Keith Hunt - Pride goes before Destruction! - Page Onehundred-nintyeight   Restitution of All Things

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Pride goes before Destruction!

A lesson many do not learn from

                      PRIDE GOES BEFORE DESTRUCTION!!
                             (Proverbs 16:18)

I have in this month of April 2010, uploaded to this Website the
complete book by John Tuit called "Armstrong's Empire Exposed" in
which is detailed the rise and corruption and final destruction
of the religious empire of Herbert W.Armstrong. It lays out the
ego, vanity, and self-righteousness of a man that led, after his
death in 1986, to the demise and shattering, both in the physical
as well as the spiritual kingdom of men, called the Worldwide
Church of God.

The following series (from the book by the late Pierre Burton
"The Invasion of Canada - 1812-1813") will in a graphic way, a
very heart-breaking way, give you one of the classic history
events, that amplify the proverb "Pride goes before destruction."

For you who are still educating your children, at the appropriate
age you should teach your children a part of North American
history, that just about everyone is never taught.

From Burton's book:

     GEORGETOWN, KENTUCKY, August 16, 1812. Henry Clay is
addressing two thousand eager Kentucky militiamen who have
volunteered to march into Canada under the banner of William
Henry Harrison to reinforce Hull's Army of the Northwest. The
dark eyes flash, the sonorous voice rolls over the raw troops as
he exhorts them to victory. More than most Americans, Clay is
telling them, they have a twofold responsibility - to uphold the
honour of their state as well as that of their country:

"Kentuckians are famed for their bravery - you have the double
character of Americans and Kentuckians to support!"

     This is more than posturing. Kentucky is a world unto
itself, as different from Maine and New York as Scotland from
Spain. No frustrated general will need to prod the Kentuckians
across the Canadian border; they will, if necessary, swim the
Detroit River to get at the British. When, the previous May, the
Governor called for volunteers to fill Kentucky's quota of
fifty-five hundred men, he found he had too many on his hands.
Clay at the time wrote to the Secretary of State that he was
almost alarmed at the enthusiasm displayed by his people.
     Now, on the very day of Hull's defeat, Clay fires up the
troops, who confidently believe that the American forces are
already half-way across Canada. And why not? Kentucky has been
told only what it wants to hear. The newspaper stories from the
frontier have been highly optimistic. Editors and orators have
bolstered the state's heroic image of itself. In these
exhortations can be heard echoes of the Revolution. "Rise in the
majesty of freedom," the Governor, Charles Scott, has pleaded;
"regard as enemies the enemies of your country. Remember the
Spirit of '76."
     The troops who are to march off through the wilderness of
Michigan and into Canada expect the briefest of wars - a few
weeks of adventure, a few moments of glory (swords glistening,
bugles calling, drums beating, opponents fleeing), then home to
the family farm with the plaudits of the nation and the cheers of
their neighbours ringing in their ears.
     Most have signed on for six months only, convinced that the
war cannot last even that long. On this warm August day, standing
in ragged, undisciplined lines, basking in Clay's oratory, they
do not contemplate November. They wear light shoes and open
shirts of linen and cotton: no coats, no blankets. Not one in
twenty is prepared for winter. The war department has lists of
goods needed for the campaign, but no one has paid much attention
to that. The army is without a commissariat; private contractors,
whose desire for profit often outweighs their patriotism, have
been hired to handle all supplies. As for the Congress, it has
not been able to screw up enough courage to adopt new taxes to
finance the war; the unpopular resolution has been postponed, and
Clay and his Hawks, eager to get on with the fighting, have gone
along with the delay without a whimper.
     Every able-bodied man in Kentucky, it seems, wants to fight.
Six congressmen don uniforms. One, Samuel Hopkins, becomes a
majorgeneral; two are happy to serve as privates. Clay remains
behind to fight the war in Congress, but his brother-in-law,
Nathaniel Hart, goes as a captain, and so does John Allen, the
second most eminent lawyer in the state. Thomas Smith, editor of
the Kentucky Gazette, inflamed by the optimistic reports in his
own newspaper, quits his desk and signs up to fight the British
and the Indians. Dr.John M. Scott, a militia colonel and an old
campaigner, insists on his right to command a regiment even
though he is desperately ill; his friends expect (rightly) that
he will not return alive. By the end of the year there will be
more than eleven thousand Kentuckians in the army.
     Most of these will be in the volunteer forces, for the
people of Kentucky are confident that the war will be fought to a
speedy conclusion by citizen soldiers enrolled for a single,
decisive campaign. Regulars are sneered at as hired mercenaries
who cannot compete for valour or initiative with a volunteer who
has a direct interest in the outcome of the struggle.

