Gettysburg the Film

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At Daffey Thoughts Dave Griffey celebrates the film Gettysburg, the only film that  my bride and I ever hired a babysitter for in order to see, all the way back in 1993, which is now almost a quarter of a century ago, unbelievably enough to me.  Time does run in a rapid stream:

 

An annual viewing tradition around July 4th.  From a time before the dark days of Multiculturalism taught us to ignore the myriad sins of the world while refusing to forgive the sins of the West.

Adapted from Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels, it marked that last point where the Civil War was popularly understood as driven by the issue of slavery, but also about many complex issues, as history always is.

But that was then.  Today history,  like so many things, has been whittled down to a soundbite.  Hence the end of the Confederate memorials; hence raising new bigotries and racisms to replace the old.  Those hellbent on ignoring the past are, after all, doomed to repeat it.  Or – good news for the post-war generations – our posterity will be doomed to repeat it.

Sometimes I think the reason we spend so much time focused on the sins of the past is because, deep down, we can’t help but think they were better than we are (exceptions noted).  As a generation, our greatest accomplishment is watching the civilization we inherited crumble under our feet.  And in the end, that’s not much to endear us to future memory.  A generation that has concluded “we can climb higher by kicking down the ladder by which we have come thus far” has shown why the”progressive habit of thinking we can make the world better for our children by murdering the memory of our grandparents is folly.”

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.  Just some whimsy on this Independence Day celebration.  Now off to the fireworks!

 

Go here to read the comments from the outraged and humorless Social Justice Warriors who infest Patheos, who are almost always an unintentional hoot!

 

 

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9 Comments

  1. I was in habit of watching “Gettysburg” on VCR. Don’t have it set up any more. Steven Sears’ book is good, especially his depiction of Pickett’s Charge and the effective Union defenses, especially the arty. Gettysburg, whether or not intentionally on both sides, was Fredericksburg in reverse, only the Confederates made it a much closer affair.

    We, by advancing the worst political classes in History, pretty well screwed the pooch. Mostly, by allowing ourselves to be gulled by the smart kids/pencil-necked liars that we used to slap around in high school.

  2. ” Hence the end of the Confederate memorials; hence raising new bigotries and racisms to replace the old. Those hellbent on ignoring the past are, after all, doomed to repeat it.”
    My father, born, raised and living all his 72 years in south Mississippi, once said to me after my grade school trip to see Jeff Davis’s final home at Beauvoir, ” I don’t mind if they remember the lost cause, as long as they remember that they lost.” That always gave me–a proud, black, southern, American, Catholic– a philosophical view of the battle flag, the UDC Johnny Reb column in front of the courthouse, statues of Lee and other reb heros. White southerners remember a proud but sad history. I can rejoice in how far we’ve come from that particular point in our history. But the history IS ours–all of ours. Some of those people are even our blood.
    My great-grandfather was one of N.B. Forrest’s troopers who lost his lower leg near Shiloh. In his fifties, he married a 15 year old girl of black, French, and Choctaw ancestry at the Catholic Church in DeLisle, MS. Not sure what her attraction to him was exactly, but he had a wounded soldiers pension and some land. My father said of his grandpa, “He didn’t like black folks generally, but loved [his wife] and her family.”
    That’s why I love the south…..

  3. “My great-grandfather was one of N.B. Forrest’s troopers who lost his lower leg near Shiloh. In his fifties, he married a 15 year old girl of black, French, and Choctaw ancestry at the Catholic Church in DeLisle, MS. Not sure what her attraction to him was exactly, but he had a wounded soldiers pension and some land. My father said of his grandpa, “He didn’t like black folks generally, but loved [his wife] and her family.”
    That’s why I love the south…..”

    BPS your story is symbolic of just how complex the South is, and why it has always fascinated this Yankee!

  4. Tom McKenna, not sure what you mean by “simplistic, merely racial explanation for the war”, especially since the article you link to was about a group of mixed black-French southerner who whose offer of service to their community in defending their property in black slaves was eventually rejected due to the groups black (not French) ancestry. This is the community I come from, they consider themselves ‘creole’ and, until very recently, they were as prejudiced against their more obviously black neighbors as their white neighbors. Before the Civil War, some owned slaves, and wanted to continue owning them, and were willing to fight to do continue to do so, much like their white neighbors.
    The fact they were willing to do so, in defiance of the natural law, and what their Catholic Christian faith called them to do (see Declaration of Independence and Paul’s Letter to Philemon), is, of course, a sin. But one doesn’t turn his back on family or community because they’re sinners, because we’re all sinners.

  5. Dave Griffey asked: “where do you stand on the eradication of the Civil War memorials?”
    I’m against it Dave. See my first post in this thread.

  6. BPS, thanks. That’s how I read it, but I wanted to verify. Thanks, also, for the perspective that we don’t always hear.

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