Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Spies in the Revolutionary War

Last night I attended the Cobb County Genealogical Society meeting. I am a charter member joining when it was first organized in 1977. I was the society’s first newsletter editor. I still belong but no longer take an active part. I only show up at the meetings that I think will interest me, such as last night, which was about “Spies of the Revolutionary War”.

The meeting each month is held at the Marietta Central Library downtown. Before the meeting I went to their CD section and checked out CDs with Eric Clapton and one called Rounder Blue Grass 2, which has an assortment of blue grass artists.

I went to the meeting room and sat down behind one of my distant cousins Lynda. Standing talking to Lynda was a man dressed as one would be dressed in the colonial period. He was explaining to Lynda that his shoes, which looked like paten leather shoes with buckles, that his shoes had no left or right. Either shoe fits either foot. You adjust the buckle to make it either left or right, like the picture above. He seemed like a very nice guy that was really into the history of the Revolutionary War. He was the speaker for the night.

Before the speaker was introduced the president asked the treasurer to give her report, which was that the treasury had $10,000 plus. Then he asked the secretary to give the minutes of the last meeting and she stood up and said they are on the table in the back if anybody wanted to see it.

Then he recognized some other officer who wanted the floor. She pleaded for volunteers. She begged for people to volunteer to fill the officers’ postions that are leaving. I could have declared myself el Presidente’ by just volunteering. The said they are on the verge of disbanding if they cannot get anyone to fill the vacancies. Then I thought, “Hey, I might volunteer to be the treasurer, which would be a nice position in case they did disband… $10,000 plus… “

No, I won’t. I already did my volunteer work for the society. Besides, it would just be my luck that the treasurer’s job is to make up any difference in the account and it probably the account should have had $50,000 in it but that shady land deal in Florida took most of it.

The speaker knew his stuff and made it very interesting. He told of many spy-related incidents that turned the tide of the Revolutionary War.

One of the things he told about was the British occupying Trenton, New Jersey. A spy came to the head British Commanding Officer and gave him a sealed note. The sealed note told George Washington and his men were about to cross the Delaware River. They did cross, as the note said, and the Continental Army whipped ass and took it from the British. The British commanding officer was killed. They found in his pocket the sealed note, still sealed. If he had read it things might have been different.

This reminded me of my Navy days when one Halloween night a bunch of us went to Trenton to the cemetery that had the Continental soldiers buried there. We were looking for ghosts, which we didn’t find. However, one of us picked up a tattered 13 –stars flag on the ground. When we got back to the barracks it was after 10p.m. and the lights were out. We went to the cubical of one of our work-mates ,Dick H, and threw the flag on him sleeping. He jumped up. As quickly as the flag landed we yanked it up and ran out.

The next morning at breakfast in the chow hall he told us he had the strangest dream last night. He said he felt a presence. He jumped up and a tattered Revolutionary American Flag was on him and it lifted up and floated away.

We acted surprised and told him he either dreamed it or it could have been something ghostly.

The speaker of the spy stories told an interesting local story. The only county of Georgia’s many counties (159?) named after a woman is Hart County. Hart County is named after Nancy Hart. Nancy was married and lived around the French Broad River of the Carolinas. She was a dead-eye sharp shooter and was willing to take changes. Being a dead-eye sharp shooter must have been a challenge she overcame because she was also cross-eyed. She was also red-headed – fighting Irish? General Lighthorse Harry (Robert E. Lee’s father) had her pose as overgrown retarded kid that wandered into enemy camps looking for work. She would do whatever work, like chop wood, bring water, and other minor jobs. Her ears were opened. The Brits did not mind talking war plans and secrets with her within earshot because they thought she was just a retarded overgrown boy. The plans she got back with helped the good guys win.

It just occurred to me that I might make a good spy. People usually consider me invisible – people don’t seem to see me at all. I missed my calling.

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Blogger kenju said...

That's a good story about the guy who thought he dreamed the flag. Poor guy. Did you ever tell him the truth?

7:00 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I can't imagine wearing shoes designed with no shape for either particular foot. It's hard to believe that people could pay attention to anything, as I imagine they'd be uncomfortable. Then again, most of the things people wore back in the day were ridiculously impractical, so I guess they were used to it.

7:54 AM  
Blogger Button Gwinnett said...

I find Georgia's Revolutionary history fascinating. Perhaps because its often overlooked.

8:00 AM  
Blogger ET said...

We didn't tell him, but we told a lot of other people, so it probably got back to him - but not to my knowlege.
Well it is an improvement from what they wore before, which was something like raw-hide tied around your feet... you might say, it was just another "step" to get where we are now.
I think I would like to look at some Georgia Revolutioary War history, I know there ere a lot of things, Revolution-wise, around Augusta and Savannah... but I am lost about most of it.
Most my male ancestors, even those that didn't even know each other, but their gene would meet over 161 later, all seemed to have fought on Kings Mountain, NC.

2:56 PM  

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