Tulifinny sesquicentennial

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bob80q, Dec 5, 2014.

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  1. bob80q

    bob80q bob80q Banned

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    December 6 - 9 marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Tulifinny when the 343 man Corps of Cadets from the South Carolina Military Academy (now The Citadel), AKA The Battalion of State Cadets joined 550 Confederate troops in defending a key railroad bridge at Tulifinny Creek near Yemassee, South Carolina. They successfully repelled several attacks by a Union force of 5,000 that included a battalion of U.S. Marines and kept the Savannah to Charleston rail line open which allowed over 10,000 Confederate troops to escape from Savannah in advance of Shermans March; 1 cadet was killed in action and 7 were wounded. Tulifinny is one of 8 engagements in the WBTS in which the SCMA corps participated and for which a battle streamer was awarded, The Citadel is one of only 7 colleges to have received a battle streamer for wartime service; during the Civil War 12 cadets, 36 graduates and 200 former cadets were killed in action or died from wounds. Tulifinny is also the only occasion when the entire student body of a U.S. college fought in combat.
     
  2. emwvmi01

    emwvmi01 Member

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    Interesting though a correction in that of course VMI fought the Battle of New Market as a Corps on 15 May 1864. Circumstances were similar except New Market was an offensive action siezing a Union artillery position. Of more recent note this year is that New Market was recognized in the film "Field of Lost Shoes". http://www.fieldoflostshoesfilm.com/

    A month later VMI was burned by Union forces on 12 June 1864. Years later when the U.S. government allocated funds for rebuilding civilian strucutures damaged by the war, the chief Senate advocate for funds for VMI was Senator Dupont of Delaware who commanded an artillery battery which faced off against the New Market Corps.
     
  3. bob80q

    bob80q bob80q Banned

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    contrary to popular myth the entire corps was not present at New Market, 247 of 280 cadets participated with the remainder as guards on campus. See the following link to VMI archives

    http://www.vmi.edu/archives.aspx?id=6271
     
  4. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    All right- Apparently Tullifinney is only a battle worth mentioning if New Market (in which 10 Cadets were killed and 46 more wounded) is denigrated. Leaving guards behind as a rear detachment (which every Army, in every battle ever fought, does every time) would debunk the popular "myth" that the "entire" Corps was involved?:rolleyes: :rolleyes: Sort of smacks of little brother syndrome -("My hole-in-one was more memorable than his hole-in-one because the wind was blowing at a different angle for the 30 seconds before he teed off") denigrating by nitpicking in order to pump your self up. Whatever works I guess.

    I will caution all of you posting or thinking of doing so that any comments derogatory to another poster, or to one of our schools represented on here will shut the thread down and will probably bring sanctions on those doing it. Frankly- I am tired of several of the members on this forum trolling along attempting to stir up fake arguments. That does nothing to contribute to the purpose of this forum. If you don't understand what we are here for - stop before posting and think : "Does this contribute to a prospective Cadet or parent's understanding of the school? Does it help the prospective cadet make an informed decision about the life style, academics, admission process or financial aspects associated with that school? Am I being civil in my responses to other members. Am I being reasonable?" If the answer is no:Then DON"T POST. If the only way you can make your point is by denigrating the other schools - which is not the same as pointing out the differences between each school- then again- DON"T POST.

    I don't believe that I can be any more direct- but I am not going to watch yet another thread in this forum turn into some partisan Alumni free- for-all "mine is bigger than yours" contest ,whether it is driven by an ill-mannered Citadel Grad or an equally ill-mannered VMI grad. In short- knock it off or stay off here and go to some Alumni site, or your local brew house and vent to your heart's content.

    Congratulations to the Citadel on almost 175 years of history and specifically on the anniversary of this battle in which they fought 150 years ago.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  5. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    Not to add to Alumni free for all. Nor to degrade either one of these two fine institutions which have produced many, many fine American Service men and women. I am wondering how long the Southern Cause will be celebrated at these schools. I have said in the past that I could understand the typical Southerner serving the Confederacy because of their family and friends. Their understanding was very local and personal. It was a different time.

    I envision these celebrations of Confederate Victories ending in the next few years. It just not who we are anymore.
     
  6. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    They aren't celebrated as Confederate/ Southern Cause anything one way or the other anymore- and haven't been since the 1960's at VMI. For example they no longer allow Confederate Battle flags on post at VMI, nor playing of "Dixie"- and haven't since at least 1970, (and not too long ago were involved in a court case against the (IMHO) "loons" who were demanding the right to march thru Lexington with their Confederate stuff, flags etc and have the town decked out accordingly). What the battle of New Market (at least) is celebrated for is the personal and collective bravery of these very young Cadets (most of them were about 16) and their dedication to their school, their friends and their families, despite knowing the personal cost to themselves (and by 1864 every one of them knew exactly what was in store for them). Those traits haven't gone away yet in the US, and I can't imagine at least the New Market anniversary parades and celebrations disappearing in my lifetime. Those traits are indeed who we are, or who we aspire to be.

    I think I will move this thread into the "Other" forum as this really is likely to drift away from a strict discussion of the schools themselves.
     
  7. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD Member

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    :thumb:

    As an outsider I am reminded of something I've heard, more than once, while visiting our two children at the TAMU Corps. "From the outside you can't understand it and from the inside you can't explain it." I'm an outsider, didn't serve in the military, didn't attend an SMC, so I'm willing to acknowledge that I don't understand all of the attachment to a particular school. That said, one of things that I've most admired about the forum is the civility and professional demeanor of most of the commentators. I hope that will continue.

