July 31, 2013 Day 193 of the Fifth Year - History

July 31, 2013 Day 193 of the Fifth Year - History


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President Barack Obama talks with Coach Geno Auriemma in the Blue Room of the White House prior to an event to honor the NCAA Champion University of Connecticut Huskies and their 2013 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, July 31, 2013.

10:10AM THE PRESIDENT meets with the House Democratic Caucus
United States Capitol

11:25AM THE PRESIDENT meets with the Senate Democratic Caucus
United States Capitol

2:10PM THE PRESIDENT welcomes the NCAA Champion UConn Huskies to honor the team and their 2013 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship
East Room

4:30PM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with Secretary of the Treasury Lew
Oval Office


Saturn Illustrated Chronology - Part 5

On May 4 Saturn V personnel met in Washington to consider the Apollo reliability and quality assurance program. During the month MSFC completed a plan for integrating computer information from Saturn V systems, stages, and projects. MSFC and Manned Spacecraft Center continued Saturn/Apollo interface study in meetings during May.

    174. MSFC P&VE Lab., Evaluation of Flight Test Propulsion Systems and Associated Systems, Saturn Vehicle SA-6, Aug. 28, 1964, pp. 1-5 and pp. 156-164.
    175. MSC, "Weekly Activity Report, June 7-13, 1964," to Office of Associate Administrator, Manned Space Flight, NASA, p. 3 MSFC Saturn I/IB Prog. Off., Saturn I/IB Prog. Report, Mar. 16-Sept. 30, 1964, p. 6.
    176. MSFC Saturn I/IB Prog. Off., Saturn I/IB Prog. Report, Mar. 16-Sept. 30, 1964, pp. 14-15.
    177. MSFC Engine Project Office, Engine QPR, Apr.-June 1964, p. 21.
    178. Lee Cropp, MSFC Industrial Operations, Draft of "Saturn I, IB, and V Quarterly Progress Report, April, May, and June 1964," p. 1 MSFC Saturn I/IB Prog. Off., Saturn I/IB Prog. Report, Mar. 16-Sept. 30, 1964, p. 19 MSFC Michoud Op., Hist. Report, Jan. 1-June 30, 1964, p. 2.
    179. MSFC Hist. Office, Hist. of Geo. C. Marshall Space Flight Center, July 1-Dec. 31, 1964, p. 27.
    180. MSFC Saturn I/IB Off., Saturn I/IB MPR, Mar. 16-Sept. 30, 1964, p. 7.
    181. C. E. Catlado, P&VE Lab., H-1 Engine LOX Dome Failure, NASA TM X-53220, pp. 1-4 Apollo Program Management Off., KSC, to Apollo Program Director, NASA, teletype, subj: "SA-7 Launch Schedule," July 17, 1964, and Manager, Apollo Spacecraft Program Off., NASA, to KSC, subj: "SA-7 Launch Schedule," July 22, 1964.
    182. Don Adams, CCSD, Saturn Stages S-I-10 Final Static Test Report, pp. 1-2 MSFC Test Lab., Hist. Report, July 1-Dec. 31, 1964, pp. 1-2.
    183. MSFC Saturn I/IB Off., Saturn I/IB MPR, Mar. 16-Sept. 30, 1964, p. 13-14.
    184. MSFC Michoud Op., Hist. Report, July 1-Dec. 31, 1964, pp. 2 and 10 MSFC Saturn I/IB Off., Saturn I/IB Prog. Report, Mar. 16-Sept. 30, 1964, pp. 19-21.
    185. MSFC Saturn I/IB Off., Saturn I/IB Prog. Report, Mar. 16-Sept. 30, 1964, p. 21.
    186. DAC, Saturn S-IVB Monthly Technical Progress Report, July 1964, p. 33. Hereafter cited as DAC, Saturn S-IVB Monthly TPR, July 1964.

The first of two test stands for the Saturn V second stage (S-II) was completed by North American Aviation at its Santa Susana Field Laboratory in July. On July 11 Douglas delivered its first Saturn V third stage test hardware to Huntsville. Flown from Long Beach, California, this S-IVB stage forward skirt would connect the top of that stage to the vehicle instrument unit.

Saturn V contract action included addition of over $22 million to Rocketdyne's F-1 engine contract for acceleration of combustion stability research and a variety of hardware and services, a $3.6 million J-2 facility contract to Rocketdyne, a launch vehicle computer contract with IBM, and two contracts for more than $2 million each to Douglas for S-IVB rocket stage items and S-IVB automatic checkout equipment, respectively. On July 13 Army's Corps of Engineers of Mobile, Alabama, acting as NASA's agent for Mississippi Test Operations construction, awarded a contract worth more than $17 million for construction of the first test position on the giant S-IC dual test stand.


Historical Timeline: Pre-1900

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Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times p. 6, Princeton University Press, 1992

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times p. 11, Princeton University Press, 1992

Emmanuel Anati, "The Prehistory of the Holy Land (until 3200 B.C.," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 32, The Continuum Publishing Group, 2001

It is not yet clear how the Chalcolithic cultures came to an end. Late in the fourth millennium, important northern cultural influences penetrated the holy Land, and a new culture was born. But the old traditions did not perish overnight, and co-existed with the new ones in the earliest levels of the Bronze Age."

Emmanuel Anati, "The Prehistory of the Holy Land (until 3200 B.C.," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 32, 34, The Continuum Publishing Group, 2001

Hanoch Reviv, "The Canaanite and Israelite Periods (3200-332 B.C.)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 36, The Continuum Publishing Group, 2001

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times , p. 33, Princeton University Press, 1992

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times , p. 53-54, Princeton University Press, 1992

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times , p. 63-64, Princeton University Press, 1992

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times , p. 94, Princeton University Press, 1992

The warlike tendencies of the Amorite successor states are clearly reflected in the town architecture of MB IIA and B. To accommodate an increase in population -- the population of Palestine in MB IIA [1950 - 1750 B.C.] has been estimated at 100,000, that of MB IIB [1750 - 1600 B.C.] at 140,000 -- cities were enlarged and fortifications introduced.

On gains the distinct impression that by the end of MBIIA [1750 B.C.] Palestine and southern Syria had been irrevocably drawn into the ambit of the warring Amorite states of the north and east, and hence obliged to adopt a more hostile stance toward Egypt."

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times , p. 94-96, Princeton University Press, 1992

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 189, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993

"The degree of Hyksos control over the land whence they had emerged remains problematical. Design scarabs dubbed 'Hyksos' simply because they are ubiquitous in Egypt and Palestine during the period of the 15th Dynasty [1664 - 1555 B.C.] may or may not be proof of political rule: at most they attest to the presence of a sort of cultural penumbra."

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times , p. 119, Princeton University Press, 1992

"Whether anything more than a sphere of interest should be postulated beyond the Sinai for the Hyksos dynasty is difficult to say at present…The Hazor regime [Amorites] would have maintained its powerful position through most, if not all, the Hyksos period…We can only assume Hazor's continued hegemony would have blocked Hyksos attempts to expand their control northward [into Palestine]."

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times , p. 121, Princeton University Press, 1992

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times , p. 137-138, Princeton University Press, 1992

"The expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt marks the end of the Middle Bronze Age. With the emergence of the Mitanni kingdom as well as the growing power of the Egyptian Eighteenth Dynasty, a new era began in the history of Syria-Palestine."

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 217, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993

Hanoch Reviv, "The Canaanite and Israelite Periods (3200-332 B.C.)," The History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 44 The Continuum Publishing Group Inc. 2001

"The immediate aftermath of the Egyptian conquest involved the intentional demolition of Canaanite towns and the deportation of a sizable segment of the population. Thutmose III [1504 - 1452 B.C.] carried off in excess of 7,300, while his son Amenophis II [1454 - 1419 B.C.] uprooted by his own account 89,600."

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times , p. 208, Princeton University Press, 1992

"Ever since the great deportations of Thutmose III and Amenophis II, the northern empire and Palestine especially had suffered a weakening brought on by under population. Not only did the 'apiru banditry now take advantage of the vacuum in the highlands, but nomads from Transjordan also began to move north into Galilee and Syria and west across the Negev to Gaza, Ashkelon, and the highway linking Egypt with Palestine."

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times , p. 179, Princeton University Press, 1992

"The 'apiru and the nomads (Shasu) are the people that the Egyptians, according to the inscriptions of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth dynasties, met in Palestine. These are therefore the ancestors of many of the 'tribes' of the central hill country that we later meet in the biblical narratives about the period of the so-called Judges."

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 236, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times , p. 275, Princeton University Press, 1992

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times , p. 266, Princeton University Press, 1992

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times , p. 280, Princeton University Press, 1992

Wolfram von Soden, The Ancient Orient: An Introduction to the Study of the Ancient Near East , p. 55, William B. Eardmans Publishing Co, 1994

Hanoch Reviv, "The Canaanite and Israelite Periods (3200-332 B.C.)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 67, G.G. The Jerusalem Publishing House Ltd., 2001

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times , p. 298, Princeton University Press, 1992

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times , p. 295-296, Princeton University Press, 1992

"The Hebrew-Philistine rivalry for the possession of the land provided the occasion for the creation of the Hebrew monarchy. Saul's anointment (c. 1020 B.C.) as the first king was tantamount to a challenge to Philistine suzerainty."

