This Land was blessed by the Lord thy God before any Spanish or English had discoved or began to permanently immigrate to the new world for its opportunity and riches. It has been said that this Land was graciously given to immigrants who were experiencing religious oppression over the worldly churches of the day. The indigenous peoples who already dwelled here for millennia lost a way of life and life itself so that it could be given to strange travelers from across the seas that were so called “anointed “, at a great cost to many millions of the people who dwelled here in a land of milk and honey. The natives did not understand why people can be such be wontons about land and perceived valuables that weren’t ours to begin with. He asked simply, Why can’t we just share it. Is it not the Lord thy Gods word in your own book that says “The Earth and everything in it and on it are His?” None of this is really ours in the eternal sense, because none of the temporary is actually real. We should come together as the Lord has planned and made it so with His will and share what He has blessed us with for each other. The chief Seattle wrote to this acknowledging to the President of the United States in the 1800s that God has allowed the travelers to come in and seize the day. And admitted he was up in arms about the whole thing. He truly wanted all peoples to live in peace, Chief Seattle never saw that peace, Liberty, equality, mutualities, fairness, unity and dignities for all people that he prayed for. But he never gave up faith that what the lord took he could give back. He ended with the proclamation that in the end of all things the reasons behind The Lords ways on the matter would be revealed. And this is the Lords prerogative.
This blessing the Lord gave to all peoples was intended to express and follow the Lord in the way of love and appreciation in closer relationship to him, which he intended for us to be with each other from the beginning. Sadly this way did not build the foundations of the government. The United States and the national mindset reveals plainly that we have Lost the way and everyone turns to his own way and all because of the lack of humanity for each other. We spread through speech our prejudices, divisiveness, oppressions, bigotry’s and hates while inflicting physical injury and death because we are intolerant of peoples sex, race and culture? We have become a nation divided threatening to crumble into oblivion if we don’t change our ways to the Lords ways. We are only a few hundred years in on the Idea of a free people nation of all peoples under God in the “New World”.
My question is; In the present state of being, The state of the countrys spiritual, emotional, mental and physical collective body as we are currently in. That is so much broken in so many ways, my question is, was it always to turn out this way from the beginning and if so can we come together in Truth and Spirit to have the Lord heal our land before it’s too late?
Yes, I believe so and not only here, but all over the World.
I believe this moment to be is called 11:11 by some. The Movement of the Hand of God in Action toward a dying world killing itself with pride and greed in mercy and grace through his believers. A movement of Global Awakening. Amen
Can we see It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee take an effort ticket and begin our walk in love unconditionally?
I am brought to tears many times during the day and night. A Twofold emotional response to the pain of loss and the joys of seeing so many come together in peace.
Justice means Equality and Liberty means Freedom. And to stand together apart for these two God given rights as Americans and as a human being will bring the light into dark places of peoples hearts. To those of us who are protesting the human rights violations that are hospitalizing and killing our countrymen and loved ones, I thank you for all your love. It is a good thing when brothers and sisters can come together United in the name of peace for justice and equality and want it like no other time before. And there should never be anything wrong with practicing this in the peace and spirit of humanity under God.
There is much going on in our lives together and apart. There is much more to come our way. We are in difficult times. And truth be told we may be in the way of many hardships to come. Many of us are changing for the better in these times of testing. Many people are coming forward in the spirit of charity to help and to be apart of the solution and still there are many of us who are feeding the problems with hate and division. A classic tale of the sheep and the wolves is playing out before our eyes. In the end of this circular reduction, the separation of the wheat and Tares and again the harvest will be complete. It’s only love that endures and moves on. It is love that overcomes all adversity and It’s only because of Love that we heal from the losses when we do. It is in this love, the unconditional love that is fully given, as it has been fully received by the Lord through each other. That we are given new beginnings on our path of learning to actively be apart of the solution. The tangible acts in caring for and tending to the welfare of others is at the heart of our humanity as well as our salvation. No matter what our personal judgments and prejudices may be in ourselves, this should in no way ever infringe on someone else’s right to be who they are. And learning that together we stand and one nation under God is not a catch phrase. It began as an idea and is now what became the American Experiment. We are to be indivisible practicing liberty and Justice in the dignity that honors all that is good in the world, for all people are created equal under God and the Lord himself is not a respecter of men.
Received this in my morning contemplations. I share it for you.
14 MAY – We Shall Never Have To Let Go What He Let Go
Egypt for some is the ground of bondage and defeat. Even though we may be the Lord’s children, may be Blood-bought, may have come out on redemption ground, yet we may be defeated because of an inadequate apprehension of the meaning of that precious Blood. I believe that there will be many who will lose that thing that God has in view as a special vocation in His heavenly kingdom because they are not wholly devoted to God now. I do not believe that we will be brought into that willy-nilly.
If you want the world, even as a believer, you want a little of it – well, you may have it at this cost: the loss of that for which God has preeminently called you – the heavenly kingdom in a marvelous vocation – you will lose that. Paul was after that. Paul strained every nerve, spiritually, for that; left the things which were behind for that, to be preserved unto His heavenly kingdom. There are many Christians who will lose that because they do not go all the way with the Lord; not lose their salvation, but that specific vocation in glory and honour; they will lose it because they did not recognize and honour the full virtue of the Blood in the totality of their consecration and abandonment to the Lord. Yes, in that sense they will be left behind. But those who go through, who overcome in trial, are they that overcome because of the Blood of the Lamb in this second meaning, the absolute abandonment of the Lord Jesus to the will of His Father even unto death; who are standing in the virtue of His consecration, and making their consecration, by His grace, as utter as was His. We shall never have to let go what He let go in His obedience to the will of God. We have not got it to let go, but what the Lord is looking for, beloved, is a people who are with Him completely, with undivided heart, and that is the ground of our victory and of Satan’s defeat.
Oh, let it be seen that the Blood of the Lamb in its absolute perfection of holiness and sinlessness as representing His being, His substance, His essence, His nature and His complete surrender, His capitulation to the will of His Father – this is the ground to stand on; something to be appropriated by faith and held on to. More, it is something to be taken up as a weapon against the enemy.
