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The Rebel Yell was the war cry of the Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War. Union troops, even when greatly outnumbering their attackers, described it as being extremely unsettling. The Rebel Yell, along with the mystique of the invincible rebel soldier, aided the Confederate armies greatly. This was especially true early in the war when the rebels were only greatly outnumbered, as opposed to later in the war when they were ridiculously outnumbered.

Supposedly, though, no one today knows exactly what the rebel yell sounded like. It definitely was not "Yee-Haw!" "Yee-haw" conveys a message of, "Oh boy! We's gonna' have some fun now!" The Rebel Yell conveys more of a "Oh boy! We's gonna' do some killin' now!" message. It's more like "Yee Yee Yee Yee!", which sounds silly in print. Union soldiers described it as a sort of swirling discordant scream that grew louder and more horrible as the attackers approached. The desired effect requires an entire horde of southerners with an extreme case of battle lust.

The first roller coaster opened at Paramount's Kings Dominion, the Rebel Yell is a single out and back wooden twin-style coaster. Designed by John Allen and built by Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters, both tracks of Rebel Yell have been operating since the park opened on May 3, 1975. The red side (which is red in name only, as the entire coaster is actually painted white) runs trains forward through 3,369 feet of track; the blue side makes a nearly identical trip backward. Riders must decide early on whether they want to see the fifty-degree drop at the end of the 85-foot lift hill - there are two entirely separate lines for each track, and the line for the red side is typically shorter. The two tracks are sometimes coordinated to race trains, but to maintain the capacity of 1200 riders per hour, one train may leave the station before the other is finished loading. The entire trip takes two minutes and fifteen seconds, and the trains reach a respectable speed of 56 miles per hour. There are four trains total - two per track - and each can handle thirty riders at a time with five cars per train. Riders, who must be at least 44" tall, are arranged two across in three rows.

Although it has not been designated an ACE Coaster Classic, the Rebel Yell did receive a commemorative plaque from American Coaster Enthusiasts in 2003. It was also featured in the 1977 movie Rollercoaster, along with a Six Flags Magic Mountain coaster called Revolution. Although a coaster is destroyed in that movie, it was neither the Rebel Yell nor the Revolution - instead it was the Rocket from Ocean View Amusement Park, which was closed in 1978.


My trip to PKD on April 24, 2004

Rebel Yell is a bourbon whiskey made in Louisville, Kentucky. It was first distilled in 1849, and the distillery was founded by one W. L. Weller.

The stuff was originally only sold locally, and it was discontinued for a time (when, I cannot find). In 1961, it was reintroduced, apparently for the 100th anniversary of the American Civil War. It was not sold north of the Mason-Dixon until 1984. It is a "wheated" whiskey, meaning wheat is used in the mash instead of rye.

Rebel Yell is $21 for a handle (1750 mL) in Pennsylvania as of this write-up. That is about the cost of a week's worth of groceries for a frugal house of three in the US. It is also the number of years one must have behind one (rounding down) in order to legally consume it there. All that said, Rebel Yell has, in my opinion, the best quality-per-dollar on the bourbon market (the "best of the cheap").

A source: rebelyellwhiskey.com

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