Happy Anniversary

Memory, Southern History

On this day in 1862 United States forces under the command of General George B. McClellan and Confederate forces under the command of General Robert E. Lee fought to a standstill along Antietam Creek outside of Sharpsburg, Maryland.  McClellan failed to take advantage of an opportunity to destroy his enemy and perhaps end the war while Lee's performance capped off a brilliant string of victories, which moved the focus of combat from the gates of Richmond to U.S. territory.  In doing so, Lee arguably saved the Confederacy from imminent collapse. 

Fifty years ago this week Virginia Governor Lindsay Almond ordered Charlottesville's public schools to close their doors rather than follow a court order to integrate their classrooms.  Both Venable and Lane schools closed and hundreds of local children were without a public school classroom
for five months, until those schools reopened on February 4, 1959.  Parents mobilized and formed The Charlottesville Education Foundation and promptly opened two all-white schools, one of which they named Robert E. Lee Elementary.

On September 19 at 4pm there will be a "Massive Resistance" remembrance on the east end of the Downtown Mall by the Free Speech Wall.  Organizers plan on including music and a wreath to honor the Jefferson and Burley students who
attempted to integrate white schools here in Charlottesville.

1 comment… add one

  • Chris Meekins Sep 17, 2008

    We had a class of Civil War students at the NC Archives today. And to my delight, if not theirs, the State Archivist approved of pulling a few “treasures” from our vault to show the class. S.O. 191 was front and center. It is THAT day after all.
    We also took a peek at Colonel Isaac Avery’s letter from the dead[KIA July 2, 1863 Gettysburg], Jefferson Davis’ letter encouraging NC to join the CSA [dated 23 May 1861], and Lincoln’s cover letter and the proposed 13th Amendment [slavery in perpetuity]from March 1861. Our small program for the class went well. Its always great to break out a few “treasures.” S.O. 191 just had to be there on today.

Leave a Comment