TIMELINE 
The Last Day of World War One by Lenny Flank
BY THE FIRST WEEK of No­vem­ber 1918, the first world war was draw­ing to a close. When it be­gan, in Au­gust 1914, both sides con­fi­dent­ly pre­dict­ed they would be vic­tor­i­ous “be­fore the au­tumn leaves fell from the trees”. In­stead, the war turned in­to a four-year dead­lock. The Ger­mans who broke first. The United States had bela­ted­ly en­tered the war in 1917, but it wasn’t un­til the sum­mer of 1918 that the has­ti­ly-trained dough­boys, armed large­ly with French wea­pons, be­gan ar­riv­ing in sig­nif­i­cant num­bers. It was enough to break the spine of the ex­haust­ed Ger­man Army, and by Sep­tem­ber 1918 the Kaiser’s troops were in re­treat every­where, and the Kai­ser him­self was forced to ab­di­cate by a rebel­lion of the war-weary Ger­man pop­u­la­tion.
+
November 11 1918, the last day of World War One
+
At 5 am the French, Brit­ish, Amer­i­can and Ger­man rep­re­sen­ta­tives signed the arm­is­tice treaty that for­mal­ly end­ed hos­til­i­ties in World War One. Un­der the terms of the Armis­tice, the war would of­fi­cial­ly end at 11 am that morn­ing. All the troops in the trenches had to do was sit tight for the next six hours. In­stead, al­lied forces con­tin­ued to launch a series of at­tacks, pro­duc­ing over 10,000 cas­ual­ties on the last morn­ing of a war that was al­ready over.
0510
At 5:10 am on No­vem­ber 11, the in­stru­ment of sur­ren­der was signed. To give every­one enough time to con­tact all their forces in the field, it was agreed that the for­mal end of hos­til­i­ties would oc­cur at 11 am that morn­ing.
An hour ear­lier, at 4 am, the Fifth Marine Divi­sion was or­dered to cross the Meuse Riv­er on pon­toon bridges, and came un­der ar­til­lery and MG fire. The Marines took over 1,100 cas­ual­ties.
The US Army’s 89th Divi­sion was or­dered to storm the town of Stenay be­cause, the com­mand­er later ex­plained, it had a num­ber of bath-houses and he didn’t want the Ger­mans to have them after the war was over. It cost the Amer­i­cans 61 dead and 304 wound­ed to take Stenay.
The 92nd Divi­sion, an Afri­can-Amer­i­can unit with white of­fi­cers, had been sched­uled for days to make an at­tack on the morn­ing of the 11th. The re­sult was, Gen­eral John Sher­burne bit­ter­ly de­clared, “an ab­so­lute­ly need­less waste of life”.
0600
Although the al­lied forces had known for the past three days that an arm­is­tice was be­ing dis­cussed and the war was al­most over, it wasn’t un­til 6 am that of­fi­cial in­struc­tions went out de­clar­ing that the war would for­mal­ly end at 11 am. Foch had picked that time, as it was poet­i­cal­ly the elev­enth hour of the elev­enth day of the elev­enth month.
0930
Irish­man Pri­vate George Ed­win Eli­son, who had helped de­fend Mons from the Ger­mans back in 1914, now be­came the last Brit­ish sol­dier killed. It was 9:30 am.
1040
At 10:40 am, in the 81st Divi­sion, the com­mand­ing of­fi­cer or­dered his men to stand down; his superior coun­ter­mand­ed that or­der and told the men to ad­vance. The divi­sion lost 66 killed and 395 wound­ed.
1044
At 10:44 am, the 313th Regi­ment was or­dered to clear out a Ger­man MG post at the vil­lage of Ville-De­vant-Chau­mont. As the Amer­i­can troops ad­vanced, the Ger­mans, in ut­ter dis­be­lief, first waved at them fran­tic­al­ly, then fired over their heads to try to get them to stop, and fi­nal­ly in des­per­a­tion fired a short burst di­rect­ly at them. Pri­vate Hen­ry Gun­ter, who had ar­rived in the trenches four months ago, was struck in the head and died in­stant­ly. He was the last Amer­i­can killed in the war. The time was 10:59 am.
1058
Mean­while, the at­tack on Mons con­tin­ued. At 10:58 am, Cana­dian troop­er Pri­vate George Price be­came the last sol­dier of the Brit­ish Com­mon­wealth to be killed.
At 11 am, a Ger­man jun­ior of­fi­cer named Tomas left his trench and ap­proached a group of Amer­i­can troop­ers in No Man’s Land. As To­mas came for­ward, they shot him. It was 11:02 am. The cost on the last day of World War One was over 10,000 cas­ual­ties, wound­ed or killed: 1200 French; 2400 Brit­ish; 3000 Amer­i­cans; 4100 Ger­mans.


