Robert E. Lee
Originally published 07/01/2013
For something that happened 150 years ago, the Battle of Gettysburg still generates its share of controversy. And myth, according to historian Allen Guelzo, “grows like weed out of controversy.”Guelzo, a professor of history at - appropriately enough - Gettysburg College, is the author of the recently published “Gettysburg: The Last Invasion.” He spoke with ABC News Political Director Rick Klein about the battle and his book – an exhaustively researched and detailed dive into the pivotal fight of the Civil War.Among the myths of Gettysburg that Guelzo debunks is that the battle was an accident – that Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and George Gordon Meade’s Army of the Potomac merely happened upon each other in the hills of South Central Pennsylvania. “No, it was not really an accident,” said Guelzo. “At least not more of an accident than any battle in the Civil War was.”
Originally published 06/30/2013
GETTYSBURG, Pa.—On the second day of fighting at Gettysburg, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee listened to scouting reports, scanned the battlefield and ordered his second-in-command, James Longstreet, to attack the Union Army's left flank.It was a fateful decision, one that led to one of the most desperate clashes of the entire Civil War—the fight for a piece of ground called Little Round Top. The Union's defense of the boulder-strewn promontory helped send Lee to defeat at Gettysburg, and he never again ventured into Northern territory.Why did the shrewd and canny Lee choose to attack, especially in the face of the Union's superior numbers?While historians have long wrestled with that question, geographers and cartographers have come up with an explanation, by way of sophisticated mapping software that shows the rolling terrain exactly as it would have appeared to Lee: From his vantage point, he simply couldn't see throngs of Union soldiers amid the hills and valleys....
Originally published 06/24/2013
Credit: Wiki Commons/HNN staff.The United States of America trembled on the brink of her greatest tragedy -- a civil war that would kill a million young men. Seven Southern states had seceded after Abraham Lincoln was elected president as an anti-slavery Republican, with scarcely a single Southern vote. They had been unmoved by his inaugural address, in which he warned them that he had taken a solemn oath to preserve the Union -- and reminded them of their shared heritage, witnessed by the numberless patriot graves in every state.
Originally published 06/09/2013
Via Tumblr.From my early days as an historian, I have always looked for insights that explain the past on a deeper level than a series of merely exciting or disturbing events. I still vividly remember my first experience. I was working on a book about the year 1776 and had file drawers crammed with research. But I felt the need for something fundamental, a pattern of thought that drew the narrative together in a new, more meaningful way.Suddenly the words swarmed into my mind: 1776: Year of Illusions. It was my first encounter with what I now call a disease in the public mind.
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