Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day, 2017

A battle we should not forget. Year: 1862.  Place:  Frankfurt, Kentucky.

Confederates capture Kentucky capital, Frankfurt.  Install Confederate Governor and state government.  Lengthy Inaugural Address.  Hearing cannon fire in distance.  Union army approaching.  Inaugural ball postponed.

Battle of Perryville.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Swiss Win Independence

Cantons unite to overthrow Emperor.  Swiss Confederation United

The decisive and brilliant battle of Sempach, the second of the long roll of victories that mark the prowess of the Swiss, is thus described by an old writer:

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Vicksburg Falls

Confederate States of America cut in two.  Confederate army surrenders to Grant.  Mississippi River now controlled by Union.

Vicksburg had a double importance for the Confederacy. Its height, at a bend of the Mississippi, gave its guns command of the river, so that the Union vessels could not pass up or down. Even more important than this was the fact that a large part of the supplies for the Confederate armies was drawn from the country west of the Mississippi. These were brought by rail to a point opposite Vicksburg, ferried across, and again loaded upon rail-cars and carried to the east. The capture of the city, therefore, would rob the Confederacy of both these advantages.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

The Reign of Terror in France (1793-1794)

It forever shamed the French Revolution. It began in March, 1793, when the Revolutionary Tribunal was established by the National Convention.  This series is written by François P. G. Guizot the Prime Minister who ended absolute monarchy in 1830 but was retired in the Revolution of 1848.

The judges sat with pistols ready to hand; the President cast his eyes over the lists for the day and called upon the accused. "Dorival, do you know anything of the conspiracy?" "No!"

"I expected that you would make that reply; but it won't succeed. Bring another."

"Champigny, are you not an ex-noble?"


"Bring another."

"Guidreville, are you a priest?"

"Yes, but I have taken the oath."

"You have no right to say any more. Another."

"Ménil, were you not a domestic of the ex-constitutional Menou?"



"Vély, were you not architect for Madame?"

"Yes, but I was disgraced in 1789."


"Gondrecourt, is not your father-in-law at the Luxembourg?"



"Durfort, were you not in the bodyguard?"

"Yes, but I was dismissed in 1789."


So the examination went on. The questions, the answers, the judgment, the condemnation, were all simultaneous. The juries did not leave the hall; they gave their opinions with a word or a look. Sometimes errors were evident in the lists. "I am not accused," exclaimed a prisoner one day.

"No matter; what is thy name? See, it is written now. Another."

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Vasco da Gama Opens Sea Route to India

Europe now able to bypass Levant.  Hostile Ottoman Empire no longer can block Europe out of Orient.  Terrifying voyage.  Most crewmen killed.  When way-stations planted, future voyages to be safer.  Vasco da Gama’s own officer writes this series.

Vasco da Gama on a horse, with all the men of the fleet on foot, richly dressed in liveries, and accompanied by all the gentlemen of the court, went down to the wharf on the bank, and embarked in their boats, and the standard went in that of Paulo da Gama. Then, taking leave of the gentlemen, they went to the ships, and on their arrival, they fired all their artillery, and the ships were dressed out gayly with standards and flags and many ornaments, and the royal standard was at once placed at the top of the mast of Paulo da Gama; for so Vasco da Gama commanded. Discharging all their artillery, they loosened the sails, and went beating to windward on the river of Lisbon, tacking until they came to anchor at Belen, where they remained three days waiting for a wind to go out.

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

France Annexes Burgundy

Eliminates rival.  Major expansion of territory.

Burgundy was a huge territory on France’s eastern border.  The Duke of Burgundy’s lands included modern Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxemburg.  Then he held lands south of that to include Alsace and lands south to the Swiss border.  From there his lands extended west into the heartland of modern France.  During the Hundred Years War, Burgundy’s alliance with England had been a major factor in France’s difficulty defending itself.

Then catastrophe struck.  The King of France’s chief advisor writes this short chronicle which begins:

The Duke of Lorraine and his army of Germans broke up from St. Nicholas, and advanced toward the Duke of Burgundy, with a resolution to give him battle.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Bolivar and South American Independence

3 Great Epics in South American History:  (1) Spanish/Portugese discovery and conquest; (2) Colonial Period; (3) Revolutions Period.  Among the most important revolutionary leaders is Bolivar.  Who to tell it?

For the history of South America, from its discovery to the early 20th. century, there is no authority to be preferred to Débérle, whose work, from which the following narrative is taken, is based upon those of the best previous authors, and verified from authentic documents — many of them never before published — in archives and public and private libraries, in America and Spain.

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