Discussion America’s divides have never been simple. Neither was Pennsylvania’s Civil War history

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lurid

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Most of the sightseers and picnickers were from D C society, coming behind the Federal army. No doubt there were some Confederate partisan civilians watching, but they lived where the battle took place.
Southern newspapers were not much different from Northern ones. They printed what they wanted the readers to see. The only case I know about involving CSA censorship was once Richmond newspapers were asked not to print anything about the bread riots.
Some very zealous Union officers did shut down some Northern newspapers. Occasionally a pro-union paper was stopped in the South. Newspapers in both sections were generally free to print as they wished, often, I think, it was fiction.
There's always these posts that try to equate blame and all them are just nauseating. Your assertions that southern newspapers were not much different than northern papers is fundamentally flawed and erroneous to say the least.

Civilians in the south did not remotely have the same comfort level as civilians in the north, and neither did the Confederates have the same luxuries as the northern soldier, and that is a fact. Southern territory was invaded, with the exception of Gettysburg and some minor skirmishes here and there the north was not invaded, that's a fact. The south had a quasi famine or a full-fledged famine and the north didn't, that's a fact.

The northern economy was thriving and south's was in a enormous economic downturn, that's a fact. The south had hyperinflation on its currency, north had some inflation, that's a fact. North had the entire southern perimeter surrounded by land a sea and taking chunks of territory within the southern heartland at will. The desertion rates were high on both sides, but north had replacements and south did not, that's a fact.

The south had all the ingredients for propaganda machine to twist truth and insert fiction. For the record, the Union army and the northern citizens might have been annoyed because of the timetable for things to transpire, but they were not even close to exhaustion. Therefore, severely doubt the propaganda in the northern papers was remotely close to propaganda printed in the south, so your post is just another argument to equate shame and another Civil War fantasy post.
 

lurid

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I do agree, PA going the other way could have shifted things dramatically. Even if Maryland seceded, I don't believe PA would have. Gov. Andrew Curtain was far too much a Lincoln man for that to happen. And he seemed to have quite a lot of support among the citizenry.

Imagine 360,000 additional Confederate troops? All on top of everything else we'd have brought into the Confederacy? That would have been a huge blow to the Union.

Although that hypothetical scenario isn't practical when considering the fact that we'd have been surrounded on at least 3, possibly all 4 sides by Union states. Two of which were no slouches in manpower, New York and Ohio were 1st and 3rd in troops provided, respectively. PA was 2nd.
I don't believe PA would have flipped either, and that's precisely my point. This thread is nothing but a guide of Civil War fantasies to equate blame and to use diversionary tactics to diminish responsibility for trying to sustain slavery.

I lived in PA the better part of my life and never had one informal conversation about the Civil War, moreover, I never heard a good or bad word about southerners, just indifference was displayed if they were ever brought up. Conversely, the Civil War has not ended in the south so it is fresh in their memories with all their silly flags and overly sentimental memorabilia that would best kept for a bedtime story and never discussed again.

My point is that if there was that big of Confederate sympathy group in PA, we would have heard the stories and it would be fresh in the hearts and minds of Pennsylvanians, but not a word of deference, sympathy nor any criticism nor anything was ever said about the south. I mean nothing. If there were Confederate sympathizers back then they certainty were a remnant and were weeded out fast.
 

Yankee Brooke

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I don't believe PA would have flipped either, and that's precisely my point. This thread is nothing but a guide of Civil War fantasies to equate blame and to use diversionary tactics to diminish responsibility for trying to sustain slavery.

I lived in PA the better part of my life and never had one informal conversation about the Civil War, moreover, I never heard a good or bad word about southerners, just indifference was displayed if they were ever brought up. Conversely, the Civil War has not ended in the south so it is fresh in their memories with all their silly flags and overly sentimental memorabilia that would best kept for a bedtime story and never discussed again.

My point is that if there was that big of Confederate sympathy group in PA, we would have heard the stories and it would be fresh in the hearts and minds of Pennsylvanians, but not a word of deference, sympathy nor any criticism nor anything was ever said about the south. I mean nothing. If there were Confederate sympathizers back then they certainty were a remnant and were weeded out fast.
I do see an awful lot of Confederate flag license plates around here though...
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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I lived in PA the better part of my life and never had one informal conversation about the Civil War, moreover, I never heard a good or bad word about southerners, just indifference was displayed if they were ever brought up. Conversely, the Civil War has not ended in the south so it is fresh in their memories with all their silly flags and overly sentimental memorabilia that would best kept for a bedtime story and never discussed again.

