Tag Archives: Gettysburg

Another Gettysburg Book? What Will the Buffs Say?

GettysburgMy copy of Allen Guelzo’s new book, Gettysburg: The Last Invasion will arrive later this afternoon.  I will likely dive right in.  I’ve read all of Guelzo’s books and have learned a great deal.  Yesterday the Civil War Monitor published a review of the book by Will Greene. At first I stayed away not wanting my reading to be influenced, but in the end my curiosity got the best of me.  Greene highly recommends the book, which is a very good sign.

In his review, Greene cites a reference by Guelzo to the likely reception of his book among his fellow academics.

Guelzo, the Henry C. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College, belongs to that class of academic historians who, Guelzo accurately notes, consider studies that deal with battles as possessing “a reputation close to pornography” (xvi). His Acknowledgments serve primarily as fair warning to his scholarly colleagues that they are unlikely to approve of this book because it dares to commit almost purely military history.

I think such a concern is misplaced unless Guelzo is referring to the academic world beyond his colleagues in Civil War/Southern studies. My guess is that many, if not most, of his academic colleagues are going to devour this book even if they don’t admit so in polite company.  And those who don’t will certainly not hold it against him.  Continue reading

 

USPS Civil War Commemorative Stamps Show Clear Bias

Gettysburg

Has anyone else noticed that the stamps released thus far by the United States Postal Service reflect a clear bias?  Perhaps it should come as no surprise that an agency of the federal government would favor the United States during the Civil War.  Next month the USPS’s Forever stamp marking the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg will be released.  It is based on Thure de Thulstrup’s 1887 chromolithograph and once again depicts the Union line as opposed to the more popular Confederate perspective on July 3.

Stamps marking the anniversaries of Bull Run and Antietam also features Union positions while the New Orleans stamp features Union gunboats.  And let’s not forget the Emancipation commemorative stamp.  I suspect that this bias is intentional and that it will continue to the end of the sesquicentennial.  We may not see a Rebel until we get to Appomattox.

At this rate I am willing to wager that they release a stamp marking Sherman’s March?

 

What More Needs To Be Said About Gettysburg?

Gettysburg…apparently very little.

With the Future of Civil War History conference right around the corner it should come as no surprise that I’ve had Gettysburg on my mind.  I am also looking forward to a return visit in June for the annual Civil War Institute, which will focus on the battle of Gettysburg.  With the 150th anniversary just a few months away you would think that publishers would want to cash in on the general public’s interest in this specific battle.  It goes without saying that no other Civil War battle looms larger in the nation’s collective memory.

Surprisingly, however, there is very little that is slated for publication this summer.  In fact, the only full length treatment seems to be Allen Guelzo’s Gettysburg: The Last Invasion.  Brooks Simpson offers a much more concise overview of the battle in his, Gettysburg, 1863 and for those looking for a detailed study of Confederate action on July 2 there is Philip Thomas Tucker’s BARKSDALE’S CHARGE: The True High Tide of the Confederacy at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863.  And that’s about it folks.

I really thought that the major publishers, in addition to Knopf, would find some way to squeeze something out of the 150th.  Perhaps I have overlooked additional titles.  If not, have we hit a wall?

 

Gettysburg NMP Invites Trace Adkins to Sing National Anthem

Yes, I find the decision by the Gettysburg National Military Park to invite country music singer Trace Adkins to sing our National Anthem as part of the 150th anniversary commemoration of the battle to be just a little troubling.  My concern has nothing to do with the recent story about his Confederate earring and I understand that Adkins is a strong advocate for battlefield preservation.

My concern goes back to some remarks that Adkins made as part of a sesquicentennial event in Tennessee in 2010.  Here, once again, is the video from that event.

Is Adkins really the best the GNMP could do to find someone to help to bring meaning to the “cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion”?

 
S- Civil War Centennial

Gettysburg 1963

Those of you in the Richmond area should make it a point to check out Ray Carver’s one-man show, “Gettysburg 1963″ which will premier at the Gayton Kirk Presbyterian Church on Saturday February 23.  I was invited to participate in a panel discussion following the show, but the organizer didn’t realize that I no longer live in Virginia.  It’s times like these that I really miss the Old Dominion.  There is just so much going on in the Richmond area alone.

Here is a little taste to wet your appetite.