Monday, July 30, 2018

Revisiting a Favorite Rant—Seriously Now, Get Your Priorities Straight

Cecil, the majestic and photogenic lion in happier days with one of his harem and as a victim of a feckless dentist with a bow.

Note—I have been recycling more posts and skipping days lately, especially since retirement, as I have started work on long-delayed book projects.  This is another one that would ordinarily not see the light of day again as it was pegged to specific news articles.  I rediscovered it, however, and thought that most readers would remember the news stories cited.  Besides, I like the message.  As predicted the original post did rouse some apoplexy and I was un-friended on Facebook by some seething animal lovers.  Hyper-sensitive White guys were also not happy.  One commentator on the original post took pains to complain that Black Lives Matter “only when they are shot by police” and not when Blacks murder each other—a patented accusation that not only misses the point of the movement but is a quick give away to not-so-cleverly hidden racial animus.  I’ve added a lot of people on Facebook since then, and foresee another round of blithering.  Meanwhile, despite years of protest, senseless police violence against Black folk and other people of color continues.

Get the tar pots boiling.  Slash those old pillows, you are going to need plenty of feathers.  There is probably a decorative rail fence over in the neighbor’s yard.  A lot of you will want all of the gear.  A lot of you are seriously going to hate this post and be itching to ride the author on the rail straight out of town and off the internet.

On Wednesday social media erupted with a virtual torrent of posts about Cecil, a particularly majestic African lion who had somehow become an internet celebrity.  The big cat was apparently lured out of a heavily protected Zimbabwe game reserve and killed by a bow hunter on what amounted to a canned hunt.  The killer was quickly identified as a dentist from Minnesota who immediately became the most reviled and despised man on the internet and the object of a howling global virtual lynch mob.  I would guess based on my Facebook page that 80 to 90% of the anguish and outrage came from tender hearted white folk who love animals.

I get it.  I really do.  We love animals from cute kittens to the endangered wildlife now routinely captured on breathtaking film by world class cinematographers for endless cable channel nature series.  We are viscerally affected when we see them suffer.  Hell, Jimmie Kimmel, of all people, was in tears over the death of Cecil on his TV show the other night.

And I am down with protesting needless cruelty and the wanton destruction of trophy hunting, poaching, baiting, and the like.  Got a petition?  I’ll sign.
The meme that caught my attention and got me thinking about this
But as I scrolled down my Facebook news feed through the almost endless posts I noticed something.  Most of the posts were from friends and acquaintances who otherwise never want to get political.  Very nice people who post those kitten videos, pictures of their lunches, humorous memes, lots of family, and a heavy dose of nostalgia.  People who for the last two years in the face of mounting evidence of structural racism and hair trigger police violence against people of color have never been moved to say a word.  People who are annoyed at and bewildered by all of the fuss and are frightened and offended by street protests.  People who become exasperated by the whole thing and finally add a comment that “all lives matter” or who maintain that “those people must have done something wrong.”

If you heart is big enough and your willingness to get involved is strong enough for both Cecil and the parade of dead and maimed Black men, women, and children,  I am not talking to you—and I did recognize quite a few of you. 

I am talking to the rest of you with your moral blinders on and exquisitely refined and limited sympathies.  Let me put it bluntly…Your priorities are fucked up.  And I am here to hold you accountable—a favorite term, after all, conservatives—for enabling racist, state and socially approved violence against people of color by your silence, squeamishness, and cowardice.
Sandra Bland and her violent arrest for apparently being an insufficiently submissive Black woman.  Days later she was dead in a Texas jail.
The death of Cecil came a week after the troubling death of Sandra Bland in a Texas jail.  In some ways it does not matter if she was murdered in custody, or if she was driven by despair to harm herself.  What is explicitly clear by the video captured by the police’s own camera is that in broad daylight a quite respectably dressed Black Woman was stopped for the very minor moving violation of a broken turn signal and within moments was dragged from her car, slammed violently to the pavement, injured, and ultimately arrested and hauled to jail on charges of resisting arrest.  Once in custody authorities did what they could to prevent her from easily communicating with her distant family and threw every obstacle available to her ability to be released on bail.  After her death county authorities rushed to defame her with claims that marijuana had been found in her system. 

