Friday, July 03, 2015

Independence Day, 1863

The 87th anniversary of the founding of the United States of America was a day that marked the turning point in the Civil War. 

Gettysburg
While the fighting had barely stopped at Gettysburg, major operations and troop movements were not underway for the first time in weeks.  The men from both sides were out in open ground finding the wounded and shooting wounded horses and mules.

General Lee asked for a prisoner exchange and was turned down by General Meade.   Lee started to send his supply train west toward South Mountain on the Chambersburg Pike.  With the supplies went hundreds of Union prisoners destined for places like Belle Isle, Castle Thunder, Libby Prison, and Salisbury Prison Camp. 

The men on both sides, exhausted, hungry and thirsty, warily awaited the next iteration of Hell on Earth...but it was not to be...not today, and not here. 

That night, in a heavy rain, Lee had a few soldiers stay behind and tend large bonfires on the west side of Seminary Ridge that was supposed to make the Army of the Potomac believe the Army of Northern Virginia was still encamped there.  In reality, as Lee's troops moved southwest on the Hagerstown Pike [Fairfield Road] and climbed South Mountain in the Fairfield Gap and Monterey Gap, the men in blue were well aware of Lee's departure.  At Monterey, General George A. Custer and his cavalry troopers caught up to the retreating troops and captured a large portion of General Richard Ewell's supply train. 

Vicksburg
After months of hard marching, hard fighting, and maneuvering, General Ulysses S. Grant received the surrender of the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and its defenses from Confederate General John C. Pemberton.  The effort had started seven months earlier in the first phase of operations designed to wrest control of the Mississippi River away from the Confederates. 

For Grant's men, it had been a miserable campaign over miserable terrain, slogging and fighting their way through bayous and swamps, crossing and recrossing rivers and streams, even building a canal.  And Grant got an enormous effort from the United States Navy throughout the campaign, from gunboats that were simply floating artillery platforms to transports that ferried Grant's Army where it needed to go and got it there when it needed to get there.  Grant made ample use of the Navy throughout the war, and it paid dividends. 

This July 4th, the effort that began the previous December finally came to a victorious end for Grant and his Army, and for Admiral David Farragut and his fleet of Naval ships and boats. 

President Lincoln, on hearing of the surrender of Vicksburg, commented, "The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea."

The residents of Vicksburg would not celebrate Independence Day until 1941. 

Washington - July 7
President Lincoln did not receive news of Grant's victory until July 7, which prompted a celebration in Washington, and a speech from Lincoln. 

"Fellow-citizens: I am very glad to see you to-night. But yet I will not say I thank you for this call. But I do most sincerely thank Almighty God for the occasion on which you have called. [Cheers.] How long ago is it? Eighty odd years since, upon the Fourth day of July, for the first time in the world, a union body of representatives was assembled to declare as a self-evident truth that all men were created equal. [Cheers.]

"That was the birthday of the United States of America. Since then the fourth day of July has had several very peculiar recognitions. The two most distinguished men who framed and supported that paper, including the particular declaration I have mentioned, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, the one having framed it, and the other sustained it most ably in debate, the only two of the fifty-five or fifty-six who signed it, I believe, who were ever President of the United States, precisely fifty years after they put their hands to that paper it pleased the Almighty God to take away from this stage of action on the Fourth of July. This extraordinary coincidence we can understand to be a dispensation of the Almighty Ruler of Events.

"Another of our Presidents, five years afterwards, was called from this stage of existence on the same day of the month, and now on this Fourth of July just past, when a gigantic rebellion has risen in the land, precisely at the bottom of which is an effort to overthrow that principle "that all men are created equal," we have a surrender of one of their most powerful positions and powerful armies forced upon them on that very day. [Cheers.] And I see in the succession of battles in Pennsylvania, which continued three days, so rapidly following each other as to be justly called one great battle, fought on the first, second and third of July; on the fourth the enemies of the declaration that all men are created equal had to turn tail and run. [Laughter and applause.]

"Gentlemen, this is a glorious theme and a glorious occasion for a speech, but I am not prepared to make one worthy of the theme and worthy of the occasion. [Cries of "go on," and applause.] I would like to speak in all praise that is due to the the [sic] many brave officers and soldiers who have fought in the cause of the Union and liberties of this country from the beginning of this war, not on occasions of success, but upon the more trying occasions of the want of success. I say I would like to speak in praise of these men, particularizing their deeds, but I am unprepared. I should dislike to mention the name of a single officer, lest in doing so I wrong some other one whose name may not occur to me. [Cheers.]

"Recent events bring up certain names, gallantly prominent, but I do not want to particularly name them at the expense of others, who are as justly entitled to our gratitude as they. I therefore do not upon this occasion name a single man. And now I have said about as much as I ought to say in this impromptu manner, and if you please, I'll take the music. [Tremendous cheering, and calls for the President to reappear.]*

As reprinted in the Washington Evening Star of July 8, 1863.  Posted in an online article Abraham Lincoln's Independence Day Address of July 7, 1863, Researched by James R. Heintze.

Independence Day...so many reasons to celebrate it! 

