Portrait of Union general Cadwallader C. Washburn (sitting at far right) and his staff during the American Civil War, c. 1860′s.

Hundreds Of Thousands Of Workers Will Strike May 1, Organizers Say
A major union local and a coalition of worker centers have voted to strike on International Workers Day, calling for others to join.
By Cora Lewis

Almost 350,000 service workers plan to strike on May 1, a traditional day for labor activism across the world, in the most direct attempt yet by organized labor to capture the energy from a resurgent wave of activism across the country since the election of Donald Trump.

Tens of thousands of members of a powerful California branch of the Service Employees International Union will participate in the strike, according to David Huerta, the president of the chapter.

“We understand that there’s risk involved in that,” Huerta told BuzzFeed News, “but we’re willing to take that risk in order to be able to move forward in this moment, while the most marginalized are in the crosshairs of this administration.”

Since Donald Trump’s election, there has been no shortage of wildcat strikes by groups disproportionately affected by his administration’s policies. But this time around, organized labor is driving the effort. According to a coalition of groups leading the strike, more than 300,000 food chain workers and 40,000 unionized service workers have said they will walk off the job so far.

Huerta’s union chapter represents tens of thousands of workers, including janitors, security officers and airport staff, while the Food Chain Workers Alliance, which represents workers throughout the food industry, says hundreds of thousands of its non-unionized members have committed to striking.

“We are a workforce made up mostly of immigrants, women, African Americans, and indigenous people….Without workers, who does Trump think will harvest the crops, craft the food, transport it to market, stock the shelves, cook in kitchens, and serve the meals?”

It’s on!

One widely publicized incident during the American Civil War was is attributed to a Union soldier as related to Brig. Gen. A. L. Long of the Confederacy and Brigadier General Marcus Wright of the Federal Army,

I was at the Battle of Gettysburg myself, and an incident occurred there which largely changed my views of the Southern people. I had been a most bitter anti-South man, and fought and cursed the Confederacy desperately. I could see nothing good in any of them. The lost day of the fight I was badly wounded. A ball shattered my left leg. I lay on the ground not far from Cemetery Ridge, and as Gen. Lee ordered his retreat he and his officers rode near me.

As they came along I recognized him, and, though faint from exposure and loss of blood, I raised up my hands, looked Lee in the face, and shouted as loud as I could, ‘Hurrah for the Union!’ The general heard me, looked, stopped his horse, dismounted, and came toward me. I must confess that I at first thought he mean’t to kill me. But as he came up he looked at me with such a sad expression on his face that all fear left me, and I wondered what he was about. He extended his hand to me, grasping mine firmly, and looking right into my eyes said, ‘My son, I hope you will soon be well.’

If I live a thousand years I shall never forget the expression on Lee’s face. There he was defeated, retiring from the field that had cost him and his cause almost their last hope, and yet he stopped to say words like those to a wounded soldier of the opposition who had taunted him as he passed by! As soon as the general had left me I cried myself to sleep there upon the bloody ground.”

Source: My Brother’s Keeper; Union and Confederate Acts of Mercy During the Civil War.

While we’re talking about Ulysses, because it’s that kind of night: we know he named himself after the Union general, not the mythical Greek hero, but did Caesar know that? Ulysses S. Grant was a Union general. Anyone as knowledgeable about history as Ulysses and Caesar must have known that the Union fought against slavery– the very foundation of the Legion.

I might be reading too much into things, but remember that Ulysses took his name before he found the Dam and learned of the NCR:

Long ago, I crossed the Colorado, the first among the Legion to see Hoover Dam in all its glory… an Old World wall, yet bridging two sides. And beyond it, a symbol of a two-headed Bear, an idea great enough to challenge Caesar himself.

So the speeches he gives about turning two flags into one couldn’t have been his original reason for choosing his name. And given what happened to Ulysses’ tribe… I can’t help seeing it as a quiet, covert act of rebellion.

Photo:  Juneteenth celebration in Texas, 1900. 

