SEPTEMBER 2017

SEPTEMBER  2017
ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO - STANDARD OIL. Still dominating strangling the nation, a century later.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2016

BLOODY JACK Chapter Twenty

I do not believe Elizabeth Stride(above)  was murdered by Jack the Ripper. But that begs the questions, if not “The Ripper”, then who and why was “Long Liz Stride” murdered? Well, I believe the motive for the murder was that Elizabeth Gustafsdotter was a liar. She lied about every detail of her life, and often to no advantage other than obfuscation. She claimed to have given birth to nine children. She had none. She claimed to clean house for a wealthy West End family. She occasionally cleaned rooms in a doss house. She claimed to have been brought to England by a wealthy man. She was a common prostitute in Sweden before London. But Elizabeth was a handsome woman, with light gray eyes, dark brown curly hair, a pale complexion. and a kind and gentle manner when she was sober - all of which made her lies easier to believe.
Her favorite lies were that her husband and children had drown in the 1878 sinking of the “Princess Alice” (above), and that she had been born with a cleft palate. Her husband – John Thomas Stride - actually died of a heart attack in 1881 – at least six years after they separated. During her autopsy, doctors made a special examination of the roof of her mouth, and found no cleft. Being in a relationship with such a liar is exhausting for a sober man or woman. A romantic might want to believe, but the longer it takes for the veil over their eyes to fall away, the greater their anger at the liar.
The truth is Elizabeth had been a domestic servant since she was 17 years old, and since 1862 employed by Mr. Lars Frederick Olafson, in the port of Gothenburg, Sweden (above).  Abruptly, in March of 1865, Elizabeth Gustafsdotter registered as a prostitute, had the first of several treatments for venereal desease and in April she gave birth to a still born girl.  In July of 1866 Elizabeth moved to London, settling, as most poor immigrants did, in the poverty plagued East End.
When the 26 year old married John Stride in March of 1869, Elizabeth (above in 1872)  probably did so as his partner in managing a coffee shop in Poplar (above), near the new East India docks. The two partnered in several coffee shops until 1875, about the same time they parted ways. 
What Elizabeth did and where she lived for the next six years is a mystery, but my guess is she was a full time prostitute in one of the hundreds of legal Whitechapel bordellos (above), probably under one of her pseudonyms. The three we know of were Annie Morris, Wally Warden and Annie Fitzgerald.  
Then, probably in the fall of 1881, Liz got sick enough she could no longer work. At the end of December she was treated for bronchitis in the Whitechapel infirmary. In January of 1882 she moved into the Workhouse. Later that year she began living “off and on” at a doss house at 32 Flower and Dean Street (above). The following year, for the first time, she moved in with Micheal Kidney.
Iin 1888, the 36 year old Micheal Kidney  (above) was 9 years younger than the then 45 year old Elizabeth Stride. He was a dock worker, living at 38 Dorset Street. The job required a strong back and a willing mind. But it was not full time employment for Micheal. He suffered from “lombago” and was an alcoholic, perhaps as self medication for his back pain. But whatever the justification, excessive alcohol consumption gave him something in common with Long Liz Stride. The record does not mark Micheal as a particularly violent man, drunk or sober. I don't believe he beat Elizabeth Stride. But she was a loud and often abusive violent drunk. And with Elizabeth at least a part time prostitute, the couple were not sexually exclusive. But it seems Micheal Kidney wanted to believe they were emotionally exclusive.
