Battlefield Correspondence: Sarah Johnson at the Virginia Monument

By Sarah Johnson ’15


In our first Battlefield Correspondence video of the semester, Sarah Johnson reports on the unusual circumstances surrounding the dedication of the Virginia Monument in 1917.

Controversial Commemoration: Remembering the Varied Legacies of Nathan Bedford Forrest

By Logan Tapscott ’14

Over the winter break, I participated in an immersion trip to Alabama to learn about the Civil Rights Movement and visited cities like Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma that played an important part in the movement. Despite the past, I did not expect to encounter such a racially charged atmosphere fifty years after the push for desegregation and equality in the South. I also did not anticipate a controversy over a statue dedicated to Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest was born in 1821 in Tennessee and, with no military education, was later promoted Lieutenant General and became a controversial figure in the American Civil War. Historians and Civil War scholars continue to debate Forrest’s complex legacy. While famous for sending a Confederate division to what is referred to as the Fort Pillow Massacre in 1864, Forrest was regarded as an important commander for his guerilla warfare-style tactics and for creating and practicing the doctrine and tactics of mobile warfare. Throughout the former states of the Confederacy, mostly throughout Tennessee, people have erected statues of him and named public spaces after him. In the past ten years, people have debated about Forrest’s legacy and whether a commemoration is suitable, especially in Southern cities with a predominately black population, including Selma, Alabama.

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“We see this as part of our duty to continue the work of our veterans”: The Kentucky State Monument at Vicksburg

by Michele Seabrook, ’14 Further complicating an already contentious struggle over the collective national memory of the Civil War and its aftermath were the legacies of the war in border states like Missouri and Kentucky. These were especially vo…

By Michele Seabrook ’14

Further complicating an already contentious struggle over the collective national memory of the Civil War and its aftermath were the legacies of the war in border states like Missouri and  Kentucky. These were especially volatile states, each experiencing fierce internal conflicts, as citizens struggled to pick a side. Kentucky experienced a great deal of inner turmoil, eventually joining the Union cause, although faced with the specter of a Confederate shadow government that quickly formed within the state and pledged loyalty to the Confederacy. Although this shadow administration had little effect on the governing of Kentucky, it did represent a great deal of people who cast their fate with the Confederate cause. The central star on the ubiquitous Confederate Battle Flag is representative of Kentucky, signifying not only the state’s tumultuous position during the war, but also the difficulties that arise in attempting to define Kentucky’s continued Civil War legacy.

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The Louisiana and Mississippi State Monuments

The Louisiana and Mississippi State Monuments, located in close proximity on West Confederate Avenue on the Gettysburg Battlefield, were sculpted by Donald DeLue and erected within two years of each other. Louisiana???s monument went up first, in 19…

This post was first published on the Civil War Institute’s previous blog901 Stories from Gettysburg.
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The Louisiana and Mississippi State Monuments, located in close proximity on West Confederate Avenue on the Gettysburg Battlefield, were sculpted by Donald DeLue and erected within two years of each other. Louisiana’s monument went up first, in 1971, followed by Mississippi’s in 1973. Both monuments were cast of bronze in Italy, and each cost $100,000. DeLue’s monuments are known for their capture of moments of extreme courage and their depictions of idealized bravery; his works on the field at Gettysburg are no exception.

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The Woolson Monument and the Grand Army of the Republic

On September 12, 1956, a crowd of nearly 3,000 people gathered at Zeigler???s Grove on Gettysburg???s Cemetery Hill to witness the dedication of a monument of Albert Woolson, known formally as the Grand Army of the Republic Monument. This event was th…

By Mary Roll ’12

On September 12, 1956, a crowd of nearly 3,000 people gathered at Zeigler’s Grove on Gettysburg’s Cemetery Hill to witness the dedication of a monument of Albert Woolson, known formally as the Grand Army of the Republic Monument. This event was the highlight of the 75th National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), held from Sunday, September 9th through Thursday, September 13th. Woolson, a native of Antwerp, New York, who grew up in Minnesota, was born on February 11, 1847. He died on August 2, 1956, at the age of 109, only a month before the dedication of the monument bearing his likeness. Woolson is credited with being the last Union survivor of the war, and soon after his death, the G.A.R. was officially dissolved.

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North Carolina and Virginia Memorials at Gettysburg: A Study in Contrasts

Sixty-six years after the repulse of ???Pickett???s Charge,??? the failed July 3, 1863 assault that represented the high-water mark of the doomed Confederate States of America, a host of devotees congregated at Seminary Ridge south of Gettysburg, Pennsy…

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Sixty-six years after the repulse of “Pickett’s Charge,” the failed July 3, 1863 assault that represented the high-water mark of the doomed Confederate States of America, a host of devotees congregated at Seminary Ridge south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to pay homage to those North Carolinians who participated in the epic attack. Among those in the delegation was the then governor of North Carolina, O. Max Gardner, his immediate predecessor, Angus W. McLean, Mrs. E.L. McKee, the President of the North Carolina division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), which sponsored the memorial, and several other enthusiastic Southern partisans. Major-General B.F. Cheatham, the Quartermaster-General of the United States Army, and son of a Confederate major general, was proud to accept this monument on behalf of the United States War Department. During the ceremony, following the addresses of Mrs. McKee and past UDC president, Mrs. Marshall Williams, Cheatham expressed his gratitude toward the ladies of the South for making this monument a reality: “If there is any one person I honor more than a Confederate soldier it is his wife or sweetheart, whose courage, self-denial and moral support made his record possible. You are the daughters of those women, and today it is your persistent effort which finally brings about the erection of monuments and the marking of historic spots where your fathers fought, more than sixty years ago. May I offer you my congratulations upon the accomplishments of your desires here and upon the superlative good taste shown in the design selected.” Continue reading “North Carolina and Virginia Memorials at Gettysburg: A Study in Contrasts”