For centuries western culture has been permeated by the idea that humans are selfish creatures. That cynical image of humanity has been proclaimed in films and novels, history books and scientific research. But in the last 20 years, something extraordinary has happened. Scientists from all over the world have switched to a more hopeful view of mankind. This development is still so young that researchers in different fields often don’t even know about each other.
When I started writing a book about this more hopeful view, I knew there was one story I would have to address. It takes place on a deserted island somewhere in the Pacific. A plane has just gone down. The only survivors are some British schoolboys, who can’t believe their good fortune. Nothing but beach, shells and water for miles. And better yet: no grownups.
On the very first day, the boys institute a democracy of sorts. One boy, Ralph, is elected to be the group’s leader. Athletic, charismatic and handsome, his game plan is simple: 1) Have fun. 2) Survive. 3) Make smoke signals for passing ships. Number one is a success. The others? Not so much. The boys are more interested in feasting and frolicking than in tending the fire. Before long, they have begun painting their faces. Casting off their clothes. And they develop overpowering urges – to pinch, to kick, to bite.
By the time a British naval officer comes ashore, the island is a smouldering wasteland. Three of the children are dead. “I should have thought,” the officer says, “that a pack of British boys would have been able to put up a better show than that.” At this, Ralph bursts into tears. “Ralph wept for the end of innocence,” we read, and for “the darkness of man’s heart”.
This story never happened. An English schoolmaster, William Golding, made up this story in 1951 – his novel Lord of the Flies would sell tens of millions of copies, be translated into more than 30 languages and hailed as one of the classics of the 20th century. In hindsight, the secret to the book’s success is clear. Golding had a masterful ability to portray the darkest depths of mankind. Of course, he had the zeitgeist of the 1960s on his side, when a new generation was questioning its parents about the atrocities of the second world war. Had Auschwitz been an anomaly, they wanted to know, or is there a Nazi hiding in each of us?
I first read Lord of the Flies as a teenager. I remember feeling disillusioned afterwards, but not for a second did I think to doubt Golding’s view of human nature. That didn’t happen until years later when I began delving into the author’s life. I learned what an unhappy individual he had been: an alcoholic, prone to depression; a man who beat his kids. “I have always understood the Nazis,” Golding confessed, “because I am of that sort by nature.” And it was “partly out of that sad self-knowledge” that he wrote Lord of the Flies.
I began to wonder: had anyone ever studied what real children would do if they found themselves alone on a deserted island? I wrote an article on the subject, in which I compared Lord of the Flies to modern scientific insights and concluded that, in all probability, kids would act very differently. Readers responded sceptically. All my examples concerned kids at home, at school, or at summer camp. Thus began my quest for a real-life Lord of the Flies. After trawling the web for a while, I came across an obscure blog that told an arresting story: “One day, in 1977, six boys set out from Tonga on a fishing trip … Caught in a huge storm, the boys were shipwrecked on a deserted island. What do they do, this little tribe? They made a pact never to quarrel.”
The article did not provide any sources. But sometimes all it takes is a stroke of luck. Sifting through a newspaper archive one day, I typed a year incorrectly and there it was. The reference to 1977 turned out to have been a typo. In the 6 October 1966 edition of Australian newspaper The Age, a headline jumped out at me: “Sunday showing for Tongan castaways”. The story concerned six boys who had been found three weeks earlier on a rocky islet south of Tonga, an island group in the Pacific Ocean. The boys had been rescued by an Australian sea captain after being marooned on the island of ‘Ata for more than a year. According to the article, the captain had even got a television station to film a re-enactment of the boys’ adventure.
I was bursting with questions. Were the boys still alive? And could I find the television footage? Most importantly, though, I had a lead: the captain’s name was Peter Warner. When I searched for him, I had another stroke of luck. In a recent issue of a tiny local paper from Mackay, Australia, I came across the headline: “Mates share 50-year bond”. Printed alongside was a small photograph of two men, smiling, one with his arm slung around the other. The article began: “Deep in a banana plantation at Tullera, near Lismore, sit an unlikely pair of mates … The elder is 83 years old, the son of a wealthy industrialist. The younger, 67, was, literally, a child of nature.” Their names? Peter Warner and Mano Totau. And where had they met? On a deserted island.
My wife Maartje and I rented a car in Brisbane and some three hours later arrived at our destination, a spot in the middle of nowhere that stumped Google Maps. Yet there he was, sitting out in front of a low-slung house off the dirt road: the man who rescued six lost boys 50 years ago, Captain Peter Warner.
Peter was the youngest son of Arthur Warner, once one of the richest and most powerful men in Australia. Back in the 1930s, Arthur ruled over a vast empire called Electronic Industries, which dominated the country’s radio market at the time. Peter was groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps. Instead, at the age of 17, he ran away to sea in search of adventure and spent the next few years sailing from Hong Kong to Stockholm, Shanghai to St Petersburg. When he finally returned five years later, the prodigal son proudly presented his father with a Swedish captain’s certificate. Unimpressed, Warner Sr demanded his son learn a useful profession. “What’s easiest?” Peter asked. “Accountancy,” Arthur lied.
Peter went to work for his father’s company, yet the sea still beckoned, and whenever he could he went to Tasmania, where he kept his own fishing fleet. It was this that brought him to Tonga in the winter of 1966. On the way home he took a little detour and that’s when he saw it: a minuscule island in the azure sea, ‘Ata. The island had been inhabited once, until one dark day in 1863, when a slave ship appeared on the horizon and sailed off with the natives. Since then, ‘Ata had been deserted – cursed and forgotten.
But Peter noticed something odd. Peering through his binoculars, he saw burned patches on the green cliffs. “In the tropics it’s unusual for fires to start spontaneously,” he told us, a half century later. Then he saw a boy. Naked. Hair down to his shoulders. This wild creature leaped from the cliffside and plunged into the water. Suddenly more boys followed, screaming at the top of their lungs. It didn’t take long for the first boy to reach the boat. “My name is Stephen,” he cried in perfect English. “There are six of us and we reckon we’ve been here 15 months.”
