TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog

Short Takes

Following up on my post about the recent Dahlgren bio, an excellent dissection on HistoryNet about the authenticity of the papers found on that officer’s body:

It can be accepted then that the authenticity of the Dahlgren papers is established beyond a doubt. There is not the least scrap of credible evidence for their forgery. There is ample evidence, on the other hand, for their content being exactly what was printed in the Richmond newspapers. The label ‘contestable’ does not apply to the Dahlgren papers.

I agree, and don’t think there can really be much doubt at this point. The only real question can be how high the plot went.

Speaking of the Dahlgrens, the Navy recently honored Admiral John Dahlgren at a base named in his honor, where he is remembered as “the father of naval ordnance.”

Retired Rear Adm. Jay A. DeLoach was the keynote speaker. He said Dahlgren “gave the American sailor something he’d never had before–an unshakable faith in their guns.”

Ulric Dahlgren IV, Dahlgren’s great-great-grandson, was among descendants present for the ceremony and a tour of the base.

Should you be in the market for a Civil War cannon, say to keep people off your lawn, look no further than the Cannon Super Store. One item of interest is a very rare Confederate Hughes breech loader used in the Western theater. Only a dozen were made, and this may the only survivor.

And finally, a tragic story from Afghanistan, which I include only because I’ve seen several instances of similar things happening during the Civil War—someone hit and killed while minding their own business in camp by a freak rifle shot.

UPDATE: Secession springs eternal, this time in Vermont.

Peter Garritano thinks it’s time for Vermont to call it quits with America.

The way the 54-year-old automobile salesman sees it, the “empire” is about to implode and tiny Vermont can lead the way by becoming its own independent republic. So he’s running for lieutenant governor, topping a slate of secession-minded candidates seeking statewide offices this year.

Their name: Vermont Independence Day.

“The only hope is to just say, ‘Look, this isn’t working for us. We want to start fresh again, with a real democracy,’” Garritano said. “I think that’s the answer. Hopefully, it won’t take another horrible economic breakdown to realize that the people running things don’t look out for the little guy, or us, or the soldiers. It’s all about profit and getting the last drops of oil on Earth and trampling people’s rights.”

And…an impressive video of a new 120mm canister round for the M-1 tank. Canister is just as effective now as it was in the Civil War, and used in much the same way. When I was a young lieutenant in Vietnam we used (and liked) 90mm canister fired from our tank guns. Instead of balls it had a lot of cylindrical pellets about the size of the last joint of your thumb. It was great for clearing away brush during an ambush and there were times (I swear I’m not making this up) when we literally had to blast our way through thick jungle with them. Later canister was replaced with a flechette round which worked better at long ranges but not nearly as well for close work. Glad to see canister back in use.


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