Saturday, May 12, 2007

Delaware Confederate Monument

Well it took 142 years but Delaware has a monument dedicated to Delawareans who fought for the Confederacy. Today at the Nutter B. Marvel Museum in Georgetown the monument was unveiled. The Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #2068 (Delaware Grays) was the group that did it. About 200 people plus about 75 costume people were there for the ceremonies. The ceremonies lasted a long time, there was point in which I wondered if the granite monument would crumble before the speeches were done. Update; It would appear I did not give the website of the Delaware Grays click here

Out of the 66 names on the monument I would guess 80% of them were from Sussex County. Delmar was represented by Samuel Batson Hearn who joined the Confederate Army in 1862. He fought at second Manassas and Brandy Station. After returning to Delmar for leave he was captured trying to get back to his unit. He was paroled and he was at the fall of Richmond. His family was there to lay a wreath in his name at the monument. Update for much more information on Samuel Hearn go to the Delaware Grays site and click on Delaware Confederates.

H K Edgerton gave a great speech. He says history is being rewritten to be politically correct.

The Richmond Howitzer and the Danville artillery was there.

The 8th Georgia gave a salute

There was a number of people in costume there

A number of them had been on the History channel and various War between the States movies.

Ben Ward Has a Birthday

Happy Birthday Ben Ward!!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Post Office

Remember that on May 14th postage goes to 41 cents. I won't go into a discussion about postage being 3 cents when I was growing up and we received mail twice a day - once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

Also the Post Office is doing their food drive tomorrow so if you have canned goods or dry goods for them leave the items by your mailbox and they will be picked up.

Postage Rates
July 6, 1932.......03
August 1, 1958.....04
January 7,1963.....05
January 7,1968.....06
May 16,1971........08
March 2, 1974......10
December 31,1975...13
May 29, 1978.......15 "A" Stamp Used
March 22, 1981.....18 "B" Stamp Used
November 1, 1981...20 "C" Stamp Used
February 17, 1985..22 "D" Stamp Used
April 3, 1988......25 "E" Stamp Used
February 3, 1991...29 "F" Stamp Used
January 1, 1995....32 "G" Stamp Used
January 10, 1999...33 "H" Stamp Used
January 7, 2001....34 Nondenominated Stamps Used
June 30, 2002......37 Flag and Antique Toy Stamps Used
January 8, 2006....39 Love True Blue and Lady Liberty Flag Stamps Used

A Spendid Little War - V

The Cienfuegos Cable Cutting. Three weeks into the war and altho the land war had not started on Cuba the United States Navy had put a blockade on all the ports in Cuba. When preparing for an invasion one thing you want to do is to isolate the opposing side from their main command. At Cienfuegos, Cuba was a communication center and it had several underwater communication lines going to Spain. Cienfuegos is on the south west side of Cuba and was originally settle by French settler from louisiana in 1819. On May 11th, 1898 Lieutenant Camberon Winslow and a crew made up of 52 volunteers Navy Bluejackets and Marines from the USS Marblehead and the USS Nashville made an early morning night attack on those underwater cables. They set out in four small boats, two steam launches and two sailing launches . The steam launches, armed with a one-pounder Hotchkiss gun and Marine sharpshooter, provided cover. The sailing launches dragged the ocean bottom with grappling hooks 100 feet off shore searching for the 6 inch thick armored cables. For over three hours the men endured rough seas, a shore line with large rocks, mines floating around their boats, and intense fire from the Spanish Garrison there. Eventually the cable was cut with a loss of three Americans killed and six wounded.

This action was one of the stranger ones in the Spanish American War in the fact that if you read books on the war it is rarely mentioned, yet of the 112 Medal of Honor recipients 52 came from this action. One of which was Leonard Chadwick from Middletown Delaware. He was serving on board the USS Marblehead at the time and volunteered to help cut the cable at Cienfuegos. He received the Medal of Honor on July 7, 1899. After being discharged from the service, Leonard Chadwick moved to Boston, Massachusetts . He died of asphyxiation and alcoholism on May 18, 1940.

Cienfuegos is located on the southwest side of Cuba, somewhat below Havana. Why there would be an underwater communication cable to Spain at Cienfuegos is beyond me as you would have to lay it around a third of Cuba before the cable begin to head to Spain.