The only record we have of how Micheal Kidney felt about Elizabeth was what he said at her inquest. When asked about the many times she left him, Micheal said, “She always returned without me going after her. I think she liked me better than any other man." He added, “I treated her the same as I would a wife.” As to the last time he had seen her, the week of her death, Micheal insisted, “I do not believe she left me on Tuesday to take up with any other man.”  . The newspapers described him as “morose”, “rough-spoken” and occasionally “incoherent” after her death - which might be another way of describing an harassed man in mourning.
But like a man waking up from a bad dream, Micheal also displayed at the inquest a belated recognition of Elizabeth's faults. When asked if she was Swedish, Micheal said , “She told me she was a Swede...She said she was born 3 miles from Stockholm...but I have grave doubts about that.” He testified that “She told me she was a widow”, and that “She told me” the couple ran a coffee house. He knew Elizabeth was a constant liar. But he wanted to believe her. But what or who was it that awakened Micheal Kidney to reality? 
His name was Isreal Schwartz. He was a recent immigrant, an Hungarian Jew, who spoke very little English. He worked in the Yiddish Theater at the Pavilion on Commercial Road (above). With his wife and 2 children, Isreal had lived on Berner Street until that Saturday, 29 September, 1888. While he worked that night his wife had moved the family to their new apartment at 22 Back Church Lane, which was one block to the west. And forty-five minutes into that chilly Sunday morning, 30 September, Isreal Schwartz walked down Commercial Street and decided to check the Berner Street address, to see if his family needed help. They were already gone, but because of his choice, Isreal Schwartz walked straight into the murder.
As he approached the open gate beside the International Working Men's Educational Institute at 40 Berner Street,  Isreal saw a woman standing just inside the gateway to Dutfield's Yard. A man stopped and spoke to her.  The man then grabbed the woman. She called out. The man turned the woman around, with her back to him. She called out again. The man shoved her to the ground, back inside the yard. 
Mr. Schwartz crossed away from the confrontation, to the east side of Berner Street. But within a few steps he heard more noises (shouting?). He turned to look, but a man smoking a pipe suddenly stepped out of the dark and shouted something, startling Mr. Schwartz. The man who had attacked the woman now pointed at Mr. Schwartz and shouted something that might have been “Lipski”.   Isreal Schwartz broke into a run, heading south on Berner Street, being chased by all the horrors of the pogroms and Whitechapel anti-semiticism until he found shelter under the railroad aqueduct arches. When he felt safe he headed to the new apartment.
Less than ten minutes after Isreal saw this woman pushed to the ground, Elizabeth Stride would be found on the same spot, with her throat slashed. I believe the woman Isreal Schwartz saw attacked was Liz Stride. And the noises that caused Isreal to look back were, I think, a killer venting his rage at the woman as he cut her throat. Schwartz described the attacker as about 30 years old, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, with broad shoulders. He had a fair complexion, dark hair and a small brown mustache. At the time investigators thought Isreal Swartz was a reliable eye witness. But what does that mean?