     The idea of individual initiative is deeply ingrained in the
Kentucky character. They are a hardy, adventurous people,
confident to the point of ebullience, optimistic to the point of
naivete--romantic, touchy, proud, often cruel. Not for them the
effete pastimes of settled New England. Their main entertainments
are shooting, fighting, drinking, duelling, horse racing. Every
Kentucky boy is raised with a rifle. An old state law provides
that every white male over sixteen must kill a certain number of
crows and squirrels each year. Instead of raffles, Kentuckians
hold shooting contests to pick winners. The very word "Kentuck"
can cause a shiver of fear in the Mississippi River towns, where
their reputation is more terrifying than that of the Indians. As
scrappers they are as fearless as they are ferocious, gouging,
biting, kicking, scratching. Kentuckians like to boast that they
are "half horse and half alligator tipped with snapping turtle."
     A future congressman, Michael Taul, is elected captain of
his militia company not because he has any military training - he
has none - but because he has beaten his opponent, William Jones,
in a particularly vicious encounter - a "hard fight," in Taul's
words, "fist and skull, biting and gouging, etc."
     Kentucky lies on the old Indian frontier, and though its
Indian wars are history, bloody memories remain. Youths are
raised on tales of British and Indian raiders killing, scalping,
and ravaging during the Revolution. Tippecanoe has revived a
legacy of fear and hatred. The reports of British weapons found
at Prophet's Town confirm the people of the state in their belief
that John Bull is again behind the Indian troubles.
     Tippecanoe is seen as the real beginning of the war. "War we
now have," the Kentucky Gazette exulted when news of the battle
reached Lexington. The shedding of Kentucky blood on the banks of
the Wabash fuelled the latent desire for revenge, so that when
war was declared Kentucky indulged in a delirium of celebration.
Towns were illuminated, cannon and muskets discharged in the
villages. And in the larger towns, Senator John Pope, the one
Kentucky member of the Twelfth Congress to vote against the war,
was hanged in effigy.

     On the Fourth of July, the state wallowed in patriotic
oratory. At a public celebration in Lexington no fewer than
eighteen toasts were drunk, the celebrants raising their glasses
to "Our volunteers - Ready to avenge the wrongs and vindicate the
right of their country - the spirit of Montgomery will lead them
to victory on the Plains of Abraham." Little wonder that a Boston
merchant travelling through Kentucky a little later described its
people as "the most patriotic ... I have ever seen or heard of."
This yeasty nationalism springs out of Kentucky's burgeoning
economy. It has become the most populous state west of the
Alleghenies. In two decades its population has leaped from 73,000
to more than 406,000. Log cabins have given way to handsome brick
houses. Frontier outposts have become cities. But all this
prosperity depends on a sea-going trade - a trade now threatened
by Great Britain's maritime strictures. The opposite side of the
coin of nationalism is a consuming hatred of Great Britain. Henry
Clay is its voice.
     What Clay wants, Clay is determined to get; and Henry Clay
wants William Henry Harrison to command the army going north to
subdue the Indians and to reinforce General Hull at Detroit. The
Hero of Tippecanoe is by all odds the most popular military
leader in the state. Every Kentuckian, it seems, wants to serve
under him; but the Secretary of War has long since chosen James
Winchester of Tennessee to take command. Now an active campaign,
spearheaded by Clay and orchestrated with all the cunning of a
political coup d tat, is mounted to force the government's hand
and replace Winchester with Harrison. In this enterprise, Clay
has Harrison's willing cooperation. The Hero of Tippecanoe
himself tours the state, rousing martial feeling, fuelling the
clamour for his appointment.

     Early in August a caucus of influential Kentucky
politicians, including Scott, the retiring governor, Isaac
Shelby, the governorelect, and several of the War Hawks, agrees
to appoint Harrison a brevet (honorary) major-general in the
Kentucky militia. He accepts command of two regiments of infantry
and one of mounted rifles (under Clay's young congressional
colleague, Richard M. Johnson) which have already left to join
General Winchester in Cincinnati. But Clay wants more. Harrison
outranks Winchester, but Winchester is a regular army man. It is
important that there be no ambiguity about who is in charge. Once
more he puts pressure on James Monroe, the Secretary of State,
rising to heights of hyperbole, which, even for Henry Clay, are
more than a little florid:

"If you will carry your recollection back to the Age of the
Crusades and of some of the most distinguished leaders of those
expeditions, you will have a picture of the enthusiasm existing
in this country for the expedition to Canada and for Harrison as
the commander."

