5.56 Timeline

Martial Law Is Unacceptable Regardless Of The Circumstances

Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,

Back in 2014, hundreds if not thousands of conservatives and liberty movement activists converged on a farm in rural Clark County, Nevada. The purpose was to protest the incursion of federal government agents onto the property of the Bundy family, who had defied pressure from the Bureau of Land Management to stop allowing their cattle to feed on “federal land” in a form of free ranging. It was a practice that had been going on for decades and one that was required for the Bundy farm to survive, ended abruptly by environmental laws protecting a tortoise.

The Bundy family had been improving on the area with aquifers and other measures for generations without interference. The claim by the BLM and other agencies was that the farmers were destroying wildlife habitat with their cattle, yet the Bundy’s land improvements had actually allowed wildlife to THRIVE in areas where animals would find life difficult or impossible otherwise.

The federal government became fixated on the Bundy’s, and decided to make an example out of them. Their defiance of the crackdown on their use of the land was met with extreme measures, including their cattle impounded, their farm being surrounded and sniper teams placed in the hills nearby. The liberty movement saw this as the last straw, and so reacted at a grassroots level. The concern was that Bundy Ranch could become another Waco. They locked and loaded and went to defend the Bundy’s.

I completely agreed at the time with the efforts surrounding Bundy Ranch and I still agree with them today. The federal government had overstepped its bounds on multiple occasions when it came to rural farmers in sagebrush country and everyone had finally had enough. The feds were faced with a group of armed liberty movement members and eventually ran away. They even gave the Bundy’s back the cattle the feds had initially tried to confiscate. This event showcased the power of the people to repel tyranny when necessary.

The claim that the public is impotent against government force was summarily trounced.  The action was not perfect, and there were many internal disputes and a plethora of mistakes, but overall it had achieved its goal.  It sent a message to the establishment that if you try to assert unconstitutional force against the citizenry there is a chance a Bundy Ranch scenario might happen again, and next time it might not simply be a defensive measure.

I mention Bundy Ranch because I want to remind conservatives of their roots. We are a constitutional movement. We are a small government movement. We believe in individual rights, states rights and the 10th Amendment, as well as strict limitations placed on the federal government and state governments when they try to violate the Bill of Rights.  If you don’t believe in these things, you are not a conservative or a constitutionalist.

No government, whether state or federal, supersedes the boundaries placed upon them by the constitution. Once they violate those boundaries, they must be put in check by the citizenry, for the constitution is merely an object that represents an ideal. It can’t defend itself. If a government undermines constitutional protections, it is not a failure of the constitution, it is a failure by the public to act.

Sadly, there are “conservatives” out there who supported the efforts at Bundy Ranch in 2014, but are now calling for federal overreach and martial law today. The very same people who argued vehemently against unconstitutional actions back then are arguing for bending or breaking the rules of the constitution now. This is something I have been warning about for years…

The greatest threat to freedom is not the government, extreme leftists or the globalist cabal; the greatest threat is when freedom fighters foresake their own principles and start rationalizing tyranny because it happens to benefit them in the moment. If freedom fighters stop fighting for freedom, who remains pick up the mantle? No one. And thus, the globalists and collectivists win the long game.

Right now there are two sides calling for martial law-like restrictions on the public, and both sides think they are doing what is best for society at large. They both believe they are morally justified and that totalitarian actions are necessary for “the greater good”. Both sides are wrong.

The Pandemic Puritans

On one side, we have a group made up primarily of political leftists but also some conservatives who say that the coronavius pandemic creates a scenario in which medical tyranny must be established to protect the public from itself. Leftists enjoy control in general and the pandemic simply offers an opportunity for them to act out their totalitarian fantasies in real life.

These are the people who wag their fingers at others on the street or in the park or at the beach for not “social distancing” properly. These are the people that inform on their neighbors, or inform on local businesses for not following strict guidelines. These are the people that get a thrill from forcing other people to conform.

This is not to say that precautions are not warranted, they certainly are. However, these precautions MUST be up to individuals, not enforced by bureaucracy. The moment you hand government ultimate power to dictate people’s health decisions, personal daily activities, freedom of assembly and their ability to participate in the economy, you have given the government ultimate power to destroy our very culture. No government should be allowed to have that kind of influence.

The issue here is one of the greater EVIL, not the greater good. What is the greater evil? To avoid unconstitutional measures, avoid violating individual rights and allow the virus to spread faster than it normally would? Or, to completely throw out the Bill of Rights, individual liberty and economic security in the name of a brand of “safety” that is ambiguous and undefined?

As I write this, the state of New Jersey among others is implementing a draconian response against businesses that defy lockdown orders. NJ just arrested the owners of a gymnasium in Bellmawr who refused to close down. Even though they used social distancing measures and applied their own guidelines, the state has decided that citizens are children that must be controlled rather than adults that can make their own choices. This sets a dangerous precedence for the whole country.

Understand that small businesses that are not deemed “essential” by arbitrary decree from the state are on the verge of bankruptcy and collapse. Millions of people are having their livelihoods threatened by the lockdowns. Millions of jobs are at risk. Is the coronavirus really worth destroying our own economic system? Because that is EXACTLY what is happening right now. The US economy was already suffering from destabilization, and now the pandemic response is putting the final nail in the coffin.

