Posts Tagged With: Army

Dr. J. L. Whiting on early Detroit, Black Hawk, Cholera and speaking on the ‘the father of medicine in Michigan.’


Evening News, April 30, 1880.

Dr. Whiting, after fifteen years of successful practice as a physician and surgeon, retired from the profession to engage in the forwarding and commission business.

Concerning this step, he said, “The tide of immigration from the east was beginning to pour in upon us in a steady flood, and the business was most promising.

I quit medicine to follow my new venture in February, 1832, but I was compelled to return to it in July, and work harder at it than ever I had in my life.

The cholera had broken out.

“The dreadful disease was brought to us by a vessel carrying troops ordered to the scene of the Black Hawk war, a war almost unknown to the history readers of this generation.

You are aware that Black-Hawk was a powerful Sac chief, somewhat after the Pontiac pattern.

The Sacs and Winnebago’s of Wisconsin had long been ugly and spoiling for a fight.

They were angry over the rapidly advancing colonization of Illinois, and dreaded further white encroachment.

In the spring of

1832 they commenced warfare upon the frontier settlements of Illinois, killing, scalping, burning, and outraging, and a national as well as a militia force was sent out to teach them a lesson.

After a number of fights the United States troops and Illinois militia, under General Atkinson, inflicted a crushing defeat upon the redskins at the junction of the Bad Axe River with the Mississippi, capturing Black-Hawk and his son and drove the Indians beyond the father Hawk and his son were taken to Washington. On their return Black Hawk stopped for a while in Dtroit, where I saw them both.

Young Black Hawk fell desperatly in love with a prominent society belle and wanted to honor honor her by making her his squaw.

She declined the proffered dignity for reasons best known to herself, but she has never married, and is still living in a state of single blessedness at Mackinac.

“Well, as I was saying,” continued the doctor, “I had just about got used to my new work down at the dock, when along came these troops with the cholera.

One of the men died of a pronounced case of Asiatic cholera on the Fourth of July.

The military surgeon accompanying the detachment was scared almost out of his wits, and immediately upon landing betook himself to bed in the hotel.

The commanding officer, thus deserted, called upon Dr. Rice, an able physician and an amiable man, to attend the sick, and Rice came to me to ask me to go with him.

I didn’t care to go, for I knew, though I had never seen a case of

Cholera that it was frightfully contagious and rapid in its results, and I told Rice so.

He urged that he had been authorized by the quartermaster to spare no expense in securing the most competent help, and finally he persuaded me to go with him.

I told my wife when I went home that Saturday evening that I had been called upon to attend the sick soldiers.

She looked grave and sorrowful, but said that as it was a case of duty she could not ask me to back out.

“That night sixteen cases were brought ashore and placed in the quartermaster’s stores, which had been converted into a temporary cholera hospital.

The stores were back of Fisk’s present crockery warehouse, between Jefferson Avenue and the river, fronting on Woodbridge Street.

Of the sixteen cases eleven proved fatal before morning.

“On the same day Dr. Rice had the sick call sounded and carefully examined every man of the detachment.

To everyone who showed predisposing symptoms of the disease, such as the premonitory diarrhea, he administered a thumping dose of ipecacuanha and calomel on the spot.

It acted like a charm.

There wasn’t another new case in the command.

After the dead were interred the detachment was hurried up to

Fort Gratiot to recruit, and before they left, the commanding officer warmly thanked Dr. Rice and myself for our services.

“The cholera visitation upon the citizens came later in the year 1832, and imposed a vast amount of work upon me.

It was confined largely to the lower classes, and swept off the intemperate and dissipated in large numbers.

In 1834 it attacked an entirely different class; the upper orders, the sober, temperate, and church-going people.

As in 1832 I was taken away from my commission business to attend to the stricken, and had to go out to Marshall, 100 miles, to attend to the cases there, the cholera having hopped over from Ann Arbor.

Dr. Rice did wonders during both visitations.

He practiced in Detroit for some 20 years, and was a man of great merit and as quick as lightning.

“This was not the only time I was called upon to minister to United States troops.

