Saturday, October 02, 2021

This month in Civil War history, 160 years ago

The Battle of Ball’s Bluff happened on October 21, 1861. Though not significant on a "numbers engaged" basis, the battle on the Virginia side of the Potomac River (Loudoun County) had significant repercussions. First, it was (and is) the only battle in U.S. history in which a sitting U.S. Senator (Edward Dickenson Baker) was killed in combat. Second, from a legal viewpoint, future Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was wounded in the battle. Third, in part because of the bad outcome for Union troops, in February, 1862, Brigadier General Charles Stone was arrested. Stone spent six months in prison with no charges ever filed against him. Union commanders had more than Confederates to worry about.


In terms of trademark trivia, the Confederate forces at First Bull Run and at Ball's Bluff were termed the "Army of the Potomac." Although later famously named by General George McClellan, the Union version of the "Army of the Potomac" was only the size of a corps in 1861, and was part of the (Union) Army of Northeastern Virginia. And Robert E. Lee would give his Confederate force the name "Army of Northern Virginia" later in time. wiki: The Army of the Potomac was also the name given to General P. G. T. Beauregard's Confederate army during the early stages of the war (namely, First Bull Run; thus, the losing Union Army ended up adopting the name of the winning Confederate army).


**Also, in October, we have the anniversary from 1918, of Dwight Eisenhower fighting the Spanish flu at Gettysburg. See

**Also, on October 14, 2021, we have the 35th anniversary of a post-layoff meeting of layoff survivors of a Fortune 50 corporation's 50% cutback. There was much discussion of the work of Deming at that meeting.

See also the 2005 post on IPBiz [ ], including the text:

In "Out of the Crisis," Deming asked, can American history, under handicap of the annual [job performance] rating produce another Irving Langmuir, a Nobel Prize winner? Deming said: It is worthy of note that the 80 American Nobel prize winners all had tenure, security. They were answerable only to themselves. Deming then stated: A common fallacy is the supposition that it is possible to rate people; to put them in rank order of performance for next year, based on performance last year.

If nothing else, the sport of baseball has proved Deming correct.

And from Wiki, about an event in 1981, five years before the above-noted mass layoff:

Ford's newly appointed Corporate Quality Director, Larry Moore, was charged with recruiting Deming to help jump-start a quality movement at Ford.[24] Deming questioned the company's culture and the way its managers operated. To Ford's surprise, Deming talked not about quality, but about management. He told Ford that management actions were responsible for 85% of all problems in developing better cars


Note also from Startup Act 2.0: are you turning up your nose at $150K/year jobs? :

In that particular case, a large U.S. corporation had terminated 50% of its scientists in its basic research laboratory, but denied several of them the opportunity to compete with a foreign worker for a single position in one of its applied laboratories.


Who gets fired first, older or younger people?


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