Thursday, August 29, 2013

Born Fighting

"If defeated everywhere else, I will make my stand for liberty among the Scots-Irish of my native Virginia".---- General George Washington

Cracker, Redneck, Hillbilly. Yea, like several million other Americans of European descent, I've got Scot-Irish ancestors.   In fact, on my mom's side alone I have dozens and dozens of tough, hard-scrabble Scot-Irish ancestors!  Guess the fact I don't have any on my dad's side is my saving grace as like former senator, Jim Webb's book details, the Scots-Irish are/were "born fighting" and have been for generations and generations, not only in the U.S., but in Ireland and before that in Scotland.

Wikipedia has this info on my ancestors: --->  Scotch-Irish (or Scots-IrishAmericans are the descendants of Presbyterian and other Protestant dissenters from the Irish province of Ulster who migrated to North America during the 18th and 19th centuries.[2] Most of the Scotch-Irish were descended from Scottish and English families who colonized Ireland during the Plantation of Ulster in the 17th century..[5]

If you have Scots-Irish ancestors I highly recommend James Webb's book, "Born Fighting, How the Scots-Irish Shaped America."  It does a great job of defining who and what the Scot-Irish are/were and how they shaped the course of America.   Here's one description of the book:

"Born Fighting shows that the Scots-Irish were 40 percent of the Revolutionary War army; they included the pioneers Daniel Boone, Lewis and Clark, Davy Crockett, and Sam Houston; they were the writers Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain; and they have given America numerous great military leaders, including Stonewall Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, Audie Murphy, and George S. Patton, as well as most of the soldiers of the Confederacy (only 5 percent of whom owned slaves, and who fought against what they viewed as an invading army). It illustrates how the Scots-Irish redefined American politics, creating the populist movement and giving the country a dozen presidents, including Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. And it explores how the Scots-Irish culture of isolation, hard luck, stubbornness, and mistrust of the nation’s elite formed and still dominates blue-collar America, the military services, the Bible Belt, and country music. "

You can find it on Amazon (see below) and also view the documentary on the Smithsonian Channel.

If you read the book you'll find out the true origin of the word Redneck, as well as why Scots-Irish have willfully volunteered in droves for every war the U.S. has fought and their impact on our country and way of life.

And while I have been a little irreverent about my Scots-Irish ancestors in the blog post, the reality is I'm really proud to be part Scots-Irish and admire my many Ulster ancestors who were some of the toughest people to ever to walk this Earth.