New to the Civil War Memory Library, 10/23

I am calling for a year-long moratorium on Civil War publishing from my favorite historians.  There is just too much to read. Give us a chance to catch up.

William J. Cooper, We Have the War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, November 1860-April 1861 (Knopf, 2012).

Guy R. Hasegawa, Mending Broken Soldiers: The Union and Confederate Programs to Supply Artificial Limbs (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012).

Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein, The Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine (M.E. Sharpe, 2012).

Joe Mozingo, The Fiddler on Pantico Run: An African Warrior, His White Descendants, A Search for Family (Free Press, 2012).

Jonathan Sarna,When General Grant Expelled the Jews(Schoken, 2012).

John Stauffer and Zoe Trodd, The Tribunal: Responses to John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid (Harvard University Press, 2012).

John F. Witt, Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History (Free Press, 2012).

The U.S. in U.S. Grant

Thanks to Scott Mackenzie for sending along the following notice from the New York Times, which was published on July 19, 1863.

At a torchlight procession in Belleville, Illinois, last week, one of the transparencies contained the following:

Major-Genernl U. S. Grant.

Unconditional Surrender Grant, Uncle Sam Grant, United States Grant, Unparalleled Success Grant, Unabridged Seizure Grant, Union-Saver Grant, Uudenlably Superior Grant. Uuflinching Surmounter Grant, Undaunted Soldier Grant, Understanding Secession Grant, Use Sambo Grant, Unshackle Slave Grant, Ultimate Subjugation Grant, Uncommon Smart Grant, Unequaled Smasher Grant, Utterly Solid Grant, Utmost Safety Grant, Unrivaled System Grant, Unexceptionable Scientific Grant, Undertake Sure Grant, Unbounded Spunk Grant, Universal Sanative Grant, Unadulterated Saltpetre Grant, Uniform Succeeder Grant, Undisputed Sagacity Grant, Unabated Siege Grant, Unbending Superexcellence Grant, Unexampled Skill Grant, Undoubtedly Spunky Grant, Usually Sober Grant, Unprecedented Sardine Grant.

Go in, U.S. — I see it now !

HEMINGER, SEN.

Joan Waugh’s 2011 Fortenbaugh Lecture at Gettysburg College

On November 19, Professor Joan Waugh delivered the 2011 Fortenbaugh Lecture at the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg.  Professor Waugh’s lecture, “‘The Rebels Are Our Countrymen Again’: U.S. Grant and the Meaning of Appomattox” reexamines the familiar story of the historic surrender of Confederate forces to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. The surrender at Appomattox is generally considered the end of the American Civil War, enshrining a powerful image of a peaceful, perfectly conducted closure to the bloody conflict. Yet the details of Grant’s magnanimous surrender document provoked debate, anger, and opposition among the Northern public. This mixed reception casts doubt on Appomattox as a shining moment of reunion and reconciliation, predicting the troubles that lay ahead for President Grant and the country in the postwar era.

SCV and SUV Reunite at Grant’s Tomb

Dr. Michael Kogan, a member of Archibald Gracie Camp #985, the New York City Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, gives a few brief remarks at the annual Grant’s Tomb Commemoration, hosted by New York’s Sons of Union Veterans on Palm Sunday, April 17th, 2011.  The speech is a wonderful example of the continued hold of sectional reconciliation on our popular memory of the war.  The only problem is that it is unlikely that General Grant would have approved of such language.  Toward the end of his remarks Kogan applauds Grant for his terms of surrender at Appomattox, but the SCV would do well to remind itself of what he thought of the Confederate cause.  Grant offers a very succinct reflection on it in his memoir:

I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse.”

For Grant the war was not simply a battle between brave soldiers and shared values.  I have little doubt that if given the opportunity to do so Grant would remind Kogan and the New York chapter of the SCV that there was a right side and a wrong side in the Civil War.

Johnny Yuma’s Appomattox

On this day in April 1865, Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House.  Those of you who continue to harbor hatred for Grant and the rest of the “yankee horde” would do well to listen closely to Johnny Yuma.  In this episode, Johnny explains to a young boy, who lost his father in the war, to put aside his hate and embrace forgiveness and reconciliation.

This episode beautifully captures the reconciliationist spirit of the Civil War Centennial.  “Well Mr. McCune, here is how I look at it.  In a way everybody who fought for either side was at Appomattox.”

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