Now wind that scenario back to the beginning and imagine a white woman in an identical circumstance, even one who got sassy to the officer.  Who honestly believes that she would not have been sent on her way with a scolding and a traffic ticket?  Maybe the rate of assault and unjustified incarceration by police against Junior League members is so incredibly low by mere happenstance.  Or not.

Yet so many defenders of Cecil could not work up a yawn about Sandra. 

Then body camera video was released of University of Cincinnati Police Officer Raymond Tensing executing Black motorist Samuel Dubose by shooting him at point blank range in the face through his open car window.  Dubose was pulled over for the hideous crime of missing a front license tag and was slow to respond to a request for a driver’s license.  These are not capital crimes.  Neither was stealing cigars, selling individual cigarettes on the street, or a 12 year old playing alone with a toy gun in a park to rattle off just a few of the cases of the last two years.  Fortunately in the most recent case, quite different from most of the others, local authorities moved quickly on the overwhelming evidence.  The University fired the officer and yesterday, just one day after the video was released, the Grand Jury handed down an indictment for first degree murder.  The Prosecutor even sounds serious about vigorously pursuing the case.  We’ll see.

Once again so many Cecil fans could not be bestirred.

My Facebook feed is filled with commentary about those cases and others.  But my feed, which includes many friends who are Black and other people of color, committed social justice activists, and religious leaders, may not much resemble yours.  I hear a variety, even a cacophony of voices—even those of hyper-conservatives, gun enthusiasts, law and order hard liners, and a couple of openly avowed racists who have not de-friended me or been blocked for threatening physical attacks on me and my family.  Everyone should be exposed to a variety of opinions and attitudes.  Are you?  Or do you close yourself to those who challenge a cocoon of safety and invulnerability?

The de facto community on my Facebook feed is not perfect.  But some of us engage in the hard issues brought forth by the Black Lives Matter Movement, wrestle with how to best and most effectively act as white allies against racism, and even, most painfully of all, confront and acknowledge our white privilege and grapple with our own implicit participation in a system designed to promote oppression of minorities.  We are no angles.  Far less are we white saviors.  But at least we are engaged.

Go ahead.  Love Cecil.  Seek justice, even revenge for his brutal death.  But literally for Christ’s sake get your priorities straight and offer the same love and thirst for justice to your Black neighbors. 

End of screed.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

MacArthur, Eisenhower, and Patton Do Hoover’s Dirty Work

Bonus Marcher in the St. Louis rail yards in late May 1932 ready to hop B & O freights to Washington.  Marchers clogged the freight trains for weeks from all over the country.

Today is the anniversary of one of the most important mass protests in American history being crushed by military force.  This is a bit of historical trivia that was never more relevant.

On July 28, 1932 Washington, D.C. became a battle zone when President Herbert Hoover ordered the Army to clear out veterans, their families and supporters who had been camped since June pressing demands for an early payment of a bonus promised to World War I soldiers and sailors

It was nearly four years into the Great Depression with no relief from an almost total economic collapse in sight.  True unemployment was estimated to be nearing 25% with no safety net other than voluntary soup kitchens.  Tens of thousands of small businesses had failed dropping once solid citizens into povertyFarm income had collapsed.  Across the board, conditions were bleak

Veterans of the Great War were still relatively young men, most in their early 30s.  They had been welcomed home as heroes.  Despite the inevitable post-traumatic stresses of any war’s aftermath, most had married and were raising families when disaster struck.  Largely able bodied and well disciplined, they were perhaps the most employable men in America.  But many, very many, were in desperate shape that summer. 

In 1924 under pressure from veterans’ organizations, especially the American Legion, Congress had passed the Adjusted Service Certificate Law over the strenuous objections of President Calvin Coolidge.  Vets had been issued 3,662,374 bonus certificates, the face amount determined by a formula of how many days each soldier served with a greater payment for each day overseas.  The maximum amount due was $500 for domestic service up to $650 payable when the certificates matured in twenty years—1945

Although veterans were allowed to borrow against a percentage of that sum—eventually raised to 50%, the money had to be repaid with interest

Congress financed the scheme with annual appropriations of more than $12 million to fund the 1945 payments which were expected to be more than $3.5 billion.  Loans paid out against the certificates had already placed the fund in the red

None the less, in face of the dire emergency leading figures like popular retired Marine Corps General Smedley Butler began advocating for an immediate early payment of the bonus certificates.  
Texas Congressman Wright Patman, with had in hand, is shown receiving a petitions from Veteran representatives in front of the Capital..  Patman sponsored legislation for an early payment of a promised bonus to World War I veterans.
Democratic Congressman Wright Patman of Texas, then in the second term of his long career, introduced a bill to authorize the payments.  It was ardently opposed by the President and Republicans in Congress. 

