Understanding Recent Social Unrest: A Short review of Demonic by Ann Coulter

To understand what is happening in the many recent riots in many liberal cities of our country due to the looters, vandals, and anarchists, it is helpful to read Ann Coulter’s book, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America. Coulter reveals all the psychological characteristics of a mob–practicing groupthink, slavishly following intellectual fashions, and periodically bursting into violence. After you read this, you can understand what she means when she says, “You can lead a mob to water, but you can’t make it think.”

This is one of the books that helped me to understand the mob mentality and causes of the riots, looting, violence, and vandalism of the recent troubles.  Our government should hunt down, arrest, and prosecute the instigators of these troubles as soon as possible. If we don’t, they will only cause more anarchy again.


On the Trail of Lofa,  Bigfoot of the Chickasaw

On the Trail of Lofa,  Bigfoot of the Chickasaw

His name is Tisho Minko, the voice of the chief of the Chickasaw, the Lords of the Mississippi.  He was the last of the great warrior  Chickasaw chiefs, one who had worn the two white arrows in his hair since his youth.  He had never been defeated in battle and his pursuit of enemies who dare to raid us was always been successful. That is, until the winter of 1815.

He had just returned from the Creek War, fighting with the troops of Andrew Jackson. Our crops of corn, pumpkins, beans and squash had been harvested, the animals of our woodlands are fat and their winter hides were full and thick.  Though th Chickasaw were so feared by all of their enemies that they no longer dare raid their villages, there was still one enemy who did not fear the Chickasaw. An enemy that was so fierce, that our warriors spoke his name only in whispers. His name was Lofa, the creature who flayed the skins of his victims and who stole our women.

After two of our warriors failed to return from their hunts, Tisho Minko and others trailed them and found their bodies, at least what was left of them. Our warriors bore their bodies back to the village and the wails of our women cried out to the heavens.

The women washed their bodies and we buried them in their grave cabins.

A week later, Chula’s daughter vanished one evening while gathering wood, then Teata, the wife of Piominko could not be found.  She had gone to sleep next to her husband, but when he woke, she was gone.

Piominko and Tisho Minko and the other warriors gathered for council.

Piominko said, “The hairy beast in my grandfather’s stories has returned.  He said that the creature came to our lands the same time as the white man.  Itawamba has seen his tracks in our fields. What should be done?”

Tisho Minko, smoked his pipe thoughtfully, and then said, “I will hunt him, and I will kill him!”

“Who shall go with you?” Piominko asked.

“I will go alone. No group of hunters has ever seen him, but the old men say that a single hunter can find him. I will leave now. There is a full moon tonight. See to your families. Post a warrior on the edge of the fields, and have another circle the village at night until I return.”

The men voiced assent, stood, and dispersed to their homes.

Tisho Minko strode from the village, long knife and tomahawk in his belt, and his flintlock rifle in his hands. The tracks in the fields were westerly, toward the Mississippi.  The sun was setting as he entered the tree line and the darkness of the forest.  Soon, there was no more trail visible, in spite of the Big Winter Moon above him.  He sat down, his back against a large oak, rifle in his lap, and he listened to the night sounds.  Before the moon had set in the west, a deer raced by him, spooked by something it had seen or smelled. Then he heard the heavy footsteps rustle the leaves, moving his way.  He studied the dark silhouette, as tall as Tisho Minko himself. The Lofa shuffled on, snorting and blowing, and then stopped in a moonbeam that had sliced through the forest canopy.  Tisho Minko raised his rifle and was about to fire when he heard the rustle of leaves. Another Lofa shuffled through the forest and stood next to the first.

Tisho Minko was not sure if the other would attack or flee. He aimed at the one he could see clearly in the moonlight and fired. The Lofa fell. Tisho Minko rose to his feet with a war cry and drew and knife and axe from his belt.

The second Lofa rushed forward near him and then stopped as if to study him. The creature grabbed the leg of the fallen Lofa and dragged his fellow back into the darkness of the woods.

Tisho Minko reloaded his rifle, removed his scarf from his neck, knelt and touched the pool of blood where the Lofa had fallen, and decided to return to the village and share his story of how he had killed the Lofa. He would take the blood-soaked scarf to the village shaman and prophet.

However, his story would be a mixture of good and bad: Now, he knew there were two, and probably more Lofas in the land of the Chickasaw.  Would the Lofa seek revenge for the death of the one he killed tonight? That is the Chickasaw way. The soul of any person slain by enemies will haunt others until revenge is taken.

