Review: Book bayonets 'brothers divided' myth of Civil War generals Armistead and HancockSTEVE HALVONIK
SEP 7, 2021
Heroes aren’t born. They are manufactured, made up, invented.
Heroes are social constructs, embedded in popular folklore and passed down from generation to generation to help us process cataclysmic events.
Case in point: Lewis Armistead and Winfield Scott Hancock. The opposing Civil War generals were acquaintances but hardly BFFs, at least by today’s definition. Yet pop culture embellished and promoted their fractured friendship to symbolize how the Civil War divided our nation and pitted “brother against brother.’’
Local author and Civil War buff Tom McMillan deconstructs the Armistead-Hancock myth in his excellent new book, “Armistead and Hancock: Behind the Gettysburg Legend of Two Friends at the Turning Point of the Civil War.’’
“The account of their friendship and ultimate showdown at Gettysburg, when Armistead’s troops attacked Hancock’s troops and both men fell wounded, is one of the astonishing personal stories of the Civil War, and yet its details were distorted in the 20th century by two popular and widely acclaimed works of ‘historic fiction,’’’ McMillan avers.
His assertion is based on...Rest of Article: