Sunday, August 03, 2008

Overheard from the children

"Help! I'm being patronized!"

Thursday, July 31, 2008

This man stole my lines

Earl Pendleton stole one of my better lines.

Occasionally some one will ask if there is anything homeschoolers simply can't do. My stock response -- for a time -- was that homeschoolers are doing great on individual sports and sports with small teams, basketball in particular, but football -- probably not. After all, it's one thing to find five or six high schooled homeschoolers with size, interest, and ability. Eleven and more? Not really likely.

Well, Earl killed that answer about five years ago. I'm sitting at a practice field for the Raleigh branch of his Homeschool Football League, watching varsity, JV, and "Mighty Mite" teams working out in heat and humidity, running the same drills I went through at their age. Somehow, Earl found a way to get those interested students together with enough coaches, equipment, and organization to make it all work -- for several years running, now.

Hats off, gentlemen -- a true servant!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sitting in the Governor's Chair

I'm currently sitting in the North Carolina governor's chair.

That is, it used to be his, or more specifically, part of his office furniture. I'm working from my home office and needed a new desk chair, so last time I was in Raleigh, I went by the state surplus property warehouse and picked one out. Anyone who has worked in a typical office can picture precisely what used up and cast off chairs there are to select from -- generally ranging from broken to "butt-ugly" as one family member described it, though we did get a deal on a courtroom "lawyer's chair" a while back so it is always worth checking.

The one I selected was a little out of fashion but otherwise solid, clean, and not worn. I paid $6 for it and my son Caleb and I wrestled it into the back of our Jeep Wrangler for the trip home.

To my surprise, when I was carrying in the door, I noticed the state property tag on the underside read, "Office of the Governor".

Ipso facto, the governor's chair.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A New Domain

It was a birthday present only a geek could love, and I did.

After the children had given me their other presents, John Calvin brought me my laptop and said, "Check your email." The message he'd sent included a link which opened up to a new domain and format for The Inundated Calvinist. I'm going to be experimenting with WordPress over there for a time, though I may cross post both places just to keep the archives updated.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Of Camden and Cannon

Camden, S.C., bills itself as the state's "Oldest Inland Town". It was first settled in 1732, the year that George Washington was born, and while there is no house labeled "George Washington slept here", there is one where he ate dinner. The Marquis de Lafayette planted the cedar tree near the courthouse when he visited in 1828, and the Baron de Kalb is buried in front of Bethesda Presbyterian Church. It's a historically self-conscious little town.

My wife and I took a walk after breakfast and stopped by Rectory Square. Camden has a number of small parks scattered around downtown, and this one is a smallish block next to the former Episcopal manse. The centerpiece is the Pantheon, six fat columns encircling a fountain, dedicated in 1911 by the schoolchildren of Camden in honor of "the six Camden schoolboys who attained the rank of general in the Confederate Army". I had to go see it up close, because this year the fountain has been reactivated -- the pipe had always been there, but from my childhood there had never been any water.

There were six generals who came from Camden. James Chesnut (no "t") was close to Jefferson Davis, but he's best known through A Diary From Dixie, which was written by his wife, Mary Boykin Chesnut. I don't know anything in particular about Deas, Kennedy or Cantey. Villepigue was only 32 when he died in 1862, which I pointed out to the boys as an example that even a young man can answer the call to serve and to lead. J. B. Kershaw was descended from one of the town's founders, and was the commander who gave Sgt. Richard Kirkland permission to cross the line at Fredericksburg to take water to wounded Federals while under fire -- the action which gave Kirkland the title, "The Angel of Marye's Heights".

There is one cannon, a Parrott ten-pounder I think, which is aimed defiantly northward (coincidentally, toward the genteel neighborhood where Northern industrialists like the Buckleys located their winter mansions). I found this remarkable, because the two times Camden was captured, the enemy came from the south -- Lords Cornwallis and Rawdon advancing from Charleston, and General Potter's raid coming from Sumter. Apparently the cannon's placement is more symbolic than historical.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Don't Wait for Leaders on School Choice

I have an article in the July issue of Carolina Journal, looking at the level of support for school choice and educational alternatives among this year's crop of candidates. The answer is, not a great deal. Republicans McCain and McCrory come out the best, but even then, the support seems lukewarm.

The article was posted in Tuesday's online edition.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Another Patriot

State of North Carolina }
Bucomb [sic] County }

On this 3o day of October One Thousand Eight-hundred & forty three (1843) before me James Sharp one of the acting magistrates and a number of the Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions in & for the County & State aforesaid personally appeared Jacob Martin a resident of the County of Buncomb [sic] & State aforesaid aged Eighty four Years. Who being first duly sworn according to Law doth in his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provisions made by the act of Congress passed (?) June 7th 1832. Granting pensions to soldiers of the War of the Revolution.

That he lived in the County Lincoln North Carolina and was drafted into service from that County the first was a Tour of three months, under Captain Henry Whitener [probably Widener] for which he was drafted and was placed under Capt. McDowell he [ill.] marched on to Monks in South Carolina where he spent some time & his term of service expire & he was discharged from service without anything of note occurring which he thinks was in the year of Seventeen hundred & seventy nine.

