I had no desire to go to Gettysburg this summer, I preferred to shed my tears at home.

SWMODave

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John_P_S_Gobin.jpg
georgeanna wade.jpg

Pennsylvania Lt Governor John Peter Shindel Gobin
former Brevet General Union Army
Civil War Nurse Georgeanna "Georgia" Wade McClellan
sister of Gettysburg civilian victim 'Jennie' Wade
While stories of reconciliation give us hope and warm our hearts, the reality of war is not everyone can 'forgive and forget'. At a get together of veterans in Gettysburg in July 1888, it became apparent the wounds were still very deep for some, including non combatants, when General John P S Gobin spoke to a campfire gathering of the Grand Army of the Republic.

A yellowed newspaper account of his remarks, preserved by the general in a scrapbook, evokes a vivid scene for the modern reader. "Gen. Gobin got warmed up and let himself out to the shouts of approval and cheers of delight from the listeners. He said he was tired of hearing so much gush about Pickett's charge, as though they were the only heroes of the day. He said they simply charged across the field and were met and repulsed by men as brave and reckless as they, and those who crossed the wall did so as prisoners, with their guns thrown away and their hands thrown up. He thought more distinguished deeds of valor had been performed by divisions of the Union army." .... Gobin rebelled at the sentimentality of the reunion.

The newspaper continued, "... He said the Grand Army of the Republic men were disposed to extend the hand of friendship to their old enemies, but they were getting tired of this gush and pretense for the glorification of a veteran simply because he wore a gray uniform with a Southern flag printed on his badge. That badge meant treason and rebellion in 1861, and what it meant then, it meant now. He thought the idea of reunion was overdone, and was being used only as a leverage to foist certain individuals into notoriety at the expense of the principles for which the North had fought to the elevation of the principles of disloyalty."

Gobin's oratorical finale inspired "wild cheers" from his audience of aging veterans. "The general concluded by saying, 'I want it to be distinctly understood, now and for all time, that the men who wore the blue and fought on this field were everlastingly and eternally right, and that the men who wore the gray were everlastingly and eternally wrong.' "

Gobin's sharp and unwavering expression of his patriotism no doubt jarred many who hoped that the Gettysburg reunion would be a salve to the nation's lingering war wounds. Though it is unclear whether he heard Gobin's fiery address on July 4, Gen. Henry Slocum, who commanded the 12th Army Corps during the 1863 battle, reflected on the reunion as he boarded a train in Gettysburg that same day. "It went off all right, I suppose, but it was a very delicate thing to handle. I hope they will not have it again. Once is enough for such reunions."

When reports of his remarks spread across the country, Gobin received expressions of support, including a letter from a woman with a deep personal connection to Gettysburg. The letter was written on official stationery of the Department of Iowa, Women's Relief Corps, and dated July 15, 1888:

"Dear Sir, Excuse the liberty I take in addressing you. Having been introduced to you at St. Louis last summer, I feel we are not entire strangers. I am the sister of Jennie Wade, who was killed during the battle of Gettysburg, and am very much interested in that battlefield.
"I have just received the Gettysburg paper given a full account of the reunion and the difference of opinions in regard to the meeting of the 'Blues and Grays,' also the reunion held at Round Top and your brave sentiments in the matter (please accept my congratulations).
"The mystery to me is how can the Union soldiers forget that horrid war and its sufferings and shake hands with rebels on so sacred ground as Gettysburg. They surely have more forgiving grace than your humble correspondent, or they have lost sight of the object for which they fought.
"I had no desire to go to Gettysburg this summer, I preferred to shed my tears at home. They can talk about the rebels being reconstructed, but give them a chance and we can whip them again. Hoping this may be received with the spirit it has been written, I remain the true friend of the 'Boys in Blue.' Georgia McClellan"

from The Daily Item Nov 11, 2008 by John Deppen
You can read the original newspaper article in the Butler Citizen July 13, 1888 (here)
 

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JPK Huson 1863

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It's a valuable thread-after her sister was killed Georgiana handed that famous baby to her mother and walked to the hospitals to join most of the other civilian women nursing wounded. She never stopped and her nursing career was badly over shadowed by Jennie/Virginia's death and fame. I think the family finally left Gettysburg, tired of the attention, not sure Georgiana stopped nursing.
 
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I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments expressed in that letter ~ from the other side of course.

... and should I have the chance to reply I would offer these words spoken at Appomattox

“You may forgive us, but we won’t be forgiven. There is a rancor in our hearts which you little dream of. We hate you, sir.”
 