Doubts have been raised about eye witness reliability since Hugo Munsterberg's 1907 book “On the Witness Stand.” Yale Professor Edwin Borchard identified false eyewitness memory as the leading cause of wrongful convictions as far back as 1932. And according to a 2010 column in Scientific American, “...73 % of the 239 convictions overturned through DNA testing were based on eyewitness testimony. One third of these...rested on the testimony of two or more mistaken eyewitnesses.” The authors then list the reasons for eye witness unreliability - extreme stress, presence of weapons, disguises, racial disparity and brief viewing times.
Having experienced the pogroms, Isreal Schwartz was already suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as his behavior at the murder scene clearly shows. Further, the sudden emotional crises gave him tunnel vision. There was also the racial disparity between himself and the perpetrator. And Mr. Schwartz had at most one or two seconds on a badly lit street and from some distance, to make his identification. And when you add that his description was made through an interpreter, it becomes impossible to find any reliable element in his description of the killer. His statement only proves when, where and how the murder happened. And none of what he reliably saw fits the method used to murder Martha Tabem, Polly Nichols, Annie Chapman or Catherine Eddowes.
To many people in Whitechapel that Saturday had an anxious air. The solid gray overcast kept the temperature down to a chilly 68 degrees Fahrenheit, but held that level even after the unseen sun set at 5:42 p.m. Then about 10 minutes before 10:00 p.m. a cold front slipped through and the clouds dumped the moisture they could no longer hold. About 11:00 p.m. laborers J. Best and John Gardner ran into Elizabeth Stride in the doorway of the Bricklayer's Arms Pub, a few hundred yards across Commercial Road from Berner Street.  Both men knew Long Liz,  but not the man with her. He was about Liz's height, with a black mustache and “weak sandy eyelashes”, wearing a mourning suit, a "billycock" - aka a derby hat - and a coat. According to Best, “It was raining very fast and they did not appear willing to go out. He was hugging and kissing her, and as he seemed a respectably dressed man, we were rather astonished at the way he was going on at the woman."
At about 11:45 p.m. worker William Marshall was  standing in the doorway of 64 Berner Street, south of Fairclough, when be spotted Elizabeth Stride across the street, sheltering in the doorway of number 63 Berner. She was kissing a man wearing a short black cutaway coat. Marshall heard the man say, “You would say anything but your prayers.” The rain ended just before midnight, dropping 3 tenths of an inch.  
An hour after the last sighting, about 12:35 a.m., now Sunday, 30 September, 1888, Police Constable William Smith noticed Elizabeth Stride and a man “acting like two lovers”, across the street from the Workers Club. He describes the man as clean shaven, about 28 years old, wearing dark clothes and standing about 5 feet 7 inches tall.  Less than ten minutes later Isreal Schwartz see's Elizabeth Stride assaulted in the entry way to Dutfield's Yard. Ten minutes after that she is found dead in the Yard.
If the police had not been expecting another Ripper murder, who would have been their number one suspect? Who had the strongest motive for cutting off the endless stream of lies spilling from Long Liz Stride? Who would have been most hurt by her affectionate treatment of another man that night? Was Micheal Kidney on Berner Street that Saturday night and Sunday morning? Had he been stalking Elizabeth off and on since Tuesday, when she failed to return home as he expected? Until somebody invents a time machine, we will never know. And it is doubtful, even then -   since we now know that even an eyewitness to history cannot be trusted to see anything but what they think they see.  But it seems clear to me, Liz Stride's killer was not Jack the Ripper.
- 30 - 