Philip K. Hitti, The Near East in History , p. 96, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1961

"With most of Transjordan and the central hills of Cisjordan [land west of the Jordan river] north of the Jebusite city state of Jerusalem under his control, Saul had created a territorial state that the greater Palestinian region had never seen before. Saul can therefore be regarded as the first state-builder in Palestine."

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 449, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993

Philip K. Hitti, History of Syria , p. 187, Macmillan & Co. LTD., 1951

Meir Ben-Dov, Historical Atlas of Jerusalem , p. 44, Continuum Press, 2000

Dilip Hiro, The Essential Middle East , "Jerusalem", Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 487-488, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993

Philip K. Hitti, The Near East in History , p. 97, 99, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1961

"The little southern state [Judah] was more or less limited to the tribal portions of Judah, Simean and Benjamin, with some possessions in Edom in the east and along the coastal plain in the west. In the north there was the kingdom of Israel, with Shechem as its fist capital, larger than Judah both in population and in size. Encompassing the portions of a majority of the tribes and the most fertile parts of the country, including the Sharon, it retained Moab, and apparently Ammon as well, as vassal-states."

Hanoch Reviv, "The Canaanite and Israelite Periods (3200-332 B.C.)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 81, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc. 2001

"The two tiny kingdoms fell into the complex political and belligerent developments of the general area and became rivals, at times enemies. Repeated uprisings and mounting intrigues in both states contributed to their final undoing. Israel experienced nine dynastic changes, involving nineteen kings, in its two-century existence. The throne of Judah was occupied by twenty kings, but the southern kingdom out lived the northern by about a century and a third. The way was paved for their final destruction one by Assyria and the other by Neo-Babylonia."

Philip K. Hitti, The Near East in History , p. 97, 99, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1961

Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times , p. 340-341, Princeton University Press, 1992

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 630-631, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993

"For Palestine the result of the Assyrian campaign in 734-732 B.C. was a greatly devastated country. Its population had been decimated not only through war casualties but also through deportations… Another result was that the Assyrian empire now reached down through the Galilee and the Jezreel and Beth-shan valleys to the Philistine coast in Palestine, and in Transjordan down to the border of Ammon. The map of greater Palestine had been drastically redrawn. Almost half of the greater Palestinian area was now part of the kingdom of Assyria. The other half was part of the Assyrian political system in that it consisted of several vassal states."

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 665-666, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 669-670, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 899-900, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993

Philip K. Hitti, The Near East in History , p. 100, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1961

Hanoch Reviv, "The Canaanite and Israelite Periods (3200-332 B.C.)" The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 101, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

The battle at Carchemish, like the fall of Nineveh, changed the political picture of the Near East. A new imperial ruler had emerged: Babylonia."

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 760, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 781, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993

The twenty-one-year-old Zedekiah (597-586 B.C.) remained professedly loyal to Nebuchadnezzar for a number of years, after which he yielded to the chronic temptation to the urge of his nationalist leaders and as usual counted on Egyptian aid. Exasperated, Nebuchadnezzar dispatched an army intent upon the destruction of Jerusalem, which was put under siege."

Philip K. Hitti, The History of Syria , p. 201-202, Macmillan & Co. LTD., 1951

Bernard Lewis, The Middle East , p. 27, Scribner, 1995

"With the capture and destruction of Jerusalem, the kingdom of Judah went out of existence. The land was devastated, and several of the leading classes of the population were killed either in the war or after the capture of Jerusalem."

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 798, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 804, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993

Philip K. Hitti, History of Syria , p. 217-218, Macmillan & Co. LTD., 1951

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 815, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993

"The administrative organization of the empire into satrapies (provinces) started under Cyrus…What is of interest here is the fifth satrapy, Babylonia-Abr Nahara. Palestine was part of this satrapy, which included Mesopotamia and the Babylonian holdings west of the Euphrates. Cyprus was also included in this satrapy…The Persian king often appointed as satraps a member of the country's royal family or some high official well acquainted with the administration and laws of the former nation. The king could also appoint a special commissioner or 'sub-governor' for a certain district, something that happened for Judah. Zerubbabel is an example, and so are Ezra and Nehemiah."

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 821, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993

Philip K. Hitti, History of Syria , p. 222, Macmillan & Co. LTD., 1951

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 851-852, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993

Gosta W. Ahlstrom, The History of Ancient Palestine , p. 904, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993

Andrew Duncan, War in the Holy Land , p. 25, Sutton Publishing Limited, 1998

Philip K. Hitti, The Near East in History p.113, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1961

"The decisive battle was at Issus (333 B.C.), whereafter the victorious Greeks occupied Damascus, the Persian headquarters west of the Euphrates. Alexander was, it is true, held up for several months by the obstinate resistance of Tyre, but the pause only gave local rulers an opportunity to pay homage to the conqueror. Among them were the Jewish High Priest, Juddua, and Sanballat, leader of the Samaritans. Alexander does not seem himself to have visited the inland cities, legends to the contrary notwithstanding. After the capitulation of Tyre, and after it had overcome the briefer resistance of Gaza, the Macedonian army advanced directly on Egypt. It returned the following spring on its way to Mesopotamia, where the Persians were finally vanquished. Within two, years, power had changed hands completely."

Michael Avi-Yonah, "The Second Temple (332 B.C. - 70 A.D.)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 116-117, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

Country Studies Handbook, Israel , Library of Congress Federal Research Division, Helen Chapin Metz, Editor, 1988

Philip K. Hitti, The Near East in History , p. 121, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1961

Michael Avi-Yonah, "The Second Temple (332 B.C. - 70 A.D.)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 140, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

Andrew Duncan, War in the Holy Land , p. 35, Sutton Publishing Limited, 1998

John Wilkinson, "Jerusalem Under Rome and Byzantium 63-637 A.D.," Jerusalem in History , p. 78, Olive Branch Press, 2000

Country Studies Handbook, Israel , Library of Congress Federal Research Division, Helen Chapin Metz, Editor, 1988

"Of all the multitudinous peoples who constituted the Roman world, the Jews were undoubtedly the most difficult for the Romans to govern. Herod repressed the outbreaks against his authority with bloody fury. After Herod the Judeans continued restive under Roman rule.

In A.D. 67 Vespasian, future emperor, moved against them from Syria at the head of 50,000 troops and dealt them telling blows. His son Titus carried on the operations against Jerusalem, which after a few month's siege was starved to surrender (A.D. 70). The Judean capital was razed and thousands of its inhabitants were slaughtered."

Philip K. Hitti, The Near East in History , p. 149-150 D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1961

Bernard Lewis, The Middle East , p. 31, Scribner, 1995

Michael Avi-Yonah, "Jews, Romans and Byzantines (70-633)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 175, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

"The Jews gave up their attempts to throw off the Roman yoke, while the Roman government acknowledged Judaism as a religio licita, its communities enjoying the right to certain exemptions (from military service, for example) and being allowed to exist as juridical entities, to own property, to have their own courts (disguised as tribunals of arbitration), to levy taxes and so on. But, despite these concessions, on two points there was no giving way: the Romans still declined to permit Jews to live in Jerusalem, although restrictions on visits were relaxed, and proselytizing was frowned upon. Within this loosely outlined nexus of official relations, normative Judaism could go on developing."

Michael Avi-Yonah, "Jews, Romans and Byzantines (70-633)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 176, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

Michael Avi-Yonah, "Jews, Romans and Byzantines (70-633)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 178 - 179, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

Country Studies Handbook, Israel , Library of Congress Federal Research Division, Helen Chapin Metz, Editor, 1988

"Constantine's policy was the same as Hadrian's towards the Jews. They were not allowed to live in Jerusalem, but they made pilgrimage to the western wall of the Temple, and once a year on 'The ninth of Ab' they were allowed into the Temple site to lament its destruction."

John Wilkinson, Jerusalem under Rome and Byzantium , Jerusalem in History , p. 94-95, Olive Branch Press, 2000

Michael Avi-Yonah, "Jews, Romans and Byzantines (70-633)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 180, 182, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

The principal aim of Byzantium was to make Jerusalem Christian. Pilgrimages were encouraged by the provision of hospices and infirmaries, churches rose on every spot connected in one way or another with Christian traditions. The building activity that ensued was one of the causes of the country's urprising prosperity at that time, which is evident from archaeological surveys. There were three to five times as many inhabited places in the fifth-sixth centuries A.D. as in any of the preceding periods."

Michael Avi-Yonah, "Jews, Romans and Byzantines (70-633)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 179-180, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

Moshe Gil, A History of Palestine 634-1099 , p. 5, Cambridge University Press, 1992

Moshe Gil, A History of Palestine 634-1099 , p. 5, Cambridge University Press, 1992

Assault soon came from a different quarter. The Arab tribes, converted by Muhammad to his new creed of Islam, attacked Aila (Elath) in the lifetime of the Prophet. The early Caliphs renewed the onslaught, and the battles of Thedun, Ajnadain (both 634) and Yarmuk (636) were decisive. Jerusalem fell in 638 A.D., and within two years Byzantine overlordship in the Holy Land was at an end."

