I first became aware of weather as a political factor while a college student. As a history major, I studied the French Revolution, largely caused by a drought that ruined grain harvests in France the years just before it began in 1789. Prior to that, I learned of the very cold 18th century winters that froze the Thames in London and forced George Washington to battle ice floes as he crossed the Delaware RIver on Christmas Eve 1776 on his way to defeat the Hessians at Trenton. I soon learned that these atmospheric conditions were caused by what has come to be known as the Little Ice Age. Climate scientists have now counted 18 such Little Ice Ages and are now describing the onset of the 19th. Click the link below to read the details -Keep Warm.
I saw “America” last night, its opening night, and found this to be a remarkable movie and a “must see” for most of us. Those who shouldn’t see it are those who simply want to believe the negative view of America that is being promoted today. Our country doesn’t deserve such a disservice.
Without delving too deeply into the movie, thus avoiding the need for spoiler alerts, there is in the opening of the film a Revolutionary War vingette that needs explaining as D’Souza fails to lay proper foundation for it.
This vingette shows a mounted senior officer in Continental Uniform moving on horseback with his troops. There is a shot of a British officer with a rifled musket taking aim on this officer and then deciding not to fire. In the movie, it actually allows the Brit to shoot the officer, George Washington, who falls dead and goes on to project his death and its impact on the war and our country. But he didn’t shoot.
This vingette is based on history. The battle was a British victory at Brandywine Creek near present Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania, September 11, 1777, and the officer was Patrick Ferguson who had developed a breech loading rifled musket that was able to be loaded and fired seven times in a minute, more than twice the rate of fire a well trained soldier could achieve with the muzzle loading Brown Bess that armed British infantrymen.
Ferguson actually had Washington in his sights, and, as he was said to be the best shot in the British army, would probably have killed Washington had he fired. He said later that “I didn’t think it proper to murder this fine officer in ambush.” That he didn’t fire had a huge impact on our history, and we are still thankful.
Ferguson rose to command positions in the British army and was killed in the Continental victory at Kings Mountain (South Carolina), October 7, 1780.
The rest of the movie is self-explanatory, but this portion needed explanation.