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BORN FIGHTING by James Webb

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Liberty Belle

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Those of you with Scottish or Irish ancestors will find this book very interesting. Webb tell our history with the perspective that could only come from one of us. I've ordered one for each of my children for Christmas that I will give to them along with a pedigree chart showing their heritage, plus some good stories I've written up that my Scotch-Irish father told me. The younger ones probably won't appreciate it much now, but they will as they get older.

Born Fighting
In his first work of nonfiction, bestselling novelist James Webb tells the epic story of the Scots-Irish, a people whose lives and worldview were dictated by resistance, conflict, and struggle, and who, in turn, profoundly influenced the social, political, and cultural landscape of America from its beginnings through the present day.

More than 27 million Americans today can trace their lineage to the Scots, whose bloodline was stained by centuries of continuous warfare along the border between England and Scotland, and later in the bitter settlements of England's Ulster Plantation in Northern Ireland. Between 250,000 and 400,000 Scots-Irish migrated to America in the eighteenth century, traveling in groups of families and bringing with them not only long experience as rebels and outcasts but also unparalleled skills as frontiersmen and guerrilla fighters. Their cultural identity reflected acute individualism, dislike of aristocracy and a military tradition, and, over time, the Scots-Irish defined the attitudes and values of the military, of working class America, and even of the peculiarly populist form of American democracy itself.

"Born Fighting is the first book to chronicle the full journey of this remarkable cultural group, and the profound, but unrecognized, role it has played in the shaping of America. Written with the storytelling verve that has earned his works such acclaim as "captivating . . . unforgettable" (the" Wall Street Journal on "Lost Soliders), Scots-Irishman James Webb, Vietnam combat veteran and former Naval Secretary, traces the history of his people, beginning nearly two thousand years ago at Hadrian's Wall, when the nation of Scotland was formed north of the Wall through armed conflict in contrast to England's formation to the south through commerce and trade. Webb recounts the Scots' odyssey--their clashes with the English in Scotland and then in Ulster, their retreat from one war-ravaged land to another.

Through engrossing chronicles of the challenges the Scots-Irish faced, Webb vividly portrays how they developed the qualities that helped settle the American frontier and define the American character.

"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.
Both a distinguished work of cultural history and a human drama that speaks straight to the heart of contemporary America, "Born Fighting reintroduces America to its most powerful, patriotic, and individualistic cultural group--one too often ignored or taken for granted.
 

Liberty Belle

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Northern Rancher: My ancestors farm was the oldest farm to remain in one family in Scotland-it was a place in the Highlands where the Presbyterians went to hide whenever there was a Catholic king or queen. That stuff in the attic is very interesting especially the papers from the war years-the speculation makes an interesting read when you know the final outcome.
Which war years are you talking about here? The history of the Scots-Irish is full of war and strife and is fascinating to me, especially from a safe distance in both time and space. My ancestors, who were both highland and lowland Scots, Irish Presbyterians and Irish Catholics, fought just as often with each other as they did with other nationalities.

My McGregor grandfather married my Campbell grandmother, which is much like a Hatfield marrying a McCoy and caused them to immigrate to the US because of the ensuing family row. I had relatives on both sides of the Revolutionary War and both sides of the bloody Civil War and as far as that war goes, I still can't decide which side I would have been on had I been alive at that time. Webb does a good job of telling the horrors the south endured following that war.
 

Northern Rancher

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Omg Liberty don't you know the old Scotch adage 'Never trust a Campbell' lol. I'm a member of the "Fighting Gunns'. Was reading about a battle we had with the Keith's-it was agreed that six horseman fromeach clan would meet at a large rock to do battle. Anyways the Keith's showed up riding double and slew the Gunn's to a man. It was black treachery lol. We spent the next 3-400 years getting even lol.
 

Liberty Belle

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I've heard that expression all my life, with good reason I might add!! I guess my g-g-grandmother was a nice lady, even though she was a Campbell. Here's a little something on the subject I got off the internet:

A Highland Clan, the MacGregor ancestral lands were on the east bank of Loch Lomond, up through Glenorchy, Glen Dochard, the Trossick Mountains to Lock Katrine, Loch Voll and the Braes of Balquhidder. These extensive territories in the Central Highlands, from Argyll to Aberdeenshire, were coveted by others, especially the Campbells, who, over the years, obtained various legal charters to dispossess the MacGregors (no love lost here—a prayer handed down by generations of MacGregors stated: "Frae the greed o' the Campbells, Good Lord deliver us!").
http://home.globalcrossing.net/~macisme/macgreg.html

I suppose you already know that your Scots started as Vikings? Here's another url for you about the Gunn clan:
The name originated from a Norse personal name "Gunni" (which means "war"). The first Gunni came to Caithness at the end of the 12th century when his wife inherited land there from her brother who was Jarl (Earl) of Orkney. Gunni's wife was descended from St Ragnvald who founded the St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. Gunni's Viking grandfather had been killed in 1171 on a raid on Dublin. Orkney and Shetland were still part of Norway at this time.
http://www.rampantscotland.com/clans/blclangunn.htm
 

Liberty Belle

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BMR: Oh OH I've got Campbell and Alton blood in me.
Oh well, don't let it get you down. I've managed to live with the shame for a lot of years. It may cheer you to know that your Alton name is part of the Moffat clan, and as such, you are desendent from the Vikings too. Pretty impressive folks your clan associated with. I'll copy and paste what I found for you here:
A Short History of the Clan Moffat:
Early History :
The Moffats were in Dumfriesshire by the late 1100s. They were first known as 'Movats' and 'de Movest' (indicating Norman descent) then became 'de Moffet'. The name of Robert de Movest was corrupted and given to the town (ville) as Moffat. They appear to have rapidly risen in power and influence; in 1268 Nicolas de Moffet was Bishop of Glasgow, in 1336 William de Moffete was one of three ambassadors to the English Court, in 1337 Walter de Moffet was Ambassador to France and by 1342 was King's Messenger to France, England and the Marches.
Moffats were amongst the first to join with William Wallace and were close allies of Robert the Bruce, Lord of Annandale and later King of Scots. The Moffats supplied 40 men and 40 horses at the Battle of Bannockburn, where Scottish cavalry totalled about 500 light horse.
Houses of the Family :
The principal Houses of the Family were:
Auldton (Alton House) : Home of the Chief of the Clan. Some surface features. • Grantoun (Granton House) :
• Wauchope :
• Knock :
• Gillesbie :
• Polmoodie (Poldean) :
up until the Union of the Crowns in 1607.

Read this for more information of Clan Moffat: http://www.dalbeattie.com/moffat/clan-moffat/

You and all the other Scots on this board might enjoy this site. It's got a wealth of information on Scotland and the clans, including the history, tartans, septs, etc.
http://electricscotland.com/
 

nr

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Liberty,
We've read that book and found it very informative re our history.

This short, gory poem does not surpass Saddletramp's but was written by a Scot of the Clan Graham named Montrose , part of my gene pool who had the poor distinction of having his body parts displayed in cities across the kingdom for ten years, till Charles II was restored and arranged for him Scotland’s greatest ever State funeral.

As well as a martyred fighter, he was a poet and scholar, and on the eve of his death he wrote:-

Let them bestow on every airt a limb,
Then open all my veins that I may swim
To Thee, my Maker, in that crimson lake;
Then place my parboiled head on a stake,
Scatter my ashes, strew them in the air.-
Lord! Since Thou knowest where all these atoms are,
I’m hopeful Thou’lt recover once my dust,
And confident Thou’ll raise me with the just.
 

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