In 1823 the quartermaster insisted upon my going to Saginaw to attend to a sick garrison from Green Bay.

The troops were suffering from malignant intermitting fever, and at the end of three weeks’ attendance upon them I was knocked over myself.

I found the whole garrison sick, with one or two exceptions, and Dr. Zina Pitcher, the surgeon in charge, was the sickest of the lot.

He was completely broken up.

He had some 120 souls, old and young—60 enlisted men, with officers, laundresses, and children—under his charge, and all of them sick but one, with one of the most abominably distressing fevers imaginable.

He was all alone, one hundred miles from anywhere, with an appalling amount of work on hand, and no wonder he broke down.

When I reached Saginaw he was being carried all over the garrison on a mattress by men well enough as yet to move about or lift anything, giving opinions and advice, and a dreadful sight he presented, I can assure you.

The garrison was broken up in October and moved to Detroit where the troops were quartered on Fort street.

I did Pitcher’s duty from August, 1823, till May, 1824, nearly a year.

At that time I began to talk to him of moving into Detroit, for I had a high opinion of him as an able physician and a fine man.

In 1828, when I was making arrangements to give up my practice, I began writing to him, endeavoring to induce him to settle in Detroit and take my place, but I did not succeed until 1835 or ’36.

“Dr. Pitcher was styled not long ago, by a president of the county medical association, the ‘father of medicine in Michigan.’

With all due respect to the president, who knew better, as I told him afterwards, medical history compels me to dispute the title awarded to my old friend.

As long ago as 1811, I commenced the formation of a medical society among the few scattered physicians of the territory.

We had three at the capital and one respectively at Pontiac, St. Clair, Mount Clemens and Monroe, and they all joined me.

Long afterwards, when I had retired from practice, and when the number of physicians was greatly increased, county and State associations were formed and Dr. Pitcher was one of the first presidents of the Wayne County Society.”

Dr. Whiting had some experience with Cass among the Indians, and was a traveling companion with General Winfield Scott as early as 1827.

“In 1827,” he said, “General Cass called upon me to accompany a treaty-making expedition to the Buttes des Morts, or Hills of the Dead, on the Fox River about 40 miles above Green Bay.

The treaty was to be executed between General Cass and Col. McKinney, Indian agent at Washington, joint high commissioners for the United States, and Winnebago’s, Chippewa’s, Pottawattamie’s, Foxes, Sacs, and Menominee’s.

The expedition went out on board the steamer class vessel in her time.

She had only a main deck, which was a fore and after, with a cabin below.

The affair was regarded as a splendid chance for speculation, so the steamer was loaded down with Detroit merchants and their goods.

I was myself entrusted with $3,000 worth of goods of one kind and another, which I disposed of to advantage.

One of the passengers was General Winfield Scott, who was on a tour of inspection of forts and posts, and as two companies were stationed at Sault Ste. Marie he persuaded the captain to take him there.

This is how the first steamboat voyage to the Sault came to be made.

“The general was about 40 hours inspecting the post, and while he was busy we were having a splendid time enjoying ourselves in pleasure and trade.

There were about a dozen beautiful young ladies on board and we had a dance nearly every night.

The after cabin was given up to the demoiselles, so General Scott used to sleep on the dining tables every night, with a whale sperm candle burning at either side of his pillow; for there was an awful deal of fuss and feathers about the old fellow, even at that early stage of his career.

“My duties as medical officer were sufficient to keep me busy night and day.

I had to attend to the Indian sick, and as it was a season when green corn was in, they gorged themselves to repletion with it, and of course, suffered torments.

I was a big gun among them, I can tell you, as the ‘medicine man,’ with a couple of interpreters in constant attendance, moving around among people who regarded me as little less than a divinity, and swallowed the most atrociously unpleasant draughts with relish.

To hear them smack their lips over rancid castor oil which spoke for itself at long range, was a caution.

“We had to wait a long time for the Winnebago’s to come in, for they were saucy and disposed to show the whites that they didn’t care for them, but at the same time they were suffering from a bad attack of green corn.

