Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Untried Life: the 29th OVI in the Civil War by James T. Fritsh

Battle of Cedar Mountain where both the 29th and 82nd Ohio were engaged.
I have just finished reading The Untried Life: the 29th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War by James T. Fritch.  I hoped to find some stories from the 29th OVI that would shed more light on the what happened to soldiers in Private Terman's regiment, the 82nd Ohio.  Both regiments came from northern Ohio and fought in some of the same battles, such as Cedar Mountain, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg.  What I found was an exceptionally well-written, researched, and documented book with many details coming out of the Giddings Regiment (also called the Abolitionist Regiment named after Congressman J. R Giddings of Ohio).  One that comes to mind was of a sane inmate of an "Insane Asylum" in the south that the boys of the 29th uncovered toward the end of the war.  This sane and intelligent man had been put there by his father to prevent him from enlisting with the Union.  Every page has many such accounts along with the names of the soldiers who lived the stories.  It is a long book of 501 pages and each page is printed in small type but I found myself thoroughly enjoying the journey.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The movie "Lincoln"

National Archives copy of the Thirteenth Amendment

After watching the movie "Lincoln" and seeing the personal attributes of President Abraham Lincoln and what it took to pass the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery, I can understand the deep affection that Union soldiers such as my ancestor Private Hiram Terman of the 82nd Ohio had for the President.  The scene that sent chills up my spine and tears to my eyes was of the celebration in Congress after passing the amendment as they sang "Rally 'Round the Flag".  I wonder if the ancestral genes of my Civil War ancestor in my being were stimulated.  Although some say this is not an academic historical portrayal (for one historian's opinion click here) I heartily recommend the movie.

Back then they called Lincoln a dictator, a baboon, the original gorilla, and things much worse.  He was hated and loved at the same time.  The genius of democracy is that things still got done like passing the 13th Amendment in a time as racially divided and politically aggressive as the Civil War era. 

My guideline for political discourse today with someone I disagree:  " I respect a person's right to have an opinion even if it conflicts with my passionately held basic beliefs.   However, because I am civil and respectful in my discourse does not mean that I approve of his position, just that I recognize his personhood and that he, like I, is human, a child of God, with all the limits, rights, and responsibilities that that entails."


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Civil War Monument Quincy Michigan

Many towns have Civil War monuments honoring the regiments that came from that town.  This monument is in the cemetery at Quincy, Michigan.  I came across it while visiting relatives, my brother-in-law showed it to  me. Viewing this statue and the writings on its side caused me to relive the poignant events I described in Hiram's Honor.  Relive the battle of Gettysburg here.