The boys, once aboard, claimed they were students at a boarding school in Nuku‘alofa, the Tongan capital. Sick of school meals, they had decided to take a fishing boat out one day, only to get caught in a storm. Likely story, Peter thought. Using his two-way radio, he called in to Nuku‘alofa. “I’ve got six kids here,” he told the operator. “Stand by,” came the response. Twenty minutes ticked by. (As Peter tells this part of the story, he gets a little misty-eyed.) Finally, a very tearful operator came on the radio, and said: “You found them! These boys have been given up for dead. Funerals have been held. If it’s them, this is a miracle!”
In the months that followed I tried to reconstruct as precisely as possible what had happened on ‘Ata. Peter’s memory turned out to be excellent. Even at the age of 90, everything he recounted was consistent with my foremost other source, Mano, 15 years old at the time and now pushing 70, who lived just a few hours’ drive from him. The real Lord of the Flies, Mano told us, began in June 1965. The protagonists were six boys – Sione, Stephen, Kolo, David, Luke and Mano – all pupils at a strict Catholic boarding school in Nuku‘alofa. The oldest was 16, the youngest 13, and they had one main thing in common: they were bored witless. So they came up with a plan to escape: to Fiji, some 500 miles away, or even all the way to New Zealand.
There was only one obstacle. None of them owned a boat, so they decided to “borrow” one from Mr Taniela Uhila, a fisherman they all disliked. The boys took little time to prepare for the voyage. Two sacks of bananas, a few coconuts and a small gas burner were all the supplies they packed. It didn’t occur to any of them to bring a map, let alone a compass.
No one noticed the small craft leaving the harbour that evening. Skies were fair; only a mild breeze ruffled the calm sea. But that night the boys made a grave error. They fell asleep. A few hours later they awoke to water crashing down over their heads. It was dark. They hoisted the sail, which the wind promptly tore to shreds. Next to break was the rudder. “We drifted for eight days,” Mano told me. “Without food. Without water.” The boys tried catching fish. They managed to collect some rainwater in hollowed-out coconut shells and shared it equally between them, each taking a sip in the morning and another in the evening.
Then, on the eighth day, they spied a miracle on the horizon. A small island, to be precise. Not a tropical paradise with waving palm trees and sandy beaches, but a hulking mass of rock, jutting up more than a thousand feet out of the ocean. These days, ‘Ata is considered uninhabitable. But “by the time we arrived,” Captain Warner wrote in his memoirs, “the boys had set up a small commune with food garden, hollowed-out tree trunks to store rainwater, a gymnasium with curious weights, a badminton court, chicken pens and a permanent fire, all from handiwork, an old knife blade and much determination.” While the boys in Lord of the Flies come to blows over the fire, those in this real-life version tended their flame so it never went out, for more than a year.
The kids agreed to work in teams of two, drawing up a strict roster for garden, kitchen and guard duty. Sometimes they quarrelled, but whenever that happened they solved it by imposing a time-out. Their days began and ended with song and prayer. Kolo fashioned a makeshift guitar from a piece of driftwood, half a coconut shell and six steel wires salvaged from their wrecked boat – an instrument Peter has kept all these years – and played it to help lift their spirits. And their spirits needed lifting. All summer long it hardly rained, driving the boys frantic with thirst. They tried constructing a raft in order to leave the island, but it fell apart in the crashing surf.
Worst of all, Stephen slipped one day, fell off a cliff and broke his leg. The other boys picked their way down after him and then helped him back up to the top. They set his leg using sticks and leaves. “Don’t worry,” Sione joked. “We’ll do your work, while you lie there like King Taufa‘ahau Tupou himself!”
They survived initially on fish, coconuts, tame birds (they drank the blood as well as eating the meat); seabird eggs were sucked dry. Later, when they got to the top of the island, they found an ancient volcanic crater, where people had lived a century before. There the boys discovered wild taro, bananas and chickens (which had been reproducing for the 100 years since the last Tongans had left).
They were finally rescued on Sunday 11 September 1966. The local physician later expressed astonishment at their muscled physiques and Stephen’s perfectly healed leg. But this wasn’t the end of the boys’ little adventure, because, when they arrived back in Nuku‘alofa police boarded Peter’s boat, arrested the boys and threw them in jail. Mr Taniela Uhila, whose sailing boat the boys had “borrowed” 15 months earlier, was still furious, and he’d decided to press charges.
Fortunately for the boys, Peter came up with a plan. It occurred to him that the story of their shipwreck was perfect Hollywood material. And being his father’s corporate accountant, Peter managed the company’s film rights and knew people in TV. So from Tonga, he called up the manager of Channel 7 in Sydney. “You can have the Australian rights,” he told them. “Give me the world rights.” Next, Peter paid Mr Uhila £150 for his old boat, and got the boys released on condition that they would cooperate with the movie. A few days later, a team from Channel 7 arrived.
The mood when the boys returned to their families in Tonga was jubilant. Almost the entire island of Haʻafeva – population 900 – had turned out to welcome them home. Peter was proclaimed a national hero. Soon he received a message from King Taufa‘ahau Tupou IV himself, inviting the captain for an audience. “Thank you for rescuing six of my subjects,” His Royal Highness said. “Now, is there anything I can do for you?” The captain didn’t have to think long. “Yes! I would like to trap lobster in these waters and start a business here.” The king consented. Peter returned to Sydney, resigned from his father’s company and commissioned a new ship. Then he had the six boys brought over and granted them the thing that had started it all: an opportunity to see the world beyond Tonga. He hired them as the crew of his new fishing boat.
While the boys of ‘Ata have been consigned to obscurity, Golding’s book is still widely read. Media historians even credit him as being the unwitting originator of one of the most popular entertainment genres on television today: reality TV. “I read and reread Lord of the Flies ,” divulged the creator of hit series Survivor in an interview.
It’s time we told a different kind of story. The real Lord of the Flies is a tale of friendship and loyalty; one that illustrates how much stronger we are if we can lean on each other. After my wife took Peter’s picture, he turned to a cabinet and rummaged around for a bit, then drew out a heavy stack of papers that he laid in my hands. His memoirs, he explained, written for his children and grandchildren. I looked down at the first page. “Life has taught me a great deal,” it began, “including the lesson that you should always look for what is good and positive in people.”
• This is an adapted excerpt from Rutger Bregman’s Humankind, translated by Elizabeth Manton and Erica Moore.