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19th, 1865, following the end of the Civil War, Union General Gordon Grander issued General Order No. 3 to free the remaining enslaved people in the United States  — two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln.

The order said: “The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer.”

Juneteenth celebrations are held to reflect, celebrate, and remember the continued contributions of African Americans to the United States.

This is how Leila Khalid views/viewed “western leftism” and it’s so, so incredibly accurate. I made it a bit easier to read:

“The training schedule was exacting, but occasionally left us time for a little fun. We were “entertaining” a group of foreign students and trying to lead a Bedouin kind of life in order to politicize our Bedouin population. The students had been attending an international solidarity meeting in Amman held under the auspices of the General union of Palestinian Students. Most were graduates of the 1968 university upheavals in the West. We found it very amusing that they honestly believed they were making a “revolution” if they undressed in public, seized a university building, or shouted an obscenity at bureaucrats. I was initially opposed and refused to talk to them, even though some believed in violent revolution, because I didn’t want to be another experimental “guinea-pig” to Westerners.

I finally relented and I am glad I did. I hadn’t met Western “revolutionaries” before. It turned out they represented an unfamiliar cultural rather than a political phenomenon. Some seemed to have read the history political literature of the left, but most regarded the Marxist-Leninist leaders disdainfully, with the exception of the “Young Marx”, who held some sort of fascination for revolution. Some Americans were quite serious and believed in the historic mission of the working class and were making plants to integrate themselves with the masses. 

What astonished us most about this group was that they were opposed to nationalism, a doctrine we hold dearly as a colonized and dissipated people. Some believed in violence for “the hell of it” and in students as revolutionary agents of history. But the majority were inclined towards guerrilla theatre as a means of “making revolution”. They performed a little for us.

As they were departing I was rather struck by a French anarchist student who proclaimed “Let chaos reign” and by a German who echoed the same sentiment. I exclaimed that the Palestinian people were an example of a society in chaos without authority and leadership, which as a result, was left at the mercy of the Zionist oppressor. I asked them what could they prescribe for us in order to overcome our kind of “alienation” -beards, long hair, and toy guns? They merely paused, they smiled, they reflected, they inhaled and passed their joints on in universal wonder.”

Portrait of an African American man posing with one of Union general Ulysses S. Grant’s horses during the American Civil War, c. 1860′s. Attributed to Mathew Brady.

Source: National Archives and Records Administration.


Whitworth target rifle

Designed in 1858, manufactured in Birmingham, United Kingdom c.1863.
.451(bore)/.475(rifling), hexagonal lead bullet, caplock, single shot.

One of the most sough-after long-distance rifle in both side of the American Civil War, one such rifle was used by a Confederate sniper at the battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse to land a hit just below Union Major General John “Uncle John” Sedgwick’s left eye, who himself probably gave us the best last word ever uttered :

“What? Men dodging this way for single bullets? What will you do when they open fire along the whole line? Why are you dodging like this? They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.”

Another Whitworth rifle fitted with a William Malcolm scope.

Park Avenue and 57th Street looking south, shortly before Christmas, 1963. The First National City Bank Building (Carson & Lundin-Kahn & Jacobs, 1961) are on foreground, left, with the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel (Schultze & Weaver, 1931) and the new 50-story Chemical Bank New York Trust Building (Emery Roth & Sons, 1964) under construction at background. Union Carbide (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1960), ITT (Emery Roth & Sons, 1961) and Manufacturers Hanover Trust (Emery Roth & Sons, 1961) buildings are at right. The Pan Am (Walter Gropius-Emery Roth & Sons, Pietro Belluschi, 1963) and New York General (Warren & Wetmore, 1929) are at center.

Photo: Victor Laredo.

Source: Victor Laredo, Thomas Reilly. “New York City: A Photographic Portrait” (New York, Dover, 1973).


This day, September 17, 1862, marks the bloodiest single day in American history.  Over 22,720 men were counted as killed, wounded, or missing after 12 hours of brutal fighting along the normally peaceful Antietam Creek in Maryland during the American Civil War.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s first offensive ground to a bloody halt as Union General George B. McClellan claimed his only victory of the war, although a very costly one,  by forcing the Confederates to retreat back into Virginia.