The next was a Tour of six months he was drafted under Capt. Whitener & was placed under Capt. McDowell by order of General Rutherford who had the Command the [ill.] marched on to South Carolina again with the intention of joining the main Army and going against the British at Charleston, but before they reached Charleston they were met by the American Army who had been defeated by the Brittes [sic] at Charleston & they turned their course towards No Carolina and was at the Battle at Ramsours Mill against the Tories at which time Capt. Falls was killed which was in the Year of 17 hundred & Eighty sometime in the summer of that Year & soon after which he was discharged from that tour of duty after having served six months.[1]

The next and third Tour was for three months he substituted himself in the place of Jacob Wetzel and was placed under Capt John Sigman, Cols. Cleveland and Campbell & others he was scouting about in different parts of the Country & was in the Battle of Kings Mountain which was the fall of the Year of 17 hundred & Eighty and soon after that Battle his time of service expired & he was again discharged.[2]

The fourth & last Tour was for three months he was drafted he was marched down to Fayetteville by order of Genl Rutherford & at that time they announce at the aforesaid place peace was declared & they were soon discharged which was soon after the talking of Corn Wallis [sic] at York Town in the Year of 17 hundred & Eighty one, which was the last of his services in the War of the Revolution. X

He also declared that has not nor Either does he know, of any documentary Evidence, in support of his services that from old age and loss of Memory he cannot give all the particulars of his services that he knows and very well recollects that he served in all fifteen months as set forth in the foregoing declaration. That he knows of no one now living that was in service with him.
He further declared that by reason of old age and bodily infirmity he is unable to go to the Court House to make this his declaration --- Furthermore I do hereby relinquish all and Every claim to a pension or Annuity excep the present whatever and declare my name is not on any pension Roll of any State.

Sworn to and subscribed on the day and Year first-above written

(signed) Jac Sharp (seal)

Jacob X Martin (his mark)



Jacob Martin is my great-great-great-great grandfather on my mother's side.

[1] The Battle of Ramsours Mill was 20 June 1780. This would place the start of his second tour sometime in January 1780, assuming a discharge sometime in the end of June or early July.

[2] The Battle of King’s Mountain was 7 October 1780. Three months prior would have been August or July, so there was little time between his second term and this third time serving as a substitute.

One Patriot's Record

State of South Carolina }
District of Fairfield }

On this seventh day of May --- in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty four, personally appeared in open Court before John R. Buchanan Esquire Judge of the Court of Ordinary in and for Fairfield District in the State aforesaid Bolling Wright a resident of Fairfield District aforesaid, in the state aforesaid, aged seventy-five years (nearly), who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath, make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress passed June 7th 1832; That he was born in Brunswick County near Meherrin River in the State of Virginia on the 12th day of May, A.D. 1759; That Deponent has his age recorded in his Family Bible, and made the entry from one that was made in his Fathers Bible, and has no doubt of the [ill.] of the entry in both.
Deponent when first called into service was living in Brunswick County, State of Virigina, and after the first term of duty, moved to Mecklenburg County Virigina, and was living in the last named county when he performed the other military service hereinafter mentioned, and in the course of five or six years after the Peace of 1783 deponent removed to Fairfield District aforesaid, South Carolina, and has lived there ever since, and now lives there.
Deponent was drafted in every time he performed, he believed to the Second Division Virginia Militia, said Militia being divided into two Divisions.
Deponent received a discharge in writing in his second term from Captain Oliver at Pitch Landing the place of discharge some distance above Portsmouth Virginia which discharge was at the time looked on by Deponent as of little importance and has long since by time or accident been lost or destroyed. Deponent has no distinct recollection of receiving discharges at any other time but thinks it probable that he received a discharge at the end of every term, as he served out his time in every term, and [ill] authorized by the proper authorities to return home, but if deponent ever received such discharges they have been lost or destroyed as deponent has lately made diligent search amongst his [property?] but could not find any.
Deponent states that the following persons are his neighbors and can testify as to his character for veracity, and their belief of his services as a soldier of the Revolution to wit, David R. Coleman, Jacob Feaster, Robert Fletcher [?] and Thomas Lyles; Revd Wm Joiner, Robert Coleman Senr, Andrew Feaster, John Feaster, Revd Samuel Fant, Isaac Means [Mears?].
That he entered the service of the United States under the following named Officers, and served as herein stated.

First Tour. The First tour deponent performed was in Captain Jesse Taylor’s company, Infantry, was living when called into service in Brunswick County Virginia, was called out in the month of January, but does not recollect the year nor the day of the month. Was marched to a town in Virginia called Portsmouth which was separated from the Town of Norfolk by the Norfolk River. The troops were stationed at Portsmouth during the whole term and used the houses of residents [?] for the troops. There was a small fort above the Town in the North side mounting as well as remembered eight cannon, which fort was manned by some of the troops. Deponent was stationed in the Town. General Weadon commanded the whole militia. Does not recollect the name of the Colonel. Asaph Greggory was orderly sergeant in deponent’s company. Bolling Sharr and Lugar Durham [?] were privates in the Company and Solomon Wright deponent’s father also a private were along in this term. Deponent does not now recollect the names of any other Officers in this term. Does not believe there were any regular troops along this term. Deponent served as a private this term two months. There was no engagement with the enemy at this time.