He did not know when, but he resolved someday to return with the other warriors to see if they could find the camp of the Lofa. It is the duty of the Chickasaw warriors, the Lords of the Mississippi, to protect the people from all enemies, even the Lofa.


Osceola’s Head

Here is the opening chapter of my historical novel about the Seminole, Death in the Little Winter Moon.

CHAPTER ONE: Osceola’s Head


Dr. Frederick Weedon checked Osceola’s wrist for a pulse. He dropped the limp arm, and it thumped against the Seminole’s chest with a hollow sound. He lifted one of the Indian’s eyelids with his thumb. “What time is it, Captain Morrison?” he asked.

Captain Morrison, leaning against the infirmary’s wall, held Osceola’s silver-plated Spanish flintlock cradled in his arms.  He stroked the long barrel with his fingertips, and then set the rifle against the wall. He lifted a gold watch from his watch-pocket and held its face up to the dim light of the lantern on the surgical table.


“Dr. Strobel, let the medical records show that the great Seminole war chief, Osceola, passed away at 6:20 PM, January 30, 1838, due to malaria and tonsillitis complicated by abscess.”

Benjamin Strobel was Dr. Weedon’s attendant physician, a surgeon and anatomy instructor at the Medical College of Charleston.  While Strobel attended to the report, Dr. Weedon turned to the Seminoles gathered in Fort Moultrie’s infirmary and said, “He is dead.”

Osceola’s two wives and boy-child and the other Seminoles in the room wailed loudly.

Dr. Weedone stepped outside to address the Charleston elite and other whites who had gathered to hear news on Osceola’s condition.

One woman asked, “How is he, Doctor?”

“He is dead.”

The woman gasped, covered her mouth with her hands and wept quietly. A man patted her on the shoulder, bowing his head and whispering a prayer. “It is shameful that such a great man die after being taken under a flag of truce!”

A reporter for the Charleston Courier raised his hand and said, “Dr. Weedon, can you give me more details on Osceola’s death?’ He opened a small notebook preparing to jot down details.

“Dr. Strobel and I will be happy to meet with you and answer all questions after Osceola is buried.”

One man in the crowd said, “I’m glad the savage is dead.  My brother died in the Florida swamps fighting him.  A fine soldier, my brother was.” He glared at the doctor. “I want to see his stinking body.”

Dr. Weedon ignored him, turned and walked back into the infirmary. “Captain, Morrison,” Dr. Weedon said, “Direct Osceola’s wives to prepare his body for burial, and see them to their quarters. Dr. Strobel and I have a long night ahead of us and we can’t work with them carrying on so.  Go to the quartermaster and order him to prepare a coffin.”  Weedon glanced at one of Osceola’s wives, great with child. He had examined her earlier and she had shown signs of hemorrhage. “Make that two coffins—one a small one.  I will also need your assistance.”

“Certainly, Dr. Weedon.”

After Osceola’s wives had painted Osceola’s face with red ochre and stacked his prized possessions by the cot, and, they too were shown out.  Dr.’s Weedon and Strobel lifted lifted Osceola’s body from the cot and placed it on the surgical table and undressed him. Picking up his scalpel, Dr. Weedon cut off a lock of Osceola’s long hair. He stuffed the plait of hair, Osceola’s Ostrich feathers, knife, earrings, clothes, and powder horn into a cotton sack. He removed Osceola’s gold necklace, held it up and watched the twisted chain spin in the air. He squinted his eyes, as if mesmerized by the small flashes of light emanating from the metal, and slipped it into his pocket.  After Dr. Weedon scrubbed the paint from Osceola’s face, he and Dr. Strobel mixed the plaster for a death mask and applied it to Osceola’s face and shoulders. As the cast set, he and Dr. Strobel and Captain Morrison sipped on whiskey.

Dr. Weedon raised his glass. “To Osceola—and dead Indians everywhere.”

“Here, here,” Morrison and Strobel said, and they clinked their glasses against his and drained the whiskey.

“So, Dr. Weedon,” Strobel said, “What did you think of Catlin’s portrait of Osceola?  I rather liked it.  Made Osceola appear more human.”

“Human?” Weedon replied. ” I can’t believe that one drop of humane blood ever passed through his heart.”

Captain Morrison picked up Osceola’s rifle again. “Why, Doctor, What a thing to say. I heard Osceola describe you to the newspaperman as his best white friend.”

After they had removed the death mask, Dr. Weedon set a wide-mouthed jar filled with alcohol on the table. He prodded the cold stiffening muscles along Osceola’s neck and reached for the surgical scalpel.