Michael Avi-Yonah, "Jews, Romans and Byzantines (70-633)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 193, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

Philip K. Hitti, The Near East in History , p. 209, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1961

Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples , p. 22-23, Warner Books Edition, 1991

"After completing the occupation of Syria and Palestine the Arabs turned to organizing the administration of the newly occupied territories. As they were exclusively fighters and did not have any administrators capable of fitting themselves into the well-developed bureaucracy that the Byzantines had left behind them, they decided to leave the existing system of administration to carry on its work as in the past, with the same local functionaries.

Most of Palestine, up to the border of the valley of jezreel and Beth-shean, belonged to one district known as 'Jund Filatine' which was, in fact, the Palaestina Prima of the BGyzantine era together with part of Palaestina Tertia. Galilee, the southern part o the Lebanon and parts of the Golan fell within Jund Urdunn, which constituted the Palaestina Secunda of the Byzantines."

Moshe Sharon, "The History of Palestine from the Arab Conquest until the Crusades (633-1099)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 207, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples , p. 24-25, Warner Books Edition, 1991

The change was more than one of rulers. The capital of the empire moved to Damascus, a city lying in a countryside abler to provide the surplus needed to maintain a court, government and army, and in a region from which the eastern Mediterranean coastlands and the land to the east of them could be controlled more easily than from Madina."

Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples , p. 25-26, Warner Books Edition, 1991

Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples , p. 28, Warner Books Edition, 1991

Moshe Sharon, "The History of Palestine from the Arab Conquest until the Crusades (633-1099)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 222, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

Moshe Sharon, "The History of Palestine from the Arab Conquest until the Crusades (633-1099)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 223, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples , p. 31-32, Warner Books Edition, 1991

Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples , p. 32, Warner Books Edition, 1991

Moshe Sharon, "The History of Palestine from the Arab Conquest until the Crusades (633-1099)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 224, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

Philip K. Hitti, History of Syria , p. 557, Macmillan & Co. LTD. 1951

With the rule of ibn-Tulun a period of renewed political, social and cultural activity began in Palestine, after the long period of neglect that marked the hundred years of direct Abbasid rule. "

Moshe Sharon, "The History of Palestine from the Arab Conquest until the Crusades (633-1099)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 226, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

Moshe Sharon, "The History of Palestine from the Arab Conquest until the Crusades (633-1099)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 226-227, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

Moshe Gil, A History of Palestine 634-1099 , p. 315, Cambridge University Press, 1992

Moshe Sharon, "The History of Palestine from the Arab Conquest until the Crusades (633-1099)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 227, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

"The Ikhshidid dynasty (935-969), like its predecessor the Tulunid (868-905), had an ephemeral existence. They followed the same pattern of behavior, the pattern that typifies the case of many other states which, in this period of disintegration, broke off from the imperial government. Both made lavish use of state moneys to curry favor with their subjects and thereby ruined the treasuries."

Philip K. Hitti, History of Syria , p. 564, Macmillan & Co. LTD. 1951

Moshe Sharon, "The History of Palestine from the Arab Conquest until the Crusades (633-1099)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 231, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

Moshe Gil, A History of Palestine 634-1099 , p. 336, Cambridge University Press, 1992

Moshe Gil, A History of Palestine 634-1099 , p. 397, 420, Cambridge University Press, 1992

Bernard Lewis, The Middle East p. 89 Scribner paperback, 1995

"We have very little knowledge of what happened in Palestine during the period of Turcoman [Seljuk] rule. By and large, however, the Turcoman period, which lasted less than thirty years, was one of slaughter and vandalism, of economic hardship and the uprooting of populations."

Moshe Gil, A History of Palestine 634-1099 , p. 414, 420, Cambridge University Press, 1992

Bernard Lewis, The Middle East p. 90 Scribner paperback, 1995

Emmanuel Sivan, "Palestine During the Crusades (1099-1291)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land p. 240, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

In the interior, looking eastwards to the desert and Iraq, the reaction was preparing. The Seljuk princes who held Aleppo and Damascus were unable to accomplish very much. In 1127, Zangi, a Turkish officer in the Seljuk service, seized Mosul, and in the following years gradually built up a powerful Muslim state in northern Mesopotamia and Syria. His son, Nur al-Din, took Damascus in 1154, creating a sigle Muslim power in Syria and confronting the Crusaders for the first time with a really formidable adversary. The issue before the two sides was now the control of Egypt, where the Fatimid caliphate was tottering towards final collapse."

Bernard Lewis, The Middle East p. 90-91 Scribner paperback, 1995

Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples , p. 84 Warner Books Edition, 1991

"A Kurdish officer called Salah al-Din -- better known in the West as Saladin -- launched a jihad against the Crusaders in 1187. By his death in 1193, he had recaptured Jerusalem and expelled the Crusaders from all but a narrow coastal strip. It was only the break-up of Saladin's Syro-Egyptian empire into a host of small states under his successors which permitted the Crusading states to drag out an attenuated existence for another century, until the reconstitution of a Syro-Egyptian state under the Mamluks in the thirteenth century brought about their final extinction."

Bernard Lewis, The Middle East p. 91 Scribner paperback, 1995

Bernard Lewis, The Arabs in History p. 169-170 Oxford University Press, 1993

"Palestine was divided mainly between two of the six provinces of Syria, the province of Damascus and that of Safed. Mameluk officers, appointed as governors, were independent of each other and directly responsible to the sultan, in Cairo. No details exist of the size and composition of Palestine's population under the mameluks."

Moshe Sharon, "Palestine under the Mameluks and the Ottoman Empire (1291-1918)," The History of Israel and the Holy Land p. 278, The Continuum Publishing Group Inc., 2001

Bernard Lewis, The Arabs in History p. 172 Oxford University Press, 1993

Bernard Lewis, The Middle East p. 114 Scribner paperback, 1995

Bernard Lewis, The Arabs in History p. 167 Oxford University Press, 1993

"Soon after the conquest, the Ottomans joined Palestine to the province of Syria, whose capital was Damascus. Palestine itself was divided into five districts, or Sanjaks, each named after its capital the Sanjak of Gaza, which was the southernmost one, and to the north of it the Sanjaks of Jerusalem, Nablus, Lajjun, and Safed. A Turkish officer was placed at the head of each Sanjak, with the title of Sanjak Bey or Sanjak Beg. The Sanjak Beg of Gaza was the highest-ranking governor in Palestine. All the five Sanjak Begs of Palestine were subordinate to the Beilerbeg, the 'Beg of Begs', of Damascus."

Moshe Sharon, "Palestine under the mameluks and the Ottoman Empire (1291-1918)," A History of Israel and the Holy Land , p. 283,286, Contunuum Publishing Group, 2001

Bernard Lewis, The Middle East , p. 122, Scribner paperback edition, 2003

"In the last third of the 16th century serious cracks began to appear in the structure of the Ottoman empire. The empire embarked on a retrogressive movement which was to continue for more than two centuries. The decline gained momentum towards the end of the 17th century, and deepened in the 18th and 19th centuries. The feudal system, with the sipahis -- the feudal landlords -- as its prop was gradually detiorating. As the wars of expansion came to an end and spoils diminished, the landlords turned with increasing interest to the land, and tried to recoup the loss of spoils by merciless exploitation of the peasants. This naturally led to a sharp drop in agricultural production and ushered in the whole crisis of the empire."

K.J. Asali, "Jerusalem under the Ottomans" Jerusalem in History , p. 207-208, Olive Branch Press, 2000

Bernard Lewis, The Middle East , p. 308, Scribner paperback edition, 2003

"Muhammad Ali and [his son] Ibrahim Pasha tried to win the support of the European powers for their control of Syria by a calculated policy of granting equality of status to members of religious minorities and by opening the country to European missionary and consular activities. This policy unleashed forces which were quickly to be felt in Jerusalem, as the Ottomans, upon their return to the city, could not reverse the Egyptian measures. Whereas before the Egyptian occupation, European consuls and Christian missions could not establish themselves in Jerusalem, and European pilgrims and visitors were not allowed to settle there permanently, the Ottomans had to continue the Egyptian open-door policy."

Alexander Scholch, "Jerusaelm in the 19th Century," Jerusalem in History , p. 229, Olive Branch Press, 2000

"The Jewish population of Jerusalem increased from around 5,000 in 1839 to about 10,000 by the late 1850s."

Ian J. Bickerton & Carla L. Klausner, A Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict p. 21, fourth edition, Prentice Hall, 2002

Ian J. Bickerton & Carla L. Klausner, A Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict p. 19, fourth edition, Prentice Hall, 2002

Ian J. Bickerton & Carla L. Klausner, A Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict p. 26, fourth edition, Prentice Hall, 2002

Please see our new historical timeline on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: 1900-Present


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Sunday, October 16, 2016

196 England at the Dawn of the Tudor Age

England in 1485 was at once a deeply traditional medieval society - and yet poised at the edge of change - economic, social, religious and political

 And for some reason, and few ramblings from me. 

The Members service and podcast

I boobed every one. If you did the survey, and there was no option to add your email - please email me at [email protected], and I'll enter you into the prize draw. Well spotted Robin. Classic marketing mess up by me. 

It may be oversharing, but I lost my job recently. Now as it happens this is a very good thing - I am not looking for sympathy. Actually it has given me the chance to try to make a living at what I love doing - writing history podcasts. The purpose of this post is to tell you what's going on and ask a favour. 

What's going on - become a History of England member. 

