GDG- Killing Lincoln

Phil Vitiello pvitiello1 at
Sun Jan 15 08:31:26 CST 2012

I'm sure no one hear will recognize my name. I've followed GDG for several years now and only posted once. Having following this current thread I feel compelled to leave a quick comment that I agree with most of Chets statements. I feel his grasp and understanding how history is recorded and how historians over the years perceive what should be considered fact and what is not is spot on.

Phil Vitiello
NH Ct.   

Sent from my iPad

On Jan 14, 2012, at 6:14 PM, Matt Diestel <agatematt at> wrote:

> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>> So, Chet, if a book inserts make believe events into the  naration you
>> would still call that "history"?
>> Your  Most Obedient Servant,
>> Peter
>> The amount --- and supposed seriousness --- of the errors in "Killing
>> Lincoln" by all indication is a matter that is still much in dispute. That
>> is certainly reinforced by the variety of opinions that have been posted by
>> esteemed members in this discussion thread.
>    In direct answer to your question, would I call a book which "inserts
> make believe events into the narration .. "history?" --- No, I would not
> but then in regards to "Killing Lincoln" that is an accusation which has
> not yet been proved to my satisfaction.
>    Too often, when one person sees a set of possible historical actions in
> one way and accepts it and then writes it in anything from book form to a
> discussion point in this group, there are some who refuse to take it as
> simply an interpretation with which they disagree with and instead is is
> something that is at best historical error and at worse something
> nefarious.
>   People can --- and do --- see historical "facts" in different ways. As
> an example, I will point to the many discussions this group has had over
> the years as to what Stuart was suppose to do at Gettysburg on July 3.
> There are those who take it as a historical certainty that Lee gave his
> cavalry commander specific orders to place himself on the Union flank to
> attack when the forces of Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble broke the AOP line and
> forced that army to retreat. Other esteemed members believe that to be so
> much non-historical hogwash, but I have yet to read a member accusing
> another of fabricating the truth because they see facts in a different
> light.
>    Besides, what is truly a fact. Given that much of the narrative of any
> event is based upon the gathering of evidence from eye-witnesses, all of
> whom may see the same event slightly different or radically differently.
> That is evident by just going to the Official Records and read the after
> battle reports of units which opposed each other. More often than not, the
> text reads in a way to make it seem that neither unit was not on the same
> piece of the  battlefield but probably not on the same planet.
>   OK, which author's work is the lie? And which one should historians
> choose? And if they choose one then do those who take the other side as
> gospel then have the right to label the opponent's version as having
> inserted "make believe events."
>                 With regards,
>                    Chet
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