Friday, September 16, 2011

A Historical Interview with John Lee Anderson, Minister of War

Note to Readers: This is the Second of two interviews I have prepared for the Interview with a Character Blog Fest. Enjoy.
  • NB: We at the Night Beat have access to some of the most cutting edge technology out there. Don't let it get around, but we have a Way-Back Machine. For this interview, we are going back to the "City" of Reno. I put that in quotes because ther's only six thousand or so in the Whole of Washoe County. Now this is a kind of scoop for bloggers everywhere. Getting a one on one interview with the Minister of War of the Republic of Ansdale during their War of Independence against The United States. Minister of War John Lee Anderson. General Anderson, thank you for having me here today.
  • JLA If an interview with an Eastern Newspaper will help put pressure on Washington to let us go our own way, then it is worth it (NOTE: I told him I worked for a newspaper. It's easier than explaining a blog to someone in the 19th Century.)
  • NB: How shall I describe you to my readers? Western Pioneer?, Mexican War Veteran?, Father of His Country?
  • JLA: I think that 'A Loyal Servant of His Country' would suffice.
  • NB: Some would think that strange coming from someone currently at war against his former country.
  • JLA: That would depend on your definition of country. Since 1855 I have considered my country to be Dakota, and by extension, the West.
  • NB: 1855, that would be President Pierce.
  • JLA: Correct.
  • NB: A review of your military career reveals only one gap, that of the civil war. Some would accuse you of disloyalty by sitting out the war when you were needed.
  • JLA: If President Lincoln had ordered Fort Ansdale to joint the fight, then I would have complied. Dakota was far outside the theatre of war, and I was not going to risk the lives of my men in a regional squabble that we had no cause to involve ourselves in. The Decision did make me many enemies, though.
  • NB: One of those enemies, George Armstrong Custer, recently met his untimely, though some would say not entirely unexpected end at Little Big Horn. Now History records the actions of Crazy Horse being responsible to the victory, but you have a different view.
  • JLA: Crazy Horse was involved, but I think it is unconscionable that the role of the Ansdale Native Cavalry was not recognized. Without their and various other Republican Troops, Custer and his troops would have triumphed, which would have been very bad for our cause. I know it is uncouth to feel no sorrow over the passing of a former soldier in arms. Perhaps if he was less of an ass I would.
  • NB: Back to the former Civil War. Since you are a native Kentuckian and having married a Southern Belle who was cousin to Jeff Davis himself, one might infer that your sympathies were with the South.
  • JLA: And they would be wrong. I am also brother to Robert Anderson of Fort Sumter fame. As to Susan, she was the loyal Army Wife and followed my choice. Sauf Asir was even used as a stop on the Underground Railroad, with the full approval of Mistress Davis (NOTE: Sauf Asir is the Davis Family Plantation near Mobile, Alabama)
  • NB: What is your personal view on Slavery?
  • JLA: I am glad it is gone, but I am still convinced that the price was too high. If we could have been just a bit more patient, I am convinced that agricultural machines such as the McCormick Reaper would have cause Slavery to wither and die in a couple of years.
  • NB: So your view on the Freedman's Bureau call for "40 Acres and a Mule"?
  • JLA: It is misguided. I am glad it has not been official policy for Lincoln, Johnson or Grant. You can not rectify a wrong by creating another wrong. We have already proved that with the so-called Reconstruction. The Rise of The Klan can be directly linked to the misguided attempts of the Radical Republicans to make the "South Pay" for the war.
  • NB: Some feel that the last war settled the issue of secession forever?
  • JLA: I disagree. All it settled was slavery. And the fact that the side with the most guns will most likely win. We only have a few States out west, mostly we have territories. Until war broke out, we had a desire to be admitted to the Union as a State. If we were not in the Union, how can we be faulted for leaving it?
  • NB: For the sake of my readers, what are your reasons for separation?
  • JLA: There are many, but I will mention the most eggregious. While the people of Alaska should have been admitted to all the rights and privileges afforded Citizens of The United States ten years ago, they had not even been afforded the most basic of civil laws. We had to act. Now we have war.
  • NB: The war is now entering its sixth year, already two years longer than The Confederacy held out. They say there is no end in sight. What is the secret to your success?
  • JLA: Success only comes with victory. The secret to our resistance lies in the fact that the Federals have been unable to control the field of battle. We are able to attack quickly and then withdraw into the frontier. It has been extremely disheartening to the Federals
  • NB: Is that all?
  • JLA: No? We have also gambled on new weapons. Our artillery has been assigned the Gatling Gun, and our navy has purchased a new invention which is called the torpedo. We are extremely pleased with the tests on this weapon and are eager to see how it performs in an engagement.
  • NB: It is interesting that you have used the word gamble, because I see that your middle son Robert is courting Leah Quantrill, who is quite the card shark.
  • JLA: And quite the Cavalry Officer. Yes, Yes, and the Daughter of Satan. Susan is still not quite sure how to act around her, but Robert is smitten with her, and she with him. One one of her trips through she gave me some plans for a series of gambling and music halls that she thinks would liven things up here. I admire her initiative, but I doubt that sort of business would amount to anything.
  • NB: In closing, I heard your daughter Katherine recently got married. Congratulations.
  • JLA: Susan and I are extremely proud. I think we'll have to wait a while for any grandchildren, because Katherine is happy at Fort Republic in Alaska and Major Morgan is commanding the First Cavalry at Wyoming. Susan did an extremely fine job transforming Fort Republic into Mobile, except for the weather.
  • NB: General Anderson, thank you for your time