I read this book for a school assignment when I was twelve or thirteen years old. The writing would have an impact on me psychologically and emotionally all my life after reading it. The meaning to my existence lay in the pages and I knew it, but they escaped my grasp as an adolescent boy. It would be another thirty-seven years before it would gel and I would find the meaning that I sought in my childhood contemplations.
On May 5, 1910 my Grand Father, George Michaud was born at the St. Josephs Hospital in Nashua, New Hampshire. The Son of Arthur Michaud and Louis Caron who were born in the St. Pascal, Kamarouska townships in Quebec. Along a most beautiful stretch of the St. Lawrence River. These were farming villages, still are, that have been producing crops since the 1600s when Pierre Michaud immigrated from France as an indentured servant, farmer. He bought his first lot, title and deed in the New World twenty years after. They in the St. Lawrence valley still produce fruits and vegetables on the Michaud farms I’ve read and would like to believe in my heart of hearts.
Growing up and living in Nashua with the experiences of a time we have well past. My Pepe helped many of the cities families in so many ways. The times then were close and personal, having relationships of depth. Less distractions brings out better relationships in us that are simpler in nature, yet more meaningful. Back in Pepe George’s day, there were rather large families that came about. With the French Canadian immigrants of the 1890s into the 1920s moving here and building a community, things were looking good. Pepe married Florence Cardin in 1932. She had just graduated Nashua High School , She was 18 years old that year and would go on to have eighteen children together with George. Fourteen boys and four girls. They raised 16 due to the loss of the twins, Denise and Dennis.
He worked in the Johns_Manville plant when asbestos tile was made for the siding of houses. After working in the factory a few years He became a Mason. He is a provider that generously gave. He taught all the kids the lessons of a tough life and made them better for it. The children took care of bringing home something from where the worked after school for the family to eat. Pepe had a business laying brick and mortar which allowed him to be the one thing he loved being, a husband and a dad. Imagine the love that poured out from him. It awes me, in thinking.
I couldn’t imagine a life as full as his and can’t really say I would or could envy his life. However, I do deeply love him and respect him for all he lived for and taught to my uncles and aunts who passed those gems to the younger generations.
Those few years in the asbestos factory is what bit him in the end of his journey with us, He was 61 and I was 2. I remember him on the hospital bed when he said to me in my ear, in that aware moment being a toddler. He said that “we’ll see each other again really soon”. He whispered it in my ear, He did. I believed Him and He kept his promise.
We are all now in this time of heightened awareness in our surroundings and dwellings. We as Americans and most of the Worlds peoples have been isolating for safety. We who have been separated from loved ones and family. We who are experiencing the losses of friends, neighbors, family as result of the viruses deadly tragedy and leaving untold heartbreak to many of us. We have come together in ways of love that is growing in tangible blessings to many. Manifesting the goodness that is inherent in all of us, to help others get through. This is what brought the many people before us in our communities into victory, even when there was defeat. Community is the inner heart of God when we choose to let the Lord dwell in our heart. This I know my Grandfather would have taught me at some point had we the years together. And yet, deep down I know he taught me this and so much more from the gate of salvation. Listen, Listen, Love, Love
Happy Birthday Pepe, your 110 years old today, We Love you.
War isn’t pretty and any attempt to glorify it, especially in a book for young adults, is a little disconcerting. Heroes in uniform are usually only so because of their successes, which come at heavy cost to those whose lives and fortunes are caught in the crossfire. Thus, writing a good book for young readers about guerrilla warfare, even in a war as distant and ennobled in the American consciousness as the Civil War, presents a considerable challenge.
Grierson’s Raid: A Daring Cavalry Strike Through the Heart of the Confederacy appears on bookshelves at a curious time in our history. Terrorism is a global threat, both at home and abroad. Images of terrorism are now part of our daily diet of news. Yet here we have a hook about an unlikely American hero whose sanctioned guerrilla raid through the South in the spring of 1863 was calculated to cause terror and havoc on an unsuspecting population in rural Mississippi. Not that such a story isn’t worth retelling. Indeed, it offers an opportunity to reflect on the politics and purposes of war, which often have repercussions far beyond those envisioned by the politicians and generals who wage them.
Tom Laklicki is an excellent storyteller and writer. He gives us a very human and memorable hero in Colonel Benjamin Grierson, the failed merchant and talented musician from Morgan County who rose from anonymity in the ranks to the front pages of Harper’s Weekly. Using diaries, newspaper accounts, letters, official government records and historic documents, Laklicki presents Grierson as a fearless, duty-bound American who rose to an overwhelming challenge and not only prevailed, but routed his enemy completely, perhaps saving the lives of countless Union and Confederate soldiers.
His narrative is simple but effective. Grierson’s raid, we are told, was both necessary and unavoidable, given Union defeats in 1862. The army was disillusioned, broken, and politically under fire. The costly victory at Stones River in January 1863 and the seemingly inpenetrable defenses at Vicksburg, “the key to Union victory,” the author asserts, required drastic and daring action to break the Confederates’ control of the Mississippi River above New Orleans.
Grierson’s secret orders were to ride through the heart of Mississippi with three cavalry and two artillery regiments (about 500 men) and “destroy the Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad at Newton Station, Mississippi,” and to damage any other military targets he found along the way.” The purpose was to demoralize the enemy, frighten the citizenry, and create chaos along the way. To disguise troup movements, some of Grierson’s raiders wore “Butternut,” the unofficial uniform of the Confederacy.
The plan worked brilliantly. Though surrounded by enemy forces at every turn, Grierson outmaneuvered his pursuers and caused panic throughout the countryside, giving Grant’s army the diversion it needed to overwhelm Vicksburg, thereby reclaiming the Mississippi River and its ports for the Union. Laklacki’s focus is on Grierson’s objectives, and only rarely does he give us a glimpse of the realities of guerrilla warfare as experienced by those caught in its path. One 19-year-old soldier, stunned by the lawless devastation, summarizes the raid rather succinctly:
“Appropriating the last horse of a poor old woman, and driving off a man’s team from before his plow, certainly seems to be tolerably small work for a soldier, but then what is all war but one monstrous evil by the use of which we hope to overcome a much greater, and so long as it tends to subdue the rebellion I suppose that the means are justified by the end.”
