And Where I Live
I am haunted by things until I address them. I live in Winfield, IN. However, everyone uses Crown Point when they talk about where they live and/or use it as their mailing address. It is a small geographical area of about 12-square miles and has about 5,000 inhabitants.
It is nice a small town, and I enjoy its quasi-rural setting. I can teach online and work on my webpage away from the noise and traffic of a big city. The only thing that haunts me is its name, Winfield. I don't have a problem with the name per se. I just didn't know where our founding fathers came up with the name in 1993. I pondered and wondered about that name. I could imagine a handful of guys sitting around the only watering hole in the town discussing names to call the place. I'd bet that half of the population doesn't know of the derivation of the word, Winfield.
However, I looked it up on the Internet over a dozen years ago when I moved to Winfield. Surprisingly, I discovered it was named after Winfield Scott. That single discovery created two additional questions. First, why honor a person by using the person's first name? Does that make any sense? That is like calling Washington, DC, George, DC. or Houston, TX, Samuel, TX. The other haunting was who was Winfield Scott?
This is a photo of Winfield Scott. He was about my age when this photo was taken. I spent a lot of time looking at this picture that reminds me of pictures of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Military authorities claim that neither had ulcers or heartburn. It merely was fashionable for military leaders to put their right hand inside their coat, which makes no sense to me. I never saw General Patton or General Eisenhower with their right hands in their coats. However, since their careers did overlap, I accept that it was merely a fashion statement, silly as it might look.
While Scott was making a fashion statement around the time of the Civil War, I wouldn't want him to be my grandfather. Unfortunately, Scott had three grandchildren, and I bet that they saw him as a grouchy old papa.
Scott had a military career that stretched over forty-seven-years. His combat history started during the War of 1812 and continued during the Mexican-American War, the Black Hawk War, the Second Seminole War, and the Civil War.
Scott was also good at negotiating with potential warring countries. He journeyed to the Pacific Northwest to resolve the issue of San Juan Island often called the Pig and the Potato War. San Juan Island lay between Vancouver, British Columbia and the US mainland. Both the US and Canada claimed the island. However, Lyman Cutlar was an American farmer who was a potato farmer. Charles Griffin was a Canadian sheep and pig producer. One of Griffin's pigs ate some of Cutlar's potatoes. As a result, Cutlar shot the pig. Before the US and the British went to war over the pig and potatoes, Scott resolved the issue.
However, the Pig and Potato War was in 1859. Two years later, the American Civil War began. Scott was an old general who was so overweight that he couldn't mount a horse. His underlings' nickname for Scott was "Old Fat and Feeble." Therefore, he offered one of his subordinates in Washington, DC to take command of the Union Army. Scott said of his subordinates that he was "the very finest soldier I've ever seen." Scott had offered Robert E. Lee to command the Union Army. Lee refused the command to which Scott said, "I have no place in my army for equivocal men."
Scott then came up with the Anaconda Plan, also called the Scott's Great Snake, which was his plan to defeat the Confederacy.
However, "Old Fat and Feeble" had to resign during the war due to his health and died a year after the end of the Civil War.
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