Hoover, a Quaker, had risen politically largely on his reputation as The Great Humanitarian for his work feeding starving European civilians in the wake of the war.  He was the only engineer until Jimmy Carter to be elected President, a man of meticulous attention to detail, a deep attachment to Republican laissez faire economic philosophy, and a practically physical revulsion to disorder.”  He had responded to the Depression with cheerleading, rosy predictions for recovery, expressed sympathy for those affected but a firm belief that they were on their own and that the Federal Government had no Constitutional responsibility to them.  More concerned with the holy writ of a balance budget, he urged spending be slashed—a policy that not only did not help but actually deepened the Depression.  Naturally Hoover and unified Republicans railed against the proposed Patman Act as a budget buster.

The Bonus Expeditionary Force was organized by Walter W. Waters, a former sergeant in the AEF—American Expeditionary Force—in World War I, to descend in mass on Washington to pressure Congress to pass the Patman Act.  Veterans and their families from all over the country, but mostly from the East, responded to the call arriving in the city on June 17 as the Senate took up the bill, which had already cleared the House.  
Bonus Army camps may have had ramshackle huts and tents, but they were neatly organized with streets and maintained with military discipline, men assigned to clean-up, cooking, and security duties in addition to regular drilling.
Senate Republicans blocked action on the bill and the Bonus Marchers settled into makeshift camps, nicknamed Hoovervilles.  Although the shabby camps were assembled from what tents could be obtained and junk scavenged from scrap yards, the veteran leaders exercised military discipline.  They were laid out in orderly streets, sanitation facilities were dug and maintained, common kitchens established, and camps patrolled by volunteer M.P.s.  Men had to register producing evidence of honorable discharge to be admitted and were each expected to do duty keeping the camps clean, orderly and secure.  The men responded to daily reveille and held regular paradesAmerican flags were prominent.

The veterans were very concerned that the public see them as loyal patriots.  And by in large, despite being denounced as dangerous Communists in the most conservative press, the public was at least sympathetic to them

Over 17,000 men enrolled. Their wives and children plus some approved volunteer supportersespecially nurses and medical personnelswelled the camps to a total population of over 40,000.  The main camp was laid out on the mud flats and boggy ground by the Anacostia River across from the core of the city.  
Days before he ordered the Bonus Army dispersed and drive from Washington President Herbert Hoover was lampooned in the professional quality camp newspaper,  He was depicted as the Kaiser with a waxed moustache and wearing the Capital Dome and a German spiked helmet.  Men of every trade and level of education were in the camps, including the experienced journalists, .artists, typographers, and printer who produced the paper.
Marchers gathered daily for orderly demonstrations near the Capital.  By late July it was evident that the Republicans in the Senate would not budge and that the Patman Act was doomed.  Acting on direction of the President, Attorney General William D. Mitchell ordered District Police to “evacuate the city” of bonus marchers on the morning of July 28. 

Veteran leaders were taken by surprise by a police charge and the men resistedIll trained police responded by emptying their revolvers into the crowd killing two men outright and injuring dozensEnraged, the veterans fought back, pelting police with rocks, bricks, and anything else they could lay their hands on.  A few may have had handguns and fired back or fired with weapons taken from disarmed officers.  Police were forced to withdraw with nearly 70 men injured.  The veterans remained on Pennsylvania Avenue

Learning of the failure of the police, Hoover ordered the Army to take actionArmy Chief of Staff Douglas MacArthur, in dress uniform and festooned with every decoration he ever received, decided to take personal command.  As commander of the famed Rainbow Division made up of National Guard units, many of the veterans in the streets had served under him.  
Army Chief of Staff Douglas MacArthur in full dress uniform consults with his cavalry commander Major George S. Patton.  MacArthurs aide-de-camp Major Dwight Eisenhower is the officer at right with his hands on his hips.
MacArthur deployed two full regiments, the 12th Infantry, and the 3rd Cavalry supported by six battle tanks commanded by Maj. George S. Patton.  The Army arrived on the scene about 4:30 p.m. as Federal employees were leaving their offices.  MacArthur, with his aide Major Dwight Eisenhower at his side, ordered his troops to advance

At first many of the veterans were glad to see their brother soldiers.  Some believed that they had arrived to protect them from the police, others said they thought the advance at first was a parade in their honor.  Then Patton ordered his cavalry to charge, sabers drawn.  As the horrified witnesses from surrounding office buildings screamed “Shame, Shame!” the cavalry crashed into the thick mass of veterans.  As the veterans reeled back toward their camps, the infantry came up with bayonets fixed.  Using adamsite gas, an arsenic based gas inducing violent vomiting, the troops began to clear the camps.  Women, children, and civilian volunteers alike were swept up.  

