Before Atlanta burned, DeVine Confederate fought for American Dream

big-shanty-stationOne Hundred and Fifty years ago this week my great-great-grandfather Lecil DeVine was shot in the face and captured by Union forces at Big Shanty, Georgia, a key rail station just north of Kennesaw Mountain and Marietta, while a confederate soldier defending against  General William Tecumseh Sherman’s inevitable capture of Atlanta in the Fall of 1864 that ensured President Abraham Lincoln’s re-election and the re-unification of all states in a new America free of slavery.

Lecil DeVine and his ancestors had loved America while eschewing slavery since they first arrived on its shores before the war for independence they fought in. Born in Spartanburg, South Carolina less then 80 miles from President Andrew Jackson’s Palmetto State birthplace at Lancaster, Lecil joined fellow Jacksonian Democrats in his new Alabama home to elect a unionist delegate to oppose secession at the early 1861 Montgomery state convention. Unlike President Jackson who threatened to invade and hang Nullification secessionists in his home state in the 1830s, DeVine and other like-minded Southern Americans failed to persuade a majority in eleven states to continue the formation of a more perfect union under the United States Constitution.

Thus defeated, Lecil watched the state-rights Confederacy effect the first draft of free individuals into involuntary military service in American history and the ridicule and shame heaped upon those that didn’t volunteer beforehand. Thus chastened before his inevitable conscription in April pursuant to the second such Act passed at President Jefferson Davis’s request by the CSA congress, he joined the 31st Alabama Infantry Regiment in March of 1862. After fighting in Tennessee, Lecil helped defend Port Gibson, Mississippi before enduring Grant’s siege of Vicksburg after which he was taken prisoner; paroled to Demopolis, Alabama and later exchanged with fellow Confederates for Union prisoners; before rejoining his regiment and his inevitable re-capture 20 miles north of Atlanta.

While Atlanta burned, DeVine was imprisoned at the federal Rock Island, Illinois POW camp which, while not as notoriously wicked as the Andersonville one run by Confederates in Georgia, was known as one rife with hunger and disease. Even before the fall of Atlanta, war deprivations of food and shelter in much of Dixie were stark, and afterwards much more so, including in Lecil’s northern Alabama home. Thus, with the war he wanted no part of obviously lost by the Confederacy and his patriotic duty fulfilled, he “swallowed the dog” by pledging his Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America and enlisted for a year of frontier service in the U.S. Army. Ironically, his Oath and enlistment papers were signed by Major H.B. Rathbone who, with his wife, accompanied President and Mrs. Lincoln on that fateful night to come at Ford’s Theater.

Lincoln died to preserve the last best hope of man on Earth. Lecil DeVine, rather than wallow in decades of “Lost Cause” bemoanings, embraced that new hope that had been his first cause and pursued the American Dream through family and enterprise in a South though ravaged by war and an imperfect reconstruction, was at least purged of the evil institution of slavery and with an amended Constitution better dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Lecil DeVine’s successors in this Spartanburg native’s immediate family would help build a New South of industry in railroads and nuclear power; integrated schools, Little Leagues and Cub Scouts; law, faith, education and good humor. None of which would have been possible absent the sacrifices of great-great-grandfather Lecil.

So as this Carolina Gamecock now roosted atop Stone Mountain of Georgia and my fellow Atlantans approach the Sesquicentennial of the burning of our great city by who Decatur’s Mary A.H. Gay called America’s Nero; let us remember than unlike Nero’s Rome, Sherman’s Atlanta and America rose from its ashes united to free half the world from Nazis and an evil communist empire and our own empire from Jim Crow.

God’s not finished with America yet and I thank God for a reluctant Confederate ancestor who never lost sight of the City on the Hill that he wanted for himself and his family.

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

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Obama: If Iran likes their nuke policy, they can keep it. Period.

IranBut I’ll bet the Appeaser-in-Chief keeps this “you-can-keep-your-policy” promise unlike the one made to Americans under the domestic equivalent of the bomb, known as  Obamacare.

President Barack Obama is a serial liar but, like a stopped clock, occasionally also tells the truth. For instance, he promised skyrocketing energy prices. They set a record high in October. He promised to bankrupt the coal industry with new carbon emissions-standards. The war on coal is clearly on the offensive and in the direction of bankruptcy courts in West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, he promised surrender. American troops have abandoned the former terrorist playground of Saddam Hussein with nary a footprint left behind; while President B. Hussein Obama has set a 2014 date-certain deadline for withdrawal in the former safe haven of al Qaeda and their Taliban hosts in Afghanistan.

Which brings us to the number one state-sponsor of terror on Earth since 1979, Continue reading

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DC is Hunger Games’ Capitol City, not Catching Fire

katniss everdeenKatniss Everdeen met some good folks in the fictitious Capitol City as a Hunger Games-to-the-death participant. And there are good people in America’s all-too-real capitol city of Washington.

But the problem with both is that as they bask in the glow of big government bubbles, they prohibit those whose labor and tax revenues support their conspicuous consumption from joining the economic prosperity party. And yes, if the liberal Obama Democrats stay in power for much longer, they will get around to ending even the fracking boom.

Meanwhile, the government-run craze of the past  century (interrupted only by brief conservative push-backs by Reagan and Newt) exploded exponentially with Obamacare, stimuli for government union employees, and wars war on coal and conservatives, respectively by the EPA and IRS; we witness many good people lobbying for what ought to be determined in a free Continue reading

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Climate didn’t kill JFK or Sebelius’ Healthcare.gov

Liberal Democrats just can’t accept reality when it conflicts (a frequent occurrence) with their liberal world view or political vanity.

heathcare.gov

Soon after our anti-Communist Cold Warrior President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald fifty years ago next month, his widow famously bemoaned that: “He didn’t even have the satisfaction of being killed for civil rights. Its – it had to be some silly little Communist.” Continue reading

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Obamacare ushers in Halloween spirits

We’re not sure if the ghost(s) of Anniston and Gadsden, Alabama, respectively, caught on security-camera video below were thrown out of now sheet-less hospital beds or simply failed to survive hours of fruitless attempts to purchase insurance on the federal Obamacare exchange.

jack-o-lantern

But we do know that they desperately crave one of the oldest and cheapest medicines known to mankind.  Continue reading

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Dr. Debthate or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Government Shutdowns

President Obama’s blindness to government spending problem, and insistence on ever more tax increases on the rich towards always moving fair share-goalposts, makes refusal of the Republican House to raise the debt ceiling an acceptable option.

In the wake of the 2010 tea partier conservative epic GOP mid-term election landslide that returned control of the House of Representatives to the party, this columnist urged Republicans to risk a government shutdown during the 2010 budget negotiations as more palatable than risking “default” during the likely debt ceiling battle the following year.

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What Republicans can’t do, can do, ought do and must do

Only President Barack Obama can cause the U.S. to default on its sovereign debt, and congressional Republicans must make this fact clear to the American people before the current debt ceiling is reached.

And only by owning the definition of “default” does the minority party in control of only one house of Congress have any chance of using the debt limit debate to rein in the Democrats’ out of control spending, spur job-producing economic growth and win the political argument going into the next election. Continue reading

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