There are some other lessons to learn, too.One is the value of good
communication. Each side had a division that simply missed the battle because
they didn't get word until it was over. The Confederates would have won
the battle on Day One if they had advanced into the town of Gettysburg, but they
stopped short. The Union would have shortened the war if they had pursued the
Confederates as they were leaving, instead of just letting them depart. The war
could have ended, but it didn't. Another is the value of
correct intelligence. Local citizens told each army what they wanted to hear,
not what was really happening. As a result, some decisions were based upon poor
assumptions.There is a book by Edwin Coddington called "The
Gettysburg Campaign - A Study in Command" that details every aspect of the
battle. It is 574 pages of text with another 292 of references, notes,
bibliography and index. In my view, the saddest part is the last line,
describing the failed campaign by each side in some respect, which says "And
so the war went on."
Couldn't agree more. Another good example is how the advocates of marriage
equality stood on the moral high ground of freedom and justice and simply stared
down opponents. The Prop 8 zealots came charging with rebel yell like fury and
in the end, they were chaistened, humbled and defeated. The Supreme Court of the
United States said so. You can look it up!
I'm always suspicious of attempts to claim high moral ground by stating
that a long past event applies to something completely unrelated today. If
you're not happy with things, just say so, and why. Leave history to the
One can argue that the actions of these two men (Buford and Chamberlain) saved
our country. Individuals can make a difference at key moments in time.
Xert: Somehow I'm thinking your 'high' ground is not his
'high' ground. East is east and west is west and soon the twain shall
meet. The 'high' ground in this battle is for children, children
raised by a mother and father. There is no middle ground.
Oh please! Do we always have to equate the most trivial struggles of
the human condition to full scale war?And please realize the minute
your take this stance and all that goes with it (us vs. them thinking,
demonizing the enemy, claiming God is on your side) you usually force your
opponent (out of sheer survival) to defend themselves with the same stance.This country was built on conversation and compromise and the Civil War
was the one time in our history when conversation failed because each side was
so entrenched in their own ideas (and thought God was on their side) and
unwilling to compromise.Fortunately today we only have one side
taking this stance… God help us if the other side decides to join them in
@tyler d I truly think that was the most reasoned and thoughtful comment I
have ever read on these threads.
Anyone wanting to learn more about Gettysburg and especially Chamberlain, simply
MUST read "Killer Angels." It is solid history (classed as fiction
mostly because of the invented dialogue) and a superb analysis of leadership as
well as human behavior. It is on the Marine Corps reading list for all ranks,
and won a Pulitzer prize.Red the book, then visit the battlefield.
I and my family were there serendipitously on July 3, 2000. We saw enactors come
out of the day's low hanging fog, in period costumes by the
"Angle". If there are such things as Ghosts I would expect to see them
there on that day. Studying the battle, there were so many Ifs as to boggle the
mind. Had Longstreet's 3,000 strong Calvary charge into the rear of the
Union line not been broken up by George A. Custer couple hundred calvary,
Coinciding with Pickett's charge the battle outcome may have ended much
differently. The take away from my visit was, quoting from Henry the 5th was
there was a "Royal fellowship of Death" that day. Robert E. Lee said it
best with "It is a good that War is such a terrible thing. lest we grow too
fond of it".
Shakespeare also spoke of the High Ground and I am sure many of the educated
officers, both Blue and Gray knew King Henry's speach to his troops and
roused their troops with his wordsThis story shall the good man
teach his son;And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,From this
day to the ending of the world,But we in it shall be remembered-We
few, we happy few, we band of brothers;For he to-day that sheds his blood
with meShall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,This day shall
gentle his condition;And gentlemen in England now-a-bedShall think
themselves accurs'd they were not here,And hold their manhoods cheap
whiles any speaksThat fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.”
@DN Subscriber 2 – “Anyone wanting to learn more about Gettysburg
and especially Chamberlain, simply MUST read "Killer Angels."Agreed! And I would also recommend Shelby Foote’s book – he was
the southern gentleman historian interviewed throughout the Ken Burns film. The
book (three books actually) is long but it reads like a novel and his chapter on
Gettysburg is outstanding.@TolstoyKind of you to
I think the lessons again to be learned is the power of the individual to be
heroic, to make decisions that impact the world for the ages. It would have
been easy for both Buford and Chamberlain to retreat instead of making the
crucial decisions they did. As one who studies history, their decisions helped
the Union win this battle and by winning this battle probably the entire Civil
War. Buford would later die during the war but after the war Chamberlain kept
leading the way as a governor and educator. I have no idea what the
"moral high ground" is on many issues but I do believe in the power of
the individuals. I think also one omission from the movie
Gettysburg was the calvary battle that happened during Pickett's charge.
If one knows this, then Lee's decision to attack the center of the union
line is not seen as pure lunacy. The idea was for Stuart's cavalry to
strike the union center from behind but of course they never made it because of
Custer. Then the direct assault at Pickett's charge was indeed futile and
catastrophic to the Confederacy.
I was looking at some of the pictures of flooding along the bow and highwood
rivers in Alberta. That's when you want to take and hold high ground.
I don't think of substance abuse and loose morals when I read of 50,000 men
that died over slavery.I think of the fact that if they had loved
their brothers as themselves there would have been no slavery and 50,000
casualties. This letter is obviously a longing for some long lost
southern "conservative" values. I am both disgusted and disagree with
the author's premise and comparison.
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent
a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all
men are created equal."Gettysburg Address 1863All men are
created equal.As a Nation we continually struggle with that concept.
Great story but bad analogy. War analogies are not appropriate for politics.
Right and wrong, black and white rarely applies in political discussion, unless
you are a member of an extremist group.
If anyone thinks that children's futures, abortion, etc. aren't worth
the 'high' ground, then whatever else is being talked about is not
worthy of my time. As in the days of the revolution, when only half supported
independence, the true patriots in this day will also be tried. Children are
worth the fight.