The raiders, we read, had limited supplies, and therefore frequently “requisitioned” the livestock, stores, and harvests of farmers along their route. In one case, a farmer named Sloan was so distraught by the soldiers’ banditry that he pleaded to be killed. Grierson commanded that the farmer’s wish be granted, though he later changed his mind when the unfortunate’s wife pleaded for his life.
Laklicki’s story is about heroes, not about collateral damage. Nor is it about the realities and repercussions of guerrilla warfare. It is all too telling that the author’s celebration of Grierson’s raid makes no mention of another guerrilla raid four months later, when William Quantrill, a former school teacher, led 400 Confederate raiders into Lawrence, Kansas, and murdered 200 men and boys, then set fire to the town. Quantrill and his partisan army undoubtedly knew of Grierson’s work in Mississippi, and rode into Kansas to exact their own vengeance. At the time, several Southern papers praised Quantrill’s daring raid, yet I doubt any young adult publisher today would consider Quantrill or his raid heroic.
Though well-written, focused, spirited, and engaging, Tom Laklicki’s Grierson’s Raid, misses an opportunity to be a better book simply because the author chooses not to challenge his readers. I only hope that those who pick it up will read between the lines.
GEN. GRIERSON’S GREAT RAID.; Official Report of the Expedition from La Grange, Tenn., to Baton Rouge, La.
Although the following report has been so long delayed, its historical importance warrants its publication.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST CAVALRY BRIGADE, BATON ROUGE, La., May 5, 1863.
COLONEL: In accordance with instructions from Major-Gen. S.A. HURLBUT, received through Brig.-Gen. W.S. SMITH, at La Grange, Tenn., I left that place at daylight on the morning of the 17th of April, with the effective force of my command, 1,700 strong. We moved southward without material interruption, crossing the Tallahathie River on the afternoon of the 18th at three different points. One battalion of the Seventh Illinois, under Major GRAHAM, crossing at New-Albany, found the bridge partially torn up, and an attempt was made to fire it. As they approached the bridge they were fired upon, but drove the enemy from their position, repaired the bridge, and crossed. The balance of the Seventh Illinois and the whole of the Sixth crossed at a ford two miles above, and the Second Iowa crossed about four miles still further up. After crossing, the Sixth and Seventh Illinois moved south on the Pontotoc road, and encamped for the night on the plantation of Mr. SLOAN; the Second Iowa also moved south from their point of crossing, and encamped about four miles south of the river. The rain fell in torrents all night. The next morning, April 19, I sent a detachment eastward to communicate with Col. HATCH, and make a demonstration toward Chesterville, where a regiment of cavalry was organizing. I also sent an expedition to New-Albany, and another northwest toward King’s Bridge, to attack and destroy a portion of a regiment of cavalry organizing there, under Major CHALMERS. I thus sought to create the impression that the object of our advance was to break up these parties. The expedition eastward communicated with Col. HATCH, who was still moving south parallel to us. The one to New-Albany came upon 200 rebels near the town and engaged them, killing and wounding several. The one northwest found that Maj. CHALMER’s command, hearing of our close proximity, had suddenly left in the night, going west. After the return of these expeditions, I moved with the whole force to Pontotoc. Col. HATCH joined us about noon, reporting having skirmished with about 200 rebels the afternoon before and that morning, killing, wounding and capturing a number. We reached Pontotoc about 5 o’clock P.M. The advance dashed into the town, came upon some guerrillas, killed and one wounded and captured several more. Here we also captured a large mail, about 400 bushels of salt, and the camp equipage, books, papers, &c., of Capt. WEATHERALL’s command, all of which were destroyed. After slight delay, we moved out and encamped for the night on the plantation of Mr. DAGGETT, five miles south of Pontotoc, on the road toward Houston.
At 3 o’clock the next morning, April 30, I detached 175 of the least effective portion of the command, with one gun of the battery, and all the prisoners, led horses and captured property, under the command of Maj. LOVE, of the Second Iowa, to proceed back to La Grange, marching in column of fours, before daylight, through Pontotoc, and thus leaving the impression that the whole command had returned. Maj. LOVE had orders also to send off a single scout to cut the telegraph wires south of Oxford. At 5 o’clock A.M. I proceeded southward with the main force, on the Houston road, passing around Houston about 4 o’clock P.M., and halting at dark on the plantation of BENJAMIN KILGORE, eleven and a half miles southeast of the latter place, on the road toward Starkville. The following morning at 6 o’clock, I resumed the march southward, and about 8 o’clock came to the road leading southeast to Columbus, Miss. Here I detached Col. HATCH, with the Second Iowa cavalry and one gun of the battery, with orders to proceed to the Ohio and Mobile Railroad in the vicinity of West Point, destroy the road and wires, thence move south, destroying the railroad and all public property as far south, if possible, as Macon; thence cross the railroad, making a circuit northward, it practicable take Columbus and destroy all Government works in that place and again strike Okalona, and destroying it, return to La Grange by the must practicable route. Of this expedition and the one previously sent back I have since heard nothing except vague and uncertain rumors through secession sources. These detachments were intended as diversions, and even should the Commanders not have been able to carry out their instructions, yet, by attracting the attention of the enemy in other directions, they assisted us much in the accomplishment of the main object of the expedition.
