Hello, I’m Jim Hardaway, of Nashville, Tennessee, a history buff. I cannot remember a time in my life when I wasn’t a history buff. First, it was the Civil War. I have dim memories of attending various CW Centennial events as a youngster in the early sixties. Maybe, that was when I was bit by the bug. Then, when I was twelve or so, my aunt in Lebanon, gave to me the uniform jacket that belonged to my uncle RE in World War Two. It was dusty and hanging in her detached garage. I wore it around for a year or two. Now I have no idea what happened to it. It’s gone. That was about the time I developed an equally strong interest in World War Two.
In early 1969 at the age of fifteen I connected somehow with a bunch of Civil War reeanactors and put together a uniform of sorts. That Summer I wore it to my first real reenactment near Shiloh, a silly affair when compared to the more sophisticated, authentic, and realistic affairs that I was involved with years later. Later, in 1971, I attended a revolutionary war event in Camden, SC dressed up as a Scottish Highlander, wearing the bearskin-type hat and firing a 45-70 trapdoor Springfield rifle at the fleeing patriots! No, my supplier didn’t have any Brown Bess muskets to loan out so he issued what he had. Even then, and I didn’t know much, I knew that this was not an 18th century weapon.
My poor wife, who was kind enough to marry me in 1975, has had to put up with my passion for history and she has done so with grace and understanding-mostly. When I go to a book shop, I go to the history section. When I go on vacation, I want to know if there’s a battlefield nearby. When I consider what movie to watch the military history flick is generally my first choice. Then I’ll pick it apart and tell my poor wife, if she is with me, where they “messed up.”She’s had to listen to me for years. And no, I was never actually in the military, something I’m not particularly proud of.
Yes, I’m a history buff and can’t help it. God made me this way. And now, here is my blog. It helps me get it all out, a piece at a time. If no one reads it, it doesn’t matter. It’s what I am.
This site is designed for those who want to know more of our
history, particularly of our military history. Every attempt will
be made to be not only informative but entertaining and interes-
ting. Popular misconceptions will be addressed, and hopefully
remedied always done with the awareness that history is simply
an attempt by a person or persons who, through their own
sociological and cultural framework, to tell us what really
happened and perhaps, why. One must always do this with
humility. An example-to Americans of European
descent, one may speak of how the West was won. To a Native
American, it will be of how the West was lost. History is about the changes that human beings experience through the passage of time,
and not only the indisputable facts, but an exploration of just how
a person or persons, particularly organized groups, got from one place or
situation to another. Moreover, the question of why looms equally important: Why do people act as they do? Why, for example, did
the German people elect Hitler in 1933? And what did they know
about the man when they did so? The there is the relative importance
of conditions and events. This is often the point of greatest controversy
among historians. Was D-Day the real turning point of WWII as
author Stephen Ambrose contends, the event that sealed Nazi Germany’s fate, or was it perhaps a battle in the East: Stalingrad or Kursk as British historian Richard Overy might insist?
Then there are the many questions raised about leaders and their current status. Yesterday’s hero may not be today’s hero. Example: to many Teddy Roosevelt, with his imaginative foresight in the creation of our national park system is a real hero, a man to be admired. To author James Bradley, who looks at the imperial escapades of TR in the Pacific, he is no hero at all, but someone who cultivated a relationship with an emerging Japan that back-fired, resulting thirty-five years later in a catastrophic war.
History is the story of human beings, acting selfishly one day and nobly the next, or worse, participating in evil one day and denying it the next. It keeps things interesting, keeps the historians writing and the bloggers blogging.