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

FEELING BETRAYED

I cannot conceive of a worst possible moment for the young men to deliver their false missive. Two weeks before, the 3 day battle of the Wilderness had killed and wounded some 17,666 Federal soldiers.  Three days ago,   in the Shenandoah Valley yet another Federal Army had been ambushed by an even smaller rebel force in the Battle of New Market. And this morning, 18 May, 1864, General Grant was leading his weary army into the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia, which would kill and wound another 18,400, including legendary Union General John Sedgwick. It seemed as if everything the Federal government attempted in this third spring of the American Civil War, was producing only disaster. And these young men arrived at 3:30 in the morning, with their missives, to seemingly drop the other shoe. 
It purported to be a bulletin from the Associated Press, which had been in business since 1848, and contained the text of a White House Proclamation. The operative passage began in the third paragraph. “In view, however, of the situation in Virginia...and the general state of the country, I, Abraham Lincoln...by virtue of the power vested in me by the Constitution...call forth the citizens of the United States, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, to the aggregate number of four hundred thousand, in order to suppress the existing rebellious combinations...”
The reaction to news of a new half million man draft, in the city which the year before had produced three days of rioting (above) in response to Lincoln's first draft call was expected to be even more violence. One hundred twenty had died in the summer of 1863, at least eleven African-Americans had been lynched, untold numbers beaten, and fifty large buildings had been burned down. Many on Wall Street took this as a sign the Federal government was losing the war, and they expected investors  to dump their stocks for gold.
At first glance the notice seemed legitimate. It was written on the same cheap oily tissue paper used by the Associated Press. But it had not arrived in the usual fashion. Several editors were suspicious, but there were only moments before the deadline to start the presses for the morning papers. Under this time constraint, and fearing they would be “scooped” by competitors, three Democratic leaning papers rushed the story into the print – The World, the Journal of Commerce, and the Brooklyn Eagle. But the night editor of the Times, a Republican paper, did not recognize the handwriting, and found it had not been delivered in an AP envelope. He held his own presses while he dispatched a messenger for confirmation. The AP editor replied, “The 'Proclamation' is false as hell and not promulgated through this office. The handwriting is not familiar.”
Wall Street was in an uproar that morning, with investors and brokers crowding all the newspaper offices (above), demanding an answer. Was the proclamation real or not? When the markets opened, the price of gold rose about 10%, but quickly fell back after William Seward, Secretary-of-State and Edward Stanton, Lincoln's Secretary-of-War, both declared the report to be “an absolute forgery.” And if the Lincoln administration had stopped there everything would have been all right. But Lincoln himself ordered the Military commander in New York City, General John Dix, to seize the offices of the Journal of Commerce and the New York World, and to ”arrest and imprison...the Editors, proprietors, and publishers.” It seemed the bloody mess in Virginia was making everybody a little jumpy.
The Journal of Commerce was a small anti-slavery newspaper founded by Arthur Tappan and Samuel Morse, inventor of the telegraph. But the owners opposed the Lincoln administration's decision to use force to put down the rebellion. So the Postmaster General had refused to deliver the JOC via the mail, crippling the paper outside New York City, where most of its 35,000 readers lived. William Prime, business manager of the JOC, wrote to his wife that afternoon, “Found on coming down town that we, in common with the World...had been hoaxed by a most ingenious scoundrel.” That evening Federal soldiers arrived to close down the paper and arrest the guiltless Mr. Prime.
Considerably less innocent was the two cent per copy, “New York World”. The paper was owned by the Democratic National Committee, and directed by the DNC chairman, August Belmont. In its pages anything with a whiff of Lincoln or Republicanism about it was opposed. Every day the paper was filled with articles warning of the threat of the ballooning war debt, and criticism of the administration's military strategy. Its editorials called for repeal of the emancipation proclamation, and a negotiated peace with the Confederacy. It was the platform of the Democratic Party in 1864. But these were not  the position of the World's editor, Mr. Manton Malone Marble.
Marble  (above) was a newspaperman with printer's ink in his veins. Employed as the Night Editor, he had bought the bankrupt World in 1861, dreaming of a non-partisan fact based style of journalism. But after just six months he had been forced to seek new backers, and the Democratic Party had eagerly stepped in. Marble lost friends and staff members when he signed the deal, and the joke among journalists in the city was that Marble was now little more than a conductor for the stories Belmont wanted in the paper day in and day out. But there was still a spark of independence in the man, and when he learned from an alert staffer, before dawn on the morning of 18 May, 1864, that his paper had published the proclamation, he ordered all copies still unsold to be withdrawn from street vendors, and dispatched a fast ship to stop and board the steamer “Nova Scotia”, carrying bundles of the newspaper bound for England. Marble even ordered the ship's captain to buy back the free copy provided to the Nova Scotia's purser. It made no difference. Marble was arrested the evening of 18 May, and the offices of “The World” padlocked shut.
That very night the member papers of the Associated Press telegraphed the President, strongly defending Prime and Marble. The next day several of the editors, including Horace Greeley, of the Republican leaning Tribune, joined the chorus of demands that Marble and Prime be released. And it began to occur to Lincoln, that he had stepped into something unpleasant. He also had the calming influence of General Dix, who seems to have quickly suspected, along with the members of the AP, that this was not a rebel plot, nor even a Democratic one.
 
