Connect with us

National

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought 156 years ago today

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

On July 1, 1863 the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia met the Union Amy of the Potomac at the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

This was the second time that Confederate General Robert E. Lee invaded the Northern states. Lee hoped to defeat the Union army on Northern soil, in hopes that it would force the Lincoln administration to negotiate for peace.

President Abraham Lincoln (R) had replaced Major General Joseph Hooker with Major General George G. Meade in late June.

It was also becoming increasingly difficult for Lee to support his army from the war-ravaged farmland of Virginia. A foray north was seen as an opportunity to gather supplies, including horses. Even things like shoes were becoming hard to find in the Confederate Army.

Lee had hoped to catch the Union by surprise and be in position to threaten Washington D.C. before the Union were aware of his presence and had time to move sufficient force to defend the capitol; however the Army of the Potomac was aware of Lee’s movement north and was on an intercept course.

Lee’s cavalry commander Maj. Gen. J.E.B Stuart had not kept Lee properly informed of Union movements. On the morning of July 1st, 1863, the 8th Illinois Cavalry, part of Brigadier General John Buford’s Cavalry Division fired on the forward elements of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia outside of Gettysburg. In the fighting that followed that day, Union Major General John Reynolds was killed scouting at the front.

It is rare for high ranking U.S. Army generals to be killed in combat. Reynolds joins Major Generals James B. McPherson, Joseph K. Mansfield, and John Sedgwick as the highest-ranking U.S. Army officers killed in the Civil War. Maj. Gen. Edward Canby was killed during peace negotiations by Modoc Indians in 1873 in Northern California, the highest-ranking army officer killed in the Indian Wars. Lt. General Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., killed at the battle of Okinawa, was the highest-ranking U.S. Army officer killed in World War II. Maj. Gen. John Albert Dillard Jr. was the highest-ranking U.S. Army officer killed in the Vietnam War when his helicopter was shot down in 1970. Lt. Gen. Timothy Maude was killed in 2001 during the 9-11 attack on the Pentagon. Maj. Gen. Harold Greene was the highest-ranking U.S. Army officer killed in the War in Afghanistan in 2014 when allied Afghan troops changed sides and attacked suddenly.

Advertisement

The Confederate army swept the Union army from the fields west and north of town, but were unable to secure Cemetery Hill and Culp’s Hill to the south. On July 2nd re-enforcements arrived on both sides. Lee attacked on the heights and also at Little Round Top further south, but failed to dislodge the defenders.

Many historians credit Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain’s, commanding elements of his 20th Maine Volunteers and the 83rd Pennsylvania, desperate repulse of the attack by Colonel William C. Oates and his 15th Alabama with being the decisive action in the battle. Chamberlain would go on to become Governor of Maine and Oates the 29th Governor of Alabama.

By July 3rd, it was apparent that the Union, which had successfully held the Confederate forces at bay, were going to prevail. An exclamation point was added to the Union victory when Confederate General George Pickett’s out manned force charged the Union lines. They were cut to pieces.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Lee was able to extricate the surviving elements of his army and return South. Meade did not pursue, angering President Lincoln was furious, Ge felt that more aggressive action by Meade would have destroyed Lee.

Lee’s second invasion of the North ended in failure. There were heavy casualties on both sides. 3,155 Union soldiers were killed. 3,903 Confederate soldiers were killed. 14,259 Union soldiers were wounded. 18,735 Confederate soldiers were wounded. 5,365 Union soldiers were missing or captured. 5,425 Confederate soldiers were captured.

The victory did lift spirits in the North where many had begun to lose hope after Confederate victories like Chancellorsville.

Most people in the know, thought that Gettysburg combined with the surrender of another Confederate Army at Vicksburg, Mississippi would spell the end of the Confederacy. They were wrong. The South would fight on for nearly two more years, but the South could never muster the force that it had in the first half of 1863, while Union forces were increasingly bolstered by the recruitment of African-Americans eager to join the cause for the emancipation of the slaves.

