Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Faulty Retelling of "The Vietnam War"


ANALYSIS/OPINION:

By Oliver North
October 16, 2017
Richard Nixon kept his promises, Ken Burns did not

When Richard Nixon was in the White House, I was in Vietnam and he was my commander in chief. When I was on Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council staff, I had the opportunity to brief former President Nixon on numerous occasions and came to admire his analysis of current events, insights on world affairs and compassion for our troops. His preparation for any meeting or discussion was exhaustive. His thirst for information was unquenchable and his tolerance for fools was nonexistent.

Mr. Nixon’s prosecution of the war in Southeast Asia is poorly told by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick in their new Public Broadcasting Service documentary “The Vietnam War.” That is but one of many reasons Mr. Burns‘ latest work is such a disappointment and a tragic lost opportunity.

It’s sad, but I’ve come to accept that the real story of the heroic American GIs in Vietnam may never be told. Like too many others, Ken Burns portrays the young soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of the Vietnam War as pot-smoking, drug-addicted, hippie marauders.

Those with whom I served were anything but. They did not commit the atrocities alleged in the unforgivable lies John Kerry described to a congressional committee so prominently featured by Mr. Burns. The troops my brother and I were blessed to lead were honorable, heroic and tenacious. They were patriotic, proud of their service, and true to their God and our country.

To depict them otherwise, as Mr. Burns does, is an egregious disservice to them, the families of the fallen and to history. But his treatment of my fellow Vietnam War veterans is just the start. Some of the most blatant travesties in the film are reserved for President Nixon.

Because of endless fairy tales told by Ken Burns and others, many Americans associate Richard Nixon with the totality and the worst events of Vietnam. It’s hardly evident in the Burns “documentary,” but important to note: When Richard Nixon was elected president in 1968, he inherited a nation — and a world — engulfed in discord and teetering on the brink of widespread chaos. His predecessor, Lyndon Johnson, was forced from office with a half-million U.S. troops mired in combat and fierce anti-American government demonstrations across the country and in our nation’s capital.

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick may not recall — but my family remembers: It was Lyndon Johnson who sent my brother and me to war. It was Richard Nixon who brought us home. It is very likely we are alive today because Mr. Nixon kept his word.

That’s not the only opportunity for accuracy Mr. Burns ignored. He could have credited Mr. Nixon with granting 18-year olds the right to vote in July 1971 with the 26th Amendment to our Constitution. (Does Ken even recall the slogan, “Old enough to fight — old enough to vote!” He should. Mr. Burns turned 18 that same month.)

President Nixon pressed on to all but finish the war. As promised, he brought our combat units home, returned 591 prisoners of war to their wives and families, ended the draft, leveraged the conflict to open ties with China and improved relations with the Soviet Union. He pushed both Communist giants in Beijing and Moscow to force their North Vietnamese puppet into a negotiated settlement. Yet he is portrayed in the Burns documentary as a cold-blooded, calculating politician more interested in re-election than the lives of U.S. troops in combat.

Contrary to the film’s portrayal, Mr. Nixon had a complicated strategy to achieve “peace with honor.” His goal was to train and equip the South Vietnamese military to defend their own country in a process he called “Vietnamization,” and thereby withdraw American troops.

President Nixon succeeded in isolating the North Vietnamese diplomatically and negotiated a peace agreement that preserved the right of the people of South Vietnam to determine their own political future. Imperfect as the Saigon government was, by 1973 the South Vietnamese had many well-trained troops and units that fought well and were proud to be our allies. This intricate and sophisticated approach took shape over four wartime years but receives only superficial mention in the Burns and Novick production.

Despite Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress, Mr. Nixon — a deft political powerhouse — attained consistent support from America’s “Silent Majority.”

If Mr. Burns read President Nixon’s memoir or his two successive books in which the former president recounts his emotional anguish at the war’s toll — “No More Vietnams” and “In the Arena” — there is little evidence in the PBS production. Instead, Mr. Burns cherry-picks from the infamous “Nixon tapes” to brand the president as a devious manipulator, striving for mass deception — a patently false allegation.

By the time President Nixon resigned office on Aug. 9, 1974, the Vietnam War was all but won and the South Vietnamese were confident of securing a permanent victory. But in December 1974 — three months after Mr. Nixon departed the White House — a vengeful, Democrat-dominated Congress cut off all aid to South Vietnam.

It was a devastating blow for those to whom Mr. Nixon had promised — not U.S. troops — but steadfast military, economic and diplomatic support. As chronicled in memoirs written afterwards in Hanoi, Moscow and Beijing, the communists celebrated. The ignominious end came with a full-scale North Vietnamese invasion five months later.

Despite the war’s end — and the trauma that continues to afflict our country — there is little in the Burns so-called documentary about the courage, patriotism and dedication of the U.S. troops who fought honorably, bravely and the despicable way in which we were “welcomed” home.

The PBS “documentary” frequently reminds viewers of the “gallant nationalist fervor” among the North Vietnamese. But the South Vietnamese are portrayed as little more than conniving urchins and weak pawns of the imperialist Americans.

In a technique favored by the “progressive left,” Mr. Burns uses a small cadre of anti-war U.S. and pro-Hanoi Vietnamese “eyewitnesses” to explain the complicated policies of the U.S. government. Mr. Burns apparently refused to interview Henry Kissinger, telling the Portland Press Herald he doubted “Kissinger’s authority to adequately convey the perspectives of the U.S. government.” This alone disqualifies this “documentary” as definitive history on the Vietnam War.

Though Mr. Burns and his collaborators claim otherwise, the real heroes of “The Vietnam War” were not U.S. protesters, but the troops my brother and I led. They fought valiantly for our country and the president who brought us home.

Since meeting President Nixon in the 1980s, I have always remembered how he understood the incredible sacrifice of American blood in the battlefields of Vietnam. He was dedicated to ending the war the right way and committed to sustaining American honor. He kept his promise to bring us home.

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick failed to keep their promise to tell all sides about the long and difficult war in Vietnam. Like John Kerry, they have committed a grave injustice to those of us who fought there.

-- end of article.

Editor's Note:

Retired U.S. Marine Col. Oliver North was a Marine platoon leader in Vietnam, He is a recipient of the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for Valor, as well as two Purple Hearts.

I'm re-printing this here to get the other side of the story out to folks. There are two sides to what took place in Vietnam. Sadly, the side of the those who condemn America's involvement there is the side which we hear most often. 

Tom Correa


Friday, October 27, 2017

Ranch Rifles & The .30-30 Round


According to a Gregg County Game Warden, East Texas resident Joe Clowers killed this huge wild hog right in his backyard. He killed the massive feral hog with an AR-15.

While the report that I read did not indicate whether he was using a standard .223 round or a bigger .308 round that's offered in many AR-15s today. Joe Clowers' home in Union Grove, Texas, and is now minus one very large hog. 

The massive hog was supposedly wreaking all sorts of havoc on his property and that of his neigbors for what at least the past five years. The hog had been preying on the fawns in the area. 

Mr. Clowers told the Houston Chronicle, "My property lays between some populated areas and I try to maintain an environment like a sanctuary or nursery for the deer to raise fawns." He also said, "He was the big daddy. I called him the bush beast." 

As for that beast, Mr. Clowers has stated that the big hog will be mounted and hung as a trophy on a wall in his home. 

Texas has the largest feral hog population in the United States. At what is an estimated population of 4 million wild hogs, the state of Texas has a wild hog problem that seems to be getting worse every year. 

Of course what's now making the problem of feral hogs even worse, whether it's their destructive capabilities or their predatory behavior, is that these days wild hogs are a menace to many in Texas cities and suburbs. It's true, it's not just ranchers and farmers that have to be concerned about the dangers of wild hogs. According to a number of sources, wild hogs are more and more finding their way into suburbs. That's a fact that is even more true as development extends into areas that were their domain.  

One report mentioned how folks in Texas worry about living with things like mosquitoes and fire ants, snakes and scorpions. I've been to Texas, and frankly those folks down there adapt to their environment as well as anyone can be expected to do so. The other thing about folks in Texas is that they don't really "worry" about much when it comes to living in Texas.  That includes dealing with wild hogs.

A couple of my readers from Texas have written to tell me that the solution to rid Texas of the feral hog problem is actually pretty simple. They and others believe that it all comes down to vigilance and taking action. That means staying armed. If you spot one, you shot it.  

Frankly, that's what it sound like happened to Mr. Clower. Because he knew that the beast was doing what he did where he was living, that means he himself could be at risk of being attacked. So knowing that, he said that he always stayed armed when visiting his deer feeders in case the beast charged him. 

I've never hunted feral hogs in Texas, but I have in California. A friend from Texas and I were talking about shooting feral hogs. I told him that when I hunted wild hogs here in California, I found that the first shot, that first crack of a rifle, had them running. He said he uses a semi-auto rifle with a larger magazine when hunting feral hogs for that reason. He said it gives him a better chance to take more than one shot in a hurried situation. Of course, as most know, a rifle like an AR-15 automatically cycles and re-chambers that next round for that shot. It is certainly faster than using a bolt action rifle. as well as faster than a lever-action rifle. Frankly, I'm sure the AR-15 is faster is since any semi-auto rifle takes the human factor out of the re-chambering process.

Now, while the simply fact of the matter is that a semi-auto rifle re-chamber rounds faster than a bolt-action or lever-action rifle can, I prefer a lever-action rifle as my ranch rifle. While for me here in Glencoe, California, don't have a problem with feral hogs, I do worry about mountain lions.

My idea of a good ranch rifle is any rifle of sufficient power that it can be used to bring down both game and predators. While I understand and respect the whole reasoning behind using a rifle like an AR-15, or a Ruger Mini-14, or even an SKS, with large magazines when hunting wild hogs, I like my Marlin lever-action rifles.

