Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Its been a while but I am back. This issue with the Museum of the Confederacy has been going on for some time. Please check out this article at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/8/prweb10982541.htm SCV Opposes Museum of the Confederacy’s De-consolidation Plans The Sons of Confederate Veterans strongly oppose The Museum of the Confederacy's proposed plan to close its Richmond facility and disperse its collection among several historical groups. Columbia, TN (PRWEB) August 01, 2013 Michael Givens, Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) issued the following statement today expressing concern over the Museum of the Confederacy’s rumored intent to merge itself with other Virginia historical groups: The Museum of the Confederacy holds an important trust as the repository of the world’s finest collection of Confederate memorabilia. Recent reports indicate that the Michael Givens, Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) issued the following statement today expressing concern over the Museum of the Confederacy’s rumored intent to merge itself with other Virginia historical groups: "The Museum of the Confederacy holds an important trust as the repository of the world’s finest collection of Confederate memorabilia. Recent reports indicate that the Museum of the Confederacy leadership is rapidly moving forward with a plan which will result in effectively closing the Museum of the Confederacy, selling its building in downtown Richmond, and dispersing its collection among several historical groups." "The SCV strongly opposes this plan and urges the Museum of the Confederacy board to reconsider. While no doubt well-intentioned, this course of action will seriously jeopardize the integrity of the collection as well as the continued viability of the historic White House of the Confederacy which the Museum of the Confederacy also oversees." "Generations of Southerners, including many of the veterans themselves, contributed a king’s ransom to the Museum of the Confederacy in the form of priceless antiques, family heirlooms, and relics of the Confederate cause of incalculable value with the express intent that these antiquities would be carefully preserved and honorably displayed. As a result, the Museum of the Confederacy’s collection grew to be a world-class museum of the treasures of the late Confederacy. To scatter this precious collection across several venues and organizations will only diminish its importance." "The SCV urges anyone who shares our view of this important collection to let their voices be heard so that the Museum of the Confederacy can return to being the home of the Confederacy’s most important artifacts." Formed in 1896, The Sons of Confederate Veterans is an international organization of male descendants of Confederate soldiers and the nation’s largest military history and genealogy society, with over 30,000 members. Contact: Michael Givens Email: givens(dot)scv(at)gmail(dot)com Phone: 843-252-1860 Website: http://scv.org Please remember that I believe in studying history and I by means support nor oppose the article, its author or authors or any group opposed or supporting it.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
After studying the Civil War for nearly thirty years of my life I have read more books than I wish to count which focus on the Army of Northern Virginia and its operations under the watchful eye of General Robert E. Lee. I have read microcosm histories, biographies, autobiographies, single campaign focused books and again just about everything that you can think of. Moreover, the historiography on Lee’s campaigns is so vast (books are still being published) that one wonders if anyone can come up with anything unique even though the author might revisit grounds so over frequently visited.
When I heard that historian/author Jeffry D. Wert was coming out with a book on Lee’s 1862-1863 campaigns I was mildly shocked. Wert had done an excellent job in the past with his biographies of Lee’s cavalry chief JEB Stuart, Lee’s chief officer James Longstreet and George A. Custer. Furthermore, his books entitled From Winchester to Cedar Creek: The Shenandoah Campaign of 1864, A Brotherhood Of Valor: The Common Soldiers of The Stonewall Brigade CSA and The Iron Brigade USA and his excellent study of the Army of the Potomac entitled The Sword of Lincoln: The Army of the Potomac were not only great reads but well researched studies which must find a place on any Civil War buffs bookshelf. As mentioned before Wert tended to look at things that hadn’t been overdone so again when I noticed that he was coming out with a book on this subject I didn’t really think that as good as a writer as he is that even he could do anything new. After some reflection I remembered reading Wert’s microcosm study on the third day at Gettysburg (another topic so overdone it sometimes seems tedious) and I remembered how good that book was. Wert took an old topic and reinvented it for his readers, making it easy to understand and like his other books his study was so good that it is being used by countless historians in their research and for their bibliographies. This coupled with his other successes I knew that Wert was an excellent writer and he would come through in his new book. After purchasing it and reading it I am happy to say that I was right.