At the same time he arrested Prime and Marble, Dix also ordered the arrest of Joseph Howard, night editor of the Brooklyn Eagle, the only other paper to actually publish and distribute the false proclamation. Within a day Howard confessed. He assumed the false proclamation would drive up the price of gold, in preparation for which he had bought gold futures “short”, on credit. As one historian has noted, “Nothing worse was ever done for the purpose of speculation.” Two days later, on Saturday morning, 21 May,  police detectives stopped and arrested Francis Mallson, a reporter for the Eagle, who had actually authored the fake telegram.  Francis had just been drafted into the army. He hoped the scam would provide for his family while he was away at war. The next day, Sunday 22 May, military authorities released both Prime and Marble. But the damage had been done.
Marble was in a rage. He clearly felt betrayed and laid the blame for his arrest directly on Lincoln's head - where it belonged. On Monday, 23 May he unleashed his pen, in a letter that took up several columns of "The World".  “Not until today,” Marble wrote, “has The World been free to speak. But to those who have ears to hear, its absence has been more eloquent than its columns could ever be.” Lincoln had acted, wrote Marble, “for the purpose of gratifying an ignoble partisan resentment”  He wondered “would you, Sir, have suppressed the Tribune and the Times as you suppressed the World and the Journal of Commerce?” He then answered the question for Mr. Lincoln. “You know you would not... Can you, whose eyes discern equality under every complexion, be blinded by the hue of partisanship.” George Templeton Strong, an diarist and observer of politics in New York, noted, “The martyred newspaper...vomits acid bile most copious.”
Marble now became the publicist for the Democratic Party, and its champion, General McClellan (above, center). He spent the next six months retelling and even creating every lie conceivable about Lincoln, charging him with wanting to force race mixing on the public, and ignoring the pain and sacrifices of Union soldiers on the battlefield. 
And it might have cost Lincoln the election that November , excerpt that on 2 September, 1864,  Union General William Tecumseh Sherman captured Atlanta, Georgia, the rail and industrial heart of the Confederacy. In that instant it was clear Lincoln was winning the war, and the Democrats were revealed as defeatists, with no answers, only protests. That November Lincoln received only 33% of the vote in New York City.  Despite that, he won the state, if barely, on his way to re-election, 55% of the popular vote, and 212 electoral votes to Democrat General George McClellan's 21
The World did not accept defeat, disparaging Lincoln's speech the day after Lee had surrendered, on the night of 13 April, 1865.  It described the President as groping “like a traveler in an unknown country, without a map.” The following night John Wilkes Booth murdered the President, transforming Lincoln into a martyr, and the The New York World and it's editor into a petty, vindictive and racist party mouthpiece.  History does that every once in awhile.
- 30 -

Monday, June 06, 2016

YOU PICKED ORANGE

There is an hilarious and heartbreaking new e-book, written by a woman who saved her husband after his stroke, when the for profit medical community tried very hard to warehouse him and lock him away to quietly die. I know this because, I was the husband she saved. Filled with advice on how to speak out for yourself, receive your legal rights, make the hospitals and nursing homes and rehab clinics live up to their noble public statements, all the challenges and life and death struggles, and the use of humor to survive and triumph. It is worth far more than the $7.99 cover charge. Could be the funniest and most heart warming book you ever read, on any subject - not just strokes.
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/434385


They say that you never know what you're capable of until you're tested. On April17, 2006, at 8:32 A.M., I was tested. And wow! I came this close to an epic fail. On that date and time I was being useless on the sofa...suddenly he was in the den with me; he threw a Kleenex box at me, in fact, plopped down on his side of the sofa and said, "My hands don't feel like mine." I was up and in his face in a nanosecond. (Okay, first I threw the box of tissue back at him because I was grouchy, but that lasted about, well, a nanosecond.) His face was looking normal. It wasn't doing that droopy thing that happened to Peter on "Family Guy" when that animated, completely unreal character had his STROKE. I asked Kimit if he wanted me to call 911.”
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/434385

UNSOLICITED PRAISE FOR “YOU PICKED ORANGE”.: ...so terrifying and so hilarious...You are a hellaciously good writer.” Would like to award you the "Best Thing Ever Said to a Doctor who had the Beside Manner of an Overripe Grapefruit”. ...would TOTALLY have helped you hide the bod(ies) AND given you an alibi” Wow!” “I opened your 41st chapter and now I'm hooked. I went back and started reading from the first chapter. You are a terrific writer/storyteller...I think you are amazing!” “How can you make me laugh and make me cry at the same time? You describe this horrible situation so hilariously and yet so, so heart-breakingly.” https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/434385
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/434385




beth.queries@irenegoodman.com
beth.queries@irenegoodman.com <beth.queries@irenegoodman.com>
Ms. Beth Vesel
Irene Goodman Literary Agency
27 West 24th Street
Suit 700B
N.Y.C., N.Y. 10010

