Thursday, October 26, 2017

Fr. Peter Whelan, O.S.B., A Confederate Chaplain

Father Peter Whelan, A Chaplain of the Confederacy
by
J.C. Sullivan

To describe the life and times of one immigrant to the American South could be also be aptly titled "Holy Men in Modern Times." One chapter would describe Wexford-born Peter Whelan. Oh, he was human, to be sure, but his devotion to God and his fellow man is evident in the way he chose to live his life. He was also a Confederate Chaplain to Irish-Americans in the Montgomery Guards, part of the 1st Georgia Volunteers.

    Peter Whelan was born in 1802 in County Wexford, Ireland. He attended Birchfield College in Kilkenny for two years, where he received classical and mathematical education. He may have been influenced by the desperate appeal of John England, the bishop of the new diocese of Charleston, South Carolina. Priests were sorely needed, particularly in the South. He was ordained a priest of the Benedictine Order in Charleston on November 21, 1830. He offered his first Mass in the state of Georgia in 1835 in the home of Robert Semmes. In 1854 a yellow fever epidemic claimed the life of Savannah's first Bishop, Frances Gartland. Father Whelan was summoned to Savannah and was stationed there for the remainder of his life.

     In September 1861 Bishop Augustine Verot was named the third Bishop of the Savannah Diocese, which was formed in 1850. Arriving at his new post from Florida, he was asked to send a chaplain to Fort Pulaski. The Fort, on the Savannah
River, guarded the approaches to the city. It was thought to be impregnable as no artillery shells could be directed at it from any nearby land.   Part of the garrison there were Catholic troops, in particular the Montgomery Guards, mostly Irish from Savannah.

     The militia unit was organized on August 20, 1861. Not having their own banner, Captain Lawrence J. Guilmartin contacted the Sisters of Mercy in Savannah. After Mass on Saint Patrick's Day, 1862, a presentation ceremony was held. Private Bernard O'Neill was appointed standard-bearer and Major John Foley presented it to him.

   Father Whelan was present on April 10, 1862 when Federal forces began an artillery bombardment of the Fort. Using new 'rifled' artillery, the rounds were able to reach the outer walls from Tybee Island, more than a mile away. Thirty hours later, with one wall breached by the shot, it was determined that the entire ammunition magazine was in danger of exploding, If that happened the entire garrison would be killed. Colonel Charles H. Olmstead agreed to surrender. Now prisoners-of-war, Father Whelan and the Montgomery Guards were transported to Governor's Island, New York. Bernard O'Neill hid the banner on his person.

     Wartime conditions persisted for prisoners and Father Whelan, through the office of Father William Quinn, pastor of St. Peter's Church, Barclay St., New York, applied for the position of Prison Chaplain so he could offer daily Mass at Castle William. Through Father Quinn he was discharged and put on parole. Father Whelan could have left but he chose to remain with his men and minister to them. He eventually returned to Savannah where the Vicar General assigned him the task of overseeing the spiritual needs of the confederate military posts in Georgia.

On one occasion another Confederate chaplain, the Reverend James Sheeran of the Fourteenth Louisiana, on leave from Virginia, visited him. In his diary he observed,  "He stands nearly six feet with drab hair, coarse ill shaped countenance, round or swinging shoulders, long arms, short body and long legs, with feet of more than ordinary size.... One day he met a brother priest, to whom nature was no more liberal than to himself. "Well," said he, "...your mother and mine must have been women of great virtue....because they did not drown us when the first saw us. None but mothers of great...patience would have raised such ugly specimens of humanity."
  
  
During May of the same year Fr. William Hamilton, pastor of Assumption Church in Macon, accidentally came upon Andersonville Prison and stopped to learn how many Catholics were there. His experience led him to petition the Vicar, suggesting a priest be provided; Father Whelan was asked. He arrived at Andersonville on June 16, 1864. Even though other priests and the Bishop visited briefly, Whelan remained for four months.  Although he never penned his feelings, a pastor from Macon did. "I found the stockade extremely filthy:  the men all huddled together and covered with vermin....they had nothing under them but the ground."

