BB Archives Page Six

More Hampshire Winter Scenes 11 January 2007

Here's a pic of one of the tracks I was on yesterday. Just before I
took this picture, several pheasants spooked right in front of me. I'm
not sure who was more scared. When the heart rate settled, I saw the
light was perfect for a good pic;



Here's a beautiful Hampshire sunset on that green lane I mentioned
yesterday. (Yes, I know my low fuel light is on, I got back to
civilisation and a petrol station soon thereafter)

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The Birthplace of Marine Aviation

Here's a post
on the upkeep of a small memorial to the birthplace of U.S. Marine
aviation. It is at Marblehead, Mass. and like the author, I have been
through there several times and had not seen this, even though it is a
relatively small area. This is what I love about motorcycle touring and
blogging...the opportunity to serendipitously stumble over great pieces
of military history.

From the And Rightly So blog.

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Hampshire in the Winter 10 January 2007

The sun came out this afternoon and by 3PM there wasn't a cloud in
the sky, so I decided to kit up and go for a late afternoon ride in
North Hampshire. I looked for single tracks and found quite a few. In
fact, I've come to realise that this is my favourite sign when I'm
riding;



I made my way to a green lane that my map said was open to all traffic.
I did a few hundred yards of it but I got a little worried, because it
was so muddy. My bike was up for it, but my tires were not. We've had
so much rain recently that just the weight of the bike makes it bog
down. Not wanting to drop the bike late in the day and have to get
someone to drag me out, I chose more single tracks.

Here's a pic of the green lane;



In the end I got 2 hours of riding in and got a lot of great views of
rural Hampshire in the bargain. Another great day on the bike.

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Battle of Big Sandy River / Middle Creek, Kentucky 10 January 1862

On 10 January, 1862 Union forces, under Colonel James Garfield,
sought to drive out the Confederates, under General Humphrey Marshall,
who were recruiting in the vicinity of Paintsville, Kentucky. Garfield
was an new Colonel of Ohio volunteers who was to make his name at the Battle of Middle Creek.
This fame would eventually propel him to the White House. Marshall, on
the other hand, came into the battle with an outstanding reputation
from the Mexican War where he led the First Kentucky Cavalry. He was to
leave Middle Creek with a big question mark over his head.

As Garfield approached from the north, Marshall fell back to
Prestonburg along the Middle Creek to take up defensive positions, even
though his rebels were not well provisioned. The Confederate cavalry
that was to provide a rear screen were surprised by the Federal cavalry
as they were breaking camp. The intial rout by the Union forces turned
into a bloody pursuit as the recovering Confederates ambushed the
pursuing Union cavalry. Garfield pushed on, however, and caught up with
the mass of Marshall's force to the west of Prestonburg. Marshall had
taken a strong position
and had set a trap along Middle Creek to catch Garfield's forces as
they advanced into a hammer and anvil position. Garfield, who was
unsure of Marshall's positions, sent a small cavalry force into the
open area to see where Marshall's forces were. Marshall fell for the
ruse and released the trap too early. Garfield now knew where Marshall
had deployed and set to advancing slowly and methodically on the
ill-equipped and hungry Confederates. This was truly one of those Civil
War battles where brother against brother and neighbor against neighbor
was a reality. Kentucky units on both sides of the war met in the boggy
ground around the creek, sometimes in hand to hand fighting. As the
pressure on the Confederates grew into the early evening, Marshall felt
he had no choice, but to retire as he feared widespread desertion from
his hungry troops.

The overall effect of the battle was not hugely in favor of the Union,
but the future President Garfield had made his name in showing that the
area could be held by the Union. The fact that eastern Kentucky was now
off-limits to the Confederates meant that the Union forces could begin
their push into Tennessee.

Books from Amazon.com

Motorcycle Ride

Check out the scenery on two of Kentucky's great parkways, the Combs Mountain Parkway and the Hal Rogers Parkway (formerly the Daniel Boone Parkway). Be unique. Be someone who has actually been to Kentucky Appalachia, rather than a smug jokester about it.