Today the Gettysburg battlefield is a National Battlefield Park. This week Park Rangers and Licensed Battlefield Guides will provide a series of free guided walks and talks that discuss, explore, and reflect on this important chapter in our nation’s history on the 156th anniversary of the battle.

https://www.nps.gov/gett/index.htm

(Wikipedia and the BBC were consulted as part of this work.)

Advertisement

Elections

Opinion | It’s time for Alabama Democrats to learn from Alabama Republicans

Josh Moon

Published

on

Democrats never seem to learn from Republicans. 

All around the country, and all around the state of Alabama, Democrats are still playing by the rules. Still listening to the cries and outrage from the other side. Still entertaining the idea that compromise and diplomacy are important to Republicans on some level. 

Still watching Lucy jerk that football away at the last moment. 

It’s time that stopped. 

It is time — actually, well past time — for Democrats to adopt the attitudes of their GOP colleagues, and just do whatever the hell you want to do. 

Whatever goal you set, go achieve it. Whatever policy is important, implement it. Whatever action you believe is right, take it. 

This is how Republicans have governed now for years. It is how they have wrestled control of the U.S. Supreme Court — just don’t hold a hearing for a duly appointed candidate — and how they have stolen elections — keep blocking attempts to secure elections. It is how they control half of Congress — thanks, gerrymandering! — despite representing nearly 20 million fewer people and how they have managed to offset a growing minority vote — put up every roadblock short of a poll tax. 

Advertisement

In Alabama, it has how they adopted the AAA act to funnel tax money to private schools — just completely rewrite the bill in the dead of night — and how they passed the most restrictive abortion ban — just ignore promises and public opinion. It is how they have stopped attempts to pass gambling legislation — by straight up lying about the law — and how they have steadily cut into ethics laws — pretend that no one can understand the laws they wrote themselves — and how a House Speaker convicted on 12 felonies still isn’t in prison three years later — just don’t send him. 

They don’t care. 

About rules. About the law. About public perception. About basic decency. 

Advertisement
Advertisement

And it’s time for Democrats, especially in Alabama, to adopt the same attitudes. 

Because if Republicans can behave this way to implement racist bills and roll back ethics laws and protect the income of the elites, then Democrats shouldn’t think twice about doing it to protect rural hospitals or new mothers’ health or workers’ rights or decent public schools. 

Now, this will be a big change for Democrats, so let me explain how this would look in practice, using the ongoing saga of Confederate monuments. 

Republicans shoved through an absurd bill last year that protects the state’s monuments to those who fought to enslave other human beings, and they’re shocked — shocked and outraged — that African Americans in Alabama might find it offensive to honor the men who enslaved their ancestors. 

The bill they passed last year was a dumb bill, right down to the portion which levied a fine on cities if those cities removed or damaged a monument. The bill completely screwed up the fines portion, failing to penalize cities for moving or damaging monuments over 40 years old and failing to place a per-day fine on those cities. Instead, the Alabama Supreme Court said the cities would be subject to one $25,000 fine. 

Birmingham has a monument that it desperately wants to move. It has already boarded up the monument in Linn Park, and the ALSC, in the same ruling, ordered the boards to come down. 

And this is the first opportunity for Mayor Randall Woodfin to approach this with a new attitude. 

Tear it down. 

Write out one of those big “Price is Right” checks for $25,000, hold a press conference and award that money to Steve Marshall like he just won at Plinko. 

At the same time, workers should be taking that monument apart piece by piece and moving it to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, where it can be viewed for its historical significance instead of serving to honor traitors and racists. 

No apologies. No shame. Don’t even entertain their complaints. 

A similar approach should be taken by the city of Montgomery in regards to its occupational tax, which Republicans are attempting to stop through legislative action. 

Montgomery is going broke, and it can’t put enough cops on the streets. Part of that is because every day about 70,000 people flood into the city to go to work, and then they leave each afternoon and spend their money in — and give their tax dollars to — surrounding cities and counties. 

Montgomery has to do something to offset the costs, so an occupational tax has been proposed. But just as quickly as it was, the ALGOP — the kings of handouts to people who don’t need them — passed a bill to block it. 

So, some creativity is required.

