September 27, 2004

Waterloo, and inspiration

Waterloo came up in conversation last night with my best friend, as we were talking about our various interests, mine being a great love of history. To my shame I neither knew what year the battle of Waterloo took place (1815) nor whom the great general had been. Ok granted my view of Napoleon was that of a dictator so I didn't think of him militarily, but nor could I remember the British Duke that conquered him. (Wellington) So, I got myself trumped on Military History, but that's ok, I redeemed myself with my personal fav, King Henry the 8th and his 6 wives:-D I could practically write a thesis on him. (Ok slight exaggeration there hehehe) Currently though, I am reading a Jeff Shaara book, "Gone For Soldiers" about the Mexican American war 1846-1848. it is interesting reading, particularily to see a young Robert E Lee, and his influences.
On a new note, I (Yes little ole ME!) have inspired someone to start a blog of her own. Way cool!!!!!!!!!!!!! See Lucy5cents @ http://hornsoftheunicorn.blogspot.com A seriously cool name in my opinion, and I love the reference to Peanuts, one of my all time favourite comics.
My other favourite comic for those wondering is For Better For Worse. I have pratically grown up with that strip and it has always been fun to read and see what new mischeifs have been thought up. There have been times when it is almost as though they are describing my family, such as one strip I remember, when the younger sister April was writing Elizabeth about various things and ends with "The best part is, I can wear your clothes now" ROFL> As I now have 3 (Mommy, 2 sisters) other people in the family to steal my clothes (I steal theirs too Mwahahaha) I know the feeling:-D
Update on the office, I am now sitting in a fully AC office, with tables, and electricity, and lights. So now we have a workspace to work out of, with any luck, work will start coming our way:)

5 comments:

Seth said...

Wow! AC in Iraq! Don't tell any other military bloggers. They'd probably be pretty jealous. Thanks for the link!

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Napoleon was a fascinating character. When he defeated the Mamelukes in the Battle for Egypt, and marched into the city, he declared that he and his soldiers had converted to Islam (believing that would smoothe things over with the locals). Unfortunately, his troops continued to drink, eat pork, and seduce the local women (being the Frenchmen they were, LOL), and so it didn't take long for the locals to catch onto the insincerity of the "conversion". They formed a Jihad against him, but Napoleon beat them by taking the gloves off and being VERY un-PC in his battles, storming into mosques with cavalry, rounding up all the Ulama, slaughtering them, and throwing their bodies into the Nile... that pretty much settled the locals back down.

He had a mixed bag of strokes of genius and monumental mistakes, and he needed his genius, most of the time, to get out of the bad situations into which he got himself, like the Siege of Acre.

A fellow history geek. Color me stoked!!!

Garrison Steelle said...

I am SO impressed.

Re. For Better or Worse, what has always impressed me about that strip is that she's not afraid to let her characters grow up. The strip has evolved along with her family. They buried a family pet. Grandpa moved in, then out, then got married again. She finds humor in all the things that make us want to scream.

Keep your head down, 'k?

-G

Lucys5Cents said...

Hey Lizzie, I was interested to see you were reading about Robert E. Lee recently because a long flight over this past weekend I was reading a piece from the old Scribner's Magazine of October 1925 [purchased in an antique store in Kansas I think] on "Lee and the Ladies."

It's quite a different look at General Lee based upon his unpublished letters to various young ladies. He apparently fawned over young sweet things, not that he 'acted' upon it, but he wrote faithfully to many of them. If I knew how to mail you a photocopy of it I'd gladly do it.

But in the meantime, here's an insightful passage. The editor (Douglas Freeman) said,

"One would hardly look for such a confession in a letter from a commanding general to a youthful cousin, yet here it is:"

[Lee's writing follows, from July 1863 after Gettysburg]

"I knew that crossing the Potomac would draw them (the enemy) off & if we could only have been strong enough, we should have detained them. But God willed otherwise & I fear we shall soon have them all back. The army did all it could. I fear I required of it impossiiblities. but it responded to the call nobly and cheerfully & though it did not win a victory, it conquered a success. We must now prepare for harder blows and harder work. But my trust is in Him who favours the weak & relieves the oppressed & my hourly prayers is that He will fight for us once again."

It's always interesting to learn of innermost sentiments of leading characters in history, well beyond the tactical maneuvers they called for, or so I think. That's my specialty you know, military history but from the angle of human history or social history in conjunction with military moments.

As always, Lucys5cents

Maquisard said...

Despite been a European, I actually know little about old Boney beyond the bare facts (Corsican upstart, republican turned Emperor, military genius, short, defeated by a Prussian and Irish general at Waterloo). Weird, espeically when you think about the impact he had on Europe. I guess I never found him very interesting!

Are there any specific periods, or subject, in history that interest you? Military history as such dos'nt much interest me, although here's a thought; What does "Gone For Soliders" say about the San Patricio Battallion? John Reilly - born up the road from here - did'nt exactly get a great press in the states, so I'm very interested in hearing how Shaara treated him. Cheers!