Mission Of This Blog

The overall mission statement of this blog is to share many unique topics of this blogger's interest. Topics include (but are not limited to): Travel & Photojournalism, Nature & Wildlife Preservation, Americana, Local Places Of Interest, Southern Cultural Heritage, Local History of the South Carolina Upstate, Confederate Heritage Preservation & Awareness, Science & Science Fiction, Astronomy & Night Sky Photography, Literacy & Writing, Southern Cuisine, Popular Culture & Philosophy, Fandom, Local Folklore ....as well as various other topics explained from the blogger's point of view. The following website contains the UNCENSORED thoughts and opinions of a Southern-born country writer from upstate South Carolina - the living, beating heart of the great American Southland!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Honoring Carolina Day - June 28th

The Battle of Fort Moultrie by John Blake White (1826).

On this day, June 28th, the State of South Carolina honors Carolina Day in commemoration of the Battle of Sullivan's Island, the first decisive victory for the Southern Continental forces in the American Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783). 

On Friday, June 28, 1776, a small Continental force of 435 men of the 2nd South Carolina Regiment under the command of Colonel William Moultrie defeated an invading British Naval Force of 9 warships commanded by Commodore Sir Peter Parker and General Sir Henry Clinton that was attempting to take the city of Charleston, South Carolina. 

The Continentals were stationed in an unfinished earthen fort on the southern tip of Sullivan's Island at the mouth of Charleston harbor. The fort - named in honor of Moultrie by his men - was little more than a long square-shaped pen about 500 feet long made largely of sand and 16 foot logs cut from Palmetto trees. 

The entrance to Charleston Harbor was protected by sandbanks, a navigational grounding hazard for large naval ships. The channels thought these sandbanks led directly to the end of Sullivan's Island where Fort Moultrie sat with it's 31 cannons and nervous, but determined, Patriot defenders. 

The British fleet sailed to the mouth of the harbor and attacked Fort Moultrie at about 10 AM. The fleet consisted of 9 ships: Parker's flagship the HMS Bristol, Experiment, Active, Actaeon, Solebay, Sphinx, Siren, Friendship, and Thunder. These ships carried a combined complement of 260 naval guns that began to launch broadsides into the sand and log fort. 

The spongy palmetto logs that were used in Fort Moultrie's construction and placed outside of the fortifications with sand between them, actually absorbed the impact of the cannon balls instead of splintering. The sand and palmetto log fort quivered with every broadside, but held. The Continentals inside the fort fired back with their 31 guns with deadly accuracy at the British ships inflicted heavy damage over the course of the nearly 12 hour battle.

Sgt. Jasper and the Liberty Flag.
At one point in the battle, the fort's flag, a blue banner designed by Colonel Moultrie himself with a white crescent moon and the word "Liberty" embroidered on it, was shot away by British cannon fire and fell outside of the fort. A sergeant of the 2nd SC Regiment, William Jasper, at great risk to his life, jumped down the side of the fort even as the British warships continued to bombard the fort and retrieved the flag still attached to the broken staff. Jasper tied the flagstaff to another pole and placed it back upon the rampart. 

The battle ended after 9 PM that evening when the surviving but broken British ships limped away. A little over a week later, the people of Charleston learned of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The news of their victory, along with the newly declared independence of the 13 former British colonies - now independent and united States - was a huge morale boost for the Patriots and Continental forces. 
The anniversary of the victory was celebrated annually starting in 1777 when it was known as Palmetto Day. The anniversary later became known as Carolina Day for the first time in 1875. Carolina Day remained popular until the mid-20th century, but is still highly regarded today in the City of Charleston. 

Perhaps the most lasting legacy of Carolina Day and the Battle of Sullivan's Island is the Liberty Flag that flew over Fort Moultrie and saved by Sgt. Jasper. This flag would become the basis for the State flag of South Carolina. In honor of the palmetto logs that protected the walls of the sandy fort, the Palmetto tree was added to the current State Flag adopted on January 28, 1861.  
The Liberty Flag, also known as the Moultrie Flag and later as Jasper's Flag.

The State Flag of South Carolina. Adopted in 1861 to present day.

