The Battle of Antietam: Animated Map


 Animated map of the Battle of Antietam

Amazing panoramic images of the Antietam Battlefield  

Click image to launch animated map.


Rockets on the Drop Zone | Real Combat Life


   The forward operating base that I was stationed on my first deployment to Afghanistan was located far from any hard surfaced roads or large cities.  Logistical support to our base was a nightmare and mainly consisted of helicopters and heavy drops by aircraft on a small drop zone outside the wire.  We did have some jingle trucks driven by locals that would take a 3 day drive from the larger air bases to bring us some supplies.  However, these trucks did not have any security and were often ambushed and hijacked.  I even recall one brave driver who was shot in the shoulder but continued to drive on to our base.  Once he arrived within our gates, he passed out due to blood loss.

We were shooting our howitzer cannons everyday and this required frequent ammunition resupplies.  It soon came to the point that most of our ammo was coming in the form of parachute due to different variables effecting helicopter operations.  Our drop zone was located just outside of our tiny base but required a good number of troops to quickly and effectively account for everything that was dropped.  Of course we still maintained firing capability within the base…because you never know what will happen.

We had experienced several bundles “burning in” from our previous resupplies.  A burn in is where a parachute does not fully deploy, thus the bundle burns in at a high rate of speed to the ground.  It seemed that there was always at least one on every drop that burned in.  This particular morning was no different as we geared up and prepared to head to the drop zone.  We patiently waited on the edge of the drop zone as our Air Force guy made contact with the aircraft. Read more

Today in History: George Washington resigns as commander in chief, 1783


On this day in 1783, following the signing of the Treaty of Paris, General George Washington resigns as commander in chief of the Continental Army and retires to his home at Mount Vernon, Virginia.

Washington addressed the assembled Congress:

“Happy in the confirmation of our independence and sovereignty, and pleased with the opportunity afforded the United States of becoming a respectable nation, I resign with satisfaction the appointment I accepted with diffidence; a diffidence in my abilities to accomplish so arduous a task; which however was superseded by a confidence in the rectitude of our cause, the support of the supreme power of the Union, and the patronage of Heaven.

Depiction by John Trumbull of Washington resig...

Washington’s willingness to return to civilian life was an essential element in the transformation of the War for Independence into a true revolution. During the war, Congress had granted Washington powers equivalent to those of a dictator and he could have easily taken solitary control of the new nation. Indeed, some political factions wanted Washington to become the new nation’s king. His modesty in declining the offer and resigning his military post at the end of the war fortified the republican foundations of the new nation.

Although he asked nothing for himself, Washington did enter a plea on behalf of his officers: Read more