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 Posted: Wed Jan 28th, 2009 07:44 pm
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pamc153PA
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We all know that the Gettysburg battlefield is the most monumented (I think I made a new verb!:)) Civil War battlefield (what is that old saw: "Howcome there aren't bulletholes on any of the monuments?"), but my question is, first, what other battlefields come close? And, next, what is the least monumented CW battlefield?

And speaking as someone who is admittedly not a big monument person (please don't hurt me), I'd like to hear what others of you who feel differently about battlefield monuments think about their significance. Here to learn, not to judge!

Pam



 Posted: Wed Jan 28th, 2009 09:51 pm
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The Iron Duke
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Chickamauga



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 Posted: Wed Jan 28th, 2009 10:34 pm
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Doc C
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Though not close to the G-burg, Vicksburg has to be second.

Doc C



 Posted: Wed Jan 28th, 2009 10:36 pm
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Doc C
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Maybe not "monumented", Arlington National Cemetery is one of the places which constantly draws me in.

Doc C



 Posted: Wed Jan 28th, 2009 11:13 pm
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TimK
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The five original Civil War battlefields to be commissioned and preserved are the most highly monumented. They would be Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Shiloh, Antietam, and Chickamauga and Chattanooga. I don't remember the exact year (and am to lazy to look up), but I believe they were established in the early 1890's. I think they were transferred from the War Department to the Department of the Interior and became National Parks in the 1930's. I can't back some of this up - I'm working off a fuzzy memory.

After 30 years or so of wounds being heeled, many veterans felt the need to preserve these hallowed grounds. The veterans would meet at the battlefields and locate where their particular monument should be placed. I've noticed at about all the parks that there are many more monuments to Union units than Confederate units. I've always wondered if that was because the North was much more pleased with the way the war turned out, and therefore more willing to preserve their place in history.

I'm sure Calcav and Browner know much more about this than I do. In any case, most of the Civil War National Parks that have come along since have few to no monuments. Wilsons Creek only has one - the spot where General Lyons was killed. This park and Pea Ridge are wonderful parks to tromp without having to imagine the land without monuments.

Pam - although you are not a fan of the monuments, some of them have a pretty interesting history. I'm sure politics play a large part in many of them.



 Posted: Wed Jan 28th, 2009 11:20 pm
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Doc C
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As I mentioned in a past post, the quality of the monuments at gettysburg rivals that of some of the statues in Italy. Antietam is close to Vicksburg in the number of monuments.

Doc C



 Posted: Wed Jan 28th, 2009 11:39 pm
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PvtClewell
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I wish I could remember where I read this, but by the 1890s Gettysburg was the largest collection of outdoor bronze and granite statuary in the world. I reckon it still might be, if not closest to the largest.

At any rate, I don't mind it much. For the Union, they were put there mostly by GAR veterans to honor their fallen comrades as well as to commemorate a signal Union victory by the previously forlorn and abused Army of the Potomac. It was a way for them to sanctify the ground they fought over. I understand and appreciate the reason behind their thinking and am not bothered by it. And, in a way, because many of the monuments have been there for more than a century, they are history in their own right.

Many (but not all, i.e. Longstreet, IMO) are also works art. Gutzom Borglum, the creator of Mount Rushmore, also did the North Carolina monument, and it is for me one of the more thoughtful and compelling pieces on the field.

http://flickr.com/photos/80823321@N00/2916249085/

They also serve as landmarks. And sometimes they serve as catalysts for rumination and introspection.



 Posted: Wed Jan 28th, 2009 11:51 pm
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javal1
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"And, in a way, because many of the monuments have been there for more than a century, they are history in their own right."

Bingo Pvt. The monuments themselves are historical artifacts, to be preserved and protected whether we like them aesthetically or not. Many brave veterans, in bad health and near the end of their life, stood and watched the dedications of these monuments. And I'm sure the tears of remebrance flowed freely.



 Posted: Wed Jan 28th, 2009 11:51 pm
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Doc C
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Donald Delue did the Louisiana, Mississippi state and Soldiers/Sailors monuments at Gettysburg in addition to the Omaha Beach memorial at Normandy. His works are recognizable by the oversized hands.

Doc C



 Posted: Thu Jan 29th, 2009 12:10 am
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susansweet3
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I love the North Carolina monument. It is my favorite of all the monuments in all the parks. Second is the Daughters of the Confederacy monument at Shiloh. That said I love that Wilson Creek and Pea Ridge are so absent of monuments so you get a feel of the battlefield .



 Posted: Thu Jan 29th, 2009 01:00 am
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pamc153PA
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I like the idea that the monuments are historical in their own right. And I'll be the first to admit to my own "monumental" habits at Gettysburg: never missing a trip to Barlow's Knoll and the 153rd PA monument, and this silly little thing about having to touch the Armistead marker at the Angle for good luck each time I'm there (the one time I didn't, I had to have a root canal, so now I HUG the thing). So I can only imagine the sentimental importance the monuments had to the men who fought there, and to their descendants. I am a real softie about such things.

But each time we take our ninth graders to Gettysburg, and the guide stops at the NC monument to talk all about it, I can't help but think, "Let's have the kids walk Pickett's Charge instead, so they can see what the swale looks like and how you're hidden from the Union army at the stone wall, and maybe feel what the men in the charge might have gone through."

Just me, I guess!

Pam

 

 



 Posted: Thu Jan 29th, 2009 01:09 am
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1861-65
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It's a shame there is very little to see where Camp Douglas was because it is one of the few places close to where I live that had significance in the war. I think the only thing that was put there was a monument by the Sons of Confederates.


Last edited on Thu Jan 29th, 2009 01:37 am by 1861-65



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 Posted: Thu Jan 29th, 2009 01:26 am
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When I was a kid, my dad took our family to the Gettysburg Battlefield every few months and at all times of the year. The monuments and statues fascinated me, but the cannon did too.

To this day I am a big fan of monuments and statues. I am a big fan of eternal flames. I also love to see the old cannon and ordnance piled up neatly. I love the big coastal cannon and  mortars.

A battlefield without these cannon and sculptures would seem barren to me.



 Posted: Thu Jan 29th, 2009 02:01 am
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Doc C
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Couple of my confederate ancestors died at Camp Douglass. I'm unsure where they are buried. Is there a cemetery associated with Camp Douglass for the pows?

Doc C



 Posted: Thu Jan 29th, 2009 02:11 am
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1861-65
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The pows at Camp Douglas were burried in mass grave pits.

Last edited on Thu Jan 29th, 2009 02:11 am by 1861-65



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That old man...had my division massacred at Gettysburg!" - George Pickett said these words to John S. Mosby shortly after paying Lee a visit in Richmond "Well, it made you famous" - Mosby's reply to Pickett


 Posted: Thu Jan 29th, 2009 02:41 pm
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The Iron Duke
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Thomas's battle line at Chickamauga is quite impressive. You can tell how the north flourished economically while the south was devasted by just looking at the number of and ornateness of battlefield monuments.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 29th, 2009 08:42 pm
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ole
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Most Confederates who died at Camp Douglas are buried in mass graves. Those not buried there died in private homes or in a hospital, or their bodies were retrieved and taken home.

There is a memorial to them at the site of one of the mass graves.



 Posted: Thu Jan 29th, 2009 11:25 pm
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13PA
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I'll go with Antietam/Sharpsburg as my choice.

The bloodiest single day of the war and those gentlemen deserve that granite. 

Last edited on Thu Jan 29th, 2009 11:26 pm by 13PA



 Posted: Thu Jan 29th, 2009 11:27 pm
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13PA
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Gentleman/Gentlemen

Hence the edit.



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