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U.S. Civil War History bits

Discussion in 'Military History' started by C.Evans, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron  

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    An inspired bit of detective work, I'm thinking. Certainly not the first thing I would have thought of as a possible cause of death.
     
  2. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron  

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    This has been mentioned before, but I'm going to repost this, since it's topical.
    "The recent violence in Charlottesville, triggered by the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee, is a reminder of the bitter racial tensions that continue to divide America. Hundreds of monuments to Confederate leaders of the Civil War were erected in the Southern States, mainly between the 1890s and 1950s.
    Most believe their purpose was to remind the public that, while white supremacists may have lost the Civil War, they were still a force to be reckoned with.
    The tragic events in Charlottesville seem a long way from Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh. However it was here, one rainy day, that I came across a link between Scotland the Confederacy that seems more relevant than ever.
    In a quiet corner of Dean Cemetery is an obelisk, dedicated to Colonel Robert A Smith, and covered in tiny Confederate flags. The site is looked after by a group of bikers. Smith, born in Edinburgh in 1836, left Scotland aged 14 to join his elder brother, James, in Jackson, Mississippi.
    The Smiths became firm friends with Jefferson Davis, who would soon become President of the Confederacy, and the world’s best known white supremacist. Smith joined National Guard unit, the Mississippi Rifles, and served as Davis’s bodyguard, fighting at Shiloh soon after the Civil War broke out.
    He earned a reputation as a brilliant and charismatic young officer, and later became a Colonel. In 1862, aged just 26, Smith led a charge at the Battle of Mumfordville in Kentucky and was fatally wounded. His sister travelled behind Union lines in a wagon to recover his body, and Robert Smith was buried in Jackson with full military honours."
    Edinburgh’s little-known Confederate memorial – and why it must stay
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm not at all sure that Jefferson Davis was " the world’s best known white supremacist". I'm also of the opinion that general characterization of Confederates as "whit supremacist" is an impediment to understanding the ACW.
     
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  4. LoriAnn

    LoriAnn Active Member

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    I've had the pleasure of witnessing many discussions between dedicated American Civil War students on this topic.

    "Hundreds of monuments to Confederate leaders of the Civil War were erected in the Southern States, mainly between the 1890s and 1950s. Most believe their purpose was to remind the public that, while white supremacists may have lost the Civil War, they were still a force to be reckoned with."

    This in particular has been very eye opening for me. Until recently, I was unaware of the timing of some of these monuments. I have also been very impressed by the influence the United Daughters of the Confederacy has had over our memory of the Civil War. (I'd be happy to go back and find my most recent source if anyone was interested.)

    While I support monuments erected by veterans for veterans on both sides, I have to admit that I wonder about others. On the Civil War forum, we started a thread where we examine certain monuments in detail and look for information regarding the creation and dedication.

    It's been an interesting exercise.
     
  5. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member Patron  

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    I'm curious, when did most Union monument get put up..oh sorry silly question :)
     
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  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm not completely sure what the point was in regards to the period when the monuments were erected. Certainly one wouldn't expect many to have been erected during the reconstruction period. I also how they came to the conclusion that "Most believe" their purpose was to indicate the political strength of white supremacists.
     
  7. LoriAnn

    LoriAnn Active Member

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    I think they mean ~ and I'm only guessing here ~ is that at certain times, when there was any push for Civil Rights among people of color, it is possible a monument or two (or 20 o_O ) went up to act as a reminder as to who was still in charge.

    I personally wouldn't make such a claim unless a monument in question had a definite history (say...a pretty fierce speech during a dedication ceremony that boasted specifically of white supremacy). I know there are those who would say any monument of Lee or Davis smacks of that, but I'm not comfortable with making such a broad statement.

    It certainly is complicated. I've also read charges that the UDC, who were responsible for many monuments, have a history with the Klan.* I'm sure you can imagine the conclusions some draw there.

    I wouldn't be surprised if some on both sides of the argument come at it with very little background. If CW era monuments continue to be an issue in the US, and a very disruptive one at that, I would hope people will take a more precise approach to each statue. Do a little research instead of allowing mobs to pull them down.

    I might be asking too much though. :rolleyes: (For a nice fee, I'd do the leg work!)

    *I've not read up on this yet.
     