McClellan was finished, however, as his failure to aggressively pursue the retreating Confederate Army of Northern Virginia cost him his command. 

Although battered, exhausted, and bloodied, Robert E. Lee’s army would recover to defend the Confederacy for nearly 3 more years of terrible conflict.    


The grave/memorial of Clara Barton. She was an incredible figure in history, a woman very far ahead of her times. Originally a teacher, it was in 1861 that victims of the “Baltimore Riot” were transported to Washington DC, her home at the time. She decided to go to the railway station to help the victims as they came in. It was then that she decided she would help take care of the wounded Union soldiers during the Civil War. She was soon on the front lines helping to take care of the wounded from such battles as Cold Harbor, Fredericksburg and Antietam among many,many others. She cleaned the field hospitals, dressed the wounds of the soldiers, organized and helped distribute the supplies needed by the wounded veterans. She gained the nicknames “American Nightingale” and “Angel of the Battlefield.” She would read to the soldiers and helped them write letters to their loved ones. In 1864 the Union General Butler appointed her “the lady in charge” of all field hospitals on the Union front. At the end of the Civil War there were thousands of unanswered letters addressed to soldiers who were missing or unaccounted for. Clara contacted President Lincoln who gave her permission to start the “The search for missing men.” She spent the summer of 1865 helping to identify and properly bury 13,000 bodies of Union soldiers who had died at the notorious Confederate prison camp Andersonville. She worked at this task for 4 more years, eventually identifying and burying 20,000 more Union soldiers. Clara Barton later went on to found the American Red Cross. Her last Red Cross operation was helping the victims of the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. This short sketch of her history is by no means complete. What a courageous and remarkable woman she was. Her house, now a museum, is also located in this town.

Oxford MA 5/24/17


June 19th 1865: Juneteenth

On this day in 1865, the abolition of slavery was formally proclaimed in Texas, in an event which has been celebrated as ‘Juneteenth’ (a contraction of ‘June 19th’). President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves in rebelling Confederate states not under Union occupation, on January 1st 1863. However, the proclamation had little effect in areas like Texas which were not under Union control. It was two years later, in June 1865, when Union troops under Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, that abolition came to the state. The Union contingent brought the news that the American Civil War was over, following the surrender of Robert E. Lee in April. Upon his arrival, General Granger read General Order Number 3 declaring slavery abolished, leading thousands of former slaves to leave the state to seek employment or to find their families. Slavery was formally abolished throughout the entire United States with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in December 1865. Juneteenth was one of the first celebrations commemorating the abolition of slavery in the United States, and served as a poignant time for the black community in Texas and elsewhere to come together in solidarity as they endured the hardship of Jim Crow which followed emancipation. The celebration of Juneteenth waned during the early twentieth century, largely due to financial concerns, but resurged with the onset of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday in Texas, making it the first state-recognised emancipation celebration. Now, Juneteenth is spreading beyond Texas, and has become a day for celebrating African-American achievement, and remembering the legacy of slavery.

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free”
- General Order Number 3, read by General Granger June 19th 1865

Louise Otto-Peters (1819-1895) was a German author, journalist, and activist, widely seen as the initiator of the women’s movement in her home country. She began writing fiction in order to support herself financially, but ended up getting involved in social and political issues, inspired by the revolutionary ideas of her time.

She founded the newspaper Frauen-Zeitung (Women’s News) in 1848, which led to the formation of several women’s circles around Germany. In 1865 she co-founded the General Union of German Women, an organization that grew to more than 11,000 members in a matter of years.

Against this global policy of power, we initiate localised counter-responses, skirmishes, active and occasionally preventive defences. We have no need to totalise that which is invariably totalised on the side of power; if we were to move in this direction, it would mean restoring the representative forms of centralism and a hierarchical structure. We must set up lateral affiliations and an entire system of networks and popular bases; and this is especially difficult. In any case, we no longer define reality as a continuation of politics in the traditional sense of competition and the distribution of power, through the so-called representative agencies of the Communist Party or the General Workers Union. Reality is what actually happens in factories, in schools, in barracks, in prisons, in police stations.

