FEBRUARY 2017

FEBRUARY  2017
The same old bullshit, for 2 hundred years. First it was the Catholics - German, Italian and Irish - and then Asians, and then Jews. Whose next?

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Friday, April 29, 2016

HOME IS THE SAILOR

I think that no matter what you have misplaced, the cost of finding it is always double. First there is the cost of the thing. Then because you go crazy looking for the thing, you lose your train of thought about the other thing you were thinking about before you noticed you lost the first thing.. As anybody with OCD will tell you, it quickly becomes more about the crazy than any of the things. I think it's better to avoid the crazy entirely and just assume the thing will eventually turn up on its own. I learned this lesson from John Paul Jones, the pugnacious and self centered Scotsman who founded the American Navy -  and from Teddy Roosevelt, the pugnacious and self centered American President who found Admiral Jones after he got lost.
John Paul had the first requirement for greatness; luck. While serving as third mate on board a merchantman in 1768, both the captain and the first mate died of yellow fever while he didn't.  Thus he won an instant promotion. Over the following years Captain John Paul acquired a reputation for brutality. And just when the bad press had brought his career to a a screeching halt, luckily, his brother in the colony of Virginia dropped dead and left him a small fortune.
Having made the voyage to collect his inheritance, John Paul decided to stay in Virginia.  And to confuse any hounding lawyers Jones added a third name to his moniker. And when, luckily, the shooting started in Boston, Captain John Paul Jones packed up his resume and offered to fight for his new country as a privateer.
At first he did most of his fighting just to get a ship. But when he finally did, flying the American flag while sailing out of France, he at last justified his luck. He raided British ports. He captured British merchant ships in full view of the English coast. He lashed his ship to an English warship and fought it out until both ships were sinking. Offered a chance to surrender, he responded, “I have not yet begun to fight.” Then the British warship surrendered to him.
When that war was over John Paul Jones was out of work. So, with congressional approval, he hired on as an admiral with the Russian Navy. But that did not work out. Jones was pushy, and the Czarina did not trust pushy men.. "Catherine the Great"  told the American admiral  to "go mind your own business."
So in May of 1790 Jones returned to Paris, and took a third floor front apartment at #42 Rue de Tournon (above).  And it was here, over the next two years, that the self assurance and self promotion that served Jones so well in obtaining a ship and winning battles, now isolated him.  The Marquis de Lafayette, once an admirer, could no longer tolerate his "colossal egotism.". And the American Minister to the Court of Louis XVI,  Gouverneur Morris, grew so weary of his badgering demands, that after tending to the Admiral's pneumonia,  Morris retreated from Jones' sick bed for a dinner appointment. It was when he reluctantly returned 2 days later, on the afternoon of 17 July 1792,  that Morris found the 45 year old admiral lying face down on his bed, his feet still on the floor, but dead as a door nail.  Jones' servants and few admirers pickled the hero in rum, packed him into an iron coffin, and buried him in the old Saint Louis Cemetery, set aside for foreign protestants. The expectation was that he would be transferred home to America, as quickly as funds could be raised.
Unfortunately, three weeks after John Paul Jones was laid to rest, a mob descended on the Royal Palace of Tuileries, and captured the King and Queen. To achieve this, they first had to butcher his Swiss guard, which the mob did with relish. During the cleanup their bodies were dumped into a common grave,  right next to Jones' resting place. What with the revolution and the Napoleonic wars, by 1815 when peace finally broke out,  the cemetery was long abandoned and forgotten.
Over the next century,  John Paul Jones floated in rum and slowly pickled while the mundane world continued on with out him.  In time the land atop John Paul Jones came to be occupied by a grocery, a laundry, an apartment house (above) and their attendant backyard sheds, toilets, cesspits  and wells.
And there John Paul Jones might have stayed had not a lunatic shot and killed American President William McKinley in September of 1901.
That lunatic made Vice President Teddy Roosevelt (above), at 44, the youngest man ever to take the oath as President of the United States.
And when Teddy decided to run for his own term, in 1904, he was opposed by Republican National Chairman Mark Hanna (above), who portrayed his fellow Republican Teddy as a wild eyed lunatic, and called him  “that damn cowboy”. What Roosevelt needed in 1904 was anything that would make him look like a stalwart defender of tradition. Luckily, he found what he needed when his ambassador to France pointed out that one of our greatest Revolutionary War heroes had gone missing in Paris  for over one hundred years. So the order went forth in typical Teddy Roosevelt fashion, “Dig up John Paul Jones! Whatever it costs!"
