GDG- Changes in Gettyburg Battlefield thru the years

Jack Lawrence jlawrence at kc.rr.com
Mon Jan 2 11:36:06 CST 2012


There should have been a lot more Confederate period monuments.

There are several reasons why there are not.

First, the northern veterans were closer to the field than the southern 
veterans, which made it much more accessible.
Second, the south was a depressed are after the war while the north boomed. 
The northern veterans prospered and were able to fund many more monuments.

Third, The Union Veterans controlled the parks and set the rules. The rules 
were that your monument could be placed at its farthest point of advance. 
The Union veterans had few problems with that though, of course, some 
monuments like the
1st Minnesota located themselves farther to the far to be on the electric RR 
line than there actual position.
The Confederate veterans made many claims as to their actual positions, many 
on the far side of the Union positions. The Union was not about to allow the 
south to claim positions that inferred that that they had overrun their 
positions.

Refused the locations of their choice, the southern units eschewed any 
monuments.

This last reason is usually the reason often given, but I have noticed that 
at Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chattanooga and  Stones River, Perryville et all, 
their are far more Union monuments than Confederate monuments.

I think the main reason was that there were that the south lost the war and 
the monuments are inferred to be political statements made by a conqueror 
(nor was the south alone. When Ephesus declared its independence from Rome, 
Sulla's grandsons sacked the city when they took it back. On the road in the 
upper city, there is a large bas relief of the two Sulla's on the road into 
town; a monument to Rome and the conqueror's.Ii asked our guide if there 
were any Ephesians monuments he laughed ((there are no Armenian monuments 
either))).

So IMHO opinion, there are few period southern war monuments outside of 
county squares because the south had little interest in decorating northern 
victory parks.

In the late 19th early 20th century that changed. The next generation 
decided that the memory of those who fought for their various states was 
worth supporting and the finest, most wistful, dramatic funerary statuary in 
the country was erected along West Confederate Avenue. But these were not 
erected by those who fought. They were built by lost causers to memorialize 
the southern cause at it had evolved in the intervening generation.

(In fairness, they were not alone. The memorial at the Lincoln Monument was 
erected by those whom had served under Lincoln the war leader, the Commander 
in Chief. It is full of the desperate, violent fury that those determined to 
save the union felt. It is, again IMHO, more violent and determined than the 
Grant Monument at the base of the Capitol.

70 miles away in DC, those who had been raised on Lincoln the Emancipator 
built the Lincoln monument, in which the war is dedicated to that 
emancipation.

Each side after the war evolved it's own myth of what that war was all 
about. (of course, their progeny all stormed the beaches together at 
Normandy and Iwo Jima.)

That concept evolves today. At Vicksburg, there is a Kansas Monument, 
erected during the 1960's centennial period. It is dedicated to Kansas 
soldiers who served there (as far as I can tell their contribution to the 
war was to try and dig Grant's canal.)

The Maryland monument is in the parking lot of the old VC, because that 
particular park super decided that all future monuments were to go in that 
parking lot).

And now we have a regimental statue erected solely because some group of 
reenactors persuaded Trent Lott to use his pull and let them erect a 
monument. Now who does that honor? The 11th Miss or 11th miss renenactors?

Monuments are proposed by some all the time at Gettysburg; one park 
historian once said  (I think sarcastically) that they should just asphalt 
the field over and paint all their names on them.

So, I agree that it would be nice if there were more southern monuments. But 
the few they have are the best of the lot (except I have never, ever figured 
out that soldiers and sailors thing).

Regards,

Jack


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "George Connell" <georgeconnell at me.com>
To: "GDG" <gettysburg at arthes.com>
Sent: Monday, January 02, 2012 10:38 AM
Subject: Re: GDG- Changes in Gettyburg Battlefield thru the years


> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> Should be a lot more Rebel monuments on the battlefield. To paraphrase 
> Pickett, I think the Confederates had something to do with it.
>
> Regards,
>
> George
>
> On Jan 2, 2012, at 11:25 AM, Jack Lawrence <jlawrence at kc.rr.com> wrote:
>
>> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>> Trent Lott's 11 Mississippi.
>>
>> Regads,
>>
>> Jack
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Peter Skillman" <pskillman at gmail.com>
>> To: "GDG" <gettysburg at arthes.com>
>> Sent: Monday, January 02, 2012 9:43 AM
>> Subject: Re: GDG- Changes in Gettyburg Battlefield thru the years
>>
>>
>>> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>>> Jack,
>>>
>>> I'm unfamiliar.  To which "Mississippi thing" are you referring?
>>>
>>> - Pete S.
>>>
>>> On Jan 2, 2012, at 10:38 AM, Jack Lawrence wrote:
>>>
>>>> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>>>> I lked the view from the National tower. I did not like the 
>>>> waypoliticians allegedl manipulated the NPS and had their own guy 
>>>> installed as Superintendant so that they could get the tower put in.
>>>> Nor do I like the way that they decitfully manipulated the deal so that 
>>>> the promised NPDS share of tower was limited to the part that lost 
>>>> money.
>>>>
>>>> But what I really find repugnant is the way they payed loud music 
>>>> during funerals at the National Cemetary.
>>>>
>>>> Politicians aways have their way with the park, look at the Mississippi 
>>>> thing.
>>>>
>>>> Regards,
>>>>
>>>> Jack
>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Peter Skillman" 
>>>> <pskillman at gmail.com>
>>>> To: "GDG" <gettysburg at arthes.com>
>>>> Sent: Monday, January 02, 2012 7:52 AM
>>>> Subject: Re: GDG- Changes in Gettyburg Battlefield thru the years
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>>>>> There was also an observation tower on Big Round Top - the foundations 
>>>>> for it are still there, if I recall correctly.
>>>>>
>>>>> Not to mention the lovely "National Tower"!  Everyone LOVED that one!
>>>>>
>>>>> - Pete
>>>>>
>>>>> On Dec 30, 2011, at 4:19 PM, Nancy Householder wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>>>>>> Here is a short list of some of the changes made to the battlefield 
>>>>>> thru the years:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> At one time there were 5 observation towers.  Beside the current ones 
>>>>>> on Oak Ridge, Culps Hill, and
>>>>>>
>>>>>> West Confederate Ave, there was also one on East Cemetery Hill, and 
>>>>>> on Cemetery Ridge, near where
>>>>>> the Cyclorama building is still today.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> There was a trolley that ran thru the fields and out to LRT.
>>>>>> Out at LRT there was a sort of amusement park with a carosel, and 
>>>>>> picnic pavilion and refreashment stand.
>>>>>> There was a railroad that ran through the park, too.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> The fence around the Soldier's National Cemetery, that came from 
>>>>>> Layfayette Park, in DC, across from the
>>>>>>
>>>>>> White House, was first put up in Gettysburg on East Cemetery Hill.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On the field of PPT charge, besides Camp Colt, was a Civilian 
>>>>>> Conservation Corps camp in the 1930's and
>>>>>> then was turned into a POW camp for German POW's during WWII.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> There was a Stuckey's Pecan Shoppe and Souvenir Stand, and gas 
>>>>>> station at the intersection of the Emittsburg Rd
>>>>>> and the Millerstown Rd.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> How about the Peace Light Inn and tourist court out on the field in 
>>>>>> front of the Peace Light Memorial?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I've also seen pictures of a Refreashment Stand and Souvenir shoppe 
>>>>>> on Oak Ridge.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Anyone remember a place called Fantasyland in the 1960's?  I'm not 
>>>>>> sure where it was located, but I do remember going there
>>>>>>
>>>>>> as a child.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Nancy Householder
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>>>>
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