Monday, December 31, 2012

Recap of 2012--Thank You!

First, a thank-you to all my readers.  Without you, this blog would not be where it is today.  If I have encouraged, inspired, or challenged any one of the readers of this blog, I am satisfied (but would like a comment!).  And if something in my writing has been unclear or slightly off-target, please point it out.

Quotes from great men appeared, whether on humility, or the use of the Bible.  Anecdotes, too, were shared during this year.  Some came from the 1755 Battle on the Monongahela, while one was on "Mercy at Prestonpans."

One series I see as especially important was on the five-year anniversary of Vision Forum's Jamestown Quadricentenial.  The Quadricentenial was a turning point for our family. 

The "Noble Women" series was continued for another 12 months.  This series pays tribute to some of the perhaps lesser-known, yet noble, women of the 17th and 18th Centuries.  In 2012, Madame de Drucour and Princess Maria Clementina Sobieska were honored, among others.

Also during this year, I posted "French and Indian War Gallery by Howard Pyle", to share some of that great artist's pictures of the 1754-1759 period.  This post was found and linked to by the author of "Flintlock and Tomahawk", which was a great blessing to me.

"Dance and Covenant Community" and "On the Buckley Rule" dealt with dancing and conservatism, respectively.

For 2013, what would my readers like to see?  Please drop me a comment if you have a topic/subject/etc which you would like me to cover!

"Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy Name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake. (Psalm 115:1)"  That is my prayer for the new year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Favorite G. A. Henty Quote

This quote from page 8 of John Hawke's Fortune by G. A. Henty is one of my favorites:

"Never do a dishonourable action, be honest and straightforward, above all never tell a lie; were you to do so, putting aside the sin and shame of it, it would brand you as a coward.  Cowardice is the father of lying; a brave boy is not afraid of punishment for a fault that he has committed, but owns up to the truth and takes his punishment as a consequence of it, but the coward lies in hopes of escaping the penalty.  I don't know what your course in life will be, it is out of my power to aid you, and you have to fight your own way; but fight fair always, there is no disgrace in honest work, whatever it may be."

If any of my readers have any favorite Henty quotes, please post them in the comment section!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Madame Riedesel

"And the LORD God said, It is not good that man should be alone: I will make him an help meet for him"--Genesis 2:13

Madame Frederike Charlotte Louise von Riedesel was born on July 11, 1746.  On December 21, 1762, she married Baron von Riedesel.  1776 saw Baron Riedesel and troops from Brunswick posted to Canada, to defend that colony against rebels.  Madame Riedesel and her children sailed to Canada in 1777, as Baron Riedesel led the German contingent of Burgoyne's expedition.  Madame Riedesel accompanied her husband, and observed the battles of the Saratoga Campaign.  Her husband was taken prisoner when Burgoyne surrendered, but was exchanged in 1780.

Madame Riedesel was loved by many, as this story from her Memoirs shows:
"One day I saw out of a window of my room, a fleet of thirty-five ships approaching under full sail, and shortly afterward, from another window, I perceived them all lying at anchor between us and the city.  My husband had many English under his command, and among others the light dragoons.  Although the English troops are proud, and, as it is said, difficult to manage, yet they loved my husband, and were perfectly contented under his command.  On one occasion, when the English officers were dining with us, my husband said to them that he would accompany them back to their camp; whereupon they very politely begged me also to go with the party.  I, therefore, seated myself in a carriage, and reached the camp in advance of them.  But I believe that they had sent word of my arrival ahead of me, for an officer came up, and, to my great perplexity, requested me to get out of the carriage and walk with him down the line.  Upon my complying with his request, I was greeted with all military honors, even to the beating of drums, which still more increased my confusion.  I remarked to the officer that this was not suitable to me, and that we German women were not accustomed to such distinctions.  But he at once very politely answered that their whole corps could not sufficiently honor the wife of a general who, as their commanding officer, treated them with so much kindness; and more than all this, they would never forget what I had done for their comrades at Saratoga.  Although no unmindful of all this, which was very flattering and agreeable, I welcomed the first favorable moment to get away."--pgs. 184-185, Letters and Journals relating to the War of the American Revolution, and the Capture of the German Troops at Saratoga by Madame Riedesel, translated by William L. Stone

She died on March 28, 1808.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Aughrim--Giving Glory to God

As a Providential historian (one who believes that God directs the affairs of men), it is discouraging to constantly hear how one man was "lucky" or "fortunate".  What is luck and what is fortune?  Man realizes that there is something beyond him, something that governs wind and cannonballs.  So G. A. Henty's analysis of Aughrim in Orange and Green came like a gulp of fresh air.

"Saint Ruth had directed the operations of the battle with as much skill as he had prepared for the assault. He had taken up his position on a point of the hill whence he had a complete view of the whole field of battle, and had moved his troops, with calmness and judgment, to meet each of the attacks made upon them; and when he saw the destruction of the English regiment in the centre, he exclaimed, in the full confidence of victory, "Now I will drive the English to the walls of Dublin!"

There was, indeed, but one hope, on the part of the English, of retrieving the day; namely, the success of the attempt to force the passage at Aughrim. But two horsemen abreast could pass under the castle walls. Saint Ruth was aware of the passage, but thought it impassable for cavalry. It might easily have been made so, by cutting a deep gap across it; but here, as at Athlone, his overconfidence proved his destruction. He had, however, taken the precaution to erect a battery commanding the passage, and had placed some battalions of infantry there.

General Talmash, who commanded the English cavalry, knew that the battle was lost, unless he could succeed at this point; and, at the head of his command, he led the way along the pass, which was not only narrow, but broken and encumbered with the ruins of the castle wall. Saint Ruth beheld the attempt of the cavalry with astonishment, and, with the remark: "They are brave fellows, it is a pity they should be sacrificed," sent orders for the Irish horse to move forward and prepare to charge them; and moved down the hill at the head of his officers to the battery.

There is no doubt as to what the result would have been, had the Irish horse charged. They were greatly superior in number, and the English cavalry who had got across the passage were still in confusion, and were suffering from the fire of the battery, and, indeed, even when in equal numbers, William's cavalry had never withstood the charge of the Irish. It seemed that nothing could avert the defeat of the body on which Ginckle's last hope rested.

But at this moment one of those events, by which Providence overrules the calculations of man, occurred. A cannonball struck Saint Ruth, as he stood in the middle of the battery and killed him instantly. The occurrence paralysed the Irish army. Sarsfield was away, there was no one to give orders, the news that some extraordinary calamity had happened spread rapidly, the men in the battery ceased firing, the cavalry, receiving no orders to charge, remained immovable."