 EXCERPT  Battle of the Three Emperors, from War and Peace 1869 by Leo Tolstoy

ON the 18th and 19th of Novem­ber the [Russia and Austria] army advanced two days’ march, and the [French] enemy’s out­posts after a brief inter­change of shots re­treat­ed. In the high­est army circles from midday on the 19th a great, excitedly bust­ling activity be­gan which lasted till the morning of the 20th, when the mem­or­a­ble battle of Auster­litz was fought.
UNTIL midday on the 19th the activ­i­ty, the eager talk, running to and fro, and dis­patch­ing of ad­ju­tants, was con­fined to the Em­peror’s head­quar­ters (i.e., Alex­an­der I of Russia). But on the after­noon of that day this activity reached [General of the Rus­sian Army] Kutuzov’s head­quar­ters and the staffs of the com­mand­ers of columns. By eve­ning the adjutants had spread it to all ends and parts of the army, and in the night from the 19th to the 20th the whole eighty thousand allied troops rose from their bivouacs to the hum of voices, and the army swayed and start­ed in one enor­mous mass six miles long.
THE concentrated activ­i­ty which had begun at the Emperor’s head­quar­ters in the morn­ing and had started the whole move­ment that fol­lowed, was like the first movement of the main wheel of a large tower-clock. One wheel slowly moved, another was set in motion, and a third, and wheels began to revolve faster and faster, levers and cog-wheels to work, chimes to play, fig­ures to pop out, and the hands to ad­vance with regular motion as a result of all that activity.
JUST as in the mechan­ism of a clock, so in the mechan­ism of the military machine, an impulse once given leads to the final result; and just as in­dif­fer­ent­ly quies­cent till the moment when motion is trans­mit­ted to them are the parts of the mechanism which the im­pulse has not yet reached. Wheels creak on their axles as the cogs engage one an­oth­er and the revolv­ing pulleys whirr with the rapid­ity of their move­ment, but a neigh­bour­ing wheel is as quiet and motion­less as though it were pre­pared to remain so for a hun­dred years; but the mo­ment comes when the lever catches it, and obey­ing the im­pulse that wheel begins to creak, and joins in the common motion the result and aim of which are beyond its ken.
JUST as in a clock the result of the com­pli­cat­ed motion of in­num­er­able wheels and pulleys is merely a slow and regular movement of the hands which show the time, so the result of all the com­pli­cat­ed human activities of 160,000 Russians and French – all their pas­sions, desires, re­morse, hu­mil­i­a­tions, suffer­ings, out­bursts of pride, fear, and enthusiasm – was only the loss of the battle of Auster­litz, the so-called battle of the three Emperors – that is to say, a slow move­ment of the hand on the dial of human history.


 DISPATCH 
Putin sits in front of wall-size map of Russia.

The seat of national pow­er, Kyiv was the main prize. Thus the thrust by elite airborne forces in the war’s open­ing hours.

When President Vladimir Putin launched his war on Feb. 24 after months of buildup on Ukraine’s borders, he sent hun­dreds of heli­cop­ter-borne com­man­dos — the best of the best of Russia’s “spets­naz” (special forces soldiers) — to assault and seize a light­ly defended air­field on Kyiv’s doorstep.

On the first morning of the war, Russian Mi-8 assault helicopters soared south toward Kyiv on a mission to attack Hostomel airfield on the northwest out­skirts of the capital. By capturing the airfield, also known as Antonov airport, the Russians planned to establish a base from which to fly in more troops and light armored vehicles within striking distance of the heart of the nation’s largest city. It didn’t work that way. Several Russian heli­copters were report­ed to be hit by mis­siles even be­fore they got to Hos­to­mel, and once set­tled in at the air­field they suffered heavy losses from artillery fire.

The fact that the Hos­to­mel assault by the Rus­sian 45th Guards Spe­cial Pur­pose Air­borne Brigade faltered might not stand out in retro­spect if the broad­er Rus­sian effort had im­proved from that point. But it did not. ... Last week the Russians aban­doned Hostomel air­field as part of a whole­sale retreat into Bela­rus and Russia.

An effort to take con­trol of a military air­base in Vasylkiv south of Kyiv also met stiff resistance and report­ed­ly saw sev­eral Rus­sian Il-76 heavy-lift trans­port planes carry­ing para­troop­ers downed by Ukrainian defenses.

A sidelight of the battle for Kyiv was the widely reported saga of a Rus­sian resupply con­voy that stretched doz­ens of miles along a main roadway toward the capital. It initially seemed to be a worri­some sign for the Ukrain­ians, but they man­aged to attack ele­ments of the convoy, which had limited off-road capability and thus eventually dispersed or otherwise became a non-factor in the fight. “They never real­ly pro­vided a resupply of any value to Russian forces that were assem­bling around Kyiv, never really came to their aid,” said Penta­gon spokes­man John Kirby. “The Ukrain­ians put a stop to that convoy pretty quick­ly by being very nim­ble, knocking out bridges, hitting lead vehicles and stopping their movement.” Using a wide array of Western arms, including Javelin portable anti-tank wea­pons, shoulder-fired Stinger anti-air­craft missiles and much more.

“That’s a really bad com­bi­nation if you want to conquer a country,” said Peter Mansoor, a retired Army colonel and professor of mili­tary history at Ohio State University. “[The Russian Army]’s proven itself to be wholly in­capable of conducting modern armored war­fare”. ... Some analysts did question whether Putin appre­ci­ated how much Ukraine’s forces had gained from West­ern training that inten­si­fied after Putin’s 2014 seiz­ure of Crimea and incur­sion into the Donbas.