General Horace Porter (above) was a civil war hero and now the American ambassador to France.  And in 1897,  after reading a new biography of Admiral Jones, Porter had become obsessed with finding his body. After three years of research through old maps and confusing government records Porter found the cemetery where Jones had been buried, now adjacent to the Rue de la Grange aux Belles - or in the more prosaic English, Street of the Beautiful Barn.  Because of all the new buildings, the only way to recover Jones was to tunnel into the graveyard -  not a pleasant occupation, but a great plot for a horror movie.
Before he could dig, Porter had to get the current owners’ permission. It took him two more years to negotiate for a 3 month contract with all the local land owners. At the same time President Roosevelt submitted a special appropriation to pay the $35,000 estimated price tag to dig up John Paul Jones’ corpse. John Paul would not have been surprised to discover that a hundred years had not made the American Congress any more rational. On the evening of Friday, 3 February, 1905,  Mr. Porter started the work, on his own dime. Congress had tabled the President's request.
Heading the project was M. Paul Weiss, who had been trained as a mining engineer, and he was going to need all that training. Weiss sunk the first shaft 18 feet straight down in a back yard. It wasn't long before he hit his first corpse. That meant that luckily,  the bodies had not been moved.
Unfortunately, despite the construction over the graves, the ground was not well compacted, and a great deal of time and money would have to be spent shoring up the shafts, and supporting the walls of the buildings above.  Or at least that's what Ms Weiss told Ambassador Porter when he presented the bill.  Noted Porter, “Slime, mud, and mephitic (foul smelling and poisonous) odors were encountered, and long red worms appeared in abundance.”
Wrote Porter, “Two more large shafts were sunk in the yards and two in the Rue Grange-aux-Belles, making five in all.  Day and night gangs of work men were employed…Galleries were pushed in every direction and ‘‘soundings’’ were made between them with long iron tools,…so that no leaden coffin could possibly be missed."
The wooden coffins had long since corroded away and for the last century the bodies had been slowly decaying in the soil. Now the miners working for Ms Weiss (above)  had introduced waves of fresh air, which accelerated that decay. The stench was often overwhelming. Three lead coffins were found, the first on 22 February, 1905, and the second a month later. Those two had copper plates identifying their occupants. Neither was John Paul Jones.  Shortly there after they found King Louis' Swiss Guard, in their mass grave, stacked one atop the other. And now Weiss knew he was on the right track.
On 31 March, 1905, the miners hit a third lead coffin, this one without a copper plate The crew decided they needed more fresh air before they opened it. It was a lucky thing they did.
On 8 April, 1905 they finally pulled the coffin loose from the soil, and while still in the tunnels pried open the coffin lid. Ambassador Porter (above, left) was there,.as was Ms. Weiss (above, right) , to catch by flickering candle light the first glimpse of  the great hero since 1792.  The body inside was wrapped in tin foil. The stench of alcohol filled the tunnel. Rolling back the tin foil, they gazed upon the face of John Paul Jones, a physical connection with the American Revolution. His nose had been bent by the weight of the coffin lid, but the face was still recognizable. It was John Paul Jones. After a hundred years he needed a shampoo, but that was to be expected.
Doctor J. Capitan performed an autopsy and determined that the heart and liver were normal, but the left lung showed signs of “small patches of broncho-pneumonia partially cicatrized” He wrote that he had come to the conclusion that “the corpse of which we have made a study is that of John Paul Jones”.
John Paul Jones came home aboard the CA-3 (cruiser) U.S.S. Brooklyn (above), escorted by 10 other American battleships, and a few French ones as well.
Once in Chesapeake bay,  the coffin was transferred to the smaller U.S.S. Standish (above), for its landing at Annapolis, Maryland -  site of the United States Naval Academy..
On 24 April, 1906, what was left of John Paul Jones was placed in a temporary tomb (above),  because Congress had yet to pass the appropriation to even pay the cost to recover the body, let alone a memorial. And they never did.
When the hero arrived home, Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech in front of his coffin, in which he barely mentioned John Paul Jones. Instead Teddy talked a lot about his plans for the future of the American navy.
By now, Teddy had been re-elected without serious opposition in part because, luckily for Teddy, his Republican foe Mark Hanna had died of typhoid fever in February of 1904. So the the entire effort to rescue John Paul Jones from anonymity to save Teddy's political future  had been unnecessary. In fact it seemed that Teddy's entire effort to recover John Paul Jones had been about Teddy - in much the same way that John Paul Jones' efforts to create an American Navy had been all about John Paul Jones.  And Congress never did pass the authorisation to pay for the effort because the members of Congress were under the impression that "it" was all about them.. Poor General Porter had to take up a collection to repair some of the damage to his purse. Teddy did not donate. . But at least, at last, the body of John Paul Jones had been found and was home.
Requiem
"Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die
And I laid me down with a will.
And this be the verse you 'grave for me
Here he lies where he longed to be
Home is the sailor, home from the sea
And the sailor home from the hill."