Ms. Vesel:

What would you do if the most important person in your life were suddenly near death? Would you panic? Would you become a catatonic zombie? I tried both. Neither worked. In utter terror, I still needed to keep my wits, but boy howdy that was difficult, because of “money people” badgering and pestering me for funds I did not have, and my in-law support group who proved to be obnoxious, annoying caricatures of small town hypocrites, and my best friend of 25 years who decided that my begging her to help me not lose my mind was “asking too much.” But then our salvation arrived with lunch at a “rehab facility” which we referred to as Hellcare, in the form of a steaming, slimy dollop of canned bile on a plate.
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You Picked Orange or How to Save Your Spouse From a Stroke and Not Have One Of Your Own” is an episodic non-fiction, non-linear humor/horror memoir of my 54-year-old husband's hemorrhagic stroke. “They say that you never know what you're capable of until you're tested. On April 17, 2006, at 8:32 A.M., I was tested”. “Ninety-eight percent of this story is true. That last 2 percent has been altered, to protect the idiotic, the ignorant, the moronic and the liars with lawyers,” and those who run a medical system that is too massive to be personal, thinks poor people are disposable, and some how, incidentally, almost accidentally saved his life.
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The System entered as savior, when I called 9-1-1. I clearly and calmly said “My husband is having a STROKE and we need paramedics, this is my address, and yes, I am sure it's a STROKE, I know the signs and symptoms, and our address is this, and please send help Stat. Send help, yes, send help Stat." I was SO delusional. What I really did was shriek, “Husband, STROKE, now, help help help him, gonna puke, Oh God Oh God, Oh GOD HELP HELP, terrified, hurry, HE'S HAVING A STROKE, REALLY! HELP!!”. The 911 lady was very nice, saying she was sending “EMTs Right FUCKING now.” Okay, there was one word in there she didn't really say.
*
The police arrived first. One of them pelted inside. I screeched, “He's downstairs, in the bathroom! (all 6'4”, 298 pounds of him)” and the cop said to me, “I can't do anything. We gotta wait for the EMTs.” I think he said that. What I heard him say was “I am useless. Wanna play Yahtzee?” Alas, when they came in, those EMTs from heaven, carrying their boxes of “Dr. Fix-It's Health Potions,” the first of them said, “Whoa, narrow staircase. Man, I hope this guy is small.” Shit.
*
Written (in part) on the web site “Daily Kos”, “You Picked Orange” earned unsolicited praise: “So terrifying and so hilarious...You are a hellaciously good writer” - “Would like to award you the "Best Thing Ever Said to a Doctor who had the Bedside Manner of an Overripe Grapefruit” - “Would TOTALLY have helped you hide the bodies AND given you an alibi” And, “Wow!”
*
In this tale you will meet people like: Dorothy the Manicured Money Lady (assigned by the hospital to pry ducats out of us) who was convinced we had hidden insurance or veteran's benefits, or that we had Krugerrands buried in our back yard or lost Rembrandt's in our attic;
*
The Unit Director who was more offended by my barely conscious husband's bellowing obscenities than the fact that he was literally roaring with pain from an undiagnosed infection;
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The endless patient advocates who offered to help us with financial forms and applications for assistance, and then disappeared from our lives forever;
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The Family Services Lady who starved us for six months because she had doubled our bank balance instead of dividing it by two people, so we appeared far too rich to qualify for food stamps;
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The endless stream of doctors and therapists who said my husband would never even sit up without assistance let alone walk again - BTW he walked, helped by a cane, out of Hellcare;
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The political flunkies who could never resist telling us we were morally deficient for needing assistance and suspecting us of stealing our $125 a month in food stamps:
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And all those bilious souls who tried to harm us by withholding our right to care and got in our way? I kicked their ass. No, really. Took time, took energy, made me depressed and angry, but I was determined they would be sufficiently worried I might really become homicidal, they stayed away from us. And, with their help and in spite of their bureaucracy, I got my husband back.
*
Bio: Samantha “Sam” Kimmel studied comedy under Danny Simon when she was 20, until his brother Neil (Doc) Simon told her she was already funny and to “Go. Write. Be funny.” She worked for Filmation Associates Animation Studio (until it was purchased by a large pharmaceutical company and then razed to the ground. No one knows why.) under “Clambake” director and infamously dirty old man, Arthur Nadel. While there she developed “The Brooke Shields Cartoon Show”. You've never heard of it because it was killed by Terri Shields who complained the series had no superhero mother character. Samantha was also a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Herald Examiner (just before it closed), the L.A. Times and the L.A. Daily News (both of which survive, so far), and occasionally the Lafayette Journal and Courier. Her columns were always humorous and timely, often well received by the public, sometimes vilified by others in that public. She does not dwell on them
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And, of course, the explanation of “You Picked Orange”. .
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Email a query letter and the first ten pages, along with a synopsis (3-5 paragraphs) and bio, in the body of an email to the agent of your choice. The email addresses for this purpose are listed below. WE DO NOT ACCEPT SNAIL MAIL QUERIES.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

