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Ozzy

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Ozzy last won the day on February 15

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About Ozzy

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    Reynella, South Australia
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    Writer
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    Family history research, car restoration with daughter, travel...
    Welcome to my SDG page: the image at top is of Dubuque's Governor's Greys, which became Company 'I' of First Iowa Vol. Inf. Regt. (Uniform worn Battle of Wilson's Creek, 1861.)
    My book, 'Falling through the Hornet's Nest' (Martin Samuels) is now available at Amazon.com as ebook. My book 'Shiloh was a Sham: the untold story of the iconic Civil War Battle,' explaining how Shiloh fit into Lincoln and Stanton's grand scheme, became available April 2016, on Amazon as e-book. My latest project, 'The Struggle for Pensacola, 1860 - 1862' is slated for completion NOV 2020.

    I can be contacted at bzmax03@chariot.net.au by any SDG member so inclined.

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  1. Civil War Seniority When first confronted with the above statement, something “felt off” about the claim; but without proof and confirmation, any response was merely an alternative claim or assertion. And without evidence, one false claim is equal to any other false claim... The problem: the above statement appears to imply that “an officer commissioned via West Point prior to the Civil War outranked, and enjoyed seniority, over EVERY officer NOT a graduate of West Point.” Therefore, according to logical extension, a Captain who was a graduate of West Point outranked a Brigadier General who was not a graduate of West Point... Quite an interesting state of affairs, if true. But, it is not true: according to U.S. Army Regulations of 1861, Article 9 (on page 10) “Officers serving by commission from any state of the Union take rank next after officers of the like grade by commission from the United States.” [Bold inserted for emphasis.] Translation: a Brigadier General of Volunteers outranked every Colonel and Major and Captain and etc regardless of source of commission. A Brigadier General of Volunteers with date of rank 17 May 1861 was senior to a Brigadier General of Volunteers with date of rank 18 May 1861. However, a Brigadier General with Regular Army rank was superior to EVERY Brigadier General of Volunteers regardless date of rank. Further: “ex-rank” held NO significance. This was a Furphy... a mirage perpetuated by ex-captain U.S. Grant and others, to intimidate “non-Regular officers” of the same rank into believing they were junior to West Point graduates, when they were not. [Grant successfully played this gambit against Colonel Turner of the 15th Illinois in Missouri, but was thwarted when he attempted the same ruse against BGen Prentiss on 17 August 1861.] Two steps had to take effect: General Orders of the Army had to be promulgated (G.O. No.62 were issued on 20 AUG 1861) AND Major General Fremont had to inform Colonel Grant of his appointment to Brigadier General of Volunteers, PENDING Grant's acceptance of that promotion. NOT UNTIL all these conditions were met was U.S. Grant a Brigadier General of Volunteers, senior to Brigadier General of Volunteers Benjamin Prentiss. Reference: https://archive.org/details/101556516.nlm.nih.gov/page/n15/mode/1up Army Regulations of 1861.
  2. Ozzy

    Barrett's Battery B

    Taylor's Battery One of the solid performers at the Battle of Shiloh (where it was known as Barrett's Battery) this Light Artillery unit, organized in Illinois, possesses a more interesting history than most realize. Bjorn Skaptason has gone the extra mile, and in producing this 25-page examination of Taylor's Battery uncovered details and facts not readily available in other Civil War works. Some surprising revelations: connections between Taylor's Battery and the 1st Illinois Light Artillery, Battery A; and Battery B; and Willard's Battery; and Wood's Battery; and the Chicago Light Artillery (milita artillery unit organized in the Windy City that contributed to April 1861 Occupation of Cairo, preserving that vital river port for the Union.) mention of the pedigree of Waterhouse's Battery; reminder that Grant's staff officer, Joseph Webster, had a connection to the Chicago Light Artillery; the pre-war careers of significant members of the Volunteer Artillery. Blooded at Belmont, and acknowledged for performing a crucial role at Fort Donelson on 15 FEB 1862 (Ezra Taylor was one of “Grant's Heroes,” rewarded along with WHL Wallace and Jacob Lauman with a trip to Nashville) the Chicago Light Artillery performed ably at Shiloh, while Major Ezra Taylor acted as Chief of Artillery for Sherman's Fifth Division. The Battle of Shiloh is told from the Union artillery point of view. “The Chicago Light Artillery at Shiloh” by Bjorn Skaptason was published in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society No. 1-2 vol. 104 (Spring/ Summer 2011) beginning page 73. The article is available in full via JSTOR (requires ten minutes to register for access to JSTOR holdings.) “Ezra Taylor Battery Civil War” [for JSTOR listing at google.] https://www.jstor.org/stable/41201304?seq=1
  3. Ozzy

