Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. We have now caught up to February 9, where this series began, so the only entry is the one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizontal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(France)

Sunday June 16th

Shelled Royaumix this A.M. Church service


Y.M. this P.M.

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30, Part 31, Part 32, Part 33, Part 34, Part 35, Part 36, Part 37, Part 38, Part 39, Part 40, Part 41, Part 42, Part 43, Part 44, Part 45, Part 46, Part 47, Part 48, Part 49, Part 50, Part 51, Part 52, Part 53, Part 54, Part 55, Part 56, Part 57, Part 58, Part 59, Part 61, Part 62, Part 63, Part 64, Part 65, Part 66, Part 67, Part 68, Part 69, Part 70, Part 71, Part 72, Part 73, Part 74, Part 75, Part 76, Part 77, Part 78, Part 79, Part 80, Part 81, Part 82, Part 83, Part 84, Part 85, Part 86, Part 87, Part 88, Part 89, Part 90, Part 91, Part 92, Part 93, Part 94, Part 95, Part 96, Part 97, Part 98, Part 99, Part 100, Part 101, Part 102, Part 103, Part 104, Part 105, Part 106, Part 108, Part 109, Part 110, Part 111, Part 112, Part 113, Part 114, Part 115, Part 116, Part 117, Part 118, Part 119, Part 120, Part 121, Part 122, Part 123, Part 124, Part 125, Part 126, Part 127

Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 5:24 am | Edit
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Category Porter's Turn: [first] [previous]

Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. We have now caught up to February 9, where this series began, so the only entry is the one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizontal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(France)

Saturday June 15th

3rd platoon came back last night. Band concert at 51st brigade hdq.

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30, Part 31, Part 32, Part 33, Part 34, Part 35, Part 36, Part 37, Part 38, Part 39, Part 40, Part 41, Part 42, Part 43, Part 44, Part 45, Part 46, Part 47, Part 48, Part 49, Part 50, Part 51, Part 52, Part 53, Part 54, Part 55, Part 56, Part 57, Part 58, Part 59, Part 61, Part 62, Part 63, Part 64, Part 65, Part 66, Part 67, Part 68, Part 69, Part 70, Part 71, Part 72, Part 73, Part 74, Part 75, Part 76, Part 77, Part 78, Part 79, Part 80, Part 81, Part 82, Part 83, Part 84, Part 85, Part 86, Part 87, Part 88, Part 89, Part 90, Part 91, Part 92, Part 93, Part 94, Part 95, Part 96, Part 97, Part 98, Part 99, Part 100, Part 101, Part 102, Part 103, Part 104, Part 105, Part 106, Part 108, Part 109, Part 110, Part 111, Part 112, Part 113, Part 114, Part 115, Part 116, Part 117, Part 118, Part 119, Part 120, Part 121, Part 122, Part 123, Part 124, Part 125, Part 126

Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, June 15, 2018 at 6:21 am | Edit
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Category Porter's Turn: [first] [previous] [newest]

Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. We have now caught up to February 9, where this series began, so the only entry is the one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizontal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(France)

Friday June 14th

To Y.M.C.A. this A.M. Had pictures taken this P.M.

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30, Part 31, Part 32, Part 33, Part 34, Part 35, Part 36, Part 37, Part 38, Part 39, Part 40, Part 41, Part 42, Part 43, Part 44, Part 45, Part 46, Part 47, Part 48, Part 49, Part 50, Part 51, Part 52, Part 53, Part 54, Part 55, Part 56, Part 57, Part 58, Part 59, Part 61, Part 62, Part 63, Part 64, Part 65, Part 66, Part 67, Part 68, Part 69, Part 70, Part 71, Part 72, Part 73, Part 74, Part 75, Part 76, Part 77, Part 78, Part 79, Part 80, Part 81, Part 82, Part 83, Part 84, Part 85, Part 86, Part 87, Part 88, Part 89, Part 90, Part 91, Part 92, Part 93, Part 94, Part 95, Part 96, Part 97, Part 98, Part 99, Part 100, Part 101, Part 102, Part 103, Part 104, Part 105, Part 106, Part 108, Part 109, Part 110, Part 111, Part 112, Part 113, Part 114, Part 115, Part 116, Part 117, Part 118, Part 119, Part 120, Part 121, Part 122, Part 123, Part 124, Part 125

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 5:52 am | Edit
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As you can imagine, two years after the event there has been a lot of action here recently, memorializing the Pulse nightclub shooting and the tragic loss of 49 lives. But the death toll at Pulse that night was not 49. It was 50.