Maps

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Thomas Paine Publishes Common Sense 10 January 1776

On 10 January 1776, the English pamphleteer, Thomas Paine, anonymously released Common Sense,
a 50 page pamphlet that outlined Paine's belief that "...there is
something very absurd, in supposing a continent to be perpetually
governed by an island." Paine thereby stated, "It is repugnant to
reason, to the universal order of things to all examples from former
ages, to suppose, that this continent can longer remain subject to any
external power." It sold a half a million copies. It was so influential
that Washington had it read to the troops to encourage re-enlistment
when the Continental Army's fortunes were flagging. If "no taxtion
without representation" was the rally cry to rebellion, then Common Sense was the intellectual underpinning.

Books from Amazon.com

Motorcycle Ride

check out the circular route to the sotheast of Thetford, Norfolk, Paine's birthplace, where you can find a statue in the town.

Maps

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King Charles I Flees London After Failing to Arrest the Five Members 10 January 1642

On 10 January 1642, King Charles I had to leave London as the unrest against him grew. He had recently tried to arrest five members of parliament on treason charges,
but failed. His coach had been surrounded by a mob when he had demanded
that those who were sheltering the five members should give them up.
This was enough to scare Charles and his Queen, Henrietta, into leaving
London. They first decamped to Hampton Court, then Windsor Castle and finally to Oxford to set up an alternative government to the Parliament in London. Parliament was busy activating its militias, called the "Trained Bands." Although there were some attempts at reconciliation, the train of events leading to civil war was already underway.

Books from Amazon.co.uk

Motorcycle Ride

I'm sure it was faster for Charles by horse and carriage, but if you
don't mind fighting London traffic, you can retrace the royal route to
exile. Start in Whitehall, then to Hampton court, then to Windsor, then to Oxford.

Maps

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The Battle of Arkansas Post / Fort Hindman 9-11 January 1863

One of the major problems that Union forces had with capturing
Vicksburg and all of the lower Mississippi was that they faced almost
continual harrassment of supply lines, both on land and rivers. In Fort Hindman,
near Arkansas Post and overlooking the Arkansas River, the Confederates
had a strong position to harry any Union boats trying to make their way
up to Little Rock. Additionally, it was a safe haven and replenishing
point for Confederate gunboats working the Mississippi River. Before
the Union forces could secure the lower Mississippi river area, they
needed to secure their supply lines throughout Missouri, Arkansas and
along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Hence, on 9 January,
Union General John McClernand led a combined graund and naval force
with Admiral David Porter to shut down Fort Hindman starting on 9
January 1863. Union troops, led by General William Sherman landed on
the 9th and began assaulting the outlying trenches of the fort
immediately, eventually over-running them and forcing the Confederates
to retreat to the fort itself. On 10 January 1863, Porter laid into the
fort with naval fire. By 11 January 1863, McClernand had tightened the
noose with infantry preparing for a full attack on the fort and
Porter's guns both bombarding the fort and cutting off retreat lines.
Eventually, Confederate commander General Thomas Churchill saw the
futility of further resistance and surrendered the fort. One more
secure post along the Mississippi was secured for future Union
operations.

Books from Amazon.com

Check out this biography of John A. McClernand, who was a
congressman before becoming a general. McClernand did well at first,
but went head on with Grant, shortly after Arkansas Post, and lost over
the conduct of the Vicksburg campaign. McClernand was one of the main
sources that reported back to Washington about Grant's drinking. To
which, Abraham Lincoln was to have said, "I wish some of you would tell
me the brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a
barrel of it to my other generals."

Motorcycle Ride

Try this circular route from Pine Bluff to Stuttgart to Gillett to Dumas and back to Pine Bluff which passes by Arkansas Post National Memorial. It also includes the long stretch of scenic highwy US 65.

Maps

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Battle of Wolf Mountain / Battle of the Butte 8 January 1877

