TEEGARDEN: RECAP OF THE CIVIL WAR
In the coming months, I look forward to writing in more detail about 1862, including tragedies (like Antietam and Fredericksburg) and triumphs (like the Emancipation Proclamation) which are part of this year’s Sesquicentennial remembrance, as well as other core antebellum and post-bellum issues.
For this week, however, since so many readers of The Colorado Statesman are about to emerge from the “fog” of the legislative session for 2012, I though it might be helpful to provide a very brief situational report on the American Civil War as it stood 150 years ago this week, in 1862.
TEEGARDEN: MORE POLITICAL GAMES AND TRICKERY!
Well folks, ‘tis the season for Presidential-year Political Conventions!
Ah yes — more political games and trickery! Smoke filled rooms, counterfeit admission tickets, well-heeled East Coast financiers trying to strong arm western voters, organized and paid shouters and cheerleaders, rumor-mongering, threats of party defections, promises of cabinet posts and other patronage in exchange for support, the raising of absurd sums of money for political action, etc, etc.
TEEGARDEN: FROM THE PAST WE SHALL (HOPEFULLY) LEARN
The two-day Civil War Battle of Shiloh, sometimes referred to as the “Battle of Pittsburgh Landing,” began in the predawn hours of Sunday, April 6, 1862, when Confederate General Albert Sydney Johnston’s army rushed out of the dense woods upon the more or less unsuspecting Union army of General Ulysses S. Grant. Grant’s troops were, for the most part, just rising from their tents when the attack began.
TEEGARDEN: REMEMBRANCES OF LINCOLN ON THE OCCASION OF HIS BIRTHDAY
February 7, 1862 was the originally scheduled execution date for Nathaniel Gordon, a convicted trans-Atlantic slave trader. However, Gordon, the scion of a respectable Presbyterian family from Portland, Maine, had good reason to believe that neither his death sentence nor any other severe punishment would actually be carried out.
TEEGARDEN: PRESIDENT'S GENERAL WAR ORDER NO. 1
It was 150 years ago, on January 27, 1862, that President Abraham Lincoln issued a somewhat extraordinary directive, titled “President’s General War Order No. 1.” Lincoln’s Order stemmed from both his boiling frustration with the inaction of his top generals and from his own recognition of the strategic opportunity for coordinated and simultaneous action among the Union’s various military forces.
TEEGARDEN: AND A LIST OF RECOMMENDED AUTHORS AND BOOKS
First, following is a brief description of a very bloody and inconclusive battle (technically counted as a Union victory) known as the Battle of Stones River or Murfreesboro. Second, I’ve provided a list of my own favorite Civil War historians/non-fiction writers and some suggested (very readable, not dry and boring) books related to the Civil War and its place in our national psyche.
TEEGARDEN: THE CIVIL WAR "YEAR-END WRAP-UP"
December is the traditional time for overall “year in review” wrap up stories. So here’s an attempt to summarize the years of the Civil War. The following is admittedly far too superficial for any historian or amateur student of that period, but will hopefully give more general readers a glimpse of the painful annual retrospectives families were somberly reflecting upon during the holiday seasons of 1860-1865.
TEEGARDEN: THANKSGIVING, VETERANS DAY, AND GETTYSBURG DAY...
Saturday, November 19, is the 148th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 delivery of the Gettysburg Address. It will likely bring a smile to the face of any admirer of Lincoln to know that the President’s first words to his friend and bodyguard, Ward Lamon, after delivering his brief remarks were, “that speech won’t scour.” Lincoln was utilizing a farmer’s vernacular for plowing untilled soil, and by “won’t scour” he meant that the speech was a dud!
TEEGARDEN: A HISTORY OF REMEMBRANCE
The Colorado Statesman
Here’s how well I understand Veterans Day — I told my publisher/editor/friend, Ms. Strogoff, how thrilled I was to write about this important national holiday, because it had in fact been originated by Civil War General and Congressman John “Blackjack” Logan. Which would have been correct if we had been talking about Memorial Day! In the immortal words of Gilda Radnor’s Emily Litella, “Never Mind.”
TEEGARDEN: FROM HAGIOGRAPHY TO HODGES
Having recently discussed the bare bones story of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, I’ve been uncertain how to best present or frame the apparent ambiguities and lack of urgency in Lincoln’s own commitment to end slavery. When studying or reading about Lincoln’s life, particularly his early career in Illinois, one cannot help but stumble across any number of troubling statements and writings with respect to true equality between the white and African American races.