Wisconsin Veterans Museum

Last weekend I visited the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison, Wisconsin. It is a free museum with excellent exhibits, a manageable floor plan, and it is located on the beautiful capitol square. Here are links to my individual posts on the museum:

Part One: The Civil War

Part Two: The Spanish-American War

Part Three: The Mexican Border War and World War One

Part Four: World War Two


Battle of Gaine’s Mill, Virginia, 27 June 1862, Fr. d’Orleans

This engagement saw the largest Confederate attack in the war. However, the charges were not coordinated well, resulting in heavy casualties. With the arrival of “Stonewall” Jackson, the Confederates finally executed a full assault.

Hand-colored ambrotype portrait of Union soldier Seneca Flint who served with the 2nd Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Cavalry during the Civil War. He died of disease in Vicksburg, Mississippi, on October 25, 1864.

anonymous asked:

It's correct to say that the confederate reason to secede was keeping slavery (and not state's rights) but the reason (or at least the main reason) the north did stop then was keeping the union (and not abolishing slavery)? Ps: i'm not a american myself and dont know almost nothing about american story, i'm just trying to find a middle term between the different versions of the fact i've heard

No worries friend, it is a hotly-debated issue in the United States ever since the war started. When it comes to examining the causes of the U.S. Civil War, it’s best to go to the original documents and use them as our sources to explain the thinking of the individuals involved, examining them against the context of their time in order to provide the clearest possible picture. In that spirit, we must establish the proper context and examine the arguments in light of that.

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I saw this pair of boots in an antique store today. Dragoon boots, 18th or 19th Century. Although the style of this boot remained more or less unchanged, shoemaking lasts curved to fit right and left feet were not introduced until 1850. Until then, the soles of all shoes were shaped the same- no difference between right and left. The shaped sole on this boot could indicate either that it was made after 1850, or that over many years of use the sole has taken on the shape of the wearer’s foot.

July 1

In 1863, at a sleepy little town called Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, soldiers of the United States Army began a battle against the soldiers of the treasonous Confederacy.  Over the next three days, it would turn into the largest single battle ever fought in North America.  Over 170,000 soldiers would struggle there, and the rebel armies would be turned back from their last invasion of Union territory.  It was the beginning of the end for the treachery of the slave states, and thank the god of battles for that. 

The Union general in charge, George Meade, was on his fourth day commanding the Army of the Potomac.  So you could say there was a pretty steep learning curve for him. 

When the last shot had been fired, over 50,000 men from both armies were dead, wounded, or missing.  The entire time, there was one civilian casualty.  One!  A poor woman named Ginnie Wade was hit by a stray bullet while she was baking bread.  I defy you to find any other battle in modern times where so many soldiers clashed with so little collateral damage. 

You can and should read all about what happened around that little town; how the heroes of the Iron Brigade, the 1st Minnesota, and the 20th Maine accomplished superhuman feats of arms and saved the Union.  Even that fuckhead George Armstrong Custer acquitted himself very well. 

There would be almost two more years of bloody struggle, but the slavers’ insurrection would finally be put down.  After Gettysburg, it was simply a matter of time.

They are presented as being part of a continuous heritage, but the idea that these symbols have anything to do with anything but racial reaction is wrong.

Joseph Lowndes on the statues of Confederate generals (Why is the US still fighting the Civil War?)

Like most of the other monuments to the confederacy’s “lost cause”, the statue in Charlottesville was not built in the immediate aftermath of that war. Rather, it was commissioned more than half a century later in 1917, and erected in 1924. It was part of a wave of statue-building in the south that took place between the late 1890s and 1920, according to research from the Southern Poverty Law Center. That wave crested in about 1911.

According to Joseph Lowndes, a political scientist at the University of Oregon and author of two books on the US’s racial politics and the south, the timing of these enthusiasms is not accidental. “The statues go up in moments of racial reaction.”

The earlier craze was the moment when Lowndes says, “the Jim Crow order was really being built in the south”. So-called Jim Crow laws formally segregated public schools, public transport and public spaces generally in former confederate states. Laws mandated that black people and white people use separate restaurants, restrooms and drinking fountains. According to Lowndes, the Jim Crow phenomenon was a reaction to the inroads made by the populist movement, which had fleetingly created political alliances of poor blacks and whites against the rich southern planter class. Lowndes says that southern elites sought to “take blacks out of the electorate and segregate public space” in order to “redivide the black and white core” of the south’s working class and small farmers. The monuments were also elements of this divide-and-rule strategy. They were ultimately built for a white audience, as “elements of a culture that directed whites towards beliefs that aligned them with the planters”, says Lowndes. “It was a political project. Any political project requires symbols, and an imaginary.”