THE FIRST DAY Chapter Twenty

I don't know who 33 year old Colonel Robert Mercer Brockenbrough pissed off, but he must have been important. The farmer and lawyer been twice bumped up from command of the 40th Virginia regiment to brigade commander, the last time just before Chancellorsville after his boss, Henry Heth, got promoted to Division commander. But Lee again made it clear the promotion was only temporary. Then, at Chancellorsville,  Brockenbrough's brigade took 50% casualties stopping a Federal counterattack, saving the victory for General Lee. And still Lee refused to even consider Brockenbrough for permanent promotion. And while nobody seemed eager to explain why he was being so “dissed”, the insult sapped the spirit out of Brockenbrough and seeped down to the 800 exhausted and dispirited survivors in the brigade - all of which contributed in a small way to Lee's defeat at Gettysburg.
While Archer's brigade of 1,200 men charged up Herr's Ridge north of the Chambersburg Pike, and then threw itself across Willoughby Run and up McPherson's ridge, Brigadier General Davis's brigade was doing the same south of the pike. But Davis noted that Brockenbrough's brigade, between the two “...refused to advance."  Many maps of the battle (above) don't even bother to include them. And when the Federal Iron Brigade smashed into Archer's men and drove them back across the creek, Brockenborough's troops refused to fire on the Federals, pleading they feared hitting Archer's men. Even then, the dispirited Virginians might have charged the Federals to save the 200 of Archer's men forced to surrender. Instead they watched it happen. And soon the same fate was was to befall Davis' brigade.
The 38 year old Joseph Robert Davis (above)  was a nephew of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. That linage granted him certain disadvantages. His uncle's enemies initially denied his promotion as Brigadier General. But once promoted, Davis was, by all accounts a competent general. And driving the Federal cavalry skirmishers back across Willoughby Run, he was quick to take advantage of the ground, specifically the unfinished railroad cut through McPherson's ridge. 
There were no iron rails or cross ties laid down yet. But using the cover provided by the earthen embankments, Davis pivoted his 2,000 North Carolina and Mississippi soldiers, and they hit the Iron Brigade on the flank, across the Chambersburg Pike.
Rushing to the defense of their brigade members,  was the reserve  of the Iron Brigade, the 6th Wisconsin regiment and a battery of cannon. And once in position their commander, Lieutenant Colonel Rufus Robertson Dawes (above), grandson of William Dawes who had spread the alarm with Paul Revere, gave the order to open fire.
Under the first volley said Dawes, “The rebel line swayed and bent, and suddenly stopped.” Sargent William Ray remembered, the Wisconsin boys, “just mowed the rebs, all in front of our Regiment was just mowed down. … Battery B was just in the rear of us... and every gun poured in the grape which swept the rebs.”
Slowly the rebels began to retreat, toward the protection of the railroad cut. Dawes then, “ordered my men to climb the over the turnpike fences and advance." And just as the Wisconsin boys were clambering over the rails, the 95th New York regiment of the 2nd brigade under Major Edward Pye, came up to the fence line in support. Colonel Dawes shouted to Pye, “We must charge!” And Pye replied, “Charge it is!” And with that, the 2 regiments began screaming and running across 400 yards toward the railroad cut with fixed bayonets.
From the shelter of the railroad cut three confederate regiments – the 2nd and 42nd Mississippi and the 55th North Carolina, poured a deadly fire into the 2 attacking federal regiments. Said Colonel Dawes,
The only commands I gave as we advanced were, 'Align on the colors! Close up on the colors!”
