Military History Weblog Digest #2

Posts of Interest:
1. “Buster Keaton Points the Way” by Kevin Levin at “I find it interesting that in Keaton’s short cinematic interpretation of the Civil War it is the locomotive – a popular symbol of the antebellum and post-bellum north – that saves the day as Confederate troops retreat in the face of advancing Federals. … Given that the production and release of “The General” took place well after the height of the Industrial Revolution in this country it is unlikely that Keaton would have acknowledged the still lingering sectional split over how to differentiate between the antebellum north and south.”

2. “Lincoln’s Walk” by Robert Cook at
“In September 2007 my wife, Ginny, and I took a “busman’s holiday” to Richmond, Virginia. Our plan was to trace Lincoln’s 1865 visit to Richmond and to travel the route of V Corps, Army of the Potomac, from Petersburg to Appomattox Court House. Let me discuss the Richmond visit first.”

3. “A Perceptive Student” by Kevin Levin at
“Today I showed my AP classes a short section of Ken Burns’s The Civil War. We watched the sections between Lincoln’s election and Robert E. Lee’s resignation from the U.S. Army to take command of the Virginia state militia. At one point Shelby Foote explains how white southerners viewed secession and Lincoln….”

4. “A Black Confederate’s Career Tragically Cut Short” by Kevin Levin at
“The Lost German Slave Girl: The Extraordinary True Story of Sally Miller and Her Fight for Freedom in Old New Orleans (p.13). The source is an 1864 Georgia court case, “Bryan v. Walton,” 33 Ga. 11, 24, and the following musings of Chief Justice Lumpkin, of the Georgia Supreme Court, were part of one of the judge’s opinions:”

5. “More Snapping” by Ethan Rafuse at
“Here is the 6th installment of excerpts from the original Meade letters at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania that were cut out of the 2 vol. Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade.”

6. “Before Chastise, and after now” by Brett Holman at
“Operation Chastise was the codename for the famous ‘dambusters’ raid carried out against three German dams by 617 Squadron on the night of 17 May 1943. The idea was to breach the dams and thereby deprive the factories of the Ruhr of their electricity.”

7. “World War I: Renault FT-17 Tank” at
“On of the most revolutionary designs in history, the Renault FT-17 (left) was the first tank to incorporate a fully rotating turret. In addition, the vehicle’s configuration of having…”

8. “The Unknowable” by Robert Cook at
“On 23 February 1991 VII Corps crowded against the Iraq border. At that time, it was the largest United States Army Corps ever deployed in the field. VII Corps included 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), 1st Armor Division, 3rd Armor Division, 1st Cavalry Division, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, the 11th Combat Aviation Brigade, and hundreds of combat and combat support units. In round numbers, VII Corps had over 1,500 M1A/2 Abrams tanks, over 1,500 M2/M3 IFV (Bradleys), over 300 attack helicopters, over 600 artillery cannons and MLRS’, and over 147,000 soldiers.”

9. “Operation Desert Storm, 1991 On 21 February 1991 I was…” by Robert Cook at
“On 21 February 1991 I was the Commander of the 326th Military History Detachment (USAR) attached to VII Corps and assigned for operational purposes to 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), 1st Brigade, 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor configured for the operation as TASK FORCE 2-34.
The ground war would begin in three days.”