Robert Lewis Stevenson
I told you John Paul was lucky.
- 30 -

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

BLOODY JACK Chapter Fourteen

I think modern readers will be surprised to learn that congestion on surface streets had driven Londoners underground as early as January of 1863, when the first subterranean coal burning, smoke belching steam engines began running on the 4 mile Metropolitan Line, connecting Paddington, Euston and King's Cross railway stations. The Underground's passengers were breathing so much smoke and foul smelling fumes, the management encouraged employees to grow beards to act as air filters. Then they gave up and started calling the atmosphere “invigorating”. It didn't matter. More than 11 million Londoners – out of a population of 3 million – hacked and coughed up the 2 pence for tickets the first year of operation. After that, a dozen private companies started raising money and digging tunnels beneath the streets, fighting, merging and suing each other until there were only two left.
The first construction method was “cut and fill”, used for the new sewers built a decade earlier. A trench was dug down the middle of a street and tracks were laid in it. Then it was lined with bricks, and covered over. But in 1866 “the shield” revolutionized subway construction. A circular metal ring was hammered into the face of the tunnel. “Navies” then dug out the soil within the shield (above), which protected them during their work. Brick layers followed closely behind, lining the tunnel as they progressed. Thus was born “The Tube”, aka the London Underground.
The public fell in love with mass transit, and in 1887 the "North Metropolitan Tramsway Company" began laying tracks down both sides of the 100 foot wide Commercial Street (above). Historian Bernard Brown noticed one oddity if this project. "'The work continued day and night until completion in November 1888. During  the construction... Martha Tabram, Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes were murdered...15th November 1888, a week after Kelly s murder, the Commercial Street tramway finally opened with a line of brown painted horse trams running between Bloomsbury and Poplar (fare 3 pence). It is a highly speculative theory, at best.
The construction was aided by the hard chalk soil of southern England, which made tunneling easy, and a “laissez faire” labor market, which made replacing injured or killed workers just as easy. But the mindless competition between Met trains and District lines produced expensive duplication and delayed the first underground service for Whitechapel until 1876. 
With stations along the High Street at Aldegate, St. Mary's Matfelon Church and Whitechapel Station (above), next to the Working  Lads Institute (above) and across the road from the London Hospital, made attending the Coroner's Juries investigating the Whitechapel murders, convenient for members of the press and public.