Fact is lever-action rifles are probably the most common truck guns or ranch guns out there. While most AR-15s and Ruger Mini-14s use the .223 cartridge, and the SKS uses uses the Russian 7.62×39mm, I like the old standby .30-30 Winchester cartridge.

Because I see a "Ranch Rifle" as more of a "Livestock and Game Rifle," as also a "Saddle Gun," which can also be used as a self-defense weapon, I prefer a lever-action rifle in .30-30 round. My preference is the Marlin 336 because I just like it's lever action.

Please understand that I am not being critical of anyone who uses an AR-15 platform, or a Ruger Mini-14, or whatever else they prefer. I see one's choice of a "ranch rifle" as just a matter of preference and proficiency.

I knew an old World War II veteran back when I was volunteering at the base stables in Camp Pendleton in the mid-'70 who swore, absolutely swore, that there was no better ranch rifle than his 1903 Springfield in .30-06. While I respected the '03 Springfield as a great rifle, I felt there were others, what I thought may be a better, choices out there at the time. And though to me there were others more compact ranch rifle out there to be had, the '03 Springfield was his preference and there was no talking the old timer out of it.

As for myself today, I guess I'm sort of the same way. While I was trained with the M-14 and the M-16 in the Marine Corps, and I assure you that I'm extremely proficient with both, the M-14 is my preference over the two. But for me, since I prefer a more compact ranch rifle than my M-14, I prefer a lever-action for use as a ranch rifle. It's all just a matter of preference.
Marlin Model 336C in .30-30
Part of the reason for my lever-action preference is that the .30-30 is a living legend. It is probably one of the most effective game cartridges ever designed. Out to 200 to 300 yards, a .30-30 round is all that is needed to bag most of what America has to offer in small game. And as for predators, a .30-30 will definitely do the job of stopping one in it's tracks.

Today, the two most popular lever-action hunting rifles in the world, the Winchester Model 94 and the Marlin Model 336. They are fast handling lever actions which are considered nearly perfect for woods and brush country hunting. Both are chambered with the very effective .30-30 Winchester cartridge.

I love the Marlin Model 336C simply because it is a rugged never fail rifle. It has a reputation for incredible dependability. Some people say it's "Monte Carlo grip" is a sort of "pistol-grip," but frankly it shoulder's like a rifle with a regular rifle stock in contract to the AR-15 which really does have a "pistol grip."

The .30-30 Winchester cartridge, "thirty-thirty" as it is most commonly known, was America's first small-bore sporting rifle cartridge that was specially designed for the use of smokeless powder back in the day. The .30-30 Winchester (Win), or .30 Winchester Center Fire (WCF) cartridge was first marketed in early 1895 to be used in the Winchester Model 1894 lever-action rifle. Because it was chambered for the Winchester Model 1894 carbine and rifle, it was also known as .30 Winchester Centerfire or .30 WCF.

When the cartridge was chambered in the Marlin Model 1893 rifle, rival gunmaker John Marlin used the designation .30-30, or .30-30 Smokeless. The added -30 stands for the standard load of 30 grains of early smokeless powder, according to late-19th century American naming conventions for black powder-filled cartridges. Marlin Firearms Company and the Union Metallic Cartridge Company later dropped the Winchester appellation "WCF" on their rounds as they did not want to put the name of rival Winchester on their products.

The modern designation of .30-30 Winchester was arrived at by using Marlin's variation of the name with the Winchester name appended as originator of the cartridge, though .30 WCF is still seen occasionally. This designation also served a purpose in avoiding a lot of confusion with the different yet similarly-shaped .30-40 Krag, which has been referred to as ".30 US" and ".30 Army".

The .30-30 is considered to be the "entry-class" for modern big-game hunting cartridges, and it is common to define the characteristics of cartridges with similar ballistics as being in ".30-30 class" when describing their trajectory. While it is very effective on deer-sized and black bear-sized game, most commercial loads are limited in effective range of approximately 200 to 300 yards.

In Canada and the U.S., the .30-30 cartridge has also been used to bring down moose, caribou, and pronghorn. One source says that modern opinions in Canada on its suitability for moose are mixed. Yet it appears many moose have been taken with the .30-30, so no one should rule it out as good for that purpose. Of course, it is pretty much agreed that the .30-30 is not a good choice for hunters who wish to shoot larger game at longer distances say over 100 yards. The reason is that the cartridge, with its flat or round nosed bullets, does not meet minimum energy standards required for moose hunting in many places. In fact, while the .30-30 is legal for hunting moose in Newfoundland, Canada, game authorities do not recommend its use.

One of the primary reasons for the .30-30's popularity among deer hunters is its light recoil. Of course, a light recoil can be a real plus with chambering that next round. Average recoil from a typical 150-grain bullet in a 7.5-pound lever-action rifle is about half that of a comparable rifle chambered for the .30-06 Springfield.

Because the majority of rifles chambered in .30-30 are lever-action rifles with tubular magazines, most .30-30 cartridges are loaded with round-nose or flat-nose bullets for safety. If you're asking what this have to do with safety, well a round-nose or flat-nose bullets prevent a spitzer-point bullet from setting off the primer of the cartridge ahead of it in the tube magazine during recoil and possibly resulting in potentially catastrophic damage to both firearm and shooter.

This was a concern as far back as the late 1890's when the Savage Arms Model 99 was introduced in 1899. The Savage Arms Model 99 came out with a rotary magazine just to avoid that issue.

A notable exception to the "no pointed bullets" guideline for bullet selection in rifles with tubular magazines are the new flexible "memory elastomer"-tipped LEVER Evolution cartridges as produced by Hornady today.

The soft rubber tips of these bullets easily deform under compression, preventing detonations while under recoil in the magazine, yet also return to their original pointed shape when that pressure is removed, thus allowing for a more efficient bullet shape than previously available to load safely in such rifles.

The more aerodynamic shape results in a flatter bullet trajectory and greater retained velocity downrange, significantly increasing the effective range of rifles chambered for this cartridge. Yes, the new type of round increases the hunter's range.

As I said before, the .30-30 is by far the most common lever action rifles. From my experience, among lever-action rifles out there, Marlin Firearms Company lever-action rifles in the .30-30 round as a ranch rifle simply can't be beat. From deer to mountain lions, from wild hogs to bears, the .30-30 round have been proven successful for generations.

That's just my preference.

Tom Correa


Monday, October 23, 2017

Why Do So Many Democrats Hate So Insanely?


Dear Friends

A few of you have written to ask the question, "Why do so many Democrats hate us so insanely?" By "us", one reader wrote, "hate Americans who just have a different outlook on life, like different things than they do, those of use who believe babies shouldn't be killed and sold for parts, or are Christian, or are Conservative, or are Republicans, or who are Trump voters."  

A long time ago, I wrote a blog stating that I'm no different than you my readers in that I'm not some "Political Scientist" who has been educated in all of the theories as to why the Democrat Party acts the way it does. Like you, I can only judge them by their actions. Yes, the same way you do.

Of course, by their actions, I'm talking about what they say versus what they do? If they are indeed working for us versus if they are actually working for their political donors? If they are obstructionist when it comes to stopping things that benefit we the American people? Or if they don't see the burden that they place on Americans when they create needless regulation and increase our taxes?

While I see RINOs, Republicans In Name Only, like John McCain and Lindsay Graham, who are just as bad as any Democrat out there.  I see Democrat politicians as people who are more concerned about lining the pockets of their wealthy donors. I see Democrats as the party of higher taxes, more regulations, just obstructionists who are not for American manufacturing, better paying jobs, or prosperity in America.

Looking at the actions of some Democrats, and all of the hate that they constantly direct toward President Trump, I can't help but wonder if those Trump Haters are way too emotionally tied to hating a President Trump because he is White and a Republican. It seems they are.

I've found that they cannot be reasoned with. In fact, I really believe that they cannot understand anything other than their hate for others who do not think and feel and vote as they do.

I remember seeing this sort of thing when President Richard Nixon was in office, though certainly not to this degree. I saw this same sort of hate for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush. But no, I've never seen this type of venomous deep seated hatred on the part of some Democrats for a Republican President as I now see directed toward President Donald Trump.

Sadly, they have a history of hate. They have a history of doing anything to get power and control over others. They're a political party that has shown this over the years.

I'm not kidding about a history of hate, the Democrat Party created the KKK, they created segregation, and Jim Crow laws. They opposed Women's Rights and they filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act. They have supported Communism, Socialism, and Dictatorships.

Today they fund ANTIFA, and it wasn't that long ago when Democrat President Obama invited the hate group Black Lives Matter to the White House. Remember how the Obama administration brushed aside the Black Panther Party thugs who were threatening White voters at polling places with clubs. 

And please, let's not forget how some Democrats have openly called for the assassination of President Donald Trump since he was elected in November of 2016. Yes, with absolutely no repercussions for doing something so criminal as to incite the murder of the President of the United States.

By the way, these are facts. Our knowing these facts has made it so that none of us should be surprised at how low Democrats will go. There are some Democrats out there who are still angry about the 2016 Presidential Election. Of course they are constantly fueled by the rancor that has come from Hillary Clinton since she lost last November. She is on television all of the time these days spewing hate for President Trump.

And let's not even talk about the late night talk shows that were once watched by millions of Americans because they were funny, they're not these days. Almost every channel is a hate Trump fest. And sadly, their material has gotten very old. Then again, more sadly is their claims that they don't care if Conservatives, Republicans, and specifically Trump supporters watch their show.

Some like the jerks in Hollywood and in the music business have actually told Trump voters that they aren't allowed at their concerts or to their movies. Imagine if a Republican entertainer told Democrats, and specifically Hillary Clinton voters, not to watch their movies or go to their concerts.