Instead of an occupational tax, pass a public safety tax. 

If you work within the city limits of Montgomery, but live outside of those city limits, your paycheck will now be taxed an extra 1% to offset the cost of the police and fire services that you might use while in the city every day. 

No apologies. No shame. Don’t listen to GOP complaints. 

It’s a shame that things have to be like this, but they do. Democrats have tried for decades to force rational debate and to promote the value of compromise. Those pleas have fallen on deaf ears, which have been attached to toddler-like brains that have justified atrociously selfish behaviors and awful governance. 

At this point, it has gone on so long and been so successful for Republicans, the only thing that might break through is a taste of their own medicine. 

Give it to them.

Continue Reading

Aerospace and Defense

Jones criticized for voting to limit Trump’s war powers authority

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

Thursday, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Alabama) voted in favor of S.J.Res.68, a resolution which directs the removal of United States military from hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran that have not been authorized by Congress. Jones has been criticized by Republicans for voting to limit President Donald J. Trump’s war powers on Iran.

“Before a President can lead us into war, he or she must first earn the support of the American people and also fulfill their solemn constitutional obligation to seek approval from Congress,” Sen. Jones said in a statement. “While the President has the power to protect Americans in the case of an imminent attack, that authority does not extend to committing our service members to long-term hostilities unilaterally. This resolution sends a strong message that we will follow the Constitution and we will not send our troops into harm’s way without the serious consideration and consent of the Congress.”

Trump Victory National Finance Committee member Perry O. Hooper Jr. released a statement in response.

“Senator Jones once again turned his back on Alabama and voted as the leftwing Democrats commanded. He has no regard for the values, opinions or views of Alabamians,” Hooper said. “He sees us as deplorables just like the elites of the Democratic party who have funded 80 percent of his doomed campaign for re-election.:

Hooper stated, “I whole heartily support the President who stated ‘We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness… If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal. The Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party.’”

“The Commander-in-chief must be free to work with his staff and his military leaders to conduct covert operations like the one that eliminated Iran’s terrorist-in-chief General Soleimani,” Hooper added. “You can’t micromanage the war on terrorism. The Democrats in Congress are so filled with Trump Derangement Syndrome that no matter how much it would benefit our country and the world; they would never give Trump a “victory”. If it came down to it, they would leak everything to the media no matter what the consequences.”

Senator Jones is a cosponsor of the legislation and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Eight moderate Republicans voted with the Democrats on the resolution.

Advertisement

Senator Jones has also been criticized by Republicans for his comments that he was “appalled” by Pres. Trump’s actions following his acquittal on both Articles of Impeachment.

“Newsflash for Senator Doug Jones: Most Alabamians have been appalled by his actions his entire time in office,” former Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “It’s about time we send Doug home, and replace him with someone who understands our values. Alabamians deserve a Senator they can be proud of again.”

Sessions is a candidate for the Republican nomination for Jones’ Senate seat.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The Republican primary will be on March 3.

Continue Reading

Elections

Congressional candidates call on Sessions, Byrne to stand up for South Alabama

Staff

Published

on

By

At a rare joint press conference, the Democratic Candidates for the First Congressional District called on Rep. Bradley Byrne and former Sen. Jeff Sessions to stand up for South Alabama following the Trump Administration’s proposal to cut nearly $300 million slated for projects awarded to Austal.

“The current administration’s decision to divert that funding from Austal to build the border wall is harmful to our community and will potentially put good jobs at risk,” said Dr. James Averhart, CW05, USMC retired. “This is nothing more than a political stunt on the backs of the hard-working men and women of South Alabama.”

Over the years, South Alabama has become a hub for shipbuilding and defense projects developing ships and planes for the United States military.

“While the President may be comfortable playing political games with our communities, our representatives must stand strong against this disastrous decision,” said Dr. Kiani Gardner, a scientist and professor. “We are grateful Senator Jones is speaking out against it and the devastating impacts it could have on our communities.”

This matter transcends partisan politics, our Republican representatives must stand with Senator Jones and tell President Trump to find a better way to protect our Southern border,” said Rick Collins, a longtime Mobile businessman.

