Short Takes

by Fred Ray December 15, 2017

What do you do when you don’t have any Confederates to protest? You obviously make do with what you have. Two in the crosshairs are Teddy Roosevelt and of course Christopher Columbus. “For too long, they have generated harm and offense as expressions of white supremacy,” reads the petition, in a city which “preaches tolerance […]

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Review: Sharpshooting Rifles of the American Civil War: Colt, Sharps, Spencer, and Whitworth by Martin Pegler

by Fred Ray November 22, 2017

Sharpshooting Rifles of the American Civil War: Colt, Sharps, Spencer, and Whitworth By Martin Pegler Illustrated by Johnny Shumate, Alan Gilliland Publication Date: 24 Aug 2017 80 pages ISBN 9781472815910 $20 Martin Pegler is a prolific chronicler on military sniping, perhaps best known for his 2004 book Out of Nowhere: A History of the Military […]

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Short Takes

by Fred Ray November 17, 2017

A nostalgic look back at the long relationship between the Army and whiskey. American commanders began supplying strong drink in 1775 — right after the Continental Army was formed. Congress voted to supply it with beer. Gen. George Washington, who was fond of beer and all sorts of drink, nonetheless felt something heartier was required. […]

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I Feeel Good! (About Raiding Harpers Ferry)

by Fred Ray November 11, 2017

Lots of bad news all over these days, but I did get a laugh out of this one. The Associated Press had to issue a correction last month after a story suggested that legendary 20th Century musician James Brown, and not fiery abolitionist John Brown, led a raid on Harpers Ferry just before the Civil […]

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Ron Chernow on on U.S. Grant

by Fred Ray November 6, 2017

Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Ron Chernow discusses his biography on Ulysses S. Grant, with a focus on the 18th president’s final years and the writing of his memoirs. Saw part of this the other night and it’s worth watching to learn more about Grant.    

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Runaways Returned to Plantations—By Yankees in 1864

by Fred Ray November 5, 2017

Wait, what? So says a letter from a Union surgeon, William C. Towle of the 12th Maine, written from Camp Parapet, near Carrolton, Louisiana, on April 4, 1864. The most of the Negroes who were carried up river from here to work on plantations have returned having runaway as soon as they were at liberty. […]

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Whitworth Correction and the Butterfield Revolver

by Fred Ray November 4, 2017

Ian at Forgotten Weapons posts a correction to his Whitworth video, and explains the difference between Minute of Angle, which is how accuracy is measured today, and Figure of Merit, which is how it was done in the 19th Century. Not only that, the British and the Americans had their own versions that differed considerably. […]

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