Amazing how the right wing clowns tend to allow me in their club whenever I check the History Channel and other chats discussing my upcoming historical novel (2008) Yella Patsy's Boys. They appear to excuse my "whining about slavery" as long as I get some good battle scenes in there. Particularly the USS Peacock vs. HMS Epervier in 1814, and the British invasion of the U.S., inclunding the attack on and burning of Washington, DC. Part and parcel of that will be two chapters on the heroic stand of Marines and black sailors on the Bladensburg Road, not too far from where I type this post. While the rest of the army and militia ran (shades of today--this included the very people who sabre-rattled for a dumbass war against England) a mottley crew of brothers and Marines under Commodore Joshua Barney became America's "300," holding off Royal Marines and the same troops who defeated Napoleon Bonaparte untile the bloody end, thus saving the President and half the Congress from capture. Osama bin laden himself couldn't have hoped for a better outcome after that--burning the White House and the Capitol Building to hulks. The punchline: black men fought on the other side. Hundreds of slaves flocked to the British and decided to give Mr. Charlie an asswhipping. They even ransacked the Capitol and had a little mock session of Congress in the smoldering wreck of the old Senate Chamber. Frankly Fox News would be a lot more charitable to Barack Obama if they fully understood that it was likely a black man who lit the first match on Dolly Madison's furniture. This particular little incident was the genesis of Yella Patsy's Boys...
So no matter how misguided their missions or igorant their commanders, I ALWAYS give my props to the USMC. And before redneck Congressmen laid down the law, fully 30% of the USN sailors in the Revolution and War of 1812 were black. In the Civil War we returned to the Navy; but in 1915 Princeton's "hero" Woodrow Wilson ordered total subjugation of blacks in the Navy, and we became mess boys until the latter days of World War Two. Gee, Woody Woo, were it not for black sailors blazing away at Bladensburg until death or capture, you'd still be back in Staunton Virginia whining about "darkies."
The flipside: the Bladensburg Battlefield has only recently been consecrated by the federal government and National Park Service. The campaign in the Cheasepeake marked the ONLY time the US was invaded...and we of course almost lost. (9-11 and Pearl Harbor don't count as invasions). We would have lost but for the heroic defense of Baltimore (believe it or not some morons of all ages have no clue where The Star Spangled Banner ...the song they sing at the beginning of ball games...comes from).
Now, in a twist of irony tailor-made for right wingers/Hannity/O'Reilly et al, the Bladensburg site is surrounded by a huge illegal alien community (Cheverly/South Hyattsville). Yes, Bill O'...they trash the park along the Eastern Branch and get drunk, drive like they are back in San Salvador--you happy now? And Sean & Rush, right across from the Peace Cross marking the heaviest action is a club called "Crossroads" (at the crossroads of US 1 and Route 450) which the Prince George's County Maryland government attempted to close due to shootings and assaults at Hip Hop and "Go-Go" (the distinctive DC regional drum-popping groove known nationally through Chuck Brown or EU in, e.g. "Doin' the Butt").
Proving again, history provides something for everyone. So, hail to you Leathernecks and black Jack Tars. Always remember this African proverb: "Only when lions get historians will lion hunters cease to be heroes."