Yes, but those Ravens. We heard about them. :D Sorry, Steelers fan who celebrated with everyone else when Philadelphia won.

The thing is ( and I'm not being argumentative or taking a side, honest ) I have an idea that if anyone had addressed the tsunami of misery that swept over the South we wouldn't be in this still-divisive spot today. I know that's extremely simplistic-there are other factors. Here in the north we have Chambersburg's invasion. Far different than Gettysburg's, the idea was to destroy the town, not hold a battle there. That's a topic that causes a big argument into 2019 and why? Because the same thing happened to Southern civilians times a gazillion. That doesn't let anyone off the hook but it explains ( to me ) why strong anti-Yankee sentiment persisted and persists. Northerners who raked in profits and scroungers picking up post war gleanings didn't help.

You know the whole ' War is h*ll ' quite by Sherman? I've always felt it excusatory- there's a perspective what he did ended the war earlier than it would have and saved lives. It was brutal, hearing it praised with a kinda bumper sticker basely callous. There's another we hear here sometimes about ' they had it coming, they shouldn't have started the war '. Bleah. Sherman's toothpicks were the chimneys of homes burned to the ground and it wasn't just plantations, you know? Member here wrote a book about her family's experiences when the South became a battlefield. Hers is extraordinarily even handed, no patriotic fervor just ' what happened '. What happened is some lived in the woods and ate the family horse. Churches, back yards, neighborhoods, parks- became part of a battlefield.

Obviously various agenda promoters have picked up History, molded it into a weapon and promoted divisiveness but it grew out of something else. You know Mother's Day? Original idea was a post war reach-out to each other by Anna Jarvis's mother. Like everything else it swiftly became the gooey, sentimentalized, commercialized Hallmark moment we have today. Southern and Northern women reached out to each other to try to heal war's awful wounds in this country. IMO if we'd done that as a country we seriously wouldn't be where we are today. Wounds don't heal when they're left to fester, you know?
 

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I'm not quite sure why I see as much Confederate sympathy as I do here, particularly from people who actually know little about the war. Is it some people's way of "sticking it to the man" perhaps? was there a period of migration from the South to my area after the war, and their ancestors are celebrating their roots? I have no idea. Maybe this area had a lot of Peace Democrats, as even today it most definitely leans conservative, even up to actual sympathy and support?

My county did raise a few companies for the Union. No full regiments, but I believe that had more to do with population density than desire. The population in 1861 was pretty minuscule, so the fact we even got a few companies was pretty good.
 

lurid

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Yes, but those Ravens. We heard about them. :D Sorry, Steelers fan who celebrated with everyone else when Philadelphia won.

The thing is ( and I'm not being argumentative or taking a side, honest ) I have an idea that if anyone had addressed the tsunami of misery that swept over the South we wouldn't be in this still-divisive spot today. I know that's extremely simplistic-there are other factors. Here in the north we have Chambersburg's invasion. Far different than Gettysburg's, the idea was to destroy the town, not hold a battle there. That's a topic that causes a big argument into 2019 and why? Because the same thing happened to Southern civilians times a gazillion. That doesn't let anyone off the hook but it explains ( to me ) why strong anti-Yankee sentiment persisted and persists. Northerners who raked in profits and scroungers picking up post war gleanings didn't help.

You know the whole ' War is h*ll ' quite by Sherman? I've always felt it excusatory- there's a perspective what he did ended the war earlier than it would have and saved lives. It was brutal, hearing it praised with a kinda bumper sticker basely callous. There's another we hear here sometimes about ' they had it coming, they shouldn't have started the war '. Bleah. Sherman's toothpicks were the chimneys of homes burned to the ground and it wasn't just plantations, you know? Member here wrote a book about her family's experiences when the South became a battlefield. Hers is extraordinarily even handed, no patriotic fervor just ' what happened '. What happened is some lived in the woods and ate the family horse. Churches, back yards, neighborhoods, parks- became part of a battlefield.

Obviously various agenda promoters have picked up History, molded it into a weapon and promoted divisiveness but it grew out of something else. You know Mother's Day? Original idea was a post war reach-out to each other by Anna Jarvis's mother. Like everything else it swiftly became the gooey, sentimentalized, commercialized Hallmark moment we have today. Southern and Northern women reached out to each other to try to heal war's awful wounds in this country. IMO if we'd done that as a country we seriously wouldn't be where we are today. Wounds don't heal when they're left to fester, you know?
I'm a Dallas Cowboy fan :smile:. Uncle Billy did nothing wrong. :furious:Thanks for posting, it was insightful..
 
