Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chickamauga! Chickamauga!

I liked this short history of the Battle of Chattanooga.

Reeling from defeat at Chickamauga on September 19-20, 1863, Army of the Cumberland forces under the command of William S. Rosecrans retreated to Chattanooga to regroup. Braxton Bragg's men drove to the summit of Lookout Mountain and retook the peak without a fight. With this advantage on the Rebel side, Old Rosy feared losing the city.
After stopping flank attacks by W.T. Sherman and "Fighting Joe" Hooker the rebels faced General George Thomas, "The Rock of Chickamauga" in the center. And something interesting happened.
In the center of the rebel line sat Thomas. Over the past 3 weeks his men had been subject to taunts from Hooker's and Sherman's soldiers over the defeat at Chickamauga two months earlier. At 3:30pm, after word reached headquaters of Sherman's inability to reach his objective, Grant ordered Thomas to advance on the first line of defense on Missionary Ridge. The rebel line resisted at first then gave in to the advancing Federals.

Fully aware that the men of Sherman's and Hooker's armies were watching the men began to move up Missionary Ridge. Shouting "Chickamauga, Chickamauga" the men advanced on the entrenched rebels. The artillery line had been misplaced at the top of the ridge instead of the crest. The cannon fire was less effective and the Union advance quickly overran the Confederate forces.

Bragg ordered a retreat to Dalton and gave General Cleburne the grim task of guarding his rear. Safely back in Dalton, he wired Davis of the defeat and asked to be relieved of duty, admitting it had been wrong to leave him in command when Davis visited in October.
Some men do not take defeat well. It inspires them to do better. Likewise some do not handle victory well. Yes Mr. Obama, I'm talking about you and your party.

And that was not the first time in the Civil War that such chants arose from Union troops. Gettysburg was another such time and place.
Some of the Rebels in Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, may have heard the voice of Sgt. Benjamin Hearst before they met the withering Union fire at the stone wall on Cemetery Ridge. Hearst, a veteran with the 14th Connecticut, yelled at the advancing mass, “Now we’ve got you! Sock it to the Blasted Rebels. Fredericksburg’s on the other leg!” And as the doomed men fell, the Federals behind the low stone wall shouted, “Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!

Why did an engagement fought seven months earlier, on December 13, 1862, become a battle cry? Because only now, with the tables so perfectly turned, was the Union avenging its own dead thousands, struck down in front of a different stone wall in what turned out to be the nadir of the war for the North.
Well America took a walloping from its own citizens in 2008. Now the shoe is on the other foot. One can only hope the Republicans have some fight in them.

Such a hope is by no means a certainty. At least if we have Republican John Boehner (likely majority leader in the next Congress) to go by.
“I think the American people want us to find a way to work together to address the concerns that face the American people every day. We’re going to drive for a smaller, less costly and more accountable government here in Washington, D.C.,” Boehner says. “And to the extent that we can find common ground in that direction, I would welcome it.”
What kind of common ground is he thinking of? A nominal reduction in the rate of acceleration in spending? I dunno. Maybe that is not what the voters have in mind. It will not be the first time in war that the troops will have to make up for the deficiencies of the generals.

I'm not dismayed. Before we can put Boehner's feet to the fire we have to win a battle for him. So what is the battle cry for 2 Nov.? 2008! 2008! Or if you like TEAnami! Let us out vote and overrun the sons O bitches. After that whispering (with a powered megaphone) in the ears of our generals might be in order. Lead, follow, or we will push you out of the way.

TEA minus 5 and counting.

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Cross Posted at Classical Values

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