Monthly Archives: June 2013

Interpreting Sacred Ground Chapter 4

The title of this chapter is, “The Symbolic Landscape:  Visualizing Violence at Gettysburg National Military Park.”  The chapter basically addresses the question of how violence on the battlefield–killing and wounding soldiers–is represented visually at Gettysburg. He starts by noting that a battlefield is a very pastoral, peaceful setting for us today.  Driving through the park or […]

John Futch–Another Voice

This morning, Pete Carmichael gave a great presentation using John Futch as a centerpiece.  Futch was a private in the 3rd North Carolina and fought at Gettysburg, where his brother Charlie was killed.  Pete made a terrific point that most of the voices we hear from the war are from the educated elite, and with […]

Interpreting Sacred Ground Chapter 3

This chapter is titled, “Savage and Heroic War Memories at Gettysburg National Military Park.”  In this chapter he starts out by telling us how the dominant memory of Gettysburg helped the public to “imagine a battle full of resplendent drama and climactic narrative tension.”  [p. 85]  This view encouraged thinking about the battle as a […]

Interpreting Sacred Ground Chapter Two

This chapter is titled, “Reviving Emancipationist Memory at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.”  As a reminder, there are two major types of memory about the Civil War he identified:  Reconciliationist and Emancipationist.  The Reconciliationist emphasizes white sectional reunion and tends to either deemphasize or completely ignore the role of race and slavery in the war while extolling […]

Prof Len Fullenkamp of the US Army War College on Gettysburg

Some pretty good videos from YouTube. Change the plan or persist: Tactical, operational, and strategic levels of war: A key individual makes a difference: Similarities and differences in combat between 1863 and today: Combat completely different and absolutely alike:

Interpreting Sacred Ground Chapter One

This chapter is titled, ” ‘We Are Met on a Great Battle-Field’: Race, Memory, and the Gettysburg Address.”  Here Spielvogel tells us Gettysburg is “a pivotal symbol of Civil War memory” [p. 25]  Gettysburg was the site of a great battle, but it was also the site of what is perhaps Abraham Lincoln’s best known […]

Matt Atkinson on Semmes’ Brigade

If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing a battle walk conducted by a ranger at a battlefield, this will give you an idea about the experience. This is the first half of a battle walk Matt Atkinson conducted following Paul Semmes’ Brigade on July 2, 1863 at Gettysburg. You can easily see why Matt […]

The Civil War Institute

We’re about to enter Civil War Student Heaven, beginning with the 2013 Civil War Institute Summer Conference (schedule here).  If you have not attended one of these conferences, you are missing out on a great experience.  I am really looking forward to it.  As you can see from the schedule, it’s packed with informative lectures, […]

Interpreting Sacred Ground Introduction

Interpreting Sacred Ground:  The Rhetoric of National Civil War Parks and Battlefields is a book by John Christian Spielvogel, Associate Professor of Communication at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.  This is the book on which he based his talk on the second day of the Future of Civil War History conference this past March. I started […]

The SHPG Defends Slavery Yet Again

This could be a long-term series.  The Gift That Keeps on Giving is at it again.  One member of the group very sensibly is in search of some reliable statistics on the extent of slave ownership in “the Olde South.”  He very wisely realizes the normal statistics cited by lost causers, that of slave owners […]