Civil War Times

LEAVE THEM STANDING

Visiting Gettysburg National Military Park should be unsettling. The site exists, after all, because of a breathtaking failure of the nation’s electoral system in 1860. Powerful members of Southern society thought Republican victory menaced the long-term viability of slavery and refused to accept the verdict of the ballot box. They dismembered the republic and opened the way for a war whose memory grappled with massive human loss, emancipation’s vast political and social consequences, and anger that lingered for years. As the nation continues to struggle with that memory, a sound understanding of the war and its legacies demands a level of discomfort. The presence of Confederate monuments at Gettysburg will upset some visitors, but that is a price worth paying to protect a valuable and instructive memorial landscape.

The need to accept discomfort merits attention because heated debates regarding the Civil War’s memorial landscape have included calls to remove Confederate monuments at Gettysburg. These debates on social media, in the U.S. House of Representatives, and elsewhere raise the question of how best to handle the conflict’s deeply, and sometimes violently, contested memory. No other era

Estás leyendo una vista previa, regístrate para leer más.

Más de Civil War Times

Civil War Times8 min. leídos
The Widow’s Secret
Barely five feet tall and weighing no more than 100 pounds, Helen Viola Jackson sat on the edge of a bed in a private room of a nursing home, her tiny feet grazing the floor. Hanging on a wall, near a collection of birthday cards, was a photo of Jack
Civil War Times2 min. leídos
Haste Makes Waste
THE THREE-RING Minié ball is a Civil War icon, but in reality, the lead slugs came in many different forms. One of the most common Confederate-made varieties was the Gardner patent bullet, invented by Frederick J. Gardner of New Bern, N.C., who was i
Civil War Times3 min. leídosCrime & Violence
Of Statues And Meaning
Monumental Harm is an important book. It deserves a readership beyond those who normally follow the emerging currents of Civil War historiography. It deals with, as its title implies, a debate that is currently roiling the very foundation of our soci