|View single post by barrydancer|
|Posted: Mon Apr 6th, 2009 06:05 pm||
"I am only now becoming aware of how my interpretation of the Civil War is influenced by romanticized and distorted notions that have been kept alive throught popular culture, which in turn manages to influence scholarship on the subject."
I think there's much truth to this statement, and it can be the basis of a very worthwhile study and re-examination of the Civil War era. Many aspects, I agree, are covered in an aura of romanticism that is often hard to crack. Witness Robert E. Lee. He's still a difficult figure to criticize.
I think some of the hostility from some may come more from your tone, than your aim. Lots of folks here have been studying the era for a long time, and you seem to imply that they've wasted their time. Or at least 60-70 percent of it, and should be ready for a new interpretation to supersede the old. I don't think that was necessarily your intention, but it could be construed as such.
Now, as for Old Stonewall. He was a hell of a commander, and garnered quite a reputation during the war. A reputation that was only enhanced by his death, as he could then become a martyr. Like buzzard, I agree that his successes in the Valley were helped by his familiarity with the region. (Not that that's a bad thing, in my estimation). I do, however, think those successes were also helped by Jackson being opposed by some of the most inept Federal commanders of the war.
Jackson's performance during the Seven Days was lackluster at best, and sometimes gets overlooked. I think he often used his staff as glorified couriers, rather than as an integral part of his command the way Longstreet did.
I am constantly fascinated by the confluence of history and memory, and how one is often substituted for the other.
And now, I must go get ready for work.