In a few short weeks, I will launch a new Members service on the History of England, for a most reasonable fee. Why should you become a member ?  There are two reasons.

1) A number of you choose to support the website through donations so that I can keep it going. Here is anther way to do that

2) You will get something in return in addition to my gratitude. Every member will get access to a Members only podcast feed.

The new Members only podcast

To begin with at least, the Members podcast will focus on English history. The amount of content will be about the same as you get from the free podcast. And there will be many exciting things.

  • Topics and debates in English history: more depth about dramatic events and mysteries such as the death of Richard II, heresy, messy executions, witchcraft, diplomacy social history and how people lived. The reformation in England - how and why. English exploration. The historiography of English history and historians themselves.
  • English language:  the word of the week seemed popular enough, and so it returns as word of the month. It might be a word and it’s connected history, or phases, or place names, or names
  • Biographies: the lives and times of exciting men and women, their lives and times like Judith the daughter of the HRE for example, married at 13 to Aethelwulf, forced to marry her ex husband’s brother, eloped to marry the man she loved or William of Ockham and that Razor everyone talks about.

It could also be that we look a bit more broadly at European history such as the history of places like France and the Dutch Republic or world topics and themes - hence the survey below. 

There are two things I want to make absolutely clear 

  • the free History of England will continue until the end of time or my death, which ever is sooner.
  • You generous donators and Patreon supporters - you'll get access anyway and so will not lose out. 

Please help me. with another survey

I accept, gentle listeners, that you have been bombarded with survey's recently. Sorry. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Would you do one more for me? There are 5 questions in this survey Essentially I want to find out a couple of payment things and pick your brains - this is where you can get a made-to-measure podcast by telling me what you want. 

But you could win a coin!

I am going to try to bribe you to take part with another prize draw. You could win a silver Victoria 1880 Sixpence, or a George V silver sixpence. All thanks to Rob, once more. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered in the draw. 

Thank you in advance, for everyone who takes part. And then - watch this space - more news to follow about the new Members service! 


By simply entering a date into the Gregorian Calendar section of the Calendar Converter, the Hebrew Calendar Converter will display the equivalent date according to the Jewish Calendar. As well as showing the date conversion from Gregorian to Jewish, the free Hebrew Calendar Converter will also display the Sign of the Month in Hebrew.

The Hebrew Calendar, also called the Jewish Calendar, is a type of Lunisolar Calendar based on the cycle of the earth around the sun (yearly) and the moon around the earth (monthly).

The Hebrew months vary between 29 and 30 days as follows:


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Using a tape measure, measure the widest part of your head (just above the ears and eyebrows) to the nearest 1/8th of an inch.

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July 31, 2013 Day 193 of the Fifth Year - History

Jason Hull of Hull Financial Planning has posted this week’s risk roundup: Risk: It’s Not Just a Board Game. It’s Jason’s debut as a host plus he has a nice write up on how to deal with risk and how to plan for potentially bad outcomes. Check it out.

Scary, but for the wrong reasons: Halloween mining disaster “attraction”

Three and a half years ago, 29 miners died in Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine disaster. About 300 miles east from the locale of that tragedy, up until a day or two ago, you could walk through a “haunted” Halloween maze called The Miners’ Revenge at King’s Dominion theme park. The “attraction” was described this way:

“Alone in the darkness . . . the only sound is the pulsing of your heart as the searing heat slowly boils you alive . . . It was reported to be the worst coal mine accident in history. The families of missing miners begged for help but it was decided that a rescue was too dangerous. The miners were left entombed deep underground … “Lamps at their sides and pick-axes in their hands they are searching for the men who left them to die . . . waiting to exact their revenge.”

Peter Galuszka writes about this “amusement park” attraction in an opinion piece in the Washington Post: Miners’ deaths aren’t a theme-park thrill – or a copy can also be accessed at The Charleston Daily Mail.
Galuszka, who researched mine disasters for a book, said that the description and promotions are too close to reality.

“To promote the maze, Kings Dominion’s website features a garish picture of a badly mutilated half-skeleton.

That depiction, unfortunately, is true to reality. At Upper Big Branch, 10 of the 29 dead were blown apart by the explosion. The rest died of carbon monoxide intoxication.

So powerful was the blast that the remains of one miner were not found for days. He had been blown into the ceiling, and rescuers tended to look down.

So extensive was the physical trauma to five miners that pathologists couldn’t find enough lung tissue to probe for pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease, in their remains.”

The Kings Dominion “attraction” closed for the season on 10/27 — and none too soon. Families of deceased miners were understandably appalled and troubled. While King’s Dominion says the attraction wasn’t meant to depict a specific situation, families say that it hits too close to home.
In the WCHSTV story linked above, West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant shared her thoughts:

“I am appalled that Cedar Fair Entertainment Company is using the heartbreaking loss of our coal miners’ lives and the very real guilt of their colleagues and rescuers to make a buck,” Tennant said in a statement. “Our miners work hard and honorably, and for Cedar Fair Entertainment to exploit tragedies such as the 1968 explosion at Farmington or the Upper Big Branch disaster in 2010 for ‘amusement’ is too unbelievable for words.”

Hopefully, this tasteless chapter ends with the season and will not be revisited in future years. It does indeed hit close to home for far too many. In 2013 to date, 18 coal miners have lost their lives. See Faces of the Mine for a more fitting remembrance of those affected by the Upper Big Branch disaster.

Health Wonkery and other news of note

There’s been a lot going on since the debut of the Affordable Care Act and the health wonk pundits are on it. Jaan Sidorov has posted The President Says You Should Ignore This Health Wonk Review at Disease Management Care Blog – a great compendium of opinions and prognostications. Check it out!
While on the topic of the ACA’s rollout, see Everything you need to know about Obamacare’s problems. Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post offers a guide to the problems with the ACA rollout. For further developments as things evolve, the healthcare section on Ezra Klein’s Wonk Blog is a good source.
In other news:
Busy time for deals – Joe Paduda is your go-to guy when it comes to mergers, acquisitions & other deals in the work comp and managed care arena. See the latest in The deal of the century about Apax Partners buying spree the completion of the PMSI-Progressive deal and MedRisk’s aquisition of imaging company MDIA. If you aren’t following Joe’s blog, you are missing some important information.
It’s All About Expectations – While attending a trade show, Dave DePaolo is reminded of some essential fundamentals: “Various people from different walks of the industry randomly commented without conscious coordination of their presentations on how much education needs to be a part of the workers’ compensation claims process. / And not just education for the injured worker – who of course needs a lot of hand holding through the entire ordeal as that person is thrust into the vast unknown with little say or control over the course of his or her claim life./ Employers need to be educated on how the process deals with the work injury, how important their participation is relative to the injured worker, the physician, the claims administrator and the impact of all of this on their premiums.
Pepper-spray cop gets $38K in workers’ comp – “The former Marine will receive retirement benefits for his 11 years of campus employment. He was being paid an annual salary of $121,680 at the time he was fired.
NSC Report: Only Three States Adequately Addressing Prescription Drug AbuseWorkCompWire discusses and links to the National Safety Council recently released report, Prescription Nation: Addressing America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic. “In the report, NSC examined state efforts in four areas: state leadership and action, prescription drug monitoring programs, responsible painkiller prescribing and overdose education and prevention programs. / Kentucky, Vermont and Washington were the only states that met standards in all four areas.”
Can You Require Flu Shots for Employees? – Mike Halberman, “The HR Compliance Guy,” says that “it depends” whether or not you can require employees to have flu shots. He offers guidance on various scenarios when it might or might not be a problem.
OSHA’s Proposed Crystalline Silica Rule: How You Can ParticipateOSHA’s notice-and-comment rulemaking process relies heavily on input from the public, including the regulated community and other stakeholders. OSHA encourages members of the public to participate in the silica rulemaking by submitting comments on the proposal and by providing testimony and evidence at the informal public hearings that the Agency will hold after the comment period ends.
News briefs

