Next year the country will be celebrating the commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. Thus, it is only appropriate that today, on Veteran's Day, I relate one of my own favorite military accounts, derived from America's most bloody and violent conflict. Yet the following was an event truly 'civil' in nature; two men, though on opposing sides, quickly but tragically became friends, if only for a short period of time, during the 'Battle of Rome, Georgia,' fought on October 12th, 1864.
Most everyone is familiar with the lyrics, from the famous song, 'As Time Goes By,' as sung in the movie, Casablanca, which states how, "A Kiss is just a Kiss..." An article in a recent Metro News, for October 15-17, 2010, remarked how "a kiss from the one you love may be exactly what the doctor ordered." That is of course, normally the case.
The origin of two individuals shaking hands, as a sign of friendship, legal commitment or oath-taking, is lost in antiquity, though examples of it exist in both stone and illustration as far back as the 5th century B.C., in early Greece.
As I write these words, an attempt is being made to rescue thirty-three trapped miners, deep inside the San Jose gold and copper mine at Copiapo in the country of Chile. Plus, August 27 is the 47th anniversary of one of the most famous mining disasters and rescue operations to have occurred in Pennsylvania, which captured both the country and the world's attention, of which I'll shortly return and give a brief account.
Recently, within my other publication here at the Society, History Hits (which may be obtained free by subscription here), I wrote a short article with graphics entitled, "Antarctica: The Lost Continent." Writings of famed Antarctic explorers such as Charles Wilkes, Admiral Richard E.