If the economy tanks far more people will die from the resulting crisis of poverty, crime and civil unrest than will EVER die from the coronavirus pandemic. When you look at the big picture, how can anyone justify medical tyranny and martial law measures? There is simply no logical explanation for violating the economic and personal freedom of Americans in response to a disease. If some people die from the virus, so be it. Its a small price to pay to keep our freedoms intact.  Furthermore, I would stand by that argument even if I get sick from the virus.

Sock Puppet Conservatives

There are people out there that like constitutional rights and civil liberties “in theory”, but in practice they view these rights as inconvenient to their goals.  For these so-called “conservatives”, the Bill of Rights is only for peacetime. When war or domestic conflict rolls around, our rights are suddenly forfeit.

I use this particular metaphor often but I really can’t find a better one:

Government power is like the “one ring” in Lord Of The Rings. Everyone desperately wants control of it. The side of evil thirsts for it. The side of good thinks that if only they had it they could use it for honorable ends; they think they can use it to defeat evil. They are wrong.

The “one ring” (government power) corrupts ALL. It cannot be controlled. It cannot be used for good. Eventually, it warps the minds of those who hold it, twisting them into something grotesque. Good people who exploit the ring end up becoming the very monsters they were trying to defeat, and evil wins.

Right now through the Trump Administration conservatives are being tempted with the “one ring”. We are being tempted with ultimate government power. The leftist hordes and their actions are egregious. They act irrationally and foolishly. Their communist ideology and mindless zealotry is destructive and they openly seek the collapse of western civilization. But in the end this doesn’t matter.  They are nothing more than useful idiots for a greater agenda.

It’s interesting that the only solution I see being presented in conservative circles lately is the use of federal power to crush the protests and riots. Again, this might seem like a reasonable action in the face of so much lawlessness, but if taken too far the implications are horrifying.

Some conservative groups are cheering the deployment of federal agencies to cities like Portland in the name of stopping civil unrest, but there is a fine line between law enforcement and martial law. And by martial law, I mean ANY government force that is designed to suppress or break civil protections. This does not only include a military presence, it can also include federal agencies overstepping their bounds, just as they did at Bundy Ranch.

In Portland and other cities like New York, federal agents and police have been snatching protesters off the street in unmarked vans without identifying themselves.  Essentially, they are black-bagging people. This is the kind of behavior which real conservatives traditionally despise.

Yes, some of these protesters did in fact loot or participate in property damage; and some of them did absolutely nothing.  This is being done under 40 US Code 1315 which was signed into law by Neo-con president George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks as part of the tidal wave of unconstitutional Patriot Act measures that were railroaded through during mass fear and panic.

Conservatives have been warning for years about the potential for misuse of these laws to violate people’s rights. Will we now support them because they are being enforced against people we don’t like? I will say this: If an unmarked van with unidentified armed people tried to grab me off the street, I would do everything in my power to put a bullet in each and every one of them.  And, I would not hold it against any person who did the same, even if they were my ideological opponent.

Some conservatives are calling for much more, including the deployment of the National Guard or a standing military presence. The use of such tactics opens the door to serious consequences, and I believe if we allow the federal government to bend the rules now, we set the stage for expansive martial law in the near future. By extension, labeling looters or rioters as “terrorists” also has dangerous implications.  Those of us that were activists during the Obama years know how freely that label is thrown around by government and the media.

We might feel righteous in violating the civil liberties of social justice Marxists because of their insane behavior and the threat they pose to the stability of the country, but, what happens when the roles are reversed? During Bundy Ranch, conservatives were also being labeled “terrorists”, and who is to say we won’t find ourselves in that position again?   Would defying the pandemic lockdowns also be considered an existential threat to the country?

Uncomfortable Questions

There are some questions in all of this that are either not being asked or are being deliberately avoided.  For example:

1) Why is it that the Trump Administration has not bothered to go after the elites and globalists FUNDING Antifa and BLM groups behind the unrest?  Why does George Soros and his Open Society Foundation get to operate in the US with impunity?  And what about the Ford Foundation?  Members of that institution openly admit that they have been funding and organizing the social justice cult for decades.  Shouldn’t the men behind the curtain paying for the entire thing be targeted first, instead of going after the useful idiots?  Perhaps the fact that Trump is surrounded by those very same elites in his cabinet has something to do with it…

2) If we support martial law measures, WHO are we giving that power to?  Is it Trump, or the deep state ghouls that advise him daily?  People like Wilber Ross, a New York Rothschild banking agent, Mike Pompeo, a long time Neo-con warmonger and promoter of mass surveillance, Robert Lightheizer, a member of the globalist Council On Foreign Relations, Steve Mnuchin, former Goldman Sachs banker, Larry Kudlow, former Federal Reserve, etc.  Even if you think Trump has the best of intentions, can anyone honestly say the same for his cabinet?

3) When the left is “defeated” and the riots stop, will martial law simply fade away, or, is it a Pandora’s Box that can never be closed again?  And if it doesn’t end, will supporters justify fighting against not just leftists, but also conservatives who will not tolerate it?  I for one will be among the people that will not tolerate it.

Real Solutions

There are other much better solutions than martial law when confronting the leftist riots or the pandemic.

For the pandemic, stop trying to dictate public behavior.  If individuals feel they are at risk from the virus, then they can take their own precautions.  The only other option is to continue on the path of shutdowns and an informant society that will destroy this nation in a matter of months.

For the leftists, communities that stage an armed presence in the face of protests have ALL escaped riots and property damage. Sometimes Antifa and BLM decide to not even show up. We DON’T NEED a federal presence or a military presence to get the job done. We can do it ourselves. We already have proof that this strategy works.

And, if the lefties want to burn down their own neighborhoods and cities and local governments don’t want to stop them, then I say let it happen. It’s sad for the people in these places that had no dog in the fight, but maybe this will teach the locals to speak out against BLM or Antifa instead of remaining silent or virtue signaling their support in the hopes that their businesses won’t be attacked.  Maybe they should look for better government officials as well.

Finally, it’s far past time to go after the elites that fund and engineer such groups.  Remove their influence and I suspect many people will be shocked at how fast all this unrest and chaos suddenly disappears.  Isn’t this what people wanted Trump to do from the very beginning?  And yet, nothing happens to the vampires at the top.

Only cowards demand everyone else give up their freedoms just so they can feel safe.  The establishment is trying to pit the American people against each other as a means to pave a path to tyranny. I believe what the elites want more than anything else is to trick conservatives into forsaking their own principles. If we do, we become hypocrites that can no longer sustain a movement for freedom. By becoming the monster to fight the monster we hand our enemies victory. This is unacceptable.

Tinker, Arms Dealer, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Mitchell L. WerBell III

by Mike Burns via RIA blog

His shadow has loomed over nearly every major global conflict over the past 75 years. He has been paid millions of dollars by Coca-Cola and Hustler Magazine, overthrown multiple communist regimes, and was there the day of the Kennedy assassination. Along with all of this, his suppressor designs revolutionized warfare and changed the world. The story of Mitchell L. WerBell III is one of brilliance, courage, and espionage. Prominent around the military intelligence community, WerBell makes Jack Bauer look like a toddler with a water gun. His service during World War II would help inspire the creation of the C.I.A., his contributions to the advancement of suppressor technology would change the modern concept of combat, and his experiences as a mercenary have enough weight to make skin crawl. An icon of his time and a true American legend, Mitchell WerBell’s life, inventions, and legacy continue to inspire and astonish to this day.

Early Life, World War II, and the O.S.S.

Mitchell Livingston Werbell III was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1918. The son of a Czarist cavalry officer in the Imperial Army of Russia, WerBell was exposed to the military at an early age and quickly grew an interest in it. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1942, WerBell enlisted in the army as a private and joined the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.), the predecessor agency to the C.I.A. This wartime agency was dedicated strictly to undercover, covert, and secret operations conducted behind enemy lines during World War II. In his duties, he acted as a guerrilla operative carrying out undercover missions in places like China, Burma, and French Indochina. According to the Wall Street Journal, WerBell and his fellow operatives were paid in five-pound sacks of opium following their involvements during classified expeditions in China. Author Henrik Krüger notes in his book, “The Great Heroin Coup,” that such trades were common during times of war among O.S.S. members and Chinese leaders. This payment option would hold value regardless of governmental or currency changes.

“Amid the chaos of war, opium and gold became the primary media of exchange, and cult-like bonds were forged among a small staff of Americans and high-ranking Chinese. Yunnan was a center of Chinese opium cultivation and Kunming was the hotbed of military operations, among them Claire Chennault’s 14th Air Force and Detachment 202 of the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.).”

-Henrik Krüger

American Military recruitment poster referencing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

During this time of clandestine operations and secret assignments, WerBell was introduced to the suppressed and unconventional weapons that would later make him infamous in the intelligence community. Experience throughout the war would grant him complete knowledge on the weaponry used in special operations and the key elements to staying hidden behind enemy lines. Author Gaeton Fonzi notes that WerBell’s prolonged service and success during these missions would induct him into the “superspy fraternity” that included other prominent military leaders of the time such as Everette Howard Hunt Jr.,one of the men responsible for plotting the Nixon Watergate scandal. Along with this new network of contacts, resources, and partners, WerBell also gained the attention of other entities in the United States military that would not soon forget the bravery and advanced technical knowledge he displayed throughout his service.

Artist Stuart Brown’s depiction of an O.S.S. guerrilla operation in Burma.

WerBell continued to serve in the U.S. Army even after the O.S.S. was disbanded in 1945, however, he would not stay for long. Compared to the excitement of guerrilla warfare and secret missions, the systematic and routine nature of commanding an infantry company was extraordinarily mundane for a soldier of his experience and skill set. He shortly resigned from service and returned home to start his own business.

Birth of SIONICS

Mac-10 sub machine gun fitted with a WerBell designed suppressor. 

With the passion for weapons development still not entirely quenched, WerBell returned back into the world of firearms to help design suppressors for machine guns for use after World War II. Using his experience and knowledge gained from his time in the O.S.S., WerBell started his own development company called SIONICS sometime during the 1960’s. Short for Studies in Operational Negation of Insurgency and Counter-Subversion, SIONICS was initially tasked with producing a low cost, effective suppressor for the M14 and M16 rifle. Along with pioneering entirely new suppressors specifically for machine guns, WerBell also crafted methods and modifications to configure existing silencers to fit a wide number of different firearms such as bolt actions, High Standard pistols, and Smith & Wesson M76 submachine guns. WerBell is personally credited with over 25 different suppressor designs that he produced during his experimentation at SIONICS. Later, WerBell and SIONICS would partner with Gordon B. Ingram, the inventor of the MAC-10 submachine gun, to collaborate on designing and manufacturing weapons that incorporated both aspects of their inventions for the United States Army. Ingram’s SMG was paired with WerBell’s suppressor and marketed as “the Whispering Death.” Supplied to an undisclosed number of soldiers in Vietnam during the war for “combat evaluation,” these firearms were never officially adopted into the military.