Jeffry D. Wert’s new book officially entitled A Glorious Army: Robert E. Lee's Triumph, 1862–1863 is excellent. Wert’s research and thesis took him in a direction to support the idea that Robert E. Lee’s aggressive offensive tactics of 1862-1863 saved the Confederacy and put both Lee and his army on a pedestal that was respected by foreign observers, loved by the Confederate people and feared by anyone wearing the blue uniform of the Union. Wert asserts that “Lee’s audacity and adoption of the strategic offensive formed the core of the army’s operations…He based the strategy on a reasoned assessment of how the Confederacy could achieve victory over a numerically superior opponent with nearly unlimited resources. Lee knew that if the Confederacy rested idly by the North would slowly conquer, subjugate and destroy the Confederacy. To win Lee had to be aggressive and the Army of Northern Virginia and its officers became the blunt object that Lee hoped would defeat the North before its “industrial and human might overwhelmed” the entire “Southern populace”.
Never one to fall into “Lost Cause” canons Wert stays on track throughout the book which is divided into ten chapters with each devoted to introduction, to each campaign and the final chapter reviews Wert’s thesis and the final years of the war which ended with the Confederacy losing. Covered in the book are the following campaigns which made Lee’s army one of the greatest to ever take the field; The Seven Days, Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. In each case Wert doesn’t overwhelm his readers with the overuse of facts but rather blends both primary and secondary sources in a overview of each battle which provides the reader with an excellent review of each campaign. To me a great Civil War author has the ability to take the reader into each battle without overdoing the tactical stuff. Wert makes you feel like you are in Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg or defending Marye’s Heights at Fredericksburg as the relentless Union army attacked again and again.
Wert shows that after barely one year in command Robert E. Lee won four major battles and fight the Union army to a draw at Antietam despite overwhelming odds. Both Lincoln and Washington D.C. were threatened, foreign powers began to think that the Confederacy had a chance, and the Southern people believe that with Lee in command his army could win them their independence. Until the horrendous defeat at Gettysburg Lee’s army looked like it would force the North to negotiate for peace. This is an excellent study and a must read for all those who may be interested.
As a final note Jeffry Wert has provided a balanced study of Lee and the officers involved. I really enjoyed his analysis of the loss of General Thomas J. Jackson and its impact on Lee’s high command. Also, his analysis of Lee’s emphasis on his colonels and generals to lead from the front which led to so many victories also deprived the Confederate high command of its best officers as many of them were shot down and lost forever.
The book is excellent for both average laymen and those that know so much about these battles that it is always good to review and have an excellently written book for one to use. Amazingly Wert is able to do this in just 294 pages which is testament to his ability as a writer. The book also provides several easy to read maps and photos of the primary participants in Lee’s army. The book is entitled A Glorious Army but in reality Mr. Wert has provided readers with a glorious book.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Fascinating posts at Gettysburgdaily.com. They are doing an exclusive on Little Round Top and its impact on history. I have read the host's (Gerry Adelman) books and he has an intersting take on the historgraphy of that small, rocky hill in southern PA.
Here are the links to the posts:
Part 1: http://www.gettysburgdaily.com/?p=7132
Part 2: http://www.gettysburgdaily.com/?p=7173
Part 3: http://www.gettysburgdaily.com/?p=7183
Saturday, March 13, 2010
I've recently been reading Shelby Footes The Civil War Volume 2. What I found in the book was an excellent source of information regarding the Vicksburg CAmpaign. 180 miles and five straight victories put Grant on the threshold of one of the largest Union victories of the Civil War. Foote does an excellent job protraying Grant's greatest campaign.