GDG- NPS & slavery

ATMackeyJr at ATMackeyJr at
Wed Jan 4 20:55:00 CST 2012

Thank you for your very kind words.  I agree that the full story needs  to 
be told, and it appears to me that the NPS is well on the way to doing this  
at Gettysburg.  I am the last person who would want to ignore the military  
We tend to think of things in very simple terms.  For example, "North"  and 
"South" in the war.  Those are very simplistic in that the "South"  doesn't 
take into account all the southerners who fought for the Union, the four  
southern states that remained loyal, or the 4 million African Americans 
living  in the seceded states.  The "North" doesn't include those who "went 
South"  or those who opposed the war and Lincoln's policies in the North, nor 
does it  include the Far West, such as California.  When we speak of 
"southerners,"  we're usually talking about white southerners in the seceded states, 
surely a  subset of all southerners.
A very human thing.
Best Regards,
Al Mackey
In a message dated 1/4/2012 11:00:15 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
amills at writes:

Esteemed  GDG Member Contributes:

I have to admit, this is an excellent  point that I found myself failing 
despite having what I consider to be a very  liberal and modern view on race.  
I never considered myself to be a  racist or bigot, but this showed me that 
my eyes were not as opened as I  thought.    

I only considered the owners and the "white"  people and gave no 
consideration to the slave population that also called  Arlington "home."  

I am in part embarrassed and also now  understand how little of this 
history has been taught and why it needs to be  told, even at places I normally 
didn't felt it shouldn't be told.  I used  to be in the "Slavery needs to be 
told, but Gettysburg should focus on the  battle and Lincoln's address and 
slavery should be the focus of places like  the National Civil War Museum in 
Harrisburg", but realizing something about  myself, I don't want my children 
growing up ignorant of this history as well  as I truly feel it is the core 
story of America that still resonates to this  day.  

I just want to personally thank you.  This one email  has opened my eyes to 
why this story needs to be told at any appropriate place  more than 
anything I have seen, read or heard previously.  I am now fully  in the camp that 
the slave story needs to be a key part of the Gettysburg  story and not just 
the story of why two white armies decided to fight on those  fields 
(although I still think the military story and the actions of those  three days 
needs to be told as well).  It sounds a little cliché, but I  realized something 
about myself from this one email and something I need to  correct.   


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