View single post by PvtClewell
 Posted: Tue Aug 7th, 2007 03:00 am
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Joined: Wed Jun 13th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 420

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I know what you mean about the heat. My car's exterior thermometer read 104 degrees at 2 p.m. today. It was 80 degrees at 6 a.m. when I went for my walk. Don't feel much like posting these days, either.

Fort Donelson? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. (Just kidding you. I suppose we all could make an argument for any battle being the most important.)

The last two days I've been catching up on my reading of Champion Hill (Sidebar: Champion Hill or Champion's Hill? I've seen it both ways. I've seen a photograph with the apostrophe-S is on a historical marker near the battlefield. And if the battle occurred on Sid Champion's farm, then it would be grammatically correct that way. But in an article by Stephen Ambrose for 'The Battle Chronicles of the Civil War,' (1989) the owners of the property (is it privately owned? I don't know) prefer Champion Hill).

Ambrose, incidentally, writes: "...To the winner of the battle that followed would go the final victory in the campaign for the Mississippi River. Champion Hill is thus, at first blush, one of the decisive battles of the Civil War.
Such a view of Champion Hill is superficial."
He doesn't, however, explain why that is so. He goes on to give a description of the battle itself.

I will say this — I've gained a new perspective and appreciation for Champion Hill that I never had before. But I just can't bring myself to the precipice and say that it is the decisive battle of the war.

To me, that still remains Gettysburg, and for the reasons I stated in my original post.

I agree that Gettysburg is the crown jewel of Civil War battlefields. It probably generates the most revenue and attracts the most visitors — about 1.5 million people a year, I think — but that doesn't mean it's not threatened by development. It just shook loose of the casino debacle, and more threats may be coming. The sprawl from Washington DC is relentless. Just look at Fredericksburg-Salem Church-Chancellorsville. Salem Church has about disappeared in a sea of shopping malls. Manassas is another field in serious danger. So is Petersburg.

I have this vision (or nightmare) that within the next 100 years, when the tentacles of the metropolis of New-Bos-Wash-Mond-Adelphia finally have nothing more to grab, all our Rev War and Civil War battlefields will be nothing more than green spaces good for picnics and bicycle trails. Why, I bet they might even put up an obtrusive observation tower at Gettysburg.

Last edited on Tue Aug 7th, 2007 04:36 am by PvtClewell

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