I understand the visceral response that wants to leave the the attacker, who was subsequently shot by police, out of the picture. It's a completely natural reaction and I don't hold anything against those—especially of the victims' friends and family—who limit their compassion to the 49.

What I don't understand is why churches are following the same path. The natural way is not the Christian way. It is very, very clear that we are to love our enemies, which at the very least means mourning the violent, if necessary, death of this angry and unstable young man. He, as much as any of the other victims of this tragedy, was someone's son, someone's brother, someone's father, a human being, created in the image of God—no matter how distorted that image had become.

Churches, when you ring out the memory of the lost from the Pulse tragedy, remember that you are to be in the world but not of it. Don't take the natural course, but the supernatural: Let your bells toll the full 50 strokes.

Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Edit
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Category Random Musings: [first] [previous]

Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. We have now caught up to February 9, where this series began, so the only entry is the one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizontal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(France)

Thursday June 13th

Up rather late. Took baths this P.M. + got cloths. Down to show this evening.

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30, Part 31, Part 32, Part 33, Part 34, Part 35, Part 36, Part 37, Part 38, Part 39, Part 40, Part 41, Part 42, Part 43, Part 44, Part 45, Part 46, Part 47, Part 48, Part 49, Part 50, Part 51, Part 52, Part 53, Part 54, Part 55, Part 56, Part 57, Part 58, Part 59, Part 61, Part 62, Part 63, Part 64, Part 65, Part 66, Part 67, Part 68, Part 69, Part 70, Part 71, Part 72, Part 73, Part 74, Part 75, Part 76, Part 77, Part 78, Part 79, Part 80, Part 81, Part 82, Part 83, Part 84, Part 85, Part 86, Part 87, Part 88, Part 89, Part 90, Part 91, Part 92, Part 93, Part 94, Part 95, Part 96, Part 97, Part 98, Part 99, Part 100, Part 101, Part 102, Part 103, Part 104, Part 105, Part 106, Part 108, Part 109, Part 110, Part 111, Part 112, Part 113, Part 114, Part 115, Part 116, Part 117, Part 118, Part 119, Part 120, Part 121, Part 122, Part 123, Part 124

Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at 5:50 am | Edit
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Rooftop hydroponic gardens. Pretty cool.

I'm not totally convinced that hydroponic growing gives a plant everything a good soil does—I can't help thinking of it as baby formula for plants—but there's a lot that's good about this approach, and what are the odds most of our commercial vegetables are grown in good, natural soil anyway?

Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 6:42 am | Edit
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Category Food: [first] [previous] Conservationist Living: [first] [previous]

Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. We have now caught up to February 9, where this series began, so the only entry is the one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizontal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(France)

Wednesday June 12th

All had to “stand to” from 2 A.M. on. Some big shells dropped very close. Slept all morning. Came home this evening. Shelled road while we were walking down to Bernicourt. One dam (sic) close call.

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30, Part 31, Part 32, Part 33, Part 34, Part 35, Part 36, Part 37, Part 38, Part 39, Part 40, Part 41, Part 42, Part 43, Part 44, Part 45, Part 46, Part 47, Part 48, Part 49, Part 50, Part 51, Part 52, Part 53, Part 54, Part 55, Part 56, Part 57, Part 58, Part 59, Part 61, Part 62, Part 63, Part 64, Part 65, Part 66, Part 67, Part 68, Part 69, Part 70, Part 71, Part 72, Part 73, Part 74, Part 75, Part 76, Part 77, Part 78, Part 79, Part 80, Part 81, Part 82, Part 83, Part 84, Part 85, Part 86, Part 87, Part 88, Part 89, Part 90, Part 91, Part 92, Part 93, Part 94, Part 95, Part 96, Part 97, Part 98, Part 99, Part 100, Part 101, Part 102, Part 103, Part 104, Part 105, Part 106, Part 108, Part 109, Part 110, Part 111, Part 112, Part 113, Part 114, Part 115, Part 116, Part 117, Part 118, Part 119, Part 120, Part 121, Part 122, Part 123

Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 5:47 am | Edit
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Category Porter's Turn: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. We have now caught up to February 9, where this series began, so the only entry is the one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizontal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(France)

Tuesday June 11th

Played cards. Pretty good place up here.


mail tonight.

