I know that this is way off the Sesqui timeline, but, I think I’m more inspired to post this as something that follows close on the heels of Lee-Jackson Day. I just get the sense that the topic needs to be better grounded, with extremists (in my opinion) flying off from both directions (first, the extremists who tout to the “nth” degree, and second, those who condemn the man and the day). Again, this is something that I’ve mentioned in the past… those extreme pendulum swings in examining the history of the Civil War, that appear to be more “muddying” of the waters than beneficial… perhaps even saying more about the people of today who are in those extreme swings, as opposed to the actual history.
I mentioned, the other day, how there is another side to Jackson, that is simply overlooked far too much (there’s that part in Ken Burns’ Civil War, that always seems to rattle around in my head, when Jackson is called a “pious, blue-eyed killer”, or something to that effect, and I find it a poor portrayal of his character, on the whole). Well, this series, below (four YouTube clips), from Bob Krick gives some additional information regarding another “human” side of Jackson. Essentially, it’s about Jackson’s rise in popularity during the war. I’m especially interested in Bob’s mention of how his subordinates (Winder, Trimble, Taliaferro, and Fulkerson, for example) felt about him (be sure to listen… it wasn’t favorable), and… how he tackles (in part 4) the absurd question that seems to perpetually resurface, of Jackson at Gettysburg. Note also his remarks in part 2, about how some in academia have challenged Jackson’s popularity in the war, and have, apparently, not given a great number of documents their attention.
I’ve seen some remarks in various places about opinions on the very existance of Lee-Jackson Day. Ultimately, there’s nothing discussed this year that hasn’t been discussed in the past. In fact, I’ve even been critical of the day in the past (I’m weary of days focused on just about any historical personality, because the history seems to be blurred because of the manner in which the days are often “celebrated”. If the “day” is a matter of thoughtful consideration of why a person or persons are center stage… bring-on thoughtful… not shallow… discussion about the men and/or women in history. I’m just generally not in favor of the “hoopla” versions of these days). That said, however, that doesn’t diminish the importance of the man… yes, even in regard to “memory”. I refer back, for example, to how I was critical, this past May, on the anniversary of Jackson’s death, of those who condemn Jackson and fail to appreciate the impact he (and Lee) have had on generations that worked for the good… yes, the good… of the United States.
So, for what it’s worth… enjoy…