Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gettysburg, A Place in History

I am starting this posting with an artist rendition of the Civil War, and a very good one at that. So many killed and in my opinion, so unnecessarily.

This painting was really big and encircled the huge room in which it was displayed.  It was dimly lite when you first enter.

A recording told about this battle and would highlight the portion of the painting it was talking about.  These pics I took did not turn out great, could not use a flash, but gives you a hint of what it is about.

It was a very good painting and I enjoyed it, however, I failed to enjoy the recording very much.  Guess that was because I am Southern Born and Southern Bred.

War is War and all is fair in love and war, however; I fail to see where it is fair to say some of the things that I read and heard on some of the recordings.  It was just a little bit biased. The north did not bury our confederate soldiers in their grave yards, but dug holes and pushed them in.  While the Southerners DID bury their dead respectfully.  Do not mean to offend anyone, just saying a few things that is in my heart.

You know, everyone thought this war was all about freeing the slaves, but that was a small issue, it was much, much more than that.  I, myself always thought that also, until I began to read a lot about the Civil War and why it came about.

The southerners were not the only slave owners at that time.  The northerners owned many, many slaves.  No, I truly believe that slavery was a huge mistake by both sides.  God created us as equals and not to serve another person.

My belief is that all people should be free.  At that time the south was really prospering, with cotton, corn, and other products and they built mills/factories to turn them into so many different things too sell, trade, etc. to countries and to include the northern states.  They had to buy our goods which they were not happy about that.

Most of the following was taken right out of an America History book. 
The US Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865 and led to over 618,000 casualties. Its causes can be traced back to tensions that formed early in the nation's history. Following are the top five causes that led to the "War Between the States." 

1. Economic and social differences between the North and the South.
With Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin in 1793, cotton became very profitable. This machine was able to reduce the time it took to separate seeds from the cotton. However, at the same time the increase in the number of plantations willing to move from other crops to cotton.  Thus, the southern economy became a one crop economy.   On the other hand, the northern economy was based more on industry than agriculture. In fact, the northern industries were purchasing the raw cotton and turning it into finished goods, they were having to buy our goods. This disparity between the two set up a major difference in economic attitudes. The South was based on the plantation system while the North was focused on city life. This change in the North meant that society evolved as people of different cultures and classes had to work together. On the other hand, the South continued to hold onto an antiquated social order.

2. States versus federal rights.
Since the time of the Revolution, two camps emerged: those arguing for greater states rights and those arguing that the federal government needed to have more control. The first organized government in the US after the American Revolution was under the Articles of Confederation. The thirteen states formed a loose confederation with a very weak federal government. However, when problems arose, the weaknesses of the Articles caused the leaders of the time to come together at the Constitutional Convention and create, in secret, the US Constitution. Strong proponents of states rights like Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry were not present at this meeting. Many felt that the new constitution ignored the rights of states to continue to act independently. They felt that the states should still have the right to decide if they were willing to accept certain federal acts. This resulted in the idea of nullification, whereby the states would have the right to rule federal acts unconstitutional. The federal government denied states this right. However, proponents such as John C. Calhoun fought vehemently for nullification. When nullification would not work and states felt that they were no longer respected, they moved towards secession.

3. The fight between Slave and Non-Slave State Proponents.
As America began to expand, first with the lands gained from the Louisiana Purchase and later with the Mexican War, the question of whether new states admitted to the union would be slave or free. The Missouri Compromise passed in 1820 made a rule that prohibited slavery in states from the former Louisiana Purchase the latitude 36 degrees 30 minutes north except in Missouri. During the Mexican War, conflict started about what would happen with the new territories that the US expected to gain upon victory. David Wilmot proposed the Wilmot Proviso in 1846 which would ban slavery in the new lands. However, this was shot down to much debate. The Compromise of 1850 was created by Henry Clay and others to deal with the balance between slave and free states, northern and southern interests. One of the provisions was the fugitive slave act. Another issue that further increased tensions was the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. It created two new territories that would allow the states to use popular sovereignty to determine whether they would be free or slave. The real issue occurred in Kansas where pro-slavery Missourians began to pour into the state to help force it to be slave. They were called "Border Ruffians." Problems came to a head in violence at Lawrence, Kansas. The fighting that occurred caused it to be called "Bleeding Kansas." The fight even erupted on the floor of the senate when anti-slavery proponent Charles Sumner was beat over the head by South Carolina's Senator Preston Brooks.

4. Growth of the Abolition Movement.
Increasingly, the northerners became more polarized against slavery. Sympathies began to grow for abolitionists and against slavery and slaveholders. This occurred especially after some major events including: the publishing of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, the Dred Scott Case, John Brown's Raid, and the passage of the fugitive slave act that held individuals responsible for harboring fugitive slaves even if they were located in non-slave states.
Alabama,Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.

5. The election of Abraham Lincoln.
Even though things were already coming to a head, when Lincoln was elected in 1860, South Carolina issued its "Declaration of the Causes of Secession." They believed that Lincoln was anti-slavery and in favor of Northern interests. Before Lincoln was even president, seven states had seceded from the Union: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama,Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.

Anyway, it is not the war that makes me feel badly, but the aftermath of the war.  When the south lost the war, and what little had surived, the Skalawags and Carpet Beggars moved in to Take away from the south anything the war had left intact.  It has been said that the Civil War is still being fought. Guess I have more understanding of what they mean by that statement now.  It is the feelings some of us have in our hearts concerning this war, but past is past and to survive, we must move forward together as one state, the United States of America.  I will now get off my soap box , guess I just had to get it our of my system.  Did not intend to offend anyone and if I did, please accept my apologizes.  I, for one, am a lover not a fighter and hold no ill will against anyone for something their forefathers did or did not do.  We bear no responsiblity, but for what we do ourselves.
This artist wanted Abraham Lincoln's picture on this canvas and this is where he chose to put it.  Can you see the resemblance?  He also painted himself, somewhere in the scene but the guide could not find it.
Downtown Gettysburg is also interesting.  The houses are really close together.  Found this log cabin right in the midst of them.

The battlefield was really pretty and had monuments of every state who participated in the battle here.

The Eternal Flame monument

A row of cannons on top a hill as they would have been in battle.

Each state erected their own monument paying homage to their fallen heroes.  This is North Carolina.  Read what it has engraved in it.

Virginia honoring General Robert E Lee, a virginian, who was asked by the Union to be their leader in this war, however, he could not because of his beliefs.  He refused and came south to head the southern army.  A very honorable man.

General Robert E Lee and his horse, Calvary.



Mississippi, Alabama's sister state.

South Carolina


South Carolina

My soverign state  Alabama

A few pics of the trick or treat at the campground we were in.