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Franklin Tennessee

 

Leaving Nashville we stopped at Franklin where the last battle for Nashville took place.

Here we again learned that to southerners the Confederacy had declared itself a separate nation based on their rural lifestyle and slavery and the northerners were perceived as invaders.  Tennessee was under Northern occupation from early in the War, akin to France being under German occupation and there was an active underground opposition.  At the end of the battle of Franklin the northern troops were secretly pulling back across the river in the dead of night when a local woman tried to warn the sleeping Confederates.  She was killed on the spot by a Union soldier who then simply re-joined his ranks. 

We understood that she was the heroine of the story and that we should be outraged that the Union soldier had avoided punishment for a war crime when his complicit companions 'looked the other way.'  It's the sort of thing Nazi soldiers might have done to a patriotic French woman in a war movie.  I'm not even sure the story's true because we were told he shot her point-blank in the head.  Surely not!  Weren't they sneaking silently away?  As I said, the outrage still runs deep.

At the farm you can still see the bullet holes in the buildings, although the trenches are gone, and can learn of the son of the family, captain Tod Carter who was, by chance, mortally wounded a few hundred metres from his home while fighting for the Confederacy.

 


Carter House - Click on this picture to see more Civil War memorabilia
 

 

The couple in period costume (click the image above) were not part of the staff.   They just like dressing up when they go to historic sites to better enjoy the history by imagining themselves back in the good old days, perhaps before the country went to the dogs?  We stayed away from politics so I'm not sure how much current reality disturbs them.

 

 

 

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Travel

South Korea & China

March 2016

 

 

South Korea

 

 

I hadn't written up our trip to South Korea (in March 2016) but Google Pictures gratuitously put an album together from my Cloud library so I was motivated to add a few words and put it up on my Website.  Normally I would use selected images to illustrate observations about a place visited.  This is the other way about, with a lot of images that I may not have otherwise chosen.  It requires you to go to the link below if you want to see pictures. You may find some of the images interesting and want to by-pass others quickly. Your choice. In addition to the album, Google generated a short movie in an 8mm style - complete with dust flecks. You can see this by clicking the last frame, at the bottom of the album.

A few days in Seoul were followed by travels around the country, helpfully illustrated in the album by Google generated maps: a picture is worth a thousand words; ending back in Seoul before spending a few days in China on the way home to OZ. 

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Fiction, Recollections & News

The McKie Family

 

 

 

Introduction

 

 

This is the story of the McKie family down a path through the gardens of the past that led to where I'm standing.  Other paths converged and merged as the McKies met and wed and bred.  Where possible I've glimpsed backwards up those paths as far as records would allow. 

The setting is Newcastle upon Tyne in northeast England and my path winds through a time when the gardens there flowered with exotic blooms and their seeds and nectar changed the entire world.  This was the blossoming of the late industrial and early scientific revolution and it flowered most brilliantly in Newcastle.

I've been to trace a couple of lines of ancestry back six generations to around the turn of the 19th century. Six generations ago, around the turn of the century, lived sixty-four individuals who each contributed a little less 1.6% of their genome to me, half of them on my mother's side and half on my father's.  Yet I can't name half a dozen of them.  But I do know one was called McKie.  So this is about his descendents; and the path they took; and some things a few of them contributed to Newcastle's fortunes; and who they met on the way.

In six generations, unless there is duplication due to copulating cousins, we all have 126 ancestors.  Over half of mine remain obscure to me but I know the majority had one thing in common, they lived in or around Newcastle upon Tyne.  Thus they contributed to the prosperity, fertility and skill of that blossoming town during the century and a half when the garden there was at its most fecund. So it's also a tale of one city.

My mother's family is the subject of a separate article on this website. 

 

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Opinions and Philosophy

A Carbon Tax for Australia

 12 July 2011

 

 

It's finally announced, Australia will have a carbon tax of $23 per tonne of CO2 emitted.  This is said to be the highest such tax in the world but it will be limited to 'about 500' of the biggest emitters.  The Government says that it can't reveal which  these are to the public because commercial privacy laws prevent it from naming them. 

Some companies have already 'gone public' and it is clear that prominent among them are the major thermal power generators and perhaps airlines.  Some like BlueScope Steel (previously BHP Steel) will be granted a grace period before the tax comes into effect. In this case it is publicly announced that the company has been granted a two year grace period with possible extensions, limited to its core (iron and steelmaking) emissions.

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