Monday, March 30, 2015

The Ant, Atlanta, and Allatoona





We recently spent a few days at Lake Allatoona, in Bartow County, Georgia.  While there, I met a woman who was devoted to gardening, canning, and tanning (of animal hides).  I asked why she felt that compulsion.  She said, “Since I was a teenager, God has put it in my heart to get ready.” Canning and tanning in 2015 – how primitive.  Although her desire to be self-reliant may seem out of step now, she would have been in good company in Allatoona 150 years earlier.  


In spring, 1864, General Sherman’s forces bypassed the Allatoona area on their way to Atlanta.  Nonetheless, Allatoona remained strategically important since the Western and Atlantic Railroad ran through it.  Sherman knew the terrain could be easily defended because twenty years earlier, in 1844, as a young Lieutenant, Sherman had ridden through there on horseback.  

Because of Sherman’s foreknowledge, his axis of advance from Tennessee to Atlanta initially bypassed the Allatoona Pass.  He later secured Allatoona to establish a logistical hub from June until November of 1864. The rail line and surrounding area were deemed indispensable to supporting Sherman’s “scorched earth” strategy, his 100,000 man Army, the September 1864 sacking of Atlanta, and eventual March to the Sea.    


Failing to halt the Federal forces’ advance on Atlanta, the Confederates determined their best way to stop Sherman would be an attack on Allatoona.  On October 5, 1864, Confederate General Samuel French moved his 3,300 man Division northward to attack the Federal supply base.  They also intended to “fill up the deep cut at Allatoona with logs, brush, rails, dirt, etc.”  The “needless effusion of blood” produced a high percentage of casualties: 706 Union; 897 Confederate.  The Rebels destroyed about eight miles of rail line, but were unsuccessful in blocking the pass, destroying the garrison, and were unable to seize or destroy the one million rations stored there.


Regarding the Federal forces, one report says, “Elements were out of control and sacked homes depleting meager supplies.” Concluding that, “Property destruction and the deaths of one-third of Bartow county's soldiers during the war caused financial and social calamity for many.”  

The ransacking of Americans’ finances by the feds continues unabated to this day: a fiscal policy of printing and pumping, $18 trillion in debt, and trillions more in unfunded liabilities.  They fail to enforce our borders and then bestow benefits on the lawbreakers.  


 

The federal government is not content to just destabilize nearly two-thirds of America’s families.  They’ve weaponized government agencies to threaten all kinds of institutions.  The IRS is targeting conservative organizations.  The EPA is targeting the energy sector.  FEMA is after governors that don’t accept climate change.  Obamacare is sabotaging the medical system and economy in all sorts of ways, and most recently, “The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report saying the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation unfairly treated gun dealers and other companies as illegal entities, convincing banks to stop doing business with them under the Obama administration’s Operation Choke Point.”  Now they’re even naming their destructive operations.   


My newfound Allatoona friend eventually became a Scout leader.  Makes sense-- their motto which has been used by millions of Scouts around the world since 1907, “Be Prepared.”  In Scouting for Boys, the   motto is explained:  “This means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your duty… by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.”  It continues, “BE PREPARED to die for your country if need be, so that when the moment arrives you may charge home with confidence, not caring whether you are going to be killed or not”


It remains to be seen who ultimately will do more destruction to Allatoona and Atlanta, William Tecumseh Sherman or the present administration.  Nonetheless, like the lady at Allatoona and the ant -- Be Prepared.


2 comments:

  1. “BE PREPARED to die for your country if need be, so that when the moment arrives you may charge home with confidence, not caring whether you are going to be killed or not”

    Ha ha I think publicly declaring this today will get you on a terrorist watch list, or at the very least, get your guns confiscated. Funny how that works. Declarations of ideals supporting Liberty and freedom are "evil", and declarations of moronic ideals such as global warming, which only serve to diminish Liberty and freedom, are perfectly acceptable. I detect a pattern...

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  2. An apt comparison, Colonel. Odd to think that the central government authorities are a worse threat to the country than the federales were to Allatoona.

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