After the disaster of Little Bighorn, the Indian Fighters of the
upper plains went hell for leather in harrying Sitting Bull and Crazy
Horse. However, the harsh winter of 1876 made it hard for the US Army
to conduct the pursuit. General George "Three Stars" Crook called it a
season until the weather eased. However, the aggressive, but vain
General Nelson "Bear Coat" Miles wanted none of Crook's waiting and
launched new offensives over Christmas 1876 and into early 1877 in
search of Crazy Horse's Oglala Sioux. On 7 January, Miles' column was
attacked, but rebuffed and Miles took a Cheyenne contingent (Crazy
Horse allies) prisoner. Thereafter, Miles encountered raids to free the
prisoners, so he decided to set up a defensive position near Wolf
Mountain. On the morning of 8 January the battle commenced with Crazy
Horse attacking from various angles, but always finding no joy. As the
weather cleared a bit, Miles was able to get range with his artillery
which prompted an advance on Crazy Horse. Crazy Horse had no choice,
but to retreat to save his force. The numbers lost by both sides were
small and the battle may have gone down as a draw. However, the larger
point was made on the Indians. They were not safe from US forces in
their own areas...even in the dead of winter. Total capitulation was to
follow shortly. Miles was not liked by much of anyone, but his
successes were rewarded and he eventually became the Commanding General
of the US Army in 1895.

Books from Amazon.com

Motorcycle Ride

For a good long run all around the area of Miles' and Crazy Horse's actions in the Tongue River area, try this circular ride from Ashland to Busby to Decker to Birney and back to Ashland.

Maps

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The Second Battle of Springfield, Missouri 8 January 1863

For every Gettysburg and Vicksburg in the American Civil War, there
were hundreds of smaller actions that did not involve the great
Generals and large numbers of troops. However, these small actions
often had real strategic consequences. On 8 January 1863, a Confederate
advance led by General John Marmaduke made an attempt to capture the
important Union supply point at Springfield, Missouri. The Supply
point, led by General Egbert Brown, was important to supplying the
Union Army of the West. The battle is unusual in the fact that it
involved a substantial amount of urban combat..something fairly
uncommon in the Civil War.

The Union garrison was warned of the advance with a few hours to spare.
The defense was short on experienced soldiers, but had the advantage of
high ground in the form of four earthen forts around the town.
Marmaduke was short of one of his three columns, which had been delayed
by skirmishing near Hartville, but decided to attack on the morning of
8 January anyway. Marmaduke made several attempts, but failed in each.
Most of the fighting occured around fort number four with Marmaduke
trying frontal assaluts and flanking movements with little success. As
night fell, Marmaduke realized he had lost and retreated back to
Arkansas.

The Second Battle of Springfield
will never be called a turning point in the war, but one could imagine
that Vicksburg and the final Mississippi River stronghold of Port
Hudson, LA, might not have fallen in July 1863, if Springfield had been
lost to the Confederates in January.

Books from Amazon.com

Check out this book about a young Union logistician in the Western theatre;

Motorcycle Ride

Follow the general direction that Marmaduke took from Harrison, Arkansas to Springfield, Missouri, through Ozark on US Highway 65.

Maps

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Andrew Jackson Defeats British at New Orleans 8 January 1815

Fifteen days after the Treaty of Ghent was signed (Christmas Eve
1814), General Andrew Jackson decisively defeated the British at New Orleans.
Neither the British, nor the Americans had received news of the peace
yet. Although the final engagement happened on 8 January, 1815, the
fighting around New Orleans had been going on since 14 December 1814,
starting with a Royal Marine vistory over US gunboats guarding the
entrance to New Orleans on Lake Borgne. On 23 December, Jackson failed
to dislodge the British at their quarters on the Villeré Plantation.
Jackson fell back and occupied the approach to New Orleans at the
Rodriguez Canal. On 28 December, the British probed the line in force,
but were repelled. On 1 January 1815, the British attempted to dislodge
Jackson with artillery, but the duel ended with the American artillery
victorious, probably because they had more ammunition. The Americans
had more ammunition due to Jackson's temporary alliance with the
Baratarian pirates, including Jean Lafitte, who hated the British more
than the Americans.

Finally, on 8 January, the British executed a frontal assault on the
American positions which failed miserably, including the loss of the
British Commander , Pakenham. Jackson had delivered the heaviest defeat
on the Brits in the war, even though they were formally at peace. The
British and the Americans continued the fight in the area, not hearing
of the peace until 12 Febuary 1815.

Books from Amazon.com

Motorcycle Ride

Start at Chalmette, near the site of the 8 January battle and make your way to Louisiana State Route 23,
running southeast to the tip of the delta, following the Mississippi
River. New Orleans is a bit rougher these days, so be prepared for
detours and some deserted areas. As always, be aware of your
surroundings when riding through this area.