A Menominee runner came in one day in advance of his people, many of whom came down from the neighborhood of Hudson’s bay, and in answer to my inquiries replied, with gesticulations far more eloquent than words:

‘Menominee sick like hel-l-l! Eat corn!

Break up Munnominee, purroo purro-o-o-o-f ! ! !’

“There were about 3,000 Indians of the different tribes present, many of whom had marched one thousand miles to partake of the benefits of the treaty and receive the presents of food and clothing.

They were supported while they were on the treaty ground and given all the provisions they could carry away with them.

The valuable lands which they ceded have long since become among the most fertile portions of the western granary.

We went upon this expedition in June and returned in August.

The Indians thought the world of Cass, whom they named OsKotchee, or ‘Big Belly.’ ”

Of his personal share in the Black-Hawk war Dr. Whiting tells in a modest, interesting way:

“I was appointed,” he said, “surgeon of the First Michigan militia regiment in 1818, and held my commission till 1832, when the war broke out.

A Dr. Hurd, who came here in 1819, was very anxious to displace me and brought a number of recommendations from people in high position which he pressed upon General John R. Williams, then commander in chief.

When we were ordered to rendezvous at Fort Dearborn (Chicago) preparatory to marching upon Illinois, Hurd spent a whole day with the general trying to get the position.

The fact was, he had been rather unsuccessful in Detroit, and the pay was an object to him, as much as the prestige was to me.

I was determined I would not be thrust out of my rank to suit Hurd, and in the long run I defeated him and was ordered to provide a supply of medicines and make ready to march at once.

I got Dr. Chapin, then our only druggist doing anything like a business, to fit me up a big medicine chest sufficient for the requirements of 200 infantry and a company of cavalry.

We got marching orders and had gone about fifty-five miles in the direction of Illinois when we received an order from General Williams ordering us back.

Our expedition lasted from the Thursday of one week till the too short a time entirely to give the First Michigan an opportunity to disquingish themselves on the field of glory, and I regret to say, also too short to qualify any of us for the 160 acres of land which every patriot had in his eye.

I didn’t have an opportunity of physicking a single combatant before the whole business was over.”

On the close of the “second cholera” in 1834, Dr. Whiting retired permanently from the practice of medicine, and devoted himself for the ensuing eight or ten years to the forwarding business, which consisted principally in the receipt and handling of the goods of immigrants who were then flowing into the State in large numbers.

The rush of immigration began in 1828 and continued for a long period afterwards.

“I saw,” said Dr. Whiting, “the early movement of emigration to Ohio, which was vigorously proceeding when I was on my way to Michigan.

I have seen the huge wagons of the pioneers, drawn by four teams of horses or yokes of oxen, making their way over the terrible roads, laden to the bursting point with household goods, and so arranged as to be moving homes for the family for the whole duration of the journey and until the settler could erect his log cabin in the unbroken wilderness.

The immigrants who came to us were from the thriftiest and most industrious New England stock, principally from the northeastern States and New York; people who could turn their hands to almost anything, and whose industry and perseverance, which they transmitted as a heritage to their posterity, have made Michigan what she is to-day.

“While keeping an eye on immigration, I saw the arrival of most of the men who have attained to note and position in this city and State.

It was while I had my office on the dock that Zachariah Chandler, then quite a new-comer, applied to me for a situation.

I well recollect when my friend, Mr. C. C. Trowbridge, came here—I was practicing then—a bright-eyed, ambitious, enthusiastic young man whose friendship I have enjoyed for scores of years, and whose career I have watched from early manhood to old age.”

Digressing a little, Dr. Whiting said:

“I observe in your sketch of Mr. Trowbridge that he speaks of an M. Laselle having once whipped the commandant of the fort in a dispute over a question of etiquette.

M. Laselle was well known as a peppery French officer in the Union service, who was present at Winchester’s defeat at River Raisin in the war of 1812-15.

He was the officer of the day, and, as the troops slept on their arm after the carnage, while posting a tall, gaunt New Hampshire soldier as a picket guard, intelligently instructed him as to his duties as follows:

” ‘Spose you see Hinjin, you say how?


Dat call him ‘tenshun.

Den you say Endoss! Endoss!