After having started Col. HATCH on his way, with the remaining portion of the command, consisting of the Sixth and Seventh Illinois cavalry, about 950 strong, I continued on my journey southward, still keeping the Starkville road, arriving at Starkville about 4 o’clock P.M.; we captured a mail and a quantity of Government property, which was destroyed. From this point we took the direct road to Louisville. We moved out on this road about four miles, through a dismal swamp near belly deep in mud, and sometimes swimming our horses to cross streams, when we encamped for the night in the midst of a violent rain. From this point I detached a battalion of the Seventh Illinois cavalry, under _____, to proceed about four miles, and destroy a large tannery and shoe manufactory in the service of the rebels. They returned safely, having accomplished the work most effectually. They destroyed a large number of boots and shoes, and a large quantity of leather and machinery, in all amounting probably to $50,000, and captured a rebel quartermaster from Port Hudson, who was there laying in a supply for his command. We now immediately resumed the march toward Louisville — distance twenty-eight miles — mostly through a dense swamp — the Noxubee River bottom. This was for miles belly deep in water, so that no road was discernible. The inhabitants through this part of the country, generally, did not know of our coming, and would not believe us to be anything but Confederates. We arrived at Louisville soon after dark. I sent a battalion of the Sixth Illinois, under Maj. STARR, in advance, to picket the town and remain until the column had passed, when they were relieved by a battalion of the Seventh Illinois, under Maj. GRAHAM, who was ordered to remain until we should have been gone an hour, to prevent persons leaving with information of the course we were taking, to drive out stragglers, preserve order, and quiet the fears of the people. They had heard of our coming a short time before we arrived, and many had left, taking only what they could hurriedly move. The column moved quietly through the town without halting, and not a thing was disturbed. Those who remained at home acknowledged that they were surprised. They had expected to be robbed, outraged and have their houses burned. On the contrary, they were protected in their persons and property. After leaving the town we struck another swamp, in which, crossing it, as we were obliged to, in the dark, we lost several animals drowned and the men narrowly escaped the same fate. Marching until midnight, we halted until daylight at the plantation of Mr. ESTUS, about ten miles south of Louisville.
The next morning, April 23, at daylight, we took the road for Philadelphia, crossing Pearl River at a a bridge about six miles north of the town. This bridge we were fearful would be destroyed by the citizens to prevent our crossing, and upon arriving at Philadelphia, we found that they had met and organized for that purpose, but hearing of our hear approach, their hearts failed, and they fled to the woods. We moved through Philadelphia about 3 P.M., without interruption, and halted to feed about five miles southeast on the Enterprise road. Here we rested until 10 o’clock at night, when I sent two battalions of the Seventh Illinois cavalry, under Lieut.-Col. BLACKBURN, to proceed immediately to Decatur, thence to the railroad at Newton Station. With the main force I followed about an hour later. The advance passed through Decatur about daylight, and struck the railroad about 6 o’clock A.M. I arrived about an hour afterward with the column. Lieut.-Col. BLACKBURN dashed into the town, took possession of the railroad and telegraph, and succeeded in capturing two trains in less than half an hour after his arrival. One of these, twenty-five cars, was loaded with ties and machinery, and the other thirteen cars were loaded with commissary stores and ammunition, among the latter several thousand loaded shells. These, together with a large quantity of Commissary and Quartermaster’s stores, and about 500 stand of arms stored in the town, were destroyed, 75 prisoners captured at this point were paroled. The locomotives were exploded and otherwise rendered completely unserviceable. Here the track was torn up, and a bridge half a mile west of the station destroyed. I detached a battalion of the Sixth Illinois cavalry, under Maj. STARR, to proceed eastward, and destroy such bridges, &c., as he might find over Chunkey River. Having damaged as much as possible the railroad and telegraph, and destroyed all Government property in the vicinity of Newton, I moved about four miles south of the road and fed men and horses. The forced matches which I was compelled to make in order to reach this point successfully necessarily very much fatigued and exhausted my command, and rest and food were absolutely necessary for its safety.
From captured mails and information obtained by my scouts, I knew that large forces had been sent out to intercept our return, and having instructions from Maj.-Gen. HURLBUT and Brig.-Gen. SMITH to move in any direction from this point which, in my judgment, would be best for the safety of my command and the success of the expedition, I at once decided to move south, in order to secure the necessary rest and food for men and horses, and then return to La Grange through Alabama or make for Baton Rouge, as I might hereafter deem best. Maj. STARR in the meantime rejoined us, having destroyed most effectually three bridges had several hundred feet of trestle-work and the telegraph, from eight to ten miles east of Newton Station. After resting about three hours, we moved south Garlandsville. At this point we found the citizens, many of them venerable with age, armed with shot guns and organized to resist our approach. As the advance entered the town these citizens fired upon them and wounded one of our men. We charged upon them and captured several. After disarming them we showed them the folly of their actions and released them. Without an exception they acknowledged their mistake, and declared that they had been grossly deceived as to our real character. One volunteered his services as guide, and upon leaving us declared that hereafter his prayers should be for the Union army. I mention this as a sample of the feeling which exists, and of the good effect which our presence produced among the people in the country through which we passed, Hundreds who are skulking and hiding out to avoid conscription, only await the presence of our arms to sustain them, when they will rise up and declare their principles; and thousands who have been deceived, upon the vindication of our cause, would immediately return to loyalty. After slight delay at Garlandsville, we moved southwest about ten miles and camped at night on the plantation of Mr. BENDER, two miles west of Montrose. Our men and horses having become gradually exhausted, I determined on making a very easy march the next day, and looking more to the recruiting of my weary little command than to the accomplishment of any important object; consequently I marched at 8 o’clock the next morning, taking a west and varying slightly to a northwest course. We marched about five miles and halted to feed on the plantation of Mr. NICHOLS.