Maps

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Brit Bike Triumphs in US

Triumph is continuing its comeback in the US.
I've never owned a Triumph, but my buddy loves his Daytona and swears
by it. I've always fancied a Tiger, but they are not cheap and it
doesn't quite match the BMW R1200GS in style or performace, IMHO.

Triumph also has a strong war production history during the war years of the first half of the 20th century.

It's good to see the Triumph succeed again and keep the brand going strong.

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Soldiers Love Motorcycles

This sad story
about an Iraq War veteran having his mototrcycle stolen shows how much
the freedom of the road and two wheels plays on the imagination of
soldiers in particular.

SGT Peter Hopson had saved his combat pay to buy the bike as a reward
for surviving the war. He lost two buddies before he got back. I hope
SGT Hopson gets a new bike soon and is able to resume the dream.

I'm also looking forward to riding with all my Iraq veteran buddies
in Iraq some day in the future, when that country decides riding
motorcycles is more fun than killing each other. It may be some time
before that notion comes to them, though.

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Calf Side Cheese Melt

Lucky, over at the Great Motorcycle Pizza Tour is

talking about cooking food on hot motorcycle engines.

I've thought of having a go at this too. My F650 GS gets pretty hot
around my calves, so I'm thinking of strapping a cheese sandwich on my
leg and see if it melts by lunch time.

As for military chow, soldiers find hot things to cook on all the time.
The back deck of the M1 tank is great for warmer up MREs, as is the
engine block on the M2/3 Bradley. Horse cavalry troops would often put
jerky and hard tack, rolled in a bandana, under the saddle to soften it
up from its rock solid state.

I think Lucky, the Pizza Crusader, should do a little test with those "pocket pizzas." That's a lunch I would eat.

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Guthrum the Viking Takes Chippenham and Chases King Alfred into the Marshes 5 January 878 (12th Night)

King Alfred of Wessex knew that he was too weak to fight off the
Vikings that were on his territory in the 870s, so he made a series of
treaties with them that they promptly broke. Guthrum, the Dane, knew
that the Christian Alfred would be celebrating Epiphany on the 12th
night (5/6 January) in 878, so Guthrum struck at Chippenham
with the hopes of capturing Alfred as well as taking the important town
of Chippenham. Some say Alfred was in Chippenham, others say he was in
Dorchester. Either way, Alfred escaped and began his guerilla days
fighting out of the marshes and bogs of the Somerset Levels near Athelney. If you are in the area of the Somerset Levels, check out this ride around the Battle of Langport (English Civil War).

Books from Amazon.co.uk

Motorcycle Ride

Try the circular ride
from Chippenham to Box on the A4, then on to Melksham and Devizes on
the A365 and back to Chippenham on the A 342. Good biking roads all.
The route to Boxand Ashley is a likely route that Alfred could have
taken out of Chippenham. When near Devizes, you can zip up to Roundway Down to see the site of the English Civil War Battle of that name.

Maps

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Finns Attack Russians on the Raate Road in the Winter War 5 January 1940

On 5 January 1940, The Finns began an offensive on the Raate Road,
near Suomussalmi and ended up destroying or capturing the Russian 44th
Division. The 44th had been halted at a roadblock southeast of
Suomussalmi around the present day intersection of roads 912 and 843. The Russians hunkered down along the road between Suomussalmi and Raate in what the Finns called motti
formations, a logging term doubling in meaning that the 44th's sub
units could be broken into smaller chunks and cut up individually like
so many logs. The Finns operated in small units all along the road and
and spent days conducting close range grenade attacks and terrifying
the Russian officers with highly selective sniper fire. The Russians
were out of their mind with cold, hunger and fear. A single sniper
round fired by a Finn marksman would unleash totally undisciplined "mad
minutes" from the Russians, normally killing nothing, but trees. Soon,
ammunition ran short and re-supply from the air turned the starving
troops into in-fighting hords. After 2 days of this nightmare, the 44th
dissolved in death, capture or flight. It was the high water mark for
the Finns and showed the Russians that taking the grossly outnumbered,
but skilled Finns would not be a cake walk. Check out the book
recommendation below, Frozen Hell by William R. Trotter, which has an entire chapter dedicated to this battle.