*          *          *

Osceola’s memorial service was a news sensation.  He was to be buried with full military honors. Word of his death spread quickly among Charleston society which had been quite taken with the mixed-blood warrior who was taken through trickery—during a parley protected by a white flag.   A large crowd left their winter homes in the city, ferried to Sullivan’s Island and assembled at Fort Moultrie where the renegade Seminoles were held as prisoners, awaiting transportation to Indian Territory.

James Birchett Ransom, a local poet and author, read verses he had penned in Osceola’s honor.  William Patton Esquire of Charleston delivered a glowing oration of Oseola’s courage and character and presented Captain Morrison a headstone with Osceola’s name inscribed on it.  Mary Boykin, only fifteen but already thinking of herself as a writer, wept openly for the great chief whom she fancied her friend since she had first met him at the Dock Street Theatre’s performance of Honeymoon.  Mickenopa, Cloud, Coahadjo, and King Philip—captured Seminole leaders, all of whom admired and to some degree resented Osceola’s fame—in their colorful clothes stood close to Osecola’s family and shaman.  The rest of the Seminoles crowded behind them.  During the speeches the Indians nodded and smiled, pleased with the honors paid to their fallen hero.

Captain Morrison and the mayor of Charleston stood in front of the Charleston folk. After Negro servants deposited Oseola’s coffin into the grave, eight soldiers in full military dress marched to the graveside and snapped sharply to attention.

Private Johnson, one of the soldiers in the honor guard, whispered to the soldier next to him, “I never buried a headless man before.”

“What you talkin’ about?”

“Osceola ain’t got a head. Dr. Weedon cut Osceola’s head off and put it into a jar.  I saw it last night in his quarters when I brought two coffins to the surgeon.”

“Ain’t our business. Quiet down or you’ll get us lashed. Captain Morrison is looking this way.”

Captain Morrison strolled down the line of troops, stopped in front of Johnson and hissed through clenched teeth, “Private, you will keep your mouth shut during the ceremony or I will have you flogged.”

“Aye, Sir.”

Morrison faced the crowd and lifted his saber. “Shoulder arms! Ready! Aim! Fire!”

The soldiers fired their muskets and the sound echoed across the bay like thunder in the Everglades.

Note about the author: Rickey Pittman is a Seminole War reenactor, songwriter featured on his CD, Songs of the Seminole War. To order the CD, email the author at rickeyp at bayou.com. He is currently working on his historical novel about the Seminole, Death in the Little Winter Moon. This short story is one of the novel’s early chapters.  

In the Devil’s Garden: A Short Story about the Seminole War

In the Devil’s Garden: A Short Story about the Seminole War by Rickey Pittman

Fort Jupiter in the Everglades August 1840

Private Orin Allen of the 7th Infantry came to attention before Captain Stephenson’s cabin. The door was open. “Sir!”

“Enter,” the captain said. The officer, sitting on his folding canvas stool, pulled on his clay pipe and exhaled. “Well, what is it?

“Private Monroe has returned from his patrol. He is with the surgeon.”

“Is he wounded?”

“Yes, sir. And he will need some clothes. I’ll fetch him what I can.”

“He has no clothes?  Where are the three men I sent with him?”

“He came back alone, sir. On foot.”

“When the surgeon’s done, send him to me to make his report.” Stephenson stood and stepped outside his small hut serving as officers’ quarters. He and a squad of twenty men had been sent to Fort Pleasant to serve as a distribution center of supplies to other outposts and then on to Fort Jupiter to scout the hammocks and streams for the Seminole. It was the sickly season, and half of his men suffered from malaria and could barely perform their duties. The heat and mosquitoes in this season were unbearable.  And now only one of his four best men had returned.

Their pine log fort was near that part of the Everglades called the Devil’s Garden. Stephenson thought that a fitting description. Sam Jones, also known as Abiaka the Devil, was hiding there. He and his Seminole were invisible, elusive, tough and elusive. Trailing every patrol he sent out, his troops were in constant danger from their sniping. His men well remembered the Dade Massacre and lived and worked in constant anxiety. He dreaded to hear Monroe’s report, but he was sure it would not be good news.

Private Allen, bracing Monroe, led him to the Lieutenant.  Monroe’s bare feet were swollen and steaked with cuts. Allen had managed to find him trousers and a cotton shirt. His face was blistered and sunburnt and his hair matted.

Captain Stephenson set his own stool down and said, “Sit here, private.”

Monroe sat down. “Thank you, sir.”