Attendance had been growing since the August murder of Martha Tabram, and on Monday, 10 September, 1888, the upstairs meeting room of the Working Lads Institute (above) was jammed. The first witness at the Annie Chapman inquest was John Davis, who recounted his discovery of the body. But the second witness was the widow Amelia Palmer, who had known the 47 year old “Dark” Annie "a short plump, ashen-faced consumptive"  for 5 years, and had last seen her on the afternoon of Friday, 7 September, in the kitchen of the Dorset Street doss house where they both slept.
In the slang of Whitechapel the short, cramped brutal east/west block between Commercial and Crispin Streets (above) was known as Doss Street- a doss being a cheap bed, originally just a bundle of straw thrown on the floor. On an average night 1,200 men and almost as many women were sleeping in the stinking filthy dormitories along Dorset Street (above). The only business on the street not making a profit by renting coffin spaced “beds” at 8 pence a night was a grocery store at number 7 and the Blue Boy pub at number 32.
As Manhattan had it's Needle Park in the 1960's, Whitechapel had it's “Itchy Park”, opposite the eastern end of Dorset Street,  across Commercial Street, in what had once been the graveyard of Spitalfields Christs' Church.  There gangs waited even in daylight - "mug hunters" -  who watched in the dark for a robbery victim's face to shine, which gave rise to the term mugger -  "demanders" - who bullied their victims -  or "Bludgers" - who beat or garroted any man woman or child who might have money in their pockets,   It was the darkest dark corner of Whitechapel, and Bobby's were assigned the night beat on Dorrest Street only in pairs.
According to the pale, dark haired Amelia Palmer, Annie Chapman (above) had been ill for years, and most Fridays she sold crochet work and flowers.
But this Friday Annie (above) was so sick she did not have the strength. Amelia said her friend had put on a brave face, insisting, “It's no good my giving way. I must pull myself together and get out and get some money or I shall have no lodgings.”
Mrs. Palmer was followed on the stand by Timothy Donovan, who worked at a the 35 Dorset Street doss house. At about 2:30 pm that Friday Annie Chapman told Donovan she had spent part of the week in a charity infirmary, and he had then given her permission to use the kitchen. 
She was still there, eating a potato, 12 hours later at 1:45 a.m. Saturday morning.  When she confessed to not having the 8 pence for her “bed”,  Donovan had chastised her, saying “You can find money for your beer, and you can't find money for your bed." After stalling for a few minutes, Annie gave up. She said, "Never mind, Tim; I shall soon be back. Don't let the bed." The last he saw of her, Annie Chapman was heading off to find 8 pence 
When Coroner Wayne Baxter (above)asked where he expected Dark Annie to find the money, Donovan replied with the mantra of capitalism concerning the source of all profits: “I do not know”, meaning, “I do not care.”
And finally there appeared before the coroner's jury this first day the most controversial witness – and certainly the most opinionated - Doctor George Bagster Phillips (above). He was a 53 year old physician for the power structure, who had already spent half his life as a respected doctor and since 1865 the official surgeon for Whitechapel “H” division of the Metropolitan police. It was Dr. Phillips who gave physicals for the staff at the Leman and Commercial streets and the Arbour Square “H” station houses, even giving them their smallpox inoculations in 1871.
Dr. Phillips contended that he reached his own conclusions, and "...ignored all evidence not coming under my observation." The failing of that self imposed limitation would only become evident with time. At 2:30 on the afternoon of the murder – less than 8 hours after his first cursory examination in the back yard of 29 Hanbury Street - Phillips performed his autopsy at the Montague Street mortuary. He found the victim's face was swollen, and had old bruises. But the throat had been slashed, left to right, he thought, leaving “two distinct cuts” two inches apart in the spine.
Dr. Phillips offered the opinion that Annie was not a drinker, and she had not alcohol in her stomach. What had slurred Annie's speech and caused her to stagger, was damage to her brain caused by the loss of oxygen over years of suffering from an advanced case of pneumonia - modern day COPD. She had very little food in her stomach, and was also suffering from malnutrition. In short, when she had been murdered, Annie Chapman was already within weeks of dying.
As to what specifically had killed her that morning, Dr. Phillips was equally certain. The murderer had first strangled Annie, perhaps with the handkerchief found around her neck, if not to death at least until she was unconscious . This caused her face to swell up and her tongue to protrude. Only then had he slashed her throat, grabbing her by the chin with one hand and swinging the knife left to right with the other. This had happened 2 to 3 hours before examination, at 6:30 that morning – putting time of death between between 3:30 and 4:30, the morning of Saturday, 8 September, 1888.
After death, said Dr. Phillips, the victim's legs were shoved apart. Her dress was pushed up above her waist, and the killer had sliced her abdomen fully open. The intestines had been cut free from the colon, lifted from the body and placed or tossed over her right shoulder. The uterus “and its appendages”, the upper portion of the vagina and 2/3rds of the bladder were all removed. And they were gone. Said Dr Phillips, "Obviously the work was that of an expert - or one, at least, who had such knowledge of anatomical or pathological examinations as to be enabled to secure the pelvic organs with one sweep of the knife."
And with that horrifying testimony, the jury adjourned for the day, not to reconvene until Wednesday, 12 September. The certain Dr. Phillips did not return for the second day of testimony, so he missed the witnesses who destroyed his positive time of death estimate.
- 30 -

