Civil War Diary of Sergeant Henry W. Tisdale 1862-1865


July 13th. 1863

Were divided, four men to a post during the night, two required to be on the watch at a time-thus got four hours sleep during the night. Just as day broke the rebels opened fire quite savagely. At the same time, we were being relieved by the 7th RI. Many of this regiment were wounded, a few killed in getting their position. Has a very narrow escape viz. I was standing behind an orderly Sergeant of the 7th who had relieved me, both of us behind a tree, I giving him some instructions. I had my gun in front of me lengthwise of my body-flat a click upon my gun and at the same moment the Sergeant uttered a faint cry and fell upon his face at my feet. I sprang close to the tree and glancing at the body saw blood gushing from his mouth and that a bullet had passed through his body. He uttered a groan and expired. Looking at my gun I saw that the middle band was partially broken and the woodwork close to it dented upon the barrel, thus showing that the bullet after passing through his body had struck the gun and by it was glanced aside. Thus has God again preserved me in the day of battle. How strange the fortunes of war, all the day before I had been in the same spot and not always careful to keep behind the tree thoughtless of real danger. In fact not five minutes before, the Sergeant was killed, I spread out my blanket in an open spot near the tree and folded it and yet not a shot was fired at me.

Remember the Wedding Photo of the Severely Wounded & Disfigured Marine and His Bride?

The TimesOnline reports a year later on the famous photo.

The fairy tale goes like this: they are high-school sweethearts from a small town, Metamora, Illinois, in the American Midwest. He graduates from high school, becomes a US marine and is sent to Iraq. When he returns, they get engaged. He proposes before he leaves for his second tour. She is 18; he is 21. She can’t wait for him to come home.

The tour is cut short. A suicide bomber blows up near his truck and he suffers horrific, life-changing injuries.

A day later he is in San Antonio, Texas, at the Brooke Army Medical Center. She leaves her home town for the first time to fly there with his mother so they can be by his side. She is there for him. His injuries are severe. He will have numerous operations and she will stand by him throughout. It will be a year and a half before they all go home. In the meantime, she will move in with his mother. The homecoming is a triumph. He is a hero and she is his heroine. Their commitment to each other is inspiring and rock-solid. They get married. She is now 21 and he is 24. The wedding takes place on October 7, 2006, and that date is declared a state holiday. Renee and Tyler Ziegel Day. Their romance is covered by The Sunday Times Magazine. They plan to have a family. Love conquers all.

When I tell people that I am going to Illinois to do a follow-up story on Ty and Renee, they are curious. How are they doing?

A little over a year had passed. In January, they got divorced, I tell them. They react with shock and disbelief. What happened? There is more than curiosity in their voice, there is disappointment too. As though it’s personal.

As though they had been promised a happy ending and they were ripped off. It turns out love doesn’t conquer all. It’s a myth.

(via Kottke)

Escaping the Amish

An interview from with an ex-Amish woman:

What were the positives of growing up Amish?

-Growing up bilingual (Though I didn’t become fluent in English until after I escaped and I was always very self-conscious about my command of the English language)

-The emphasis on the solidarity of the extended family unit

-The emphasis on being hospitable to strangers, helping those in need, whether Amish or “English” (anyone who’s not Amish is “English,” no matter what language or culture he/she represents)

-Building your own houses, growing your own food, sewing your own clothes

These experiences taught me self-reliance, self-preservation, and gave me the ability to relate to non-American familial cultures much better than I might otherwise.

The biggest negatives?

-The rape, incest and other sexual abuse that run rampant in the community

-Rudimentary education

-Physical and verbal abuse in the name of discipline

-Women (and children) have no rights

-Religion–and all its associated fear and brainwashing–as a means of control (and an extremely effective means at that)

-Animal abuse

(via Boing Boing)

51 Things You Aren’t Allowed to See on Google Maps


Depending on which feature you use, Google Maps offers a satellite view or a street-level view of tons of locations around the world. You can look up landmarks like the Pyramids of Egypt or the Great Wall of China, as well as more personal places, like your ex’s house. But for all of the places that Google Maps allows you to see, there are plenty of places that are off-limits. Whether it’s due to government restrictions, personal-privacy lawsuits or mistakes, Google Maps has slapped a “Prohibited” sign on the following 51 places.

(via A Welsh View)

Charles Mingus’ Cat Toilet Training Program

A master at standup bass and an expert on feline bathroom etiquette:

Now, as you move the box, also start cutting the brim of the box down, so the sides get lower. Do this gradually.

Finally, you reach the bathroom and, eventually, the toilet itself. Then, one day, prepare to put the box on top of the toilet. At each corner of the box, cut a little slash. You can run string around the box, through these slashes, and tie the box down to the toilet so it will not fall off. Your cat will see it there and jump up to the box, which is now sitting on top of the toilet (with the sides cut down to only an inch or so.)

Don’t bug the cat now, don’t rush him, because you might throw him off. Just let him relax and go there for awhile-maybe a week or two. Meanwhile, put less and less newspaper inside the box.

(Thanks Deepsea33)