Really, only Democrats hate like that. And yes, it is selective hate.

Remember when Democrat women marched in a protest against President Trump. They were joined by all sorts of Hollywood millionaire actresses who condemned the president for things that he said over a decade ago in his private life. You remember how they dressed with pink hats and dressed as giant vaginas.

Well, where were those women dressed as giant vaginas when Democrat President Bill Clinton sexually assaulted a number of women in the White House? Not something simply said, but physically assaulted women by grabbing and groping them. There was no outrage from Democrats who were supposedly defenders of women. They were silent and still call Bill Clinton the best President they'd ever had.

And how about this big time Hollywood Democrat political donor who sexually assaulted a great many of those women who protested President Trump, but remained silent about one of their own who actually sexually assaulted, raped, and threatened many of those same pink hat wearing actress? Where are those actress with pink hats protesting "one of their own"? Hypocrites. They're just hypocrites.

And by the way, President Trump does not have an "Enemies List" like Richard Nixon did. But President Obama had an "Enemies List," no different than Nixon did. So really, where was the hate for Obama's illegal activities while he was in office. Yes, things like gun smuggling assault weapons into Mexico which no one ever answered for, what about that? And how about Obama violating the Constitution by enacting laws while bypassing Congress?

Why wasn't the Left angry as Hell about that? They weren't, instead they excused Obama's lawless behavior and were silent about what was taking place, probably out of fear that they better shut up. We forget that everyone who disagreed with Obama was called a "racist." Obama could have burned the Constitution and those of us will to point that out would have surely been called "racist."

Obama acted as though he wanted to be a Dictator. He did that by way if edicts and bypassing the legislative process. Trump has not. The only thing Trump has done by Executive Order was rid America of regulations and programs illegally signed into law by Obama.

President Trump cannot find it in himself to hate an entire segment of the American population, but Obama did by hating Republicans, Whites, Conservatives, Christians, and others on his "Enemies List." Obama's own Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel once said, "Fuck Republicans" when it came to working with Republicans over Health Care. I believe Rahm Emanuel was just echoing the sentiment of Obama himself.

Can anyone imagine the uproar if President Trump's Chief of Staff would say "Fuck Democrats"? All Hell would break loose. Of course nothing of the sort took place when Rahm Emanuel said it because the Democrat Party is in collusion with the Mainstream News Media. They gave Obama a pass on that, the same way they covered for him the whole 8 years while Obama was in office. Democrats were not angry about that, because they see Democrats acting badly as being OK.

While President Trump has tried to reunite our nation, and really return us to the days of a color-blind society which we had before Obama took office, Obama worked every angle and "didn't let any tragedy go by" to divide our nation on all sorts of levels, economically, socially, by religion, and by race. No outrage from the Democrats over that. And frankly, there are too many example of selective anger from Democrats to mention here.

So why are they so angry? Why do they hate us?

Well, I believe Democrats are angry because they are not in control of the government which they used against our own citizens. They seem to believe making others the focus of their hate is how they think they will regain power. Yes, the same way Nazis in Germany gained power and sought control over the German people in the 1930's. The Nazis blamed the Jews for all of their problems. The Democrats are blaming Trump voters and trying to paint us as being the problem with America, all because we don't want Socialism, Communism, government controlling our lives. They hate us for making America great.

Sadly, there are Democrats who hate for the sake of hating. They live on hate like a heroine addict lives for that fix. Sad, but that's what I've seen over the years.

And sadly, there are some Democrats out their that truly believe setting race against race, as well as class warfare, is the way to regain power and exert control over the American people. Not through tolerance or understanding, not through civility and kindness, and certainly not through an exchange of ideas as President Trump is trying to do, but through intimidation and hate.

The hypocrisy from some of the Democrats is incredible. Americans didn't care if Obama was black, half black, or from Chicago. Most Americans hated his economic, social, military, foreign, and domestic policies. I hated his attempts to kill American oil and coal production, his reducing our military, sending American jobs overseas, catering to hate groups, and divisiveness. Because I hated his policies, I was called a "racist." Not an angry Republican, or a pissed off Conservative, or a discontented believer in the Constitution, but a "racist" in an effort to silence my disdain for his policies. Policies that hurt America.

I believe the majority of Democrats today hate Trump, not for his policies as I don't think they can honestly tell you what they are, but because he is a Republican, White, Christian, Conservative, believer in our Constitution and the law of the land. They hate him viscerally. They hate him in the very same way they hate others who are not like them. They hate emotionally, pathologically, for no rhyme or reason. They hate senselessly. And the fact is, when confronted, they really can't even give us plausible reasons, other than Democrat Party talking points, as to why they hate Trump or us.

A recent report in the last few days came out of NBC News saying that our enemy North Korea has military officers who enjoy watching MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Yes, all because those North Korean officers enjoy watching Democrats hate President Donald Trump as much as they do.

I can't help but wonder if there are Democrats who would proud of that? I can't help but wonder if those Democrats are proud of the fact that they are building up the morale of our enemies, while tearing down the morale of Americans? 

Probably so, and that's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa



Friday, October 20, 2017

An American Civil War Battle In France?


A hilltop behind our little town of Glencoe, California, is named Alabama Hill. It was named after a Confederate warship the CSS Alabama by a group of gold miners who were Southern sympathizer during the Civil War. I was looking into the reason why a hilltop near my home is named after the CSS Alabama when I discovered that she had an interesting history. Yes, including being part of an American Civil War battle in France of all places.

Believe it or not, her last battle did in fact take in what I believe was a very unlikely place during the Civil War. The Battle of Cherbourg, as it became known as, took place off of Cherbourg, France, in 1864.

Now if you didn't know that there was an American Civil War sea-battle between the North and South that took place in France, well that makes two of us. Frankly, I had no clue until lately that Union and Confederate Navy vessels engaged each other outside of American waters.

Knowing that those miners here in Glencoe named a hill after the Alabama, let's look at the fascinating CSS Alabama first. Of course, the question becomes why was she there in France in the first place?

The CSS Alabama was a sloop-of-war that was built for the Confederate States Navy in 1862, She was built in England. Her sole purpose was as a "commerce raider". Her job was to attack Union navy and merchant ships. A quirk of history is that she was a Confederate navy warship that never ever docked at an American port, North or South, during her lifespan.

Fact is, the CSS Alabama was built in what was thought to be complete secrecy in England. Her construction was arranged by Confederate agents who worked through a Confederate cotton broker in England. That cotton broker was Fraser, Trenholm & Co who was in fact the Confederacy's overseas bankers. Fraser, Trenholm & Co supported slavery in the American South even though slavery was already outlawed in England. Fraser, Trenholm & Co supported the Confederacy by arranging the sale of cotton for the South, and by arranging the financing and construction of a Confederate fleet of blockade runners and commerce raiders in England. 

Loopholes being what they are when it comes to laws, English laws had loopholes no different than any other nation. Ehen it came to England's neutrality laws, their laws stated that a ship could be designed and built as an armed vessel as long as it didn't carry any armament guns until after it sailed into International waters. So basically, the CSS Alabama was designed and built with Navy regulations of reinforced decks for cannons, magazines storage, gun ports, and other specifications for a warship as long as she did not have guns. 

She was initially named the "Enrica" in May of 1862. Then, as stealthy as possible to avoid detection by a Union vessel the USS Tuscarora which was dispatched to find that new Confederate warship, she is said to have slipped out of England in early July. She had a civilian Captain and crew when she sailed to Terceira Island in the Portuguese Azores. 

Capt. Raphael Semmes and Lt. John Kell 
aboard CSS Alabama 1863
Once in the Azores, she was met by Confederate Navy Captain Raphael Semmes in August. Captain Semmes is interesting to me in that prior to jumping ship from the U.S. Navy and joining the Confederate Navy during the Civil War, he actually served in the United States Navy from 1826 to 1861. That's a 35 year Navy career before joining the Confederates. Also, he's the only Naval officer that I've ever heard of who was supposedly promoted to Confederate Navy Rear Admiral and then later was supposedly promoted to Brigadier General in the Confederate Army.  

Of course, records show that while he only preformed the duties of a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army for about four days, his actual promotion to that rank was never approved of by the Confederate Senate. Fact is, his appointment to that position was never approved because he only held that rank for only a few days before General Robert E. Lee surrendered and the war ended. As for his insistence that he was a Brigadier General, some say that he insisted on being referred to as a Brigadier General so that he wouldn't be hanged for piracy on the high seas after the war.

At Terceira Island in the Azores, the "Erica" was outfitted as a Naval cruiser of the time. She was equipped with six British-made 32-pounder broadside cannons. Forward of the main mast was a 7-inch pivot cannon, and aft was an 8-inch pivot cannon. Those cannons were positions so that they would be able rotate fire port or starboard. She was armed and fast. Fact is, she could make up to ten knots under sail alone. She could do 13.25 knots when using both her sails and steam powered screw which was powered by a 300 horsepower horizontal steam engine.

On July 29th, 1862, the Confederate Navy commissioned her the Confederate States Steamer (CSS) Alabama. She was considered a cruiser that the South designated a "commerce raider." The CSS Alabama's motto was "Aide-toi et Dieu t'aidera." In French, that's translated to "God helps those who help themselves." Her motto is said to have been engraved in a bronze plate on her great double ship's wheel.

The Alabama's crew boarded nearly 450 vessels. They captured, burned, and scuttled 65 Union ships which were mostly merchant vessels. She took more than 2,000 prisoners which she turned over to neutral ships or offloaded on neutral ports. Those figures make the CSS Alabama the most successful "commerce raider" in Maritime History. 