Patto's Light Tanks attacked Marchers on Pennsylvania Ave. as did his mounted cavalrymen with sabers drawn and used.
Against the President’s explicit order, MacArthur crossed the Anacostia into the vast main camp.  Tents and huts were put to the torch, destroying all of the personal positions of the veterans and their families.  Survivors, including many injured, were scattered into the countryside where local law enforcement personnel hectored them for days as they tried to find ways to get home.

In the end at least four veterans, including two of their leaders, William Hushka and Eric Carlson were killed and an estimated 1,017 injured.  Most historians agree that both of those figures are low because many of the injured were either unable to get medical treatment or afraid to seek it.  In addition one woman suffered a miscarriage and an infant was killed.  Again historians, believe, based on eye witness accounts, that other children, especially infants were killed or died later as result of the gas.  
The smouldering ruins of the main camp on the Anacostia mud flap.  Marchers and their families lost all of their personal belongings as they fled for their lives and were hectored and harassed for weeks by local authorities and sometimes vigilante mobs as they tried to make their way home.  Here and there local citizens organized aid and comfort.
Within a week newsreel footage of the attack was being played in every movie theater in the country.  Public outrage played a big part in the defeat of Hoover for re-election that November. 

But if veterans thought that Franklin D. Roosevelt would support payment of the Bonus, they were wrong.  Roosevelt wanted to use money for other projects and for direct relief.  But F.D.R. was not about to make the same mistake as Hoover when a smaller Bonus Army appeared in the summer of 1933.  Instead to sending in the Army, he sent Eleanor, who brought tea to the veterans and urged them to instead enlist in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). 

Hundreds took her up on the proposal and were put to work building the causeway road to Key West, Florida.  When the Labor Day hurricane on September 2, 1935 killed 258 veterans working on the Highway, public sentiment again swung behind the veterans’ demand. 

In 1936 Congress over-rode Roosevelt’s veto to finally authorize the early payment of the promised bonus. 

After World War II the G.I. Bill with its promises of immediate money for education or a home purchase was enacted specifically in response to the plight of World War I vets.

The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom called by Martin Luther King, Jr. and his allies was inspired by the Bonus Marchers.  His 1968 plans for the Poor People’s Campaign, which included a camp of protesters, were even more evocative.  The Campaign, conducted after King’s murder, was not dispersed by troops.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Heroes or Villains—Lundy’s Lane Seen from Different Sides of the Niagara

America's first attempt at an invasion of Upper Canada across the Niagara frontier ended in disaster at the Battle of Queenston Heights on October 13, 1812, the first major battle of the war.  New York militia under Major General Stephen Van Rennselaer broke and ran from smaller British, Canadian militia, and Native forces under concentrated artillery and musket fire.   Lieutenant Colonel Winfield Scott of the 2nd U.S. Artillery had command of the small number of Regulars on Queenston Heights and was wounded and taken prisoner.  On parole, he made his way to Washington to lobby for the creation of more regular infantry regiments.  

NoteU.S.—Canadian relations are at their worst since the War of 1812, which is saying something since Canada was not yet a nation, thanks to the boorish shenanigans and bullying of the Cheeto-in-Charge south of the border.  Canada celebrates the Battle of Lundy Lane as an epic defense of their homeland against a rapturous invader and it helped to shape an eventual national identity.  The battle, like the whole war in which it was fought, is largely forgotten in the States, but is held in special honor by the U.S. military for proving the worth of a professional Army as opposed to citizen militias and short-term volunteers hastily called into service with little training.

