Wednesday, May 4, 2016

History: The Year is 1779

I've uploaded year 1779 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

Beware the Man with One Gun -- Reverend Daggett defends New Haven with one gun. I talk about the need for the chaplaincy in the military for more than just praying for victory.

Peggy Marries Benedict Arnold... not HITLER! -- Peggy is a Crown loyalist who was recently dating the head of British Intelligence and is now marrying a Major General of the Continental Army. What could go wrong?

And a Little Bit More -- Benedict Arnold is negotiating with British to sell out the Continental Army, and John Paul Jones takes a prize.

Beware the Man with One Gun

On the 5th of July. On a hill overlooking New Haven. One man. One gun. Facing the British in defense of his students and his sacred honor. Reverend Daggett's black robes wave in the breeze as he loads and shoots. He is the former president of Yale College, founded in 1701 "As an Act of Liberty". 100 students from Yale fire into the British leading elements. The British are forced back until the students top the ridge and look down the barrels of 2,000 British regulars. The students turn and run, but the Reverend will not run. He loads and shoots, loads and shoots. A British patrol finally locates the Reverend on the hill. [1]
They shout, "Old man! What are you doing firing on His Majesty's troops?"
Reverend Daggett replies, "I am exercising my rights of war." [2] [3]
The Reverend is marched through town, beaten and bloody from bayonet wounds until a Crown loyalist takes responsibility for him. The British push forward, terrorizing the countryside into submission. [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
What we consider an atrocity today was standard operating procedure in those days. There was a lot of disfiguring of bodies. Taring and feathering. Severe beatings and hangings. Frankly, bayoneting and force-marching an old man through town seems fairly outrageous. Those were the times that tried men's souls, and some of those souls came up on the minus side. That happens a lot in war. That is why the military is so fussy about rules of engagement and why chaplains are so important for the military. The clergy used to be out in the field with the troops, carrying a weapon and demonstrating when one should shoot and when one should not. Now we seclude the clergy from war as if their only function was to pray for victory. Well... there are actually a few religious people in Israel who are set aside for that function, but the rest pick up a weapon and take a watch. [5]

Peggy Marries Benedict Arnold... not HITLER!

Peggy is a teenager and the daughter of Judge Shippen, who had remained neutral, but neutrality in Philadelphia was as good as being a traitor in 1777. He was threatened and placed under house arrest until the British took Philadelphia late that year. John Andre was the head of British Intelligence at the time. He started courting Peggy, the hottest babe in town. She was delighted. Her family was no longer in danger from the patriots. But as the British pulled out of Philadelphia, General Benedict Arnold was appointed military governor and given the thankless task of cleaning up the mess left behind. He became enchanted with young Peggy Shippen and one thing led to another. They are married this year April. An American Major General is married to a Crown Loyalist who was dating the head of British Intelligence only a few months ago. What could possibly go wrong? [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Look. Peggy actually knew George Washington. Her father had him over for dinner, so she was not exactly a Crown loyalist in principle. She just got caught up with all the drama. A similar thing happened in Nazi Germany to the daughter of the American Ambassador. Martha Dodd was not much older than Peggy. Her father took the family to Germany. Martha fell in love with Rudolf Diels, the head of the Gestapo before Himmler. And she fell in love with a local Russian spy. Even Hitler made a pass at her. In those early days Martha saw nothing wrong with the Nazis. They were exciting. She was young and the parades were beautiful. I suggest reading her story in the book, In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larsen. Seeing into the future is a difficult task and it took a long time before people realized where Hitler was leading them. By that time it was too late. (FYI, this is NOT a thinly veiled attempt to call ANY current or past Presidential candidate Hitler. I promise.) [8] [9]

And a Little Bit More

  • Benedict Arnold is court-martialed for possibly cooking the books during his Quebec campaign. He will later be absolved from all but two minor charges, but he begins negotiations with the British to sell out the Continental Army for 10,000 pounds... a fortune. His new wife, Peggy, is expensive to keep. [10]
  • John Paul Jones has not yet begun to fight! He takes HMS Serapis as his prize. The man is a winner, and maybe insane. [11]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1779, Wikipedia.

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