View single post by TimK
 Posted: Thu Jan 29th, 2009 12:13 am
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Joined: Thu Apr 10th, 2008
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 311

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The five original Civil War battlefields to be commissioned and preserved are the most highly monumented. They would be Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Shiloh, Antietam, and Chickamauga and Chattanooga. I don't remember the exact year (and am to lazy to look up), but I believe they were established in the early 1890's. I think they were transferred from the War Department to the Department of the Interior and became National Parks in the 1930's. I can't back some of this up - I'm working off a fuzzy memory.

After 30 years or so of wounds being heeled, many veterans felt the need to preserve these hallowed grounds. The veterans would meet at the battlefields and locate where their particular monument should be placed. I've noticed at about all the parks that there are many more monuments to Union units than Confederate units. I've always wondered if that was because the North was much more pleased with the way the war turned out, and therefore more willing to preserve their place in history.

I'm sure Calcav and Browner know much more about this than I do. In any case, most of the Civil War National Parks that have come along since have few to no monuments. Wilsons Creek only has one - the spot where General Lyons was killed. This park and Pea Ridge are wonderful parks to tromp without having to imagine the land without monuments.

Pam - although you are not a fan of the monuments, some of them have a pretty interesting history. I'm sure politics play a large part in many of them.

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