Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Allegheny Arsenal Explosion


       The Allegheny Arsenal was established in 1814. The original arsenal was built on thirty acres of land near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on the Allegheny River. Prior to the Civil War, about 300 people were employed at the arsenal. At the height of the Civil War, there were over 1,100 employed there. What was known as the main lab contained 158 employees, mostly young girls and women who were making cartridges for the Union army. 

Filling Cartridges

Women employed to work with dangerous gunpowder

       What would come to be known as the largest civilian disaster of the war occurred at Allegheny Arsenal in the main lab on September 17, 1862. The initial explosion occurred at 2 p.m. Windows were shattered in the surrounding community. A total of three explosions would rock the arsenal. The explosions could be heard two miles away in downtown Pittsburgh. Not a lot has been written about the horrors that were witnessed there that day. There were 78 people killed, a total of 54 bodies couldn't be identified and were buried in a mass grave. 
       An employee named Mary Jane Black described one scene as "two girls behind me; they were on fire; their faces were burning and blood running from them. I pulled the clothes off one of them; while I was doing this, the other one ran up and begged me to cover her. I did not succeed in saving either one."
       The Daily Post had this to say about the tragic event. "Of the main building nothing remained but a heap of smoking debris. The ground about was strewn with fragments of charred wood, torn clothing, balls, caps, grape shot, exploded shells, hoes, fragments of dinner baskets belonging to the inmates, steel springs from the girls hoop skirts, cartridge paper, sheet iron, and melted lead. Two hundred feet from the laboratory was picked up the body of one young girl, terribly mangled; another body was seen to fly in the air and separate into two parts; an arm was thrown over the wall; a foot was picked up near the gate; a piece of skull was found a hundred yards away, and pieces of intestines were scattered about the grounds. Some fled out of the ruins covered with flame, or blackened or lacerated with effects of the explosion, and either fell and expired or lingered in agony until removed. Several were conveyed to houses in the borough and to their homes in the city. Of these, four or five subsequently died."

Colonel John Symington

       Although the investigation absolved Colonel John Symington, the commander of Allegheny Arsenal of the disaster, it appears he should be given some blame. There were reports that he fired boys who had worked there for Irish immigrant women who would work for less pay. Most believe the tragedy occurred because of leaking powder barrels that were being re-used as a shortcut in a time of need for powder. 

Powder Magazine Today

       All that is left of Allegheny Arsenal today is the powder magazine which serves as a present day storage shed for Arsenal Park. Below is the monument to the victims which rests on the mass grave where the unknown victims rest today. The event didn't gain a lot of attention at the time due to the fact that it occurred on September 17, 1862, the same day as the Battle of Antietam in Maryland. Antietam would come to be known as the single bloodiest day in American history. Allegheny Arsenal would come to be known as the worst civilian tragedy of the war. 

Marker on the burial site

Monday, October 14, 2013

Lawyers and the End of America

Mark Potok

       I recently read an article about David Owen Dodd who was just seventeen years old. Actually, he was hanged less than two months after his seventeenth birthday. Everyone describes Dodd as a sad story in our nations history. Everyone that is, except Mark Potok, the extreme liberal who portrays the seventeen year old as defending slavery. Lawyer and liberal Mark Potok says that Dodd was a defender of slavery, yet if Dodd were on trial today for murder, this same Potok would be defending (if the price was right) saying that a seventeen year old is too young to execute. 
       Is there anyone out there today that questions how lawyers in this country work? They would slit their own mother's throats for a dollar and that explains Mark Potok. Potok to quote Metapedia is a "Jewish propagandist and spokesperson for the Southern Poverty Law Center, a hate group that spreads disinformation against non-Jewish groups and ethnic European groups in particular. Potok is the editor of the SPLC’sIntelligence Report and joined the organization in 1997. Previously he was a reporter for USA Today, the Dallas Times Herald and The Miami Herald. At USA Today he covered the 1993 Seige of Waco and the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing. He attended the University of Chicago from 1974 to 1978. Potok has a very whiny and simpering voice."
       From what I have read about Mark Potok, I may end up on the elimination list for writing this blog about him. More information I have read about him is "The Southern Poverty Law Center maintains a list of what it calls "hate groups", this is understood by radical Marxist supporters as a hit list of people to be eliminated. An example of this in action is taken from the terrorist attack against the Family Research Council in 2012."
       If being a Christian and reporting the facts about these extreme liberals is against what Mark Potok and his modern lawyers want to preach to the world is wrong, then I will gladly place myself on their hit list. Here are more quotes from what I have found on Mark Potok on the internet, "The Family Research Council is listed on the SPLC hit list as a "hate group" because they are Christians and uphold the traditional family, rejecting sexual perversions such as homosexualism. The would be assassin Floyd Lee Corkins II invaded the headquarters of the group and he attempted to murder the building manager Leo Johnson but shot his arm. The FRC leader Tony Perkins, correctly placed the blame on Mark Potok and the SPLC, as did the National Organization for Marriage."