    C. F. Smith

    Just made available in 2019 is the following podcast (with transcript) detailing the Civil War career of Charles F. Smith: https://www.wvtf.org/post/general-charles-f-smith#stream/0 provided by Radio IQ - wvtf (Virginia Public Radio) [And for those with an interest in any of the other subjects of the Civil War Series compiled by Virginia Public Radio through the work of Dr. James Robertson, Jr. you may access those recordings: https://www.wvtf.org/category/civil-war-series#stream/0 ].
  4. What follows is the corrected map of the Tennessee River from Fort Henry, south that appeared in Harper's Weekly of 26 APR 1862. The siting of railroads is better and more accurate; and Crump's Landing and Pittsburg Landing gain mention.
  5. Island No.10 For those with half an hour to spare, and possessing moderate interest in “what was the contest at Island Number Ten all about?” the 2019 article by David J. Gerleman, published by “Civil War Curriculum” is worth a read. Because Island No.10 was the fallback position taken by Rebel forces after the FEB/ March 1862 evacuation of the Gibraltar of the West: Fort Columbus. [And Fort Columbus was turned because of Foote and Grant capturing Forts Henry and Donelson (with Union occupation of Nashville, for good measure, breaking the Confederate Defensive Line); and subsequent unfettered use of the Tennessee River by Union gunboats as high up as Muscle Shoals. It is my opinion that successful completion of the operation at Island No.10 was more important to Henry Halleck than Buell joining his Army of the Ohio to Grant's Army on the Tennessee... Have a read: do you agree with all the claims made by the author, David Gerleman? https://www.essentialcivilwarcurriculum.com/island-no.-10.html [Worth remembering: Island No.10 was not in Grant's jurisdiction; but it was in Halleck's area of concern. And it was in Beauregard's area of concern. ]
  6. Transylvania Thanks for continuing this discussion, because it is my belief that when it comes to “political generals,” it is easy to say, “He didn't do diddly” or “He was never any good” ...and miss the whole story. What follows is my interpretation of the above six listed generals (and I am more than happy to debate the performance of any of them, provided references are included.) Beginning with Winfield Scott, the brevet Lieutenant General born in 1786, veteran of the War of 1812 and Commander of the Victorious Army which won the War with Mexico. Made Commander of the Army in 1841, General Scott continued in that role through the Buchanan Administration (and likely made decisions that resulted in Major Anderson being posted to Charleston Harbor in November 1860; sending Captain Don Carlos Buell to Charleston with verbal orders for Major Anderson in 1861; and sending orders to Lieutenant Adam Slemmer at Pensacola Harbor to “Hold the best fort.” There was no doubt that General Scott was past his prime, but “How does one remove an icon and War Hero?” Ask him: “Who should replace you?” Once Robert E. Lee disappeared as candidate for the role, General Scott advocated for Henry Halleck. George B. McClellan. USMA Class of 1846 and Mexican War hero. Because of victories in minor skirmishes in Western Virginia (and elevation to militia Major General by the State of Ohio) George McClellan came to President Lincoln's notice at a time when he could use all the help he could get. Having survived ten days of terrible uncertainty at Washington D.C. following the Fall of Fort Sumter, and then suffering humiliation at Bull Run, President Lincoln was unwilling to wait for Henry Halleck to arrive from California; George McClellan arrived at Washington July 1861 and was installed as General of the Army (and Winfield Scott retired.) Upon request of President Lincoln, General McClellan provided Lincoln with a detailed “Plan of Offensive Operations” for the conduct of the war. (Meanwhile, Henry Halleck arrived from California and was installed at St. Louis in November, replacing Fremont and Hunter.) John C. Fremont. A regular Army officer (but not a West Point graduate) Fremont was known as “the Pathfinder” to an adoring public (and as a Traitor by West Point graduates, due to political “interference” in California and the short-lived Bear Republic.) [Note: when California was admitted as a State in 1850, Henry Halleck wrote the State Constitution.] Fremont was married into a powerful Democrat family of Missouri politics; yet John Fremont became one of the original members of