This is only the latest Trump Administration proposals that could have devastating impacts for the local economy. Recently, the administration proposed new tariffs that would have a significant impact on Airbus’ local operation.

 

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Elections

Sanders campaign seeking Bernie Victory Captains in Alabama

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

Saturday the Bernie Sanders for President campaign announced that they are seeking Bernie Victory Captains in Alabama who will host at least one Bernie event every week between now and the Alabama presidential primary on March 3.

“As a Bernie Victory Captain, you will host voter contact events like phone banks and Bernie Journeys to the states that vote before us that are vital to securing support for Bernie and our movement,” the Sanders campaign wrote in recruiting emails. “You will be working with world-class organizers and dedicated supporters across the country.”

“Voting for the Democratic nominee who will take on Trump is well underway,” the campaign continued. “We won Iowa and New Hampshire, and mail-in and early voting ballots are being cast across the country. Before we know it, it will be your state’s turn to vote! So we’re looking for supporters in Alabama to join our Bernie Victory Captain program. Bernie Victory Captains are supporters who can commit to hosting one event a week between now and the Alabama primary.”

Bernie Victory Captains are leading teams of people canvassing neighborhoods. They also played important roles in Sanders’ win in New Hampshire and close second place finish in Iowa. Sanders had more votes in Iowa than South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg; but the Iowa Democratic Party ruled that because Buttigieg won more caucuses that he was the winner of Iowa and not Sanders.

“A volunteer I hosted on a Bernie Journey to New Hampshire this weekend just emailed to tell me she wouldn’t have volunteered if she didn’t see the event near her. Heartwarming,” on Bernie Victory Captain wrote.

“Conquered my fear of canvassing. Hosted my third canvass yesterday and it went GREAT!!” another wrote.

Sanders is a U.S. Senator from Vermont. Though Sanders is an independent and a self-proclaimed socialist he caucuses with Senate Democrats.

Advertisement

The pro-Bernie group: Our Revolution wrote in an email: “The corporate media and the billionaire class have escalated their propaganda against Bernie and our movement.”

“Chris Matthews had a near hysterical breakdown on MSNBC about being “executed” in Central Park if Bernie is elected,” the group continued. “The former head of Goldman Sachs said that Bernie would “ruin” the American economy. MSNBC pretended that Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Biden are one candidate to justify not admitting that Bernie is the frontrunner in the presidential primary race.”

“As our vision of a just government that represents working people continues to gain momentum, their attacks will only become more vicious,” the group continued. “Our Revolution is organizing all over America to support Bernie and a wave of progressive candidates who share our values. Rush a donation now to help us fight back against increasingly desperate corporate propaganda and organize to win in Nevada and all over the country!”

Advertisement
Advertisement

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) had appeared to be the Democratic frontrunner; but his campaign was rocked by disappointing finishes in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Biden has been stung by GOP criticism that his son Hunter Biden profited from lucrative overseas deal in Ukraine and China off of Biden’s tenure as Vice President.

Former New York City Mayor billionaire Michael Bloomberg has assembled a large campaign apparatus that includes hundreds of the Democratic Party’s top operatives and strategists. He has spent more than $350 million of his own fortune into a months-long national advertising campaign that has lifted him in the polls as Biden has struggled in the early contests that Bloomberg ignored.

Bloomberg needs one more national poll sanctioned by the Democratic Party to show that he has ten percent support or more for him to participate in the next Democratic debate on Wednesday in Los Vegas. Sanders, Buttigieg, Biden, and U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) and Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts) have already qualified to be on the debate stage.

Congresswoman Terri A Sewell, D-Selma, and U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D) have both endorsed VP Biden. The Alabama Democratic Conference and its leader Alabama Democratic Party Vice Chair for Minority Affairs Joe Reed has endorsed Bloomberg.

The Alabama Democratic Presidential primary will be on March 3.

People in states like California and South Carolina with early voting are already casting their ballots.

Original reporting by the Hill contributed to this report.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Authors

Advertisement

The V Podcast

Facebook

Trending

.