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lurid

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I'm not quite sure why I see as much Confederate sympathy as I do here, particularly from people who actually know little about the war. Is it some people's way of "sticking it to the man" perhaps? was there a period of migration from the South to my area after the war, and their ancestors are celebrating their roots? I have no idea. Maybe this area had a lot of Peace Democrats, as even today it most definitely leans conservative, even up to actual sympathy and support?

My county did raise a few companies for the Union. No full regiments, but I believe that had more to do with population density than desire. The population in 1861 was pretty minuscule, so the fact we even got a few companies was pretty good.
I grew up in and lived in Alleghany county the better part of my life and never heard such nonsense. Like I said, never remotely a word, heck I don't ever remember them delving into the war in school, they glossed over it. Mother said the same thing that she was not taught about the CW either when she was in school, and she's in her early 70s.
 
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I grew up in and lived in Alleghany county the better part of my life and never heard such nonsense. Like I said, never remotely a word, heck I don't ever remember them delving into the war in school, they glossed over it. Mother said the same thing that she was not taught about the CW either when she was in school, and she's in her early 70s.
Just to confirm, are you saying that you won't remember ever having studied the Civil War in school? And are you also saying that your mother did not study the Civil War in school either?

I just want to make sure that I understand correctly.

Did you and your mother both grow up in Allegheny County? My late mother grew up inside the Pittsburgh city limits, so my mother was also from Allegheny County. (Obviously, I cannot ask my mother now whether she ever studied the Civil War when she was in school. I mean, technically I could grab a Ouija Board and ask her now. However, Halloween is over.)

It's interesting to read fresh perspectives.

I grew up in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Several of the teachers in my school district were Civil War re-enacters at Gettysburg. I have no idea if any of them sympathized with the Confederacy. Once of them dressed up in his re-enactment gear for history class when I was in the seventh grade, but he wore the uniform of a Union soldier.

When I was in the seventh grade, we spent about 75% of our "Civil War class time" discussing the Battle of Gettsyburg, and we had one entire history exam that was just the Battle of Gettysburg and nothing else.

My seventh grade history teacher taught us that the Civil War was caused by "States Rights" and not slavery, and we had to learn that for a test. I have no idea if my seventh grade history teacher was a Confederate sympathizer.

I learned later that Pennsylvania history teachers (or school districts, I guess) are allowed to write their own curriculums. (I learned this from my dad. My dad is a retired teacher who taught high school history in the Pennsylvania school district that is adjacent to the school district that I attended. My dad was allowed to write his own history curriculum.)
 
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lurid

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Just to confirm, are you saying that you won't remember ever having studied the Civil War in school? And are you also saying that your mother did not study the Civil War in school either?

I just want to make sure that I understand correctly.

Did you and your mother both grow up in Allegheny County? My late mother grew up inside the Pittsburgh city limits, so my mother was also from Allegheny County. (Obviously, I cannot ask my mother now whether she ever studied the Civil War when she was in school.)

It's interesting to read fresh perspectives.

I grew up in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Several of the teachers in my school district were Civil War re-enacters at Gettysburg. I have no idea if any of them sympathized with the Confederacy. Once of them dressed up in his re-enactment gear for history class when I was in seventh grade, but he wore the uniform of a Union soldier.

When I was in the seventh grade, we spent about 75% of our "Civil War class time" discussing the Battle of Gettsyburg, and we had one entire history exam that was just the Battle of Gettysburg and nothing else.

My seventh grade history teacher taught us that the Civil War was caused by "States Rights" and not slavery, and we had to learn that for a test. I have no idea if my seventh grade history teacher was a Confederate sympathizer. I learned later that Pennsylvania history teachers are allowed to write their own curriculums.
I'm saying that I went to junior school and high school during the middle and late 1980s and the Civil War was glossed over: I.e... Lincoln the great liberator, Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln preserved the Union. That's it. They never delved into any deep things like battles. Yes, my mother is from Allegheny County, she said she doesn't remember learning about the Civil War in school either.