“It’s stunning,” said military historian Fred­er­ick Kagan of the Insti­tute for the Study of War, who says he knows of no parallel to a major military power like Russia invading a country at the time of its choosing and failing so utterly. The Russians underestimated the num­ber of troops they would need and showed “an astonishing in­abil­ity” to perform basic military functions.

Putin failed to achieve his goal of quickly crush­ing Ukraine’s out­gunned and out­num­bered army. The Rus­sians were ill-pre­pared for Ukrainian resis­tance, proved in­capable of adjusting to setbacks, failed to effec­tive­ly combine air and land operations, mis­judged Ukraine’s ability to defend its skies, and bungled basic military functions like planning and exe­cuting the move­ment of supplies.


  TV 
A screaming mouth dissolves into a trumpet playing, in a 1962 TV episode of The Untouchables.
Gunplay is common, but a scream is rare on TV’s The Un­touch­ables.


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-¦  January 2023  ¦-



  BIRTH OF THE CABLE CAR 

Prototype of the final design for San Francisco's cable car.
THE FINISHED PROTOTYPE, with a driver’s cab at either end, appeared on the California Street Line in 1899. Trams “... were decorated using scrollwork and gold trim, with ornate glass transoms and, for paint, maroon and cream.
Beast of Burden
How San Fran­cis­co’s cable car came to be built will re­quire more than one stop on its tell­ing, wend­ing this way and that, and pass­ing land­marks of wealth and waste. 1869 ad for a horse-drawn carriage company.
Before the cable car, the task for get­ting to Nob Hill was rel­e­gated to pay­ing for a ride in a horse-drawn cab. On Octo­ber 11, 1869, this nec­es­sary yet wan­ton civic cruel­ty of us­ing ani­mals as beasts of bur­den changed for the good. The San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle had a front page arti­cle on the death of a wretch. It took place when a horse final­ly lost it on Cali­for­nia Street and, throt­tled, dragged down to its death.
Horse-drawn public transportation.
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When Andrew Hal­li­die read this, he paused and paced his in­ner office, re­flect­ing on what if any­thing he could learn from this. Hal­li­die was already pros­pe­rous, although not yet famous. He had in­heri­ted a com­pa­ny from his father. The sen­ior Hal­li­die had inv­ent­ed and then patent­ed a “steel cable”: strands of wire lined up and brai­ded into a rope that was super strong, and proved in­dis­pens­able in the gold fields and gold mines.
1848 ad for gold mining tools.
1872 ad for the Clay St Hill Ralway Co. Hallidie took on a failed con­cern: to build a con­vey­ance cap­a­ble of con­quer­ing the city‘s hills. He bought the Clay Street Hill Rail­way Co., and by May 1873 had built tracks and a cable as­sem­bly up Clay from Ports­mouth Square to Nob Hill, a ver­ti­cal climb of seven blocks.
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1873 cable car ticket.
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Early on August 2 1873, a proto­type was in place and, lantern-lit, Hal­li­die stepped on board. Acti­vat­ing a grip lever on­to a mov­ing cable, he as­cen­ded on that peril-prone mai­den voy­age. Few were awake to wit­ness, yet by open­ing day on Sep­tem­ber 1, the ser­vice was in de­mand. In 1880 over one mil­lion tic­kets were sold.
Locomotive Landmark
The first cable cars were tiny trams pow­ered by a patent­ed grip that alter­nate­ly holds, and releases, a con­tin­u­ous­ly mov­ing steel cable run­ning under the street. Power is sup­plied by huge drums housed at near­by power stations along the route. 1877 photo of dummy and trailer set-up.
The tram oper­a­tor is sta­tioned for­ward of the tram. He em­ploys the grip grabs and holds on to the mov­ing cable, the tram al­so moves. When grip is re­leased, tram stops, even on a hill, us­ing a gear inven­tion pre­vent­ing slip­page. Be­sides the tram oper­a­tor (grip­man) is the con­ductor.
The San Francisco cable car became a state registered landmark in 1877.
+
Andrew Smith Halli­die was born on March 17, 1837 in Lon­don, to An­drew Smith (b.1798 Dum­frie­shire, Scot­land) and Julia John­stone (Locker­bie). He died April 24 1900, in San Fran­cis­co. Six years later his cable car system would survive the 1906 Earth­quake.
1880 postcard of a Naples cable car. Cable cars then sprouted world­wide, from New York to Hong Kong. Naples crowned its open­ing by com­mis­sion­ing a song, “Funiculi, Funi­cula.”
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1917 Hallidie Building.
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In 1917, Andrew Smith Hallidie had an inno­va­tive build­ing named for him. The Hal­li­die Build­ing (the architect is Wil­lis Polk) has a facade rising eight stories and sheathed in glass.
City of Cubes
When news of the dis­cov­ery of gold in Cali­for­nia trav­eled back east, the brawn and brains of a young nation came west­ward, where notions of Free­dom waltzed hand-in-glove with great­ness as well as greed. 1848 California Gold Rush.
Accord­ingly, access from the gold mines to San Fran­cisco were sur­veyed. Roads, bridges and tracks were built wher­ever gold was found, with way­sta­tions estab­lished for res­pite and re­cre­ation. The min­ing meth­ods these men brought with them quick­ly evolved to meet the chal­lenges posed by the Com­stock Lode and its trib­u­ta­ries.
Philipp and Mrs Deidesheimer.
 The Deidesheimers
1860 Deidesheimer Square Set drawing.
+
The Indus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion cre­a­ted tools used in sci­en­tific pre­ci­sion­ing, al­low­ing in­no­va­ted mod­els to be test­ed and prof­it­ably man­u­fac­tured. Among these ideas was the in­ge­nuous “square set” cre­a­ted by ger­man en­gi­neer Philipp Deide­shei­mer. Grey Brechin picks up the um­bil­i­cal cord:
1860 Deidesheimer Square Set mdel.
+
The Square Set intro­duced meth­ods of con­struc­tion. Deide­shei­mer’s gift went from con­struct­ing safe­ty zones to con­duct the back­break­ing busi­ness of min­ing into oth­er uses, in­clud­ing the abil­i­ty of a grid of steel beams and col­umns to al­low sup­port for more height.
1870 Equitable Life Assurance Building NYC. “Sky­scraper” came into usage in the 1880s; Amer­i­ca had fif­teen. These build­ings us­ual­ly came w/ mod­ern plumb­ing, elec­tri­cal out­lets in every room, a tele­phone line in every unit, cen­tral heat­ing, and an ele­vator.
+
1870 Jayne Building Philadelphia and 1885 Home Insurance building Chicago. 1990 space elevator
❛ … NASA took a fresh look at the steel cable in light of a super ma­te­rial, car­bon nano­tube ... uber-strong, light and flex­i­ble. “Space Ele­vators: An Ad­vanced Earth-Space Infra­struc­ture for the New Mil­len­ium” is the feas­i­bil­i­ty paper of this new science, to erect a track run­ning on cables, from here to the Moon, a jour­ney of some 62,000 miles.❜ — Meghan Neal, February 28 2014.