Fact is, as strange as it might sound, the CSS Alabama conducted seven expeditionary raids in areas of the globe that I would have never imagined a Confederate ship having gone to the areas that it did.


For example, the CSS Alabama's Eastern Atlantic Expeditionary Raid from the end of August to September of 1862 took place right after being commissioned. That was when she set sail for the shipping lanes Southwest and then East of the Azores. She is known to have burned and scuttled ten Northern whaling ships to prevent whale oil from being used in the North.
  
The CSS Alabama's New England Expeditionary Raid was from October into November of that same year. Captain Semmes pointed his ship to the Northeastern seaboard of New England. The Alabama worked that area venturing as far south as Bermuda. Off of Virginia, the Alabama's crew set fire to ten Northern merchant ships.

The CSS Alabama's Gulf of Mexico Expeditionary Raid which was from the middle of November of 1862 to the end of January of 1863. During that time, she supported the Confederate state of Texas against a Union expeditionary force. That action is also known as the Battle of Galveston when Confederate Major General John B. Magruder expelled occupying Union troops from Galveston. The Alabama is know to have sank the Union side-wheeler USS Hatteras.

The CSS Alabama's South Atlantic Expeditionary Raid took place from February to July of 1863. That was when the Union Navy started to hunt down the Alabama in earnest. The reason was that she burned and scuttled 29 Union merchant ships while raiding off the coast of Brazil. Yes, Brazil.
The CSS Alabama's South African Expeditionary Raid lasted from August to September of that same year. She patrolled off the coast of South Africa while working with the CSS Tuscaloosa to stop Union shipping.

The CSS Alabama's Indian Ocean Expeditionary Raid was from September to November. She made a 4,500 mile journey across the Indian Ocean, all while evading the Union gunboat USS Wyoming. During that time, the Alabama sunk three Union merchant ships near the Sunda Strait and the Java Sea.

The CSS Alabama's South Pacific Expeditionary Raid in December of 1863 was her final raiding expedition. During that time, it's said she sunk a few Union merchant vessels in the Strait of Malacca before finally heading to Confederate friendly France for a refit and repairs.
Those seven expeditionary raids took 657 days. During that time, the Alabama was at sea for 534 days of those 657. As stated before, she never visited a Confederate port. Yet even though that's the case, it seems as though she traveled all over the world. 

As for the Union's response to "commerce raiders" such as the CSS Alabama, they were not completely asleep at the wheel when it came to trying to stop them. In fact, before the "Erica" ever left England heading for the Portuguese Azores for armament, the Union's USS Tuscarora was in Southampton, England, with the mission of intercepting the Alabama. Sadly for the Union, the Tuscarora wasn't successful at stopping her at the time.

Capt. Winslow & officers aboard the USS Kearsarge 
So now after almost two years of sinking Union merchant ships pretty much all over the globe, the CSS Alabama returned to European waters for a refit, repairs, replenishment. Of course, it's a safe bet to say that the crew wanted time ashore as well. She put into the port at Cherbourg, France, on June 11th, 1864.

The Union's sloop-of-war the USS Kearsarge arrived on June 14th to meet her, and sink her. She was a Mohican-class United States sloop-of-war named after New Hampshire's Mount Kearsarge. She was built and commissioned at the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine, on January 24th, 1862. She could do a top speed of 11 knots under sail and steam, and was armed with two 11 inch cannons, four 32 pounderss, and one 30-pounder. Her mission was to search out Confederate commerce raiders and blockade runners, and sink them. 

The USS Kearsarge was actually a bit smaller and almost 3 knots slower than the CSS Alabama. She also had one less gun than the Alabama, and they were small than which the Alabama was armed with.

While smaller, slower, and having less guns, she had one advantage over the Alabama. It was a secret that the Alabama's Captain did not know about. The Kearsarge was built to take hits while hunting Confederate commerce raiders. What that means is that it had a concealed iron chain armor cladding over its wooden hull. That armor was disguised, concealed, with wood. It's true, it was concealed behind 1 inch boards painted black to match the upper part of the ship's hull color. This cladding was positioned along Kearsarge's port and starboard mid-section down to her waterline. This was to protect her engines, boilers, and coal storage. 

I found it interesting that the Portuguese in the Azores did work on both Union and Confederate ships during our Civil War. For example, the same port that outfitted the CSS Alabama with British armament in July of 1862 had also installed the armor cladding on the USS Kearsarge's hull when she was in port in the Azores earlier that same year.

The USS Kearsarge left Portsmouth Navy Yard on February 5th, 1862, and immediate headed for the coast of Spain. After a brief three day stop in the Azores, the three says that it took to put on her armor, she steamed to Gibraltar to join the gunboat USS Chippewa in the blockade of the CSS Sumter which was also a Confederate commerce raider.

In early 1862, the CSS Sumter was making repairs in Cadiz, Spain, which was neutral during our Civil War. The Sumter was then forced to British Gibraltar. During the Union Navy's blockade which kept her there, she was unable to get the repairs and after almost a year of being guarded by a number of different Union warships, she was abandoned. 

Yes, as strange as it sounds, the Captain and crew of the CSS Sumter ended up just abandoning her in December of 1862. The CSS Sumter's Captain was none other than Confederate Captain Raphael Semmes. After he left the Sumter, he and his crew were reassigned to the Alabama which was in the Azores.  

From the neutral port at Cadiz, Spain, from November of 1862 to mid-March of 1863, the USS Kearsarge searched for the Alabama. The Kearsarge is said to have searched for the Alabama all along the coast of Europe and down the North African coast. The break for the Kearsarge came when a Union agent in France sent word of the whereabouts of the Alabama.

The USS Kearsarge arrived at the mouth of the horbor in Cherbourg, France, to find the CSS Alabama on June 14th, 1864. It was there that the Kearsarge took up a position at the harbor's entrance. It was there that she waited for the Alabama to come out and fight.

This must have felt like a second chance for Confederate Captain Semmes in command of the Alabama. He was face to face with one of the ships that got the better of his last ship the Sumter. Maybe that's why the CSS Alabama's Captain Raphael Semmes reportedly sent a challenge to the USS Kearsarge's Captain John Winslow for a ship-to-ship duel on the open sea. Imagine that. 

Mindful of French neutrality, Union Captain Winslow took the Kearsarge out away and clear of French waters. No one questioned whether or not Captain Winslow would answer Captain Semmes challenge. The challenge suited Captain Winslow just fine as he led the Alabama out to sea almost seven miles from the Cherbourg harbor in France.

On June 19th, 1864, two American warships, one Union and the other Confederate, fought an American Civil War battle in France of all places. After four long days of refitting his vessel, drilling his men and preparing for battle with the Kearsarge, the CSS Alabama steamed out of Cherbourg harbor. The Alabama was escorted by the French Navy ironclad Couronne and a British yacht the Deerhound. Some reports say that two other French Navy warships escorted the Alabama out to sea and remained close to the battle to make sure that the fighting stayed out of French waters.

It is said that the Kearsarge steamed further out to sea as the Alabama approached. Some say Captain Winslow wanted to make sure that the Captain of the Alabama couldn't make a run for the French harbor if fate fell out of favor for the Confederate ship. Some say Captain Winslow simply wanted fighting room.

Either way, at 10:50 a.m., on the morning of June 19th, 1864, at a distance of about a mile, Captain Winslow spun the USS Kearsarge around and head straight for the CSS Alabama. When Captain Semmes saw the Kearsarge turn, and expose her starboard side, the Alabama opened fire. She was the first to open fire, and she continued to fire as the Kearsarge got closer.

As soon as the ships closed to about a half-mile of each other, it was then that the Kearsarge turned again and opened fire. And it was then, that the ship's reportedly engaged at a circular course of engagement, both firing mainly from their starboard side cannons. Witnesses stated that the ships neared to within 600 yards of each other.

Going in opposite directions, and then turning about to counter the other, the deadly dance at sea took place with cannon and smoke and death. During the battle, the armored hull of the Kearsarge was hit twice. The first shell hit was to the starboard side. It was one of the Alabama's 32-pounders. That hit would have sank any normal hulled ship, but all it did was cut part of the chain armor and dent the hull planking underneath. The second hit from one of the Alabama's 32-pounders actually exploded. That shell broke a link of the chain cladding and tore away some of the 1 inch boards covering the armor. One of Alabama's massive 100-pound shells hit the Kearsarge's sternpost but failed to explode. A piece of that post with the shell still lodged in it survives as a museum piece today.

Fact is, though the CSS Alabama hit the USS Kearsarge a number of times, the shells caused relatively little damage. As for the CSS Alabama, she was not fairing well at all as whole parts of her were being exposed. Soon Captain Semmes twice turned his vessel and tried to run back to Cherbourg harbor just as Captain Winslow suspected he would. Captain Winslow stopped each attempt by using the Kearsarge to cut him off.

It's true. The Alabama's sides were torn open by Union shells. And close to noon, as the action continued, the CSS Alabama headed for shore in an attempt to get back into French waters and safety now a few miles away.

Soon water flooded the Alabama's engines and they stopped. That was when Captain Semmes struck his colors. With that, both ship's cannons went silent. Captain Winslow is said to have stopped the Kearsarge uncertain as to whether or not the Alabama had actually surrendered or if it's battle flag had simply been shot away.

There is a story that a white flag was seen, and with that Captain Winslow called for a cease fire. The story goes on to say that the Alabama renewed her firing when the Kearsarge ceased firing. With that, Captain Winslow opened fired again with a vicious barrage. This went on even though the white flag was still flying.

All firing stopped again when Captain Semmes sent one of his longboats to the Kearsarge with a message of surrender. In his message, he also requested assistance in rescuing his crew. After that, for the next 15 to 20 minutes while the Alabama slowly sank, her crew tried getting safely away from the Alabama as she slipped beneath the sea. The Battle of Cherbourg ended when the CSS Alabama loss power and began to sink. Several of its crew were killed, and many were wounded. Among the wounded was Captain Semmes himself.

