Captain Historica: Civil War
Although it feels like ancient history after all the recent headlines, it was only at the beginning of this month that our current president publicly mused about why the American Civil War was fought. Last week, New Orleans completed its controversial removal of Confederate monuments. For this Memorial Day weekend, we’ll explore the bloodiest of American wars, and how it influences us still.
What are the Civil War origins of Memorial Day? How was the holiday first celebrated by freed slaves, and how has the holiday and Civil War history been used for various political ends since 1865? Yale historian David Blight explores this in Forgetting Why We Remember.
By the spring of 1865, after a long siege and prolonged bombardment, the beautiful port city of Charleston, S.C., lay in ruin and occupied by Union troops. Among the first soldiers to enter and march up Meeting Street singing liberation songs was the 21st United States Colored Infantry; their commander accepted the city’s official surrender. Whites had largely abandoned the city, but thousands of blacks, mostly former slaves, had remained, and they conducted a series of commemorations to declare their sense of the meaning of the war.
Copyright © 2017 My Civic Workout, All rights reserved.