Crack Open a Bottle of General Lee – A Second Course

By Ryan Nadeau ’16

Welcome back, fellow historical diners. Last time, you joined me in comparing a fine selection of Union generals to food. Today, we’ll be examining some of their southern counterparts. Let’s dig in!

Robert E. Lee – Aged, Fine Red Wine with a Side of Steak

Consider the following: red wines are often consumed with red meats such as steak. Steak can be enjoyed in any number of ways, from a backyard barbecue to the finest of dining establishments. In this sense, steak is the former Confederacy, ranging as it did from the most rural farmers to the opulent planters.

In memory, Lee is the Confederacy’s classic companion: the red wine to the red meat, though perhaps one better suited to a classier setting. A dish stereotypically and frequently associated with masculinity, paired with an emblem of class. When considering a general frequently held up as the ideal gentleman of the South, could such a combination be any more fitting? Continue reading “Crack Open a Bottle of General Lee – A Second Course”

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the CWI!

512px-Harpers_1863_01-_thomas-nast-santa-claus
An early depiction of Santa Claus from the Civil War Era. This illustration by Thomas Nast first appeared in Harper’s Weekly in 1863. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

For your holiday enjoyment, our social media coordinator Megan McNish ’16 has put together a Buzzfeed quiz where you can figure out what role you would have played during the Civil War. Would you have served on the front lines or stayed at home and supported the war effort? Click here to take the quiz and find out!

And, if you missed it over Thanksgiving, she also made one about what Civil War food matches your personality (Don’t take it personally if you receive desiccated vegetables. Yours truly did as well.)

Happy holidays from the students and staff of the CWI!

General McClellan is a Fruitcake and Other Tasteful Metaphors

By Ryan Nadeau ’16

GrantatoThe idea for this post was born from a comment I made while bored and generally sleep deprived on a road trip to the James Buchanan symposium earlier this fall. After some serious historical discussion with my traveling companions, including two other CWI fellows, I made a very non-serious observation. It went something like this:

“You know, I think Buchanan looks a lot like a soft-serve vanilla ice cream cone.”

After being met with some justifiably confused replies, I explained myself: in all the pictures I had seen of him he seemed to have a round and soft face with an upturned tuft of wispy white hair that reminded me of the machine-processed look of a soft-serve vanilla ice cream. I extended my metaphor beyond looks as well, saying that much like ice cream, Buchanan melted under the pressure and heat of the nation during his presidency, requiring Lincoln to come in and clean up the mess—politics and melted dessert both. Continue reading “General McClellan is a Fruitcake and Other Tasteful Metaphors”

Gettysburg College campus purchased by preservation society

By Kevin Lavery ’16

Please click on each of the images below to read articles at full size and resolution.

The above articles are satirical pieces meant to imagine the danger of a paradigm of preservation lacking in strategy and judgment. Preservation is a wonderful cause, but like any cause it must be approached with purposeful intent and not simply for its own sake. It is an excellent tool of meaningful historical engagement when done properly; when mishandled, it can do the surrounding region harm without accomplishing anything of value.

Photos courtesy of the author and Wikimedia Commons, respectively.

Generation 150

By Emma Murphy ’15

With the sesquicentennial of the surrender at Appomattox only one day away, I can’t seem to shake the sentimental sadness of the ending of the anniversaries of the Civil War. I am seeing an end of an era in more ways than one—being a senior here at Gettysburg College ironically makes the four years of my college career land perfectly on the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. 2011 to 2015, 1861 to 1865—can’t get more Civil War than that. I used to think it was a sign and honestly, I still do. But like the soldiers starting up in 1861 and being fortunate enough to make it to 1865, I have learned a lot over the past four years. Putting these lessons into a Civil War context only solidifies the comparison and maybe can even get a little chuckle from my fellow Civil War nuts. So here are the lessons from the College in the Civil War Era (Studies). Continue reading “Generation 150”