The Alabama's survivors were rescued by the Kearsarge and by the British yacht the Deerhound. The British yacht Deerhound went along side of the Kearsarge to ask Captain Winslow if they could assist in rescuing the Alabama's officers and crew. The Alabama was sinking fast. The Deerhound is said to have picked up between 39 and 42 crew members, which included Captain Semmes and 11 to 14 of his officers.

After the Deerhound picked up those survivors, she turned and sailed off back to Southampton, England. By going to England which was an ally of the Confederacy during the Civil War, they avoided capture and prison. Of course those Confederate sailors who made it to the Kearsarge were lucky to be alive, but they did become prisoners of war.

There is a story that Captain Winslow's officers aboard the Kearsarge watched in anger as the Deerhound left the area and headed back to England with the Confederates aboard. It's said that the officer begged him to fire upon the Deerhound for taking escaping prisoners, but Captain Winlow refused to do that.

The Battle of Cherbourg lasted by some accounts an hour and twenty minutes. The CSS Alabama sank out of sight. It is belived that about 40 of her crew were killed, and 70 became prisoners of war. The 39 to 42 Confederate sailors aboard the Deerhound escaped to England. As for the USS Kearsarge, she walked away from that battle the victor with one crewman killed and two others wounded.

I find it interesting that the wounded Captain Semmes is said to have thrown his sword into the sea just to deprive the Kearsarge's Captain Winslow of being handed his sword upon surrender. I also find it interesting that the Alabama out shot the Kearsarge almost 2 to 1 with little to show for it.

Believe it or not, as hard as it is for me to believe the figures, only 28 shells actually hit the Kearsarge. That's 28 rounds out of what is believed to have been at least 370 that the Alabama fired during the battle. In contrast, the Kearsarge only fired 173 projectiles with most of her rounds hitting the Alabama with effect.

Some say poor gunnery skills on the part of the Confederate gunners turned the battle against the Alabama. Some say it was the quality of the Alabama's powder, fuses, and shells. They say that the Alabama's powder and shells were in a deteriorated condition during that fight. But frankly, I really don't know how anyone would know that? Besides, the Alabama's gunners fired at least 370 rounds so that show that the powder couldn't have been bad. The problem the Alabama had was it's failure to hit its target.

And while some would insist that the Kearsarge go lucky that day, for me looking at what took place, I really believe that Union victory goes to a combination of factors. First, the armored hull of the Kearsarge was a huge advantage. Second, the Union gunners who were simply good at their job.

And lastly, the difference between the ships was a factor. They were designed with specific missions in mind. Very different missions. The CSS Alabama was designed to sink poorly or completely unarmed merchant ships. While the CSS Alabama did have bigger guns than the USS Kearsarge, the Kearsarge was designed with an armored hull to do battle with other ships of war.  I believe that gave the Union Navy an advantage that day. The day an American Civil War battle was fought in France.

Tom Correa

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Halderman Brothers -- Killers Or Not?

William Halderman was 21 years of age, and his brother Thomas was 18, when they were legally hanged on November 16th, 1900. Both brothers were working day wage cowboys just trying to get established on their own in Cochise County, Arizona. Yes, just two honest cowboys trying to start their own ranch by working for it.

Their parents were Jesse and Augusta Halderman. Their family, the Kokernot-Halderman family, were considered influential pioneers in Texas at the time. 

In 1898, the Halderman brothers began feuding with 18 year-old Teddy Moore over a pair of young women named Rena and Mary Wilson. According to later court findings, in November of 1898, Moore threatened to kill William. It was something he did a few times over a few month period.

On April 6th, 1899, Justice William Monmonier received a report from Buck Smith who was the owner of the Smith Ranch, accusing the Haldermans of rustling and killing his cattle. A warrant was issued and the job of arresting the Haldermans fell to Constable Chester Ainsworth who was the brother of Arizona Attorney General Charles F. Ainsworth.

Constable Ainsworth went from his office in Pearce to the Smith Ranch to ask the ranchers for assistance in apprehending the Haldermans. According to the later testimony of R. Michael Wilson, Buck Smith refused to help and told the constable to continue on to the Moore Ranch house less than a mile away to enlist the help of Teddy Moore. Constable Ainsworth did just that. Then after deputizing Moore, the two-men headed to the Halderman Ranch which was located a short distance away along Turkey Creek Canyon.

After finding the house empty, Ainsworth decided to check the Wilson Ranch, which was owned by John W. Wilson who lived there with his sons Johnny and Tol and his two daughters Rena and Mary.

So accused of shooting Buck Smith's cattle and selling the meat, Constable Chester Ainsworth and 18 year-old Teddy Moore tracked the Halderman brothers to the Southeast Arizona ranch of J. N. Wilson. The Constable and Moore arrived at the Wilson Ranch house on the morning of April 7th, 1899, sometime just after dawn.

The Halderman brothers were eating breakfast with J.W. Wilson their neighbor at his ranch when Ainsworth and Moore found them. The two "lawmen" were side-by-side and approximately forty feet from the front porch of the house when Ainsworth read the arrest warrant aloud. He demanded that the Halderman brothers come out peaceably.

When it seemed as though the two young men were going to surrender without resisting, Constable Ainsworth suggested that they finish eating breakfast before leaving, He advised them to pack some of their belongings for staying a few days in Pearce.

Some say that while inside the house, it became very evident to the Haldermans that Moore intended to do them harm instead of taking them to jail. So with that, the brothers armed themselves. And instead of going along peaceably, they reappeared at the two front doors of the house which were located at each end of the porch.

The Haldermans had only one rifle of their own and William armed himself with it. His brother Thomas took Mr. Wilson's rifle to use against the lawman and Moore. According to the Haldermans, as soon as they were seen with weapons in hand, both Ainsworth and Moore drew their side arms and began shooting into the house.

William responded by firing back. After emptying his weapon, he ran across the porch to his shocked brother to take up his rifle and continue shooting at Moore. Unfortunately, it was during this time that Ainsworth was shot off his horse and killed. Some say that he was struck in the heart and died almost instantly.

William later claimed that the death of Ainsworth was an accident and even said that he might have been killed by Moore. After Constable Chester Ainsworth fell dead off his horse, Teddy Moore turned his horse attempted to ride away as fast as he could. But it's said that he only went less than 100 yards when William Halderman fired again. That bullet struck young Moore in the bowels, but not off his horse.

Teddy Moore was mortally wounded when the Halderman brothers decided to flee to New Mexico. And believe it or not, though shot and dying, young 18 year old Teddy Moore was able to return home to the Moore Ranch. It's said that it was there where he actually bled to death in his mother's arms.

And even though that was the case, before he died, Teddy Moore was able to tell his family what had happened. Death-bed statements being what they are, and since he said that it was the Haldermans who fired on them first, everyone took his last words as truthful eyewitness testimony.

The following appeared in the newspaper the Pacific Reporter, Volume 60:

"It appears from the record that on April 6, 1899, a complaint was lodged before W. [William] M. Monmonier, a justice of the peace for the precinct of Pearce, Cochise county, charging the Haldermans with having unlawfully killed cattle. A warrant was issued by the justice upon this complaint, and placed in the hands of one C. [Chester] L. Ainsworth, constable of the precinct, and a deputy sheriff [Teddy Moore] of the county....

They then went to the house of a neighbor by the name of [John W.] Wilson, where they found the defendants. Ainsworth and Moore rode to the front of the Wilson house, dismounted from their horses, and called the Haldermans out, where upon Ainsworth read his warrant of arrest to them. Both Haldermans expressed a willingness to go with the officer, but before starting, upon suggestion of the latter [Ainsworth], went into the house to get their breakfast.

While they were inside, Ainsworth called to them, and told them, as they might be detained at Pierce [Pearce] for two or three days, to take with them such articles of wearing apparel [clothing] as they might need. Soon after, the Haldermans appeared, one at each of the two front doors of the house, armed with rifles, and at once opened fire, instantly killing Ainsworth, and mortally wounding Moore. As to the facts above stated, there is no substantial conflict in the evidence.

The testimony of the witness for the prosecution, supported by the dying declaration of Moore, as to the circumstances of the shooting, is to the effect that at the time the Haldermans appeared at the doors, Ainsworth and Moore were both mounted, and a short distance from the house; that the Haldermans, as soon as they appeared, called to Ainsworth and Moore to hold up their hands, but without waiting, at once fired; that Ainsworth immediately fell from his horse, shot through the heart; that Moore turned his horse, and started off, but was shot through the bowels as he rode away; that after the shooting the Haldermans immediately fled.

The story, as told by the defendants, was that between themselves and Moore had existed a deadly enmity; that, after the warrant had been read, they asked the constable how they were to be taken to Pierce; that they were then told that they would have to walk down to a neighboring ranch, where there was a conveyance of some sort; that; fearing that Moore might on some pretext seek occasion on the way down to the ranch to do them [the Halderman brothers] harm, they concluded while in the house to take their rifles with them; that, as soon as they appeared at the front of the house, Moore pulled his gun and fired; that William Halderman at once returned the fire, and continued shooting until he had emptied his gun, and, as Moore continued to shoot, he then ran to the other door, where his brother Thomas Halderman stood, and, seizing the latter's gun, fired again at Moore, but by accident killed Ainsworth; that, fearing [lynch] mob violence at the hands of the friends of Ainsworth, the two then left the country”.

-- end of article.

Cochise County Sheriff Scott White offered a $50 reward for the arrest and conviction of the Halderman brothers on the day after the shooting. Soon reward posters began circulating to lawmen throughout Arizona. Of course, in 1899, $50 was more than a cowboy made in a month. So no, it's not hard to understand how fast information started coming in.

