Hold...Hold the Line...Happy Independence Day! - P.O.W. Report

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Hold...Hold the Line...Happy Independence Day!

Probably the Single Greatest American Movie Ever Made:


Call me old fashioned (go ahead)...it really *Get's my goat when people say "Happy 4th" instead of "Happy Independence Day". By shortening the holiday to a few syllables cheapens the historical significance of America's Founding. Heritage America fought very hard to create this country and establish a rule of law free from the tyranny of government and the deaths and sacrifices shouldn't be forgotten even though it happened over 200 years ago.

*What's the meaning of the phrase 'Get your goat'? It means make you annoyed or angry.

The phrase originated in the US and the first entry in print that I can find comes from a fanciful story about a burst water pipe that was printed in the US newspaper The Stevens Point Daily Journal, May 1909:

"Wouldn't that get your goat? We'd been transferring the same water all night from the tub to the bowl and back again."

The expression took a few years to cross the Atlantic. The first non-US citation isn't found until 1924 in the English author John Galsworthy's story White Monkey, and even there it is clearly seen as a recent innovation:

"That had got the chairman's goat! - Got his goat? What expressions they used nowadays!"

A commonly repeated story which purports to explain the phrase's origin is that goats were placed with racehorses to keep them calm. When ne'er-do-wells who wanted the horse to race badly removed it, that is, they 'got someone's goat', the horse became unsettled and ran badly. That's just the sort of tale that gets the folk etymology juices running. Let's just say that there's no evidence to support that story.
The story of the Revolutionary War is really a miraculous one. America should. Not. Have. Won. Period. Americans were outnumbered, outclassed militarily, under-funded, and generally out-maneuvered for much of the war, which lasted from 1775-1783.


via GIPHY

Some Noteworthy Battles: 


In January of 1781, Colonel Banastre Tarleton led 1,200 of Britain’s best troops, consisting of British dragoons, regulars, highlanders and loyalists, in a hot pursuit of the Americans.

American General Daniel Morgan led them into a trap – the Battle of Cowpens, Jan. 17, 1781.

The Americans took a stand with a river behind them, leaving them no opportunity to retreat.

Seeing this a foolish decision, British Colonel Tarlton gave into the temptation to pursue without doing any reconnaissance.

As depicted in the movie “The Patriot,” American General Daniel Morgan had his line of militia fire twice into the charging British cavalry, then retreat around a hill.

At a full gallop, Tarlton’s dragoons charged straight on, only to be surprised by a wall of 400 battle-hardened American Continental soldiers who had been hiding behind the militia.

The American Continentals stood immovable, firing at point-blank range. The militia then circled around appearing on the other side of the hill and attacked Tarlton’s flank.

In the confusion, 110 British were killed and 830 captured. [...]

Cornwallis regrouped and chased the Americans as fast as he could, discarding slow supply wagons and heavy equipment along the way. Cornwallis arrived at the Catawba River just two hours after the Americans had crossed, but a sudden storm made the river impassable, delaying the British pursuit.

The British nearly overtook the Americans at the Yadkin River, but again rains flooded the river slowing the British.

Now it was a mad dash to the Dan River.

General Nathaniel Greene quickly got the Americans across before another flash flood blocked the British.

British Commander Henry Clinton wrote: “Here the royal army was again stopped by a sudden rise of the waters, which had only just fallen (almost miraculously) to let the enemy over, who could not else have eluded Lord Cornwallis’ grasp, so close was he upon their rear.” [source]

Little known fact: George Washington also spent his off hours fighting the Zombie Apocalypse 

Long Island


After losing the Battle of Long Island, the Continental Army, and with it George Washington, faced the imminent possibility of complete defeat. With their lines already weakened, another assault would probably have brought about absolute collapse. Thankfully, however, General Howe, remembering the Battle of Bunker Hill, remained cautious and refused to attack – even when counseled to do so by many of his subordinates.

As the American army slowly evacuated from Long Island, the wind died down and enabled all boats to be filled to capacity. In addition, a rare August fog blanketed the New York harbor and concealed the retreat from British observation.

Even with the weather completely in America’s favor, however, another – this time unknown – danger threatened to reveal Washington’s retreat to the British. A Tory inhabitant witnessing the retreat sent her servant to alert the British. By God’s mercy, this messenger was detained overnight by Hessian troopers who did not understand English. When his message was made known, the chance for British victory was past. [source]

Do you know what else makes me *go off the deep end? The fact that very few people have even read the Declaration of Independence or even know that we fought the British. So, here is the full Declaration as a quick brush up on history.

*Nobody knows where the idiom "go off the deep end comes from"


The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. – Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware actually has some interesting history and wasn't even painted in America:

Although the painting depicts a scene from the American Revolutionary War, the original was actually painted in 1851 in Germany -- 75 years after the Battle of Trenton, says David Parrish, professor of art history.

German-born artist Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, who was born 40 years after the battle, painted "Washington Crossing the Delaware" in Düsseldorf.

Leutze grew up in America but returned to Germany as an adult. He hoped the painting, and therefore the American Revolution, would inspire liberal reformers during the European Revolutions of 1848.

Leutze finished the first version of the painting in 1850, but a fire in his studio damaged it shortly thereafter.

After the painting was restored, the Kunsthalle Bremen art museum in Bremen, Germany, acquired the painting. However, in 1942, during World War II, a British bombing raid destroyed it.

Leutze created a full-size replica of the painting shortly after completing the original. It was placed on exhibition in New York in October 1851.

After changing ownership several times, the painting in 1897 was donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where it still hangs today. The painting's popularity led to several more historical commissions for Leutze, who was primarily known for portraiture, Parrish says.

History of the American Revolution in 3 Minutes:






So, Happy Independence Day!







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