Remembering Union as a Motivator

This is Gary Gallagher speaking on remembering the Civil War, and specifically on the fact that the majority of Union soldiers were motivated by the desire to preserve the Union, something in the modern day we’ve seemed to have forgotten.  This is an outstanding presentation, and the Q&A at the end is very good as well.

From the video’s description:  “During the year the country marked the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, historian Gary Gallagher spoke about the ways in which the war was currently remembered. He focused on the concept of the Union. He also responded to questions from members of the audience. This Miller Center Forum was held February 21, 2011.”

One comment

  1. Bob Nelson · · Reply

    Well, Al, I have finally caught up with the videos you have suggested in recent months and this was a great one to watch last. The concept of Union, as Gallagher put it, HAS largely disappeared. Loved his story about “Onion” street. For many nowadays, it’s an abstract idea without meaning, the least remembered goal of Federal armies in the field. My ancestors enlisted in 1861 and 1862, before the EP. They did so because they had an “abiding devotion to the Union.” With all of the hoopla going on now with Confederate heritage groups including the Flaggers, it might be well to remember the reason why so many men from the North (including four slave states) fought. Perhaps we need a corps of Union Flaggers to remind our Southern friends that roughly 2/3 of the states in 1861 and 3/4 of the population (22 million in the North vs. 6 million in the South excluding the slaves) supported the Union. Perhaps we should have met in Lexington to press the issue of Union heritage. Or maybe Richmond? Perhaps at the Museum of the Confederacy. How’s this for a newspaper headline? “Hundreds of Union Heritage Group Members Rally in Richmond Beneath the Stars and Stripes.”

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