The Cobray Company logo.

WerBell remained tethered to SIONICS for the rest of his life. Although it would eventually be incorporated into the Military Armament Corporation (later renamed the Cobray Company), WerBell continued leading and developing numerous counterterrorism training programs meant for high-risk executives, C.I.A. operatives, and private individuals throughout the 70’s and early 80’s. Many of the tactics and teachings used by WerBell at the Cobray School are still extensively used for military training and personal protection education today. The Cobray Company changed its name to Leinad following legal troubles in the 1990’s and closed several years ago; however, the “Cobray” trademark is registered to a privately owned company in the U.S. that sells Cobray replacement parts and accessories.

Soldier of Fortune Magazine discussing Mitch WerBell and the Cobray School.

At one point during his time working as an instructor for the Cobray School, WerBell ventured to Argentina to meet with officials from the Coca-Cola Company. Threatened by Argentinian communist groups ravaging the country at the time, Coca-Cola sought WerBell to assist in training, arming, and protecting high-level executives in the country from kidnappings or other risks using skills taught at the Cobray School. WerBell claimed in a 20/20 interview in 1979 that he was paid upwards of $1,000,000 to “take care of kidnapping threats made against Argentinian executives.” While Coca-Cola rejects this, WerBell’s experiences and proximity to the events of the time cast serious suspicion on these denials. In response to Coca-Cola’s repudiation, WerBell simply noted, “Coca-Cola hasn’t had anybody kidnapped lately.”

Read the rest of this excellent article below


Biden’s Civil War

By William L. Gensert


A victorious President Biden will move from his Delaware basement to the cellar of the White House, where he will remain only to be seen by the public in prerecorded, televised “Messages to the People.”

The riots will stop. After which, the suspiciously trained, organized, and supplied “grassroots Antifa rioters” will be “unofficially” incorporated into the Biden administration as “Local Policy Councils” financed by leftist dark money and tasked to root out disobedience and dissent. Thereby, Jerry Nadler’s Antifa “myth” will be in a position to enforce the much needed “hope and change” Biden has said he wishes to bring back.

Despite a distinct lack of promise in his future, Joseph Biden is a man who makes many promises. There was, however, one promise he made in the Democratic debates that is suspiciously absent from his recent professions of intent.

Biden (or whoever is pulling his strings) will have full control of the legislative branch of government — either by the Democrats keeping the House, and winning the Senate in 2020, or through persuasion by Local Policy Councils of certain Republican senators, congressmen, and their families — which of course, corporate media will ignore.  The filibuster will be eliminated to grease the path of progressive legislation.

He will spend the first two years consolidating control of Congress. The census redistricting, as modified by the Local Policy Councils and intimidated state legislatures, will ensure Democrat control of both houses of Congress by a landslide in the 2022 midterms. Perhaps, even securing the two-thirds of both Houses necessary for the elimination of the electoral college.

Still, the only way to assure implementation of the left’s promise to “fundamentally transform The United States of America,” is to disarm Americans.

Starting slowly, Biden will precipitously increase taxes on guns and ammunition while restricting the amount of ammunition that can be legally purchased in a month. There will be mandatory gun registration under penalty of law. Failure to register will subject gun owners to felony prosecution, fines starting in the tens of thousands of dollars, and civil forfeiture of property such as real estate and cars.  

Then, after the midterm elections, with the left in full control of the legislative and executive branches of government, laws will be passed outlawing all guns in private hands (an exception will be made for Local Policy Council members).

Gun confiscation will begin.

Any records the federal, state, and local governments possess pertaining to gun ownership will be made public with the release of the names and addresses of all gun owners nationwide. Employers will be encouraged to terminate any employees who are gun owners. Mortgage companies, banks, and credit card companies will be encouraged to decline financing to gun owners, “Local Policy Councils,” nee Antifa, will be encouraged to “peacefully protest” at the places of employment and homes of gun owners.

The Local Policy Councils, employers, banks, and financial firms will be indemnified against lawsuits pertaining to these actions. In addition, the Local Policy Council members as a quasi-militia will be protected by qualified immunity.

The same tactics used to such devastating effect in the rioting we have witnessed these last few months will now be used against doxed gun owners. Nightly visits by screaming, armed, and violent “mostly peaceful” council members will become prevalent. Arson, damage to private property, violent assaults, homicide, and even rape will become a “tool of the people” deployed to ensure recalcitrant gun owners “voluntarily” surrender their weapons. Again, corporate media will ignore these incidents.

Having deployed the National Guard and active-service troops from the Army throughout the 50 states, joint teams of disarmed and unfunded police, troops, Guard units, and Local Policy Council members will search homes for any unregistered guns.

Soros prosecutors and the success of the “decarceration movement” will allow socially distant incarceration of those who refuse the sensible new gun reform.

