From Kansas to Virginia

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Lew, thanks for that reference to Al Castel’s article on Order # 11, that commanded the Federals to level western Missouri. Professor Castel wrote in 1963, the same year he was teaching us American History.

I note with a tremor that he mentions, almost as an aside, Colonel Mosby, whose hideout was right here where we live on the Shenandoah River (we live next to “Mosby’s Woods”).

A steadfast Lincoln supporter, Castel is also a first-rate scholar. He writes that “along the same line, it should be noted that Grant in 1864 became so annoyed by Mosby’s raids that he instructed Sheridan to send a cavalry division through Loudoun County, Virginia “to destroy and carry off the crops, animals, Negroes, and all men under 50 years of age capable of bearing arms.”

“Carry off” to where, Grant apparently did not say. But our Lincoln fans who marvel at Honest Abe’s devotion to equality might have a hard time explaining that (Castel once explained to me that making an omelet, alas, must break some eggs).

There is precedent in the past for the horrors to come, as the chickens come home to roost.

4:11 pm on March 19, 2009