Gibbons—who one practicing (not professional—I stand corrected) historian friend of mine has labeled the “ubermensch from the era of the enlightenment through the industrial revolution”—in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire wrote, “History, which undertakes to record the transactions of the past, for the instruction of future ages…”
The infamous battle which essentially was the first of the Revolutionary War was A. A battle, B. A losing battle, and C. A fight between two opponents.
Take a moment and imagine the Battle of Bunker Hill. Read up on it if it’s been a while. (I only did recently because it is a scene in GA Henty’s, “True to the Old Flag” adventure novel that I just was lent.)
Is war coming? How can that question ever not be answered in the affirmative? Of course war is coming. Unless we’re in war. Then peace is on the way. But after peace, war is coming. (And now you know I’ve read and understand Tolstoy.)
Are the criminals who are rioting today manifesting the Bunker Hill equivalent? Nope.
Next question: are you humble enough to be instructed by history, that is, to admit the difference between the events? I hope so.
Moreover, if you pro-trumpers really want the war, you too can be instructed by history. Merely to evidence that I’m no hopey-dopey-changey-mangy democrat (and not because I want the war—I got bills, remember!), here’s what I see as easy course corrections, based entirely on a long-since passed over boys adventure novel. A. Setup at night. B. Take high-ish ground at night. C. Build battlements at night. D. Have character. E. Have been concretely grieved by the colonizing government.
I don’t normally advocate reading “history” books. But since my best friend has told me to avoid writing about the field because I’m out of my element (though daily proving that a few used books are more than enough to encourage me to have a wild opinion—no PhD program necessary), I thought I’d step into the fray.
Can reading history save us from war? Nope.
But I believe the ability to imagine historical events will help us win the coming war.
Today, then, imagine the Battle of Bunker Hill.