WGD

Posted with permission from Three Days at Gettysburg Blog

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We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Government without Common Sense

We've seen some pretty stupid things happen in and around Adams County over the years, but the planned infrastructure changes at the south end of Fairfield take the cake.  This project is right up there with a retirement community off US 15 north of town, which will never, ever, reach even 50% occupancy [while soaking the taxpayers because the developer will likely file for banruptcy, thereby sticking the taxpayers with a large overdue bill thanks to TIF]!  It is also up there with the other TIF project at 15/30 interchange.  Better that project move to the proposed casino site where the infrastructure costs will not approach the level of what is currently planned for the TIF loan.

Now comes news that local developer Bob Sites wants to build a grocery store [and who knows what else] across from the small shopping center on the east side of Fairfield Road just yards south of the grounds of Fairfield High School.

Just imagine, a nice spring day, you are out in the afternoon for a drive down 116 to see the mountain blooms, and you come to Fairfield.  Immediately you drop your speed to 25 mph for the next mile, starting at the traffic light installed at the north end of town where the entrance to the new 100 home development is built, and after clearing the light and most of Fairfield, you drop your speed again  to 15 in front of the school.  Then a red light for the new grocery store shopping center.  But before you get to the light, 20 school busses come roaring out of the school driveway, some going north, some south.  The light will change three times before you clear it.  Your quest has been dashed, along with your mood, and unless you are very familiar with the back roads around Fairfield, you are forced to retrace your journey back through the lights, back past the school, and good old 25 mph Fairfield.

Fairfield has a long established family style grocery store, and it will likely be put out of business by the new grocery store south of town.  There will be talk about a bypass around it all, but that is all it will be for at least a decade into the future, likely more.

The area that really needs it is Carrol Valley.  They need a grocery, a drug store, and another gas station [hear me Giant?] and they need it down near the entrance to the Ski Liberty resort.  Putting it there would not further burden the already over-trafficked area at the south end of Fairfield where the school is located, and of course the need for a light there would be eliminated.

Where are the heads of the planners these days?   There are so many common sense alternatives to the current projects.  Instead they play to the developers and the Economic and Industrial Development Corporations [who already waste your tax dollars as tax-funded government entities]!  Obviously the planners and local and county government officials can't see where there is no light!

Moving the Walmart project a quarter mile east to where existing roads are already wide enough, and a traffic light already exists, would cancel the need for TIF financing, and create less congestion around an already awkwardly configured interchange.

As for our hypocritical buddy Rick who wants to put scads of senior citizen residences up 15 an exit or two, we would hope and pray that his project fails and leaves him broke.  Dear Rick and his partner in conspiracy from Maryland formed a PAC and drafted five candidates to run for Gettysburg School Board under the guise of a "no new taxes" pledge.  It was easily exposed, as was his lack of due diligence in vetting his candidates, and "The Gang of Five" lost quite decidedly.

The hypocrisy exists because he is asking for TIF money to complete his project, and that means asking the School District [and the County and the Township!] to essentially waive any newly realized tax increases as the value of the land and project goes up, forcing all those taxing bodies to raise taxes to keep up with increased costs for everything, including infrastructure, fire, police, and emergency services, and so on.  "No new taxes" indeed!

We will leave you with these two thoughts from a decade ago:
"Greed knows no limits, and has no character. Greed endures no absolute moral values, and has its own ethics. Greed has no memories but vengeful ones. Greed has no friends and no family, only partners, and partners are expendable. Greed consumes and corrupts absolutely. Greed is blind to itself."
and
"Arrogance is a fool's disease!"
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We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Now in our 11th year!

Copyright © 2005-2015: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Happy Days return to Happy Valley!

Jake Corman, State Senator from Centre County who, along with State Treasurer Rob McCord had filed a suit against the NCAA seeking disclosure of the NCAA's reasons and authority for the actions it levied against Penn State, Joe Paterno, and the past and present students and student-atheletes.

After trying a bluff that failed, the NCAA finally caved in and repealed all of its actions done to punish so many innocent people in the wake of the Sandusky crimes.

All 111 wins will be restored to the University and to Coach Joe Paterno, no other sanctions exist since the NCAA had already restored cuts to scholarships and bowl games for the Nittany Lions.

The $60 million fine will stay in Pennsylvania to be used to combat child sexual abuse.

All in all, justice is finally served, where the acts of one person were used by the NCAA to punish so many who had no connection to or knowledge of the actions of Jerry Sandusky.

One final step remains:  PUT THE STATUE BACK UP IMMEDIATELY!

GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Now in our 11th year!

Copyright © 2005-2015: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cushing to get Medal of Honor

Courtesy of Three Days  at Gettysburg Blog:

Lt. Alonzo Cushing of Delafield, Wisconsin, commander of Battery A, 4th US Artillery, will receive a long overdue Medal of Honor in a September ceremony at the White House.

Cushing's heroic stand at the Gettysburg 'High Water Mark' during Pickett's Charge is the stuff of legends.  Cushing, wounded several times, remained at his guns, assisting the loading of them and was killed with a final wound while ordering the gun to fire.

GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Now in our 10th year!

Copyright © 2005-2014: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.