View single post by Widow
 Posted: Fri Dec 8th, 2006 11:29 pm
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Widow
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Location: Oakton, Fairfax County, VA
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Johnny, I liked very much your analysis of the lose-lose situation Meade was in.  True, he wasn't a brilliant commander, but he was solid at Gettysburg.

And Home-School Teen, you've seen just a small sample of the controversy about Dan Sickles.  A clever and successful New York City politician who got himself appointed as a general.  His murder trial before the war, as someone else pointed out, was the first to use the defense of temporary insanity.  Meaning that he went crazy when he saw his wife's lover, and lost all control.  Plugged the guy.  Then regained his senses.

When a man is seeing a married woman, generally it's a good idea to keep it secret.  Not Philip Barton Key.  The Sickles house in Washington faced Lafayette Square, which is in front of the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue.  From the windows Teresa Sickles could see her lover walking across the square, waving a white handkerchief to signal her to come out.  He was probably looking up at her window.  Anybody in the square could see him do it, including one Dan Sickles, the cuckolded husband.

A little detail here for you.  Sickles' defense attorney, the one who came up with that new defense, was none other than Edwin McMasters Stanton.  You can judge what a successful lawyer Stanton was by getting Danny Boy acquitted.  Later he was President Lincoln's Secretary of War.

Sickles ignored his beautiful young wife.  Just left her at home while he went out partying and politicking in Washington.  She didn't know anybody and after a while she was so lonely.  Then she met the dashing Key, who paid a lot of attention to her, was sympathetic, and she fell in love.  They met in his apartment.  The rest, as they say, is history.

The irony is that Dan didn't divorce Teresa after his trial.  He kept her, and I suppose her life was miserable, having to live with the killer of the man she loved.  Did she wonder if he would go insane again and pick her the next time?

Well, he had plenty of killing in the war.  His leg was amputated at Gettysburg, and he had it preserved.  Donated it to the medical museum at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington.  He visited it every so often, and later, he took his girlfriends there to see it.  Fun date, hm?

Patty

Last edited on Fri Dec 8th, 2006 11:37 pm by Widow

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