Quotes Suitable for Framing: Bruce Catton

There is no other legend quite like the legend of the Confederate fighting man. He reached the end of his haunted road long ago. He fought for a star-crossed cause and in the end he was beaten, but as he carried his slashed red battle flag into the dusky twilight of the Lost Cause he marched straight into a legend that will live as long as the American people care to remember anything about the American past.

Bruce Catton

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  1. At the same time, my French-born, disillusioned former Icarian (q,v.) ancestor was wading through the Louisiana swamps on the Union side in defense of liberte, fraternite, and egalite , intermittently firing at my native-born Confederate ancestors. Perhaps the only true good to come out of the entire morass was emancipation.

  2. Keeping the country unified was important, as most former Confederates tended to admit as the years rolled by.

    It will be found, I trust, that no injustice has been done to either section, to any army, or to any of the great leaders, but that the substance and spirit of the following pages will tend rather to lift to a higher plane the estimate placed by victors and vanquished upon their countrymen of the opposing section, and thus strengthen the sentiment of intersectional fraternity which is essential to complete national unity.

    —General John B. Gordon, Reminicences of the Civil War

  3. When a teen, I bought and read Catton’s NEVER CALL RETREAT. My g-grandfather served, representing Vermont. I can not attach a high moral calling to his service, as I believe he was a Lincoln draftee; however, he did enter a Pvt and returned home a Sgt. His original sign-up sheet still exists in the archives of VT, of which I have a copy, along with a tintype of g-grandad in full uniform.

  4. He obviously was a good soldier Bill judging from his promotion. Troops who fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam have uniformly told me that in combat units no distinction was drawn between draftees and volunteers. A good soldier was a good soldier, no matter how they ended up in the service.

  5. I honor among others William Finley, 8th Mississippi Infantry, killed and buried Bardstown, Kentucky, 1862; my grandmother’s mother’s father who she never saw. Mitchell Gatlin, 27th Mississippi Infantry, killed in Tennessee in 1863, burial unknown, my grandfather’s mother’s dad. George Williams, 2nd Mississippi Calvary, my grandfather’s Dad. W. W. Moffett, 37th Mississippi Infantry, surrendered at Vicksburg in 1863, age 17. It was a time when most were loyal to their states. Most of these men would have by bewildered if told they were fighting to preserve slavery. Following this tragic war both sides, particularly the actual combatants, agreed to honor each other and move forward as one nation. Now radical leftist seek to rend that understanding by destroying monuments to the past. That is the beginning. The founders and Western Civilization are next. We have become a nation who murders the unborn and celebrates sodomy, yet dare to sit in judgment of generations past. It is a comfort to see there are still people who can rationally appreciate the fighting men on both sides of this tragedy.

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