Aloha Friday, May 8, 2015


Looking east from the top of Diamond Head.  You can see the crater  clearly.

To get you into the Aloha mood, here’s more Kalapana:

What should we talk about today?



  1. Mike Rogers · · Reply

    From the Monticello (IN) Spectator June 19, 1861

    “We learn from Lieutenant D. D. Dale that Captain Reed’s company, at Lafayette, is now full, and has the prospect of being one of the best companies in Camp Tippecanoe. The boys are nearly all from this county [White County Indiana], and as brave as they are healthy specimens of men…We predict for this company a bright future and many secession scalps”

    (The company joined the 20th Indiana Regiment as Company K. The total enrollment of the regiment 1,403 – total casualties (killed and wounded) 771.

  2. How much do you miss that paradise you used to call home?

    Artillery vs. firearm casualties. I think I recall reading that it wasn’t at all close, and that there were far, far more casualties from firearms than artillery. I suppose there may have been individual battles were that was less true (maybe Prairie Grove and G3?). I do realize there were a lot more guys with rifles than field guns, and that has more than a little to do with it. But it does seem to imply there were limits on how much damage artillery alone could do in a battle.

    Yet, when reading descriptions of battles, they often seemed to be very centered on artillery. I recall reading of a lot of times when battles (or their subsets) were all about taking (or holding) ground on which artillery was (or could be) deployed. I have some nebulous thoughts about why this apparent contradiction may not be so, but I’d like to know what you think about it.

    1. I’d love to go back for visits. It’s expensive to live there. If I were the richest man on earth I’d probably live in Hawai’i during the week and jet to battlefields each weekend. 🙂

      Artillery is the king of the battlefield and infantry is the queen of the battlefield. Artillery is very important for its killing power but also because of the psychological effect it has on the enemy. It can do a great deal to demoralize an opposing force, even if it doesn’t kill many soldiers. We also have to remember that artillery in the Civil War had to be supported by infantry or it was vulnerable to be overrun and taken. We read a lot about artillery, but we also read a lot about the artillery limbering up and fleeing when the opposing infantry got too close.

  3. Bob Nelson · · Reply

    Having watched the last videos you posted — particularly “Confederate Reckoning” and Ed Ayers — I would like to raise a question that came up earlier on this group and on “Crossroads.” If you will remember, I got into quite a disagreement with Brooks about the Sesquicentennial a year or so ago going so far as to say that it was largely a bust IMO and did not have near the impact of the Centennial. I think honest, straightforward lectures/discussions of the role of slavery have been wonderful and I have definitely changed my opinion of the Sesquicentennial. So now that the celebration is winding down — we still do have Reconstruction to deal with — what is your opinion of the Sesquicentennial? And what are your feelings about the Bicentennial starting in 2060? Do you think there will be another big celebration or will interest in the Civil War have largely run its course?

    1. I think many parts of the Sesquicentennial have been wonderful, particularly what the State of Virginia and the National Park Service have done. What I think is disappointing is that I think there was an opportunity to do much more with national, coordinated leadership. There was a great outpouring of scholarship and an incredible amount of teaching went on in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Tennessee that I know about, but I’m not aware of much that went on in states that were not directly affected by the war. It would have been nice, for example, for a national commission to create a set of videos modeled on what Virginia did that provided springboards to classroom discussions and could have been given to every school in the country. My big feeling about the bicentennial is that I hope I’m still around for it. I think the Civil War is a compelling story, and I think there will always be interest in it. I think the technology that will be available then to bring the Civil War to the public will be mind boggling to us today, and the bicentennial will have the potential to eclipse everything before it in what it can deliver to every American.

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