Andrew Smith Hallidie 1837-1900
CABLE CAR NOTES
| Based on San Fran­cisco’s Golden Era by Lucius Beebe and Charles Clego (1060); Cable Car Days in San Fran­cisco by Edgar Myron Kahn (1940); The Head­light, March 1947, Western Pacific Club; Imperial San Fran­cisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin by Gray Brechin (1999); and on­line articles by Mary Bellis (“The History of Sky­scrapers”), Karen Barss (“Man­hat­tan’s Golden Age of Sky­scrapers”), and Meghan Neal (“Space Ele­vators Are Total­ly Pos­sible”) | A 1959 epi­sode of TV series Bonanza fea­tures a Phil­ipp Dei­de­shei­mer plot point. | Thank you Taryn Ed­wards, MLIS, Mechan­ics’ Institute. | Thank you Penelope Houston, SF Public Library.




 DISPATCH 
Putin sits in front of wall-size map of Russia.

The seat of national pow­er, Kyiv was the main prize. Thus the thrust by elite airborne forces in the war’s open­ing hours.

When President Vladimir Putin launched his war on Feb. 24 after months of buildup on Ukraine’s borders, he sent hun­dreds of heli­cop­ter-borne com­man­dos — the best of the best of Russia’s “spets­naz” (special forces soldiers) — to assault and seize a light­ly defended air­field on Kyiv’s doorstep.

On the first morning of the war, Russian Mi-8 assault helicopters soared south toward Kyiv on a mission to attack Hostomel airfield on the northwest out­skirts of the capital. By capturing the airfield, also known as Antonov airport, the Russians planned to establish a base from which to fly in more troops and light armored vehicles within striking distance of the heart of the nation’s largest city. It didn’t work that way. Several Russian heli­copters were report­ed to be hit by mis­siles even be­fore they got to Hos­to­mel, and once set­tled in at the air­field they suffered heavy losses from artillery fire.

The fact that the Hos­to­mel assault by the Rus­sian 45th Guards Spe­cial Pur­pose Air­borne Brigade faltered might not stand out in retro­spect if the broad­er Rus­sian effort had im­proved from that point. But it did not. ... Last week the Russians aban­doned Hostomel air­field as part of a whole­sale retreat into Bela­rus and Russia.

An effort to take con­trol of a military air­base in Vasylkiv south of Kyiv also met stiff resistance and report­ed­ly saw sev­eral Rus­sian Il-76 heavy-lift trans­port planes carry­ing para­troop­ers downed by Ukrainian defenses.

A sidelight of the battle for Kyiv was the widely reported saga of a Rus­sian resupply con­voy that stretched doz­ens of miles along a main roadway toward the capital. It initially seemed to be a worri­some sign for the Ukrain­ians, but they man­aged to attack ele­ments of the convoy, which had limited off-road capability and thus eventually dispersed or otherwise became a non-factor in the fight. “They never real­ly pro­vided a resupply of any value to Russian forces that were assem­bling around Kyiv, never really came to their aid,” said Penta­gon spokes­man John Kirby. “The Ukrain­ians put a stop to that convoy pretty quick­ly by being very nim­ble, knocking out bridges, hitting lead vehicles and stopping their movement.” Using a wide array of Western arms, including Javelin portable anti-tank wea­pons, shoulder-fired Stinger anti-air­craft missiles and much more.