Northern Light

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I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments expressed in that letter ~ from the other side of course.

... and should I have the chance to reply I would offer these words spoken at Appomattox

“You may forgive us, but we won’t be forgiven. There is a rancor in our hearts which you little dream of. We hate you, sir.”
I don't like to appear rude, but I don't understand your thinking here. I can see this coming from a soldier who is bitter at having to surrender at the end of a war in which he fought, but that war ended 153 years ago. Why are you bitter? Don't you like being American? Do you hate the American government?

My great uncle was killed in the First World War, but I don't hate the Germans because of that. I had a cousin who died in the World War II but I don't hate anyone because of that. It is too far removed from me. The Civil War is well removed from your experience, so I don't understand your enmity towards anyone because of that war.

As I say, I don't want to cause a fight, I am just trying to understand why you feel this way.
 
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#6
That war ended 153 years ago.

No it didn't ... I would take me days to expound upon my views on the subject but i will try to say it in short order.

I see how wrong and misinformed people are about that ( war ) and how my beloved confederacy is painted as this great evil upon the world.

and of courses with the name NORTHERN light i already know what you are going to say ... so spare me please.


This song may help you to understand my feelings

 
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I didn't say "Wrong" side, I said War didn't end the way you wanted it to. People today had nothing to do with it, why hate them? Any war has one winner and one looser. The people involved would have a right to be darn upset, but that is ancient history. Both sides in any war suffer.
 
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I didn't say "Wrong" side, I said War didn't end the way you wanted it to. People today had nothing to do with it, why hate them? Any war has one winner and one looser. The people involved would have a right to be darn upset, but that is ancient history. Both sides in any war suffer.
Ancient history ? ... No Sir ~ that war permeates our lives to this very day ... And the fact that I have to point this out to you makes me think you need to do a lot more research on the effect of your glorious Yankee victory !!!
 

Northern Light

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That war ended 153 years ago.

No it didn't ... I would take me days to expound upon my views on the subject but i will try to say it in short order.

I see how wrong and misinformed people are about that ( war ) and how my beloved confederacy is painted as this great evil upon the world.

and of courses with the name NORTHERN light i already know what you are going to say ... so spare me please.


This song may help you to understand my feelings

I am Canadian, I have no dogs in this fight. My ancestors were driven out of Connecticut and New York during the Revolution, had their property stolen and their houses burned, were exiled to an area that was wilderness and faced great hardships. I don't hold that against anyone. It happened, but not to me, just as the Civil War did not happen to you. That war is over, has been for 153 years.

Holding on to such bitterness and hatred must be really tiring for you.
 
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@RebelWeber, I think @Northern Light is right. Make your peace with the past.
You see, I have great sympathies for the South, both because it was the defeated side in your epochal conflict, like my people was defeated in WWII - and because I belong to the much loathed group of people who are convinced that the Civil War was not fought first and foremost about slavery. I think this would be by far too simple, even if slavery was one of those "States Rights" the war was fought over in my opinion. And I'm all against the notion that the Southerners were a bunch of traitors and criminals, just because they wanted to secede from the Union and were forced back. And I have often said, in my opinion a forced Union without including the right to leave is rather a shame than an achievement. So you see, I'm from northern Germany, but geography says nothing about sympathies. But I ask you to consider if the bitter disappointment of 1865 should not give way to the thought that the United States as they are now are a very good place to live? For everyone? Shouldn't the hostilities better be put aside than continue to lead to playing that terrible game of tit for tat: racist crimes leading to removal of monuments of Confederate leaders, leading to more adversity or beware, even hate, ad infinitum? Aren't you leading a good life, as a Southerner, now, 153 years after the war? As I am leading a good life 73 years after ours?

My great uncle was killed in the First World War, but I don't hate the Germans because of that. I had a cousin who died in the World War II but I don't hate anyone because of that.
Nor do I, although our cities were destroyed and countless families (mine included) lost everything, their home as well as all their worldly possessions.
Hate does not lead anywhere! I so marvel at the fact that here on this internet site the children of men who were enemies in World War II, who shot and killed each other, truly can become friends so that hopefully we will never again fight on different sides!!
Keep your Southern traditions alive, be proud of your Southern heritage, but remember that tradition does not mean guarding the ashes, but passing on the flame. Let it not be the flame of hate, but the warming fire of Southern hospitality and friendship!

