Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign – II

Lead: His name evoked witchery and profound admiration, but Thomas J. “Stonewall,” Jackson largely remains an enigma to students of his brilliant Valley Campaign of 1862.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: Stonewall Jackson has been called everything from a military genius to a blue-eyed assassin. His students at the Virginia Military Academy called him Tom Fool behind his back, but later came to regard him with near worship after his talent for strategy and leadership in desperate circumstances, help turn the tide for the South in the early months of the Civil War. He was an orphan who grew up in near poverty, passed from one set of relatives to the other. A chance opportunity landed him ill-prepared in the ranks of the United States Military Academy at West Point, but through sheer academic sweat he elevated his graduating class standing to number 17.


Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign – I

Lead: In the annals of the Civil War no name is more renown than Stonewall. T. J. Jackson earned his reputation as a supreme strategist in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862.


                Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: Despite early victories, the prospects for the Confederacy in the Spring of 1862 were exceedingly bleak. New Orleans was in Federal hands as was most of Tennessee. General George McClellan had landed on the Virginia Peninsula and was pressing Richmond. Union troops in large numbers were moving south down the Shenandoah Valley to remove that breadbasket from rebel hands and come at Richmond from the west. All that stood in their way were 3500 troops thrown together by Major General Thomas Jonathan Jackson, an austere, rather eccentric former professor at the Virginia Military Academy, whose firmness in the face of Union assault at the First Battle of Manassas in June 1861 had earned him the nickname Stonewall.


Admiral Grace Hopper – Teaching Computers to Speak

Lead: When Grace Hopper got into the business in 1944, the number of people who had ever heard the word computer could not fill a small room. She stayed with it until she died.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content:. When the United States was sucked into World War II, Vassar College Professor Grace Murray Hopper could have avoided military service. She had a Yale PhD and was in a vital profession, a college math teacher barred from military service, but Grace Hopper loved the U.S. Navy. Her great-grandfather had been a rear admiral, and she battered the doors down and finished first in her midshipman class. The Navy wanted her mind, specifically, her ability to calculate and help operate the new generation of mechanical calculators that would be required if modern weapons were to reach their destructive potential.

George Washington Rains and Confederate Gunpowder – II

Lead: During the Civil War, the Confederacy faced serious challenges, not the least of which was having no source of gunpowder. To solve that problem they turned to George Washington Rains.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: The key ingredient in gunpowder is saltpeter, the general name for three naturally occurring nitrates, the most common in North America being potassium nitrate. Called by some niter, it was combined with sulfur and charcoal, and together they were rolled, pressed crushed, granulated and dried in a process that was conducted almost nowhere in large quantities in the South prior to 1861. To defend itself the Confederacy would have to solve that problem. Ordinance chief Josiah Gorgas appointed Artillery major George Washington Rains, third in his West Point class, and who had served with distinction in the Mexican War.


George Washington Rains and Confederate Gunpowder – I

Lead: When it became clear that the Federal government would not permit the South to depart without a fight in 1861, one of the most pressing needs of the newly formed Confederacy was gunpowder.


Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


Content: Despite its wealth of leadership and agricultural resources, the South in the 1860s, was ill equipped to fight a war. What ordinance it had was confiscated from Federal arsenals in Confederate territory and was not nearly enough to prosecute the major campaigns that lay ahead. Few foundries could roll the iron that would be required.  The South had provided mostly raw agricultural products to the factories of the North and the industrial mills of Europe. That it was able to field numerous armies, a credible naval effort, and a war machine that held the North at bay for the better part of three full years is a testimony to the raw talent, dedication, and energy of its leaders, the many sacrifices of its white population, and, at least at first, the vigor of its free blacks and slaves. Yet in the end, the South had been bled dry, overwhelmed by the industrial might and superior numbers the North could bring to the conflict.

Stonewall Jackson and Friendly Fire – Part II

Lead: At Chancellorsville, in May 1863, Robert E. Lee achieved his greatest military victory. He paid at a terrible price. Among the 13,000 Confederate casualties was his right arm, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: Following the Battle of Fredericksburg, December 1862, Lee’s 60,000 men spent the winter in camps just south of that small Rappahannock village. Just across the river Joe Hooker’s Army of the Potomac, 130,000 strong.

Stonewall Jackson and Friendly Fire – I

Lead: In May 1863, during the Civil War, Stonewall Jackson, one of the most able generals, north or south, was mortally wounded by friendly fire. It was not that unusual a circumstance.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: Friendly fire (or casualties inflicted by your own side) happens in most combat situations. It is a consequence of warfare and can be very demoralizing. In the heat of battle, correctly distinguishing between friend and foe historically has been difficult.

The Alien and Sedition Acts – III

Lead: Attempting to damage their political enemies, Thomas Jefferson’s Republicans, in 1798 the Federalist majority in Congress put the final nail in their own political coffin.


                Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts


                Content: Anger against France was in the air. War seemed imminent. The people were aroused and the Federalists in Congress, alarmed at the growing power of republican followers of Thomas Jefferson, decided to settle some political scores. They passed and pressed an allegedly reluctant President John Adams to sign, the Alien Acts and the Sedition Act, three of the most reprehensible pieces of legislation in U.S. history. The Alien Acts more than doubled the time immigrants had to live in the U.S. before achieving citizenship and, in addition, allowed the President to unilaterally deport foreigners he considered dangerous. The Sedition Act provided penalties for those convicted of criticizing the U.S., the Congress or the President.