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Gettysburg Information

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Why does Creighton take her "inspiration from Edward Everett's oration," a prime example of bloated 19th century excess? Because he castigated explicitly "the iniquities of slaveholders" and noted the participation of women in the wider Gettysburg battle situation. Creighton views her project as largely compensatory -- and it is often compelling.

Her apparent conviction that unsavory attitudes and forms of historic amnesia have led generations of historians to study Gettysburg exclusively as an exercise in soldierly courage and sacrifice is also persuasive. Archives, letters, memoirs and diaries -- these tell a different story, Creighton argues. But she fails to note that, unlike what women did in the home or church or hospital ward, battles are visible to multiple eyewitnesses. The tactics and strategy are pored over and, in the aftermath, the interplay of tactics, strategy and will to engage another armed combatant offers potent displays of courage, folly, despair and nobility.

Gettysburg and Stories of Valor - Part 1

Creighton agrees but goes on to insist that there are also startling displays of courage in refusing to turn over a beloved horse, telling armed soldiers to get their own food, tending to the wounded until you drop, giving birth as a battle rages near you. Creighton's account is chock full of such examples but, finally, falls short of making the case that our tendency to concentrate on the story of soldiers is reducible to gender, ethnic or racial bias.


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Here a caveat about social history is in order. It would be a terrible mistake to interpret social histories, including compelling texts like Creighton's, as diminishing or downplaying the grand movement of wars and politics. It is a shame that groups seeking their place in the sun find it necessary to to dim the luster of our greatest leaders and noblest souls -- e.


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  • As Creighton herself points out, apropos recovery of the black story of Gettysburg:. Lincoln was a leading agent of Civil War freedom, but also a paternalistic one.

    recardaro - Download Abigail's Summer: A Story About Gettysburg book

    It seems that Creighton shares the current thinking. But does she really want to sign on to a view that leads to Lincoln losing ground rather than the agents of the slave states of America? Too, the quest for a usable past too often involves the deliberate creation of bias and distortion in an attempt to correct what may have been the careless and unthinking distortions of the past.

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    Abigail's Summer: A Story About Gettysburg

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