Dawes wrote his wife, “ Corporal James Kelley of Company B, shot through the breast...said, "Colonel, won't you write to my folks that I died a soldier?"  Dawes added in his memoir: "..The colors fell upon the ground several times but were raised again by the heroes of the color guard. Four hundred and twenty men started in the regiment from the turnpike fence, of whom about two hundred and forty reached the railroad cut."  The collision when it came, was unimaginable.
Recalled Sargent William B. Murphy, the 2nd Mississippi regiment standard bearer, “...a squad of soldiers made a rush for my colors...Over a dozen men fell killed or wounded, and then a large man made a rush for me and the flag.” The large fellow was Corporal Francis (Frank) Ashbury Waller, from Company I of the 6th Wisconsin. Said Murphy, “As I tore the flag from the staff, he took hold of me and the color.” Waller and Murphy struggled over the cloth (above), falling to the ground, until Waller yanked the Mississippi battle flag from Murphy's hands.
The 14th Brooklyn regiment (Cutler's brigade) now appeared, flanking the rebels and firing directly up the railroad cut, where 200 of the 2nd Mississippi  were trapped between the earthen walls - the rest scattering for the rear. Colonel Dawes ran forward and "...I found myself face to face with hundreds of rebels, whom I looked upon in the railroad cut...four feet deep. I shouted, 'Where is the colonel of this regiment?....Surrender, or I will fire.' The officer replied not a word, but promptly handed me his sword and his men...threw down their muskets.”
Brigadier General Davis admitted, "subjected to a most galling fire of musketry and artillery that so reduced the already thinned ranks...there was nothing left but to retire."  Colonel Dawes lead 420 Wisconsin men up the Emmitsburg road on 1 July, 1863. They left 30 dead on McPherson's ridge, 170 causalities in total. Both New York regiments lost over 110 men each. 
And the 2nd Mississippi regiment had 40 dead and 183 wounded, and surrendered 7 officers (including its commander Major Blair) and 225 enlisted men in the unfinished railroad cut.  That evening only 60 men answered roll call of the regiment.  About noon on 1 July,  the battlefield west of Gettysburg quieted down out of exhaustion, and every soldier and civilian within earshot caught their breath, and took stock of what had been achieved and what had been wasted.
Two of Heth's brigades, Archer's and Davis', had been badly punished. The third under Colonel Brockenbrough had blackened their reputation a little more. But the largest brigade in Heth's division, – the largest in the entire rebel army – under Brigadier General James Johnson Pettigrew, had not yet been committed to combat. It's regulation to the rear of a column that was assumed to be marching into battle, had merely made that battle more difficult. It all highlighted the abilities and the failings of the division commander
Major General Henry Heth (above) , who had been ordered not to start an engagement, had done just that. And having started it,  he had pushed his men blindly forward, into an ambush he had been warned might be waiting. 
And now, with a major engagement begun, he was forced to pause to bring up reinforcements, which would take time, which was just what the federals wanted. Win or lose, men die in battle, men are wounded and scared in battle. It is not a General's job to save lives. But it is the obligation of every officer in a combat unit to make certain the loss of life and limb and soul are worth the sacrifice. By that fundamental measure, Henry Heth had failed this morning.
On the Federal side the cost had been equally high, and it had been worth the sacrifice. Time had been won. Time to march up the Emmitsbuir road. Time to occupy the ridges west of town. Time to keep the rebels off of Little Round Top.  And the First Day of Gettysburg was not yet half over.
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