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Jackson's Litter at Gettysburg?? - Civil War Preservation - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Mon Aug 13th, 2007 10:05 am
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javal1
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Sometimes the smallest things can set me off. This morning is a perfect example. Got up at 3:30am as usual, and began to put up today's news. Couple of great stories, including one of the Cyclorama restoration (be sure to check it out. The cleaning is quite amazing and the Post spread is impressive).

But the one that has me simmering is Linda Wheeler's article in the Post (linda, btw is a discussion board member, though I haven't seen her around for awhile). Anyway, perusing the article, I see this:

Elsewhere in the lab, conservation on other star attractions for the new museum (Gettysburg) is taking place. They include the litter that carried the wounded Lt. Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson off the Chancellorsville battlefield...

Um, excuse me, but why the hell is the stretcher which carried Jackson off the Chancellorsville battlefield going to the museum of a battlefield he never came close to? I'm sure the Gettysburg-centric crowd around which Civil War history seems to revolve will proclaim that such an important artifact should go to where it will be seen by the most people. To that I would respond "Bulls**t!". If that's the sort of short-sighted thinking that's going to prevail, then let's just move all Civil War artifacts to "the Burg" and close down all those other pesky Visitor's Centers.

It's really a shame the Chancellorsville doesn't have a visitors center, where an artifact of this magnitude could be displayed to help boost visitation. Oh wait, they do. But it's not...well, GETTYSBURG.

OK, in case you can't tell - this one really "got my goat" ( a saying I never understood, but repeat constantly). Can we please, please start acknowledging that the war did not begin and end at Gettysburg. That other parks, museums and visitor's centers need attention. No doubt the cartel in charge of the Gettysburg Visitors Center fiasco considers this quite a coup. I consider it a disgrace.

I better go have more coffee....



 Posted: Mon Aug 13th, 2007 02:43 pm
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PvtClewell
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Jeez, Joe,

You got up at 3:30 a.m.? No wonder you're so grumpy.

Besides, I thought the war did end at Gettysburg. (See every post I've ever written here about Gettysburg). ;)

Anything I say after this is pure speculation as to why Jackson's litter is at Gettysburg. I didn't know the litter even existed, which I guess means it hasn't been on display anywhere. To me, the logical place would be the Museum of the Confederacy (M of C), where Jackson's coat the night he was mortally wounded is on display. The M of C, as you know, may eventully end up in Lexington, Va. (durn, Lexington NC would have been the real coup), where Jackson is buried, which would be perfect. I suppose then we have to go to Ellwood and dig up his left arm and re-inter it in Lexington.

I have no clue how the litter ended up in Gettysburg, or who owns it, but possession being what it is, then hurrah for those who have it and will put it on display. At least that's something.

I haven't been to Chancellorsville in a couple years, but the last time I was there, the visitors' center is abysmal. It's small and not very secure. Jackson's actual wounding site, as determined by Krick, is hard by a sewer grate (unless that obscenity has been corrected by now — I don't know). Guiney Station, where Jackson died, is a small, solitary building close to some railroad tracks and very much out of the way.

Granted, other visitors' centers need attention and upgrading, but that costs big bucks. You likely won't get federal funding for that, what with the government being what it is, which means you have to go into the private sector, which is already being hammered by preservationists to raise funds. I just got my 33rd notice (not exaggerating by much) from the Civil War Preservation Trust to help save the Slaughter Pen at Fredericksburg. I'm retired now — I wish I could give, but I can't.

I think you kind of made your point arguing that Gettysburg is the center of the Civil War universe. It's likely the one battlefield that most casual tourists will attend. The Gettysburg Visitors' Center will be new, accessible and funded, and if not the appropriate place to display the litter, at least it's a place where it will be protected and seen. Maybe eventually the M of C can lobby for it in the future. Stuff like that happens.