  8. LoriAnn

    LoriAnn Active Member

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    Apparently plenty of Union monuments were put up in the South, but no one realized it at first. ;)

    Why Those Confederate Soldier Statues Look A Lot Like Their Union Counterparts

    "Many of the South’s Silent Sentinels turn out to be identical to the statues of Union soldiers that decorate hundreds of public spaces across the North. Identical, but for one detail: On the soldier’s belt buckle, the “U.S.” is replaced by a “C.S.” for “Confederate States.” "

    A generic CW statue? I had no idea.
     
  9. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member Patron  

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    It is deeply unfortunate that a small minority of knuckleheads have rallied around these monuments as icons of hate they were never meant to be. Sadly though I can see no other reasonable solution save moving those in high friction areas to more context appropriate locations like museums, Civil War battlegrounds and cemetery's. I just hope it can be done with respect and dignity.
     
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  10. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large Patron  

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    I think if you look closer you will also notice that many of the statues were erected around anniversary years for the Civil War, not for the social issues that are now inferred. There was a flurry in the late 1880's and 1890's, the 25 year anniversary years were 1886-1890. Chickamauga Battlefield, the first National Military Park was the outgrowth of a barbecue held as a part of a reunion between Northern and Southern veterans of the battle. Organized by two former Federal Brigadier Generals and signed into law by Benjamin Harrison a Union veteran of the 70th Indiana and Sherman's Atlanta Campaign that started off in nearby Chattanooga.
    There was another flurry around the 50th Anniversary starting around 1909 in preparation and extending into the early 1920's. If you recall there was a little thing called the First World War that was in full swing and we were contemplating getting involved that caused a delay around the 50th Anniversary of end to hostilities.
    For the Neo-Nazi's out there, you might like to know that the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery was authorized in 1906 and was unveiled in 1914. It was designed and sculpted by a JEWISH confederate veteran Sir Moses Ezekiel. I don't think he'd like you co-opting his memory and flag for your anti-Semitic garbage.

    [​IMG]

    Confederate Memorial Arlington
    [​IMG] Gravestone at Arlington, Moses Ezekiel

    The Confederate Secretary of War, Judah Benjamin, was also Jewish. I also don't understand how they (the Neo-Nazi's) choose Virginia to push their agenda since the town of Bedford, Virginia, site of the National D-Day Memorial, suffered the greatest proportional loss of their sons to the crusade to stop Hitler and his Nazi ideology.
     
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  11. LoriAnn

    LoriAnn Active Member

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    Agree.
    Very interesting! Thank you for posting this. :thumbup:

    I haven't seen the anniversary years being brought up nearly as often. That's a big detail to overlook!
     
  12. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron  

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    Couldn't agree more. I can only assume they're either stopped teaching history in schools, or we've bred a generation of f***wits.
     
  13. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron  

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    Posting this here rather than the forthcoming conference thread because of the short timescale-
    "THE NEW YORK MILITARY AFFAIRS SYMPOSIUM
    Friday evening & Saturday afternoon talks
    October 6-7, 2017
    Friday evening: 7 pm to 8:45 pm | Saturday afternoon 1-5 pm
    2-Day Conference

    New Perspectives on the American Civil War
    Moderator - Dr. Christiane Warren, Hudson County Comm. College

    Civil War Generals McClellan and Lee: The first two years of the War
    Dr. Gregory Edwards SUNY/ Empire State College

    Grant Under Fire: An Exposé of Generalship & Character in the American Civil War
    Joseph Rose, author.
    Unless otherwise noted, these talks are held on Friday evenings at:
    The Soldiers', Sailors', Marines', Coast Guard and Airmens' Club
    283 Lexington Avenue (between 36th and 37th Streets)
    New York,
    NY 10016-3540
    from 7:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. These Friday lectures are usually held on the 2nd floor in the historic South Lounge."
    nymas.org
     
  14. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    The Civil War is a very misunderstood war for my generation,(I was born in 2000). The Confederacy has been placed in our history books up there with the Nazi's and communism on the evil scale. I have ancestors who fought on both sides (32nd Wisconsin, 13th battalion light artillery Virginia) and I respect and in some ways admire many of the generals and leaders of the Confederacy. My ancestor from Virginia fought for Virginia, not slavery or white supremacy. My fellow teenagers in school have been told it was 95% about slavery, and 5% states rights.......ridiculous :rolleyes:
     