Books from Amazon.co.uk

Motorcycle Ride

If you find yourself in Finland, try following the road from Kemi to Suomussalmi for a daylong ride. I rode the E75 from Kemi to Oulu and on to Helsinki
last year and I can highly recommend the area. If finishing around Kemi
look for campgrounds on the Gulf of Bothnia. Its a beautiful place to
wake up (in the summer anyway).

Maps

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Australians Capture Bardia, Lybia 5 January 1941

On 5 January 1941, Australian troops taste their first victory in
WWII by taking the Town of Bardia (Burdi) in Lybia near the Egyptian
border. The Aussies take approximately 40,000 Italians prisoner.

Books from Amazon.com

Motorcycle Ride

Now that Lybia is opening up, maybe I'll be able to take this ride from Burdi (Badria) to Tubruq (Tobruk) to follow some of the British / German North African campaigns

Maps



AbeBooks.co.uk



This is a map of the country which combines topographic mapping with road and tourist detail.


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British General Benedict Arnold Burns Richmond, Virginia 5 January 1781

On 5 January 1781, the American turncoat, Benedict Arnold, torched Richmond,
Virginia whilst serving as a British General. Beset by money problems
and small thoughts, Arnold had betrayed his country, not because he was
not promoted in the Continental Army, but because others were promoted
ahead of him and he had huge debts riding over him. Ironically, Arnold
would go on to never fit into the British Army either, as he did not
have the pedigree to become a senior general. Arnold finally died in
Britain in 1801 in England.

Books from Amazon.com

Motorcycle Ride

Try Virginia State Route 5 from Richmond to Charles City to Williamsburg along the James River.

Maps

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Rocketbunny Reviews ProgressiveSuspension Tire Puncture Kit

Rocketbunny provides a straight forward review
of Progressive Suspension's tire repair kit. I think I'm gonna get one.
If Progressive ai'nt paying her, they should be. Why can't the
motorcycle mags write this simply?

Buy from Ride Gear

Progressive Suspension Tire Repair Kit

Progressive Suspension Tire Repair Kit

Each kit contains the appropriate patches or plugs;
cement; buffer; and CO2 cartridge. Kit does not include Air Chuck! This
kit is for emergency use only and should not be used to go over 45mph.












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T J "Stonewall" Jackson Begins Shenandoah Campaign Near Bath, West Virginia 3 January 1862

On 1 January 1862, Confederate General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson began his spectacular Shenandoah Campaign
from Winchester, Virginia. Most of the serious fighting would not occur
until the Spring, but on 3 January, near the town of Bath in present
day West Virginia, Jackson set the tone of his legend to come. When
some of the troops under General Loring complained to the Confederate
leadership about the hard nature of Jackson's command, Jackson resigned
in disgust that the charges were taken seriously. Luckily for the
Confederacy, calmer heads prevailed and Jackson wasn't questioned
further. Jackson was a hard, puritannical man, but only asked of his
men what he himself would endure. One story tells of Confederate
soldiers waking up near Bath with snow on their blankets. They began to
complain about Jackson, but they were startled to find Jackson stand up
amongst them and shake the snow off his blanket as well. This kind of
leadership was what allowed Jackson to literally walk his men's shoes
off and run circles around the Federals during the Shenandoah Campaign
througout the first half of 1862.

Books from Amazon.com

Motorcycle Ride

For a good feel for the northern part of the Shenandoah and the early part of the campaign, thry this ride from Winchester, VA to Bath, WV to Romney, WV and back to Winchester.

Maps

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George Washington Defeats Cornwallis at Battle of Princeton 3 January 1777

After the decisive British victories in New Jersey, Washington had
to be cunning, daring and lucky. He'd been lucky to get away from the
advancing British earlier in the war with a reasonable force left. He
had already made his daring crossing of the Delaware over Christmas,
but those types of raids would be hard to re-create. Therefore, on 3 January 1777,
George Washington evaded a decisive engagement with Cornwallis near
Trenton, but cunningly managed to cut off the British rearguard in
several surprising engagements around Princeton , New Jersey.
Cornwallis and his Hessians around Ternton regrouped and took off in
pursuit, but the damage had been done.

The British were to leave New Jersey soon thereafter to focus on the
more straegically important northeast coast. Washington had proven to
the British that neither he nor his ragtag troops could be taken easily.

