Letters to the Editor - June 25

June 25, 2012

Thank for the tips on living a nutrient-free life

To the editor:

I was impressed with the details in the three articles on the first three pages in the May 27 newspaper about reducing nitrogen and phosphorous discharges to improve the health of Chesapeake Bay.

Everyone knows that this county desperately needs a Watershed Implementation Plan Committee and a very active director of the county’s Division of Environmental Management. 

My rural neighbors and I highly value the freely given helpful tips, perhaps given by those who live in the city in townhouses or condos, which presume to tell us how to live on our properties.

And to think that all these years we managed to live on our properties without meddling from bureaucrats and committee members — those were the good old days.

But I, for one, am grateful that the bureaucrats and committees did not suggest that all rural residents move into the city and the towns with public water and public sewers. 

Then, when there are no rural residents in the county, all the city and town residents will be required to take their baths and showers in community bathhouses and wash their laundry in community laundromats.

All individual residential clothes washers will be confiscated and removed, all residential bathtubs and showers will be declared illegal and all plumbing connections to them will be disconnected.

I invite the bureaucrats and committee members to come on down to my place and to recommend a long list of improvements that they think that I should make to my property. 

But if you come, please bring a pile of cash with you to give to me so that you are not perceived as only interfering busybodies whose primary purpose in life is to take away as many of my property rights without compensation that you can before you die.

Daniel Moeller

Democrats, too, cater to extreme elements

To the editor:

I will anxiously await Allan Powell’s column on how far left the Democratic party has drifted since the Eisenhower era.

Today’s Democratic leadership (President Obama, Boxer, Durbin, Reid, Pelosi, etc.) could not have won Democratic primaries, much less have been elevated to leadership positions, 60 years ago.

If Powell is intellectually honest, he will pen a column bemoaning these facts, because it is the fact that both parties cater to their extreme elements that has resulted in the persistent gridlock that is seen in Washington.
David S. Wilkinson
Martinsburg, W.Va.

Wars have more theaters, more casualties

To the editor:

I wish to comment on a Herald-Mail column (June 10) discussing two new books about the American Civil War. 

The article states that “The Civil War was actually fought in two separate theaters of war; one in the West and one here in the East.”

While it is indisputable that the overwhelming amount of combat was fought within these two major theaters of war, historians by consensus agree that the Civil War was actually fought in more than just two separate theaters of war. The National Park Service identifies five distinct theaters of war: Eastern, Western, trans-Mississippi, Lower Seaboard and Gulf Approach, and Pacific Coast.  Some even consider the Union blockade of the ports of the Confederacy as a “naval theater of war.”

The assertion “... states like Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Georgia ... often referred to as ‘the Western Theater’ or the ‘trans-Mississippi Theater’” identifies a misunderstanding of terminology. The terms Western Theater and trans-Mississippi Theater are not synonymous. 

The trans-Mississippi Theater refers specifically to military operations conducted west of the Mississippi in the following states: Missouri, Arkansas, the Indian Territory (Oklahoma), part of Louisiana, Texas, Confederate Arizona and New Mexico Territory. 

Finally, the author refers to the battles of Antietam and Shiloh as “arguably two of the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare.” I would argue that this statement is hyperbole.

Bloody as they were, both Antietam and Shiloh are pretty far down the list of the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare by a wide mark, even discounting all battles before 1700. (The Greek victory over the Persians at Plataea in 479 B.C. was at an estimated cost of over 50,000 casualties — the low end of the estimates.)

The first day of the battle of the Somme (1916) cost the British 60,000 casualties. The Battle of Chickamauga — a two-day battle in our Civil War — yielded a butcher’s bill of close to 34,000 casualties, eclipsing both Antietam and Shiloh. One-day battles Mars-la-Tour (1870; 70,000 casualties), Koeniggratz (1866; 47,500), Waterloo (1815; 47,000), Ligny (1815; 28,000), Borodino (1812; 70,000), Austerlitz (1805; 24,300), Zorndorf (1758; 30,000), Malplaque (1709; 70,000) and Blenheim (1794; 32,000) all claimed mass casualties, as did two-day battles Wagram (1809; 77,000) and Eylau (1807; (40,000), and the third Panipat battle (1761; 60,000).

Napoleon seems to have been particularly adept in getting soldiers killed, having contributed six battles to this 14-battle list.

Jim Neville
Chambersburg, Pa.

The Herald-Mail Articles