Listen, my long time girlfriend is from Birmingham, Alabama and my friends and family up there in Pittsburgh have zero interest in her. They say nothing good nor anything bad, they are completely indifferent towards her or anything from the south. It's totally embarrassing. You other Pennsylvanians had a different experience than me and seems all so odd. Confederate sympathizers? Heck, I don't know if the people I'm affiliated with from Pittsburgh even know the Confederacy even existed. I'm being dead serious.
 
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You other Pennsylvanians had a different experience than me and seems all so odd.
Thank you for your perspective. I, personally, find it very refreshing to read about other people's unique experiences.

My late mother was a "city girl" who grew up inside Pittsburgh in the 1960's and 1970's. My mom moved to rural Central Pennsylvania when she married my dad, and then later they moved to rural Western Pennsylvania. My mother and myself had completely different experiences growing up, because my mom grew up in "The City" and I grew up in the middle of nowhere. So, again, I welcome hearing about other people's perspectives.

Edit: I just want to add that the title of this post is "America's divides have never been simple. Neither was Pennsylvania's Civil War history." Well, this most recent dialogue in this thread illustrates that even TODAY, Pennsylvania's "culture" isn't simple.
 

Yankee Brooke

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When I was in the seventh grade, we spent about 75% of our "Civil War class time" discussing the Battle of Gettsyburg, and we had one entire history exam that was just the Battle of Gettysburg and nothing else.

My seventh grade history teacher taught us that the Civil War was caused by "States Rights" and not slavery, and we had to learn that for a test. I have no idea if my seventh grade history teacher was a Confederate sympathizer.
I had a similar experience. Way too much time on Gettysburg, but we did learn a good basic breakdown of the important parts of the rest of the war. We spent some time on the Battle of New Market, mostly about the plight of the VMI Cadets who were mostly close to our age at that point.

I grew up in Monroe County, which is Eastern PA. Not far from the NJ border.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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Well, this most recent dialogue in this thread illustrates that even TODAY, Pennsylvania's "culture" isn't simple.
This. It really isn't. I've lived up and down this side of the state. Please no one get annoyed but around an hour from the NY border no one ( and I mean no one ) mentioned the ACW- there are a few safe houses from Underground RR days pointed to with pride, little else. The tiny town in Schuylkill county where I spent most of my elementary school days was hysterically still pretty tight lipped over the war, Southerners were foreign creatures who'd been soundly defeated by everyone's grandfathers. ( don't yell at me, just drawing the picture ). Further up the county it's the Molly Maguire days most discussed.

Mom went to Wilson College, Chambersburg. I'm sure it's changed by now ( she's 88, graduated in 1954 ) but said the war was still an awful topic there. You just didn't talk about what happened in 1864.

Bucks county was different too. It was years ago but the main history seemed focused on where George slept.

It's odd here in Dauphin county- there are Underground RR houses no one really pays much attention to. One was torn down to make way way for an Arby's, for Heaven's sake. BUT we're not very far from Gettysburg and it's crazy how many people you'd never expect to be interested in the ACW are. A surprising amount know who were their ACW ancestors- not as a point of pride, it's more ' my grandmother's great Uncle Bob is buried in the National Cemetery '. I know quite a few who visit Gettysburg regularly. It's pretty cool. You see the ever controversial flag on license plates here and there, guessing it's more a statement of some kind than family history.

Husband grew up in Pittsburgh, went to Erie. We've probably been to every, single Revolutionary War site and cemetery at your end of the turnpike. He said he grew up being told and re-told Revolutionary War history in the area. You guys have great stuff out there. He doesn't remember much ACW history from school but that could be because he just doesn't remember, not that it wasn't taught.

I'm enjoying hearing perspectives from other areas and generations, thanks for the discussion!
 
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Yankee Brooke

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Our history here is mostly "Sullivan's March" from the Revolution, because they marched through here to fight Natives in NY...other than that just little trivia tidbits. My county didn't really begin to start really growing until the early 90's so not a ton of history.
 

Robin Lesjovitch

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This. It really isn't. I've lived up and down this side of the state. Please no one get annoyed but around an hour from the NY border no one ( and I mean no one ) mentioned the ACW- there are a few safe houses from Underground RR days pointed to with pride, little else. The tiny town in Schuylkill county where I spent most of my elementary school days was hysterically still pretty tight lipped over the war, Southerners were foreign creatures who'd been soundly defeated by everyone's grandfathers. ( don't yell at me, just drawing the picture ). Further up the county it's the Molly Maguire days most discussed.

Mom went to Wilson College, Chambersburg. I'm sure it's changed by now ( she's 88, graduated in 1954 ) but said the war was still an awful topic there. You just didn't talk about what happened in 1864.