“Now, where are the other soldiers?”

“Dead, sir.”

“And the Creek guide?”

“He vanished. I assume he was captured too,”

“It was the Seminole? I suppose they took your firearms and the canoe.”

“Yes, sir.” With his hand he shielded his bloodshot eyes from the sun.

“How did you escape?”

“I didn’t escape. They let me go. They knew your name and wanted me to tell you what I saw.” Monroe wept fiercely. “I’m sorry, sir.”

Stephenson shook his head. “They let you go?  Do not weep, soldier. Stand it like a man and tell me what happened. Start at the beginning.”

Private Monroe said, “Yes, sir.”

*       *       *

“Your orders were to patrol the hammocks, looking for signs of Seminole activity and if lucky, to find the camp of Sam Jones. We disembarked when we reached a pine island and bivouacked the first night alongside the creek. When we woke in the morning, Private Finney was missing. Our Creek guide was also gone. We searched the surrounding area for them without success and marched on by compass.

Leaving the pine island, we marched a few miles, weaving and wading our way through scrub and cypress. We stopped for lunch and afterward Private Eldridge led our line of march. His pace was quick and soon he was out of sight. We marched on but never saw him again. Private Austin, Private Smith and I marched till dark and bivouacked on another pine island.

Around midnight, we were roughly awoken by several Seminole who marched us to Sam Jones’ camp, beating us along the way. Our rifles and cartridge pouches were stacked near a pile of booty—blankets, pots, and other items obviously taken from a plantation. The warriors shared a jug of whiskey and grew wilder and louder. I watched as my comrades were stripped and tied to a pine tree. They were scalped while still alive. Slivers of pine lightwood were stabbed into their flesh and set on fire. Torches were also set at their bare feet. Their screams and slow death inflamed the Seminole who danced wildly about them. Five or six hours later, my comrades mercifully died.

When they turned their attention to me, I was sure that I would be next. Like my comrades, I was stripped. An aged Indian walked to me. A negro warrior interpreted his words:  “I am Sam Jones. You have heard of me? I am going to spare your life so that you may return and tell your people what you have seen and tell them they will never find us.” He pointed to the charred bodies of my comrades. “Tell your Captain Stephenson that this fate awaits any who come looking for us. Now, go and tell them what you have seen—what you found in the Devil’s Garden.”

“It was dawn and they drove me from their camp. I started walking and somehow found my way back to the fort. I am sorry, Captain.” He started weeping again.

Captain Stephenson motioned to Private Allen. “Take him to the surgeon’s cabin so he can rest.”

The captain cursed under his breath. He cursed the government that had started this war. He cursed the Army and the leaders who had sent him to this post near the Devil’s Garden.

Private Allen returned. “Monroe is resting. Your orders, sir?”

Captain Stephenson wiped his face with a handkerchief, his mind struggling to make a decision. Send another patrol to find Sam Jones? He shook his head. He couldn’t afford to lose any more men. Send a dispatch to Fort Brooke or Fort King for help? Help, if sent at all, would likely not arrive in a timely fashion.  He looked at the tired eyes of Private Allen. He was a young man, barely nineteen. “Tell Sergeant Moore to select eight men to patrol near the Fort and see if there’s any sign the Seminole are nearby. Saddle my horse as I’ll go with them myself. Then tell the cook to slaughter one of the beeves we took from the Seminole.”

Allen saluted. “Sir.”

That evening after “Scott Tattoo,” Stephenson drank two whiskeys and lay down. Like other nights, his sleep and dreams were troubled. That night’s dream saw Sam Jones slip silently through the darkness to his cabin. Jones entered, knife drawn. In the light of the burning piece of lightwood in Jones’ hand,  he could see his eyes—black, cold, and hard. Sam Jones wrinkled face showed an evil smile—the smile of a devil. Stephenson tried to rise from his cot, but he could not. He felt his heart pounding, his breath growing shallow, and his mind crying out, Don’t burn me . . .

He woke with a start, pushed aside his mosquito netting, found the whiskey jug, opened the cabin door,  stared into the darkness, and sat on his camp stool. The devil didn’t come that night, but he knew that someday, maybe the next day he was on patrol,  the devil would come and find him and he, like the men he had sent out on patrol, would indeed burn in the Devil’s Garden.

Note about the author: Rickey Pittman is a Seminole War reenactor, songwriter featured on his CD, Songs of the Seminole War. To order the CD, email the author at rickeyp at bayou.com. He is currently working on his historical novel about the Seminole, Death in the Little Winter Moon. This short story is one of the novel’s early chapters.  