Sunday, April 24, 2016

THE FIRST DAY Chapter Fourteen

I suppose one reason the 1,600 residents of Hanover, Pennsylvania suffered such trauma on the .last day of June, 1863 was because just five miles south were the white stone Mason Dixon line markers (above), the official divide between slave and free states since 1781.  But humans are not such simple creatures whose hearts and souls can be defined with straight lines. What happened in Hanover on that Tuesday, was also the result of the hubris of a 31 year old  "cavalier", trying to recapture a long gone time- gone a year,  which is a long time in a war.
It began at about  8:00  on that Tuesday morning,  30 June, 1863,  when the 1st and 7th regiments of Michigan volunteer cavalry cantered up the Baltimore turnpike into Hanover (above). 
The Wolverines halted in the city square (above)  to rest their horses. Their  newly promoted commander, General George Armstrong Custer, ordered most his men to dismount and posted sentries on all the roads into town. It was standard military procedure, learned after two years of bloody war, and followed even when moving through the solid union blue state of Pennsylvania. 
Meanwhile, the newly appointed commander of the 3rd Federal Cavalry Division, Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick (above),  greeted the townsfolk and asked for information. They told him three days ago rebel infantry and cavalry had brushed aside state militia  20 miles to the west, in  the town of Gettysburg. But no rebels had been seen since. Kilpatrick thanked them, but he suspected there were still rebels in the area.. 
Like a well oiled machine, before 8:30, the pickets on the Baltimore Pike reported the arrival of the 1st West Virginia Union Cavalry, under the newly promoted Union General Elon John Farnsworth (above).  
The Michigan men now remounted and continued to the northeast, up the road (above) toward the Pigeon Hills and Abbottstown beyond. They left just as the West Virginians entered the town square, who replaced the Michigan pickets on all roads leading out of  Hanover. This accordion march, leading units not advancing until the following units had closed up, had been practiced since the Romans had advanced against  the Carthaginians, 2,000 years before. And it was now preformed smoothly and machine like. The Union Army had learned its value, after three years of war.
In their turn the West Virginians were replaced in the central square of Hanover by the 5th New York Cavalry Regiment  (above). And about 11 A.M, bringing up the rear of the division,  the 18th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment rode into Hanover. As they did, the main body of the New Yorkers mounted up and, in their turn, began to head north, toward Abbottstown.
Pennsylvanian  Captain Henry C. Potter, commanding companies L and M -  about 40 men -   relieved the New York pickets southwest of Hanover, out on the road to Fredrick (lower left, above) at a spot known locally as Mudtown . The New York officer informed Captain Potter they had just seen a handful of suspicious acting men lurking at the edge of a wood just down the road. And when the New York boys left,  Captain Potter decided to investigate. Being the tail of the division, it was Potter's duty to protect the 3rd Division's supply trains. And performing that duty,  Potter took ten men and rode down the road,  to see what they could see. 
Three miles down the Fredrick road,  at the small farm owned by the Butts family (above), Potter and his men were suddenly cutoff by 60 mounted men in grey who appeared behind him. They were members of the 2nd North Carolina cavalry, under Lieutenant Colonel William Henry Fitzhugh Payne. These  rebels demanded that Potter surrender. Instead, Potter ordered his men to draw their pistols and they charged back up the road, bursting through the startled Rebel line, killing one Confederate trooper and wounding several others.
Four of the Pennsylvania men were also killed,.  the first to fall probably being 24 year old Corporal John Hoffacker (above). John had two brothers, the eldest being William who had joined the 3rd Maryland Infantry regiment in mid-1862.  In September that same year John quit his job at a York, Pennsylvania paper mill and signed up with the 18th Pennsylvania.  And now he was the first trooper to die in the "Battle of Hanover", not many miles west of York.  Despite these losses, the remaining six men under Captain Potter raced back up the Fredrick Road.. The rebels gave chase. It was just about 10:15 in the morning.
It became a three mile gallop across the countryside, both sides firing wildly. As the pursuit neared Hanover it uncovered the men Potter had left behind.