the Republican Party (and ran for President in 1856.) Fast forward to November 1860, after Lincoln's election as President, with war clouds gathering to the South. John Fremont met privately with Abraham Lincoln in Springfield Illinois; Fremont met with Lincoln during March 1861 and departed Washington D.C. in April, bound for Europe and a whirlwind series of visits to major arsenals and arms suppliers in Britain, France, Germany and Austria. After buying every serviceable rifle-musket available (and a number of artillery pieces) General Fremont returned to America late June, met with President Lincoln in Washington, and took command of the Department of the West, based at St. Louis in July 1861. The German and Hungarian communities of St. Louis rallied to Fremont; and his ties to the Benton Faction of the Democrat Party helped convince Unionist Missourians to forego the Rebel MVM (which became the State Guard), and join Fremont's Home Guard, instead. Making use of West Point graduate Nathaniel Lyon, offensive operations were conducted that drove Rebel forces away from St. Louis. St. Louis was fortified, protected by a ring of forts. And Fremont made use of Generals Hurlbut, Grant, Pope and Prentiss to commence driving Rebel forces out of Missouri. The loss of Lexington, the near loss of St. Joseph, and the death of Nathaniel Lyon highlighted shortcomings in Fremont's ability as military commander. These shortcomings were overblown by West Point graduates (who took delight in white-anting Fremont.) The “Pathfinder” signed his own Death Warrant when he issued an Emancipation Proclamation... and refused President Lincoln's demand to withdraw it. Fremont was removed from command at St. Louis. And Henry Halleck was installed as Commander, Department of Missouri on 9 NOV 1861. Nathaniel Banks. A political animal with no military exposure, the Massachusetts native was able to become Governor, and was appointed Major General, strictly due to political connections. His record in the field speaks for itself. John Dix. Born in 1798 this veteran of the War of 1812 had been Treasury Secretary at the end of the Buchanan Administration. Making himself available to President Lincoln, Major General Dix was installed at Baltimore (replacing General Nathaniel Banks.) In May 1862 General Dix was installed at Fortress Monroe (replacing the ageing General John E. Wool, who was two years older than General Scott). General Dix is most noted (and relevant to Battle of Shiloh captives) due to his collaboration with Confederate General D. H. Hill in Spring 1862, resulting in the Dix – Hill Cartel (formalizing a system of prisoner of war exchange). Benjamin Butler. Politician who commanded the Massachusetts Militia, Brigadier General Butler answered the call and readied Massachusetts volunteers to be sent south after Fort Sumter erupted. After one regiment of Massachusetts men were impeded passing through Baltimore, and Baltimore subsequently closed to passage by any more Northern volunteers, General Butler commandeered a ferry, sailed his force of men to Annapolis, and against the demands of Governor Hicks of Maryland landed his force, defended the U.S. Naval Academy, and sent the Midshipmen away on USS Constitution (to establish the Naval Academy at Rhode Island for the duration of the war.) Butler rebuilt the rail line connecting Annapolis to Washington D.C. and guaranteed occupation of Annapolis (Capital of Maryland) by Union forces for the remainder of the war. “Following” orders from Lieutenant General Scott, in May 1861 Major General Butler occupied Baltimore... with no opposition. For violating his orders, Butler was recalled, and sent to command Fortress Monroe. (And Nathaniel Banks replaced Butler in command of Baltimore.) While attempting to expand the safe Union zone around Fort Monroe, General Butler's force got caught up in the Battle of Big Bethel. Although a Union defeat, the subsequent events at Bull Run overshadowed newspaper readers, and Big Bethel faded into insignificance. Major General Butler commanded an expeditionary force in August 1861 that captured Forts Hatteras and Clark in North Carolina. Benjamin Butler then departed on recruiting duty in the Northeast... ostensibly to provide troops for another expedition; but in reality, these troops were sent to Ship Island off the coast of Mississippi. In April 1862 much of the combined Naval and Army force accumulated at Ship Island was sent up the Mississippi River in the operation to capture New Orleans. And Butler's 15000 troops were subsequently used to garrison New Orleans, Algiers, Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip. (And when General Butler was replaced as commander of Occupied New Orleans in December 1862, it was Nathaniel Banks who replaced him.) References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winfield_Scott Winfield Scott. https://www.historynet.com/mcclellans-war-winning-strategy.htm George B. McClellan https://www.battlefields.org/learn/biographies/nathaniel-lyon Nathaniel Lyon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathaniel_P._Banks Nathaniel Banks. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_E._Wool John E. Wool. http://www.mrlincolnswhitehouse.org/residents-visitors/the-generals-and-admirals/generals-admirals-john-dix-1798-1879/ John A. Dix. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dix–Hill_Cartel Dix - Hill Cartel https://www.militarymuseum.org/HistoryCW.html California Military History [Fremont, Halleck, Sherman, Ord, A.S. Johnston, Bear Republic] https://www.militarymuseum.org/History Early CA.html California Military History [Sherman, Ord, Halleck] https://www.battlefields.org/learn/biographies/benjamin-f-butler Unflattering bio of Benjamin Butler https://www.nps.gov/people/benjaminfbutler.htm Benjamin Butler at Fortress Monroe and "Contraband Decision" http://www.mrlincolnswhitehouse.org/residents-visitors/the-generals-and-admirals/generals-admirals-benjamin-butler-1818-1893/ Butler and Maryland
  7. Well Done, Transylvania! It was indeed Major General Benjamin Butler, one of the early ”essential Union leaders,” who was responsible for finding a way around Rebel-controlled Baltimore; forcing a beachhead at Annapolis; and arguably responsible for keeping Maryland in the Union. And Butler helped save the Capital at Washington, D.C. during the dark days following surrender of Fort Sumter (with the subsequent Secession of Virginia, and the threatened secession of Maryland.) Most are unaware of General Butler's role in the clandestine movement of Union troops from Maine and Massachusetts and Connecticut to Ship Island, off the coast of Mississippi, where a force of eighteen powerful U.S. Navy warships (under Farragut) and 21 “mortar sloops” (David D. Porter) were assembled preparatory to the April 1862 assault on Forts Jackson and St. Philip in the Mississippi River below New Orleans. Unfortunately, Farragut (the senior Naval officer) and Butler (the senior Army officer) were given different sets of orders, both of which stressed the vital goal of capturing New Orleans; but afterwards, the secondary and tertiary goals diverged. Farragut misread his orders and bypassed Vicksburg (instead of taking control of Vicksburg) and focused on joining Davis's Western Flotilla south of Memphis, instead. Butler was left behind at New Orleans when forcing the surrender of the Crescent City proved too difficult a nut to crack for Farragut – and Butler's Army of the Gulf (over 15000 men) remained on Ship Island, or served as occupation troops in New Orleans and Algiers instead of pressing inland to Jackson, Mississippi... where he should have been, as Halleck advanced his Army of the Mississippi south from Pittsburg Landing. Ozzy
  8. Who was the Union General? No guesses on the identity of the Union General anticipated to assist Halleck from the south during the Siege of Corinth? Here are a few clues: How did Union soldiers from Connecticut and Massachusetts arrive in Louisiana in 1862? Where is Ship Island, Mississippi? Of Navy officers Farragut, Porter and this Army General, who was senior?
  9. "How accurate were these guns? In a modern test conducted in 1971, various rifles fired fifteen shots at 400 yards at a 72” X 72” wooden target. A US-made Springfield rifle-musket managed only 7 hits while a British Enfield scored 13. By contrast the .69 caliber M1842 smoothbore made no hits at that distance. The .45 caliber Whitworth sharpshooter’s rifle, however, got 15 hits out of 15 shots." -- Picketing, Skirmishing and Sharpshooting by Fred Ray (2019) in Essential Civil War Curriculum https://www.essentialcivilwarcurriculum.com/picketing,-skirmishing,-and-sharpshooting.html . It is my belief that the superior range of accurate fire offered by Springfield, Enfield and Lorenz rifle-muskets was substantially negated at Shiloh due to terrain (too many trees) and persistence in use of Mexican War tactics in operation of infantry regiments (men lined up shoulder-to-shoulder blasting coordinated "walls of lead" at shotgun range.) In addition, the thick, ground-hugging clouds of black powder smoke, produced after only a handful of coordinated musket discharges, prohibited even the most excellent marksmen from taking aimed shots at max effective range of their weapons. That being said, in my study of Battle of Shiloh references, the only organization I have encountered, likely to have measured fields of fire, is Civil War Landscapes Association. During the past ten years, this group has produced, and refined detailed and highly accurate maps of the Shiloh Battlefield for various times of day, during April 6 and April 7. Unfortunately, for nearly a year, CWLA has been unresponsive on their webpage (and an attempt to reach them at phone 773 - 667 - 7652 has been unsuccessful.)
  10. Paducah -- Gateway to the Confederacy There is no doubt that the occupation of Paducah by U.S. Grant and forces under his command in September 1861 (in response to Confederate occupation of Hickman and Columbus Kentucky just days earlier) was one of the masterful and most important non-battles of the Civil War. “Essential Civil War Curriculum” website has recently added a three page explanation of the Operation for Paducah that is valuable for providing background to the Federal campaign that ultimately resulted in Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, capture of Nashville, and Battle of Shiloh. [The website has other topics of interest, and is steadily expanding, so worth an occasional re-visit.] https://www.essentialcivilwarcurriculum.com/paducah-gateway-to-the-confederacy.html Paducah by John P. Cashon (2019)
  11. Tennessee River Valley in April 1862. The above map of the Tennessee River appeared in the 12 April 1862 edition of Harper's Weekly, before word of the Battle of Shiloh reached the New York editor of that illustrated publication. The map is interesting for what is included: Paducah and Smithland at the far north, with Cairo, Bird's Point, Columbus, Belmont and Island No.10 away to the west. Proceeding south up the Tennessee River, Fort Henry, the crossing of the MC & L R.R. at Danville, and the sites of Savannah, Hamburg and Florence are indicated. Not marked: the line of the Mobile & Ohio R.R. north of Corinth; Cerro Gordo (site of capture of CSS Eastport); Pittsburg Landing; Crump's Landing. Although brief report of the Battle of Pittsburg Landing would find its way into the April 19th edition, the map would not be updated until the 26 April edition.
  12. CSuniforms Great question, because it allows discussion of WHERE letters, diaries, letterbooks and other papers of important historical figures might be held. It would be convenient and logical if one institution held ALL of the documents pertaining to a historical figure, but as in the case of Braxton Bragg (with a half dozen known institutions possessing important letters) logic is not the determining factor. In addition, when one public figure corresponds with another, WHO gets ultimate control of the Letter: the recipient, or “the more important person?” In addition, auction houses gain possession on occasion, further muddying the water... As regards ASJ, I have relied on “Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston” (1873) by his son, W. P. Johnston; his friend, and West Point classmate “Leonidas Polk: Bishop and General” (1915) by William Polk; and various letters exchanged between Generals Johnston and Bragg, many contained in full, or sited in “Braxton Bragg: General of the Confederacy” (1924) by Don Carlos Seitz. (In addition, for other possible Bragg letters, see SDG topic “Bragg's Memoirs” posted 13 FEB 2017.) Entering “Papers of Albert Sidney Johnston” in google search returns the following hits: www.worldcat.org [oclc] – the librarian record of ASJ papers https://www.worldcat.org/title/albert-sidney-johnston-papers-1792-1896/oclc/79455277 special collections Tulane – need to contact Tulane Library directly filson historical – need to verify they have a document (and then pay to get it) legacy.lib.utexas.edu – mostly pre-Civil War (need to contact University of Texas Library directly) Library of Congress – using “LC Quick Search” there are several groupings of ASJ papers, including “Albert Sidney Johnston Papers,” William Preston Johnston Papers, “Leonidas Polk Papers” – mostly available on-site in Washington, D.C. Also to be remembered that ASJ was a great friend of Jefferson Davis, so letters may be held at a Jefferson Davis archive...
  13. Ozzy

