Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We wouldn't call 'em biscuits.

Jenny at A Call to Wings is working her way through Albion's Seed, an epic social history of the British origins of regional US populations and their bearing on modern interregional politics.

Even just her synopses are fascinating--the Puritan roots of modern northeastern liberalism are downright spooky--but moving on to the end matter, she's quoted an anecdote that needs to be shared:

"During World War II, for example, three German submariners escaped from Camp Crossville, Tennessee. Their flight took them to an Appalachian cabin, where they stopped for a drink of water. The mountain granny told them to "git." When they ignored her, she promptly shot them dead. The sheriff came, and scolded her for shooting helpless prisoners. Granny burst into tears, and said that she would not have done it if she had known they were Germans. The exasperated sheriff asked what in "tarnation" she thought she was shooting at. "Why," she replied, "I thought they was Yankees."

-sourced to Arnold Krammar, Nazi Prisoners of War in America (New York, 1979), p. 133

Apocryphal? Probably. Rings true? Oh, yeah.

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