The War of 1812 had been a disaster for American arms.  Cocky and nursing martial delusions, the fading reality of the frightfully narrow victory in the Revolutionary War was replaced in the public mind with a myth of an invincible citizen army.  A cadre of War Hawks had pushed a reluctant James Madison to war.  Led by the likes of the young Henry Clay, the War Hawks hoped to put an end to British support for marauding native tribes on the frontier and to expand the new American Empire by the capture of Canada while Britain was distracted by Napoleon in Europe.

The pretext for the war was the impressment of American sailors at sea by the Royal Navy.  But it was only a pretext.  As outrageous and irksome as the seizures may have been those most affected, New England merchants, sailors, and whalers, were animatedly opposed to the war because of its disastrous results for American trade.

But the War Hawks pressed on.  The Regular Army consisted only of a couple of regiments of infantry scattered widely over frontier posts which hardly ever came together to drill at even the company level and units of costal artillery posted to a string of harbor forts.  That didn’t bother the Hawks.  They believed that a brave armed yeomanry, the militias, and volunteers would be sufficient to march on Montreal and York, the British capital.  They were wrong. 

Swaggering Yanks did succeed in briefly occupying—and burning—York early in the war but were soon sent reeling back across the border.  Forts Mackinac and Detroit fell and the garrison at Ft. Dearborn (now Chicago) was massacred.  In engagement after engagement the barely trained and ill equipped militia was put to rout, often fleeing at the first sound of musketry or the flash of British bayonets.  Tiny garrisons of Army Regulars were easily overwhelmed.  In upstate New York, across the Ohio Valley, and in the South the British armed and encouraged Indian allies who rampaged against isolated settlements.  Despite American successes at sea and the eventual naval domination of Lakes Champlain, Ontario, and Erie, British commanders had nothing but well deserved contempt for American troops.

In 1814, buoyed by naval success on the lakes, the Americans would try once again to invade Canada, this time across the Niagara River near the Falls.  The British knew it was coming.  They had re-enforced Canada with battle hardened veteran regiments with experience fighting Napoleon.  In addition they had large auxiliaries of Indian allies, known to terrify the Americans.  Even their home grown militia was better drilled and armed than their U.S. counterparts and had the added motivation of defending their homes.  They were sure that not only could they defend British North America, but that eventually they would be able to slice through New York State and separate New England from the rest of the country.  That region, dominated by Federalists hostile to the Republican administration, was already restive and threatening secession.  It could be ripe for the picking.
Major General Jacob Brown.
But this time the Americans had something up their sleeves.  Under the leadership of two young career officers, Major General Jacob Brown and brevet Brigadier General Winfield Scott, Congress and the War Department had finally been convinced to raise new regiments of regular troops.  Quietly they raised, and more importantly disciplined, drilled and trained two new regiments, the 21st and 25th  Infantry, armed them with regulation military muskets tipped with glinting bayonets and secured scarce mobile field artillery to support them.  Unable to secure regulation blue cloth, Scott outfitted his regiment smartly in gray flannel and made sure they had the tall shako caps with shining brass badges and a plume that made the men feel as worthy as any European troops

Under the over-all command of Brown, the two officers divided their force.  The main body, including the 21st and New York Militia crossed the river on  July 3, 1814, quickly captured Fort Erie, and began to advance to the North.  Two days later Scott in command of the 25th made a surprise night crossing to the North in an attempt to catch the British in a classic pincher maneuver.
Scott encountered a force of British regulars of about equal strength to his own at Chippewa. 
Brevet Brigadier General Winfield Scott
The aggressive Scott lined his men up and attacked.  They advanced with perfect military precision.  When British artillery tore into the ranks and vollies of musket fire felled men by the score, the soldiers dressed ranks and continued to advance.  The astonished British commander exclaimed, “Those are not the Tarrytown militia!  Those are by God Regulars!”  With bayonets lowered Scott put the veteran Redcoats to rout despite taking frightful losses of more than 300 men in his small force.

Pressing on, he rendezvoused with Brown and together they continued to pursue the British.  They captured Queenstown but extended supply lines were harried by the local militia and Indian auxiliaries forcing Brown to fall back to re-supply.

Meanwhile the British regrouped under General Phineas Raill and advanced south occupying positions at Lundy’s Lane.  Lt. General Gordon Drumond arrived to take personal command.  He ordered an advance along the east bank of the Niagara hoping to force Brown back across the river.  Instead Brown turned around and confidently began an advance against the British at Lundy Lane, an exposed position.  Informed of the advance, Raill ordered a withdrawal, but the order was countermanded by Drumond who also force marched additional troops to the scene from Fort George to the north.
Scott and his smart regulars in grey uniforms and tall shako hats advanced with calm discipline into heavy British fire a Chippewa sending the Red Coats to flight despite heavy losses.