"I Am Entitled to the Medal of Honor and I Want It"Theodore Roosevelt and His Quest for Glory
By Mitchell Yockelson
One sideline of the Spanish American war was Theodore Roosevelt attempts at trying to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Eventually he was awarded it in 2001 but it was long after his death. Not to completely diminish Roosevelt action in the Spanish American war but I feel it was mostly good publicity and not that much more than anyone else involved in the war. A good website discussing this and a lot of background information is here

In addition, on May 11th the US Torpedo boat Winslow engaged the Spanish at Cardenas Harbor, East of Havana. The Winslow was badly damaged in the ensuing battle. It resulted in the death of 3 sailors and several wounded. One of the dead was Elijah B. Tunnel of Accomac County, Virginia. He was a colored cabin Cook on the "Winslow". He had both legs blown off in a shell burst and later died from the wound. He is buried in Key West. Three Medal of Honor were presented. The Revenue Cutter Hudson towed the Winslow out of danger. The US Revenue Service was the predecessor of today's Coast guard. Congress authorized a special Cardenas Medal of Honor for all on board the Hudson. This medal should not be confused with the Medal of Honor.

In total 55 Medal of Honors were presented for action on May 11th. There would have been more but Naval Officers were not eligible for an award of the Medal of Honor.

A good description of both engagements is given here

Thursday, May 10, 2007

La Mexicanita Visit

My neighbor and I stopped by La Mexicanita, the new "Mexican" food store in town. It is a small place with mostly can goods/dry goods and produce. Maria showed us some of the plantains and told us how to cook them. I had never eaten them before so I bought some and fried them up that night. They were not bad and I think I will have them again. I am sure the millions who regularly eat plantains are saying dumb damn Eastern Shoreman, makes all of us feel better he approves of them. Maria should add a "Hispanic" cooking class (Maria is from Panama) to her store so non Hispanic people will know how to use the goods she carry.

Confederate Memorial Day

If you have lived further south than the Delmarva Peninsula you know that Memorial Day, May 28th or 30th,as we know it, is not celebrated by everyone. Instead Confederate Memorial Day is celebrated. The date of Confederate Memorial Day is not consistent state to state. Southern states have it from January 19th (Texas) to June 3rd (Tennessee). In most cases the date will correspond to the peak spring flower blossom season, as the day was originally called Decoration day and it was a day in which people would place flowers on the graves of the Union and Confederate dead, so you had to have flowers available. Now the Northern version and official version of Memorial Day is May 28th which makes it a three day weekend for everyone and the reason for the day is cheapened and mostly forgotten. In North and South Carolina today is Confederate Memorial Day. Perhaps this date was selected as it is also the date Stonewall Jackson died in 1863. I assume this is why there will be an unveiling, at noon on Saturday in Georgetown, of the monument to honor Delawareans who fought for the Confederacy in the War Between The States. It is the closest weekend to a Confederate Memorial Day. Of note Alberta Martin, at one time thought to be the oldest living Confederate Widow, died on Memorial Day, 2004 in Alabama. It has since been found that Maudie Hopkins of Arkansas is the last living Confederate widow.

Delmar Greenhouses and Nurseries

Like many people I have been going out to the Greenhouses and Nurseries for plants. Delmar has a great selection of Nurseries and I can't think of any reason to buy plants at Walmart. Walmart is convenient, as you can pick up plants, cat food, shirts, motor oil, and milk all in the same trip, but they do have some uncared for plants. For a detail list of delaware business that have a nursey license go to here So this is some comments on the local Greenhouses and Nurseries;

Bess Buds is just north of town on Route 13 (34593 Sussex Highway). 302-875-2507. It actually has a Laurel mailing address but we will forgive them for that and call them part of Delmar. Their plants are always great looking. They set the standard for healthy plants that will probably live once you plant them.

Iron Hill Greenhouse and Garden Center is at 11133 Iron Hill Road. 302-846-3122. They have several greenhouses and additional landscaping material (stone, bulk mulch etc). Their plants also look great and they have the best selection of herbs.

The Garden Hut out on East Line Road (12609 E. Line Road)302-846-3477. It stands out due to the shade cover over the greenhouse that is either pink, magenta, or purple depending on the degree of color blindness you have. It is the smallest of the greenhouses but they have a good selection of plants in 6 packs. They also have a nice assortments of other plants. Being small they will also give you a good price/discount depending on the amount you buy.