“That’s a really bad com­bi­nation if you want to conquer a country,” said Peter Mansoor, a retired Army colonel and professor of mili­tary history at Ohio State University. “[The Russian Army]’s proven itself to be wholly in­capable of conducting modern armored war­fare”. ... Some analysts did question whether Putin appre­ci­ated how much Ukraine’s forces had gained from West­ern training that inten­si­fied after Putin’s 2014 seiz­ure of Crimea and incur­sion into the Donbas.

“It’s stunning,” said military historian Fred­er­ick Kagan of the Insti­tute for the Study of War, who says he knows of no parallel to a major military power like Russia invading a country at the time of its choosing and failing so utterly. The Russians underestimated the num­ber of troops they would need and showed “an astonishing in­abil­ity” to perform basic military functions.

Putin failed to achieve his goal of quickly crush­ing Ukraine’s out­gunned and out­num­bered army. The Rus­sians were ill-pre­pared for Ukrainian resis­tance, proved in­capable of adjusting to setbacks, failed to effec­tive­ly combine air and land operations, mis­judged Ukraine’s ability to defend its skies, and bungled basic military functions like planning and exe­cuting the move­ment of supplies.


 TIMELINE 
The Last Day of World War One by Lenny Flank
BY THE FIRST WEEK of No­vem­ber 1918, the first world war was draw­ing to a close. When it be­gan, in Au­gust 1914, both sides con­fi­dent­ly pre­dict­ed they would be vic­tor­i­ous “be­fore the au­tumn leaves fell from the trees”. In­stead, the war turned in­to a four-year dead­lock. The Ger­mans who broke first. The United States had bela­ted­ly en­tered the war in 1917, but it wasn’t un­til the sum­mer of 1918 that the has­ti­ly-trained dough­boys, armed large­ly with French wea­pons, be­gan ar­riv­ing in sig­nif­i­cant num­bers. It was enough to break the spine of the ex­haust­ed Ger­man Army, and by Sep­tem­ber 1918 the Kaiser’s troops were in re­treat every­where, and the Kai­ser him­self was forced to ab­di­cate by a rebel­lion of the war-weary Ger­man pop­u­la­tion.
+
November 11 1918, the last day of World War One
+
At 5 am the French, Brit­ish, Amer­i­can and Ger­man rep­re­sen­ta­tives signed the arm­is­tice treaty that for­mal­ly end­ed hos­til­i­ties in World War One. Un­der the terms of the Armis­tice, the war would of­fi­cial­ly end at 11 am that morn­ing. All the troops in the trenches had to do was sit tight for the next six hours. In­stead, al­lied forces con­tin­ued to launch a series of at­tacks, pro­duc­ing over 10,000 cas­ual­ties on the last morn­ing of a war that was al­ready over.
0510
At 5:10 am on No­vem­ber 11, the in­stru­ment of sur­ren­der was signed. To give every­one enough time to con­tact all their forces in the field, it was agreed that the for­mal end of hos­til­i­ties would oc­cur at 11 am that morn­ing.
An hour ear­lier, at 4 am, the Fifth Marine Divi­sion was or­dered to cross the Meuse Riv­er on pon­toon bridges, and came un­der ar­til­lery and MG fire. The Marines took over 1,100 cas­ual­ties.
The US Army’s 89th Divi­sion was or­dered to storm the town of Stenay be­cause, the com­mand­er later ex­plained, it had a num­ber of bath-houses and he didn’t want the Ger­mans to have them after the war was over. It cost the Amer­i­cans 61 dead and 304 wound­ed to take Stenay.
The 92nd Divi­sion, an Afri­can-Amer­i­can unit with white of­fi­cers, had been sched­uled for days to make an at­tack on the morn­ing of the 11th. The re­sult was, Gen­eral John Sher­burne bit­ter­ly de­clared, “an ab­so­lute­ly need­less waste of life”.
0600
Although the al­lied forces had known for the past three days that an arm­is­tice was be­ing dis­cussed and the war was al­most over, it wasn’t un­til 6 am that of­fi­cial in­struc­tions went out de­clar­ing that the war would for­mal­ly end at 11 am. Foch had picked that time, as it was poet­i­cal­ly the elev­enth hour of the elev­enth day of the elev­enth month.
0930
Irish­man Pri­vate George Ed­win Eli­son, who had helped de­fend Mons from the Ger­mans back in 1914, now be­came the last Brit­ish sol­dier killed. It was 9:30 am.
1040
At 10:40 am, in the 81st Divi­sion, the com­mand­ing of­fi­cer or­dered his men to stand down; his superior coun­ter­mand­ed that or­der and told the men to ad­vance. The divi­sion lost 66 killed and 395 wound­ed.
1044
At 10:44 am, the 313th Regi­ment was or­dered to clear out a Ger­man MG post at the vil­lage of Ville-De­vant-Chau­mont. As the Amer­i­can troops ad­vanced, the Ger­mans, in ut­ter dis­be­lief, first waved at them fran­tic­al­ly, then fired over their heads to try to get them to stop, and fi­nal­ly in des­per­a­tion fired a short burst di­rect­ly at them. Pri­vate Hen­ry Gun­ter, who had ar­rived in the trenches four months ago, was struck in the head and died in­stant­ly. He was the last Amer­i­can killed in the war. The time was 10:59 am.
1058
Mean­while, the at­tack on Mons con­tin­ued. At 10:58 am, Cana­dian troop­er Pri­vate George Price be­came the last sol­dier of the Brit­ish Com­mon­wealth to be killed.
At 11 am, a Ger­man jun­ior of­fi­cer named Tomas left his trench and ap­proached a group of Amer­i­can troop­ers in No Man’s Land. As To­mas came for­ward, they shot him. It was 11:02 am. The cost on the last day of World War One was over 10,000 cas­ual­ties, wound­ed or killed: 1200 French; 2400 Brit­ish; 3000 Amer­i­cans; 4100 Ger­mans.


