I enjoyed a pleasant surprise in late June after I wrote a story about some poorly misguided thugs in Madison, Wi., who had just torn down a decapitated statue that had stood at the state capital for years. The story (“Wrong Statue, Morons,” Jun 25, 2020) was in honor of a great Union Army General, Hans Christian Heg, who gave his life while fighting in bloody Chickamauga solely because he hated slavery so badly.
Actually, General Heg was an immigrant from Norway who gave his heart to the people of Wisconsin early on. He was a key to prison reform in Wisconsin, soon to serve as the state’s commissioner. He began as a meager farmer, raising his brothers and sisters single-handedly as he turned his farm into a Dairyland gem, and he quickly evolved into the epitome of “The American Dream” before being killed along with 60,000 other sons of our United States 157 years ago.
My surprise came in a flood of emails from not only our area but from many other states.
(My stories are picked up each day by Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other Internet search engines.) I was shown there is a dazzling interest in our nation’s biggest travesty, and my dear friend Judge Tom Greenholtz even offered to take me to the battlefield so he could show me a monument dedicated to General Heg, who was killed on Sept. 19, 1863. It’s a 10-foot pyramid created out of eight-inch naval shells and stands on Viniard Field. (Can you image any thugs who try to tear that down?)
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WHAT REALLY HAPPENED AT CHICKAMAUGA
What you need to know – as well as every teacher and Civil War buff for miles around – is that next weekend the National Park Service will recognize the 157th anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the three-day presentation (Sept. 18-20) will be hosted virtually. This means that viewers from entire high school and college classes, historians from across the United States, and even those conspiracists who doubt it ever happened, are invited to take part in the presentations.
The programs will be available on the park’s website ( www.youtube.com/chchnps ) as well as the park’s Facebook page ( www.facebook.com/chickamauganps )
There will be ranger-led programs scheduled throughout each day, but the highlight will be two 45-minute sessions each day held by park Historian Jim Ogden at 10 a.m. and at 2 p.m.
Jim will describe exactly what thousands of historians agree actually happened on each corresponding day 157 years ago. Just as good, Jim and other scholars will field live question-and-answer sessions after each day’s presentations.
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TO QUESTION A CHICKAMAUGA EXPERT
The National Park Service has four ways that anyone’s questions can be answered during the virtual presentation:
* -- Mail questions to 3370 LaFayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., 30742 by Wednesday, Sept. 16.
* -- Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, Sept. 16.
* -- Direct message your questions via the park’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages by Wednesday, Sept. 16.
* -- Directly ask your questions by watching the “Live” event on Facebook or YouTube.
NOTE: Additionally, kids are invited to participate with a ranger in hands-on activities presented daily at noon. These activities will be administered through the park’s Facebook and YouTube pages as well.
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AND NOW, THE DOUGLAS COUNTY GOAT
A Douglas County, Ga. Sheriff’s Deputy was serving some civil paper in a rural part of the county – about 21 miles west of Atlanta – when, according to WSB-Atlanta, she learned the hard way that you should always make sure your car door is closed before knocking on someone’s door.
According to the station’s website: “The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office posted body cam video to its Facebook page of a deputy stopping at someone’s home. The video shows the deputy walk up to a house and knock on the front door and then you hear the deputy curse (edited out) because no one answered the door.
“As the deputy walks back to the car, she opens the passenger side door to find a goat inside, eating a bunch of the deputy’s paperwork that was left on the patrol car seat.
“Get out! Go on, get out! Go!” the deputy yelled at the goat, but it just kept eating the papers. After a few minutes – and several attempts to coax the goat out (and a few more curse words) – the goat finally hopped out of the deputy’s car.”
Of course, the goat was still eating some of the deputy’s paperwork and, as the deputy attempted to get them back, the goat got miffed and head-butted the deputy in her knee, sending the officer sprawling. In the Facebook post, the Sheriff’s Office said, “The deputy explained that due to the number of houses she visits daily, she routinely leaves her vehicle’s door open because she has had to retreat on a number of occasions from vicious dogs.”
As for the deputy, she wasn’t hurt at all, just a little embarrassed. Eventually she was able to get back into her cruiser and drive off, this after the goat made a hasty escape after a yummy snack.