Books from Amazon.com

Motorcycle Ride

Check out New Jersey County Route 518
from Lambertville on the Delaware River to New Brunswick, NJ. This
route passes just north of Princeton, where Washington stayed (Rockingham State Historical Site)later in the war.

Maps

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King Charles Issues an Indictment against the Five Members of Parliament 3 January 1642

King Charles orders the issuance of an indictment of treason against the "five members" of parliament.
The members were John Hampden, Sir Arthur Haselrigg, Denzil Holles,
John Pym and William Strode. Hampden died at the Battle of Chalgrove
the very next year. Haselrigg fought throughout the war with his
regiment of cuirassiers, or "lobster" cavalry. Holles fought at
Edgehill, but was later a leading proponent of a negotiated settlement
of the war.

Pym
was the driving force in Parliamanent to reign in the King, but died
two years later of cancer. Strode, after being imprisoned for eleven
years at the King's behest, was probably only second in vociferousness
in the war party to Pym.

Books from Amazon.co.uk

Motorcycle Ride

Check out the Battle of Chalgrove and the ride around the Oxfordshire countryside.

Maps

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Emancipation Proclamation Signed by Lincoln 1 January 1863

On 1 January 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln had first issued it in September 1862 after the Battle of Antietam, but it only became official on 1 January 1863.

Books from Amazon.com

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Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs / Bayou 29 December 1862

Before Sherman made his name by marching to the sea in Georgia, he
was one of Grant's cammanders in the west early in the war. On 29
December 1862, after 2 days of prpearations, Sherman attacked the
Confederate positions at Chickasaw Bluffs
as part of the attempt to take Vicksburg, Mississippi. It was a total
failure for the Union and one of very few for Sherman. Sherman's was to
have been a diversionary attack for Grant's main force to the east, but
Grant was held up by Confederate cavalry cutting off his supplies.

Books from Amazon.com

Motorcycle Ride

Try US 61 from Leland, Mississippi to Vicksburg
to get a feel for the lowlands on the east side of the Mississippi
River. This swampy low area is what made Vicksburg such a hard nut to
crack.

Maps

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Motorcycling and Hitting Animals

Because I spend so much time in relatively rural roads and tracks whilst riding around historical battlefields, this post from Ride it Like you Stole It hit home. (pardon the pun)

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Wounded Knee 29 December 1890

On 29 December 1890, a group of Sioux, led by Bigfoot, arrived at
the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation after hearing of Sitting Bull's death
on 15 December. The resurgance of Indian spirituality in the form of
the "Ghost Dance" was worrying the U.S. government agents in the area
who feared violence. The attempt to disarm the Sioux descended into
chaos that left nearly 200 Sioux, including many women and children,
and 25 Cavalrymen dead. One can find many interpretations of the battle
of Wounded Knee...many not calling it a battle, but a massacre. Wounded
Knee marked the end of the Indian Wars of west, in much the same way as
it started... duplicitousness, misunderstanding, confusion, chaos and
death to many innocents and warriors on both sides.

Read a few different versions and decide for yourself;

"Massacre At Wounded Knee, 1890," EyeWitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (1998).

Wikipedia

Bowling Green State University

Public Broadcasting Service

Books from Amazon.com

Motorcycle Ride

Try South Dakota State Route 44 southeast out of Rapid city to
Scenic. From Scenic, go south along bombing Range Road, Bureau of
Indian Affairs (BIA) 27, Indian Service Road (ISR) 27, ISR-33 and
finally Big Foot Trail to Wounded Knee. See map, here.

Maps

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John Hunt Morgan's Christmas Raid in Kentucky Begins 22 December 1862

By 1862, the Union army had pentrated deep into the south in
Tennessee. The Rebel army seemed incapable of stopping the southern
push with force, so they decided to try to disrupt the Union's supply
lines from Kentucky, namely the L&N railroad. The Confederates sent
native Kentuckian General John Hunt Morgan.

Morgan launched a raid over the Christmas holidays and evaded capture and destruction from determined Union forces to destroy a critical bridge of the L&N.

Books from Amazon.com

Motorcycle Ride

Try US 31E from Glasgow to Bardstown to follow some of the route Morgan took. Also Check out Lincoln's boyhood home and birthplace near Hodgenville.

Maps