$3.35 Million

For 378 years, since 1632, the descendants of John Tuttle have worked their ancestor’s family farm in New Hampshire.

Now, the family is finally ready to sell out after 11 generations. It’s among oldest working family farm in the nation.”



Tales of Census 2010

As Census 2010 officially winds down this week, stories of inefficiency, waste and fraud are popping up. Every time I hear about the work I am glad I wasn’t a part of it, although I certainly could have used the paychecks. Read this conversation between a census employee and an American citizen, one who does not live on Maple Street. Here’s a story out of Florida where three workers quit because of the insanity. I support census. It’s an important part of historical research, but clearly many of these temporary bureaucrats were out to make a quick (or not-so-quick) buck.

T in Ancient Europe

New research released in a study at the end of July suggests that there was “genetic diversity among ancient Nordic populations” in northern Europe.
Material (teeth or hair) was sampled from 92 individuals from 18 locations in Denmark . . .”
There are three haplogroup T, passed from mother to child, samples (R1, Si9, K4) in the study. My mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) also belongs to haplogroup T. I am in subclade T1a. 

[A]t least for Southern Scandinavia, our findings do not support a possible replacement of a haplogroup U dominated hunter-gatherer population by a more haplogroup diverse Neolithic Culture.”
Si9 is from a Roman Iron Age settlement at Simonsborg and is subclade T2b. R1 is from the medieval cemetery at Riisby (AD 1250–1450) and is T2. K4 is just plain T, and I couldn’t find a site within the report.

‘America Comes In’

Here’s the first poem in the book War Verse edited by Frank Foxcroft. The collection was first published in 1918.


We are coming from the ranch, from the city and the mine,
And the word has gone before us to the towns upon the Rhine ;
As the rising of the tide
On the Old-World side,
We are coming to the battle, to the Line.

From the valleys of Virginia, from the Rockies in the North,
We are coming by battalions, for the word was carried forth :
“We have put the pen away
And the sword is out to-day,
For the Lord has loosed the Vintages of Wrath.”

We are singing in the ships as they carry us to fight,
As our fathers sang before us by the camp-fires’ light ;
In the wharf-light glare,
They can hear us Over There
When the ships come steaming through the night.

Right across the deep Atlantic where the Lusitania passed,
With the battle-flag of Yankee-land a-floating at the mast
We are coming all the while,
Over twenty hundred mile,
And we’re staying to the finish, to the last.

We are many—we are one—and we’re in it overhead,
We are coming as an Army that has seen its women dead.
And the old Rebel Yell
Will be loud above the shell
When we cross the top together, seeing red.

It is signed with the nom de plume Klaxon and was originally published in Blackwood’s Magazine.


Mr. Wikileaks

Mr. Wikileaks, an Australian named Julian Assange who surfs his friends’ couches and only comes out of hiding for press conferences it seems, is really creepy-looking. He appears to be quite the media hound, at least when it fits his purposes.

Assange thinks some U.S. troops and officials are guilty of “war crimes” which is laughable. It would be funny if not for the many gullible people, including a good number of Americans, who fall for this type of propaganda.

Assange told reporters in London that “it is up to a court to decide really if something in the end is a crime. That said … there does appear to be evidence of war crimes in this material.”

He then compares us to the East German secret police, the Stasi. Talk about moral equivalency and hyperbole.

Assange compared the impact of the released material to the opening of the East German secret police archives. “This is the equivalent of opening the Stasi archives,” he said.

Thank God this leftist whackjob isn’t in charge of fighting terrorists and waging war.


My Corporate Expense Account

Conrad Black’s work on a biography of FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom) led him to buy up all kinds of memorabilia, using money from Hollinger International, the company he led at the time. It seems a little brash, but I would undoubtedly be tempted to do the same thing if given the chance.

Now, however, rather than sitting in some corporate office safe, some of the documents have been offered up to the National Archives. The New York Times tells the story, at least part of it.

