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View Diary: Remembering Gettysburg, 150 Years On (76 comments)

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  •  After doing some of my own (11+ / 0-)

    genealogical research I have to ask myself how many of us here today have great great (or even more) grandfathers, uncles, cousins or other kin who were doing much the same thing 150 years ago...

    a sizable number, I believe.

    Thanks for the thoughtful diary to prod my own thoughts in that direction...

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 03:22:46 PM PDT

    •  I did some research on my great-great uncle (11+ / 0-)

      after I found his Civil War dispatches (for the 116th U.S. Colored Troops) in my parents' attic after my father's death.
      He was in the New York 120th Volunteer Regiment, which lost almost half of its soldiers on July 2 in the Peach Orchard at Gettysburg, probably because of the incompetence of General Dan Sickles.
      Almost miraculously, he wasn't wounded.
      In 1864 he transferred out of the reorganized 120th to the U.S. Colored Troops to accept an officer's appointment.
      He was at Lee's surrender but apparently never wrote anything about it.
      His brother, my great-great grandfather, was a Union special agent and had been ambushed and killed by unknown person(s), so when the war was over my g-g uncle went home to the family farm and helped raise his orphaned nephews.
      Today I'm remembering him and all those men who gave so much.
      The men who held the line...

      •  My great-great grandfather... (5+ / 0-)

        ...was wounded at Holly Springs, Miss., fighting for the south. He was 17. Had red hair, according to my grandmother.

        Ta-Nehisi Coates has, over the last 2 years or so, done an outstanding series on the Civil War, concluding that it was not "tragic" because it ended slavery. I'm not sure that he's right, but I'm not sure that he's wrong.

        I like to think that if I'd been living in the south 150 years ago, I'd have refused to fight. I don't know if I'm fooling myself. May depend on my age. At 17, I probably would not have had the insight or gumption to refuse.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 07:25:59 PM PDT

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        •  It was tragic... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey, a gilas girl, Phil S 33

          That it took so much bloodshed to end slavery.

          And so much more in the next century to secure civil rights.

          And it's tragic that struggle still must continue today.

          "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

          by Notthemayor on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 11:45:49 PM PDT

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          •  that government of the people... (4+ / 0-)

            by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

            The war was really about democracy.  That is, one side could not win an election and the other side just walk out if they did not like the outcome.  

            After Antietam Lincoln issued the Emancipation proclamation and that was right and historic.  But the Union winning the war and preserving democracy is what made the 14th amendment law for the United States.  It is what made all other civil and human rights progress in our country possible.  

            It is a little before 2pm on July 3 right now.  And all that has happened that is good and right follows from the right side winning the battle.  

      •  There are a number of USCT veterans... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        swampyankee, Phil S 33

        Buried in Allegheny Cemetery about a half mile from my door.

        To me, their service seems especially sacred.

        "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

        by Notthemayor on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 11:44:19 PM PDT

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      •  the soldier I portray when re-enacting (8+ / 0-)

        David Abrahamson, 22nd MA Volunteer Infantry, joined at 18, one of 6,000 Jews who fought for the Union.  He was wounded at Gaines Mill, severely- shot in the mouth, arm and leg; and appears in the Regimental History, joking about his wounds.  He spent time as a prisoner of war, time which my research so far doesn't account for; and in 1864, returned to service as an officer in the 5th MA Colored Cavalry.

        I like to think the I've drawn the same important lessons I have my spiritual culture- love learning, love justice, and seek truth.  Or as Rabbi Hillel said, 2000 years ago, "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn."

        A moment for us all to reflect on.

        "When you're skating on thin ice, you might as well dance." Jesse Winchester

        by The Poet Deploreate on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 05:57:15 AM PDT

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    •  Mine (6+ / 0-)

      was part of an Ohio regiment that was captured by Jubal Early - and nearly starved in a confederate POW camp.

      There is a movie out - copperheads - that seeks to portray those who fought for the North as fanatics.  Anyone who reads accounts of the Civil War would have to agree - what they endured to keep the country together when part wanted to leave was incredible.

      Sometimes fanatics are right.

    •  Sgt Frank Rhodes, Army of the Potomac (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a gilas girl, seabos84

      His diary is a family heirloom.

      Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies have nothing to lose but their chains -Marx (-8.75,-8.36)

      by alain2112 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:36:22 PM PDT

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    •  Pretty sure I had a g-g-g uncle in the Union Army (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a gilas girl

      45th Wisconsin Infantry, if my research is correct.

      Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

      by Linnaeus on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 12:48:48 AM PDT

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    •  3x great uncle (0+ / 0-)

      may have been in a regiment at Gettysburg.  I need to do more research on this.

      2x great grandfather did garrison duty in Ohio. It looks like he didn't get anywhere near the front.

      The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

      by raboof on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:13:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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