Gilles Deleuze

it’s just anarchism innit


April 12th 1864: Fort Pillow Massacre

On this day in 1864, during the American Civil War, Confederate troops massacred over 300 black Union soldiers. Fort Pillow was a Confederate garisson in Tennessee, just north of Memphis, but was captured by Union forces in 1862. Two years later, as the Confederate war effort floundered, a Confederate cavalry unit under the command of Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest launched raids in Tennessee and Kentucky. They aimed to destroy Union supply lines and retake Confederate forts, disrupting Union General Sherman’s plans for his ‘march to the sea’. The 2,000 strong army set their sights on Fort Pillow, then defended by around 600 soldiers, most of whom were unionist southerners, Confederate deserters, or African-Americans. On April 12th, the Confederates quickly sieged and overran the fort; once the attackers were inside the walls, bloody chaos ensued. Many Union defenders were killed in battle, and others fled the fort. Hundreds more surrendered and thus should have been taken as prisoners of war. However, under the command of Forrest - future Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan - 300 Union troops, most of whom were black, were massacred. The open violation of the conventions of war caused outrage in the North, who responded by refusing to participate in prisoner exchanges.

Forever Love

Pairing: John Winchester x Reader

Warnings: None

Word count: 1641

Summary: John died and your secret love went with him.  What happens when he’s brought back to life?

A/N: My first ever challenge fic! This was written for Mimi’s RomCom Fluff Challenge over at @deansdirtylittlesecretsblog. My prompt was “Love is a bridge built between two people. We want what exists between them to be real” from the movie America’s Sweethearts.  Images from Google and credit goes to their owners.  Hope you like it!

John Winchester.

It was a name that struck fear in the hearts of all the creatures that go bump in the night. Well, it was, a few years ago before he struck that deal to save Dean. You and the boys had been devastated to lose him but you carried on his legacy by saving people and hunting things, their family business.

Your only regret was never being able to tell John how you felt. You were a few years older than Dean but still much younger than John when you started hunting with them and you figured that he’d never give the time of day so you just survived off longing glances and ‘accidental’ brushes against his arm.

Fast forward to 2018, Chuck is living with you guys in the bunker again. He was traipsing around in the middle of the night when he happened to pass your room. You were having a dream about John (something that happened every now & again), calling out to him and expressing your deep love for him. Chuck, being God and all, knew of your affection for the old hunter and devised a plan that would give you the shock of your life.

The next day brought a flurry of activity as Sam caught wind of a case in South Carolina where people were seemingly dropping like flies near an old antebellum home in the Lowcountry. It sounded like a simple salt & burn but you were all itching for some action so you loaded Baby up and set out on the road.  The time you’d be gone was perfect to Chuck as it gave him time to get the ball rolling on your surprise.

Your instincts had been right. There was a ghost of an old Union general who was murdered during the Civil War who was wreaking havoc on those who were visiting the plantation. Once you took care of that, you guys decided to stay an extra day to explore the city. You & Sam, being big history buffs, were geeking out over all the various pieces of historical significance in the city.  Although Dean would snicker and call you nerds, seeing you two happy made him happy.

You finally got back on the road to Kansas, ready for a good shower and your memory-foam mattress. After a bit of driving and a couple pit stops, you decided to catch a nap to help pass the time. Your nap was apparently a great one because before you knew it, you were passing a ‘Welcome to Kansas’ sign.

Dean pulled into the garage and you three got everything unloaded.  As you were walking in, laughing at a joke Sam told, you immediately slammed into a wall of flannel. Glancing up to see what was going on, you saw the boys staring down at something. Following their line of sight, your eyes landed on something you thought you’d never see again.

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Portrait of general Winfield Scott, c. 1860′s. Probably one of the last photographs taken of him shortly before his death in 1866.

Source: Library of Congress.