For those of you who can’t get enough of Gettysburg or the American Civil War, and who are currently undergraduate students, here’s an opportunity worth considering: The Gettysburg Semester at Gettysburg College.
Each fall semester, the Civil War Era Studies program brings a group of undergraduate students to Gettysburg College, where they are immersed in the study of the American Civil War. From living in a 19th-century mansion to treading the battlefields where America’s fate was decided, The Gettysburg Semester students enjoy a unique experience. As part of the program, they generally take four courses: Interpretation of the Civil War, Field Experience in Civil War Era Studies, and two courses of their choosing. Many students elect to forgo a fourth course and substitute it with a public history internship. In the past, students have interned at Gettysburg National Military Park, Antietam National Battlefield, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, the Adams County Historical Society, and the Shriver House Museum. Such hands-on internships and interdisciplinary study help to reveal a multifaceted history and shed light on the men and women who lived it.
First … fond as I am of devising new ways to denote certain things, I want to introduce into the dialogue the concept of “heritage correctness.” It’s a distant cousin of what we hear called “political correctness” but bears little relation to what might be called “historical correctness.” After all, it’s heritage, not history, as we all know.
One of the classic pieces of Civil War literature is the account left by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., about looking for his wounded son (the future Supreme Court justice) after Antietam. Young Holmes was an officer in the famed 20th Massachusetts; although later he would speak about how his heart was “touched by fire” by the conflict,in 1864 he had seen enough of the war to go home.
The senior Holmes’s story appeared in the December 1862 issue of The Atlantic, and you can read it here.
As Michael C. Lucas has reluctantly admitted here, he’s a “staff officer” of the Southern Heritage Preservation Group who’s quite unhappy with certain historical perspectives … namely any that do not extol the Confederacy. That’s his business, but look at what happened when he tried to explain his frustration to Rob Baker:
Setting aside Mr. Lucas’s skill at expressing himself, his query leaves unanswered a critical question: how exactly does he define “Marxist methods of interpretation of history”? How are those methods reflected in my work?
(Mr. Lucas shows no evidence of having read anything I’ve written outside of the blog, but then members of the SHPG are famous for attacking books and articles they have not read, a sign of how they hold themselves above normal methods of learning and understanding.)
I’m waiting, Mr. Lucas. Can you explain what you mean and make your case that I follow “Marxist methods of interpretation of history”?
As you might suspect, this one comes from … wait for it … the gift that keeps on giving.
The worst thing to ever happen to the American Negro was the abolitionists. But for them ever agitating to free the Negro slave forthwith, the issue MIGHT have been resolved in such a manner so as to prepare the Negro for the duties and responsiblities of liberty and citisenship. Thus ensuring the bond of eternal friendship between the former slave and the master.
But alas, such was NOT meant to be. For had fate intervened, mighten not American liberty, and responsible citisenship been taught to these unfortunates? And mighten not this continent been spared the evils of “”civil war”" such as been unseen? And the resulting consequences?
And was not this to have been the greatest yet legacy? The handing down of the prepared ctitisenship responsibilities to a formerly subjugated race, properly readied for the awesome tasks of American liberty?
The whole world would yet be praising us for this deed, some 100/150 years later.
Those nasty abolitionists … and those wonderful, caring slaveholders … and fate intervening (why would fate have to intervene if slaveholders were so wonderful?)