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30, Part 31, Part 32, Part 33, Part 34, Part 35, Part 36, Part 37, Part 38, Part 39, Part 40, Part 41, Part 42, Part 43, Part 44, Part 45, Part 46, Part 47, Part 48, Part 49, Part 50, Part 51, Part 52, Part 53, Part 54, Part 55, Part 56, Part 57, Part 58, Part 59, Part 61, Part 62, Part 63, Part 64, Part 65, Part 66, Part 67, Part 68, Part 69, Part 70, Part 71, Part 72, Part 73, Part 74, Part 75, Part 76, Part 77, Part 78, Part 79, Part 80, Part 81, Part 82, Part 83, Part 84, Part 85, Part 86, Part 87, Part 88, Part 89, Part 90, Part 91, Part 92, Part 93, Part 94, Part 95, Part 96, Part 97, Part 98, Part 99, Part 100, Part 101, Part 102, Part 103, Part 104, Part 105, Part 106, Part 108, Part 109, Part 110, Part 111, Part 112, Part 113, Part 114, Part 115, Part 116, Part 117, Part 118, Part 119, Part 120, Part 121, Part 122

Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, June 11, 2018 at 5:57 am | Edit
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Category Porter's Turn: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. We have now caught up to February 9, where this series began, so the only entry is the one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizontal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(France)

Monday June 10th

Came up to front tonight + took Morril’s place. In big woods.

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30, Part 31, Part 32, Part 33, Part 34, Part 35, Part 36, Part 37, Part 38, Part 39, Part 40, Part 41, Part 42, Part 43, Part 44, Part 45, Part 46, Part 47, Part 48, Part 49, Part 50, Part 51, Part 52, Part 53, Part 54, Part 55, Part 56, Part 57, Part 58, Part 59, Part 61, Part 62, Part 63, Part 64, Part 65, Part 66, Part 67, Part 68, Part 69, Part 70, Part 71, Part 72, Part 73, Part 74, Part 75, Part 76, Part 77, Part 78, Part 79, Part 80, Part 81, Part 82, Part 83, Part 84, Part 85, Part 86, Part 87, Part 88, Part 89, Part 90, Part 91, Part 92, Part 93, Part 94, Part 95, Part 96, Part 97, Part 98, Part 99, Part 100, Part 101, Part 102, Part 103, Part 104, Part 105, Part 106, Part 108, Part 109, Part 110, Part 111, Part 112, Part 113, Part 114, Part 115, Part 116, Part 117, Part 118, Part 119, Part 120, Part 121

Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, June 10, 2018 at 5:53 am | Edit
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Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. We have now caught up to February 9, where this series began, so the only entry is the one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizontal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(France)

Sunday June 9th

Hung around. Walked to Royaumix this A.M. Ball game this P.M. concert band + speaker after supper.

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30, Part 31, Part 32, Part 33, Part 34, Part 35, Part 36, Part 37, Part 38, Part 39, Part 40, Part 41, Part 42, Part 43, Part 44, Part 45, Part 46, Part 47, Part 48, Part 49, Part 50, Part 51, Part 52, Part 53, Part 54, Part 55, Part 56, Part 57, Part 58, Part 59, Part 61, Part 62, Part 63, Part 64, Part 65, Part 66, Part 67, Part 68, Part 69, Part 70, Part 71, Part 72, Part 73, Part 74, Part 75, Part 76, Part 77, Part 78, Part 79, Part 80, Part 81, Part 82, Part 83, Part 84, Part 85, Part 86, Part 87, Part 88, Part 89, Part 90, Part 91, Part 92, Part 93, Part 94, Part 95, Part 96, Part 97, Part 98, Part 99, Part 100, Part 101, Part 102, Part 103, Part 104, Part 105, Part 106, Part 108, Part 109, Part 110, Part 111, Part 112, Part 113, Part 114, Part 115, Part 116, Part 117, Part 118, Part 119, Part 120

Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, June 9, 2018 at 6:12 am | Edit
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Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. Again there is one from the beginning of the book and one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizontal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(France)

Friday Feb 8th

On K.P.  Up at 4 A.M.  Company left for Lifol le Grand at 3 P.M.  Went with the kitchen.  Arrived there at about 6:30. Had to get supper, pack stuff on cars.  Off at 9:30 – some day.  Tried to sleep in barracks with no blankets, etc.