Well… that’s the plan, anyway.

Apocryphally, Otto von Bismarck is said to have remarked, “God looks out for fools, drunkards, and the United States.”

The fools on the left are not going to know what hit them.

The left’s power is concentrated on the coasts and in large cities. The vast majority of this country, what is derisively called “flyover country” by those on the left, is relatively conservative and armed to the teeth. In most of America, people believe they can never be too thin, too rich, or too well-armed. It is estimated there are anywhere from 350 million to 700 million guns in private hands, and anecdotally, the higher number is probably still too low.

Remember COVID, the Chinese flu the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) deliberately infected the world with? Like all Chinese products it did not work as advertised but we locked down the economy anyway.

Well, one of the big reasons people did not starve is because truckers kept trucking. Most drivers keep a gun in their cab. When authorities confiscate that gun, deliveries to the cities will cease. It would be a matter of weeks before New York and LA started to run out of food.

How many homeowners do you think would need to be assaulted before a visit from the Local Policy Council would be met with gunfire? Council members are not trained for what they will provoke and can expect to be decimated in confrontations.

How long before people start to organize and directly attack authorities and lines of communication, in and around the cities? Keep in mind every hunter is something of a sniper. How long before some of them decide to lie in wait to pick off public officials responsible for these policies? America is also chock full of trained veterans. It does not take a brain surgeon to realize what side they will be on. Pipelines, power plants, interstate highways, railroads, and bridges will all be targets of attack.

Governors, mayors, and LEOs will start to defect, as will National Guard and any other troops who will resent being asked to kill their neighbors and relatives.

There are not enough soldiers, National Guard, and potential Local Policy Council members to protect everything or seize all weapons.

The fact is, Americans will never allow the government to take their guns, period!

William Tecumseh Sherman

Born in Lancaster, Ohio February 8, 1820, William Tecumseh was the son of Charles Robert and Mary Sherman. Charles Robert was a successful lawyer who sat on the Ohio Supreme Court, and whose untimely death in 1829 left his widow with eleven children and no inheritance. Nine year old William was adopted into the family of Thomas Ewing, who served as senator from Ohio and was the first Secretary of the Interior. William was educated in a local academy and at age sixteen was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point.


At the academy the young Sherman found himself. Math, the sciences , and the most rigorous civil engineering program in the United States provided an academic environment in which he thrived. He was delighted to learn that he possessed unknown talents in drawing and landscape sketching. His teachers recognized his intellectual abilities, encouraged him to excel, and graduation on July 1, 1840 found him third in his class in 1843.

Three months later the new second Lt. was assigned to the Third Artillery in Florida and duty in the Second Seminole War. He scouted swamps, led an expedition to capture the colorful Seminole leader Coacooche and in November 1841 was promoted to first lieutenant, a rank that usually required five to eight years of service. The experiences of his first war led him to conclude that it was badly managed, poorly commanded, befuddled and needlessly prolonged by political blathering and operational bungling. These observations no doubt influenced his military decisions in future conflicts.

The almost 17 months spent in Florida introduced Sherman into the frustrations of a war that could not be won. He learned well, however , strategies in fighting an elusive enemy operating in a secure physical environment. He also learned the value of a functioning chain of command, effective field leadership, a mobile and adaptable army, and full knowledge of the terrain. Despite his complaints the second Seminole was sharpened his understanding of warfare and helped prepare him for the future.

While many of his West Point peers were serving in the Mexican War 1846-48,, Sherman was doing admin duty in California in the newly renamed San Francisco. He accompanied the military governor of California on the trip to confirm that gold had been discovered in the region , beginning the California gold rush of 1849. Despite a brevet promotion to captain, his lack of a combat role may have influenced him to resign his commission. He married in 1850, and in 1853 he resigned his commission to enter the field of banking as manager of a branch bank in St. Louis. In 1857 he was in New York, in 1858 he was in California, later that year he relocated to Leavenworth , Kansas. Success in banking and real estate never arrived and 1859 had him move to Pineville, Louisiana.

He had agreed to become the first superintendent of a school would become LSU. he proved to be an efficient and popular administrator, but broke completely with the institution when he learned South Carolina’s secession from the Union. ” you people of the south don’t know what you are doing,” he told a friend, “this country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization.” He resigned his position as superintendent and returned to the North. He told the Governor of Louisiana, “On no earthly account will I do any act or think any hostile thought to the United States.”

On May14, 1861 he was commissioned as Colonel of a yet to be organized regiment. The 13th US Infantry.He found himself instead in command of a brigade of three month volunteers. At the First Battle of Bull Run July 21st 1861 he led the volunteers with distinction, received grazing wounds in the knee and shoulder and was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers. he was given military responsibility for the state of Kentucky and was shortly replaced by Don Carlos Buell. Transferred to St. Louis he was put on leave as unfit for duty adn returned to his home in Lancaster, Ohio. he was in the midst of what would today be called a nervous breakdown. ” That melancholy insanity to which my family is subject.” Before year’s end however, he returned to St. Louis and from there to commend the District of Cairo.