 EXCERPT  Battle of the Three Emperors, from War and Peace 1869 by Leo Tolstoy

ON the 18th and 19th of Novem­ber the [Russia and Austria] army ad­vanced two days’ march, and the [French] en­e­my’s out­posts after a brief interchange of shots re­treat­ed. In the high­est army circles from mid­day on the 19th a great, excitedly bust­ling activity be­gan which lasted till the morning of the 20th, when the mem­or­a­ble battle of Aus­ter­litz was fought.
UNTIL midday on the 19th the activity, the eager talk, running to and fro, and dis­patch­ing of ad­ju­tants, was con­fined to the Em­peror’s head­quar­ters (i.e., Alex­an­der I of Russia). But on the after­noon of that day this activity reached [General of the Rus­sian Army] Kutuzov’s head­quar­ters and the staffs of the com­mand­ers of columns. By eve­ning the adjutants had spread it to all ends and parts of the army, and in the night from the 19th to the 20th the whole eighty thou­sand allied troops rose from their bivouacs to the hum of voices, and the army swayed and start­ed in one enor­mous mass six miles long.
THE concentrated activ­i­ty which had begun at the Emperor’s head­quar­ters in the morn­ing and had started the whole move­ment that fol­lowed, was like the first move­ment of the main wheel of a large tower-clock. One wheel slowly moved, another was set in mo­tion, and a third, and wheels began to re­volve fast­er and fast­er, levers and cog-wheels to work, chimes to play, fig­ures to pop out, and the hands to ad­vance with regular motion as a result of all that activity.
JUST as in the mechan­ism of a clock, so in the mechan­ism of the mili­tary machine, an im­pulse once given leads to the final result; and just as indifferently quies­cent till the mo­ment when motion is trans­mit­ted to them are the parts of the mech­an­ism which the impulse has not yet reached. Wheels creak on their axles as the cogs engage one an­oth­er and the revolv­ing pulleys whirr with the rapid­ity of their move­ment, but a neigh­bour­ing wheel is as quiet and motion­less as though it were pre­pared to remain so for a hun­dred years; but the mo­ment comes when the lever catches it, and obey­ing the im­pulse that wheel begins to creak, and joins in the common motion the result and aim of which are beyond its ken.
JUST as in a clock the result of the com­pli­cat­ed motion of in­num­er­able wheels and pulleys is merely a slow and regu­lar movement of the hands which show the time, so the result of all the com­pli­cat­ed human activities of 160,000 Rus­sians and French – all their pas­sions, de­sires, re­morse, humil­i­a­tions, suffer­ings, out­bursts of pride, fear, and enthusiasm – was only the loss of the battle of Auster­litz, the so-called battle of the three Em­perors – that is to say, a slow move­ment of the hand on the dial of human history.


  TV 
A screaming mouth dissolves into a trumpet playing, in a 1962 TV episode of The Untouchables.
Gunplay is common, but a scream is rare on TV’s The Un­touch­ables.



-|  January 2023  |-

 

  WILD WILD WEST   Wild Wild West
Illustrated w/ collages, drawings, maps, paintings, photographs, prints and quotes
| |  Out west, when 1848 was on­ly twenty-four days old, mechan­ic James Marshall was mak­ing a rou­tine in­spec­tion on the grounds of a saw­mill he man­aged for his em­ploy­er. That was when the New Jer­sey native noticed some odd-look­ing ore in a water chan­nel of the South Fork of the Amer­i­can River. It was “... bright, yet mal­le­a­ble. I then tried it be­tween two rocks, and found that it could be beaten in­to a differ­ent shape, but not broken.”

 | |  Nine days after Marshall emerged from the waters w/ his find, the Treaty of Guada­lupe Hidal­go was signed, trans­fer­ring a large tract of Mex­ico to the United States.  | |  These concurrent events to­geth­er pre­cip­i­ta­ted the Cali­for­nia Gold Rush of 1849, when folks came from all over, bring­ing dreams while pray­ing to the god and god­dess of wealth for a show of “colour”  | |  The first came from Mon­te­rey, San Fran­cis­co, San Jose and So­no­ma: when clerks, doc­tors, labor­ers, law­yers, mechan­ics, ranch­eros left their jobs. Sail­ors de­ser­ted their ships. Soldiers de­ser­ted the Mex­i­can War. As word spread more came from Hawai‘i, Mex­ico and Ore­gon.  | |  Gold seekers showing up near the saw­mill of John August Sut­ter, where gold was first dis­cov­ered, had no need for milled lum­ber, and his busi­ness went into de­cline. All the while, a new settle­ment grew across the Amer­i­can Riv­er to be­come Colo­ma, the first gold rush town. Near­by stands a mon­u­ment, by the Native Sons of the Golden West, to mark the grave of James Wil­son Marshall, the “dis­cov­er­er of gold.”



