The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Hallowed Ground

Posted on | May 26, 2020 | 1 Comment


Try to imagine a row of men, standing shoulder to shoulder, all of them armed with rifles. Picture those men standing on a hill, a few hundred yards in the distance, with their guns aimed at you. Now imagine yourself, standing amid a similar group of armed men, ordered to march across that distance in an attack on the hill: “Forward, march!”

Many times have I tried to imagine what that would be like, marching across that field with the minie balls whizzing past and artillery booming, hearing the sickening thud as some of the bullets found their mark in the men beside you, the cries of the wounded amid the horrible racket of rifle and cannon fire — an experience beyond imagination.

How in the world did men ever endure such an experience? Yet they did. They marched straight into the gates of Hell, and somehow — strange to say — some of those men survived to tell the tale.

Years ago, while I was researching my great-grandfather’s service in the Confederate army, I came across a biographical sketch of his commanding officer, Col. Birkett Davenport Fry. A veteran of the Mexican War, Fry had been a part of William Walker’s filibuster expedition to Nicaragua. He later moved to Alabama, where his wife’s family owned a mill, and was appointed colonel of the 13th Alabama Regiment. He was wounded in battle at Seven Pines, at Sharpsburg, and at Chancellorsville, where his regiment stormed a Union artillery position as part of Archer’s brigade. After Archer was captured in the first day’s fight at Gettysburg, Fry led the brigade on July 3 in what became known as Pickett’s Charge, where he was shot through the thigh near the Union line on Cemetery Ridge and was later captured. It was subsequently said of Colonel Fry that he was “a man of gunpowder reputation.”

Such men, and such reputations, are not to be insulted. Yet it seems that some people, who have never heard a shot fired in anger, have not been taught the proper attitude of respect:

Damned perfidious Yankee scoundrels! Readers will please excuse my strong language, and those of my countrymen residing north of the Mason-Dixon Line should not feel that their integrity is being impugned, because I speak specifically of the New York Times. It has long been my conviction that no honest person would ever wish their name to be associated with that disreputable publication, but over the weekend, the Times went far beyond their usual “fake news” with an unseemly attack on the United States armed forces. “Why Does the U.S. Military Celebrate White Supremacy?” was the headline on a disgusting 1,800-word column, signed by the editorial board of the Times, its deliberately insulting theme summarized by a subhead: “It is time to rename bases for American heroes — not racist traitors.”
Of course, it would be a mistake to believe that the New York Times is against treason. They have spent decades heaping praise on America’s enemies, both foreign and domestic, a tradition dating back at least as far as the 1930s, when Walter Duranty was writing propaganda for Stalin. No one should imagine that the Times has developed a concern for the morale of U.S. military, and their attack on the tradition by which military installations in the South were named for Confederate generals is simply a further effort by A. G. Sulzberger’s publication to deserve the contempt of every patriotic American. . . .

Read the rest of my latest column at The American Spectator.



One Response to “Hallowed Ground”

  1. FMJRA 2.0: In The Heat Of The Night : The Other McCain
    May 31st, 2020 @ 4:30 pm

    […] Hallowed Ground EBL […]