Lessons from Bangladesh: Worker Safety in the Global Supply Chain

Six months ago, the world was shocked by the collapse of a Bangladesh garment factory that resulted in the gruesome deaths of more than 1100 workers. This should have been a seminal moment in worker health and safety, sparking massive global reform in a troubled industry in much the same way that our own Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire launched U.S. worker protections. Did it? The October issue of EHS Today features an important overview of what has and hasn’t changed since the disaster: Bangladesh: The Tragedy of Valuing Production Over Safety in the Global Supply Chain. This excellent multi-part series focuses on safety progress — or lack of it — that has occurred in the Bangladesh garment industry since last April’s Rana Plaza factory collapse. From our point of view, it’s a series that deserves wide circulation.
The catastrophic event demonstrated a fundamental failure to protect workers and a serious failure in the global supply chain of highly popular retail brands: the Gap (including Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime and Athleta brands), Walmart, VF Corp. (Nautica, Wrangler, Timblerlan, Jansport and other brands), JC Penney and numerous others. The series paints a picture of willful disregard of unsafe conditions managers pressured by contracts which included ruinous penalties for failure to meet unrelenting schedules and impoverished workers facing the harsh reality of surviving paycheck to paycheck.
In the introductory article, Bangladesh: Is Worker Safety Failing in the Global Supply Chain?, editor Sandy Smith looks at the global involvement in Bangladesh’s ready-made garment industry, which exported goods worth more than $20 billion in the past year, nearly a 12% growth over the prior year. There’s no secret why Bangladesh has experienced such growth: cost for labor is a paltry $37 per month, half the average wages in Cambodia and one-fifth the wages in China. Smith’s introductory piece summarizes the post-tragedy response by global retail behemoths. While most retailers have launched initiatives to increase worker safety, many of these efforts are fragmented and nonbinding and do not offer the overarching response or accountability that many experts believe necessary to successful change.
In Bangladesh: A New Contract for the Global Apparel Industry, Dara O’Rourke, an associate professor at the University of California-Berkeley and the co-founder of GoodGuide, offers a look at conditions that led to the disaster. He discusses the contrast between two responses to the tragedy. European brands and retailers responded to the Rana Plaza tragedy by signing onto the Bangladesh Building and Fire Safety Accord. The accord is the first binding agreement of its kind in Bangladesh essentially a new type of contract requiring independent inspections and reports, mandatory repairs, and a real role for workers, among other things. The Accord offers a commitment to terminate factories that don’t improve.
In contrast, “U.S. brands and retailers refused to sign the accord, asserting that the legal commitments embedded in the accord – exactly what is needed – would cost too much and expose them to too great of legal liabilities. Instead, U.S. firms launched a voluntary initiative of their own, dubbed the Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative, which loosely commits U.S. brands and retailers to: work with the Bangladeshi government to develop factory-assessment protocols inspect all of the factories they use pay for training of managers and workers create a loan fund for factories to borrow money to make improvements and make their inspections transparent.
He notes that the most obvious limitation of the U.S.-led initiative is that it is non-binding.
In The Catastrophic Failure of the Apparel Industry’s Factory-Inspection Regimes and the Birth of a New Model, Scott Nova, executive director of the Worker Rights Consortium, examines systemic factors that led to recent catastrophes. He says the failures occurred not because apparel corporations were unaware of the dangers or didn’t understand the steps necessary to make factories safe nor does he think the failures can be blamed on subcontractors, a popular excuse that allows the big-brand buyers to deflect responsibility. Rather, he points to a system more geared to protecting “brands” than people and perpetuating absolute minimum production costs at the expense of safety. He notes that “As long as the safety crisis in Bangladesh did not generate highly extended and highly damaging media coverage – and it did not, until recently – most brands and retailers were content to utilize inspection regimes that, while ineffective at their official task, offered [the following] attractive features.”
In CSR Audits Fail to Protect Workers and Threaten OSH Profession’s Integrity, Garret Brown, MPH, CIH, a compliance officer with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, looks at the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and offers a detailed look into the failure of the existing audit systems. He notes that CSR auditing has become an $80 billion dollar business in its own right, raising questions about whether the purpose is audits or revenue generation. Certainly, something isn’t working: “The workplaces at both recent Bangladeshi disaster incidents – Rana Plaza, where 1,129 workers died in the building collapse in April and Tazreen Fashion, where 112 workers burned to death last November -repeatedly had “passed” audits by the brands and third-party monitors.”
For further background on CSR, see his 2007 article on Corporate Social Responsibility and workplace safety in global supply chains for further background.
In Bangladesh: Rebeka: Survival from Death Trap , Repon Chowdhury and Taherul Islam of the Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation examine the personal toll and human side of this tragedy through the story of Rebeka, a 20 year old survivor of the Rana Plaza building collapse.

News roundup: Cavalcade of Risk, Tower Deaths, Aging Workforce, TPAs & More

Risk Roundup – Claire Wilkinson makes her hosting debut with this week’s Cavalcade of Risk #194: Is this just fantasy? at Terms + Conditions, the Insurance Information Institute’s blog. We’re fans of Claire’s great blog so if you aren’t familiar with it, check it out. She regularly covers topics such as insurance market conditions, issues related to business risks, and catastrophes. Well written and well sourced – her blog is a must-read on the insurance circuit.
In other news:
Cell Tower Deaths – At Risk Management Magazine, Caroline McDonald has an article about how Cell Tower Deaths Get OSHA’s Attention:

“Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, told the Wall Street Journal, “OSHA is taking a close look into factors that may be responsible for this tragic increase in fatalities and, based on those findings, we will initiate additional measures to improve safety in the cell-tower industry.” He added that one measure would be to explore whether increased deadline pressure to quickly build and service more towers has also become a contributing factor in worker fatalities.”

We hope OSHA will make this a priority. See our prior post: The high price for fast phones: Cell tower deaths
Aging WorkforceSedgwick Connection offers a good two part series on the aging workforce, noting a recent AARP report in which 70% of those surveyed said they planned on working past retirement age. The second part of the series offers considerations for job accommodation for aging workers.
Getting the lowdown on workers’ comp – at Managed Care Matters, Joe Paduda has some advice for workers comp execs and consultants if they really want to understand workers comp: spend a day sitting next to a claims adjuster.
TPAs – Roberto Ceniceros is looking for opinions on whether TPAs have a conflict of interest in managing workers’ comp claims. He notes, “Sure, the more claims the more a TPA gets paid. But do TPA’s also have an incentive to drive revenue by adding more services onto their claims management process and how concerned should employers be about that? How should employers monitor for that?” His query prompted an interesting discussion at LinkedIn’s Work Comp Analysis Group.
Drug Testing – At Risk & Insurance, Peter Rousmaniere looks at the issue of profiteering in drug testing: “Testing, while necessary, has engendered a new malady of profiteering. The body-contact sales style of testing labs and opportunism by doctors, albeit a small share of them, have carved out an exciting and extractive industry, funded out of claims budgets.”
Opioid Abuse Report – At Evidence Based blog, Michael Gavin looks at a new report from the National Safety Council on state efforts to control prescription drug abuse. “The news is not good. According to the report, only three states (Washington, Kentucky, and Vermont) met the standards outlined in the report. ” See more at Rx Abuse: Where Does Your State Stand?
Cool tools – Firefighter Toolbox is a good resource for fire departments – we point yout particularly to the sections on safety and resuce and health & fitness.
Job respect – Here’s an excerpt from a BLS release on a recent report about America’s opinions of occupations:

A recent study offers a glimpse into the way American adults perceive the contribution to society of 10 selected occupational groups. The results, reported in “Public esteem for military still high” (Pew Research Center, July 11, 2013), show that members of the military are held in the highest regard 78 percent of respondents to the spring 2013 survey said that military personnel contribute “a lot” to society’s well being, compared with 84 percent 4 years earlier. Next highest on the 2013 list in terms of contributing “a lot” to society were teachers (72 percent), medical doctors (66 percent), scientists (65 percent), and engineers (63 percent).
At the bottom of the list of 10 selected occupations were lawyers. Only 18 percent of survey respondents reported that lawyers contribute “a lot” to society.

Other news of note

Fresh Health Wonk Review posted at Managed Care Matters

Joe Paduda has posted a great new edition of Health Wonk Review at Managed Care Matters. For the uninitiated, Health Wonk Review is a “blog carnival” or traveling roundup of posts on a given theme. Health Wonk Review is a biweekly compendium of posts from some of the best health policy minds on the blogosphere. Bloggers come and go, but some of the Health Wonks like Joe are among the pioneers of health care blogging. In fact, he was the founder of HWR, seeing it as the perfect vehicle for employers, media, policy makers and other interested parties to get a biweekly digest of viewpoints on key topics. It’s been up and running for close to eight years now.
In this week’s edition, Joe offers Health Wonks on the Shutdown, Obamacare, and other matters of great import – a great smorgasbord of news and opinions on the goings on in DC and elsewhere. Grab a coffee and check it out, it’s a great way to discover new blogs and get up to date on the most pressing issues in the health policy arena.

Government Shutdown Roundup, Week 2: Employment Law Issues, Worker Safety and more

In week two of the government shutdown, we see no promising signs that a solution is imminent. We’ve tracked news and events related to workers comp, health & safety and employment law issues. View our first Shutdown update here – let’s hope this is the last ion our series!)
Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
After three recent mining fatalities, Ken Ward asks Can miners afford for MSHA to miss inspections?. While these deaths cannot be directly attributed to the shutdown, he explains the importance of inspections in protecting the lives of miners in light of the dangers of the mining industry and “the history of the industry’s refusal to comply with safety rules, and MSHA’s own weaknesses even when it’s at full staffing.” As Ward’s reporting has demonstrated numerous times, the industry is not one that sets a high bar for its own safety standards (a recent example)
He explains why MSHA has a dedicated mission:

Congress was concerned enough about these dangers that it set mining apart from other workplaces, and actually mandated periodic inspections of four times a year for underground mines and twice a year for surface mines. Other dangerous industries — whether oil and gas drilling, timbering, or construction — don’t have this mandate. Workers in those industries can go years without ever seeing an inspector from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

… and notes the historic effect of prior cutbacks in inspections:

Over the years, MSHA has had enough problems making its “twos and fours”, and has only recently began to build back up an inspection force that saw huge staffing and budget cuts that paved the way for a series of mining disasters, from Sago, Aracoma and Kentucky Darby, to Crandall Canyon and Upper Big Branch. And we’ve learned from repeated reports published only after mining disasters (see here, here and here) what can happen when MSHA isn’t on top of things in the nation’s mines.

