Body armor has been around since Neolithic times and made somewhat of a revival in the Civil War. However it was never officially sanctioned and was mostly discarded both for its weight and because it left its wearer open to implications of cowardice.
Modern soldiers wear quite a lot of it, but as in the above illustration a private company is now offering armor to protect…privates. As an aside there’s an interesting article on Greek linen armor (yes, you read that right) that worked much like today’s kevlar armor.
War is a terrible thing but it does have the beneficial effect of speeding up technological advances not only in weapons but in medicine. The Civil War, for example, made for a quantum leap in medical technology. By the end of the war, if you made it to a hospital, you had a better than 90% chance of survival as opposed to one of less than half at the war’s beginning. The latest advance is a “skin printer” to close large wounds.
In Texas, an historic painting though to have been lost has been found in an attic.
The painting, the work of Irish-born artist H.A. McArdle, depicts the April 21, 1836 Battle of San Jacinto, in which 800 Texas soldiers led by Sam Houston surprised and defeated a Mexican army nearly twice as large led by Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.
It’s expected to fetch at least $100,000 at an upcoming auction.
Rob Neufeld, whom I mentioned earlier in connection with the Tom Dooley saga, writes about “Raids, assassinations in Civil War N.C.” specifically the murders committed by Goldman Bryson, an “independent contractor” for the Federals, officially a scout but who gained notoriety as a bushwhacker.
Confederate documents regularly referred to Bryson as “notorious.” His history of depredation goes back before the Civil War and derives from the antagonism between Western North Carolinians and east Tennesseans over the forced removal of Cherokee.
In Valleytown and Quallatown, William Holland Thomas, adopted white man and Cherokee chief, converted Indians to Christianity and secured their permanence of residence. The first Baptist convert at Valleytown, John Timson, became a representative to the federal government – and a Bryson target.
“In 1856,” author and local Civil War historian Terrell Garren reports, “a gang of toughs, led by Goldman Bryson crossed the border and murdered an innocent Cherokee man by the name of John Timson in cold blood. There were many witnesses, but their testimony was thrown out because they were Indians.”
The Confederates eventually caught up with and killed Bryson, making this yet another bloody chapter of the hit and run war in western North Carolina and so many parts of the South.
Last month blogger John Rosenberg and I compared the attitudes regarding the Ground Zero Mosque and the Confederate flag (I suggested that the in the true spirit of tolerance it should fly the Southern Cross). Rosenberg revisits the issue, looking this time at the case of Annie Chambers Caddell, an elderly (and terminally ill) white woman who is flying the flag in a neighborhood deemed “traditionally black.”
I wonder how many liberals who think it insensitive and un-American to oppose the Ground Zero mosque are ready to stand in solidarity with Annie Chambers Caddell. I suspect not very many.