The British were still re-occupying their positions when the Americans attacked on July 25th.  A brigade under Scott was badly mauled by British artillery.  Yet the 25th Infantry outflanked the combined British and Canadian forces and sent them to flight.  Raill was badly wounded and captured by American dragoons.  But the fighting had been fierce and Scott’s forces had suffered heavy casualties.

The main body, regulars under Brigadier General Eleazer Wheelcock Ripley and New Your Volunteers drawn from the militia under Peter B. Porter, relieved Scott’s ravaged troops.  The relatively fresh 21st was dispatched to capture the British guns.  After a devastating volley of musketry and a bayonet charge, they did so.  British reinforcements blundered into the Americans now occupying the heights and were repelled with heavy losses.

Lt. General Gordon Drummond
Wounded, Drumond rallied his troops.  Both sides attacked and counter attacked into the night, sometimes firing into their own troops in the smoke and confusion of the battle.  By midnight both were exhausted and fell back from the field.

The next day Brown ordered a retreat to Fort Erie, destroying British fortifications as they went.  The British, too broken to pursue, fell back on Queenstown to lick their wounds.  Both sides had lost about 850 men in the fighting.  Only 700 Americans remained fit for duty, the British had twice that.

Drumond would recoup to fight again.  He lay siege to Fort Erie but was defeated with heavy casualties.

Even the hardened British regulars were horrified by the carnage at Lundy’s Lane.  The fighting was as fierce as anything they had seen in Europe and the casualty figures astronomical.  Drumond in his official report noted,  Of so determined a Character were [the American] attacks directed against our guns that our Artillery Men were bayonetted by the enemy in the Act of loading, and the muzzles of the Enemy’s Guns were advanced within a few Yards of ours”.

The roll of the Canadian-raised Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles and disciplined militia units in withstanding the repeated American charges at Lundy's Lane became an important symbol of Canadian identity.  They claim victory in the battle for stopping the U.S. invasion despite leaving the battle ground briefly in the hands of the Americans.

Historians would argue about the outcome of the Niagara campaign and Lundy’s Lane.  Some would call it a draw.  Others call it a pyrrhic American victory.  Most settle that it was a narrow tactical win for the United States but a strategic victory for Britain in that it thwarted the American invasion of Canada.  The events are enshrined in Canadian history, where the battle is sometimes calledour Gettysburg” because it marked the high water mark of American aggressiveness and insured that Canada would remain British.

On the other hand, in combination with American Naval victories on the Lakes, the British were forced to abandon any hope of invading the States from the north or sundering New England from the rest of the country.  And the memory of that grim fighting weighed heavily on the minds of the British negotiators at peace talks in Ghent.  Even the disastrous defeat of the American militia at Blandensburg, Maryland and Admiral Cockburn’s subsequent burning of Washington just a few weeks after Lundy’s Lane could not erase British fears that eventually the Americans would be able to raise a real professional army and dominate the continent.

Lundy’s Lane goes a long way in explaining what many historians have regarded as the astonishingly generous terms to which the British agreed at Ghent, essentially the reversion to the status ante bellum of U.S. and Canadian borders.  The British would even have to evacuate the wide swath of Maine that they had captured.

Few Americans know anything about the War of 1812.  Many of those who do assume that it was the American victory at New Orleans garnered the generous peace terms.  But Andrew Jackson’s dramatic victory happened after the Treaty of Ghent had already been signed but before troops on either side could hear of it.

The West Point Corps of Cadets on full dress parade for President Ronald Reagan in their grey uniforms and shakos inspired by Scott's troops at Lundy Lane.

Most Americans have never heard of the Niagara Campaign or the battles of Chippewa and Lundy Lane.  Even the War of 1812 itself is barely a historical footnote.  The victory lives on in this country in only two ways.  The Cadets Corps of the United States Military Academy at West Point wear gray and don plumed shakos for dress parades in honor of Winfield Scott’s Regulars.

And it has become the by-word of all professional soldiers that only regular troops—not militias, assemblages of short term volunteers or even hastily mustered National Guardsmenare fit to stand up under concerted hostile fire.