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What is happening to our history?
I wish I had paid more attention in Mr. Flottum’s history class during my high school days. Now I find myself engrossed with what has happened over the years, not only in our local communities, but the entire world.
How can we not be interested in how we got to this point in history? From the Revolutionary War, Civil War, the two great World Wars, Korean War, Vietnam and the never ending unrest in the Middle East? How has the 244 years of our county shaped the political landscape so that nothing is getting done, except those people that want to be our leaders have been reduced to the name-calling and ignominious ones?
There is a wave crashing over our country that wants to sterilize our history. They want to remove any trace of what has happened over the last 244 years. I remember a saying about history that stated: “History is not for us to change, but to learn from,” and another: “Don’t let history repeat itself.”
I am one that subscribes to the thought: “Tell it like it is.”
Now they are tearing down any item that draws attention to what had happened and the people that made us what we are as a nation. Down came the statues of people who shaped our country, leaders who lead us into what we enjoy today. Yes, some were slave owners, but please don’t blame anyone alive today for that. It’s history, and it’s there for us to learn from and not push it aside to be forgotten. Because it will return, and if we don’t remember the evils of that time they may be repeated.
Now there is a suggestion that some sort of reparation needs to be paid to descendants of the four million former slaves that were held at the start of the Civil War as a way to do something that I have yet to figure out what it is. The figure is somewhere close to four hundred thousand for each descendant.
Two of my great-grandfathers were Civil War veterans and they served to preserve the union and free the slaves. Should I not be rewarded for their service?
So, let’s have a little history lesson about the Civil War. I got these ten facts about the Civil War from the American Battlefield Trust.
Number One: The Civil War was fought between the Northern and Southern States from 1861 to 1865.
Number Two: Abraham Lincoln was President.
Number Three: The issue of slavery and central power divided the United States.
Number four: The Civil War began when Southern Troops bombarded Fort Sumter, South Carolina.
Number Five: The north had more men and war materials than the south. 22 million people lived in the north while the southern states had a population of only nine million, and four million of them were slaves.
Number Six: The bloodiest battle of the war was the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. 51,000 men were killed, wounded or missing.
Number Seven: General U. S. Grant and General Robert Lee did not meet on the battlefield until May of 1864.
Number Eight: The North won.
Number Nine: After the war was over, the Constitution was amended to free the slaves, to assure “equal protection under the law” for Americans, and to grant black men the right to vote.
Number Ten: Many Civil War Battlefields are threatened by development.
There are 384 identified battlefields of the Civil War and the American Battlefield Trust and its partners have preserved tens of thousands of acres of battlefield land. You might like to make a donation to that Trust.
Thanks for reading! ~Carlton