Dat come here!

Come here!

‘Spose Hinjin no endoss, you vill sa-a-acra-wentelment baionnez le dans la ventre!”

[You will sacramentally bayonet him in the bowels.]

“To return to forwarding.

There was not much of a general trade in my earlier experience of the business.

The fur trade was carried on by a few houses, Judge Abbott, Mack & Conant, Dequindre, and the Buhls.

There were a few small manufacturing concerns turning out boots and shoes, clothing, wool hats, and so on, but nothing to signify.

For all our iron work we had to send to Cleveland, and large quantities of goods, now manufactured in and exported from Detroit, were imported from Ohio.

But as the flood of population poured in from the eastern states a change came rapidly about, which had a remarkable effect upon my business.

I had at one time the agency of five steam boats, something enormous for that period—purchased their supplies, and gave a decided impetus to the fuel trade by requiring a constant supply of from 1,500 to 2,000 cords of wood.

The steamers for which I was agent ran to Buffalo, calling at the different lake ports on the way.

Once or twice a year they went to Chicago and Mackinac with supplies and stores.

In my younger days we had quite a contemptuous opinion of Chicago as a little swampy hamlet compared with which Detroit was of metropolitan grandeur.

Times fully since then, yet always for the better in Detroit whose growth has been gradually solid and substantial.

I have seen the population grow from 900 to 130,000, and I know whereof I speak.”

Dr. Whiting, after a lengthened experience as a forwarder and commission merchant, went into business as a land and tax agent, in which he continued till his physical infirmity obliged him to retire.

He stayed at his post till he was forced to seek repose.

Speaking of politics, he said:

“I have never been actively engaged in politics.

I was originally what was called a ‘blue-light federalist,’ and cast my first vote for DeWitt Clinton for president just before I left for Detroit.

Parties have come and parties have gone, leaving me, in my opinions, pretty much where I was standing when I cast my first vote.

Though I was elected city clerk in 1832 and again in 1834, I have never sought office.

During my second term as clerk of the city I found I had to either giveup my warehouse or resign the clerkship, and I chose the latter.

This completes my experience of office.

I became a Whig when Whiggery represented principles, and when it died out I found it terrible hard work to become a republican, and only surrendered under protest.

However, I had not much time to throw away on politics and politicians; my life was too busy a one for any dissipation of the kind, and besides I have always had the confidence that this Union could take care of herself, without my going into hysterics about saving her.”

As I rose to go, Dr. Whiting said: “When you hear young fellows of yesterday talking of Detroit as a slow, fossilized place, remember that I have seen it grow from a frontier post, with half a hundred English speaking Americans in it, depending upon the precarious support afforded by the fur trade and the disbursement of public money by the troops; from a little settlement, yet showing the ravages of a long war, to a great imperial city, with the most thrifty and generally prosperous population of the United States, at the distributing head of the most magnificent inland water system of the world, and growing year by year in power and riches.”

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June 13: 19-Year Old Helps America Win Independence….Marquis de Lafayette.


Born September 6, 1757, his father died before he was two-years-old; and his mother died when he was twelve, leaving him to inherit their fortune.

At 14-years-old, he joined the French Military and, at age 16, became a captain.

He married Marie Adrienne Francoise de Noailles, whose family was related to King Louis XVI.

His name was Marquis de Lafayette.

At 19, against the King’s wishes, Lafayette purchased a ship and persuaded several French officers to accompany him to fight in the American Revolution, arriving JUNE 13, 1777.

Trained in the French Military, he was a descendant of one of the oldest French families, with ancestors who fought in the Crusades and alongside of Joan of Arc.

Commander-in-Chief George Washington appointed Lafayette a Major General in the Continental Army, though Lafayette paid his own expenses.

Lafayette endured the freezing winter at Valley Forge, was wounded at Brandywine, and fought with distinction at the Battles of Gloucester, Barren Hill, Monmouth, Rhode Island, and Green Spring.

Returning to France, Lafayette worked with Ben Franklin to persuade King Louis XVI to send General Rochambeau with ships and 6,000 French soldiers to America’s aid.