Westward-Ho!

Panama 1849

One can cross Pan­a­ma to get to Cali­for­nia rather than sail around Cape Horn. Up Chagres riv­er to the town of Cule­bra; then don­keys to Gulf of Pan­a­ma, elev­en miles away.
Maps were consulted and what became the Cali­for­nia Trial be­gan w/ exis­ting routes. Emi­grants showed up along the Mis­sou­ri riv­er and towns in Illi­nois or Iowa. Wagon trains hitched, they head­ed out, cross­ing land­apes of grass­lands, prai­ries, steppes, val­leys and riv­ers to Wyo­ming and Fort Lara­mie. Fort Laramie 1834  | |  The only way to cross the Rock­ies was a cor­ri­dor be­yond Fort Lara­mie, lev­el and broad. South Pass af­ford­ed sev­er­al routes pas­sage to Cali­for­nia. At a fork in the road soon after, the Ore­gon Trail veers right while the Mor­mon Trail turns south to­ward Fort Bridger.

Fort Bridger 1842  | |  Overland travelers chose routes de­pen­dent on start­ing point and final des­ti­na­tion. Oth­er factors were the con­di­tion of their wagons, live­stock, and the avail­ability of water.
Gold Country 1850  | |  From California, one can get to Ore­gon on the Apple­gate Trail (1846), an alter­native to the haz­ard­ous last leg of the Ore­gon Trail.

 | |  The Oregon Trail be­gins in Mis­sou­ri and leaves ei­ther Fort Leav­en­worth, Inde­pen­dence or Saint Jo­seph for a two thou­sand mile trek to the Ore­gon Ter­ri­tory. Past the Great Plains, then the Rock­ies, head­ing west north­west to the Snake river, Fort Boise, Wit­man Mis­sion, The Dales, Fort Van­cou­ver, the Colum­bia river, and the coast.

The Santa Fe Trail starts off in Mis­sou­ri, rolls through Kan­sas and a cor­ner of Colo­rado. Cross­ing the Arkan­sas river be­fore drop­ping to New Mex­ico, the trail loses its iden­tity some­what in San­ta Fe, where it is braid­ed to the Gila Trail, a local 16th-c. com­merce and trav­el high road, bring­ing trade from in­land to the coast.
 | |  The Mormon Trail, gathers in Illi­nois and wends by Iowa and Nebras­ka be­fore join­ing estab­lished trails in Wyo­ming. To­geth­er they cross the Rock­ies, then the Mor­mon Trail con­tin­ues south south­west to Utah Ter­ri­tory to end up in Los Angeles. Be­sides the over­land­ers there were al­so sea­farers.

O Pioneers! 1849 Cape Horn 1849  | |  An eight-month sea route from New York to San Fran­cis­co would in­volve a haz­ard­ous round­ing of Cape Horn.

Atlantic Ocean 1852

Gold Fever
A 49er carries pick­axe, shov­el and pan. Can add a rock­er and a hop­per; some also con­duct hy­draul­ic ex­pe­ri­ments. A water wheel would be jim-dan­dy, to pick up indi­vid­ual quan­ti­ties of gold-bear­ing grav­el and sand.

Gold Mining 1949
49er 1848 Personal gear: pair of blan­kets, fry­ing-pan, flour, salt pork, bran­dy (or other sanc­ti­fy­ing spirit). Field gear must-haves: pick­axe, shovel and pan. Some pro­cure a mule. toolbox  | |  Gold miners w/ no finan­cial back­ing learn to con­gre­gate along moun­tain roads and wait for sup­ply wagons pass­ing through, bring­ing food and tools and carry­ing out gold dust. Satur­day nights were for saloon­ing and carous­ing. Sun­day is a holi­day – laun­dry, tool re­pair, swap­ping stories, writ­ing let­ters, nap­ping.