 


(France)

Saturday June 8th

Loafed around most of day. Ball game this P.M. with old Co. A.

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30, Part 31, Part 32, Part 33, Part 34, Part 35, Part 36, Part 37, Part 38, Part 39, Part 40, Part 41, Part 42, Part 43, Part 44, Part 45, Part 46, Part 47, Part 48, Part 49, Part 50, Part 51, Part 52, Part 53, Part 54, Part 55, Part 56, Part 57, Part 58, Part 59, Part 61, Part 62, Part 63, Part 64, Part 65, Part 66, Part 67, Part 68, Part 69, Part 70, Part 71, Part 72, Part 73, Part 74, Part 75, Part 76, Part 77, Part 78, Part 79, Part 80, Part 81, Part 82, Part 83, Part 84, Part 85, Part 86, Part 87, Part 88, Part 89, Part 90, Part 91, Part 92, Part 93, Part 94, Part 95, Part 96, Part 97, Part 98, Part 99, Part 100, Part 101, Part 102, Part 103, Part 104, Part 105, Part 106, Part 108, Part 109, Part 110, Part 111, Part 112, Part 113, Part 114, Part 115, Part 116, Part 117, Part 118, Part 119

Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, June 8, 2018 at 6:53 am | Edit
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Category Porter's Turn: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

Ours is a very safe neighborhood, so I rarely worry when Porter goes out for a run, as he does several times a week. If the time of day happens to be dusk or dawn, I can't resist warning him to watch out for bears, and of course there's always the risk of angering a dog that's running loose. But we've always considered those to be remote possibilities.

The attack, when it came, was totally unexpected.

Due to a mild injury, Porter chose to walk this afternoon, rather than to speed along at his usual running pace. Suddenly, he staggered under a powerful blow to the head. Totally out of the blue. Literally, out of the blue. Shocked but still upright, he looked up to see one of our local hawks with murder in his eye. In truth, Porter coudn't exactly see the bird's eyes, and in any case it was probably murder in her eye. Our best guess is that there was a nest nearby and the—not helicopter, but certainly hovering—parent saw this slow-moving, strange man as a threat. The man thought it best to be on his way quickly.

Porter wears a hat when he runs, to keep off the sun. I rarely wear hats, because they make me too hot. Today, Porter's choice was vindicated.

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Edit
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Category Everyday Life: [first] [previous]

Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. Again there is one from the beginning of the book and one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizontal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(France)

Thursday Feb. 7th

More cleaning up. Worked on cars all rest of day.  Mine is fine shape now. Supper at Mlle. Alice’s this P.M.

 


(France)

Friday June 7th

In bed this A.M. Up a short time this afternoon. Back to bed early.

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30, Part 31, Part 32, Part 33, Part 34, Part 35, Part 36, Part 37, Part 38, Part 39, Part 40, Part 41, Part 42, Part 43, Part 44, Part 45, Part 46, Part 47, Part 48, Part 49, Part 50, Part 51, Part 52, Part 53, Part 54, Part 55, Part 56, Part 57, Part 58, Part 59, Part 61, Part 62, Part 63, Part 64, Part 65, Part 66, Part 67, Part 68, Part 69, Part 70, Part 71, Part 72, Part 73, Part 74, Part 75, Part 76, Part 77, Part 78, Part 79, Part 80, Part 81, Part 82, Part 83, Part 84, Part 85, Part 86, Part 87, Part 88, Part 89, Part 90, Part 91, Part 92, Part 93, Part 94, Part 95, Part 96, Part 97, Part 98, Part 99, Part 100, Part 101, Part 102, Part 103, Part 104, Part 105, Part 106, Part 108, Part 109, Part 110, Part 111, Part 112, Part 113, Part 114, Part 115, Part 116, Part 117, Part 118

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 5:51 am | Edit
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Category Porter's Turn: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. Again there is one from the beginning of the book and one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizontal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(France)

Wednesday Feb. 6th

Another trip to Neufchateau for Fords this A.M.  Worked on cars this P.M.