Lafayette led troops against the traitor Benedict Arnold, and commanded at Yorktown, helping to pressure Cornwallis to surrender.

George Washington considered Lafayette like a son, and belatedly wrote back to him from Mount Vernon, on June 25, 1785:

“My Dear Marquis…I stand before you as a culprit: but to repent and be forgiven are the precepts of Heaven: I do the former, do you practice the latter, and it will be participation of a divine attribute.

Yet I am not barren of excuses for this seeming inattention; frequent absences from home, a round of company when at it, and the pressure of many matters, might be urged as apologies for my long silence…

I now congratulate you, and my heart does it more effectually than my pen, on your safe arrival in Paris, from your voyage to this Country.”

Lafayette joined the French abolitionist Society of the Friends of the Blacks, which advocated the end of the slave trade and equal rights for blacks.

On May 10, 1786, George Washington wrote from Mount Vernon to Marquis de Lafayette:

“Your late purchase of an estate in the colony of Cayenne, with a view of emancipating the slaves on it, is a generous and noble proof of your humanity. Would to God a like spirit would diffuse itself generally into the minds of the people of this country.”

On August 15, 1787, in a letter from Philadelphia to the Marquis de Lafayette, Washington wrote:

“I am not less ardent in my wish that you may succeed in your plan of toleration in religious matters.

Being no bigot myself to any mode of worship, I am disposed to indulge the professors of Christianity in the church with that road to Heaven which to them shall seem the most direct, plainest and easiest, and the least liable to exception.”

On May 28, 1788, George Washington wrote to Marquis de Lafayette regarding the U.S. Constitution:

I will confess to you sincerely, my dear Marquis; it will be so much beyond any thing we had a right to imagine or expect eighteen months ago, that it will demonstrate as visibly the Finger of Providence, as any possible event in the course of human affairs can ever designate it.”

When the French Revolution began, President Washington wrote to Marquis de Lafayette, on July 28, 1791:

“I assure you I have often contemplated, with great anxiety, the danger to which you are personally exposed…

To a philanthropic mind the happiness of 24 millions of people cannot be indifferent; and by an American, whose country in the hour of distress received such liberal aid from the French, the disorders and incertitude of that Nation are to be particularly lamented.

We must, however, place a confidence in that Providence who rules great events, trusting that out of confusion He will produce order, and, notwithstanding the dark clouds which may threaten at present, that right will ultimately be established….

On the 6 of this month I returned from a tour through the southern States, which had employed me for more than three months. In the course of this journey I have been highly gratified in observing the flourishing state of the Country, and the good dispositions of the people.

Industry and economy have become very fashionable in these parts, which were formerly noted for the opposite qualities, and the labors of man are assisted by the Blessings of Providence.”

Lafayette tried to maintain order in France as the French Revolution began, but fell out of favor.

He was eventually imprisoned for five years, with his wife and two daughters choosing to be imprisoned with him.

Napoleon negotiated his release.

On June 10, 1792, from Philadelphia, President Washington wrote to Marquis de Lafayette:

“And to the Care of that Providence, whose interposition and protection we have so often experienced, do I cheerfully commit you and your nation, trusting that He will bring order out of confusion, and finally place things upon the ground on which they ought to stand.”

Jefferson asked him to be the Governor of the Louisiana Territory, but he declined.

Fifty years after the Revolution began, Marquis de Lafayette visited America. He traveled over 6,000 miles to 24 States.

On June 17, 1825, the cornerstone for the Bunker Hill Monument was laid.

Daniel Webster spoke to a crowd of 20,000, which included General Marquis de Lafayette:

“God has granted you this sight of your country’s happiness ere you slumber in the grave forever.

He has allowed you to behold and to partake the reward of your patriotic toils; and He has allowed to us, your sons and countrymen, to meet you here, and in the name of the present generation, in the name of your country, in the name of liberty to thank you!”

Many ships, streets, parks, and cities were named after him, including Fayetteville, North Carolina.

When word came to America that Marquis de Lafayette had died, President Andrew Jackson wrote to Congress, on June 21, 1834:

“The afflicting intelligence of the death of the illustrious Lafayette has been received by me this morning.