According to South Carolina Code Ann. sec. 53-3-140, "June twenty-eighth of each year, the anniversary of the Battle of Sullivan's Island in 1776, is declared to be 'Carolina Day' in South Carolina." Carolina Day remains a State Holiday in South Carolina, though it is not marked with State office closings like other recognized State holidays like Martin Luther King Day (3rd Monday of January and also a Federal Holiday) or Confederate Memorial Day (May 10th) - though, in this blogger's opinion, it should be. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

RIP Robert Mestas

From left to right: Billy Bearden, Robert Mestas, Susan Hathaway, C.W. Roden & Karen Cooper at Stonewall Jackson Cemetery, Lexington, VA, in January 2012.
Photo by Jackie Dennison.

 RIP my friend and compatriot Mr. Robert Daniel Mestas
Illinois Division, SCV & Confederate heritage defender.
June 17, 1953 - June 23, 2016.

My prayers to the Mestas family in their time of sorrow.
Till the day we meet again with the angels, you will always be remembered.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Planetary Photography - 06-20-2016 - Summer Solstice Full Moon

This evening I managed to get a pretty awesome photo of the Summer Solstice Full Moon taken through the branches of the trees in my front yard. This is the first full moon to fall on the Summer Solstice since the year 1948.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Heroes Con 2016 In Charlotte, NC

On Sunday, June 19th, my travels took me to North Carolina to the Charlotte Convention Center and the final day of the 2016 HeroesCon, which is always a blast for a huge comic nerd like me. As always, I look forward to these annual events and meeting interesting folks with similar interests in everything from classic monsters, science fiction, comics, cartoons, and cult classic films.

The following are photos that I took of the trip, including a number of amazing artwork and cosplayers dressed as various favorite characters. 

Charlotte Convention Center and HeroesCon 2016.
The Penguin & The Joker Batman cosplayers.
Rose Quartz Steven Universe cosplayer.
Attack On Titan cosplayer with friend.
An overhead view of Heroes Con 2016 on the center floor.
Samurai Joker & Harley Quinn. Two of my top favorite cosplayers.
White Raven (Teen Titans) cosplayer.
Another lovely Attack On Titan cosplayer.
Ash cosplayer from Pokemon.
Artist at work.
I grinned when I saw this one!
Green Arrow cosplayers.
The Pirates of....Gotham City?!
Spidey and some web-slinging friends.
Meg cosplayer from Disney's Hercules).
Rey Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens another favorite cosplayer.
Female Wolverine cosplayer.
Awesome Steampunk cosplayers.
One of my favorite anime characters - Inuyasha cosplayer.
Scorpion Mortal Kombat cosplayer. 
"Hey kid, GET OVER HERE!"
Kim Possible & Ron Stoppable cosplayers (with Rufus)
from Disney's Kim Possible. These guys were really awesome.
Terra cosplayer from DC Comic's Teen Titans.
Kiki cosplayer from Kiki's Delivery Service.
Dalek cosplayer with Dr. Who.
These two were definitely among my favorites! Naturo cosplayers.
Female Loki cosplayer.
Hulkbuster Iron Man cosplayer.
Female Saiyan cosplayer Dragonball Z.
Her costume was definitely over level 9000!
Female Klingon Star Trek cosplayer.
Star Trek films Captain Kirk Cosplayer
Clone Trooper of the 501st Reenactors.
Star Fox cosplayer.
Slytherin cosplayer from Harry Potter.
Wonder Woman cosplayer.
Dark Knight Nurse Joker cosplayer.
Female Nightwing cosplayer from Batman.
Female Thor cosplayer.
The Black Panther - another favorite cosplayer.
I found Waldo!
Outstanding Sailor Saturn cosplayer from Sailor Moon.

The highlight of my trip was meeting and getting the autograph of Mr. C. Marlin Croker, the voice actor for several favorite characters from Cartoon Network's Adult Swim shows such as: The Brak Show and Aqua Teen Hunger Force

Well folks, that concludes my photo album from HeroesCon 2016....well, one more: 

Guess who the new Doctor is?
(Sighs) I wish.

Hee hee, couldn't help it. Y'all have a great day!