Tuesday, February 5, 2019

First to Fall: Robert Selden Garnett

Robert Selden Garnett

       Robert S. Garnett was born in Essex County, Virginia in 1819. Robert graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1841 ranked 27th out of 52 cadets. Despite his lower ranking, he was placed in the artillery. Most graduates ranked outside the top ten ended up in the infantry. Garnett did eventually become an infantry officer where he served during the Mexican War. Twice he was praised for his bravery there. Robert was the first cousin of Richard Brooke Garnett who would also become a Confederate brigadier general and would lose his life at Gettysburg.
       Prior to the Civil War, Robert would see more action against the Native Americans of Puget Sound. In 1857, he married Marianne Nelson and a year later they had a son named Arthur Nelson Garnett. Both Marianne and Arthur would come down with what was then termed "bilious fever" and both died. Marianne was from New York and both were laid to rest in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. Marianne was twenty-six years old. Arthur was seven months old and outlived his mother by six days.

Marianne Garnett

       When the Civil War began, Garnett was made a brigadier general and sent to western Virginia where he was given command of green troops, poorly armed, and heavily outnumbered. Before leaving Richmond, Virginia for his command, Garnett had told a friend, "They have not given me an adequate force. I can do nothing. They have sent me to my death."
       Upon arriving at his command, he attempted to extricate them from the mountains and back to the Shenandoah Valley. The Federals under McClellan were pursuing the Confederate force. Garnett personally managed his rearguard during the retreat. Rains had turned the roads into a mess. Upon reaching a place called Corrick's Ford on the Cheat River, Garnett attempted to fight another rearguard action here to delay his pursuers. He placed the 23rd Virginia Infantry on the shore under future Brigadier General William B. Taliaferro. 
       The Federals arrived and were repulsed two times by Taliaferro's regiment. Garnett was recommending a position to place skirmishers when several Federal soldier's opened fire. Garnett's aide Sam Gaines was mounted at his side and ducked the shots. Garnett scolded his assistant for dodging bullets. During the war, commanding officer's had to inspire their soldiers by standing bravely while bullets passed close by. Gaines apologized saying he felt the wind of the bullet and it caused him to flinch. Garnett quickly changed his tone and spoke compassionately to Gaines about how an officer should act in combat.
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Corrick's Ford

       The Federals quickly closed to within fifty yards of Garnett's position. He ordered his skirmishers to fall back as a bullet struck him in the back. He fell from the saddle and Gaines attempted to pick him up and place him back on his horse. About to be captured, he climbed into the saddle and galloped away, leaving Garnett to the mercy of the Federals. He died a few moments later. Some reports stated that his body actually fell off the horse into the Cheat River. One Federal soldier reported finding Garnett just moments before he died and hearing the general say that he believed he'd been accidentally killed by friendly fire.
       General McClellan praised the gallant conduct of Garnett in this action and had his body placed on ice and sent through Confederate lines to be given to his family for a descent burial. Ironically, his body would pass back through Federal lines where he would temporarily be buried in Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland. Just after the war, he was reinterred beside his wife and son in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. Robert Selden Garnett was 41 years old. Had he not been killed there is little doubt that he would have attained higher rank because General Robert E. Lee had great confidence in Garnett's ability. He may have become one of Lee's best corps commander's had he lived. We will never know.

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Obelisk over the grave of Garnett, his wife, and son

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Just When You Think It Can't Get Any Worse

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Judge Michael Graffeo of Birmingham proudly wedding same sex couples

       You of course know the rule about lawyers, politicians, and of course judges (they are lawyers also). They will do anything for a dollar and a vote is a dollar. Now follow closely where I'm going with this blog. 
       Pretend your father was called on by his government (the state of Alabama) to go fight a war against an invading force. Let's pretend your father was a poor farmer who could barely own shoes, but he went to war because his state asked him to. The war was four long bloody years and he either got sick or was killed in combat. What could make a person more proud than for his family member to have given his life fighting for his home, his country. 
       Now you need to fast forward a hundred and fifty years and find that a certain group of people have twisted what your father fought for. They've made him appear to be evil. They hate what and who he fought for. Pretend this group is a minority group that cries all the time about how mistreated they are and what the majority group owes them. Then throw in some spineless politican or lawyer just like Judge Michael Graffeo of Birmingham, Alabama. He is know to stir controversy to get attention and a vote, the laws of the government be damned because he needs a vote. Now a monument was raised to your father and others who gave his life for the state of Alabama. The state passes a law protecting all historical monuments, but Judge Graffeo (a liberal democrat if that happens to surprise anyone) rules in court that Alabama law is null and void in Birmingham, Alabama. 
       Well, isn't that ironic? Judge Graffeo just proved the state of Alabama and everyone else that fought the Federal government in that war were correct and that anyone can declare law void that wants to. So, I should say I am declaring my personal property free of any government laws just like Judge Graffeo has done. I'm not paying income taxes, property taxes, or any other taxes because I just declared those tax laws unconstitutional. 
       Now remember this about lawyers. They ask these young men to go fight a war for them and then later turn on them. They turn on the very soldiers that they sent to fight. You can't be any more of a coward than that. Judge Graffeo is a typical "kiss ass" attorney attempting to weaken this country by kissing up to those that will give him what he wants. This is why I could never be a politician. I have too much dignity and morals to do the things they are willing to do. A prostitute would be more honorable.
       Now you must wonder why the state of Alabama is broke. We are paying legislaturer's to make laws and after they spend a year finally getting it pushed through, one judge decides to take it upon himself to rule it unconstitutional. How stupid is this republic? Pretty damned stupid. I've just learned that a Revolutionary War monument was vandalized in Wilkesboro, North Carolina and even more ridiculous is the fact that the state of Texas are passing around the idea of renaming the state capitol of Austin. Austin is named after Stephen F. Austin. Some people are offended by the city being named after this man (imagine someone being offended today). 

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Stephen F. Austin

       Stephen Austin is called the "Father of Texas." Born in 1793 in Virginia, Austin was a politician who took 300 people and settled in Texas. He eventually became Secretary of State of Texas and periodically during his life he owned slaves. The man had conflicting views on slavery and hoped Texas would eventually abolish the practice. Fast foward to today and they want to change the name of the capitol of the state he helped found. Things are just going to get worse.
       I told my buddy Tommy Hubbert that in our lifetime we will probably see Washington, D.C. changed to something else. I'm guessing it will be called Lincoln, D.C., Obama, D.C., or perhaps MLK, D.C. Everything in this country white needs to be erradicated. As congressman Mo Brooks said, "This country has declared war on white people."