Tag Archives: volunteer

On Andy Jackson, the ‘Melting Pot’ Army, and the Battle of New Orleans

The News Sentinel takes a trip down Tennessee history lane with a Steven Harris story on Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans, which includes commentary from a descendant of Andy and Rachel Jackson’s adopted son and various scholarly people. A recommended read for history buffs.
“It is really cool to know that you are related to someone who played such an important role in not only Tennessee history, but American history,” said Knox County General Sessions Court Judge Andrew Jackson VI, the great-great-great grandson of the former president.
Jackson VI has visited the site, which is now just a field, just outside New Orleans and likes to reflect on what it was like 198 years ago for his ancestor to deal with the preparations and the fighting.
“His army was a true melting pot army in that he had regular army, militia, frontiersmen that were volunteering, Indians, freed blacks and even pirates,” Jackson VI said. “You had everybody fighting the British in that army.
“I always thought that could show you what can happen in this country when you have everybody working together toward a common goal, because they sure did beat the tar out of the British.”
…Prior to the War of 1812, Tennessee was regarded as a frontier state and a non-factor on the national scene, according to Brown.
At the call of Gov. Willie Blount, some 3,000 volunteer soldiers joined the Tennessee militia, which in turn was to join the members of the U.S. Army in the southern theater, which involved a subset of the War of 1812 known as the Creek War.
This action first earned the state its nickname as the Volunteer state.
“Had Tennessee not participated in the southern fighting, there is no doubt the war might have taken a different direction,” said Tom Kanon, an archivist at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.
“Most of the fighting in the so-called Creek War was performed by Tennesseans, even though the overall plan called for a coordinated effort between some of the other Southern states and territories and federal troops. Although the ultimate outcome would probably have been the same, Tennessee sped up the process by conducting aggressive campaigns into the Creek Nation and ending the conflict by March 1814.”

Saltsman Running Fleischmann Campaign on Volunteer Basis

Despite recent setbacks regarding litigation and his own critical remarks about his job, Chip Saltsman, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann’s chief of staff, said Tuesday that his indefinite, unpaid leave of absence is “all part of the plan.”
More from Chris Carroll:
Saltsman has been on leave since June 8, but Fleischmann’s office never publicly announced the news.
Interviewed Tuesday, Saltsman, who earned more than $156,000 last year as Fleischmann’s top aide, said he left the government payroll to supervise “all aspects of Chuck’s campaign” on a volunteer basis until at least Aug. 2, when Fleischmann faces three challengers in a hotly contested 3rd Congressional District Republican primary.
Saltsman described the “long-planned leave of absence” as “a pretty common thing for chiefs of staff to do,” but his remarks to a national media outlet two days before he left were anything but ordinary.
On June 6, the website Politico published a story quoting Saltsman as saying, “I didn’t want to take the job as [Fleischmann’s] chief of staff. I said ‘No’ the first three times he asked me.”
Saltsman acknowledged the comments Tuesday.
“I’ve loved working for Chuck, but you know, that was not my first choice,” Saltsman said. “That’s not what I was going to do the first time around.”
Fleischmann’s office did not make the first-term congressman available for an interview Tuesday, but in the June 6 article, Politico quoted him describing Saltsman as “an outstanding individual.”
Not long before Saltsman’s leave of absence became public, the Chattanooga Times Free Press published excerpts of a deposition Saltsman gave in a lawsuit brought against him and Fleischmann by Mark Winslow, a former aide to Fleischmann’s top 2010 opponent, Hamilton County’s Robin Smith.
A 2010 attack ad mentioned in the lawsuit alleged that Smith, a former state GOP chairwoman, paid “lavish bonuses” to a top aide at a time the party was in debt. That claim appeared to be debunked when Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney said he was the one who paid Winslow as part of a severance agreement.
In his own deposition, Fleischmann testified he had no literal grounds to make the “lavish bonuses” charge against Smith.

Sunday Column: Whereas the Legislature is Doing Some Really Important Stuff…

Tennessee’s nickname has escaped the attention of the Tennessee General Assembly since thousands of citizens responded to Gov. William Blount’s call for volunteers to serve in the War of 1812.
Or so says House Joint Resolution 634, which further states:
“WHEREAS, considering that The Volunteer State has been in usage for two centuries, it is indeed surprising that the nickname has never been officially adopted by the State of Tennessee; and
“WHEREAS, it is now time to rectify this glaring oversight and make official the name Tennesseans have proudly used in reference to themselves for many generations; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED that ‘The Volunteer State’ is hereby designated the official nickname of the State of Tennessee.”
In the lingo of Legislatorland, most resolutions, as with HJR634, have both “whereas clauses,” presenting facts or arguments, and at least one “resolving clause,” which declares the action being taken. HJR634 is an oddity in that it confesses to a legislative mistake, albeit one that is being corrected by the 107th General Assembly. Much more common are resolutions pointing out the errors of others.
Consider HJR614, which declares in multiple whereas clauses that the U.S. Supreme Court, back in the 1930s fouled up its interpretation of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Whereas, the court interpretations of the early 1800s were much better. The resolving clause declares that the U.S. Congress ought to do something about this situation “to return to a more original understanding of the Commerce Clause as represented by Supreme Court cases decided before the era of the New Deal.”
Which is to say the resolution really doesn’t accomplish anything, unless you believe Congress is paying rapt attention and can somehow overturn U.S. Supreme Court rulings. No one does, of course, so the resolution, approved 68-24 on the House floor after more than an hour of scintillating debate, may be seen as pure political posturing.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s a long tradition in our state with no official nickname. (HJR634 has not been passed yet on the floor, though it surely will be soon and on a bipartisan basis under the guidance of its sponsor, Rep. Ryan Haynes, R-Knoxville.)
There are other posturing resolutions awaiting debate this year, notably including HJR587, which whereases that “United Nations Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and global political control.”
It resolves “that the federal government and state and local governments across the country be well informed of the underlying harmful implications of implementation of United Nations Agenda 21’s destructive strategies for ‘sustainable development,’ and we hereby endorse rejection of its radical policies and rejection of any grant monies attached to it.”
In the course of fiery and well-informed debate on the merits and meaning of Agenda 21, last week, Republican Rep. Rick Womick advised that a barbecue restaurant owner had been ordered by a “government run amuck” in Murfreesboro to re-paint his red building. At one point, Womick introduced a bill to directly deal with such situations when local governments run amuck in trying to follow the dictates of Agenda 21, but decided instead to support HJR587.
Thankfully, the resolution passed 72-23. So federal, state and local governments are now informed about the “dangerous intent” of Agenda 21. There’s still a red building ban in parts of Murfreesboro, of course, but, well, the broad international implications of HJR587 obviously outweigh any need to deal with actual situations in Tennessee.
This all sort of calls for a resolution. Say maybe:
“WHEREAS, members of the General Assembly have volunteered to devote their time, energy and effort to enlightenment of Congress, the international community and the citizens of this state on complex legal, moral and philosophical issues for a base salary of just $19,009 per year;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the semi-volunteer legislators of this great Volunteer State are hereby commended for focusing on important issues they can do nothing about while doing nothing on issues where they could really mess things up.”