Saturday, September 03, 2011

No Thermopylae for Him

I dug this out of the Charlotte News (05/16/1890) recently - what do you think - was Clingman just blowing smoke? 

Washington Letter: One of the octogenarian sojourners in Washington is ex-Senator and General Clingman, of North Carolina. He tells this story of his fire-eating passion as a Confederate soldiers: "I heard General Joseph Johnston had said as soon as we heard of Lee's surrender, that he intended to give up the fight. I was ten miles away. I will never forget that day. As I came dashing down to the headquarters of the general commanding, on my gray charger, I said: 'General, by G-d, sah, we must make this a Thermopylae of the new world, and, if need be, I'll lead the van now, myself, sah!' 'Thermopylae!' said Johnston. 'That kind of talk might do for old 'bucks' like you and me, Clingman, but for the young men in this army, who have wives and children to feed, and cotton to plant, and a living to make, it is too late at this stage of the game for any Greek business at this end of the line.' 'I subsided,' said Clingman "and Joe Johnston sensibly surrendered the next day."

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