    Our son's best friend is a Rat at VMI, following in his father's footsteps as a VMI graduate and a career Naval officer. One of our former Scouts is a senior at VMI, following in his father's tradition of service - the father is a graduate of the Naval Academy. Another Scout just started nuke school after graduating from the Naval Academy, his father is a Citadel graduate and was a career Naval officer. One of the former Scoutmasters was a West Point graduate, and one of this sons followed him there. A contemporary Scout of my son and his friend at VMI is now a Rook at Norwich. I'm impressed and proud of 'em all. Their lives have simularities and differences but I'm proud of 'em all - whether I know 'em or not.

    What I told each of our children as they were making their choices about where to go is that at the end of the day what they'd really like to have is what they can't have. They'd like a bit of one school, some of another, the campus of a third school, some of the professors of a fourth school, and so on. What they had to do was make an adult choice and understand that they could only attend one school at a time, that no place was perfect, and to decide on the school that they felt would offer them the most of what they wanted and which would prepare them for adult life. As it turned out we went from no Aggies to two Aggies. They understood that VMI, the Citadel, Norwich would offer them much smaller classes, and real interaction with faculty, from day one as freshman. They made the choice to forgo some of that for some of the things A&M had to offer. I have a hard time with the concept that one route is substantially better for all individuals than another route. I've come to understand, or at least believe, that there is a bell curve in just about everything and that you'll meet some great folks from most institutions and some less wonderful people from most institutions.

    I've learned a great deal from so many of the posters here, I'm glad that the emphasis here will remain on providing service to potential and current students at all of these institutions. Thanks for posting this Bruno.

     
  8. cga82

    cga82 Banned

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    I couldn't agree more but I have learned different things from each person representing their schools. I did know as much about VMI, Citadel, Norwich etc., until they posted their comments.

    No one wants the badgering of fake info but that can be easily rectified by evidence provided. Nor the disrespectful comments made because of one's opinion!!!

    I hope that I can learn more from others and I'm not applying nor do I have anyone in the family who is applying to any Military School.
     
  9. NAS

    NAS Banned

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    Interesting "fact" possibly

    Not trying to stir things up--someone, please clarify if this is fact or fiction:
    Recently told by a history buff that while VMI was called into active military service on 14 occasions during the Civil War, the only battle streamer VMI chose to place on the schools's guidon is New Market because it is authorized by the FEDERAL government at the federal level. Apparently, the South Carolina Military Academy (which was not called the "Citadel" at the time) is authorized streamers at only the STATE level. Is that true?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
  10. cga82

    cga82 Banned

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    I would be interested in this and any other school battle history..
     
  11. NAS

    NAS Banned

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    +1 CGA82
     
  12. NAS

    NAS Banned

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    Confirmed that VMI's battle streamer is in fact, federally approved. As stated before, understand The South Carolina Military Academy streamers were approved at the state-level.
     
  13. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    Could this be the reason that VMI is authorized to parade with fixed bayonets? Can't find the source of this streamer info anywhere. NAS, can you post your reference?
     
  14. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    I doubt that has anything to do with marching with fixed bayonets. We didn't march with fixed bayonets when I was a cadet except in Jimmy Carter's inauguration parade and I can recall the serious hassle of learning that whole bayonet fixing routine for some parade for the Governor so I am pretty sure that is just a cadet myth.
     
  15. sprog

    sprog Member

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    I tend to agree with Bruno that the point of honoring the event is to note the bravery and brotherhood of shared sacrifice. It's to motivate and inspire cadets to endure the VMI experience and to bond them with those who attended before them. I don't think that this was always the case, though. Not when VMI was smack in the middle of the Jim Crow South, and Confederate celebrations were fairly common (as a middle finger to Uncle Sam).

    In theory, as an alum, I have no objection to remembering the New Market battle as a lesson in the shared VMI experience. It is, however, fairly hard to make that distinction if you view it from the outside. While I'm in the minority and speak only for myself, I would like to see the May 15th ceremony fade away. Even when it's expressed as specifically not a "lost cause" memorialization, plenty of folks are cynical about such an explanation and you can't blame them for feeling that way (particularly for people of color, including cadets). It can feel somewhat icky in 2014 (and did, for me, in the late 1990s as well).

    But, I wouldn't spend too much time thinking that VMI produces neo-Confederates who are hell-bent on restoring the Old South. I mean, there may be a few nutjobs out there, but what school doesn't have their share of those? I'm sure at some fraternity at the University of Alabama, there might be one or two "will rise again"-types. At any rate, far more VMI alums have served the United States as opposed to the Confederate States in the last 175 years. Including this one.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  16. NAS

    NAS Banned

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    And this one. +1 Sprog
     
  17. bob80q

    bob80q bob80q Banned

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    Your 'historian' doesn't know his very well. VMI may have been called to service multiple times but their corps only fought in one engagement, the SCMA corps ('Battalion of State Cadets') fought in 8 engagements. Both schools received state authorized battle streamers because they were state institutions, VMIs New Market streamer could not be a Federal award because the CSA was not a US government entity. Only the Merchant Marine Academy has been awarded Federal CAMPAIGN streamers for their graduates service on vessels in World War II.
     
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