The Haldermans were captured by Deputy Sid Mullen on April 12th while they were camped just across the border of New Mexico just East of the town of Duncan. They were first held in the jail at Pearce, and then were later transferred to Tombstone for their trial. 

All in all, it didn't take a jury long to decide on their fate. In fact a jury found the Haldermans guilty, and convicted them of first-degree murder on June 11th. They were sentenced to hang on August 10th, 1900.

Because Constable Chester Ainsworth was so liked by the folks there, there was a great deal of anger directed at the Halderman brothers even though a witness had testified that Teddy Moore had threatened both of the Haldermans before agreeing to help Constable Ainsworth.

The Halderman family was trying its best to influence the court's decision while awaiting the execution date. During that time, the Halderman family attempted to gather evidence to support their claim that the allegations of cattle rustling were fake and that the shootout was because of a feud between Teddy Moore. They asserted that it had nothing to do with cattle stealing since no stolen cattle were ever produced. And while all of their efforts were well intentioned, all in all, all they were able to achieve was a delay of the eventual execution.

The Haldermans claimed that Moore was responsible for the stealing and killing the cattle. They also claimed that Moore was trying to frame them so he could then be free to court Rena Wilson.

The Halderman family sent in an appeal in the Governor, but the application was sent directly to President McKinley because Governor Nathan O. Murphy was out of state at the time. President McKinley granted them a stay of execution until October 5th, 1900, so that they could gather more evidence for their defense.

When Governor Murphy returned from out of state, he extended their stay. But then when the Haldermans' could not produce any further evidence, the date of execution was set for November 16th, 1900.

It should be noted that initially, right after the shooting, the Wilson sisters substantiated Terry Moore deathbed claims. Supposedly they did so because their father, in fear of what his neighbors would do if the brothers were released, threatened to punish them if they did otherwise.

It's true, Wilson's daughters had sworn an affidavit that one of the arresting party had fired the first shot but their father had ordered the girls to testify to the contrary. Johnny Wilson, a son, witnessed the whole affair according to William but was not allowed to appear in court.

All in all, no evidence was introduced to convict Thomas Halderman. There was no testimony heard to convict Thomas. Fact is that the jury simply included him in the verdict, even though one juror admitted the jury did not fully understand the court's instructions.

Buck Smith later came into evidence that Teddy Moore was the one who had killed his cattle and that Moore wanted the brothers to take the blame. None of any of that mattered, There was simply no avoiding the hangman.

It was only after the Haldermans were sentenced to death that the Wilson sisters finally came forward and told the truth about what they had witnessed. It made no difference though. The Halderman family claimed that the trial was rigged and unfair. Especially since the prosecutor was none other than Arizona Attorney General Charles L. Ainsworth, who was Chester Ainsworth's brother. And also, the defense plea for a change of venue was denied. Some say that was because the jury wanted t hang the brothers before the trail started.

And yes, make no mistake about it, justice was swift. Back then there was none of the modern non-sense that takes place today where a convicted murderer can sit on Death Row until he dies of old age and natural causes. The shootout took place on April 7th, 1899, and they were captured shortly afterwards on April 12th. Within two months, by June 11th, they were convicted and ordered to hang on August 10th, 1899. Because of delays, the order to execute them was moved to November 16th, 1900, And yes, the execution was carried out on November 16th as ordered.

Although only 100 invitations were sent out, it's said that a large crowd gathered to witness the hanging. It's also said that those who couldn't be near the gallows actually watched from the windows of the Cochise County Courthouse.

Unlike many hangings where the person being hanged cries and squirms or faints, it's said that both of the brothers met their end as brave as could ever be expected. In fact, it's said that when the younger brother Thomas Halderman walked out of the jail, he said, "Hello Hombres! The sun's hot, ain't it?"

After climbing up the scaffold, older brother William is supposed to have said: "Nice looking crowd. Some of you fellers are shaking already." Then, as he turned to his brother, William was reported as to have said, "Those people look alright." And believe it or not, right after that Thomas actually placed his noose around his own neck. If you think that sounds strange, while Sheriff White read the execution order to the public in attendance, William Halderman talked with a deputy by the name of Bravin.

So imagine the scene, the Sheriff is reading the death warrant, William is chatting with a deputy while his younger brother Thomas puts his own hangman's noose around his own neck. Sounds almost insane!

When Sheriff White was finished, he finally got around to asking the Halderman brothers if they wanted to say any last words. With that William responded, "I have nothing to say and guess it would not do any good anyway. I forgive you all and hope you will forgive me."

Then after saying what he needed to say, William asked for a prayer to be read. With that Reverend Alexander Elliott stepped forward to help William with a prayer. After that black hoods were placed over their heads. And yes, it was reported that in unison the brother's called out, "Good-bye boys! Pray for us."

The trap door under their feet opened at 12:40 p.m.. It was reported that a full thirteen minutes passed when Thomas was pronounced dead. His older bother William died two minutes later. The doctor at the execution reported that Thomas had died of a broken neck. He reported that William's death was caused by "the violent shock, compression of a vital nerve, and by strangulation."

The Halderman brothers were buried together in Tombstone's Boothill Graveyard. And as for some of the witnesses, Rena Wilson later committed suicide because of her involvement in the case. Then in 1913, her sister Mary was placed in an insane asylum by her brother Tol.

As for Tol Wilson, he was killed shortly after that in what became known as the Cottonwood Canyon Murder. That was when on June 16th, 1913, Luther Price murdered his best friend Tol Wilson while they were camping in Cottonwood Canyon.

The story on that says that Price struck Wilson over the head with a pistol. After that Price threw Wilson down a 150 foot deep well. Price was arrested and sent to the state prison but he and two other prisoners escaped from a work-crew on May 23rd, 1917.

Price and the other two fled to Mexico, but Price contracted smallpox there. He then returned to his family's ranch in the Chiricahuas. Because he needed a doctor pretty badly, Luther Price turned himself in and was returned to prison where he died.

As for the gallows in Tombstone where the Halderman brothers were hanged? Well, on January 25th, 1912, The Tucson Citizen published the following article:

TOMBSTONE - The historic scaffold which has been stored in the county courtyard adjoining the courthouse is no more. The last of it was cut up to furnish kindling for the fire of the county jail. The scaffold was built in the early part of the year 1884 by C.J. Ulmer, who at present is a resident of Yuma. It was ordered built by the board of supervisors for the purpose of the hanging of the five Bisbee murderers and was built so as to accomodate them all at once.

It was used on the 27th of March, 1884, at which time Dan Dowd, James Delaney, Tex Howard, Red Sample and J. Kely were hung, the trap being sprung by Sheriff Ward.

It was then stored away and kept until Nov. 16, 1900, when it was erected under the direction of Sheriff Scott White and was used for the execution of William and Thomas Halderman, who were convicted of the murder of Constable Ainsworth in the Swisshelm mountains the month of June 1899.

The scaffold was erected twice for service since that time but was never used.

-- end article.

Today, a replica of the gallows that were used for the hanging of the Halderman brothers is on display at the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park. The Old Cochise County Courthouse has also been restored so that it appears as it did in 1900 during the Haldermans' trial.

What became known as the "Shootout at Wilson Ranch" or "The Wilson Ranch Shootout", resulted in the final and most famous hanging in the history of Tombstone, Arizona.

Tom Correa



Monday, October 9, 2017

The Mountain Meadows Massacre 1857


For folks who like exploring America, the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre sits just off of Highway 18 about 32 miles North of St. George, Utah. It is about 150 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada. To get there simply follow Interstate 15 North for about 120 miles to St. George. Exit at Bluff Street. Turn left to reach Highway 18 which parallels a part of the historic Old Spanish Trail. Head North through Veyo and go on past the Pine Valley turnoff. The turnoff to the massacre site is well-marked and sits on the left side of the highway. 

Since it's always great to know what took place in the areas we decide to explore, let's talk about what happened at Mountain Meadows.

From September 7th to the 11th of 1857, members of the Utah Territorial Militia from Iron County, along with a few Paiute Indians, attacked the Baker-Fancher wagon train at Mountain Meadows in southern Utah. Some refer to the group as the Fancher-Baker wagon train. It was a slaughter of what most agree was 140 emigrants from Arkansas who were on their way to California. That senseless slaughter of innocents became known as "The Mountain Meadows Massacre."

The Utah Territorial Militia, which was officially known as the "Nauvoo Legion," was made up of Southern Utah Mormon settlers. And since they knew perfectly well that their crime of mass murder was one so horrid in nature that they would certainly be hanged for their horrible deeds, they decided to leave no witnesses. So in an effort to prevent anyone from identifying those responsible and to stop the possibility of any sort of reprisals against them, they killed men, women, and children.

Yes, they killers mercilessly killed every adult man and woman, as well as the older children. Out of those attacked, only 17 very young children, all said to be under the age of 6 were spared. And to confuse and deceive their victims, the Utah Militia dressed as Indians and used some Native American weapons to give the impression that the massacre was done by Indians. The militia's plan also included arming a few Paiute, then get them join the militiamen who were dressed as Indians. 

The Baker-Fancher wagon train was no different than other wagon trains heading West. Their wagon train was primarily made up of families from Arkansas, all bound for California. The pioneers were folks from Marion, Crawford, Carroll, and Johnson counties in Arkansas. They were headed to Southern California. Aboard the wagons was their lives, family treasures, memories of where they came from, and of course whatever money they had.

