View single post by CleburneFan
 Posted: Tue Mar 13th, 2007 03:46 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 30th, 2006
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1021

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At the risk of great embarassment to myself I have to confess that before I took an obsessive interest in the Civil War beyond Gettysburg, Antietam and Atlanta, I had never even heard of Fort Donelson and Fort Henry. I vaguely knew of the Battle of Shiloh, but couldn't tell you what state it was in. I knew there was a seige at Vicksburg, but again that as about it.

Furthermore I lived in Nashville five years, but didn't know if the Battle of Franklin was a Civil War or Revolutionary War battle. I'd even ask locals and THEY didn't least those I casually asked.  I didn't even know there was a crucial battle at Fort Donelson in spite of the close proximity to Nashville.  In five years I never heard anybody mention it. I never heard of Fort Henry the whole time I lived in Nashville.

So my point is, for the average Joe and Jennie (in my case), living their daily lives in the 2000s who are not actively interested in Civil War history beyond a quick visit to a battlefield with the kids or a quick reading of a Jakes novel, how much do they really know of Western theater operations even to the extent of living near major battle scenes?  I lived only twenty minutes drive from the Battle of Franklin.

I do absolutely agree with you that during the Civil War the battles you mention did get major notice in the Eastern press at that time.  But do today's fifth grade history textbooks, to cite a new hit TV program, devote much mention to the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson? Does General Thomas even get a mention? He deserves far better, by the way.


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