The Battle of Squeamsburg Mountain

Max Banner

“Why don’t they have wars in places with hills anymore? They just send guys with lasers into space. James Bond did that once. It was pretty great.”

My favorite Civil War battle is an obscure one from the 14th century, the battle of Squeamsburg. I’ll tell you all about it but I have to go to the dentist tomorrow and get my tooth filled. Which is interesting because that was what caused the tide of the battle to turn. Tooth decay can do that.

There was a mountain in West Virginia called Squeamsburg Mountain. The town below was not called Squeamsburg, in fact, it didn’t have a name at all. The Northerners wanted to call it North Squeamsburg to show that they loved America, and the Southerners wanted to call it North Fishville because they loved catching northfish at the river. The Native Americans wanted to call it Boston so the post office would get confused but it didn’t work.

Oh yeah, the battle. Interestingly enough, both Union Vice-President Hamlin and Confederate Vice-President Stephens were mountaineers, and they both wanted to be the first Vice-President to climb Squeamsburg mountain, because it would have convinced merchants in Pakistan to back their cause. So they both set out toward the nameless town with divisions of troops to defend them in case they went out drinking.

So in December of that year they all arrived, and what a battle it was. The Union troops had made their way up the mountain, to take the high ground. See, military commanders don’t think about that kind of thing anymore. They just blow things up. Why don’t they have wars in places with hills anymore? They don’t think about the high ground, they just send guys with lasers into space. James Bond did that once. It was pretty great.

The South attacked and there were guns going off everywhere. They made a magnificent charge up the mountain but the horses had forgotten to bring their climbing gear so that slowed things down a lot. One of the horses snuck up the mountain and nearly killed the Union general but a bird came by and made a dental appointment for the horse, which gave the Union time to make a counterattack.

Things were looking bleak for everybody, but then the Native Americans showed up during the afternoon snack break and it turned out their Vice President had already climbed the mountain so they were really fighting over nothing. So they all went home, and the world signed a treaty that there would be no more battles fought over Vice-Presidential climbing rights. And the no name town turned out to be Los Angeles, which was traded to California in a big five-player deal in 1956.

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