Following General U. S. Grant’s victories at Forts Henry and Donelson Sherman was given command of Grant’s 5th Division, part of 42,000 men at Crump’s Landing and nearby Pittsburg Landing on the Tennesse River, just north of the Mississippi state line. Another 20,000 men under Don Carlos Buell were marching from Columbia, TN to join Grant. The retreating Confederates under General Albert Sidney Johnston had rallied at Corinth Mississippi about 20 miles southwest of Grant’s position. Reasoning that the best tactic was a swift attack to pin Grant’s forces against the river before Buell’s reinforcements could arrive, the Confederate’s 44,000 men began their march north to engage the enemy.

The union troops were not entrenched, had no built abaitis and had not sent out recon patrols. On the morning of April 6th 1862 the rebel attack caught the yankee forces by surprise. Some sitting in camp eating breakfast. Despite the widespread lack of preparation Sherman rallied his division and pulled off an orderly fighting retreat that helped prevent a rout. The end of the day found Buell’s men starting to arrive by barge and Grant sat under a tree smoking a cigar. Sherman not daring to mention retreat famously said “we’ve had the devil’s own day haven’t we?” Grant calmly replying ” Yes. Lick’em tomorrow though.”

With Buell’s reinforcements and the arrival of Lew Wallace’s division from Crump’s landing, Grant’s forces attacked at 600AM on April 7. By late afternoon the Confederates were in retreat to Corinth. With nightfall came heavy rain, the roads became impractical for artillery to be moved via horse or man and Grant’s fatigued forces had to call off their attack. The North and South dead and wounded were everywhere. The final casualty figures shocked both sides at over 13,000 for the North and about 10,700 for the South. It was Shiloh that convinced Grant and Sherman that the war would be a long bloody struggle.

In July Sherman was promoted to commanding officer of the District of West Tennessee and on July 21 Assumed his duties in Memphis. It was while at Memphis that he became aware of the hostility of the surrounding population, both in the city and countryside. This in time led him to the conclusion that all the people in the south were enemies of the union cause. “It’s about time the north understood the truth. That the entire south , man, woman and child is against us. Armed and determined.” This theory of collective responsibility goes far to explain Sherman’s attitude towards the civilian population.

In the long siege of Vicksburg during which Sherman expressed reservations about Grant’s strategy, the two worked well together. Following the surrender of the city, on July 4th 1863, Sherman was made general in the regular army. He was given command of the army of the Tennessee, he was sent 20,000 men to reinforce the Union army at Chattanooga, TN. In late November Grant launched a three pronged attack of 59,000 men under Genral Hooker, Thomas and Sherman to engage the 46,000 Confederates on Missionary Ridge. General Bragg’s army collapsed and retreated to Dalton Georgia and the stage was set for Sherman’s campaign to take Atlanta the next spring.

In early May 1864 Sherman invaded Georgia with 98,000 men in three armies. He was opposed by Joseph E Johnston’s Army of Tennessee with 65,000 men. Johnston always followed at strategy of retreat and so he was replaced on July 17th by General John Bell Hood who played to Sherman’s strengths by offering frontal battles on open ground. The campaign ended on September 2nd 1864 with the fall of the city which had been abandoned by Hood. After ordering all civilians to leave the city that month, in November Sherman ordered all government and military buildings to be burned. In the predictable mayhem that followed, many private homes and shops were burned along with them. An example of future conduct by Sherman’s armies was set in Atlanta despite later denials that such conduct was army policy.

The fall of Atlanta ensured the re-election of Lincoln denying victory to the democartic party and it’s calls for peace negotiations based on recognizing the South’s independence. Sherman’s victory in Atlanta right before the election preserved national unity and he was promoted earlier to major general of the regular army.

Following the election, Sherman began with 62,000 men to Savannah Georgia. His army lived off the land , something they learned they could do in the Vicksburg campaign, and caused by his own estimate over $100 million in property damages. “there was a devil may care spirit pervading the whole army”. The soldiers enjoyed their reputation of ” Sherman’s Bummers.”

The five week march of 285 miles cut a path between 20 and 60 miles wide through Georgia, destroying everything of military and civilian value. On December 22nd, 1864 the day after the city’s garrison of 10,000 fled, Sherman’s army occupied Savanna. He announced to Lincoln that his prize contained 150 heavy guns and 25,000 bales of cotton. A week earlier Hood’s force at Nashville, TN had been destroyed by Thomas’ Army of the Cumberland. The gloom and doom over Grant’s bogged down effort at defeating General R. E. Lee at Petersburg was partially lifted.

On Feb. 1th, 1865 Sherman’s army began it’s campaign of 400 miles through the Carolinas against light resistance from Johnston’s tired troops. Since South Carolina had been the first state to leave the union, the anger of union soldiers fell upon the state with no quarter asked and none given. On Feb 17th the state capital fell, fires began immediately and by the next morning most of the city was burned rubble.

Meanwhile Grant’s Army of the Potomac was wearing down General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and Sherman’s march though the Carolinas was unstoppable. At least by the feckless General Johnston. On April 9th 1865 General Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox and Sherman accepted the surrender of Johnston on April 17-18th. The War of Northern Aggression was over. The contentious era of reconstruction was about to begin.

In the Summer of 1865, Sherman was given command f the military District of the Mississippi with jurisdiction across the great Plains to the Rocky Mountains. His particular attention was to be given to the protection and construction of the trans-continental railroad. Congress had chartered the railroad during the war and it was not to be given first priority in the years ahead. From his HQ in St. Louis, he carried out his duties with the serious efficiency with which he had made war in the south.