     At the fall of the Confederacy, Father Whelan returned to Savannah and served there until 1868. Now aged sixty-nine and in failing health from his wartime tribulations, he administered his last baptism in 1871 and died in February of the same year.

The funeral procession was reported in the Savannah Evening News as the longest ever seen in the city. After a 10:00 a.m. Mass a procession of  eighty-six carriages and buggies of civilians, religious societies and Irish organizations escorted his mortal remains through Savannah's crowd-lined streets to the Catholic Cemetery. Colonel Olmstead led Confederate Army and Navy veterans. An officer who knew Father Whelan said, "I followed this good old man to his grave with a sense of exultation as I thought of the welcome that awaited him from the Master whose spirit he had caught and made the rule of his life."


Bibliography
Gillian Bowen, Diocese of Savannah

Father Whelan of Fort Pulaski and Andersonville, Georgia Historical Quarterly, Spring, 1987.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Great Divider

Ex-President Obama has announced he will speak at the University of Chicago. I expect we will hear anti-Trump rhetoric that the MSM will suck up gleefully, pronouncing the second coming. I predict his words will be intended to further divide the nation.

The Democratic Party has become an entity with an agenda of hate, lies and intrigue. Those who they front as " leaders" spout stale ideas that don't gain them any votes. They've lost and don't know what to say or do except continue their ridiculous and derogatory commentary on the Trump machine and those who pit him in the White House.

Obama's upcoming speech in Chicago will be an attempt to light the way but it won' t work because they have the wrong people in the wrong offices. The archaic dinosaursclike Pelosi and Schurmer et al enjoy their power too much and conservative Democrats are not given any other voting alternatives.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

"They don't go easily."

As a young man I followed news events both here and abroad. It must be something in my Irish genetic makeup.

I recall seeing the crowds in Europe and North Africa at protests against their respective governments. You know, the signs they carried and paper mache heads. It was called communist agitation.

With the rise of a "new" majority in the U.S., and the Velvet Revolution the election of Donald John Trump signifies, we're seeing what the formerly captive nations of Europe have been saying, "Communists don't go easily."

As that aforesaid young man never understood was those European protestors, like those who will show up in Washington, DC on the 2017 Inaugeration Day, were all getting a paycheck for being there.

Our beloved IRS and SEC et al have their ways of fattening their own wallets. Perhaps our new revoluntionary government will have ways to lighten the wallets of those individuals and entities who are behind the chaos being created that disturbs our peace.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The closing legacy - Scamming America

During the closing days of his administration, our outgoing President has managed to seize the agenda. Our MSM, who has tried to destroy Donald Trump, continues to aid and abet POTUS' intention. Just what IS his intention?

I saw his actions described as throwing a match over his shoulder as he leaves the scene...and it appears he's successful. These distractions are about putting roadblocks in DJT's path and diverting energy and American eyes away from the success of the Trump revolution.

This Russia thing is bullshit. Like lustful and oversexed teenage boys, they've been trying to get into each other's pants for a long time. In the case of Russia, it goes back before their spies stole the atomic bomb secrets from us. And they didn't quit even then. American traitors are in prison because they enriched themselves by selling technical information.

The Democratic Party certainly didn't help matters when DNC leaders used the word 'password' as their computer password. They must have been watching old movies when Matthew Broderick did the same thing in high school to change is report card grades.

Nonetheless, our MSM is twisting everything into a witch hunt against outPresident-elect. However, I predict the American Heartland will not fall for it, just as we didn't fall for the propaganda foisted upon us with the adoration of Hilary Clinton.

Conversely, Americans look at Russia and others as well. Do you think Russia, for example, has been as dumb about cyber security as the DNC has been? During WWII we were listening to Japanese naval information, something that obviously helped us win the war in the Pacific. And we didn't stop there.

So, in the closing days of the Obama administration, he does things he could've done long before. The Russian seizure of the Crimean peninsula comes to mind, as do the supposed Ukrainian "separatists." I won't go back as far the Katyn Forest murders of thousands of Polish soldiers, priests and "intellectuals" during WWII.

