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Author Topic: THE CIVIL WAR reruns  (Read 3406 times)
Allhallowsday
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« on: April 10, 2011, 10:19:11 PM »

"THE CIVIL WAR" reruns... the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War is this week (April 12 firing on Fort Sumter) Anybody else looking at them?  I caught a couple of episodes last week on PBS channel 13 New York.  Tonight I watched part of what must have been episode one on WLIW channel 21 which might be Long Island.  Fine television.  I have the soundtrack CD for I guess 20 years now, and the book, too, a gift I had given to my brother back at Christmas probably 1991 (my sister-in-law gave it back to me) but I've not looked at the program in at least a few years.  It's a wonderful program.  


********
Read in the documentary: Historical Document: Sullivan Ballou Letter

July 14, 1861
Camp Clark, Washington

My very dear Sarah:
The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days—perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more . . .

I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing—perfectly willing—to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt . . .

Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me unresistibly on with all these chains to the battle field.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them for so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood, around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me—perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness . . .

But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights . . . always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again . . .


http://www.pbs.org/civilwar/war/ballou_letter.html
« Last Edit: April 10, 2011, 10:21:54 PM by Allhallowsday » Logged

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indianasmith
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2011, 10:51:07 PM »

That letter never fails to choke me up.
Ken Burns did a great service to the country in creating that magnificent series.
I love it!
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lester1/2jr
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 04:42:43 PM »

Boo!
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indianasmith
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 11:06:55 PM »

I will never understand you, Lester.

I guess you're booing because the North won?
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Flick James
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2011, 01:57:48 PM »

I'm guessing it's because of the letter's potential for propaganda use, and/or just to stir s**t up.

But that's just a guess.
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lester1/2jr
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2011, 04:52:24 PM »

The south had every right to sucede. 600,000 people, most of whom had nothing to do with slavery or the slave trade, dead.  terrible.

Quote
I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government
??
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 04:58:03 PM by lester1/2jr » Logged

Flick James
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2011, 05:46:36 PM »

The south had every right to sucede. 600,000 people, most of whom had nothing to do with slavery or the slave trade, dead.  terrible.

Quote
I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government
??

I was mistaken.

 Lookingup
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indianasmith
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« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2011, 09:15:46 PM »

Even if secession was a constitutional right - and both the Supreme Court and the President had already established, during the Jackson administration, that it was NOT - what gave the South the right to break away?  I mean, really?  Their guy lost a Presidential election after they deliberately split the Democratic party to ensure a Republican victory.  And so they throw a hissy and try to split the country in two?

And, if you read their ordinances of secession, and the "Cornerstone" inaugural speech by Alexander Stephens, it becomes very obvious their SOLE purpose for doing so was to eliminate a perceived threat to slavery.  Forget state's rights, liberty, tariff issues, and all else.  The South seceded so they could hang onto their slaves.

And you're OK with that?

(Lest anyone berate me as a Yankee sympathizer, let me say that I am a sixth generation Texan and a tenth generation Southerner.  I have kinfolk buried on nearly every battle field of the Civil War.  I honor their courage . . . but I firmly believe they were on the wrong side of history.
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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2011, 10:39:16 AM »

Quote
And you're OK with that?


Yes.

http://www.jameswebb.com/speeches/speeches-confedmem.htm

Quote
Perhaps all of us might reread the writings of Alexander Stephens, a brilliant attorney who opposed secession but then became Vice President of the Confederacy, making a convincing legal argument that the constitutional compact was terminable. And who wryly commented at the outset of the war that "the North today presents the spectacle of a free people having gone to war to make freemen of slaves, while all they have as yet attained is to make slaves of themselves."
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Flick James
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« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2011, 01:44:19 PM »

Whatever. I just find the Civil War boring. Don't get me wrong, I recognize the historical significance, and in the past I've been a fan of some documentary and film portrayals of that period. For whatever reason, I just start yawning when the Civil War comes up.

And what's up with all the Civil War reenacting? I kind of equate it with Rennaissance Faires and the like, which is cool, and I've got nothing against it, but I've known Civil War reenactors and it's like an obssession with them, almost like a cult.
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2011, 06:54:25 PM »



Quote
Perhaps all of us might reread the writings of Alexander Stephens, a brilliant attorney who opposed secession but then became Vice President of the Confederacy, making a convincing legal argument that the constitutional compact was terminable. And who wryly commented at the outset of the war that "the North today presents the spectacle of a free people having gone to war to make freemen of slaves, while all they have as yet attained is to make slaves of themselves."

Wow, you don't find that quote offensive---comparing a shift in the balance of federal/state power to the actual ownership of human beings?

I think the federal government has too much power, but they don't whip me, make me pick cotton 16 hours a day, rape my wife, take away my children and sell them... To me, Alexander Stephens sounds like an incredibly evil man, brilliant attorney or not.  He truly didn't "get it." 
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indianasmith
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2011, 07:18:06 PM »

I love the part where he said, in his inaugural address "all men are NOT created equal . . . ours is the first Confederacy in the history of the world based on this timeless and eternal truth."

I like Lester, I've batted this back and forth with him for years, and my impression of him is this:

He doesn't give a tinker's damn if evil conquers the entire world, as long as he is left alone.  And if the government tries to resist evil and tyranny anywhere, and this inconvenience's him, it's OUR government that is in the wrong.

I have known many libertarians who seem to think along similar lines; it's one reason (among many) that I will never be one.
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RCMerchant
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« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2011, 05:17:45 AM »

I watched the whole series last week. My second veiwing. Incredible-the BEST documentary I've ever seen.

Oh-and Lester- are you f#cking INSANE? The civil war was worth fighting. Slavery was plain EVIL. I'll bet you would whistle a different tune if you were a black man. It amazes me that you could say the South had the right to do so and so-they lost their rights when they choose to deny others the very basic of human rights...to be human.
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indianasmith
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« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2011, 06:33:02 AM »

Bravo, RC!  You are the man!  Thumbup Thumbup Thumbup
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"Carpe diem!" - Seize the day!  "Carpe per diem!" - Seize the daily living allowance! "Carpe carp!" - Seize the fish!
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« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2011, 10:10:57 AM »

Quote
what gave the South the right to break away?  I mean, really


They lived there. The northerners lived in the north.

Quote
And so they throw a hissy and try to split the country in two?


if that's what they want to do what business is it of anyone elses? for whatever reason. If Hawaii decided they didn't want to be part of the US anymore then okay, bye bye. If it benefits them they stay if not they leave.  

Quote
He doesn't give a tinker's damn if evil conquers the entire world,


thanks! Actually I am trying to stop evil from conquering the world with every fibre of my being. the state is evil as they have demonstrated in everything from wars, forced sterilization, imprisoning people for smoking joints to patting down 6 yeard old girls at airports.



Quote
The civil war was worth fighting.



Slavery was a dying institution. It was being ended all over the world. It was being replaced by more efficient and humane labor practices.  I don't think 600,000 human beings who would have remained alive had to die for something that itself was on its death bed.

At any rate it shouldn't even be called the civil war. The south had no desire to take over the north and have slavery there.

The result was of course great. Slavery being over is at least tangible.

I like this article http://takimag.com/article/robert_e_lee_forever

"What I learn as I get older is that like most wars, the Civil War was pursued by so-called Honest Abe because big Northern business wanted to conduct big business in the Union. They wanted to build railroads and wanted interstate roads and access to markets. The South wished to remain sleepy and agricultural. Lincoln did not make slavery an issue until two years after the first shots over Fort Sumter. "

So to some of us, it's a little more nuanced is all.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 10:13:02 AM by lester1/2jr » Logged

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