After resting until about 2 o’clock P.M., during which time I sent detachments north to threaten the line of the railroad at Lake Station and other points, we moved southwest toward Raleigh, making about twelve miles during the afternoon, and halting at dark on the plantation of Dr. MACKADORA. From this point I sent a single scout, disguised as a citizen, to proceed northward to the line of the Southern Railroad, cut the telegraph, and, it possible, fire a bridge or trestle-work. He started on his journey about midnight, and when within seven miles of the railroad he came upon a regiment of Southern cavalry from Brandon, Miss., in search of us. He succeeded in misdirecting them as to the place where he had last seen us, and having seen them well on the wrong road, he immediately retraced his steps to the camp with the news. When he first met them they were on the direct road to our camp, and had they not been turned from their course would have come up with us before daylight. From information received through my scouts and other sources, I found that Jackson and the stations east, as far as Lake Station, had been reinforced by infantry and artillery, and hearing that a fight was momentarily expected at Grand Gulf, I decided to make a rapid march, cross Pearl River, and strike the New-Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad at Hazlehurst, and after destroying as much of the road as possible, endeavor to get upon the flank of the enemy and cooperate with our forces, should they be successful in the attack upon Grand Gulf and Port Gibson. Having obtained during this day plenty of forage and provisions, and having had one good night’s rest, we now again left ready for any emergency. Accordingly, at 6 o’clock on the morning of the 26th we crossed Leaf River, burning the bridge behind us to prevent any enemy who might be in pursuit from following: thence through Raleigh capturing the sheriff of that county with about $3,000 in Government funds; thence to Westville, reaching this place soon after dark. Passing on about two miles we halted to feed, in the midst of a heavy rain, on the plantation of Mr. WILLIAMS. After feeding, Col. PRINCE, of the Seventh Illinois cavalry, with two battalions, was sent immediately forward to Pearl River to secure the ferry and landing. He arrived in time to capture a courier, who had come to bring intelligence of the approach of the Yankees, and orders for the destruction of the ferry. With the main column I followed in about two hours. We ferried and swam our horses, and succeeded in crossing the whole command by 2 o’clock P.M. As soon as Col. PRINCE had crossed his two battalions he was ordered to proceed immediately to the New-Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern Railroad, striking it at Hazlehurst. Here he found a number of ca[???]s containing about 600 loaded shells and a large quantity of Commissary and Quartermaster’s stores, intended for Grand Gulf and Port Gibson. These were destroyed, and as much of the railroad and telegraph as possible. Here, again, we found the citizens armed to resist us, but they fled precipitately upon our approach.
Days gone by, futures past. Present days, cycle fast. Who we were, want to be. Life moves forward, never it seems. Your Kingdom come, wounds to heal. Jesus bring me through to kneel. Forgiveness sets free, to those who be. Reconciling to those, all that see. The gates of hell will not prevail. Together again all who sail.
I happened across this written on a wall in my virtual walk through Kathmandu.
Who will be hardest hit in a global pandemic like Coranavirus. Not the wealthy, not the High Society. No it will be the poor. It will be the children of the poor. It will be those who worldwide, are destitute of everything.
I being from the United States have not traveled the world. I have had the privilege of traveling the United States a few times and I have witnessed the deplorable conditions of our own citizens in the cities and towns that make up this great nation. My heart cry’s out ABBA Father in so many ways for the brokenness of people on both sides of the tracks.
It’s been said that the United States population of 300 million people consumes 25 percent of everything that is produced in the world. Even at 20 percent that’s a gross percentage and a travesty. We live while the whole world dies and we do it vicariously.
Being born in an advanced industrialized nation is winning of the lottery. Being born in the richest country in the world hits home to the core of the possibilities of being able to help those who are less fortunate. And yet I am still powerless to save the world from itself. Even our home country is seeing unprecedented numbers of homelessness and degradation of living standards across the board. And still the rich get richer and healthier and the poor get poorer and die. What are we to do on a personal level? What are we willing to sacrifice to retain our humanity?
Society and industry parallel to the corporations in conjunction with government leaders sell us a reality that isn’t real. And we buy it hook, line and sinker. We buy into the lie literally at a cost to people and at an incremental depletion of our own soul every time we look away hardening our hearts in willful misperception and willful misunderstanding.
I heard a man ask the Lord he said “Lord why do you allow evil to exist in the world”. The Lord replied “Why do you allow evil to exist in the world”?
What we do in our daily lives to help others in their state of being will help our state of being or our state of non-being. It’s our personal choice.
It’s our inability to conceive of things that holds us back. We can do something about this and charity does not begin at home. Charity is a risk in being duped and still gives. Charity is not in our own personal safe zone, Charity is in the soup kitchens and outreach centers. Charity is in the Alleys and in cracks in the buildings hiding and waiting for us to seek her out. Charity is not in our own religion, our own culture or our own personal nationality. Pride has no place in Charity, she evicted him long ago. Charity is Justice exemplified. Charity is most times at a cost to ourselves and our own. Always repaid with more heartfelt charity. Charity And Equality are hand in hand in the acts of those who have Jesus dwelling in their hearts, always in truth and in spirit.
The time is coming and now is when the inhabitants of the Earth will be tempted and tested . The time when we will be stretched to the breaking point. It will be a time that in our humanity we will be saved. Everyone has heard of the Lord and many proclaim to know him but does he dwell enough in us to have sovereignty over all that we are and have to be able to help those who have not. It’s in our humanity or lack Thereof that we will be saved or not. Believe it.
I want to give all so that I can become all who God created me to be for others.
Anything less is to fall short of accomplishing what I was born to be.
What is it to be an Ambassador of the Kingdom? What are we to do? What is pure Religion?
Pure Religion is the act in visiting the Fatherless(those who have not the Lord). It is the act in visiting the widows(those who are married to the prince of this world).
Pure Religion is loving those who are afflicted in their afflictions, alone in their trespasses and pouring out that substance of Life, in Truth, in Holy Spirit in Charity, that very real power of abundant life that saves, that which has been poured into us in our own death.
And lastly it is keeping ourselves unspotted by it all in the world. To keep from being trapped on the flypaper in our own transgressions. The world is a Magnet Tar Pit Trap designed to hold us in bondage, being saved maybe, even possibly, but kept powerless by the devices of the world at large set in place by the enemies of old long ago.
It’s a sticky place this world, but if our hearts be true to the one who gives us life than he will surely have mercy. When the time comes to get out of the sandbox with our buckets and spoons, The Lord will loose us to learn to be useful, powerful in the Holy Spirit, helping to heal and free the captives.
Too all those who overcome and love him he will give that crown of life he promises. He will show us the true path, being free of the order of the day religiously or secularly. The deceptions of the enemies of life and love, the adversary as he is called, can not stand in the presence of the risen lord for long. The lies dissipate with the heart light turned on. And we are now free to be who we were created to be. Kings and Priest of the New Heaven on earth now. Full grown sons of the Living God.
The Lord never said go out and make converts. The Lord said go and find those who are willing to be made disciples that will follow him in truth and spirit, becoming more than anything this world has to offer.
Are we willing to let go of it all to become all we are created to be? Are we willing to Listen for the sake of Listening and are we willing to Love for the sake of Loving, at no cost to the orphans and widows of the world or maybe even at a cost to ourselves?
Believe, Receive, Become, and be the Gift that keeps on giving.
