My grandson and I attended the 157th Anniversary Battle Of Pilot Knob Reenactment. I tip my hat to the organizers, reenactors, vendors, participants and security. Everything went smoothly and if there was a glitch I didn’t notice it.
The Battle of Fort Davidson was fought on September 27, 1864, near the town of Pilot Knob, MO. Major General Sterling Price commanded the Confederate troops against Union troops commanded by Thomas Ewing Jr. The Confederate divisions of Major General James Fagan and Brigadier General John S Marmaduke drove Union troops, commanded by Brigadier General Thomas Ewing Jr. and Major James Wilson, out of the Arcadia Valley to Fort Davidson. The Confederate troops led three separate attacks against the fort and were turned away. On the final attempt General William Cabell’s Confederate brigade was able to cross the moat but failed to enter the fort and retreated.
That night Ewing, after much consideration, decided to abandon the fort. He ordered his men to blow up the fort’s magazine which enabled Union troops to slip past the Confederate troops guarding the escape routes without being detected. After the unsuccessful attack Price made the decision not to attack St. Louis.
The Missouri State Parks system added the Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic Site in 1968 and on February 26, 1970 the park was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The dead were buried in a mass grave and it is marked by a granite monument. It was estimated that the Union troops lost 213 lives and the Confederates lost between 500 to 1,000 lives. There is a Visitors Center located in the park. Inside you will find a research library, a fiber optic display, and artifacts including Ewing’s sword. The American Battlefield Trust has been involved in the preservation of 41 acres at the site.
Fall has arrived here in Southeast Missouri. Breakout the pumpkin spices, the hoodies and the chili recipes. Let the bonfires begin!
Farmers will begin the removal and storage of their crops. The sky will be filled with the “honking” of geese as they begin their journey to their winter homes. We will soon awaken to cool crisp mornings with frost on the pumpkin. The countryside will become painted with bright yellows, oranges and reds. Mother Earth will show off her artistic abilities. Her forest creatures will be obsessed with gathering and storing their winter food.
Folks will turn to folklore to try and predict the upcoming winter weather. There are two particular methods that are popular in my area.
The persimmon seed. People will look for the ripe fruit and then they will remove the seed. They will split the seed open to see what shape, called a cotyledon, is hidden within. It is said that if the shape is that of a fork we will experience a mild winter. If it is the shape of a spoon we will have an abundance of snow and if it is that of a knife we will have a cold blustery winter so the saying “cut like a knife”.
Another popular legend is the “wooly worm”. The wooly worm is a caterpillar made up of 13 segments representing the 13 weeks of winter. The browner the worm the milder the winter. The blacker it is the harsher the winter. The number of black segments represent how many weeks of bad winter weather we will have.
Unfortunately there is no scientific evidence proving either method works.
Here in the Midwest we are fortunate to be able to experience all four seasons. Here in Missouri there are times you can experience all four seasons in one day. We all have our favorite seasons for one reason or another but as for me I am delighted that the fall season has begun. I can smell the chili cooking and the smoke of the bonfire.
It was another hot day in Southeast Missouri. I had the evening off so I decided to head out to the Bismark Conservation area.
The area is made up of 1,188 acres that surrounds the 220 acre lake, DiSalvo. It is the headwaters of the St Francis River. There are good numbers of bass, bluegill, channel catfish and crappie.
This particular day I went chasing channel catfish. It is hot and the humidity was punishing, two ingredients of pop up thunderstorms. It sprinkled on me a couple of times. There was a thunderstorm skirting to the south. Lightning and thunder.
Mother Nature was presenting me with one spectacular show. I watched intently. The wind picked up and I enjoyed feeling it upon my face. So relaxing.
The fish weren’t cooperating. They had very little interest in the bait I was using, shrimp, hotdogs and night crawlers. At dark the bullhead catfish started to show interest in the shrimp. I ended up catching 3 bullheads before I had to give in and call it a night.
It turned out to be a great evening and it was much needed. Mother Nature was spectacular and gave me some great shots and I had it all to myself.
“Everyone has his or her own opinion and I welcome criticism. That’s why we have freedom of expression and that’s also what I stand for – but I won’t stand for insults.” – Ilkay Gundogan
Talk to the hand because the ears aren’t listening. This seems to be the mantra of today’s society. There use to be a time in this country when two people of different opinions could partake of a little spirited debate and walk away still friends. Not so much anymore. No such thing as peaceful debate. Instead insults and juvenile name calling is more the norm.
Everyone is different. We all have different likes and dislikes. Some people like summer some like winter. There are those that prefer more government and those that prefer less. They are opinions based upon a person’s thoughts and life experiences. It doesn’t mean one is right and one is wrong.
The reality is everyone is going to have a difference of opinion. It’s a given and we as a society need to learn to accept it, learn to live with it and move on. We have to learn to agree to disagree.
“The onlysinthat we never forgive is adifference of opinions.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I watch with great sadness as friends and family turn their backs on each other because of their differences of opinions. I myself have been called stupid, ignorant, moron etc. because my opinion is different than theirs.
I won’t apologize for my opinions nor do I expect you to apologize for yours. I am entitled to my opinion and you yours.
I am not responsible for your happiness. I am only responsible for mine. What I am responsible for is to be kind to you and to respect your opinions. No insults or name calling and to love you as I love myself.
It is time for us to stop, take a deep breath, think about what we are doing and fix it. To bury our differences, embrace each other and seek harmony. We need to eliminate the hate that is running rampant in our society. Can it be done? I don’t know but I do know the world would be a much better place and certainly worth the effort.
“Utopias are often only premature truths.” – Alphonse De Lamartine
There are those that think the inequities in our society can be easily solved through a utopian society or government. They believe Utopianism is necessary to improve the human condition. The focus of literary utopias consist of equality in economics, government and justice. It all sounds great but the reality is societies don’t have the same desires and because of this conflict it’s impossible to satisfy society as a whole. In a true utopia everyone lives in harmony.
Is a utopia achievable? In a perfect world, maybe? It would have to be a world void of the hunger for power, greed and emotions. As long as these three are alive and well I for one believe it is highly unlikely that a true utopia could ever exist.
Greater minds than mine through the years have debated if a true utopia could ever exist.
Theodor W Adorno writes: “None of the abstract concepts comes close to fulfilled utopia than that of eternal peace.”