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The Youngest To Serve
In May of 1861, 9 year old John Lincoln "Johnny" Clem ran away from his home in Newark, Ohio, to join the Union Army, but found the Army was not interested in signing on a 9 year old boy when the commander of the 3rd Ohio Regiment told him he "wasn't enlisting infants," and turned him down. Clem tried the 22nd Michigan Regiment next, and its commander told him the same. Determined, Clem tagged after the regiment, acted out the role of a drummer boy, and was allowed to remain. Though still not regularly enrolled, he performed camp duties and received a soldier's pay of $13 a month, a sum collected and donated by the regiment's officers.
The next April, at Shiloh, Clem's drum was smashed by an artillery round and he became a minor news item as "Johnny Shiloh, The Smallest Drummer". A year later, at the Battle Of Chickamauga, he rode an artillery caisson to the front and wielded a musket trimmed to his size. In one of the Union retreats a Confederate officer ran after the cannon Clem rode with, and yelled, "Surrender you damned little Yankee!" Johnny shot him dead. This pluck won for Clem national attention and the name "Drummer Boy of Chickamauga."
Clem stayed with the Army through the war, served as a courier, and was wounded twice. Between Shiloh and Chickamauga he was regularly enrolled in the service, began receiving his own pay, and was soon-after promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He was only 12 years old. After the Civil War he tried to enter West Point but was turned down because of his slim education. A personal appeal to President Ulysses S. Grant, his commanding general at Shiloh, won him a 2nd Lieutenant's appointment in the Regular Army on 18 December 1871, and in 1903 he attained the rank of Colonel and served as Assistant Quartermaster General. He retired from the Army as a Major General in 1916, having served an astounding 55 years.
General Clem died in San Antonio, Texas on 13 May 1937, exactly 3 months shy of his 86th birthday, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Children of the Greatest Generation
People born between 1930 and 1945 belong to a very special age group. They belong to the smallest generation of children born since the early 1900s. They belong to the generation and the period in human history of the greatest and the most rapid explosion of human knowledge and change & progress in technology. The greatest number of human inventions and innovations occurred and are the products of people who were born and raised during the so-called “greatest generation”. And since the 1950s up to the present, the world has been enjoying and reaping the benefits of the ingenuity and the work of men and women of the greatest generation.
They are the last generation of children to climb out of the Great Depression, and who can remember the winds of war and the impact of a world at war which rattled the structure of daily life in the world for years.
They are the last generation of children to see the “gold stars” on the front windows of neighborhood houses where a family member [brother, father &/or son] was killed in the war.
They are the last generation of children to remember ration books for gasoline, shoes, stoves, sugar, etc.
They are the last generation of children to grow up with NO television.
They are the last generation of children who were spared the graphic images and pictures of cruelty and ugliness in the world because there was NO television.
They are the last generation of children who only created mental images in the mind [imagined] what they heard on the radio or read in the newspapers.
They are the last generation of children whose main entertainment was going to Saturday afternoon movies which consisted of short newsreels sandwiched between cartoons and westerns.
They are the last generation of children who saw many cars up on blocks because tires were not available.
They are the last generation of children who remember milk being delivered to and placed in a milk box on the porch of neighborhood houses.
They are the last generation of children to have only one telephone per house which hung on the wall and was connected to one telephone line for the entire neighborhood and was shared by everyone [party lines], and a live telephone operator had to “dial the number” of the person that one wanted to contact.
They are the last generation of children when a computer was a hand-cranked “adding machine”, and a keyboard was called “typewriter” which had a “carriage” which had to be manually pushed to the left to start a new line of a text, a “roller” to feed paper and/or to roll the paper up or down, and a “ribbon” reel which had to also be manually changed when it got torn from overuse.
They are the last generation of children to whom the word(s): Internet and Google did not exist, and the word gay meant “happy” --- NOT a homosexual male.
They are the last generation of children when the news was originally broadcast on radio in the evening only.
They are the first generation of children to see the arrival of atomic age, the jet age, and the space age.
They are the first generation of children to hear of/witness the start of: "Red China" the "Cold War"; the "Iron Curtain"; the spread of Communism/Socialism.
People born between 1930 and 1945 became: the new adolescents & teenagers of the early and mid-1950s; the new young adults & parents of the late-1950s through the 1970s.
They are the generation to begin saving tin foil and pouring used or left-over fat/oil into tin cans.
They are the generation who, in spite of the Great Depression and the wars, threw themselves into exploring opportunities, creating &/or discovering the advantages of the: credit card and installment payment plan; factories and assembly, manufacturing & processing plants which created jobs; freeways and highways which improved mobility and created more jobs; radio/TV network which expanded from 1 television channel and 3 radio stations to hundreds -- if not thousands – of channels & stations.
The last generation to experience an interlude with no threats to homeland USA.
The last & only generation to experience and live through life in between: times of abundance, bright promise, prosperity & security; --and-- times of war & strife.
They are the only generation "to see the boys come home" (dead or alive) from almost all of the world's major wars of: the 20th century -- e.g., World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War; --and-- the 21st century -- e.g., the Kuwait War, the Afghanistan-Iraq War (the War on Terrorism).
Majority of those born during the greatest generation are now either fully retired or deceased.
GO TO EVENTS TO SEE HOW WE HONORED THE GREATEST GENERATION
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The USS Constitution (Old Ironsides), as a combat vessel, carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men. This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea. She carried no evaporators (i.e. fresh water distillers).
However, let it be noted that according to her ship's log, "On July 27, 1798, the USS Constitution sailed from Boston with a full complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum."
Her mission: "To destroy and harass English shipping."
Making Jamaica on October 6, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum.
Then she headed for the Azores, arriving there November 12. She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine.
On November 18, she set sail for England. In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war and captured and scuttled 12 English merchant ships, salvaging only the rum aboard each.
By January 26, her powder and shot were exhausted. Nevertheless, although unarmed she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. Her landing party captured a whisky distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt Scotch aboard by dawn. Then she headed home.
The USS Constitution arrived in Boston on February 20, 1799, with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum, no wine, no whisky, and 38,600 gallons of water.
A humble history lesson for all of us! Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown , Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his grist mill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price the paid.
Remember freedom is never free! I hope you will show your support by sending this to as many people as you can, please. It's time we get the word out that patriotism is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July has more to it than beer, picnics, and baseball games.