When US Grant became President in 1869, Sherman succeeded him as General of the Army and was required to move to Washington DC. On may 10th He received word that the last spike had finished the railroad giving him a great deal of satisfaction.

Retirement from the army came on November 1st 1883 at the age of 63. He reestablished himself in St. Luis where he remained off and on until he relocated to New York city in 1886. In 1884 while being courted for a run for president he declined. He died in NYC on Feb. 4th. 1891.

Captain William “Buckey” O’Neill

William Owen O’Neil was born in St. Louis on Feb 2,1860, the first son of John and Mary Menimin O’;Neil. In 1862, the family moved to Philadelphia and later to Washington , DC. Little is known of his early years.

Buckley came from warrior’s stock. His father, John Owen O’Neil was born in 1834 in Ireland but emigrated during the early 1850’s exodus of Irish refugees fleeing the conditions of the great potato famine. He became a Captain in the 116th Pennsylvania Volunteers, a segment of the famous Meagher’s Irish Brigade which performed so magnificently in the War of Northern Aggression. It was said that during the course of the war, Cpt. O’Neil was hit a total of fourteen times. At the Battle of Fredricksburg, he was wounded so severely that he was prematurely but officially listed as dead. He receovered, but remained crippled and without vigor for the rest of his life dying in 1897.

Early in 1897 young William O’Neil was lured to the limitless possibilities and adventure of the Arizona Territory. For those not allergic to hard work, there was ever potential for fortune. In September of that year at the age of nineteen, and full of ambition, he rode a burro into Phoenix, looking for work.

Straightaway he was hired on as a typesetter at the Phoenix Herald. Some biographical sketches list William’s occupation as “lawyer” but no evidence exists documenting a legal education. He did occasionally make a claim to being an attorney. Apart from the normal public school courses, O’Neil learned the typesetter’s trade and legal shorthand.

O’Neil had a weakness for gambling and it was said he had a gift for winning. A habitue of the many gaming houses in Phoenix, he was drawn to poker, roulette and 7-up, but developed a particular passion for faro. moderation was not his failing. O’Neil had every unrestrained inclination to ” go for broke” or to use the popular expression of the day, ” bucking the tiger”. The rest of the gambling hall regulars started calling him ” Buckey”, a nickname that stuck throughout his eventual life.

Buckey drifted into Tombstone in 1880 and immediately found work as a reported for the fabled Tombstone Epitaph. During this period , other Tombstone notables were busy shaping western history and legend, and Buckey undoubtedly crossed bathers with Wyatt Earp and his brother, Bat Masterson, Doc Holiday and other Tombstone gambling hall addicts. It is believed that Buckey left town shortly before the shootout at the OK Corral in October of 1881.

In 1881 O’Neil left Arizona to tramp about in New Mexico, Hawaii, and southern California. he returned to Phoenix in the Spring of’82 and became a sheriff’s deputy. The criminal element thrived in those days and a steady schedule of hangings did little to thin the ranks of claim jumpers,stage holdups, assorted drifters, thieves and assorted evil doers. He left Phoenix in March of the next year bound for Prescott, the territorial capital.

There he again became involved in the newspaper business and gambling houses on Whiskey Row of this “faro and craps town”. Early in 1882, Buckey joined the staff of the Arizona Miner as a reporter. In September of 1883 he took a job as a court reporter. Three months into this job things livened up when O’Neil got caught in the middle of a courtroom brawl involving guns, knives a lot of blood and two dead men. This incident is still recalled as one of the most violent chapters in American Judicial history.

In 1885 Buckey joined the Prescott Greys, a local militia group who mainly looked sharp in uniform and stood attention while serving as guards at the local public hangings. He eventually became their Captain and commander. The time Buckey spent with the Greys never quite satisfied his aspiration for a more serious military experience.

In 1866 Buckey decided to dabble in politics and became candidate for the post of Yavapai County probate judge and was elected. In 1888 Bucket ran for sheriff of the same county and pulled off an upset. After three months in office the new sheriff that unfolded like a novel and in the end would secured his place in Arizona history.

Four robbers struck a train at Diablo Canyon and made off with the contents of the express safe and thousands in the passenger’s cash and jewelry. Buckey and a posse of three relentlessly followed the bandit’s trail on a six hundred mile, three week long chase that covered parts of four states. A few times the robbers were engaged at close range. The bad guys were eventually cornered and a exchange of gunfire killed O’Neil’s favorite horse before the four men were locked up on irons. Accounts vary with one reporting two men were packed out across their saddlehorses.

In recognition of O’Neil’s capture of the robbers and recovery of a third of a million of the railroads money, the territorial governor assigned Buckey to the honorary post of Adjutant General of the Arizona Militia. This ended with the governor’s replacement a few months later. Before his term in office was ended though, Buckey attempted to secure the approval of formation of a volunteer infantry or cavalry battalion from the military organizations of the Territory to serve in the Sioux Wars. This foreshadowed a eerily similar experience that was to profoundly impact Buckey’s life a few years later.