The party was made up of a dozen large and prosperous families and their hired hands. No slaves were in the party to anyone's knowledge. The wagon train is believed to have had up to 30 wagons all pulled by ox and mule teams. They also brought several hundred head of cattle and a number of blooded horses with them. Some reports say they were headed to California’s Central Valley while others say they were headed to Southern California. Either way, the group consisted of about 140 men, women and children. The women and children are said to have outnumbered the adult men by 3 to 1.

The wagons made their way through a route that crossed the Utah Territory. And soon, the Baker-Fancher group made their way to Salt Lake City. There they were confronted with Mormons who were not very happy to see them. Basically because of their hostility and distrust for anyone from the outside, Mormons refused to sell the Baker-Fancher group stock when they tried to buy fresh oxen and mules. Because of that taking place, the folks in that wagon train knew full well that their journey was made harder. So they left Salt Lake City as soon as they could and made their way South through the Old Spanish Trail.

While they traveled slower than they normally would have with fresh oxen and mules, they decided to rest and allow their cattle to graze at Mountain Meadows. It was an area that had good pasture and water. Mountain Meadows is considered an alpine oasis on the Old Spanish Trail between Salt Lake City and Southern California. It was there that the Mormon Militia attacked them for no apparent reason. 

On Monday, September 7th, at dawn, the Utah Territorial Militia, also known as the "Nauvoo Legion," with it's 70 Mormons and handful of Paiute Indians, attacked the wagon train with a barrage of gunfire and arrows. The Utah militiamen were firing their arrows from a nearby ravine. They used gunfire to rain down on the wagons from hilltops overlooking the 30 wagons. The first volley alone is said to have killed or wounded a quarter of the men.

And though that was the case, the men in the wagon train are said to have leveled their long rifles and fired at the smoke of their attackers. This stopped the Utah Militia from making a full on frontal assault.

With the first attack, the Arkansans pulled their wagons into a circle and quickly built an improvised wagon fort including digging a pit to get their women and children out of the line of fire. Of course besides being under assault from what they assumed were hostile Indians, they were cut off from water.

Rationing water and saving as much ammunition as possible while under continuous gunfire and an assault from arrows, the Arkansas emigrants did in fact stave off their attackers for five days. And yes, it's said that they the Utah Militia attacked the wagon train time and time again but were repealed by the emigrants after each assault.

While a desire to live and persevere motivated those in the wagon train, frustration was being felt by the Utah Militia who soon realized that they were simply not able to wipe out the wagon train as they planned. For the Mormon Militia, their five-day siege of the pioneers from Arkansas was seen as fruitless since those in the wagon train fought back so valiantly. 

It is said that it was on the second day of their siege that Mormon Militia's leadership realized that some of the Arkansas emigrants saw that they were Whites and not Indians. Some speculate that it was their knowledge of being discovered for who they really were, and the possibility that some of their militia may be identified at a later date, that made the militia's commander to order the killing of every emigrant in that wagon train. Yes, every men, women, and child.

Because the wagon train was running low on food and water, and since no one thought they would need enough provisions to last out a siege, the folks in the wagon train met with the Utah Militia under a white flag of truce. The Utah Militia gave assurance to the travelers that were there to protect them. That they were there to escort them to safety. But, there was one stipulation. The folks from Arkansas had to lay down their arms.

As crazy as it sounds, knowing that they would be unarmed against hostiles, those in the wagon train accepted the help. They were split into groups and walked a distance from the camp before they were all summarily slaughtered. All who were thought old enough to be potential witnesses to what really took place were killed.

It's true, on Friday, September 11th, 1857, two Mormon militiamen walked up to the wagon train holding a white flag of truce. They assured the folks from Arkansas that they were there to help. The two were soon accompanied by a local Indian Agent and militia officer who told the Arkansas travelers that he had personally negotiated some sort of truce with the Paiutes. He told the Arkansans that he and his men had come to rescue them from the Indians. If the emigrants would lay down their arms, then he assured them that they would be escorted to safety under Mormon protection. But only if they laid down their arms and turned over all of their livestock and supplies to the Indians.

Because the folks from Arkansas were out of options, they did as instructed. Right after that the Mormons separated the survivors into three groups. The wounded and youngest children were the first to be loaded onto two wagons to lead the way to safety. The second were the women and older children who walked behind the wagons. The third group were the men. Each of them were escorted by an armed guard from the militia. They brought up the rear.

The Indian Agent led the groups away from their wagons for what some say was more than a mile to the California Trail and right there at the rim of the Great Basin. It was there that a senior Mormon militia officer escorting the men gave the order to halt.

With that, a single shot rang out. Then each escort turned and shot the man he was escorting. Other militia members are said to have jumped out of the brush lining the trail and cut down the women and children. The Indian Agent himself is said to have personally directed the murder of the wounded.

Within a mere five minutes, the horrible atrocity was over. Everyone from the wagon train lay dead. That is except for what some believe were 17 children all under the age of 7.

Surprisingly, killers saw those children as being too young to be credible witnesses. They were also said to have "qualified" as "innocent blood" under Mormon doctrine. Those children were actually taken in by local Mormon families. Reports say that in an effort to conceal the massacre, the Utah Militia ordered local families to take in one or more of the 17 children that were spared.

After the massacre, believe it or not, the Utah Militia actually buried the victims in shallow graves. If you're thinking that this would not look like an Indian massacre, you're right. And since they did bury them in a hurry, the bodies of their victims were left vulnerable to critters searching for food. That means that they were probably unearthed enough for investigators to examine. The bodies were found and the evidence overwhelmingly pointed to murder. And since Indians did not bury their victims, people there knew it was not them.

The goods and family treasures that survived the trip from Arkansas to that deadly spot in Utah was said to have been auctioned off by the militia itself. In reality, after the massacre, some of the property was said to have been taken by the Paiute. But since the wagon train carried all of the worldly goods of those murdered, and was considered the wealthiest wagon train to make that trek, their valuables and of course their cattle were taken by the Mormon Militia and split up among them. Some of the cash and property is said to have ended up in the pockets of Mormon leader Brigham Young. To me, that sounds a lot like a murder robbery than simple vengeance for some reason.

As for the cattle, it's believed that some of the cattle were driven to Salt Lake City and sold there. Much of what was left was personal property, those things are believed to have ended up in the "tithing house" in Cedar City. It is believed that those things were also auctioned off to Mormons there. Imagine that.

The officers in charge made the Utah Militia swear an oath of secrecy. Then a plan was put into play that would blame the entire massacre on the Paiute Indians. And though that was the official line about what took place there, as the evidence inevitably came out, those guilty tried to explain it away with lies and even denying that it ever took place. And yes, it's also said that some of the killers actually went insane and tried killing themselves. Other Utah Militia members are said to have fled to Mexico one step ahead of the hangman. Or more aptly for Utah, one step ahead of a firing squad.

In 1874, investigations led to nine Utah Militia officers and the Indian Agent John D. Lee being indicted. Of the men indicted, only Lee was tried in court. After two trials in the Utah Territory, Lee was finally convicted by a jury and sentenced to death by firing squad. It should be noted that he made a full confession without implicating others before being executed.

On March 23rd, 1877, Indian Agent John D. Lee was executed by firing squad for what took place at Mountain Meadows. He is regarded today as a scapegoat.

Later the U.S. Army reclaimed 17 of the children and returned to relatives in Arkansas. Those children never received a penny in compensation. was ever offered to the survivors. For many living descendants and relatives of the victims, it's said that the massacre remains a bitter reminder of the injustice that was experienced by some in the Old West.

And there is something else, sadly those who were killed have been slandered over the years in one way or another. Some have actually said that the Mountain Meadows Massacre was a reprisal for the killing of some Mormon in Arkansas about the same time. Others say those folks in the wagon train were criminal types who left Arkansas on the run. Many fabricate such stories in an effort to make excuses for such a crime against humanity. We should be aware of that when researching history.

As for the motive? Some say it was because of the Utah War against Federal troops entering Utah from 1857 to 1858. The Utah Militia reportedly used tactics such as destroying supplies while avoided direct fighting. It's also reported that commanders and members of the Iron County Utah Territorial Militia, were overcome with suspicion and war hysteria when they massacred the Baker-Fancher wagon train.

While Mormons were the majority in the Great Salt Lake basin, the Western part of the Utah Territory was populated by non-Mormon settlers. This led to a great deal of hate and discontent for those not of their faith because the Mormons saw their arrival as an encroachment on Mormon territory. And while that may have been the motive for the massacre, it's also possible that the Utah Militia used their sanctioned authority to simply murder and rob those traveling through their territory.

This tragedy is a great example of the plight of pioneers headed West. It points to the challenges and dangers that they had to endure at the time.

Best Regards,
Tom Correa


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Mass Shootings Have Long History


As we all know, on Sunday, October 1st, concert-goers in Las Vegas, Nevada, came under attack by a ruthless killer intent on slaughtering as many innocent people as possible.  The killer opened fire from a 32nd floor hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Casino. His target was a crowd of 22,000 concert-goers 400 yards below attending the Route 91 Harvest festival, a country music festival. 

His rampage lasted a little over 15 minutes. Sunday's mass shooting left 59 people dead and 527 injured or wounded. It panicked concert-goers who tried to take cover while being completely unaware at first of where the gunfire was coming from. No one suspected a room on the 32nd floor of a nearby hotel where the killer could just rain down fire.

The Las Vegas Police SWAT broke into the killer's room and found Stephen Paddock dead by suicide. This horrific tragedy is now considered the deadliest mass shootings in modern American history. 

As for motive, the big question as to why Paddock did it? No one knows. And frankly, I don't think anyone ever will. No, it's not like the Orlando, Florida, mass shooting where we know that it was a Muslim terrorist attack targeting gays. 