49ers 1854
gold pan  | |  A twelve inch shal­low sheet-iron pan to rinse soil w/ water and lo­cate the gold. rocker  | |  A rock­er is a rec­tan­gu­lar wood­en box mount­ed on two rock­ers and set at a down­ward angle.
hopper  | |  The hop­per is a box sit­ting on top of the rock­er, lined w/ a sheet of per­for­a­ted iron. Be­neath is an area called the “riddle-box.”
long tom  | |  The long tom is an im­proved rock­er plus hop­per, reach­ing to twen­ty feet in length. A long sheet of per­for­a­ted iron lines the bot­tom and be­neath that iw the riddle-box.
 | |  Women too had gold fev­er, com­ing from Mex­ico, Chile, Peru, Eng­land, France, New York and New Orleans. James Marshall tests his discovery’s quality in Mrs Wimmer’s kettle of boiling soap  | |  Depicted in history as adven­turess, courte­san, har­lot, pick­pocket, pros­ti­tute and the demi­monde, these women were al­so book­keep­ers, cooks, laun­dress­es, shop-keep­ers, maids, wives. When moun­tain roads im­proved suffi­cient­ly to make trav­el be­tween towns feas­i­ble, they set forth as per­form­ers. Golden Girls 1849  | |  Mrs Clappe came west in 1851 w/ her hus­band. In her let­ters home she gives an ac­count of the era, about geol­ogy and a vis­it to a rural doctor’s rude of­fice of pine shin­gles and cot­ton cloth.

City of Gold
saloon chandelier
Sydney Duck “Eng­lish Jim” Stuart was hanged for rob­bery and mur­der on July 11 1851.

San Francisco 1851
Yerba Buena 1847 1848 Yerba Buena was a ham­let on the San Fran­cis­co penin­sula w/ an ex­cel­lent har­bor. The Span­iards es­tab­lished a mari­time trad­ing post and built the Mis­sion of San Fran­cis­co de Asis. Ships dock­ing in its cove dis­charged sea­far­ers to a Span­ish-style pla­za known as Ports­mouth Square. Eureka! 1848
 | |  On arrival gold seek­ers rent­ed lodg­ings in shan­ties and tent towns, and stayed long enough to buy tools and pro­vi­sions be­fore head­ing out.

Sydney Ducks 1848  | |  Brought over from Aus­tra­lia to perform labor, Eng­lish con­victs de­ser­ted en masse and in­stead formed a gang. Soon a fron­tier patch of law­less­ness, Sydney Town, sprout­ed at the base of Tele­graph Hill. The Sydney Ducks preyed on peo­ple and prop­er­ty, aug­men­ted by a gang of lady pick­poc­kets, and wil­ling­ly com­mit­ted mur­der to survive.
Post Office  | |  The embers of Syd­ney Town re­kin­dled and gave birth to the Bar­bary Coast, chock-a-block w/ bars, saloons, broth­els, con­cert halls, dance halls; where “get­ting shang­haied” was first re­hearsed. Sur­vived the 1906 Earth­quake and Fire, by 1917 the red-light dis­trict was no more.

San Francisco 1848 1849 19850 1851 Mint of San Francisco

Gold Mountain
Coloma Valley 1849
Sutter’s Mill on the South Fork of the Amer­i­can River.
Sutters Mill 1848 Coloma, next to Sut­ter’s Mill, was the first gold min­ing town. A post of­fice and jail were add­ed in 1852 – both proved pop­ular. Gold min­ing also took place north at Bid­well’s Bar, Cut Eye Fos­ter’s Bar, Down­ie­ville, Dutch Flat, Good­year’s Bar, Grass Val­ley, Hell­town, Illinois­town, Iowa Hill, Kana­ka Flat, Lousy Level, Marys­ville, Mur­der­ers Bar, Neva­da City, Plu­mas City, Poker Flat, Rough and Ready, Wash­ing­ton, Whis­key Flat, Wis­con­sin Hill, and You Bet.  | |  South at Angels Camp, Chi­nese Camp, Dog­town, Fair Play, Hor­ni­tos, Jack­son, Moke­lum­me Hill, Mor­mon Bar, Raw­hide, Rich Gulch, Shaw’s Flat, Sonora, Vol­cano.
 | |  Gold was found along trib­u­ta­ries to the San Joa­quin and Sac­ra­men­to riv­ers. At Au­burn, Dia­mond Springs, Grizz­ly Flats, Mis­sou­ri Flat, Placer­ville.

Miwok 1851  | |  Home to Native Amer­i­cans incl. the Miwok, the Sier­ra Neva­da was rude­ly af­fect­ed by the Gold Rush. In 1849 an incident oc­curred along the Mid­dle Fork of the Amer­i­can River when some 49ers died and some indi­genes killed. An un­easy truce ob­tained when Native Amer­i­cans were hired on as labor­ers and paid in tin, but by 1900 their pop­u­la­tion had de­clined to only ±16,000.

Hollywood 1935  | |  Be­fore James Cag­ney was the Fris­co Kid and Ed­ward G. Robin­son drama­tized life in the Bar­bary Coast era, there was a 1913 fea­ture, The Last Night of the Bar­bary Coast, now a lost film.
pair of jeans The 1849 state cen­sus count­ed 42,000 over­land­ers and 35,000 sea­far­ers caught up by gold fev­er; to­geth­er w/ 3,000 sail­ors who had deser­ted ships.

 | |  Coloma is now a ghost town in­side Marsh­all Gold Dis­cov­ery State His­toric Park.

Chinatown 1852 Like all who seek a bet­ter to­mor­row, the Chi­nese too came to the Cali­for­nia Gold Rush, formed a fra­tern­i­ty in Colo­ma, squat­ted spent claims and worked as a team over the “tail­ings” left be­hind. In 1880 this gold-min­ing China­town was lost to fire.