Injured Workers
Attorney Jon Gelman discusses other untoward effects that the shutdown is having in the workers” comp arena in his post, Government Shutdown: Day 8 – Injured Workers Are Being Held for Ransom. He notes that:

“The Federal programs that adjudicate injured workers claims are closed. The State programs are beginning to feel the impact of the that lack of information flow from the collateral medical lien resolution process so resolution of claims are now stalled.

New Federal programs enacted under The SMART Act, to expedite the lien resolution programs have been halted in the public comment phases, and may face further delay in implementation and regulatory amendment.

The funding process for NIH grants to prevent and treat occupational disease and illnesses, as well as data collection and reporting, have been slowed if not stopped in their tracks.”


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Is the Richard Kirkland Story True?

The following guest post by Michael Schaffner examines the wartime evidence for the Kirkland story. It is a thoroughly researched essay and is well worth your time. I should point out that Mr. Schaffner did not set out to write a piece debunking this particular story. Like many of us he was curious about the origin and veracity of Civil War stories.

I n 1965, a group comprising among others the states of South Carolina and Virginia, Collateral Descendents of Richard Kirkland, and the Richard Rowland Kirkland Memorial Foundation, erected a statue at Fredericksburg to the memory of Sergeant Kirkland of the Second South Carolina Volunteers. The inscription reads, “At the risk of his life, this American soldier of sublime compassion, brought water to his wounded foes at Fredericksburg. The fighting men on both sides of the line called him ‘The Angel of Marye’s Heights.’”

The exact deed for which Kirkland received this accolade was first and most extensively described by J. B. Kershaw, commander of the brigade in which Kirkland served, in a letter to the Charleston News and Courier dated January 2, 1880.

In brief (see Appendix A for the entire letter), after providing some background on Kirkland’s family, Kershaw describes the scene on December 14 at his head quarters in the Stevens’ house by the sunken road and stone wall at the foot of Marye’s Heights. The previous day, a series of failed Union assaults had left thousands of casualties. As Kershaw surveys the carnage he is interrupted by a sergeant in his brigade, who asks permission to carry water to the wounded Union soldiers, whose cries have moved him since the previous evening. Due to the danger from a day-long “murderous skirmish” with Syke’s regulars, Kershaw only reluctantly approves the young man’s request. Even then he refuses Kirkland permission to show a white flag or handkerchief to lessen the danger. Despite this, Kirkland goes over the wall and gives water to the nearest wounded Yankee, pillows his head on his knapsack, spreads his overcoat over him, replaces his empty canteen with a full one, and goes on to the next. The firing ceases as his purpose becomes clear. Other wounded soldiers cry out to him and for “an hour and a half” Kirkland continues “until he relieved all the wounded on that part of the field.”

It is a moving account and well portrayed in the statue. Yet contemporary references to the act prove difficult to come by. A review of on-line periodical and book collections, including the Official Records , as well as an examination of Kershaw’s original account, all raise questions about the story behind the monument. For example, an examination of the Cornell University “Making of America” website, which provides a wide range of books and periodicals published in the United States between 1815 and 1926, uncovers no versions of the story.

A search through Google Books produces a few accounts, including the original Kershaw letter, as well as an appearance of the same letter, unchanged, in the works The Camp-fires of General Lee , by Edward S. Ellis, published in 1886, and Christ in the Camp: Or, Religion in Lee’s Army by John William Jones, published in 1887. The story also appears in The Army of Northern Virginia in 1862 by William Allen (p. 514), published in 1892, in almost identical language, but with the additional details that Kershaw refused the white handkerchief lest it be interpreted as a flag of truce, that Kirkland collected canteens from his comrades before going over the wall, and that a similar act was performed by artillerymen of Jordan’s battery that evening. But the author gives no sources for these added facts.

An interesting variation on the story appears in Augustus Dickert’s 1899 History of Kershaw’s Brigade . This work, written by a veteran company officer of the Third South Carolina, makes no mention of Kirkland’s act, giving instead a first hand description of a somewhat different scenario (p. 193):

The next day [December 14], as if by mutual consent, was a day of rest. The wounded were gathered in as far as we were able to reach them. The enemy’s wounded lay within one hundred yards of the stone wall for two days and nights, and their piteous calls for help and water were simply heart-rending. Whenever one of our soldiers attempted to relieve the enemy lying close under our wall, he would be fired upon by the pickets and guards in the house tops.

Despite this, Dickert reports one soldier as taking relief work into his own hands (pp. 196-197):

In one of the first charges made during the day a Federal had fallen, and to protect himself as much as possible from the bullets of his enemies, he had by sheer force of will pulled his body along until he had neared the wall. Then he failed through pure exhaustion. From loss of blood and the exposure of the sun’s rays, he called loudly for water…. To go to his rescue was to court certain death… But one brave soldier from Georgia dared all, and during the lull in the firing leaped the walls, rushed to the wounded soldier, and raising his head in his arms, gave him a drink of water, then made his way back and over the wall amid a hail of bullets knocking the dirt up all around him.

There is something compelling about this account, as an act of individual initiative as well as mercy, but it involves no ministering to the mass of casualties, no cease-fire, and, apparently, no Kirkland.

But another easily accessible source exists that should enable us to verify the story of Sergeant Kirkland. His actions occurred at a known time at a known place, within view of trained observers required to file reports on the incidents of the day. We can find these reports in The War of the Rebellion , the official records of the Union and Confederate Armies, published by the War Department between 1880 and 1891. Specifically Series I, Volume 21 (published in 1881) presents accounts of the battle of Fredericksburg prepared by commanders in the field within days of the action. While we might expect the charitable actions of one noncommissioned officer to escape notice, a key portion of Kershaw’s account – the 90 minutes during which no one fires at Kirkland – must have attracted the attention of one of the officers commanding on the field.

Brigadier General George Sykes commanded the Second Division of the Fifth Corps opposite Kershaw’s Brigade on December 14 th , the day after the charge, on the afternoon of which Kershaw has Kirkland tending the wounded. According to General Sykes (p. 415):

At 11 p.m. [night of the 13 th ] these troops [First and Second Regular brigades] relieved the troops in advance (General Howard’s), and held their ground until the same hour the following night. The position assigned these troops was one of extreme peril – in an open field, within 100 yards of the enemy, who was securely sheltered behind stone walls and rifle-pits. They remained under constant fire for twelve hours, and could offer in resistance only the moral effect of that hardihood and bravery which would not yield one foot of the line they were required to protect.

Possibly Sykes did not see actual conditions on the line. One level down the chain of command, Lt. Col. Robert C. Buchanan commanding the First Brigade reports (p. 418):

At daylight firing commenced between the pickets, and it was soon found that my position was completely commanded, so that if an individual showed his head above the crest of the hill he was picked off by the enemy’s sharpshooters immediately…

Buchanan ordered his men not to return the shots, but notes no general cessation of Confederate fire. In fact (p. 419):

The enemy shot my men after they were wounded, and also the hospital attendants as they were conveying the wounded off the ground, in violation of every law of civilized warfare.

Captain John Wilkins, commanding the Fifth Infantry notes (p. 420), “At daybreak I found the pickets entirely unprotected, and exposed to a murderous fire from the enemy’s rifle-pits…” Captain Hiram Dryer, commanding the Fourth Infantry, stated that daylight found his men within 100 yards of the Confederate position, and under continuous fire until they occupied a brick tannery, from which they “succeeded in keeping the enemy’s fire under until midnight, when we were relieved…” (p. 422).

Captain Matthew Blunt, commanding the Twelfth Infantry reports his men taking position within 200 feet of the enemy and receiving “a continued fire” (p. 423) until relieved Sunday night. Captain John O’Connell, Fourteenth U. S. Infantry, reports holding a position that Sunday about 150 yards from the enemy “under almost continuous fire of musketry from the enemy’s rifle-pits, with occasional shots from heavy guns during the daylight…” (p. 424).

The Second Brigade had it no easier. Its commander, Major George Andrews, reported of that Sunday (p. 426):

Our line was now about 80 yards in front of a stone wall, behind which the enemy was posted in great numbers… To move even was sure to draw the fire of the enemy’s sharpshooters, who were posted in the adjacent houses and in tree-tops, and whose fire we were unable to return. Thus the troops remained for twelve long hours, unable to eat, drink, or attend to the calls of nature, for so relentless were the enemy that not even a wounded man or our stretcher-carriers were exempted from their fire.

Captain Salem Marsh, commanding a battalion of the First and Second U. S., reports the fire on the 14 th as “terrific” and “passing not more than a foot over the ground.” He also notes that “The firing of the enemy ceased at dark.” (p. 427) Captain Henry Maynadier, commanding a battalion of the Tenth Infantry, reports “a continuous fire” (p. 428) Captain Charles Russell of the Eleventh Infantry similarly states that the enemy “continued the fire all day” (p. 429).

In summary, the relevant Union after action reports not only fail to confirm Kershaw’s story, but describe conditions that make it unlikely.

Confederate reports provide another perspective.

Colonel Kennedy of the Second South Carolina (Kirkland’s regiment) mentions fifteen officers and two orderlies by name for meritorious conduct, but Kirkland is not among them (p. 593). Colonel James Nance of the Third South Carolina similarly ends his account on the 13 th , when he was wounded. Captain John Nance takes up the story, having taken command after two more senior officers were struck down, but tells only of the relief of the regiment on the evening of the 13 th and notes nothing further until the regiment returned to camp on the 15 th (p. 596).