     Up to this point, James Monroe has fancied himself for the
post of commander-in-chief of the Army of the Northwest. The
cabinet, in fact, has been seriously considering his appointment.
But now, with Clay and his cronies in full cry, the Secretary's
military ambitions are dashed. The pressure is too great.
Harrison it will be.

     AS THE CABINET vacillates over the choice of a commander for
the new northwest army, Harrison marches to Cincinnati at the
head of his troops. He is convinced that he can persuade
Winchester to allow him to take command of all the forces for the
relief of Detroit. On August 26, he receives the dreadful news of
Hull's surrender. Two days later, he reaches Winchester's camp at
Cincinnati and immediately assumes command of all the Kentucky
militia, leaving Winchester in charge of the regulars. Stiff
little notes pass between the generals' tents. Harrison insists
that he, as a major-general, outranks Winchester. Winchester
objects, points out that Harrison is only a political appointee,
but when Harrison persists, Winchester at last gives in: Harrison
can assume command under his own responsibility. Winchester
returns to Lexington to continue recruiting.
     The new commander has some twenty-one hundred men at
Cincinnati; an equal number are on their way to join him. They
inspire mixed feelings. The Kentuckians, in his opinion "are
perhaps the best materials for forming an army the world has
produced. But no equal number of men was ever collected who knew
so little of military discipline." It is a shrewd assessment.
He has neither time nor personnel to instruct his raw recruits in
the art of soldiering. He is, in fact, short of almost everything
- of food, clothing, equipment, weapons, ammunition, flints,
swords. His only ordnance piece is an ancient cast-iron
four-pounder. Autumn is fast approaching with its chilling rain
and sleet. He must hack new roads through forest and swamp, build
blockhouses and magazines, all the time watched and harassed by
the Indians on his flank.
     And he must move immediately, for word has come that the
British and the Indians are planning an attack on Fort Wayne, the
forward outpost on the Maumee. Three hundred Indians are laying
siege to the fort, a British column is moving south, houses have
been burned, crops and livestock destroyed. The commander, James
Rhea, has some eighty men with whom to withstand the siege but is
himself nervous and frequently drunk. Harrison's first task is to
relieve the fort.
     That same day he dispatches all his available troops on that
mission. He joins them at Dayton on September i. Here are more
cheers for Harrison and a salute of cannon, marred only by the
tragic incompetence of the gunners. During the salute one man is
seriously wounded, another has both hands blown off. And here
Harrison receives a blow of a different kind: the government has
officially confirmed his commission, but only as
brigadier-general. Winchester now outranks him.
     He does not give up. In another letter to Washington, he
subtly advances his cause: "The backwoodsmen are a singular
people.... From their affection and an attachment everything may
be expected but I will venture to say that they never did nor
never will perform anything brilliant under a stranger."
     The message, though self-serving, is undoubtedly true.
Winchester is unpopular largely because he is a stranger.
Harrison is a known hero. All along his route of march,
volunteers have flocked to his banner. At Piqua, en route to Fort
Wayne, he makes from the tailboard of a camp wagon one of those
tough little stump speeches for which he is famous. He is
planning a forced march on half-rations, and some of the Ohio
militia are hesitating. To them Harrison declares that "if there
is any man under my command who lacks the patriotism to rush to
the rescue, he, by paying back the money received from the
government, shall receive a discharge. I do not wish to command
such...." Only one man makes this choice. His comrades are given
a permit to escort him part of the way home. They hoist him onto
a rail and with a crowd following duck him several times in the