“William O’Neil was your nervy, no nonesense sort of lawman. Once he followed a desperado into a wild New Mexican settlement . his subject had just passed throughand Buckey caught up with him a short ways on the other side of town. The fugitive took a shot at the sheriff, whose return fire broke the man’s leg. Returning through town with the prisoner in tow, Buckey was confronted by mob convinced the man was a respectable gentleman on account of a kindness shown to a townswoman earlier in the day. Cunningly, the handcuffed criminal declared that he and the lawman had differences centering on the woman. That card having been played, the crowd moved in for a rescue. Backing the prisoner and the hose into a neaby dwelling, the Yavapai sheriff promised loudly. “when a man crosses that doorway, I’ll shoot him and then the prisoner”. Buckey got himself and the suspect both back to AZ in one piece. “

Buckey repeatedly demonstrated that he was not the type of individual who avoided confrontations. Once a gang of hardened troublemakers rode into town and alighted at one of the saloons. The word spread and Sheriff O’Neill came up to the bar and calmly announced his intention to arrest all of them. Hesitating longer than was good for him, the leader reached for his gun and found himself staring down the bore of Buckey’s six-gun. The man wisely gave up along with the others.

The whole country had felt a conflict with Spain was inevitable long before the Maine dropped anchor in Havana harbor. As soon as the news of the battleship’s destruction reached Prescott, Buckey became the self appointed main force behind a plan to recruit a volunteer cavalry regiment of a thousand men from AZ’s citizenry. Telegrams were sent to President McKinley and the territorial governor offering O’Neill’s services and requesting permission to pledge the troops. After the war was declared April 25, 1898, a presidential directive authorized Captain leonard Wood and Hon. Theodore Roosevelt to raise a volunteer regiment of mounted rifleman. Arizona was allowed a quota of only 200 men.

The first American to sign up for the volunteer force was Buckey O’Neill, enlisting as a common private. When someone protested their mayor signing on to such a lowly station, O’Neill was quoted as saying ” Who wouldn’t gamble for a star?” What that meant no one has ever figured out exactly. Everyone in the territory wondered whether the star he had in mind was Arizona territory’s admission to the Union through heroism of it’s citizens, Cuba, or perhaps a Brigadier’s star for his own epaulets. A Rough Rider present when the remark was made, was certain Buckey had his sights on a general’s star. The official interpretation of his intentions of his statement points to Arizona’s statehood and is carved into his grave marker. In any event he was quickly appointed Captain of the Rough Riders A Troop.

“Buckey’s Boys” boarded a train to Camp Wood, the rough rider training site just outside of San Antonio. From there, the regiment traveled to Tampa to await transport to Cuba.

After a particularly wearisome voyage from Florida to Cuba, on June 22nd, the American forces engaged in a misdirected and bungled landing at the unprotected port of Daiquiri. During this operation, two Tenth Cavalry troopers were thrown into the drink when their landing craft capsized. Fully uniformed, Buckey O’Neill dove into the water in an effort to rescue the men Despite a heroic attemp both men drowned. Steven Crane , author of The Red Badge Of Courage, witnessed the incident and wrote of the tragedy and O’Neill’s daring in an edition of the New York World. A report migrated back to Arizona where it was front page news. Col. Roosevelt standing on the jetty with Buckey and saw the whole thing from a range of only a few feet. After the war, Roosevelt recalled the event in “The Rough Riders”, his account of the War with Spain.

O’Neill exchanged rifle fire with the Spaniards during the campaign’s initial skirmish at Las Guasimas on June 24 1898. For a few days afterwards, he tended to his wounded and the affairs of the dead, foraged for tobacco, and rested his men. After a few days Col. Roosevelt ordered Buckey’s A Troop to move into position and prepare for the assault on Santiago’s most important eastward defenses that everyone knew was coming. unable to return fire, O’Neill and the rest of the Rough Riders were pinned down by a rain of Mauser bullets below Kettle Hill on the morning of July 1st, just prior to the celebrated frontal assault on the rifle pits and fortifications atop San Juan Heights. The American ranks were thinning noticeably by the minute. Pacing recklessly yet confidently, erect among his cringing command was Captain O’Neill, shouting words of encouragement over the pinging and snapping of near misses. After the example of Cols. Roosevelt and Leonard Wood, Buckey’s foolhardy disregard for his own safety, and display of fearlessness and apparent contempt for Spanish marksmanship and the spitzer bullet, reassured and instilled a sense of confidence in his men.

Ignoring continual warnings to take cover, O’Neill half jokingly replied ” The Spanish bullet that will kill me is not molded yet”. Moments later at 10Am July 1st, 1898 as he turned on his heel, a bullet struck him in the mouth and exited the back of his head. Buckey O’Neill stiffened and lost his grip on the Winchester 1895 he had been holding and fell over backwards.

Deeply saddened by the news, Roosevelt recorded these words: ” Even before he fell, his wild and gallant soul had gone out into the darkness .” A survivor of the charge up San Juan Hill later wrote of the vindictive spirit engendered by the death of Buckey. “Each man in the troop started out to do a little fighting on his own account to get even with the Spanish.

“A detail hastily dug a shallow grave in a meadow near the place he fell and buried this strange and independent character. In the Spring of 1899, a party headed by O’Neill’s brothers went to Cuba for the purpose of finding Buckey’s gravesite, and bringing him home. Buckey was disinterred and his remains sent to Washington, and buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on may 1st, 1899. A military squad fired three volleys next to Buckey O’Neill’s final resting place among his fellow Rough Riders in the topmost section of the cemetery.”