Sunnyside Nursery is out on Line Road 302-846-0652. It is connected with the Sunnyside Nursery in Salisbury on Eastern Shore drive. They have a good selection of 6 pack plants and other plants. I wonder if you can't work an arrangement to avoid Maryland Tax on some garden items by selecting the items in Maryland and having them delivered to the Delaware operation.

Panichella Greenhouse is the newest operation. It is on Pepperbox Road 302-846-2824. Now I have always viewed Bess Buds as the standard on plants but Panichella's may exceed her. He only has three greenhouses, but they are full. He has by far the best selection of Petunias, Calibrachoa and Torenia.

Bryan and Brittingham is in town 302-846-9500. Now Bryan and Brittingham is a hardware/feed store but they have a good selection of the standard plants in 6 packs. Just based on quickest to pick up tomato plants they are the place to go.

Second Quarter Moon

The last quarter moon is here. It is also called the second quarter or waxing half moon.

From "Moon Gardening"; In the second quarter moon the pull of gravity is less, but the moonlight is substantial and on the increase, which was believed to encourage strong leaf growth. It was generally considered a good time for most types of planting and the prime time for this was usually two days before the full moon. The types of crops that prefer the second quarter moon are annuals that produce their fruits above the ground, but the seeds form inside the fruit, such as beans, melons, peas, peppers, squash, and tomatoes.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Douglas C. Ringgold

In the "Daily Times", today, was an article about Douglas C. Ringgold, a manager at Best Buy in Salisbury, who has been charged with stealing $8,300. He was allegedly using a scheme of returning receipts, gift cards and purchases. I am sure nothing will happen to him and the loss will be passed on to the customers of Best Buy.

Intersection of Line Road and Stage Road

The intersection at Line Road and Stage Road is a place waiting for an accident. You have a lot of difficulty seeing oncoming traffic when you are heading south on Stage Road and making a left on to Line Road. To add to the problem Delmar Commons has planted trees on that corner to block your view even more.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Special People

There seem to be a culture among our elected officials and government employees that driving rules don't apply to them. They seem to view themselves as Special People and above the law. Does it piss you off as much as it does me? These are the people whose jobs are to enforce the law or make laws governing everyone driving habits. We come to them to complain about speeders and drunks on our roads and they are the ones who are usually doing it. In most cases the higher up elected official is being driven by a state trooper who should know the law. Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey is a recent example. In this case he was not driving but the State trooper who was driving certainly didn't try to obey any road rules other than the Governor rules the road. Then after the accident they tried to blame it on another vehicle. Governor Ed Rendell'sof Pennsylvania has been clocked traveling at more than 100 mphs on nine different occasions Gov. Rendell need for speed. President Bush motorcades have been involved in a number of accidents. In Delaware we certainly all have heard about John Atkins and his attempt at using his "get out of driving drunk" card. In Delmar, we had two elected officials on the Police Commission comment they drove over the speed limit. It is bad enough to have a government vehicle pass you on the highway driving like a bat out of hell but you would think elected officials would not behave like Ricky Bobby. The very government employees that are hired to enforce the laws are the ones who assist the elected officials in covering these violations up, which ensure they can continue to drive drunk or speed. Regretfully, we expect Elected Officials to keep a higher standard of conduct than "normal" people, after all they take an oath of office that says they will uphold the law, and all to often we are disappointed.

Upcoming Events in Delmar

May 7th Monday 7 PM High School Chorus Concert at High school
May 8th Tuesday 8 PM Little league Meeting
May 10th Thursday 7 PM Concerned Citizen Meeting
May 10th Thursday 7 PM Middle School Band Concert at High school
My 13th Mother's Day
May 14th Monday 7 PM High School Band Concert at High school
May 17th Band awards

Wilmington Commercial May 2, 1876


Washington, May 1 - By direction of the President, Gen. George A. Custer has been ordered to his regiment in Dakota and left to-night. He is relieved from further duty as commanding officer under the brevet rank, and goes to his regiment as its Lieutenant Colonel. Gen. Terry succeeds him in command of the troops that were under him before he became a politician. Gen. Custer seems considerably chapfallen as this is the first time he has done any duty, except as a general officer since he left his regiment as a line officer, early in the late war.