"Okay, but I'm gonna need you to write me a receipt."
July 5, 2018 4:49 PM   Subscribe

All right, friends, gather round (or maybe mute me for the next hour or so), because it's just me and a bottle of local rum for this 4th of July afternoon and I'm waiting until later this evening to watch Captain America for the 97th time, so I'mma give you all a DRUNK HISTORY.
In which @lasrina discusses the American Revolution, Fort Macon, Sergeant William Henry Alexander, Josiah Pender, and "how a 50-year-old dude with no backup and no firepower can use bureaucracy to be a hero."

Includes encore about the Last Shot Fired in the Civil War.

Unrolled version via Thread Reader for those who don't like the Twitter interface.
posted by Lexica (12 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
My parents live in Morehead, so I've been to Fort Macon quite a few times (it's a nice beach if you're looking to get away from the crowds in Atlantic Beach), and I'm really glad to know this story for the next time I go.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:56 PM on July 5, 2018

Why did he want the receipt anyway?
posted by Easy problem of consciousness at 6:08 PM on July 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh god, I wish I could do Drunk History. I want to do it on the Petticoat Affair. Alas, I have no showbiz connections and I do not tweet.

This story is so fucking GREAT.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:18 PM on July 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Well written. Fun read.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:20 PM on July 5, 2018

Holy crap, these stories are amazing. And I appreciated the shoutout to They Might Be Giants fans.
posted by ejs at 6:49 PM on July 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you have to ask why he wanted the receipt, I can tell immediately that you are not the type of hero that would spend 2 days badgering the enemy troops for a receipt.
posted by allegedly at 7:03 PM on July 5, 2018 [12 favorites]

Fort Macon is gorgeous and beautiful and relatively remote. It is also, if you are of a martial- or security-minded bent, an object lesson in how defense-in-depth works against the state-of-the-art early industrial technology that most late capitalism private intruders would be able to easily muster. Yes, moats and man-traps still have their place in warfare and physical access control... as do receipts.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:06 PM on July 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

Someday, I'll have to go and take a gander at Maybe Blackbeard's Urethral Syringe.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:53 PM on July 5, 2018

Oh man, I went to summer camp for many years of my youth in Morehead City and spent many afternoons in Beaufort and at Fort Macon (and swimming in the ocean at the state park). I was always more of a pirate girl (hence the sailing camp) and spent most of my mental energy at the time on Blackbeard and trying desperately to get this fifteen year old junior counselor to get my first kiss, ideally while we were sitting on the pier over the sound at twilight, but I was just enough of a history nerd that I wish I'd known all of this at the time.
posted by thivaia at 8:07 PM on July 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Man, I love this kind of “history by conversation and commentary” — I’m obsessed with Drunk History and The Dollop (good god the latest one about Andrew Jackson!) and Things You Should Have Learned in History Class. I’d love for this to be considered a real, academic approach to history, but I worry about the lack of sourcing in order to sell a good story. Then again, this is the internet and there’s always self correction with annoying pedants ready with their “well, actually...” and it’s not like “serious” academic texts are without bias.

But even in this one short twitter thread, there’s so much to learn about the time. The state of organization and preparedness by the union army, the fact that the confederates included a bunch of flunkees that were acting on their own accord when they saw opportunity regardless of the strategic importance, and the fact that a deposed union soldier found a way to live amongst the confederates because ultimately for most non-slaves and non-slave owners, the civil war to most ordinary white citizens was about local pride and a difference of political opinion and leaders’ ability to highjack people’s actions only extend so far when you’re talking about neighbors in a backwaters having to live together.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:57 PM on July 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

I've been to Fort Macon at least twice... it is interesting but man, it would have been a lonely place to be stationed...
posted by caution live frogs at 7:35 AM on July 6, 2018

Why did he want the receipt anyway?

Good luck getting a refund without your receipt, this isn't Costco!
posted by blue_beetle at 3:11 PM on July 6, 2018

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