Their seven shot carbines forced the Confederates to pause.  But as more rebel horsemen from the 2nd North Carolina and battalion commander Colonel John R. Chambliss's 13th Virginia regiment,  arrived, they charged the federal skirmish line. Fortuitously, the rebel artillery appeared, and added their fire to the assault. The blast of those rebel cannon caught the attention of General Pleasanton, who happened to be with the tail end of the West Virginians. Pleasanton immediately  sent word to Custer to bring his Michigan men back to Hanover at once, and then drove his horse at a gallop back to town, followed by the West Virginians.
The center square of Hanover was already jammed with the federal cavalry division’s supply train and ambulances, as well as the rear guard of the 5th New York,  which had yet to leave town. General Farnsworth was trying to disentangle the one from the other,  when he was overrun by his own retreating New Yorkers, with the rebels pressing closely behind..
Also riding to the sound of the guns was the Confederate cavalry commander, Brigadier General James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart (above) . The son of a Virginia planter, he had earned the nickname "Beauty" at West Point despite a chin " so short and retiring"  he later grew a full beard to hide it. He had earned fame the year before when his 1,200 rebel troopers rode completely around the Union Army. Critics would grouse that the effort had been more publicity stunt than effective operation, just a "Big horse raid".  But Union pride was so bruised, the federals reorganized their cavalry, determined to find men who could fight Stuart to a stop.
At Brandy Station, Virginia, on Tuesday, 9 June,  1863, (above) Stuart's 9,000 troopers  had been surprised by the 8,000 federal troopers under General Pleasanton. The blue coats had shown skill and audacity. And although Stuart held the field, he had been embarrassed. General Lee's advance into Pennsylvania would be his chance at redemption.
But the dashing Stuart (above) was now hampered, forced to leave half his strength behind by the reality of the war.  General Robert E. Lee ordered Stuart to "feel the right of General Ewell's troops" on his advance and "collect all the supplies you can for the army."  The march into Pennsylvania would have to show a profit to prove worth the effort and risk. The advance of every corps in Lee's army would be slowed by empty wagons, which they expected to fill with flour and corn, coffee and beans. And Stuart's 3 brigades - 6,000 men - would be  burdened by some 100 wagons filled with supplies - like oats for his horses -  he had captured in Maryland , and which had to be protected by Fitzhugh Lee's battalion. This burden sapped a third of Stuart's offensive strength and limited his freedom of movement. And he was even further restricted by the new level of Federal competence
When Stuart had crossed the Potomac River and captured Rockville, Maryland on 28 June, 1863,  he thought he was between General Ewell's corps and the federal flank. As was standard with Lee, his commanders set their own tactical objectives, and Stuart planned to capture Hanover just about the time Ewell was taking Carlisle. After looting Hanover -  to unbalance the federal politicians - Stuart planned to move up the road to Carlisle and meet General Ewell's corps on 29 June, and he was already 24 hours late..  But Stuart was slowed by a few hours during 29 June by rain, muddy roads, and those captured wagons. That allowed Kilpatrick's division to reach Hanover before the rebels. But with the fight already started, and which he was winning,  Stuart's naturally aggressiveness  convinced him to push forward. He needed that road to Carlisle. So he ordered Colonel Chambliss, in charge of the leading battalion, to take the town. Which is why Chambliss and Payne charged into Hanover, driving the federals right out.    
But there was no panic on the federal side. In a field east of Hanover, Farnsworth quickly dismounted his Pennsylvania troopers, and sent his men back into the narrow side streets and alleys of Hanover.  Lt. Colonel Payne and Col. Chambliss were trying to reorganize their men when every alley and street around the square erupted in gunfire. The rebel horsemen tried to chase the shooters down but found themselves trapped in streets too narrow  to swing a saber or maneuver a horse.
And just at the right moment, the New York rear guard charged into the town on horseback. Captain Potter was killed in this assault, being shot from his horse. But the Union horsemen drove the disorganized rebels right back out of the town. Chambliss' Virginians were forced to retreat to the west,  into the open rolling fields.By now it was just after noon, Tuesday 30 June.
Payne's North Carolinians now concentrated to southwest, trying to use the cover of the Winebrenner Tannery (above) on Fredrick Street, as a rallying point.