Lieutenant Colonel Elbert Bland of the Seventh South Carolina describes the battle, and then tells of his regiment relieving Philips’ Legion on the stone wall: “We held this position with the wings doubled, occasionally exchanging shots with the enemy, until Tuesday morning (16th)…” (p. 597). Captain Stackhouse of the Eighth South Carolina states, “On the 14th, we confined our fire to select parties of the enemy” (p. 598), but makes no note of a general cease fire, or of Kirkland.

Colonel De Saussure of the Fifteenth South Carolina reports that his regiment moved on the evening of the 13 th to support the Second South Carolina at the wall, “and there remained until the evacuation of the city…” (p. 599). He makes no mention of Kirkland, but does commend his surgeon, assistant surgeon, and chaplain for their attention to the wounded. Colonel Robert McMillan of the Twenty-fourth Georgia took over the command of Cobb’s brigade when General Cobb received a mortal wound during the Union assaults of the 13th. Of the 14th he reports, “We rested on our arms that night, and throughout the next day a close, heavy, and continuous skirmish fire was kept up.”

As for Kershaw himself, his own after action report (presented entire in Appendix B) spends but one short paragraph on Sunday the 14 th :

At daylight in the morning the enemy was in position, lying behind the first declivity in front, but the operations on both sides were confined to skirmishing of sharpshooters. We lost but 1 man during the day, but it is reported that we inflicted a loss upon the enemy (Sykes’ division) of 150.

He mentions eight officers as having distinguished themselves, as well as Captain Cuthbert’s company and Captain Read’s battery, but makes no mention of Kirkland.

In short, Kershaw’s 1880 letter to the editor receives no support from contemporary after action reports, including Kershaw’s own.

Kershaw had another opportunity to insert Kirkland into the official record, or something like it, when he wrote the editors of the Century Magazine for their “Battles and Leaders of the Civil War” series, on December 6th, 1887. But here he confined himself to technical corrections of General Ransom’s letter concerning Fredericksburg, and fails to note anything of interest occurring on December 14th.

A story in the Richmond Daily Dispatch of January 12, 1863, provides another contemporary view, titled “The Carnage at Fredericksburg – Graphic Account From a Yankee Soldier.” In this an unnamed Union soldier writes to a friend in Baltimore, describing the battle and aftermath. He notes that the main attack “was fought on a remarkable small space of ground,” that each wave was virtually annihilated, that a slight rise within 150 yards of the stone wall gave some shelter, that a “criminally negligent” ambulance corps did not carry off the wounded till after midnight, and that the troops laid out all the next day expecting the attack to be renewed. But he did not see Kirkland.

At this point it seems worth noting that the Kirkland story also does not appear in some of the better known histories of the war. Douglas Southall Freeman makes no mention of the Sergeant, and of the scene on December 14th writes ( Robert E. Lee , Vol. II, Chapter 31, p. 469):

Union troops were burying the dead within their lines and were carrying off such of the wounded as they could reach. Now and again the skirmishers engaged in angry exchanges, and the Federal batteries fired a few half-hearted rounds. That was all.

His picture of the following day provides a marked contrast with the acts of mercy ascribed to Kirkland (p. 470):

On the morning of the 15th, with his own line still further strengthened, Lee observed that the enemy had dug rifle pits and had thrown up fortifications on the outskirts of the town, as if to repel attacks. He saw a ghastly sight besides: The Federal dead that still remained between the lines had changed color. They no longer were blue, but naked and discolored. During the night, they had been stripped by shivering Confederates, many of whom now boasted overcoats, boots, and jackets for which the people of the North had paid. It was ghoulish business, reprobated by the enemy but excused by the beneficiaries, who asked whether it was better for them to freeze or to take clothing the former owners would not miss.

Shelby Foote, who might fairly be said to have never met an anecdote he didn’t like, similarly omits Kirkland, repeating Freeman’s account of southern soldiers treating the Federal casualties as a source of winter clothing. One popular historian who does mention Kirkland legend is Francis O’Reilly, but even he in the end hedges a bit ( The Fredericksburg Campaign , 2006, p. 439):

Whether Kirkland acted alone, or pioneered a host of encounters and somehow became a composite for all of the works of mercy, is hard to determine….

Not all recollections of Fredericksburg leave out the Sergeant. T. Rembert of Company E, a comrade of Kirkland’s, left a tribute to him in the form of a letter to The Confederate Veteran , in 1903. However, his story repeats the highlights of Kershaw’s 1880 letter, with no details that would distinguish his as an original account. Given the paucity of corroboration, it seems appropriate to reexamine the story as Kershaw told it, and see how key elements accord with other accounts of the battle, and the logic of the situation. We start with the setting itself:

The ground between the lines was bridged with the wounded, dead, and dying Federals, victims of the many desperate and gallant assaults…

A field carpeted with wounded provides the essential setting for the tale of Kirkland’s charity, but where were the wounded, and how many were still there?

General McLaws, commanding the Confederate division along the wall, stated that “The body of one man, believed to be an officer, was found within about 30 yards of the stone wall, and other single bodies were scattered at increased distances until the main mass of the dead lay thickly strewn over the ground at something over 100 yards off…” ( OR , Series I, Volume 21, p. 581).

That is, the mass of Federal casualties lay within what would soon become, according to the after action reports, the picket lines of Sykes’ Regulars. Though their officers withdrew these men to less exposed positions during the day, such wounded as remained would still lie much closer to the Federal than Confederate lines.

But in any case the Federals did not simply abandon those wounded in the assaults of the 13 th . Private William McCarter ( My Life in the Irish Brigade , pp. 190-194) describes small parties of soldiers, backed up by ambulances, searching for wounded between the lines on that night, as well as his own efforts to drag himself back. Brigadier-General Humphreys, commanding the third division of the Fifth Corps, which made the final charge against the wall, reported on his own efforts ( OR , Series I, Volume 21, p. 433), stating “The wounded were nearly all brought in before daylight, and some of the dead, but many of the latter were left upon the field.” The unnamed Union private quoted in the Daily Dispatch expresses bitterness at the ambulance corps for not coming till after midnight, but they came.

Altogether, between the efforts of the walking wounded and ambulance parties, and considering the effect of lying through a winter’s night and day in the field, there seems considerable reason to doubt that many wounded remained to “bridge” the space between Sykes’ and Kershaw’s lines on the 14th.

…the General sat in the north room, up stairs … when Kirkland came up …

Kirkland, a sergeant in a company in one of several regiments under the command of General Kershaw, passes by or through his company commander, his regimental commander, and the general’s staff, to make a personal appeal to relieve the Federal wounded, while his unit is engaged with the enemy or awaiting an attack. It seems equally difficult to see him leaving the ranks without their knowledge or to imagine him going through each link in his chain of command, as each refers him to the next until finally the general himself tells the young sergeant to go ahead and risk his life.

“General, can I show a white handkerchief?” … “No, Kirkland…”

This exchange has the effect of accentuating the danger Kirkland encounters – apparently Kershaw sees himself as having no authority to call for a truce, however limited. Yet he has already allowed an enlisted man to undertake an action forbidden to the rest of the army.

Unharmed, he reached the nearest sufferer…

Fortunately for Kirkland, Sykes’ division has been ordered not to fire, though Dryer’s men in the tannery may have come into action by this time.

This done, he laid him tenderly down, placed his knapsack under his head…

Most accounts of the Federal assault on the wall mention the dropping of knapsacks before going into action. McCarter left his on the other side of the Rappahannock, others removed them in town. Humphrey’s division even dispensed with their haversacks and blankets before making the attack.

The wounded Federal had either cast his overcoat aside, or Kirkland must have wrestled it off him. In any event, based on Freeman’s account, it will soon find its way to the Confederate lines.

…replaced his empty canteen with a full one, and turned to another sufferer…

Kershaw doesn’t tell us that Kirkland takes several canteens, but he must have either done that or traveled repeatedly back to his own lines for more water, or both. It is only at this point, however, that the danger from the enemy has passed:

By this time his purpose was well understood on both sides, and all danger was over. From all parts of the field arose fresh cries of “Water, water…”

For an hour and a half did this ministering angel pursue his labor of mercy…

At this point the story goes beyond merely raising a few questions to presenting several seeming improbabilities.

A general cease-fire has broken out, involving troops for a hundred yards or more in each direction – otherwise “all danger” would not yet have passed. As remarkable as this seems, it would be even more remarkable had troops continued to shoot each other while leaving Kirkland to go about his labors unmolested – so remarkable that, by this point, we could expect Kershaw to mention it.

Even more remarkably, although the wounded cry from all over the field, only Kirkland attends them, and only with water. For the next ninety minutes no medical personnel on either side – not the Confederate surgeons and chaplain praised by De Sausseur, nor the Union hospital attendants that Buchanan reports as having been fired upon – take advantage of the lull to perform their duties. Nor does the Georgia soldier reported by Dickert nor does any other soldier. Everyone in view seems paralyzed by Kirkland’s act. They neither remove nor treat any of the casualties “bridging” the positions the best the wounded can hope for is a drink of water.