 


(France)

June 6th Thursday

Sick. In bed all day.

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30, Part 31, Part 32, Part 33, Part 34, Part 35, Part 36, Part 37, Part 38, Part 39, Part 40, Part 41, Part 42, Part 43, Part 44, Part 45, Part 46, Part 47, Part 48, Part 49, Part 50, Part 51, Part 52, Part 53, Part 54, Part 55, Part 56, Part 57, Part 58, Part 59, Part 61, Part 62, Part 63, Part 64, Part 65, Part 66, Part 67, Part 68, Part 69, Part 70, Part 71, Part 72, Part 73, Part 74, Part 75, Part 76, Part 77, Part 78, Part 79, Part 80, Part 81, Part 82, Part 83, Part 84, Part 85, Part 86, Part 87, Part 88, Part 89, Part 90, Part 91, Part 92, Part 93, Part 94, Part 95, Part 96, Part 97, Part 98, Part 99, Part 100, Part 101, Part 102, Part 103, Part 104, Part 105, Part 106, Part 108, Part 109, Part 110, Part 111, Part 112, Part 113, Part 114, Part 115, Part 116, Part 117

Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at 5:30 am | Edit
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I suppose writing a history book is like making a sculpture: the art comes from choosing what to leave out. And critics will always quarrel with your choices.

I've mentioned recently how much I'm enjoying Isaac Asimov's four-part book series on American history. The fact that it was written in the early to mid-1970's I have not found to be a hindrance; indeed, I appreciate that he does not write with the stridency I'm accustomed to from modern commentators on our history. His language sometimes reveals that these are older books—using the term "Indian" rather than "Native American," for example—but he uses what was considered right at the time, and can't be held responsible for our subsequent preferences.

As I finished the section on Andrew Jackson, however, I realized with a shock that Asimov had omitted a term that could not be left out of a history of Jackson's administration today: the Trail of Tears.

In Jackson's administration, the long martyrdom of the Indians reached a new stage. By now, the Indians remaining in the various states of the Union were, for the most part, helpless before the organized power of the White Man. They could no longer fight wars; they could only appeal to the courts.

When gold was discovered in Georgia on land which had been assigned to the Cherokee tribe, the White Man moved in, and the treaties with the Indians were torn up as casually and as callously as were all such treaties both before and after. The Indians sued and the case went to the Supreme Court. Eventually, old John Marshall decided that it was the federal government that ruled over Indian territories, and that Georgia's laws against the Cherokees were unconstitutional.

Georgia defied the judgment and Jackson refused to do anything about it. That old Indian-fighter was not in office to uphold the Red Man against the White Man. He is reported to have said, "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!"

Indeed, what Jackson pushed for was the gradual and complete transfer of all Indians to lands west of the Mississippi. This was accomplished, gradually, but not entirely peacefully. [Emphasis mine.]

Asimov goes on to describe briefly the Black Hawk War, and the Seminole Wars, that came about as part of the process, but of the long, deadly march represented by the highlighted sentence, he says nothing. For what it's worth, according to Google Book Ngram Viewer, the use of the term "Trail of Tears" peaked in 1995.

alt

Of all the things Asimov does not cover—in a history book one must always leave out most of what happened—this is the first that really caused me to sit up and take notice. (No, I take that back. In the first book of the series, I was surprised that he doesn't mention the Battle of Saratoga as the "Turning Point of the Revolution." He mentions the battle, and that it was a turning point, but growing up in Upstate New York, not far from Saratoga, its designation at the turning point was emphasized—it's one of the few things I remember from my history classes.)

This discovery does not sour me in any way against Asimov's books, but merely reinforces the idea that history must be approached from several angles and through many sources.

Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 8:17 am | Edit
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Category Education: [first] [previous]
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