There's plenty I don't understand. Why is the Wright Flyer in the Smithsonian and not Kitty Hawk? Why is the Declaration of Independence in Washington DC and not Philadelphia? Sometimes, you just have to go with what you got.

I like your idea of bringing ALL Civil War artifacts to Gettysburg, though. :)



 Posted: Mon Aug 13th, 2007 03:44 pm
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javal1
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Pvt. -

I'm up at that time every day (including weekends). If I oversleep till 4:00am I feel guilty all day. I blame the military.

As for the subject litter, I don't think it's in Gettysburg now, and not at all sure it ever has been. I believe the work's being done at the Harper's Ferry Conservation facility. My gripe is that it's going to end up at Gettysburg.

You are correct, Lexington would be the perfect place - either his home, the VMI Museum, or the MOC if it ends up there. Any battlefield he stepped foot on would be more appropriate. There's also a great museum along Rt. 81 in the middle of the Shenandoah. Think it's called the Hall of Valor which would be great. I assume since the stretcher is NPS property however that it would go to an NPS facility.

What bothers me is that the Civil War can be hard enough to teach. Now we have to show kids Stonewall's stretcher at GB while explaining to them that Jackson was never in GB. Ridiculous. And no, I don't know why I'm all bent out of shape over this, but it really hit a nerve :X



 Posted: Mon Aug 13th, 2007 04:26 pm
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susansweet
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Javal I agree with you 100 percent.  It would be much better at a site where Stonewall served.  The museum in the Valley is the VMI Hall of Valour on New Market Battlefield .  It mainly honors the Cadets of New Market and is run by
VMI  Nice museum .  If this is a newly aquired item why not display it at Chancellorsville or Guiena Station.  They are the sites where the litter was used.  By the way Pvt.  the trains tracks being right there at the Shrine is fitting since that is the reason Jackson was taken 26 miles to that site.  He was going to be put on a train and taken to Richmond .  I thought it was fitting to see how close he got to the train as part of visiting that site. 

Just seems to be out of place up in Pennsylvania since he wasn't with Lee then.  Having taught for 30 years and taken kids on field trips and in my travels since run into many kids on field trips at various historical sites.  It is hard enough to explain what happened at a site.  To have to explain this is here but it didn't happen here is not a good thing. 

As to battlefields I understand the importance of Gettysburg but I would much rather visit the other battlefields.  Not so crowded ,easier to get around to see the monuments and walk on the field without bumping into a hoard of people.  I have spent time at Wilson Creek where I was the only person on the whole field it seemed like.  Now it didn't have the impact that Gettysburg did but it is of importance.  I was just at Shiloh in June.  Had the field mostly to myself. 

As to the 3 am getting up?!!!!!! Joe that is the time many a night I am going to bed.  Since retirement the ole night owl in me has really kicked in. 

Susan



 Posted: Mon Aug 13th, 2007 06:52 pm
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j harold 587
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Joe,

I read the article before I read your post and also got my undies in a knot over why the liter should be displayed @ the BURG. I really enjoy items that help interpet what happened there when I visit a museum. There are several options which have all been stated. However if security is an issue why not display it @ Harpers Ferry? At least Jackson was there. I feel the VMI location is the most appropriate. I have not been there yet, butit is on the list.   



 Posted: Mon Aug 13th, 2007 09:24 pm
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HankC
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To me it is interesting that the litter has been preserved and identified.
 
Other than that is it of any relevance to understanding the Civil War, battle of Gettysburg or Chancellorsville, or the life of Stonewall Jackson? I can see it being integrated into an exhibit on care of the wounded, but other than that...
 
