Language and Rhetoric at Appomattox: Gettysburg Winter Lecture

Here’s Ranger Troy Harman talking about the use of language at Appomattox.  The first point to make is that he’s wrong about the use of the word “nation.”  Here’s James Buchanan using the word to refer to the United States in his Fourth Annual Message to Congress.  He then goes off on a tear about “trained audiences” and using words that are “dropping a bomb in the room.”  Beyond that, Troy makes the point that you have to be conversant with the Bible to understand language usage in the 19th Century.

Troy is one of the best out on the battlefield.  His breadth and depth of knowledge are awesome.  I really like him a lot.  He’s a terrific individual.  He’s also an excellent lecturer.  I question, though, whether this topic is of enough importance.  I think he stretches to make the claim that the words used at Appomattox reverberate down to us today.

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