Saturday, July 5, 2008

July 4th thoughts

Everybody celebrates the Declaration of Independence, shoots off fireworks and cooks hotdogs on Independence Day but I cannot help but think of other things. Yes I am biased but the twin victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg are rarely thought of as we bite into our ketchup covered hotdogs. Those victories were key to Union victory and set the stage for the end of the most destructive war on North American soil. It saddens me that this day is so focused on July 4, 1776 and we rarely recall the importance of July 4, 1863 when two towns, one in the north and one in the south had the war brought to their doorsteps and the country was saved on their farms. Yes I agree that we need to remember John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin but we also have to remember the heroes that saved the country that they founded and the men of blue and gray who fought over the ideals that they were unable to resolve. Colonel William C. Oates, Colonel Josh Chamberlian, Sam Watkins, Joseph E. Johnston, "Sam" Hood, Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, U.S. Grant, William T. Sherman, George H. Thomas, Robert E. Lee, and the countless thousands met in mortal combat for four long years. To think that this day is only about 1776. July 4, 1863 is equally important and deserves its place in our collective memory.

I also added a new link. Check out for some really cool insight, artifacts and photos of Gettysburg.


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