I have issued the general order inclosed to cause appropriate honors to be paid by the Army and Navy to the memory of one so highly venerated and beloved by my countrymen, and whom Providence has been pleased to remove so unexpectedly from the agitating scenes of life.”



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Muslims training with US Army attempt kidnapping of 12-year-old girl in Missouri, Authorities drop the charges……

Kidnapping and attacking infidel girls is a growing phenomenon in Western countries. Wherever there is large Muslim immigration (i.e., the hundreds of Muslim child sex trafficking gangs in the UK), attacks on native girls and women spike (i.e., Sweden, Norway etc.). But what is striking about this story is that we are training Muslim soldiers on home soil and the authorities let these savages go. They are sending them back to their countries, where they are free to kidnap and attack non-Muslim girls there. Monstrous.

These men were sought to enjoy the sex slaves allowed by the Qur’an (men may
enjoy “what your right hands own,” 4:3) and Islamic law from among unbelieving women (here).

At this risk of being repetitive, once again, no media on this story. This story happened in October; why are we only hearing about it now?


“Muslims training with US Army attempt kidnapping of 12 yr old girl in Missouri,” Missouri Today, January 18, 2014 (thanks to Bob D)


WAYNESVILLE, Mo. • Pulaski County authorities have dropped charges against two foreign military officers who were training at Fort Leonard Wood when they were arrested.

The Rolla Daily News reports that Mohammed Mahmoud Omar Mefleh, of Jordan, and Antoine Chlela, of Lebanon, were charged in October with enticement of a child and harassment. Court records say the men allegedly approached a 12-year-old girl at a bus stop and asked her to enter their vehicle.

Pulaski County prosecutor Kevin Hillman said Friday that the charges were dropped as part of an agreement that includes the men paying the cost of their incarceration. Hillman says they were taken by Fort Leonard Wood officials, and he expects them to be out of the U.S. by Monday. Under terms of the plea, they will not be allowed to return to the country.

The men were taking courses at Fort Leonard Wood when they were arrested.


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England….Aaron Hughes finds bomb at Gilfach with metal detector gift


A man using a metal detector he was given for Christmas has unearthed a World War II bomb on a nature reserve.

It was only the second time builder Aaron Hughes, 26, had used the gift from his father, Brian, who was with him at Gilfach, near Rhayader, along with his girlfriend Charlotte Croudace.

Police cordoned off the area and called in a bomb disposal team from Hereford.

Mr Hughes joked that the bomb was “nice to find,” but he would have rather have discovered a pot of gold.

It is understood the device was a mortar bomb, but why it was buried on a nature reserve is a mystery.

The trio were walking along a path on the reserve when they made the discovery.

“It was the first time I’d properly used the metal detector,” Mr Hughes said.

“I had been out on New Year’s Day and I’d found a few coins near a playground – a few coppers and a couple of pound coins.

Aaron Hughes received the metal detector from his father Brian
“The following day on the Gilfach reserve we’d only been there 10 minutes when the detector started beeping.

“I thought I’d discovered a can or a metal lid. I never imagined I would find a bomb.

“I scratched down into the ground and saw the tip of the what we now know is a bomb.

“I wasn’t sure what it was to start with, so I started digging down with a spade and flicked it out of the ground and onto the grass. It was about 2-3in (5-7cm) deep.

“We were shocked because it was pretty obviously a bomb.

“We weren’t sure whether or not to phone the police because 999 is only for emergencies – but this was sort of an emergency.

“It was a nice thing to find, but I obviously would have rather have found a big pot of gold.”