It was there that Lt Colonel Payne (above) came to grief. When his horse was shot, the dying creature threw his rider, head first,  into an open vat of horse urine, curing outside the tannery.  A quick thinking Private, Abraham Folger, of H company 5th New York Cavalry -  who had gotten mixed up with the 18th Pennsylvania in the charge -  was able to drag the blinded, sputtering Colonel Payne out of the foul smelling liquid, saving his life and taking him prisoner.  Nor was he the only southern gentleman to suffer an indignity in the federal counter attack. 
General Stuart and his staff were  forced to retreat so quickly their horses had to jump the unexpected 15 foot wide Plum Creek. Not all made it.  As an historian for the New Yorkers wrote, "In less than fifteen minutes from the time the rebels charged the town, they were driven from it, and were sulking in the wheat fields and among the hills in the vicinity."
A lull now set over the battlefield until about 2:00 pm, when Colonel  Fitzhugh Lee's battalion of 400 men arrived on the field. They had been guarding the captured supply wagons. But hearing the firing,  the Colonel had the left a the wagons and rushed to the sound of the guns.  Stuart ordered his Virginians and the Tar Heels to outflank the town to the south, spreading out from a ridge overlooking the town (above) on a farm owned by a family named Keller, and reaching to the Mount Olive Cemetery.
Earlier General Kilpatrick had arrived back in Hanover, having ridden  his horse so hard that it immediately broke down and died in the town square. The General thus lived up to his nickname of General “Kill Cavalry”  As the rest of the West Virginian, New York and Michigan regiments arrived, Pleasanton dismounted them and spread his battle line within the town,  barricading the streets and fortifying houses, to match the rebel positions. He was daring Stuart to attack him.
The two sides now began an artillery duel. It looked for a couple of hours as if there was going to be a great cavalry battle in Hanover, dwarfing the melee at Brandy Station. Kilpatrick telegraphed army headquarters that he had Stuart's entire cavalry corps pinned on the hills south of Hanover. With some infantry reinforcement, perhaps from General Slocum's nearby Federal XII corps, he could crush Jeb Stuart for ever.
Jeb Stuart was too smart to attack the town. He outnumbered Killpatick's  troopers in Hanover,  but the buildings cancelled his numerical advantage.. An attack would wreck his force. And that left him with a problem. He was already late for his appointment with General Ewall's corps in Carlisle. And the northwest road to Carlisle (above)  branched off in Hanover.  Stuart had to either take the town or miss the appointment.  Sitting where he was he was burning gun powder and horse flesh. And the rest of the Federal army could be anywhere, perhaps coming up right behind him..
"Jeb" Stuart's only choice was to miss his appointment. That night, Stuart slipped away from the Union horsemen, dragging the captured wagons with him. . In a sleepless, grueling all night march, his exhausted men slipped around the federal right. By mid-morning his three battalions were in York, and he did not approach Carlisle until  6:00 pm on 1 July, just a day late. He found the town held by Pennsylvania militia, and it was not until after midnight that General Stuart learned of  Lee's orders for the entire army to concentrate.  At 3:00 am, 2 July, after just an hour's sleep, Stuart put his men back on the road, to Gettysburg.
As soon as Stuart arrived in Gettysburg, he reported to General Lee (above). Neither of the two men wrote the details of their conversation, but Porter Alexander, the commander of Lee's artillery, was there. He said Lee's only comment was, "Well, General, you are here at last."  The rebuke might seem mild to outsiders, but it became the foundation for critics to blame Stuart for Lee's defeat at Gettysburg.  But as Lee's right hand, General James Longstreet,  pointed out, "The Union army had something to do with it."  If the supply wagons delayed Stuart, he was only following Lee's written orders. Stuart had no good choices during his raid. Lee was defeated at Gettysburg because sooner or later he was going to be defeated, and he had told Jefferson Davis as much in 1861. Once the war started nobody, neither Lee nor Stuart nor Jefferson Davis, had any good choices. That is what war does. It leaves people no good choices.
Lucky Hanover, Pennsylvania.. A combination of human blindness and ambition, and accidents of terrain and of timing produced a battle  that left  28 dead, 123 wounded and 180 missing or captured.
While at Gettysburg these same imponderables produced 7,864 dead, 27,224 wounded and 11,199 missing or prisoners at war. And the people to blame for that difference, were the politicians who started the war, not the men who fought and died in it..
- 30 -

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