Not only do the observers fail equally to fire on or assist Kirkland, but within days, when writing up their after action reports or letters to friends in Baltimore, or years later, composing their memoirs, they make no mention of the incident. This despite the fact that the deed occurs on an afternoon when the sun will set, according to McCarter, at 4:30, so that the halt in the firing and the public act of mercy occupies a significant portion of the day, on an open field in view of thousands on both sides.

Interestingly, all of this makes Dickert’s story of the nameless Georgian that much more compelling. Here a single soldier, seeing a suffering foe who has been fortunate enough to drag himself near the wall, on his own initiative leaps over, gives the man a drink, and leaps back under fire. It has a ring of truth, and it does not in any way contradict the after action reports or other accounts of the battle.

It also raises the possibility that this might be the real Kirkland story. When it went into action at the wall, Dickert’s regiment took position on the left of the Twenty-fourth Georgia, Cobb’s Legion. Colonel Kennedy of the Second South Carolina notes that when his regiment took its position, “three companies and a half” fell in “in rear of the Twenty-fourth Georgia Regiment.” (OR, Series I, Vol. XXI, p. 592) With the Confederate troops formed in four ranks behind the wall, a soldier of the Second South Carolina crossing over the wall to aid a wounded Federal might very easily be assumed to be a “Georgian” by the troops to their left in the Third South Carolina. This does not substantiate the legend, but it at least provides some hint of a likely origin.

With all this, several questions remain – what did Sergeant Kirkland actually do at Fredericksburg? If he didn’t do precisely what Kershaw said he did, why would Kershaw say that? And what can it matter now?

We cannot answer the first question. Unless Kirkland was Dickert’s “Georgian” the record that fails to corroborate Kershaw’s story also fails to replace it. Kirkland himself was killed in action at Chickamauga less than a year later, reportedly as a Lieutenant. But we do not even know that Kirkland held that rank, or even that of Sergeant – Dickert’s history, which includes a muster roll, lists him only as “Kirkland, R. R.” among the privates of companies E and G, and notes that gaps in the records make it impossible to reflect every change in the ranks.

It seems reasonable to assume that Kirkland was a gallant young man – he gave his life in the war, and attracted the admiration of his General. Perhaps Kershaw never really meant us to take his story literally, but rather intended to convey a deeper meaning.

It seems notable that Kershaw not only left Kirkland out of the after action report, but also left him out of the “Battles and Leaders” account of Fredericksburg written eight years after his letter to the editor. Kershaw may have seen a difference between a human interest story told to a local paper at a time when papers published lyric poetry and lurid scandals and everything between, and the actual historical record.

There is a certain logic in reserving for the latter the literal truth while offering to the former the sort of tale that perhaps ought to have been true – the kind of civic parable that Plato in The Republic recommends that the elite tell to commoners, the kind of story incorporated in inspirational messages in sermons. In that context, the literal truth would matter less than the spiritual truth of the noble youth who confronts the brutality of the battlefield with an act of Christian charity and later dies heroically for his country.

Several elements in the telling of Kershaw’s story make this a more plausible than speculative interpretation. The idea that he wrote a parable rather than a history shows up in the literary flourishes in the letter, including the passage in which Kirkland, having received permission to proceed, “ran down [the stairs] with a bright smile on his handsome countenance.” Literally, of course, Kershaw would have no way of seeing Kirkland’s bright smile as the sergeant ran down the stairs away from him, but it adds to the tone of the tale. Similarly the conclusion of the letter hints at a purpose other than a strict historical account: he has bequeathed to the American youth — yea, to the world — an example which dignifies our common humanity. It was not an example noted at the time, but the letter published 17 years later, and the statue erected in 1965, have made up for it.

The final question remains. Does it matter whether Kershaw’s account of Sergeant Kirkland’s deed is literally true?

From one perspective, we can say that it does not. We do not need a real action to praise the virtue of aiding a wounded foe. Yet another view might hold that when we memorialize an act of such singularity and uncertain provenance to the exclusion of a greater reality, we lose the concrete to the fanciful. Hundreds of American soldiers died defending the wall at Fredericksburg, holding their ground though it seemed that the whole enemy army was coming their way. More than a thousand other American soldiers died before that wall in an attack that quickly became equally famous for futility and heroism. The men in the first Federal assault wave saw a situation that seemed, but had not yet proven to be, hopeless. The ensuing attacks were certainly so, and yet men went forward anyway, into the fire.

Kirkland himself fell to the fire less than a year later. In celebrating an action that may not actually have occurred (and that Kershaw himself apparently never tried to place in the historical record), the statue fictionalizes one man’s courage even as it overshadows that of thousands of others. In effect, the real soldiers – including Kirkland himself – have no statue. In its place stands a monument to a myth.

It is interesting that in modern physics, we have concepts such as the “Uncertainty Principle, and “Probability Densities” which imply that it is sometime difficult to have the kind of deterministic certainty we feel comfortable with. It may be that with these sorts of historical events, there will not be enough evidence to make a determination of what really took place.

I have read this article and the comments with great interest. I would like to thank the writer and the comments herein. Much of our history is being rewritten these days. I must say that I am very skeptical of most of the revisionist history. Stories seem to come out of thin air daily today. I see that many people have done much research on this story. I applaud them. Every notable event in America’s history seems to be under some sort of scrutiny today. Most especially anything to do with the Confederacy. Many want to demonize anyone or anything to do with it. Believe me, this will not stop with the Civil War. The “re-writers” are just getting started.

Thanks for the comment. History is always being re-written based on new questions that are asked, new evidence that emerges, and different analytical approaches applied. It should always be welcome and scrutinized.

Thank you for you reply. I’m not so sure about the “different analytical approaches applied” portion. We must remember that the ones before us lived in a different world altogether than we do. We are constantly second guessing their meanings in word and deed to a number of things, good or bad, that were commonplace and acceptable in their times. Today people are quick to give judgement when they have no comprehension of those times. On the subject of “new evidence”, I have to wonder how much of this is fabricated to justify the usually slanted version that someone wishes to promote. Generally, the “new evidence” will be in the spotlight. But, if it is later debunked, little is heard. As a youngster I heard a story of Rebs and Yanks pausing their fight in order to perform Masonic funeral rites. I was told this by an old relative whose Grandfather supposedly witnessed it. Who knows?

What bothers me most about this whole discussion is the incivility that is manifest. The barely masked arrogance and anger that some on both sides display towards another individuals comments. Does it truly matter whether Richard Kirkland, or some other anonymous, person performed this act of mercy? Both sides on that day, those who died and those who killed, were Americans! I am a southerner, (and yes I lost an ancestor in the war) but I refuse to refer to this conflict as the War Between the States or any other euphemism employed by either side. It was a civil war! One with all the inherent horrors that comes with a war of that kind. One that almost destroyed our beloved county and almost prevented America from taking her place as the greatest nation in the world. At the local Civil War reenactments that I attend, I mourn for all those who died, regardless of whether their uniform was blue or gray. The Civil War ended in 1865. We have more pressing problems in 2018 that require our attention. Problems that need cool heads and not insults to resolve. “Make you sons Americans” Robert E. Lee and God Save America!

“If Freeman said it happened, it happened.”

Hmm, despite all of the untrue and unfair things he said about James Longstreet?

Freeman was a fine historian for his age, but hardly an unbiased one, and a strict adherent to the Lost Cause narrative. Far too often Freeman only found the “truth” than he wanted to find.

Interestingly enough, Freeman himself warned historians against accepting the credibility of the testimony of those writing years after the war, stating:

“It is a very grave mistake to give the same measure of acceptation to the late witness that is given to the early witness.” Douglas Southall Freeman, “An Address.” Civil War History 1, no. 1 (March 1955): 7-15.

It is funny, of course, that Freeman would make such a statement, since all of Freeman’s negative observations regarding Longstreet came from the Southern Historical Society Papers, a politically motivated “late source,” but one that Freeman accepted as gospel.

The lies of the SHSP served the storyline Freeman desired to write, so instead of questioning the dubious sources the SHSP provided, he accepted them without question because they served his purpose.

Sorry, I did not mean to go into a tangent on Freeman’s mistreatment of Longstreet, but when someone makes the sort of statement quoted above about Freeman I cannot help but think of the massive historical injustice that Freeman did to James Longstreet.

In any event, Freeman was a great, but flawed historian, but even he said to beware of “late witness” claims like Kershaw’s.

I’m less interested in the veracity of this story than I am in the fact that we choose to commemorate it at all. Every time I visit the Kirkland monument, I get the feeling that this story acts as a sort of pressure valve that allows us to come away from the experience feeling good about humanity. In a similar way, the focus on the Irish Brigade gives us something ennobling to celebrate in spite of the carnage. There’s the compelling and sentimental storyline of Irishmen mowing down their countrymen (ostensibly weeping, could it be that some of them were happy to do so? Didn’t the whole war involve compatriots killing each other, sometimes reluctantly, sometimes gladly?). I often get this feeling when visiting NPS sites, or indeed when reading chronicles of the war. There’s a morsel or two presented, for each battle, aside from the main narrative. A gallant deed, an act of battlefield compassion. Something for a descendant of a soldier on either side to lament, and something to feel good about. For me the power of the Civil War war narrative lies in staring at the horror of it all, and still coming away feeling that the end result was worth the sacrifice. I feel like this story lets us of the hook.

Not only former countrymen mowing one another down, but cousins close and distant.


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