    History repeats...

    Rbn3 You present Interesting points about unforeseen changes being embraced in America; but the remedy remains at the Ballot Box, and accepting the Will of the People. In the case of Brexit, the British People reached a tipping point four years ago that led to education, advocacy, and an eventual vote. Attempts to overturn that vote resulted in failure, confirming the Will of the People. Hence, Brexit takes effect from the end of January 2020. In 1860/ 61 it appears no effort was made to take the Case for Secession through the Courts. (And the decisive Supreme Court decision preventing secession in America, Texas v. White, was not adjudicated until 1869.) So the question: “Why was no serious attempt made to present a case for secession to the appropriate U.S. Court?”
  14. Ozzy

    History repeats...

    Brexit to take effect on 31 JAN 2020 Three and a half years ago the British People voted in a referendum to leave the organization known as the European Union. The reasons that led to that binding poll included 1) corrupt over-production of Euros by some member States of the EU; 2) flood into the Euro-zone of "Syrian refugees" (who were not from Syria), all of whom seemed intent upon gaining sanctuary in the UK (with their passage north through the Euro-zone facilitated by EU States); 3) the growing distaste in the UK for Laws enacted by the European Parliament which were contrary to established British Laws (even judged superior to 1000 years of English Common Law.) These EU laws appeared arbitrary and spiteful to the British people; 4) the UK was deemed a "financial power" within the EU and was obligated by Acts of the European Parliament to contribute an ever larger share of the management cost of the European Union. Along the way to Brexit, there were three changes of National Leader in the UK (with one leader, Theresa May, intent on overturning the will of the People and negating the results of the Brexit vote. She was replaced through UK parliamentary procedure by Boris Johnson, who promised to abide by the original Brexit vote.) Late in 2019 Boris Johnson was forced to call an early National Election, which was effectively a Second Referendum on Brexit. The British voters returned the Boris Johnson Government to power with an increased majority, fully displaying support for the Exit of Great Britain from the European Union... and that Exit (known as Brexit) takes place at the end of January. Many Civil War researchers and Historians ask: "Could the Southern States have enacted a bloodless Secession?" The example of Brexit demonstrates that such a secession is possible (was possible), but consider: the TIME required to make the exit effective (3 1/2 years) required extraordinary patience; the UK did not threaten violence if their attempt to secede from the EU failed; the European Union has no United Army of Europe. Member States have their own defense forces (at the present time; there is an intention by the EU to establish a United Army of Europe, likely based on the NATO model.) Without a United Army of Europe, the EU could not "coerce" the UK to remain within the organization; Nations across the globe (USA, Canada, India, Australia) look forward to the opportunities presented by a "seceded" Britain, particularly new trade deals. SDG members have "lived through" a bloodless secession. Was it possible for the Secession attempted in 1860/ 61 to have been accomplished without resorting to War? Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQKotbNVTyE "England waves GOODBYE to European Union"
  15. This YouTube video of 36 minutes was published on 2 May 2019 by Misesmedia, a publication of Mises Institute at Auburn, Alabama. It relies heavily on the Diary of young Elsie Duncan to describe life for civilians of Hardin County after the Battle of Shiloh, after the Union Army mostly moved south to besiege Corinth, Mississippi. The Horrors of War are fully described, including mass graves, the number of wounded overwhelming available surgeons, “raiders” (roaming bands of Union deserters), “guerrillas” (roaming bands of Southern supporters), avoiding “summary justice,” and the increasing difficulty over time to avoid starvation. In addition, mention is made of Duncan's Cave, and Hoker's Bend. "Life After Shiloh: Tory Rule" is narrated by Chris Calton, and is part of the Historical Controversies series. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qITGlHH0iW8 "Life after Shiloh" [Other titles in the Historical Controversies series at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLALopHfWkFlGOn0oxjgp5gGzj-pnqeY0G ].
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