Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The European point of view shows up first in the title. We Americans often forget that our was not the only Civil War, although as Keegan points out, ours was the only one so far to occur in a functioning democracy.
I was amused by his comments on uniforms ("The armies of the Civil War were the worst tailored of any great conflict.") and facial hair (He points out that the fashion started in the Crimean War - I thought it started with the Gold Rush).
He made some interesting comparisons (Stonewall Jackson = Erwin Rommel) and some that were startling (George McClellan = George Patton).
Over-all I liked his approach as a military historian. He gives a thorough picture of the military geography of the United States in the two major theaters of the war. He gives a clear-eyed view of the situation throughout the war. He says that Grant and Sherman were the only first-rate generals among the many created during the war. I think his best efforts are an investigation of how the war consisted of at least one good-sized battle a day, and yet soldiers kept fight.
I felt that the end of the book was abrupt and it lacked a conclusion.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
The new tile floor was in place for 5pm mass at Good Shepherd. It was good to be home.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
It was much cooler today. I'm happy.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
It was very hot yesterday, 98F downtown. On the way home, there were BART delays because of the heat. Today was warm, but cooler than yesterday.
The Giants and Reds set a record for the number of runs scored in a series at the ballpark. The Giants won the first two and lost today, after coming back from 10-0.
Monday, August 23, 2010
THE CAMANCHE UNDER STEAM.
After a Sleep of Twenty Years the Old Craft Awakes.
REVOLVING THE TURRET
And the Two Fifteen-Inch Guns Frowned at the Monadnock
SMOOTH WORK OF THE ENGINES
Lieutenant Beecher Puts the Men of the Reserve Through an Ordnance Drill.
The monitor Camanche after twenty years of sleep aroused herself Rip Van-Winkle-like yesterday and took a look around her. The old ship saw that many changes had taken place while she lay at her moorings. Fleets in evolution had sailed by her, and not even the swell of their motion had disturbed her deep rest. Steam has taken the place of sail and wooden hulls have turned to steel while her own has gathered the shell-clad barnacle and the saline vegetation of the sea.
Yesterday her long stationary turret wheeled on its pivot and her guns saw out through their narrow ports the Monadnock lying near. As she was closing her eyes twenty years ago at Mare Island they were riveting the new monitor's great metal ribs in place, and then she slumbered while her young sister was growing beam by beam and plate by plate. When the Camanche awoke she saw the noble white structure frowning at her from off the starboard beam. And the two great 15-inch guns ran their smooth muzzles out of the turret and returned the frown. The spirit of the fiery '60's lives in the ancient marine yet.
It was Assistant Engineer Read of the Monadnock, with a fireman and a coal heaver, that stirred up the old fighter yesterday. They turned some bay water into an empty boiler, shoveled a couple of tons of coal into three furnaces, and soon the steam was hissing in the auxiliary engine and the great black funnel was smoking like a blockade runner. Then Lieutenant J. M. Roper of the Monadnock took his place in the turret and threw back the revolving lever. There was an ominous movement in tbe cylinders, a trembling down in the machinery, a groaning of the great steel central abaft on which the heavy mass turns, and the iron structure which the Confederate tars on the Merrimac called a cheese-box when they first sighted the original monitor coming at them, swung around.
The motion was slow on the first revolution, but after the machinery got limbered up it whirled easily and swiftly with its own great weight and that of tne two big 15-inchers.
Lieutenant Roper trained the guns on the Philadelphia and then on his own vessel and seemed to enjoy handling the old-fashioned war toy.
"Turn on the steam again, Read," he yelled to his brother officer after a short pause, "and let us give her another whirl. I haven't had so much fun for years. It's good as a 'merry-go-round.' Get aboard and let's have another ride."
So Engineer Reed opened the throttle again and the lieutenant swung the turret, himself and his passenger through all the points of the compass.
Later in the afternoon Lieutenant-Commander Turner and a number of the officers and men of the Naval Reserve came aboard. They were formed into crews for the two great guns and instructed in ordnance by Lieutenant A. M. Beecher of the Monadnock. The young fellows went through the drill of loading, running out the pieces, firing, sponging, reloading and training the guns of the revolving turret with all the serious "make believe" of battle.
Down in the wardroom Lieutenant Turner entertained the officers and newspaper men at lunch and questioned Lieutenant Roper upon the remaining warlike possibilities of the old monitor.
"Keeping the men aboard of the vessel as much as possible," said the lieutenant, "will make them thoroughly acquainted with the monitor and their general ship duties. I was talking with your signal quartermaster when I first came aboard and I found that he knew more about the Camancbe than I did and gave me a deal of information. This craft is not by any means a useless old hulk, for her machinery is in good condition and she affords an excellent drilling-place for the battalion. Those two guns could be used at close range with considerable efficiency.
"To fire a shell charge from them would rip up the old deck planking under the muzzles of the guns, but powder charges could be fired in saluting easily and safely."
Engineer Read stated that the boilers and engines were in splendid condition, and a comparatively small amount of coal would drive her through the waters at a fair speed.
The old and new style of the Monitor were brought sharply into contrast. The Monadnock that took twenty-one years to build is nevertheless a modern ship in every detail, but the Camanche that was built in 1862 is now obsolete. These two warships and the cruiser Philadelphia form an object lesson. The latter shows speed in every line, while the Monadnock is the symbol of strength. The Camanche shows old age and decrepitude in every part, but nevertheless she is built of the material that will stand repairing, and at a pinch the old boat could be fixed up and put in condition to fire another gun for her country. Yesterday the three warships presented a remarkably handsome appearance as the boats carrying the members of the Naval Battalion passed to and from the Camanche.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
After the show we went to Chevy's in South San Francisco for supper.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I took this on 18-July-2009.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Abbey Lincoln died. A voice for justice.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Today we went to the Great Mall in Milpitas. Big. Not very interesting.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Photos in the set include baseball players (Joe McGinnity among others), Navy ships, and a train wreck.
Now we have to find some of his grandfather's Daugerrotypes.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
It was very cold and windy today.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
It was very cold this afternoon.