Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Canister!

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on May 2, 2014

Fajardo720

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I’d like to extend my thanks to the Laffite Society of Galveston, that invited me to give a short talk last Saturday at their annual research seminar on David Porter’s campaign against pirates in the Caribbean. (Above, Marines storm a shore battery at Fajardo, Puerto Rico in 1824, in a painting by the late Col. Charles H. Waterhouse, USMCR, Ret.)  They’re a great bunch of folks, who have done solid work in sorting out fact, maybe-fact and total BS when it comes to documenting the lives of Jean and Pierre Laffite. If you’re interested in a good biography of those two, I’d recommend Jack Davis’ book.

More assorted items:

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Finally, in honor of Willie Nelson’s 81st birthday this week, here are two of his songs. The first is Willie singing “Hello, Walls,” on the Porter Waggoner Show in about 1962, and the second is a favorite of mine, “Uncloudy Day.” Have a great weekend, y’all.

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9 Responses

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  1. Jim Schmidt said, on May 2, 2014 at 9:52 am

    The SS Central America wreck is also in the news this week. Keep up the great work…I miss TX but am really enjoying the history here in mid-Missouri.

  2. Jeff Fiddler said, on May 2, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Thanks so much Andy. Are you going to link the article on women in the war / reenactors to the women in the war thread in Civil War Talk?
    Actually the post by Mark Thoney only shows him to be an insensitive, certified idiot. He might be a good historian in spite of that. I cite as my example Joseph Ellis who vigorously denied Jefferson’s relationship with Hemings until the DNA tests were made public. Then, at least, he. unlike some others, changed his mind.

    • Andy Hall said, on May 2, 2014 at 10:39 am

      Thanks for taking time to comment. You can read Thomey’s address to the UDC here:

      http://cwcrossroads.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/confederate-heritage-and-southern-nationalism/

      Here’s some excerpts:

      You must also reject and despise the symbol of America and Americanism – that execrable, striped, star-spangled yankee rag. How can we salute, much less pledge allegiance to, a symbol that represents everything against which our Southern ancestors fought and died? Does it even matter to you that the so-called pledge of allegiance was the brainchild of the socialist Francis Bellamy? That his stated reason for concocting and foisting that marxist clap-trap upon innocent school children was to, ‘teach loyalty to the state as a virtue’? Look around you. Has he not been successful beyond imagining? Our ancestors rightly rejected such nonsense, and so should we.

      and

      Imagine how ridiculous it would have been to suggest to the French people under Nazi occupation, that they could still be patriotic Frenchmen by saluting the Nazi swastika and singing Deutchland euber alles while shedding sentimental tears over being so fortunate as to live in the great and free Third Reich!

      Well it is equally stupid to think that you can be a patriotic, loyal Southron by saluting the u.s. flag and singing the star spangled banner through teary eyes, so grateful that you live in the greatest and most free country in the history of the world. Newsflash! You don’t, and it’s not. Choose a side, but for God’s sake, and yours, stop this foolish attempt to straddle the proverbial fence. At least then, those of us who are loyal Southrons will surely know whose side you’re on.

      Note that throughout, he refers to the United States as “united states” — in lower case. Nice guy, huh?

      Entirely apart from his own stated views on “negroes,” why would the UDC select as its primary speaker a prominent member of the League of the South, an organization that lives and breathes exactly that sort of rhetoric?

      • H. E. Parmer said, on May 3, 2014 at 3:50 pm

        Yes, the “I use lower case to signify my hatred of the noun” tactic is truly gob-smacking in its petty rancor. It makes me wonder if a certain recent commenter here who exhibited the same textual tic wasn’t Thomey in drag. Or is this nonsense commonplace in the Heritage crowd?

        And I’m not much into the whole American Exceptionalism thing myself, but holy crap, comparing the South to Occupied France during WWII? He just launched himself into a whole new frontier of victimology. I’m not so certain that we shouldn’t retire the concept of hyperbole completely, after this.

        Then there’s that essay from 1957 he cited:

        Weaver described Southrons as classical men. Men who love fixed limits in all things. Who recognise the inscrutability of creation, and that some things will ever be beyond our understanding. Who reject ceaseless becoming for accepted, statuesque becomeness. Who are tolerant and hospitable by nature, and who recognise the irremediability of a certain amount of evil in the world, fencing it in, rather than stamping on it a spreading it.

        (Given the date when this steaming load of horsesh*t was supposedly delivered to a publisher, I think we all understand what “fixed limits” and “irremediability of a certain amount of evil” are code for.)

        Anyway, once I finished laughing, I realized I wasn’t sure whether Weaver (and Thomey) were pining so much for Tara and the happy “negroes” — or the Tokugawa Shogunate.

        • Andy Hall said, on May 4, 2014 at 9:59 am

          You wrote:

          Yes, the “I use lower case to signify my hatred of the noun” tactic is truly gob-smacking in its petty rancor. . . . Or is this nonsense commonplace in the Heritage crowd?

          It’s pretty common.

  3. Foxessa said, on May 2, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I’ve read the Lafitte book. It is excellent. It debunks the myths and legends beautifully. However, the real story, as far as the author was able to extricate it and dig deeper, is at least as interesting and colorful as the legends.

    Love, C.

    • Andy Hall said, on May 4, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      The Laffites are shrouded in enough mystery and intentional misinformation (by the nature of their business) that any historical work, including Davis’ can be challenged on specific points. Still, it’s the best secondary work I know of.

  4. Cotton Boll Conspiracy said, on May 5, 2014 at 10:43 am

    re: Mark Thomey’s comments: I myself enjoy chicken, watermelon and greens (and I’m assuming he’s referring to collards and turnip greens, rather than, say, asparagus and artichokes). I’ve never had chitlins but would be willing to give them a try. On the other hand, I don’t know where Mr. Thomey came up with “carp” and “buffalo.” I’m not sure that I’ve ever heard of anyone anywhere in the US with a special craving for carp or buffalo. Buffalo tends to be rather pricey as it is, as far as I know, a specialty meat, while there’s nothing tasty about carp. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but one would expect a better use of racial stereotypes from the likes of Mr. Thomey.

  5. Mark H. Dunkelman said, on May 9, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Play “Uncloudy Day” by Willie, scroll down a few posts to Rob Ford dancing in perfect time, and try not to laugh!


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