“Genuine Negro Jig”

I’m putting the final touches on Total War Before Sherman (pt. 2). In the meantime, let me introduce you to the Grammy Award winning Carolina Chocolate Drops. They’ve got a lot to say, a lot to reinvent, and a lot energy…..and that’s before they pick up their instruments.

(Note: Don Flemons is no longer with the group, but he does have his own album out. I’m looking forward to hearing it.)

Total War Before Sherman: Patrick Cleburne at the Battle of Ringgold Gap (pt. 1)

Many lost cause proponents of the Civil War often criticize the so called “barbarity” of Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign and subsequent “March to the Sea.” Often these people ignore the numerous historical accounts which prove most of the Sherman atrocity stories as myth. These same people also turn a blind eye to Confederates such as Stonewall Jackson, who argued for total war as early as 1861. Neo-Confederates never bother to analyze the actions of notable Confederates who did in fact wage total war, sometimes on southern people. This is largely because they are so wrapped up in their own lost cause ideology that they already believe what they think they know is factual. With that in mind, here is an interesting opportunity for all.

Are Patrick Cleburne’s actions at the Battle of Ringgold Gap (Nov. 1863) an example of total war on the southern people. Bare in mind, Cleburne positioned his command in Ringgold Gap and turned his guns towards the town.

Chapter Three Sent to Committee

Finally, it’s coming to an end. Here’s a taste.


The presence of professional army officers on the frontier presents a new dynamic to Indian relations. Before an officer class subservient to the nation emerged, officers in charge on the frontier who acted according to their own ambitions harmed the nation’s policy of avoiding long drawn out conflicts. Continue reading

And the White House Burned, Burned, Burned….

Update: As it turns out, the British definitely remember.

Update: Video fixed, hopefully it works.


Admiral George Cockburn stands with Washington D.C. burning in the background.
Admiral George Cockburn stands with Washington D.C. burning in the background.

Two hundred years ago today, after soundly defeating American forces at the Battle of Bladensburg, British soldiers under command of Major General Robert Ross occupied Washington D.C., and set fire to many of the buildings. Numerous arguments imply that this action was a retaliation for the Raid on Port Dover earlier that year, and the burning of York in 1813. It was likely a combination of both. Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Navy in North America, planned to carry out attacks into Virginia and New Orleans as a part of a new strategy that made use of troops previously engaged in the Napoleonic Wars. Rear Admiral George Cockburn, in command of the squadron in the Chesapeake Bay, recommended an attack on Washington for political measure. In July, Cochrane gave Cockburn permission to deter American forces from such future acts of a “total” nature. He game Cockburn permission to “destroy and lay waste such towns and districts as you [Cockburn] my find assailable.”

President Madison fled the city with the government, and of course there is the famous story of Dolly Madison saving the portrait of General Washington. That story may not be as accurate as previously thought. The British moved in and set the Capital, the Library of Congress (including its 3,000 volume collection), the President’s home on fire. When the smoke cleared, the only government building still standing was the U.S. Patent Office. The President returned on September 1st, with Congress following him a couple of weeks later.  Continue reading