Today for the first time in my fifty-one years on Earth. I said to myself genuinely “I love you” and myself reciprocated and said back to me
“ I love you too”.
I can not help in being brought to tears at such a heartfelt response. Crying like a newborn baby.
Until now this genuine love of myself has eluded me my entire life. And I thank my soul for helping to convert me into who I am today.
This is definitely one of the milestones in life that creates a game changer.
Lord what do you have in mind now?
Thank You ABBA Father
Thank You Yeshua
Thank You Holy Spirit
This reading in my present state of being makes complete sense to me now 33 years after reading it for the first time.
I now share it with you.
The Last Temptation
By Nikos Kazantzakis
The dual substance of Christ-the yearning, so human, so superhuman, of man to attain to God, or more exactly, to return to God and identify himself with him-has always been a deep inscrutable mystery to me. This nostalgia for God, at once so mysterious and so real, has opened in me large wounds and also large flowing springs. My principal anguish and the source of all my joys and sorrows from my youth onward has been the incessant, merciless battle between the spirit and the flesh. Within me are the dark immemorial forces of the Evil One, human and pre-human; within me too are the luminous forces, human and pre-human, of God – and my soul is the arena where these two armies have clashed and met. The anguish has been intense. I loved my body and did not want it to perish; I loved my soul and did not want it to decay. 1 have fought to reconcile these two primordial forces which are so contrary to one another, to make them realize that they are not enemies but rather fellow-workers so that they might rejoice in their harmony – and so that I might rejoice with them.
Every man partakes of the divine nature in both his spirit and his flesh. That is why the mystery of Christ is not simply a mystery for a particular creed: it is universal. The struggle between God and man breaks out in everyone, together with the longing for reconciliation. Most often this struggle is unconscious and short-lived. A weak soul does not have the endurance to resist the flesh for very long. It grows heavy, becomes Flesh itself, and the contest ends. But among responsible men, men who keep their eyes riveted day and night upon the Supreme Duty, the conflict between flesh and spirit breaks out mercilessly and may last until death. The stronger the soul and the flesh, the more fruitful the struggle and the richer the final harmony. God does not love weak souls and flabby flesh. The Spirit wants to have to wrestle with flesh which is strong and full of resistance. It is a carnivorous bird which is incessantly hungry; it eats flesh and by assimilating it, makes it disappear. Struggle between the flesh and the spirit, rebellion and resistance, reconciliation and submission, and finally-the supreme purpose of the struggle-union with God: this was the ascent taken by Christ, the ascent which he invites us to take as well, following in his bloody tracks. This is the Supreme Duty of the man who struggles-to set out for the lofty peak which Christ, the first-born son of salvation, attained. How can we begin? If we are to be able to follow him we must have a profound knowledge of his conflict, we must relive his anguish: his victory over the blossoming snares of the earth, his sacrifice of the great and small joys of men and his ascent from sacrifice to sacrifice, exploit to exploit, to martyrdom’s summit, the Cross.
I never followed Christ’s bloody journey to Golgotha with such terror, I never lived his Life and Passion with such intensity, such understanding and love, as during the days and nights when I wrote The Last Temptation. While setting down this confession of the anguish and the great hope of mankind I was so moved that my eyes filled with tears. I had never felt the blood of Christ fall drop by drop into my heart with so much sweetness, so much pain. In order to mount to the Cross, the summit of sacrifice, and to God, the summit of immateriality, Christ passed through all the stages which the man who struggles passes through. That is why his suffering is so familiar to us; that is why we share it, and why his final victory seems to us so much our own future victory. That part of Christ’s nature which was profoundly human helps us to understand him and love him and to pursue his Passion as though it were our own. If he had not within him this warm human element, he would never be able to touch our hearts with such assurance and tenderness; he would not be able to become a model for our lives. We struggle, we see him struggle also, and we find strength. We see that we are not all alone in the world: he is fighting at our side. Every moment of Christ’s life is a conflict and a victory. He conquered the invincible enchantment of simple human pleasures; he conquered temptations, continually transubstantiated flesh into spirit, and ascended. Reaching the summit of Golgotha, he mounted the Cross. But even there his struggle did not end. Temptation-the Last Temptation-was waiting for him upon the Cross. Before the fainted eyes of the Crucified the spirit of the Evil One, in an instantaneous flash, unfolded the deceptive vision of a calm happy life. It seemed to Christ that he had taken the smooth road of men. He had married and fathered children. People loved and respected him. Now, an old man, he sat on the threshold of his house and smiled with satisfaction as he recalled the longings of his youth. How splendidly, how sensibly he had acted in choosing the road of men! What insanity to have wanted to save the world! What joy to have escaped the privations, the tortures, and the Cross!
This was the Last Temptation which came in the space of a lightning flash to trouble the Saviour’s final moments. But all at once Christ shook his head violently, opened his eyes, and saw. No, he was not a traitor, glory be to God! He was not a deserter. He had accomplished the mission which the Lord had entrusted to him. He had not married, had not lived a happy life. He had reached the summit of sacrifice: he was nailed upon the Cross. Content, he closed his eyes. And then there was a great triumphant cry: It is accomplished! In other words: I have accomplished my duty, I am being sacrificed, I did not fall into temptation. . . . This book was written because I wanted to offer a supreme model to the man who struggles; I wanted to show him that must not fear pain, temptation or death-because all three cab be conquered, all three have already been conquered. Christ suffered pain, and since then pain has been sanctified. Temptation fought until the very last moment to lead him astray, and Temptation was defeated. Christ died on the Cross, and at that instant death was vanquished for ever. Every obstacle in his journey became a milestone, an occasion for further triumph. We have a model in front of us now, a model who blazes our trail and gives us strength. This book is not a biography, it is the confession of every man who struggles. In publishing it I have fulfilled my duty, the duty of a person who struggled much, was much embittered in his life, and had many hopes. I am certain that every free man who reads this book, so filled as it is with love, will more than ever before, better than ever before, love Christ.
Trust me, I've been there, I've looked, I've searched and I know now, that there are no answers to be found in the bottom of a bottle or on the edge of a blade! Fighting Hard, Recovering, Rebuilding, REBORN. Moving on from addiction to a new life.
“Seek ye the LORD while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” - Isaiah 55:6-7