     Harrison, at the head of three thousand men, reaches Fort
Wayne on September 12. The fort is relieved without a shot being
fired though not entirely bloodlessly, since during the march one
man has been shot and killed in error by one of the guards. The
bodies of two sentinels, killed by the Indians and buried within
the palisade, are disinterred and brought out to be buried with
full military honours. The troops, many of whom have never seen a
dead man, stand by in awe. William Northcutt, a young dragoon in
Captain William Garrard's company of "Bourbon Blues" (made up of
men from Bourbon County, Kentucky, all uniformed in blue
broadcloth), cannot help shedding tears as the corpses are
brought out through the gate, even though the men are complete
strangers. But before his term of service is over, Northcutt
becomes so hardened that he could, if necessary, sleep on a
corpse, and it occurs to him as the war grows nastier that "the
man that thinks about dying in a Battle is not fit to be there
and will do no good for his country...."
     Harrison is determined to crush all Indian resistance.
Columns of cavalry fan out to destroy all Indian villages within
sixty miles. The ailing Colonel John Scott insists on leading the
attack on the Elkhart River in Indiana Territory, though his
officers urge him not to go. But he mounts his horse, crying out:
"As long as I am able to mount you, none but myself shall lead my
regiment...." It is the death of him. Exhausted, after a
protracted march of three days and nights, he is scarcely able to
return to camp. Shortly afterwards he is carried home in a litter
where, the second day after arrival, he expires.
     Harrison's policy of search and destroy makes no distinction
between neutral and hostile tribes. His intention is to turn the
frontier country into a wasteland, denying both food and shelter
to the natives. Mounted columns, one led by Harrison himself,
burn several hundred houses, ravage the corn fields, destroy
crops of beans, pumpkins, potatoes, and melons, ransack the
graves and scatter the bones. The Potawatomi and Miami flee to
British protection at Brownstown and Amherstburg and wait for
     On September 18, General Winchester arrives at Fort Wayne to
take command of the Army of the Northwest. The troops are in an
ugly mood. They do not wish to be commanded by a regular officer,
fearing perhaps (without much evidence) that Winchester will be a
greater disciplinarian than Harrison.
     Winchester's ordeal has only begun. As he moves slowly
north, the Kentuckians under his command refuse his orders,
torment him with pranks and practical jokes, and are generally
obstreperous. He cannot even visit the latrine without suffering
some indignity. At one camp, they skin a porcupine and place the
skin on a pole over the latrine pit; the General applies his
buttocks to the hide with painful results. At another, they
employ a trick that must go back to Caesar's army: sawing a pole
partially through so that it fails to support the General's
weight at a critical moment. The next morning, William Northcutt
of the Bourbon Blues, passing Winchester's tent, notes with
amusement the General's uniform, drying out, high on a pole.
What has Winchester done to deserve this? His only crime is to be
less popular than Harrison. He does suffer by comparison, for
Harrison at forty is vigorous, decisive, totally confident, while
Winchester, at sixty, is inclined to fussiness, a little
ponderous, and not entirely sure of himself. (He did not have to
relinquish command to Harrison during that first encounter at
Cincinnati.) Like Hull, he appears to the young recruits to be
older than his years (Northcutt thinks him at least seventy) - a
plump, greying figure who has to be helped to mount and dismount
his horse. Worst of all, Winchester fears his own troops and
places a bodyguard around his quarters day and night.
     Like so many others, he is a leftover from another war, his
reputation resting on the exploits of his youth-on those
memorable years in the mid-seventies when America struggled for
her independence and young James Winchester, at twenty-four, was
promoted in the field for his gallantry, wounded in action,
captured, exchanged, recaptured and exchanged again to fight as a
captain at Yorktown. All that is long behind him, as are his
years as an Indian fighter in North Carolina. Honours he has had:
brigadier-general in the North Carolina militia; Speaker of the
state senate of Tennessee; master of a vast Tennessee estate,
surmounted by the great stone mansion known as Cragfont; father
of fourteen children, four of them born out of wedlock but
rendered legitimate by a tardy marriage. A kindly, sedentary man,
fond of rich, easy living, known for his humanity. But no
     He lacks Harrison's style, has not Harrison's way with men,
cannot bring himself to mingle with the troops in Harrison's
easy, offhand manner. It is impossible to think of Winchester,
dressed in a simple hunting shirt, making a stump speech to the
Kentucky volunteers; it is equally impossible to believe that
anyone would saw through a log in Harrison's latrine.
     The murmurings against Winchester are not confined to the
men. A group of officers, led by Henry Clay's congressional
colleague Captain Sam McKee, is drawing up a petition, apparently
with Harrison's blessing, urging that the command be taken from
Winchester. The rebels get cold feet, temporize, delay, and are
relieved at last of the charge of mutiny by a war department
order authorizing Harrison to assume command of the Army of the

     OLD FORT DEFIANCE, OHIO, October 2, 1812. It is close to
midnight when William Henry Harrison, accompanied by a strong
escort, gallops into camp, summoned by a frantic note from


To be continued

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