Another Look at “Pickett’s Charge”
Yesterday fellow blogger Craig Warren posted an anonymous poem about Pickett’s Charge over at Civil War Literature. I inquired as to the author and today Craig revealed that he is in fact the masked poet. Here it is:
What if at Gettysburg the troops of Pickett and Pettigrew and Trimble
were already the bronze and marble men
who later gazed northward above green courthouse lawns?
Would Yankee tenacity stop the advancing rows of
stone and metal stalwarts?
Or would the Union ranks break in blue waves
before those defiant, sculpted expressions of the Lost Cause?
– Craig A. Warren
I just the love the way Craig turns the tables on our traditional understanding of the battle. This is the "high water-mark" of the Confederacy and everything supposedly hinges on the decisions being made in Lee’s camp. Confederates are typically understood as the actors while the Federals aligned along Cemetery Ridge, etc. tend to react. The popularity and pervasiveness of the Lost Cause continues to fuel a cottage industry of books purporting to tell us where it all went wrong for Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia. Where is the Lost Cause equivalent that explains or celebrates the stand of the Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg? Even George Pickett understood that the Federals had something to do with their defeat.
Thanks and well done Craig.