Bucks county was different too. It was years ago but the main history seemed focused on where George slept.

It's odd here in Dauphin county- there are Underground RR houses no one really pays much attention to. One was torn down to make way way for an Arby's, for Heaven's sake. BUT we're not very far from Gettysburg and it's crazy how many people you'd never expect to be interested in the ACW are. A surprising amount know who were their ACW ancestors- not as a point of pride, it's more ' my grandmother's great Uncle Bob is buried in the National Cemetery '. I know quite a few who visit Gettysburg regularly. It's pretty cool. You see the ever controversial flag on license plates here and there, guessing it's more a statement of some kind than family history.

Husband grew up in Pittsburgh, went to Erie. We've probably been to every, single Revolutionary War site and cemetery at your end of the turnpike. He said he grew up being told and re-told Revolutionary War history in the area. You guys have great stuff out there. He doesn't remember much ACW history from school but that could be because he just doesn't remember, not that it wasn't taught.

I'm enjoying hearing perspectives from other areas and generations, thanks for the discussion!
One of my direct ancestors was a very unpopular fellow in Bucks County. His difficulty was political nonconformity as he was thought to be a Crown supporter. There was a very nice reward offered for him. The Pennsylvania Committee of Safety was something like we might today imagine a part of the Old West. As far as I know, he and a long list of others are still wanted. This ancestor went to some trouble to avoid some places and people the rest of his life. This difficulty was 80 years before the CW. That is not a long time. The point is that opinions , attitudes and activities we might find foreign today were a part of the United States not that long ago. Because we do not relate to them is really irrelevant to history.
I might find it easier to tolerate the past than some. Some people actually know their great grandparents. Two of my Great Grand Fathers were contemporaries of the Marquis de Lafayette. One was named for him. For me the past is long before a United States.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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One of my direct ancestors was a very unpopular fellow in Bucks County. His difficulty was political nonconformity as he was thought to be a Crown supporter. There was a very nice reward offered for him. The Pennsylvania Committee of Safety was something like we might today imagine a part of the Old West. As far as I know, he and a long list of others are still wanted. This ancestor went to some trouble to avoid some places and people the rest of his life. This difficulty was 80 years before the CW. That is not a long time. The point is that opinions , attitudes and activities we might find foreign today were a part of the United States not that long ago. Because we do not relate to them is really irrelevant to history.
I might find it easier to tolerate the past than some. Some people actually know their great grandparents. Two of my Great Grand Fathers were contemporaries of the Marquis de Lafayette. One was named for him. For me the past is long before a United States.

Too funny, he's still wanted. They may wish to clean up the books, no?

Odd, how we don't frequently discuss what happened - as in the divide Crown V Colonies. Great ( however many times ) also fought for the wrong George. I'd just been having some fun poking around in old records, trying to ascertain how many claimed Revolutionary War soldiers really were. You know what it's like- everyone had ancestors at Valley Forge and before that everyone lived in a castle. It's a little funny, thought I'd play. WELL. Found what one was really up to and he was a stubborn defender of British rule. Oops.

Weird thing I'm still trying to figure out is the family didn't forfeit a thing, seem to have continued post Revolution exactly where and how they did pre-war. Not wealthy, not anyone in particular, just a guy who owned a pub. Story there somewhere.
 
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Robin Lesjovitch

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Too funny, he's still wanted. They may wish to clean up the books, no?

Odd, how we don't frequently discuss what happened - as in the divide Crown V Colonies. Great ( however many times ) also fought for the wrong George. I'd just been having some fun poking around in old records, trying to ascertain how many claimed Revolutionary War soldiers really were. You know what it's like- everyone had ancestors at Valley Forge and before that everyone lived in a castle. It's a little funny, thought I'd play. WELL. Found what one was really up to and he was a stubborn defender of British rule. Oops.

Weird thing I'm still trying to figure out is the family didn't forfeit a thing, seem to have continued post Revolution exactly where and how they did pre-war. Not wealthy, not anyone in particular, just a guy who owned a pub. Story there somewhere.
I had ancestors on both sides of the CW. None at Valley Forge I don't think. Earlier some did live in castles. One small thread of my ancestry is easy to plot and to a long time ago. No direct ancestors of mine are of any note for the last 800 years.
A buddy of mine who had some genealogical work done declared to me one day "I'm a descendant of Charlemagne". I stared at him and said "Who isn't?". He had to laugh.
I have a hard time thinking people really set out to be what they are. They all form as to when, where, and how they grow up.I cannot blame people for what they were 160 years ago... I doubt most had a choice as to how they thought.
 
