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View Diary: The damnation of the happy slave (198 comments)

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  •  You want happy slaves? There's the poor sequel to (18+ / 0-)

    the pretty much accurate movie Gettysburg, Gods and Generals. There are two southern slaves portrayed, one of them a household woman, the other I believe Stonewall Jackson's (it's been a while since I saw the rather poor movie). BOTH are portrayed as loyal, happy slaves. There are none depicted as dissatisfies, fleeing to Union lines, as many "contraband" did anytime an Army of Northern Liberation got near them.

    I thought a more accrurate title to Gods and Generals would have been something like The Daughters of the Confederacy present the Stonewall Jackson story. Boy, does he come off as mister wonderful.

    •  Strictly speaking it was a prequel, not a sequel (8+ / 0-)

      Everything in it took place before Gettysburg.

      Say what you like about Jackson as a person, as a field general he was one of the all-time best. (This is a morally neutral statement, since any such list will include some real monsters as well as some fairly decent folk.)

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:35:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It would have to be a prequel... (8+ / 0-)

        ...if it refered to Stonewall Jackson.  If memory serves he was killed by friendly fire at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg was the first major battle in which Lee had to get by without Jackson.

        •  That was (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pengiep

          The second time he was shot by his own troops; had lost his arm due to 'friendly fire' too... I have a problem reconciling his purported strategic genius with his losing a limb and then losing his life after being fired on by his own troops...twice...

          Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

          by awesumtenor on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 11:19:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It was a single event. (0+ / 0-)

            He was shot by his own troops in the dusk and wilderness at Chancellorsville.  As a result, his arm was amputated.  A day or so later, without ever having gotten out of bed, he died of pneumonia.  You may be confusing him with John B. Hood, who did go back into combat after having and arm amputated, or Richard Ewell, who was at Gettysburg, after recovering from a leg amputation.

            •  That's what I get (0+ / 0-)

              for posting without fact checking first... Thanks for the correction...

              Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

              by awesumtenor on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:14:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Self rule (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat, TofG

        What happens in the different states means something to all of us and it is the business of those who choose to be self ruled. The civil war should have brought that home to all of us. If we can't find a way to agree then we must find a way to avoid another war.

      •  The George Patton (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat, JeffW, TofG

        of his time...
        Both were, alas, quite mad.

      •  Yes, but... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        swampyankee

        A bit of an ad hom on my part (as is your comment as well), but U.S. Grant was not a particularly good field general, and it's arguable that without W.T. Sherman under his command (with a great deal of autonomy) the war would have lasted much longer.

        (I'm using "ad hom" in the larger sense of any statement or assertion that is not relevant to the subject being debated.)

        Disclosure: Sherman was a four times great uncle of mine; my paternal grandmother was born a Sherman.

        You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

        by paz3 on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 02:51:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Clarification please ... (0+ / 0-)

          are you saying the war would or would not have lasted longer without Sherman?

          If you don't watch news, you're un-informed. If you watch Fox news, you're mis-informed. (paraphrasing Mark Twain)

          by edg on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 04:43:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Try war gaming Vicksburg (3+ / 0-)

          That will change your mind about Grant.  Same for Petersburg/seige of Richmond.  Grant won these battles the only way they could have been won--and many generals failed trying to do what he did, nail down Lee until he was too weak to fight and too surrounded to run. The taking of Vicksburg from the south (sailing under the guns) was sheer genius and absolute daring.  Disclosure:  One of my relatives commanded Grant's Battery No.1 at Vicksburg until he was killed stopping the last Confederate attempt to break the siege.  He is buried on the field there.  Sherman was a great general; the Grant-Sherman combination rivaled and I believe would have beaten that of Lee-Jackson if they had ever been fated to meet.

          These Republicans have filibustered more . . . while accomplishing less . . . (and) while attempting to block more nominees than any other Congress in the history of our republic--Jon Stewart

          by monkeybrainpolitics on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 09:42:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I remember (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pengiep

            in a Civil War/Reconstruction class I took, I asked the professor if it was true, as some claim, that Lee was a better general than Grant.

            The response? "Well, Grant won, so there's your answer."

            I would also argue that, as indispensable Union generals go, Sheridan doesn't get mentioned often enough.  

          •  The Vicksburg campaign was genius. (0+ / 0-)

            Grant's reputation as a butcher was a necessary part of the Lost Cause mythology which pervaded the history of the Civil War until at least the 20's and 30's. Southerners needed to reconcile the innate superiority of Southern gentlemen and cavaliers with the inconvenient fact that they managed to lose. So they taught that Grant was a talentless hack whose sole military virtue was that he was ruthless enough to sacrifice thousands, and finally overcome the gallant boys in gray with sheer numbers and materiel.

            This mythology found some superficial support in the Overland campaign, which started in the summer of 1864 and persisted through the siege of Petersburg/Richmond. Grant did indeed suffer huge casualties.

            The problem was that not only was he facing a veteran army used to winning, with excellent leadership from Lee, Longstreet, et al., and very high morale, he was fighting in an environment ideally suited to defense. Lee, who after the catastrophe of Pickett's charge at Gettysburg had finally realized that attacking fortified positions was suicidal, chose rightly to deny Grant the chance to meet him in the open field. In addition, the theater was narrow--between the Appalachians and the Atlantic--and crossed by numerous rivers running more or less East-West. It was a defensive set up and an offensive nightmare. Still, Grant twice turned Lee, once at North Anna and once landing at Petersburg, and only the lack of speed and aggression on the part of his subordinate generals prevented him from decisively defeating Lee in the summer of 1864.

            Further, if you look at casualties, Lee lost a higher percentage of the troops under his command than Grant did.

            In the West, however, where Grant had an army he'd trained and conditioned to win, and room to manuever, he did brilliantly. In the Vicksburg campaign, he snuck past the guns of Vicksburg, cut loose of any lines of supply and communication, and instead of going directly to Vicksburg as would be expected, he went East. He fought major engagements at Jackson, Champion's Hill, and Big Black, and then besieged and took Vicksburg. Even Sherman was terrified when he abandoned his supply line, but Grant decided his army could live off the country as long as it kept moving. Sherman learned this lesson and applied it in Georgia.

            Grant's campaign first to relieve Union troops bottled up in Chattanooga and then defeat Confederate troops who held the high ground (Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge) was also outstanding.

            Grant's generalship was rehabilitated beginning in the '50's, by historians like Bruce Catton, and, ironically, British military historian JFC Fuller. Fuller wrote a book comparing Grant and Lee, and concluded that Grant was the better general. Since then almost every serious historian has recognized Grant's ability. Maybe the best analysis of his character as a leader is found in another work by a British military historian, John Keegan's Mask of Command.

    •  I remember Jackson's slave. (9+ / 0-)

      When he recruited the slave to be his attendant in the field, it was made to look like some sort of job interview. Jackson asks the slave if he would like this duty, as if the slave is going to dare say no. Jackson tells him "the job is yours."

      The only think missing her is Jackson telling him about the free parking, expense reimbursement, paid vacation, and 401K.

      Really made me want to gag. A poor successor to Gettysburg.

      Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

      by RhodeIslandAspie on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 02:41:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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