The first episode from the popular TV series “Who Do You Think You Are?” profiled actress and singer Vanessa Williams. She learned that her 2nd great-great grandfather was a member of the U.S. Color Troops during the Civil War. Here’s the entire episode from Hulu.
I was watching American Idol last week and they had an audition by a Nathaniel Jones, who was dressed as a Union Civil War soldier. It’s funny if it’s nothing. But, it’s also sad because most of America probably looks at the average Civil War reenactor as ridiculous as this lame audition attempt was. Heaven help us!
Last May I blogged on the 65th Georgia flag being restored. That story is alone is very interesting. Fast forward to today. I recently got an email from a Civil War buff in Australia - yes Aussieland - who said he was doing research for a friend who owned a picture of two men in uniform holding the original 65th Georgia flag, probably in the 1920s or so. He emailed me the picture. Here it is:
The gentleman on the right is John Davis, the original color bearer of this flag, which flew while the 65th charged at Franklin (30 November 1864).
Here’s the newly restored 65th flag.
We are 150 years removed from the Civil War and the last Civil War veteran died in 1959. Believe it or not, there are a handful of living sons and daughters of Civil War veterans still alive.
It has been said that “the real war will never get in the books.” The following first-hand account was written by a 50th Ohio soldier who’s unit faced numerous charges from the Confederate assaults by CSA General Benjamin Cheatham’s division at Franklin.
I have read a great many descriptions by both Union and Confederate writers who have tried to describe as it appeared to them as the enemy charged across what may be called the field of death but all have failed to show it up as it was. There is no words in the English language that will fittingly describe it – it is painted on the canvas of the memories of those who saw it and stands out in bold relief but no eye witness I care not how clever he may be with the pen can do it justice on paper…
My hat is off to the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission who recently released a brand new three-hour DVD set for the classroom. Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr., played a senior role in producing the series as well as being interviewed.
The Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech, in partnership with the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission and Blue Ridge PBS, has created a unique educational resource specifically for the sesquicentennial: a DVD for teachers to use in the classroom as a supplemental instructional tool in the teaching of Civil War history.
Robertson said that the curriculum, which is broken down into 20 minute segments, was sent to every public high school in Virginia.
To learn more or to order the DVD set for just $20 visit this link.
I recently attended a Civil War Roundtable meeting in Louisville, Kentucky and the esteemed Professor, and and Dean of current Civil War scholars, James I. Robertson, Jr., made a statement that really got my attention.
Regarding Civil War reenactors doing their thing - reenacting - on actual Civil War battlefield ground, Dr. Robertson said,
I don’t think reenactors ought to be “playing soldier” on ground where real Civil War soldiers shed their blood. That ground is sacred.
He did not dismiss out-of-hand the value that reenactors play in preservation and education today, but he does feel that modern-day reenactors fall far short of being able to empathize with what a real Civil War soldier went through emotionally.
I’ve never seen a reenactor standing in a field with his leg blown off below the knee screaming in shock.
What do you think?
Confederate reenactors ‘play soldier’ on the very grounds that Confederates engaged on in the Carter Gardens area in Franklin, Tennessee. April 2010 photo.
The preservation community was shocked in late January when Walmart announced that it has abandoned it’s plans to build a super center on part of the former Wilderness battlefield in Virginia.
The Civil War Trust had launched a campaign to stop the development. Hundreds of well-known people, scholars, politicians, and hollywood-types, came together behind the force of myriad grassroots people to protest the super center.
The Battle of the Wilderness, fought May 5–6, 1864, was one of the most significant engagements of the American Civil War. Of the 185,000 soldiers who entered combat amid the tangled mass of second-growth trees and scrub in Virginia’s Orange and Spotsylvania counties, some 30,000 became casualties.
Source: Civil War Trust
Trace Adkins recently stated:
I’ve had a lot of people over the years ask me, ‘Why’s your hair so long? The answer to that question is, towards the end of the war when the outcome was obvious to everybody, there were a group of incredibly dedicated Confederate soldiers who said, ‘For me this issue is not settled, and until the issue is settled, I’m not going to cut my hair.’ Neither will I.
My question is this. What would convince Adkins that the issue were settled?
Some kind of proclamation? From whom?
I think waiting for the issue to be settled some 150 years later is about as likely as Prince Charming coming to rescue Rapunzel.