The collection of letters includes notes from Kennedy patriarch Joseph Kennedy Sr., Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, and Roosevelt to his private secretary regarding a visit to Egypt on his way to Tehran for a summit with Churchill and Stalin. 


July 1918

Here’s an update I just received from Google Alerts. It’s from WFMY News 2 of North Carolina and highlights what’s happened on July 30 throughout recorded history. (I just love this alert tool. It continues to remind me of important things.)

In 1918, poet Joyce Kilmer, a sergeant in the 165th US Infantry Regiment, was killed during the Second Battle of the Marne in World War I. (Kilmer is perhaps best remembered for his poem ‘Trees.’)

My great great uncle Leslie Darling of the 168th Infantry died on July 28, 1918, three days after being severely wounded by German machine gun fire. (A year previous, in 1917, a parade in New York City was organized to protest the murders of blacks during race riots.)

WFMY isn’t the only one mentioning Kilmer’s death though. It’s from ‘the wire’ known as the Associated Press and has been reposted on sites specializing in everything from football news to Fox News Insider.


Toland’s ‘No Man’s Land’

From freezing infantrymen huddled in bloodied trenches on the front lines to intricate political maneuvering and tense strategy sessions in European capitals . . .

Perhaps the best account I have ever read of the Second Battle of the Marne, so far that is, is that in John Toland’s book No Man’s Land: 1918, The Last Year of the Great War. I will be typing up my notes in the next few days. There’s some fascinating material. Toland wrote several nonfiction history books.

As 1918 opened, the Allies and Central Powers remained locked in a desperate, bloody stalemate, despite the deaths of millions of soldiers over the previous three and a half years. The arrival of the Americans . . . by the middle of the year turned the tide of war . . .

In these pages participants on both sides, from enlisted men to generals and prime ministers to monarchs, vividly recount the battles, sensational events, and behind-the-scenes strategies that shaped the climactic, terrifying year. It’s all here—the horrific futility of going over the top into a hail of bullets in no man’s land . . . The different points of view of Germans, Americans, British, French, and Russians add depth, complexity, and understanding to the tragedies and triumphs of the War to End All Wars.”

A.J.P. Taylor wrote about the book in The New York Review of Books.


The Best Sources & Questioning MacArthur’s Reputation

According to Robert H. Ferrell in his book The Question of MacArthur’s Reputation, the best sources for material on the 168th Infantry, out of Iowa, are:

For the 168th Iowa the best source is Taber, Story of the 168th Infantry. It needs comparison with the ABMC file, RG 117; 42nd Division: Summary of operations in the World War; and Major Ross’s diary.”

Unfortunately, Taber’s book, although long out of print and no longer under copyright protection, has yet to be added to any collection of online libraries, whether Google Books or . I have been unable to find a copy locally, so I will probably have to find one via interlibrary loan.

Major Ross is Lloyd D. Ross of the 168th. He was from Red Oak, Iowa and eventually became a front-line commander in the last few months of the war.

The papers of Major Ross are . . . principally a huge dairy for his service in 1917-1919.”

His granddaughter Martha Braley still has the diary.

ABMC is the American Battle Monuments Commission. The records are at the National Archives, split between two sites — College Park, Maryland and Washington, DC.

Although I thought 117 might refer to the various support units of the 42nd Division, such as the 117th Sanitary Train or the 117th Field Hospital, the number just happens to be the one chosen for all ABMC  records. RG 117 is shorthand for Record Group 117.

I am looking for a copy of the official ‘summary of operations’ but have not been successful, either online or using Worldcat.

Oddly the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia has another group of records with the designation RG 117, those of Colonel A. M. Neilson, relating to World War II.

Regarding MacArthur at Châtillon, Ferrell’s book challenges the general’s account, highlighting the men around him as the true heroes.

Ferrell has completed a chapter in the history of World War I that has stood unfinished for years, showing in masterly fashion how MacArthur exaggerated his reputation at Châtillon. The Question of MacArthur’s Reputation will reward historians seeking to fill gaps in the record, engage readers who enjoy descriptions of battle, and startle all who take their heroes for granted.”