 28,000 Confederates to counterattack. It was the largest simultaneous mass attack of the war. The Yankees were driven back, and the battle nearly ended in a repeat of the 1861 battle, when the Union army literally ran back to Washington.

Last month marked the 150th anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run), and was commemorated with a reenactment, living history demonstrations, speakers, art, music, and interactive historical activities. Since next year will be the sesquicentennial of 2nd Manassas, events will be slated in commemmoration as well.

Post Navigation