(and now follows a line from the movie Gettysburg, when Jeff Daniels as Joshua Chamberlain said "Sorry. I didn't mean to preach!")
 

Northern Light

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@RebelWeber, I think @Northern Light is right. Make your peace with the past.
You see, I have great sympathies for the South, both because it was the defeated side in your epochal conflict, like my people was defeated in WWII - and because I belong to the much loathed group of people who are convinced that the Civil War was not fought first and foremost about slavery. I think this would be by far too simple, even if slavery was one of those "States Rights" the war was fought over in my opinion. And I'm all against the notion that the Southerners were a bunch of traitors and criminals, just because they wanted to secede from the Union and were forced back. And I have often said, in my opinion a forced Union without including the right to leave is rather a shame than an achievement. So you see, I'm from northern Germany, but geography says nothing about sympathies. But I ask you to consider if the bitter disappointment of 1865 should not give way to the thought that the United States as they are now are a very good place to live? For everyone? Shouldn't the hostilities better be put aside than continue to lead to playing that terrible game of tit for tat: racist crimes leading to removal of monuments of Confederate leaders, leading to more adversity or beware, even hate, ad infinitum? Aren't you leading a good life, as a Southerner, now, 153 years after the war? As I am leading a good life 73 years after our
Nor do I, although our cities were destroyed and countless families (mine included) lost everything, their home as well as all their worldly possessions.
Hate does not lead anywhere! I so marvel at the fact that here on this internet site the children of men who were enemies in World War II, who shot and killed each other, truly can become friends so that hopefully we will never again fight on different sides!!
Keep your Southern traditions alive, be proud of your Southern heritage, but remember that tradition does not mean guarding the ashes, but passing on the flame. Let it not be the flame of hate, but the warming fire of Southern hospitality and friendship!

(and now follows a line from the movie Gettysburg, when Jeff Daniels as Joshua Chamberlain said "Sorry. I didn't mean to preach!")
Thank you for your comments, FF. The past is in the past. Carrying a burden of hatred and bitterness only hurts the bearer.
 
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" I don't hold that against anyone. It happened, but not to me, just as the Civil War did not happen to you. That war is over, has been for 153 years. "


Tell that to the Jews about the holocaust ... and let me know the response you get


btw .. nice ad hominem attack - Good wording
 

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" I don't hold that against anyone. It happened, but not to me, just as the Civil War did not happen to you. That war is over, has been for 153 years. "


Tell that to the Jews about the holocaust ... and let me know the response you get


btw .. nice ad hominem attack - Good wording
As I said, I really wanted to know your feelings, as they are incomprehensible to me.
"ad hominem attack" ? I was just observing that anger takes a lot of energy. If I wanted to attack you, it would not be ad hominem, you would know it.

As for the Jews, that is modern politics, so inappropriate for this thread.
 
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As I said, I really wanted to know your feelings, as they are incomprehensible to me.
"ad hominem attack" ? I was just observing that anger takes a lot of energy. If I wanted to attack you, it would not be ad hominem, you would know it.

As for the Jews, that is modern politics, so inappropriate for this thread.

The war is over - its in the past - it didn't happen to me -( 150 years vs 75 years ) I'm done with this conversation anyway ... I'll let you have the last word because i know you simply must have it !



Why do I hate Yankees ... because they are Yankees !
 
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Ancient history ? ... No Sir ~ that war permeates our lives to this very day ... And the fact that I have to point this out to you makes me think you need to do a lot more research on the effect of your glorious Yankee victory !!!
I belive my knowledge of wars in general tells me terrible things occur on both sides. So then, the Northener's did not suffer, men were not slaughtered in battle, limbs weren't amputated, children didn't loose their fathers, wives and family didn't loose their love ones, prisoners weren't mistreated or killed and all was roses for the North. Since that is your take on the Civil War, I leave you in your thoughts to think what you want and as a greater man then both of us said "Let There Be Peace"
 
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#19
I belive my knowledge of wars in general tells me terrible things occur on both sides. So then, the Northener's did not suffer, men were not slaughtered in battle, limbs weren't amputated, children didn't loose their fathers, wives and family didn't loose their love ones, prisoners weren't mistreated or killed and all was roses for the North. Since that is your take on the Civil War, I leave you in your thoughts to think what you want and as a greater man then both of us said "Let There Be Peace"
... and I will leave you sir with a quote from Jefferson Davis

" All we ask is to be left alone"
 



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