LETTERS: Black-eyed peas’ military history; Security wanted at ATM machines

Black-eyed peas’ military history

American history has long forgotten the reason why southerners have black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck.

This yearly tradition traces back to the Civil War when Union Gen. William Sherman marched his troops from Atlanta, Ga., to the seaport of Savannah in his March to the Sea military campaign from Nov. 15-Dec 22, 1864.

Sherman*s original order to his troops was to destroy anything of military value, but his soldiers soon interpreted that order to destroy anything of value. Union soldiers started to pillage and plunder everything in their path. Everything they could not eat or carry on their backs was destroyed. All the livestock the soldiers could not take with them was killed off. The crops in the fields were all set on fire, to leave nothing but hunger and despair for the defenseless civilians. After the smoke had cleared, hunger and starvation was now a definite possibility for all the old people, slaves, women and children of the South. However, Sherman’s troops did not destroy the warehouses of black-eyed peas, because this crop was only feed for the livestock. Since all the livestock has been taken or killed off, the black-eyed peas would not be beneficial to the southerners, so they thought. Since the blackeyed peas were the only thing not destroyed, Southerners had something to eat and were not going to be hungry, which was very good luck for the South.

Gen. Sherman once remarked that had the South won the Civil War, he definitely would have been charged for war crimes because of his scorched-earth military campaign against the civilian population of the South. So, on New Years Day, I hope everyone in the South enjoys a plate of blackeyed peas and gives thanks for the good luck of those Southerners who did not have to go hungry during the Civil War.

Jack Ayoub

Harlingen

Security wanted at ATM machines

With regard to a recent news article by The Dallas Morning News, I read about a man who was shot while trying to use an ATM in Dallas. Once I read this article it had me thinking about how that situation could happen so easily and about the precautions that can be taken right now to avoid another unfortunate situation like the one presented.

I believe the precautionary measures that should be taken should include having a security or police officer on guard at the ATM, specifically in the evenings when it gets dark because that is usually when things of that nature are more prone to happen.

I understand that there are security cameras, but what good do they serve once the damage has been done, regardless if it’s minimal or something more serious?

On the other hand, I understand that security and police officers have more prioritized places where they need to be, but I still think that in the end it is better that they are there. It is never known when a situation will present itself, so it is better to be prepared than to not be prepared at all.

I do not feel comfortable when having to go to an ATM when it is dark because of the fear of getting robbed. If I feel that way about the situation, and I wonder how many more people feel the same way.

It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Leonela Leon

Mission

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