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American87

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I'm saying that I went to junior school and high school during the middle and late 1980s and the Civil War was glossed over: I.e... Lincoln the great liberator, Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln preserved the Union. That's it. They never delved into any deep things like battles. Yes, my mother is from Allegheny County, she said she doesn't remember learning about the Civil War in school either.

Listen, my long time girlfriend is from Birmingham, Alabama and my friends and family up there in Pittsburgh have zero interest in her. They say nothing good nor anything bad, they are completely indifferent towards her or anything from the south. It's totally embarrassing. You other Pennsylvanians had a different experience than me and seems all so odd. Confederate sympathizers? Heck, I don't know if the people I'm affiliated with from Pittsburgh even know the Confederacy even existed. I'm being dead serious.
Exactly. I'm from Philly, and everything here is the Revolution. If you go up to northeast Pennsylvania there's a lot on Indians and early settlements. The Civil War just isn't a big deal here. It was the South's war. The North freed the slaves, and that's basically all we're taught. All that stuff about suspending haebeas corpus, the income tax, and burning Southern homes just doesn't inspire enthusiasm.
 
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This. It really isn't. I've lived up and down this side of the state. Please no one get annoyed but around an hour from the NY border no one ( and I mean no one ) mentioned the ACW- there are a few safe houses from Underground RR days pointed to with pride, little else. The tiny town in Schuylkill county where I spent most of my elementary school days was hysterically still pretty tight lipped over the war, Southerners were foreign creatures who'd been soundly defeated by everyone's grandfathers. ( don't yell at me, just drawing the picture ). Further up the county it's the Molly Maguire days most discussed.

Mom went to Wilson College, Chambersburg. I'm sure it's changed by now ( she's 88, graduated in 1954 ) but said the war was still an awful topic there. You just didn't talk about what happened in 1864.

Bucks county was different too. It was years ago but the main history seemed focused on where George slept.

It's odd here in Dauphin county- there are Underground RR houses no one really pays much attention to. One was torn down to make way way for an Arby's, for Heaven's sake. BUT we're not very far from Gettysburg and it's crazy how many people you'd never expect to be interested in the ACW are. A surprising amount know who were their ACW ancestors- not as a point of pride, it's more ' my grandmother's great Uncle Bob is buried in the National Cemetery '. I know quite a few who visit Gettysburg regularly. It's pretty cool. You see the ever controversial flag on license plates here and there, guessing it's more a statement of some kind than family history.

Husband grew up in Pittsburgh, went to Erie. We've probably been to every, single Revolutionary War site and cemetery at your end of the turnpike. He said he grew up being told and re-told Revolutionary War history in the area. You guys have great stuff out there. He doesn't remember much ACW history from school but that could be because he just doesn't remember, not that it wasn't taught.

I'm enjoying hearing perspectives from other areas and generations, thanks for the discussion!
Molly McGuire's :bounce: I went to gradschool in northeast Pennsylvania, and the Molly McGuire's are such a hot topic there. So is the anthracite coal region. I found a good book about those coal miners in the Civil War:

Palladino, Grace. Another Civil War: Labor, Capital, and the State in the Anthracite Regions of Pennsylvania 1840-68. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1990.

It's categorized as "labor history," but it's interesting war material. The coal miners were Democrats, and they went on strike because they were paid crumbs to work in coal mines. Since the war machine depended on coal, the Republicans were furious and arrested the miners. The book goes more in depth and covers some of the local personalities.

Anyway, Shuylkill County was part of that coal mining scene, so maybe you'd be interested.
 

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I had a similar experience. Way too much time on Gettysburg, but we did learn a good basic breakdown of the important parts of the rest of the war. We spent some time on the Battle of New Market, mostly about the plight of the VMI Cadets who were mostly close to our age at that point.

I grew up in Monroe County, which is Eastern PA. Not far from the NJ border.

I went to grad school at ESU. One of the old school presidents wrote a book on Monroe County during the Civil War. I wish there were more copies, but there's not.

There's a copy in the ESU library, and maybe you can find something online, but who knows. My thesis is on Monroe County on the Civil War too. Once it's defended and printed I could e-mail you a copy if you'd like. Much of the material comes from the Monroe County Historical Association.
 
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