In Orlando, Florida, on June 12th, 2016, 49 people were killed and 58 were wounded. Muslim terrorist Omar Mateen walked into the Pulse nightclub as the club was hosting a "Latin Night." before he was killed by Orlando police.  The Pulse is a gay nightclub in Orlando, and many of the victims were Latino.

During the shooting, Omar Mateen called the Orlando Police to swear allegiance to the ISIS. It is the  deadliest act of Muslim terror in the United States since September 11th, 2001.

On April 16th, 2007, Virginia Tech University, South Korean-born Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at the school, killed more than 30 students and 2 instructors. In two separate attacks about two hours apart, he killed 32 people, and wounded 17 more before committing suicide.

The 2007 mass shooting on Virginia Tech University's campus remains the deadliest school shooting in United States history. Yes, considered worse because of the numbers of innocent people killed than what took on December 14th, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School where 26 people were killed and 2 were wounded.

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, saw killer Adam Lanza enter the secured school and killed 26 people inside the school. Twenty students between the ages of 6 and 7, and six teachers were killed in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Minutes before he went to the school, the 20-year-old Adam Lanza murdered his mother at their home using her rifle. Adam Lanza committed suicide when the police arrived at the school.

In Killeen, Texas, on October 16th, 1991, George Hennard drove his pickup truck through the glass front window of a Luby's restaurant. He then began shooting patrons and staff inside.  All toll, 23 people were killed and 27 people were wounded before he finally shot himself dead. 

On July 18th, 1984, James Huberty shot 40 people at a McDonald's restaurant in the San Ysidro district of San Diego, California. Among those that the 41 year old Huberty murdered was an 8 month old little boy and a 9 year old girl. Among those he wounded was a 4 month old baby girl.

Before he went out to commit mass murder, according to the New York Daily News, he told his wife, "I'm going hunting. Hunting for humans." His shooting spree was ended when Huberty was shot and killed by a San Diego SWAT Team sniper positioned on a nearby roof. He killed 21 adults and children while wounding 19 others. 

Back on August 1st, 1966, the University of Texas-Austin, saw a sniper on the observation deck of the University of Texas's main building, known as the Tower, shot dozens of people. 

In that mass shooting, local police actually got assistance from Texas students who used their own hunting rifles to try to pick off the shooter. All toll 15 died and 31 others were wounded. But what many do not realize is this, those students who used their rifles to put pressure on that sniper in the Tower actually minimized the number of people killed that day. 

The shooting lasted a little more than 90 minutes. It ended when police officers were finally able to storm the Tower and shoot the killer dead.

On December 2nd, 2015, another mass shooting that was a Muslim terrorist attack took place when married couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik opened fire on unsuspecting folks inside the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. 

Besides shooting everyone they could inside the building, the couple also planted three homemade pipe bombs in the building. Happily, they failed to detonate. All toll, they killed 14 innocent people while wounding another 22 wounded before the couple fled the scene and were killed by police. 

On August 20th, 1986, a part-time mail carrier by the name of Patrick Sherrill shot 20 fellow postal workers at the US Post Office in Edmond, Oklahoma. The attack ended when Sherrill fatally shot himself in the head. This was the first of a number of shooting involving postal workers between 1986 and 1999. This killing of 14 people and wounding 6 others, inspired the expression "going postal."

Another mass shooting that was a Muslim terrorist attack took place at Ford Hood, an U.S. Army base near Killeen, Texas. That Muslim terrorist attack on November 5th, 2009, left 13 people dead and 30 wounded.

It all took place with Nidal Hasan, a U.S. Army major and psychiatrist became a Muslim terrorist, and decided to wage "jihad" on his fellow American soldiers. It is the deadliest mass shooting to take place on a U.S. military base. As for Nidal Hasan, he was sentenced to death in 2013 and remains in prison to this day.

Five years later, in 2014, Fort Hood was the site of another shooting spree which left three people dead and 14 wounded.

Below is an article that you may find interesting. I did. 

Mass Shootings Have Long History

By Rossella Lorenzi 

Senior Correspondent — Discovery News
December 20th, 2012

He came along with a shotgun on his shoulder while a group of children were playing in front of the school. Without warning or provocation, he raised the gun to his shoulder, took deliberate aim, and fired into the crowd of boys.

Although it sounds sadly modern, the account was published in the New York Times more than a century ago.

Dated April 10, 1891, the article described an elderly man firing a shotgun at children playing in front of St. Mary's Parochial School in Newburgh, NY.

"None of the children were killed, but several were well filled with lead," the report said.

More than a century earlier, on July 26, 1764, a teacher and 10 students were shot dead by four Lenape American Indians in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, in what is considered the earliest known U.S. mass school shooting.

Indeed, killing or trying to kill a mass of people is not a modern phenomenon. For as long as there has been history, there have been gruesome mass murders.

"The terms amok, a Malayan word, and berserk, a Norse word, have been used to describe individuals going on killing sprees. Both terms have been around for centuries, which reflects the fact that mass murder is neither a modern nor a uniquely American phenomenon," Grant Duwe, director of research at the Minnesota Department of Corrections, told Discovery News.

Defined as bloody events that occur within a 24-hour period and that involve a minimum of four victims, mass murders have occurred all over the world, in different times, societies and cultures.

Some of the earliest recorded cases include the 1893 killing with guns and swords of 11 people (including an infant) in Osaka, Japan, the 1914 shooting of 7 people in the Italian village of Camerata Cornello, not to mention the case of German spree killer Ernst August Wagner.

In 1913, he stabbed to death his wife and four children in Degerloch, near Stuttgart, then drove to Mühlhausen an der Enz where he opened fire on 20 people, killing at least nine, leaving two animals dead and several buildings burned to the ground.

In 1927, South African farmer Stephanus Swart shot dead at least 8 people and injured 3 others in Charlestown, South Africa, before committing suicide.

In 1938 almost half of the population of the rural village of Kaio, near Tsuyama city in Japan, was murdered as 21-year-old Mutsuo Toi killed 30 people with a shotgun, sword and axe, injured three others and then shot himself to death.

Between 1954 and 1957, William Unek murdered a total of 57 people in two separate spree killings in the Belgian Congo.

He first killed 21 people with an axe, then shot dead ten men, eight women and eight children, slaughtered six more men with the axe, burned two women and a child, and strangled a 15-year-old girl.

More recently in the bloody timeline of shooting sprees, some of the most dramatic incidents include the 1987 Hungerford massacre in England, where gun enthusiast Michael Ryan shot 16 people dead and wounded another 15 before committing suicide, the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Australia, where 28 year old Martin Bryant killed 35 people and wounded 21 before being caught by police, and the 1996 school shooting in the Scottish town of Dunblane.

There, failed shopkeeper Thomas Hamilton opened fire at a primary school, killing 16 children and a teacher before turning his gun on his mouth.

"I could have been one of those children," tennis player Andy Murray wrote in his autobiography, "Hitting Back."

Britain's highest ranked player, Murray was eight when Hamilton burst into the school and began shooting. He and his 10-year-old brother Jamie escaped the fire by hiding under a desk.

In the United States, two mass murder waves characterized the 20th century. One appeared in the 1920s and 30s and another in the mid-1960s, following a tranquil period in the 1940s and 50s.

The two waves, however, were qualitatively different, according to Duwe.

The author of "Mass Murder in the United States: A History," Duwe researched 909 cases of mass killing that occurred in the United States between 1900 and 1999.

"The first mass murder wave in the 1920s and 30s was comprised mainly of familicides and felony-related massacres, which, then as now, are less likely to garner extensive media coverage," Duwe said.

On the contrary, the second mass murder wave from the mid-1960s through the mid-1990s consisted of a greater number of mass public shootings, similar to the recent Aurora movie theater shooting and Newtown school shooting.

These incidents "have always captured a great deal of interest and concern," Duwe said.

Marked by the 1966 Texas Tower shootings where student Charles Whitman climbed a 27-story tower on the University of Texas campus shooting dead 14 people and wounding 31 others, the mid-1960s do not actually represent the beginning of an unprecedented mass murder wave in the United States.

"Since 1900, the highest mass murder rate was in 1929. Mass public shootings are one of several types of mass murder and generally account for roughly 10-15 percent of all mass killings in the U.S.," Duwe said.

According to the criminologists, the 1990s had the highest number of mass public shootings with a little more than 40 -- an average of a little more than 4 each year. The number of mass public shootings dropped below 30 in the years between 2000 and 2009.

"This year, however, the U.S. has had at least seven mass public shootings, which is the highest number since 1999," Duwe said.

-- end of article.

Rossella Lorenzi is the archaeology correspondent for Discovery News. She lives in Florence, Italy, and she says she divides her time among an 18th-century Florentine house, virtual archaeological digs, and travels to report on new historical discoveries. She writes for Discovery News, Fox News, CBS News, Yahoo, Scientific American, HuffPost, Mashable, LiveScience, and Archaeology Magazine.

Her article points to the fact that mass shootings happen all over the world. The perpetrators are of every race and color. Contrary to what some on the Left are now saying after the Las Vegas Massacre, these acts are not committed only by White men. Mass shootings are not just an American problem, contrary to what some in the Media are now saying.

As for what made Paddock do it? This tragedy has no rhyme or reason to it. And frankly, people can guess and wonder and speculate until the cows come home, but I don't think we'll ever really understand what drove him to do it. We will never really understand the premeditation, the deliberate act of planning such an attack, and the big question as to why people like Paddock do what they do when it's pure evil. 

Just as no one knows why some folks are so consumed with hate for President Trump, Republicans, and Conservatives, that such a person will shoot up a baseball game between Congressmen, I believe that no one will ever truly understand how someone is so consumed with evil that they would want to rain gunfire on innocent country music concert-goers. And while some in the mainstream media are trying to say that mass shootings only take place in the United States, please don't believe that. That's just a lie.

Tom Correa