Dispatches from the Battles of New Orleans

by Fred Ray on May 14, 2017 · 1 comment

This time it’s Jeff Davis. Same MO—heavy, militarized police presence with body armor and snipers on the rooftops. Everyone is masked and the logos and license plates covered, statue moved to “an undisclosed location.”

Pat Gallagher, who lives in Jefferson Parish, said she decided to go out to the intersection because she is concerned about the preservation of all monuments, both Confederate and others.

“I think it’s a slippery slope,” she said of taking down monuments. “It’s part of history — whether it’s good, bad or indifferent. You can’t change history.”

She expressed a special concern for monuments to those who served in the military, ticking off a list of wars and battles in which she said her ancestors have served, beginning with one who fought at Valley Forge and continuing through the Battle of New Orleans, the Civil War, World War II and a nephew now stationed in Afghanistan.

“This is about monuments to military men who fought for their country,” she said. “This is very personal for me. That’s why I’m here — to stand up for my ancestors — all of them.”

“I’m getting sick at heart because they’re getting ready to take this down,” she said, tearing up.

Yep, nothing says tolerance like tearing down somebody else’s monuments.

Whatever you think about it, it seems to me to be an incredibly boneheaded and counterproductive move for a city like New Orleans, which relies heavily on tourism driven by its rich history. When you start sanitizing that history to please a vocal minority, and especially if it gets a lot of publicity, it’s not going to help your city’s image. New Orleans is beset by a host of problems as it is, including high crime, corruption, and dealing with the aftermath of a devastating hurricane. They’ve just added another one.

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Short Takes

by Fred Ray on May 3, 2017 · 0 comments

Cap and Ball is at it again, this time with a P56 Enfield Short Rifle. This is the shorter version of the more common P53 Rifle Musket used extensively by North and South. The P56 (which also came in the slightly different P58 and P60 models) was a favorite of Confederate sharpshooters, both because of its accuracy and because it was lighter and handier than the full-size version. However, there were never enough to go around.

C&B demonstrates the genuine item, which as you will see can be made to shoot quite accurately. I have a P56 repro with a Whitaker barrel and wish I could get mine to do that well.

He also has a new video about shooting a Wilkinson rifle, one of the many British “small bore” i.e. .45 caliber long-range match rifles. Match shooting was quite popular during the period from about 1850 to the turn of the century, with targets up to a thousand yards. At least some English match rifles were used by Confederate sharpshooters.

In Pittsburg, the local bomb squad is in the process of removing some 300 Civil War era cannon balls, at least some of which are filled with black powder.

“Even though these things are 200-plus years old, we are using safety precautions,” said Nick Leonello, of Franjo Construction.

The cannonballs were found in Lawrenceville last month and they are believed to be pre-Civil War.

Contractors happened upon them while digging up the site, and now they have to safely dispose them.

“There is black powder in these cannonballs, and black powder is a very dangerous substance. Even after it gets wet, when it dries out it can still be dangerous,” said Leonello.

Lest anyone think this danger is exaggerated, I did a post some time ago about a popular Civil War collector and ordnance expert who was killed trying to disarm one.

UPDATE: Cap & Ball’s full video on the Wilkinson rifle is up now and well worth watching (the previous link was for a teaser). The link has been updated to reflect this.

 

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Check out the Siege of Petersburg Online for daily posts on battle accounts in newspaper articles, diary entries, letters and more!

What are your Top 10 Gettysburg Books? See what a panel of bloggers said recently.

Want to read some interesting Civil War content from amateurs and pros alike? Check out the Top 10 Civil War Blogs and Top 10 Civil War Blogs: 11-20.

Dispatches From The War of Culinary Aggression

by Fred Ray April 26, 2017

Now they’ve banned grits and biscuits made the right way. “We could originally serve half whole grains but that changed in 2012 when we had to start serving 100 percent whole grains,” said Stephanie Dillard, the child nutrition director for Geneva County Schools in Alabama. That meant no more grits. “And grits are a staple […]

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The Night They Drove ‘Ol Dixie down

by Fred Ray April 25, 2017

The first of four Confederate monuments came down in New Orleans, but you have to wonder what the hey was going on. The minions of the Crescent City looked more like thieves in the night, with a very large touch of paranoia. Workers wore bullet-proof vests, helmets and facemasks as they went about the work, […]

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Adios “Hognose” R.I.P.

by Fred Ray April 20, 2017

I was greatly saddened to learn yesterday of the untimely demise of Kevin “Hognose” O’Brien, who ran the excellent Weaponsman blog site, a mixture of weapons lore, gun politics, and Kevin’s own unique brand of blarney. Although I never met him, Kevin and I became acquainted earlier this year when he linked to one of […]

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Another Look At Timothy Murphy

by Fred Ray April 9, 2017

If you are familiar with the Revolutionary War and especially the battle of Saratoga you’ve probably heard of Timothy Murphy. According the story, Murphy, one of Daniel Morgan’s riflemen, shot British general Simon Frazier off his horse with a double-barreled rifle at a distance of 300 yards, thereby winning the battle and perhaps even saving […]

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Origin of “Sniper”

by Fred Ray April 6, 2017

In some previous posts we’ve looked at the origin of the word “sharpshooter,” tracing it back to the early 18th Century in German and to the last part of that century in English, when it passed from German to English. But what about “sniper?” Turns out that goes back pretty far as well, although its […]

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