Wednesday, September 4, 2013


This is coolbert:

Here with an interesting excerpt from the book: "By-Ways of War, The Story of the Filibusters" by James Jeffrey Roche. A book first printed in 1900.

Jim Bowie, famous as a duelist, a combat commander cool-headed, an explorer, adventurer, and most famous for his courage and bravery even when infirm and sick unto-death, dying the death of a hero at the Alamo.

"Bowie was a Georgian, born in Burke County, about 1790. Not much is known of his career until the year 1827, when he became famous throughout the Southwest by his participation in a 'difficulty' [a disagreement leading to a duel] between two citizens of Natchez, Mississippi. Several friends of both combatants assisted at the duel and a general fight was the natural and welcome result. During the melée, Bowie was wounded, but killed one of his antagonists with a knife which a blacksmith had made for him out of a large file or rasp. The fame of the new weapon spread under the name of the 'Bowie Knife', which still holds a high place in the affections of those who love close fighting. Oliver Wendell Holmes drily compares it to the short sword of the ancient Romans and says that 'nations which shorten their weapons lengthen their boundaries' . . . There is no doubt that Bowie was one of the bravest and coolest men that ever lived, even in Texas."

The filibusters a subject for discussion in previous blog entries here, here, and here. OR download a free copy of the Roche book from The Gutenburg Project

Most importantly, that quote of Oliver Wendell Holmes: "nations which shorten their weapons lengthen their boundaries", EXACTLY WHAT IS BEING SUGGESTED?

Devoted readers to the blog can comment?

Let me hear from you!


1 comment:

Steiner said...

Holmes was probably a classicist, he's referring to the Roman gladius.

I suggest the Normans were the most prolific empire-builders in medieval Europe and I believe they used long swords and broadswords.