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I never really liked the terminology “Old Farts”but this makes me feel better about it.
And if you ain’t one, I bet ya you know one !
I got this from an “Old Fart” friend of mine !
I’m passing this on as I did not want to be the only old fart receiving it. Actually, it’s not a bad thing to be called, as you will see.
” Old Farts are easy to spot at sporting events; during the playing of the National Anthem. Old Farts remove their caps and stand at attention and sing without embarrassment. They know the words and believe in them.
” Old Farts remember World War II, Pearl Harbour, Guadalcanal, Normandy and Hitler. They remember the Atomic Age, the Korean War, The Cold War, the Jet Age and the Moon Landing. They remember the 50 plus Peacekeeping Missions from 1945 to 2005, not to mention Vietnam.
” If you bump into an Old Fart on the sidewalk he will apologize. If you pass an Old Fart on the street, he will nod or tip his cap to a lady. Old Farts trust strangers and are courtly to women.
” Old Farts hold the door for the next person and always, when walking, make certain the lady is on the inside for protection.
” Old Farts get embarrassed if someone curses in front of women and children and they don’t like any filth or dirty language on TV or in movies.
” Old Farts have moral courage and personal integrity. They seldom brag unless it’s about their children or grandchildren.
” It’s the Old Farts who know our great country is protected, not by politicians, but by the young men and women in the military serving their country.

This country needs Old Farts with their work ethic, sense of responsibility, pride in their country and decent values.

We need them now more than ever.

Thank God for Old Farts !

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Robert E. Lee’s Farewell Address to the Army of Northern Virginia…..1865

Robert E. Lee
April 10, 1865
General Orders No. 9, Robert E. Lee, Farewell Address to the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House

Headquarters, Army of Northern Virginia, 10th April 1865.

After four years of arduous service marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources.

I need not tell the survivors of so many hard fought battles, who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to the result from no distrust of them.

But feeling that valour and devotion could accomplish nothing that could compensate for the loss that must have attended the continuance of the contest, I have determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen.

By the terms of the agreement, officers and men can return to their homes and remain until exchanged. You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the consciousness of duty faithfully performed, and I earnestly pray that a merciful God will extend to you his blessing and protection.

With an unceasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your Country, and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous consideration for myself, I bid you an affectionate farewell.

— R. E. Lee, General, General Order No. 9

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Veteran’s Day….

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Venezuela Training ‘Guerrilla Army’ Against U.S.

Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela is training a “guerrilla army” it aims to grow to one million strong by 2013 to fight off possible “imperialist aggression” from the United States, an opposition lawmaker claims.

Former presidential candidate Maria Corina Machado told El Universal newspaper that “Plan Sucre,” developed with input from Cuba, seeks to “transform a professional army into a guerrilla army.”

She said she had obtained a copy of the plan. Its “strategic objective” is to build a force that could wage a prolonged popular war against “the empire” — the United States, Machado said, citing the document.

“This is clearly a proposal with Cuban inspiration and advice.”

She also told the newspaper that the plan provides for strengthening the guerrilla force at the expense of the regular army, and the force would grow to 2 million by 2019.

Chavez, who took power in 1999, is seeking re-election in October after declaring himself free of the cancer he has battled for a year, AFP reported.

He has frequently accused the United States of seeking to destabilize his government.

Machado sought to oppose him in the October election, but was defeated in February’s primary.

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July marked worst month for Army suicides

Thirty-eight soldiers killed themselves in July, the worst month for suicides since the Army began releasing figures in 2009, according to Pentagon officials.

If soldiers continue to take their lives at the current rate, the Army will lose about 200 active-duty troops this year, a number that is significantly higher than any year in the past decade.
“Suicide is the toughest enemy I have faced in my 37 years in the Army,” Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, who is leading the Army’s effort to deal with the problem, said in a written statement. “That said, I do believe suicide is preventable.”

In July there were 26 active-duty suicides and 12 suicides among National Guardsmen and reservists who were not serving in uniform at the time of their deaths. The combined 38 Army suicides is twice the number of troops killed in Afghanistan this month.

The Marine Corps had eight suicides in July, the highest monthly number so far this year, according to the Associated Press.

The losses are a significant blow to senior Army officials who had been hoping that the reduced rate of combat deployments and a series of initiatives to improve mental health care would result in a drop in the suicide rate, which surpasses levels for a similar civilian demographic.

In recent years the Army has tried to lower its suicide rate by hiring hundreds of new mental health and substance abuse counselors. But it isn’t clear that the additional resources have had an effect, and there is significant disagreement among mental health experts and military officers over how best to deal with the problem.

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