  15. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru Patron  

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    The greatest mystery to me about the ACW is...why do people honor the losing side? Slavery was very much a big part of the issue.."The Civil War started because of uncompromising differences between the free and slave states over the power of the national government to prohibit slavery in the territories that had not yet become states. When Abraham Lincoln won election in 1860 as the first Republican president on a platform pledging to keep slavery out of the territories, seven slave states in the deep South seceded and formed a new nation, the Confederate States of America. The incoming Lincoln administration and most of the Northern people refused to recognize the legitimacy of secession. They feared that it would discredit democracy and create a fatal precedent that would eventually fragment the no-longer United States into several small, squabbling countries." (Pulitzer Prize-winning author James McPherso) That to me would suggest racism in the Southern States - Slavery is very much a "I am Superior to You" thing and it wasn't white people enslaving white people.

    I can't think of another Civil War (anywhere) where the losing side has monuments erected or its battle flags incorporated into national/state flags. Now, I understand Southern Pride, just like most Americans show pride in where they are from (Texas, anyone? or any other state where you were raised) but I just don't understand Confederate pride when the Confederacy was promoting extending slavery (and thus, racism). Can some one explain it to me better?
     
  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I think it would take a much greater study than can be produced here to really make it clear to you. Some factoids that may contribute. Secession was considered I the north a number of times prior to the ACW so whether or not it was Constitutional was a matter of debate up until that time (and indeed afterwards). See for instance:
    http://ditext.com/dilorenzo/yankee.html
    The North was not fighting against racism indeed it was not initially even fighting to end slavery. Slavery was tied up in a Gordian not of states rights and economics. Many in the South thought that they were being oppressed by the Northern states not just as a matter of states rights but also economics, thus they saw and many continue to see the Southern stance as one against oppression and not in support of slavery.

    As for:
    You seem to be ignoring my earlier comment. Here's a few examples:
    Glenfinnan - Wikipedia
    File:Culloden Battlefield Memorial Cairn.jpg - Wikipedia
    Knoydart, Nova Scotia - Wikipedia
    Knoydart Cenotaph - Culloden Veterans
    Battle of Falkirk Muir - Wikipedia
     
  17. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru Patron  

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    Point taken on other monuments...but they aren't on quite the same scale as the number of Confederate statues/flags etc....nor do people associate themselves with the cause etc as they do with the Confederates. I haven't heard anything about Jacobites since I read about them in my history class back in the day! Those strike me more as a monument to the men lost then to the cause they fought for.
     
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  18. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron  

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    Oh the Scottish ones are very definitely used that way.
     
  19. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron  

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    Another interesting article-
    "As the United States becomes increasingly divided over the proper way to remember the Civil War, these horrifying images show the heavy price paid by Unionist soldiers.
    The images, taken shortly after the four-year conflict finished in 1865, show soldiers with their arms, hands and legs missing.
    One of the black-and-white photos shows a soldier show who has had his legs amputated from the waist down sitting in a 19th century wheelchair, while other show brave soldiers clutching their prosthetic limbs.
    Between 620,000 and 750,000 men died in the conflict between the Confederate States of America and the Unionists, which raged between April 1861 and May 1865.
    Following the end of the war, commander of the Union armies and future President, Ulysses S Grant said: 'For the present, and so long as there are living witnesses of the great war of sections, there will be people who will not be consoled for the loss of a cause which they believed to be holy.
    'As time passes, people, even of the South, will begin to wonder how it was possible that their ancestors ever fought for or justified institutions which acknowledged the right of property in man.'"
    Civil War soldiers left disfigured fighting for a US | Daily Mail Online
     
  20. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron  

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    The war's darker side-
    "Harrowing images have revealed the true horrors of the US Civil War - which claimed the lives of more than half a million in just four short years.
    The Civil War remains the bloodiest war in US history. Fought between 1861 and 1865, it claimed 620,000 lives - nearly as many American casualties as every other war fought by the United States combined.
    In these harrowing photos, the death and destruction of the battlefields as well as the horrors inside the Confederate's notorious military prison in Andersonville, Georgia are clear to see.
    Called Camp Sumter, it was the largest prison in the South where captured Union soldiers were kept from February 1864 to April 1865, the end of the Civil War."
    US Civil War photos show prisoners reduced to skeletons | Daily Mail Online
     

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