David Owen Dodd

       The amazing thing about Lawyer Mark Potok is the fact that paid the right amount of money, he would defend David Owen Dodd in court today, saying he is too young to face the death penalty. This is another example why Capitalism has failed us and been replaced by plain old greed. Mark Potok says David Owen Dodd doesn't need monuments placed in his memory because he defended slavery, yet the same liberal would argue for anyone today that is facing the death penalty under the age of 18. He would say, "Give my more money and I will defend this young man, who happens to be too young to face the death penalty." 
       I very rarely discuss politics on my blog, but sometimes I have to defend the mess these lawyers have gotten our country in. I just want to scream, "Wake up America!"

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tennant Lomax: No Nobler Spirit

Colonel Tennant Lomax

       Tennant Lomax (sometimes spelled Tennent) was born in 1820 in South Carolina. After becoming an adult, he moved to Eufaula, Alabama and began a law practice. He served as a captain during the Mexican War and as governor of Orizaba, Mexico. His first wife Sophia Shorter died in 1850. He remarried in 1857 to Caroline Billingslea and moved to Montgomery, Alabama. When the war began, he became colonel of the 3rd Alabama Infantry. 

       Ordered to Pensacola, he fully expected orders to storm Fort Pickens, but the order never came from Montgomery. He paid a visit to the fort under a flag of truce. The officer there told him, "Colonel, we expected the honor of a visit from you some time ago." Lomax replied, "Sir, you would not have been disappointed had my wishes prevailed."

       His regiment was soon ordered to Norfolk, Virginia where it's twelve month service expired. Lomax then enlisted as a private, but his regiment soon re-enlisted for the duration of the war and he was it's colonel again. 

       His only action of the war occurred at the Battle of Seven Pines on May 31, 1862. Lieutenant James Thompson of the 6th Alabama described his final moments. "The 3rd Alabama of the finest regiments in the service was passing. General (John Brown) Gordon, then our colonel, was standing near us. One of the finest looking officers we ever saw reined up his horse, shook hands with him, and while they were exchanging a few words, some of our troops asked, who is he? It was Col. Lomax. His regiment had passed. He told Colonel Gordon that this would be his first and his last battle, and with a smile and a salute, he galloped away toward the fighting to the head of his regiment and they passed out of sight. It seemed to us hardly time for their column to form in line before heavy volleys of musketry were opened in that direction, and soon after, heavy numbers of the regiment were passing wounded or being borne on litters. The gallant Lomax was among the dead."

       The Augusta Constitutionalist pays the following tributes to the memory of this gallant officer: "No nobler spirit ever gave his life in defence of his country than Tennant Lomax, Colonel of the Third Alabama regiment, who bravely fell in the late battle near Richmond. He was a man of towering form and commanding present, with a countenance beaming with intelligence, and bearing the stamp of high-toned honor and of every generous emotion. His life was gentle; and the elements so mixed in him that nature might stand up, and my to all the world, 'this was a man.'"

       Tennant Lomax was 41 years old. Brewer's Alabama: Her History, Resources, War Record and Public Men states that he was to receive a commission from Jefferson Davis to brigadier general the day he was killed. He rests today in Oakwood Cemetery in Montgomery, Alabama. 

Me at the grave of Tennant Lomax. Note his tombstone lists his age at 44.