Second Tour. The second tour of service performed by Deponent was under Captain Oliver (believes his Christian name was John). Deponent was living in Mecklenburg County when this and following terms were performed. Was marched through Petersburg on to a place called Pitch Landing. This term commenced in December as deponent believes. Recollects of the company stopping and getting turnips on their march above the town of Petersburg. Does not recollect the year or day of the month. Arthur Fox was first Lieutenant. When the company arrived at the Pitch Landing it was placed under command of Colonel Flemming. There were some troops at the Pitch Landing when they company under Capt. Oliver arrived, under General Muhlenburg [sic]. Thinks Genl Muhlenburg had some regular troops under his command. John Bolling was adjutant to Col. Flemming’s regiment and Jacob Beasley was orderly sergeant to the company deponent was attached to. Does not recollect the names of any other Officers except that of Capt. Grauy [?] who commanded one of the Militia companies. During this term the British had posession of Portsmouth where the Deponent had served his first term. Had no serious engagement with the enemy. Deponent volunteered under Col Flemming with about fifty men to reconnoitre the enemy and drove in their piquette guard in the old field near Portsmouth; one of the party under Col. Flemming was wounded by a Ball in the thight in this affair. The troops had temporary huts erected at the Pitch Landing and were stationed there during the tour. The object was to protect the country against the inroads of the enemy from Portsmouth. Deponent served three months as a private soldier this tour.

Third Tour In the third tour deponent served he was commanded by Captain Isaac Harris Wm Lewis first Lieutenant and Tucker [?] was the Major [?]. This tour commenced in the spring of the year. Does not recollect the year or the month. It wa very warm weather before Deponent got home. Was marched on to Cumberland Court House, Virginia and there was joined by other Militia Companies. Thence was marched on to Pointy Fork [?] over James River, and joined General Stuben [sic] who had about nine hundred regulars under him. Some of his men were blacks. Genl Stuben had command of the whole army. The British were on the opposite side of the River and fired cannon across, and shot a horse of Major Cunningham. Genl Stuben had no cannon and retreated back to Willis’ Creek and the next day the Regular and Militia separated and the Militia fell under command of General Lawson and were commanded by him the reaminder of the tour. Tarleton was said to have been along with British at James River. The Militia under Genl Lawson were there marched lower down James River. Deponent was there taken sick and knows very little of the movements of the enemy during the remainder of the tour. Deponent served three months as a private soldier this time.

Fourth Tour. Deponent was called out in the fourth tour in the year 1781. He recollects the year from the circumstance that it was the year in which Cornwallis surrendered at York Town but does not recollect the month nor day of the month. Captain Stephen Malury [?] commanded the Company. Edward Pennington first Lieutenant. Was marched to Nottaway River Jones’ Bridge. Believes the Bridge was in Amelia County Virginia. Marched on crossing the Nottaway River to the Appomattox River, crossed it and went on to James Rier and crossed it at Hay Island, thence through Williamsburg town, thence to Mattpennic [?] River one prong of Little York river, crossed it and went on to the paspuccunkic [?] river, crossed at Suffield [?] thence down the Pawmunkee [?] until the [ill.] joined Genl Lafayette before York Town. Was joined by another Company on the March between the Appomattox and James River. At York Town deponent’s company was placed under command of a Militia Colonel the Milita colonel was named Weadon but his name not recollected. Grauy [?] was the Major. Genl Washington commanded the whole American forces, and was on the other side of the river from Genl Lafayette who was the head commander on this side. In nineteen days after Deponent arrived at York Town the army under Command of Cornwallis surrendered. There were a great collection of troops both Regular and Milita assembled. Captain Maybury and company remained at York Town some time after the surrender, and until arrangements were made to secure the captured property, and afterward assisted in escorting the prisoners. Deponent served three months as a private soldier in this tour.
That deponent kept no journal or memorandum of his service at the time and owing to his age and consequent loss of memory is unable to state the moths or years in which the services were rendered, but he has a good recollection of the times he served and of the length of time he served in each tour, and that he served eleven months in all as a private soldier and for this period of service he claims a pension.
That during the time he was in service he was not engaged in any civil pursuit but was wholly engaged in his duties as a soldier. That he belonged to an embodied corps, regularly organized and called out into United States service by competent authority.
That Deponent knows of no person now living who can testify as to his actual services. That said services as above stated were performed in Virginia and that deponent has for forty five or forty six years past resided in Fairfield District, So Carolina, and knows of no one who has actual knowledge of the service.
He hereby relinquishes every claim whatsoever to a pension or annuity except the present, and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.

Sworn to and subscribed }
the day and year aforesaid }

(s) John R Buchanan (s) Bolling Wright

(Bolling Wright is my great-great-great-great-great grandfather, on my dad's side.)