A Cross and a Cairn: A short story of a Scottish Witch

A Cross and a Cairn

Dunning, Perthshire, Scotland 1657

She lit a tallow candle in the carved turnip and placed it on a small table by the hearth. The candle and the hearth caused shadows to dance like lost spirits across the whitewashed stone walls. She opened the cottage door to take a look outside. Highland winds from the moors and mountains swept red rowan leaves across the stone path leading into town. Barefoot, she stepped outside her cottage, drawing her tartan cloak tighter about her to warm her. The position of the stars and moon indicated dawn would soon be approaching and with the new day would come news of the town meeting the bishop had called. She knew what they had discussed—the Scottish Witchcraft Act. The bishop had preached plainly that he knew that she, Maggie Wall, was a witch and should be punished in accord with the 1563 law that made the practice of witchcraft or consulting with witches a capital offense.

That was why the village women had stopped coming to her for healing. All except for Bronwynn, the little girl who came to town once a week with her father. While her father marketed his dirks and sgian-dcubhs, Bronwyn would play plainly-clappy or peeves beds with the other girls. Then she would always slip away to Maggie’s cottage at the edge of town for porridge. Bronwynn would ask to go with her to gather plants. The child had an insatiable curiosity and amazing memory. And there were other things Bronwynn did and said that made Maggie wonder about her.

As the day dawned, Maggie watched the sutlers and farmers stream into Dunning and set up their products for sale. Bronwynn and her father Angus were with them, sacks of merchandise on their backs. As they passed her, Angus said, “Good morn, my Bonnie lass!”

“”Madainn mhath to you too, sir,” Maggie replied. You handsome, Scott, she thought.

Bronwynn  waved and blew her a kiss. “I’ll come see you soon, Maggie!”

Later, Maggie heard Bronwynn’s tap on her door. “Come in, child.” Maggie was writing out a love-charm for a young lady to help her attract a young man. She set the parchment and quill pen down. Bronwynn slipped in and asked, “What are you writing?”

“A charm for Fionna.”

“She is not a bonnie lass, so I believe she will need your help.” As usual, Bronwynn circled the cottage, looking at each of the drying plants hanging from a rope on the back wall, and stopping at the hearth. “I love the smell of peat,” she said. She laughed when she saw the carved face on the turnip candle holder. I’m going to be like you someday, Maggie.”

“What makes you say that, Bronwynn?

“Like you, I’ve got second sight.”

In a way, Maggie was not surprised. There had been too many signs—too many questions, the look in her eyes. And now, she posses an da shealladh, the gift of second sight, the gift of premonitions of the future.

“Do you like what you see in the future, Bronwynn?”

“Yes, and no. What have you seen about your future, Maggie?” Bronwynn picked up an agate lapidary, slipped it under Maggie’s pillow on her small bed and said, “If the stone be good.”

“You are a quick learner,” Maggie said. “About me, I’ve seen very little. But I do see a young woman living in this outage. She’s barefoot and dressed in a peasant blouse and a tartan skirt. I’m not sure what means, but I think you are that girl. What does your gift say about me?”

“They are going to burn you for being a witch, Maggie. Tonight. And I and my father will be the only ones to weep for you. I think my father loves you, Maggie. Since my mother died he’s been very lonely.” Bronwynn stepped up to Maggie and hugged her tightly, sobbing. But you will always be remembered in Scotland. Always, but especially in my heart.”

Maggie opened the door and saw the bishop and his entourage approaching. “Go now, Bronwynn.” She kissed Bronwynn on the head, and when she did, in her own second sight, she saw the post she would soon be tied to, the branches piled about it and saw the bishop’s hand lighting the fire.

Bronwynn wept as she left the cottage and begged her father to not leave town. She watched as Maggie was drawn and chained to the post, her clothes torn, the crowd taunting and jeering,  The fire was lit and as the smoke and flames rose, Bronwyhnn closed her eyes and saw in her second site a monument in Dunning with a twenty-foot cairn, a tall cross on top and gifts of pennies, feathers, shells, fluffy stuffed animals and tiny sea candles strewn about it. On a large flat stone plague someone had written in white letters: MAGGIE WALL. BURNT HERE AS WITCH IN 1657. She saw this monument as clear as day. And as the site shifted, she saw herself as a young woman living in Maggie’s cottage. And she saw a frowning cowled priest dragging her by the arm toward her death fire.  The face of Maggie rose as a spectre in her mind’s shadows and she heard Maggie whisper, “Don’t be afraid.”