As a result of their history of deceit, murder and expansion, the Russian communists cannot be trusted. President recognized their when he coined "Trust but verify."





Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Elininating the Electoral College.

They've been throwing everything up to the ceiling to see what would might stick in vain attempts to explain why they lost.  None of we deplorables are buying it. So, what's next in their bag of tricks.

Well, they seem to have exhausted their ideas so  it appears to me they're going to take four years to tell us we are not a republic but a democracy. And it should be one man one vote., meaning we've got to eliminate the Elector College.

We in the homeland will happily challenge any fights they begin!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Our Errors in Syria

We are the cause of the destruction and grief in Syria.

They have long been in Russia's sphere yet we took sides to oust their leader. Russia was not about to let that happen. So, why are we screwing around there?

Unfortunately, former President Jimmy Carter lost Iran to the mullahs when we abandoned the Pro-western Shah of Iran. Russia moved in and we now have the problems there we didn't have before. Before this, Saudi Arabia was our ally. Even their King commented that we didn't know who our friends were.

The Trump administration must begin to repair the relationships we had before the Leftist Democrats gained power here and ruined them. What's at stake?

One of the major pillars of our economy is oil. And our nation runs on foreign oil; that's a fact. We are going to have to build our own refineries again. In that way our dependence on foreign oil will be greatly diminished. And that means we can disengage from the Syrias, Iraqs and the like. Let the damn Russians deal with them and concentrate on our national security and the security of the allies we still have by rebuilding our own sadly-neglected military preparedness, which includes our National Guard and military Reserves.you know, "Speak softly but carry a big stick."

Where Russia reigns they are trouble. As the troublesome North Korea is China's bastard child, so Iran is Russia's. And their meddling won't stop there. European NATO nations have to step up and pay their fair share to thwart Russia's historic appetite for expansion.

Muslims in America.

Look at the multiple centuries that we have been classified as infidels by Muslims. They have kidnapped, raped and murdered on behalf of their Koran. Seeing all the ongoing atrocities in our times leads me to only one conclusion about them.

I believe, because their belief system is male dominated, they are fearful of losing their control, i.e. power. If their believers cannot be controlled they must resort to terrorism to control them. In doing so they displace their fear onto others.

Muslim women and daughters are unable to express any individuality therefore they are controlled. All these are also controlled by mullahs who profess to be holy men but are evil.

I am not broadbrushing all Muslims. I see who I believe are some Muslims in America who have become very American. Their kids play sports, learn music and they attend these events in support of their children.  These Muslims I don't fear. It's the evil ones I fear.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Ohio Governor is Dead in the Water

Ohio Governor John Kasich has played the wrong cards.  His political career in Ohio is dead.

He mistakenly believed he was enormously popular because he won Ohio in the primary. However, we are a bit different from other states. In the primary, Ohio voters can vote for candidates in the opposite party.  As a result, Democrats cast anti-Trump votes by voting for Kasich.

The illusion was created that Buckeye voters loved the Governor. Acting on this belief , Kasich refused to attend the RNC Convention in Cleveland and has continued to perpetuate his mistakes, namely, failing to admit them.

He'll finish the two years remaining as Governor but heartland voters won't return him to office.

Political Insurgency

Writing in the Plain Dealer today (Sunday, 12/11/2016), Dick Meyer, Chief political correspondent for the Scripps Washington Bureau, opines the country needs a political insurgency to counter Trump.

Uh, where you been Meyer? The nation just underwent a political insurgency. "All sweet cookies in the store been bought." The only insurgency the Left could possibly be thinking is how to convert the heartland to embrace your "values." And therein lies your dilemma....you have none.

My Letter from the Russians

You know the street saying - toss it up to the ceiling to see what sticks.

This week's attempt is accusing Russia of  meddling in our presidential election. I guess they found the letter I received from the Russian Embassy - Vote for Trump or else.

They scared me shitless so I vote for him and avoided "or else," whatever it would've been.
Maybe an evening with Hilary?