 
HankC



 Posted: Mon Aug 13th, 2007 10:56 pm
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Regina
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My sister and I had our fantastic 3-week vacation visiting historic sites in Pennsylania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.  We saw A LOT of places including the following places related to Stonewall Jackson:  VMI, his home and final resting place in Lexington, Chancellorsville Battlefield including where he was shot, Elwood - where his arm is buried, the Shrine where he died, and we even stayed at the Harper's Ferry Inn which was his HQ and went to Bolivar Heights.  She and I have also been to Manassas, Gettysburg, and Antietam.  I'm not even close to being an expert on museums, the Civil War, or anything else for that matter but having seen what I have seen, it seems very strange that Jackson's litter would be at Gettysburg and not at Chancellorsville.  Just remembered--we also visited the Museum of the Confederacy and I think that's where it belongs.



 Posted: Tue Aug 14th, 2007 07:27 pm
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39th Miss. Walker
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Has anyone asker the curator of the museum in Gettysburg or anyone in Washington why the litter is there? Or going there? Do other more appropriate museums even know where it is or it exists? Is it privately or NPS owner?

BTW does anyone know where my GGG Grandmothers silver set is, which is missing from Mississippi? Some Federals seem to have taken it. ;)



 Posted: Wed Aug 15th, 2007 03:00 pm
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David White
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does anyone know where my GGG Grandmothers silver set is

I heard Karl Rove sold it to the devil to steal an election or two ;)



 Posted: Wed Aug 15th, 2007 03:26 pm
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javal1
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"I heard Karl Rove sold it to the devil..."

What on earth would Dick Cheney need with a silver set? Oh...no...what I meant to say was "Bad David - way off topic...Bad, Bad David".



 Posted: Wed Aug 15th, 2007 06:59 pm
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ole
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No cookie!



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 Posted: Wed Sep 19th, 2007 05:12 pm
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sweetea
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Why Gettysburg anyway?  Did Mayor Reed of Harrisburg slip somebody a couple bucks? 

 

I'd go with VMI at Lexington.  Near Little Sorrel.

 

Is that moth eaten horse still around?  No offense meant.



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 Posted: Thu Sep 20th, 2007 03:41 am
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PvtClewell
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Here you go:

http://users.erols.com/va-udc/sorrell.html



 Posted: Thu Sep 20th, 2007 01:47 pm
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HankC
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I read an article like this with a feeling somewhat akin to tacky amusement:

 

an invocation, blessing, and benediction by a Presbyterian minister?

 

dirt gathered from every battlefield?

 

ladies in period dress?

 

Won oneders what’s in water these days…

 

 

HankC



 Posted: Thu Sep 20th, 2007 02:36 pm
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bdcanfield
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First of all, it might be helpful to get all the facts....  Gettysburg Museum Collection - is the National Depoistry for NPS Civil War artifacts and items.  Therefore, they protect items that are site specific to other places.  However, they usually loan items out perm. to those sites. 

In the case of the Jackson litter -- it is not confirmed, since Fred/ Spot has an alledged litter as well. 


Is not the more important thing, that the item is being cared for and conserved so that generations from now can enjoy it.

Until the historical provinence is discovered, it is being restored due to its terrible condition.



Last edited on Thu Sep 20th, 2007 02:50 pm by bdcanfield



 Posted: Thu Sep 20th, 2007 02:37 pm
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bdcanfield
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It is the not the actual rain coat Jackson was wearing -- due to the fact that the slicked was cut to pieces to help Jackson.....  gotta love myths.

Read the facts people.



 Posted: Thu Sep 20th, 2007 02:54 pm
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susansweet
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I always like to get my facts straight.  I went straight to the VMI website.  According to them "Jackson was wearing this raincoat when he was wounded by his own men.'  Since this is one of the largest collections of Jackson memobila writings, and photos I would tend to believe they know what they are talking about . So now I have the "facts"



 

Last edited on Thu Sep 20th, 2007 03:01 pm by susansweet



 Posted: Thu Sep 20th, 2007 05:23 pm
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sweetea
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Now I am worried!  Gettysburg doesn't take such good care of what they already have.  Btw, I don't believe the Gettysburg NPS actually owns that much of what they display in the present VC.  They ARE supposed to care for it, but the cry is always that they don't have the money/space/personnel.:(



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