On July 3, 2013, I was present near the Brian Farm when I watched thousands of people cross the fields from Seminary Ridge to Cemetery Ridge in an observance I’m still not quite sure how to characterize … and I don’t yet know what to make of it, perhaps because there are several ways to view the event. Maybe I’ll share my mixed feelings (and some confusion) at a later time, but for now I want to ask a different question:
How should we commemorate the actions of May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania; June 3, 1864, at Cold Harbor; and November 30, 1864, at Franklin?
Would one follow the model provided at Gettysburg? What about the model offered at Fredericksburg the previous December? Or what would you suggest?
After all, the men who participated in these actions were just as courageous as the ones who fought on July 3, 1863.