Discussion What most started your lifelong interest in the American Civil War?

What most started your lifelong interest in the American Civil War?


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H. B. Woodruff

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May 10, 2019
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My father was a history nut when I was a kid. I was incredibly infatuated with Abe Lincoln growing up. He was a fellow Illinoisan. Every memorial day in Pecatonica Illinois there was a civil war reenactment. My first time out was age 7 in 1991 as a confederate. I held the flag and did what every child flag bearer does at a Civil War reenactment...wave it defiantly. I marched in the parade with that reb artillery unit, though I do not know who they were. Sometime around that time my father told me he used to Civil War reenact. I got him back into the hobby and ever since then I have been hooked.
 

GwilymT

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Pittsburgh
AN ACCURATE NAME FOR THE WAR OF 1861

The War of 1861 is commonly, but erroneously, called "The Civil War."

By definition, a civil war involves two or more factions within a single nation battling over which faction will rule the nation.

Not since the French and Indian War (1754-1763) has there been a civil war fought between Caucasians on the American continent north of the Rio Grande.

Examples of civil wars:

☞ The English Civil War (1642-1651) pitted Parliamentarians (Roundheads) against Royalists (Cavaliers) over who would govern England.

☞ The French and Indian War (1754-1763) was, in part, a war between the British and the French, fought in Canada over who would control Canada. (What is now the nation of Canada was then a group of British and French colonies.)

☞ The Russian Civil War (1917-1922) was a series of battles between the Red Army (Bolsheviks) and the White Russians (anti-Bolsheviks) over who would rule Russia.

☞ The Irish Civil War (1922-1923) was fought between pro-Treaty forces and anti-Treaty forces over whether Ireland would be a dominion within the British Empire or a republic to itself.

☞ The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) saw La Banda Republicana battling La Banda Nacional to determine who would rule Spain.

☞ The Rwandan Civil War (1990-1994) involved Hutus fighting Tutsis for control of Rwanda.

In the War of 1861, as in the War of 1776, the fighting was not between two or more factions within a single nation fighting for control of that nation; rather, it was the Confederate States of America vs. the United States of America -- two separate nations -- fighting over the question of independence for one of the nations.

The War of 1861 was an almost exact replay of the War of 1776:

In the 1770s, Virginia, the two Carolinas, Georgia, and nine other States seceded from the British Empire.
In the 1860s, Virginia, the two Carolinas, Georgia, and nine other States seceded from the United States of America.

In the 1770s, the British Empire could have simply let the seceding States go in peace.
In the 1860s, the United States of America could have simply let the seceding States go in peace.

In the 1770s, the British Empire did not want to lose the seceding States, so they attacked.
In the 1860s, the United States of America did not want to lose the seceding States, so they attacked.

In the War of 1776, the British Empire's objective in fighting was to force the seceded States to rejoin the British Empire.
In the War of 1861, the United States of America's objective in fighting was to force the seceded States to rejoin the United States of America.

In the War of 1776, the seceding States' objective in fighting was in response to being invaded by British forces.
In the War of 1861, the seceding States' objective in fighting was in response to being invaded by United States forces.

In both wars, one side was battling for independence while the other side was battling to prevent independence.

Since the War of 1776 is often referred to as The War for American Independence, a very-much-to-the-point name for the War of 1861 is The War for Southern Independence.
Welcome!

You should check out all of the threads about the most accurate name for the War of the Rebellion. You’ll find many people who will both agree with you and disagree. This thread is about how people became interested in the war. What was it for you?
 
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ucvrelics

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With out a doubt it would be when my Grand-Pappy took my brother and I to Shiloh to shows us where our family had fought in the War Against Northern Aggression. I found a standout white minnie ball in the banks of a dirt road on the park and its been game on ever since.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2019
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4
With me it was pretty much all the choices on the poll, and then some. I can't remember ever not being aware of the Civil War. I have both Union and Confederate ancestors, and as soon as I was old enough to read, I started devouring all the Civil War material I could get my hands on. I grew up not far from the Port Hudson, Louisiana battlefield, and the Bobby Horton song tapes were a staple feature of musical entertainment in my childhood years. I will say, though, that two films in particular, Red Runs the River (1963) and Gettysburg (1993), left an especially profound and lasting influence on my psyche.
 

Lindahs1

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Dec 1, 2008
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Location
California
I completely misread what you were saying about your gr-grandpa. I’m cringing at my replies to you. I get it now. I’m a dingbat.
 

CLuckJD

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Nov 19, 2018
Messages
167
Location
MS, USA
For me, it was discovering how that war had both good and bad impact on US Black folks. Two most insightful pieces of delightful knowledge came from learning that: 1) Black Dispatches got busy turning prejudiced biases against their arch enemies as THE most valuable source of Union intelligence; and 2) Black Moses aka 'General Tubman' bka Harriet Tubman as first woman in US history to lead armed military conflict on SC's Combahee River. By so doing, she managed to liberate almost 800 slaves amid cries of overseers' lies that Union ships would take them to Cuba, then make sugar plantation laborers with short lives out of them in very short order.

One more exceptional exemplar must not go without mention of then 22-year-old Robert Smalls when he sailed a confederate supply vessel right past Charleston's heavily-guarded harbor into safe Union harbors. The US govt. later showed its appreciation for Mr. Smalls' brave action by monetary compensation equal to 50% of that ship's resale value.

So the long lists go on ad infinitum... :smile:
 

damYankee

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Joined
Aug 12, 2011
Messages
3,877
I voted stories about family history,
In 1955 my dad drove our family 125 miles to pick up my mother's grandfather, he had abandoned my g grandmother years before and now he was returning, I was only 5, and didn't really comprehend what was going on.
But on the way back home I sat in the back seat with him listening to his stories about the first time he had made that same trip in 1885 by stage coach. I was hooked on history after that day.
But it got better, he stayed with us for a few weeks, and told me about his father who served in the 4th Iowa Cav.
I was a child and knew nothing about the Civil War, but now I became obsessed, it was after that that I learned that all of my g grandparents had served in the Civil War, as had their siblings.
I'll never forget my dads mother telling me that her father's family had come from Rolla, Missouri, the city literally split down the middle. Brothers fought brothers, father's against sons. Her grandfather had joined the CSA and was killed in the war.
How odd I thought that my ancestors has actually fought against each other. And still their children had married and moved on.
 

Rick Richter

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Dec 6, 2012
Messages
59
Great question, poll, and so many great responses. Of course like most of us “all of the above” would be accurate for me, but since we are asked to narrow it down I point to David Greenspan’s maps as well. We spent many hours taking over the living room floor with Blue and Gray plastic men and Lincoln Logs. Dragging my parents to Gettysburg and Antietam and learning not to always be the first to raise his hand with the answer in history class came later...
Yup, I spent hours doing the same thing. I used to also incorporate my HO train set with my plastic soldiers to re-create the battle of Atlanta.
 

unionblue

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Feb 20, 2005
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Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
AN ACCURATE NAME FOR THE WAR OF 1861

The War of 1861 is commonly, but erroneously, called "The Civil War."

By definition, a civil war involves two or more factions within a single nation battling over which faction will rule the nation.

Not since the French and Indian War (1754-1763) has there been a civil war fought between Caucasians on the American continent north of the Rio Grande.

Examples of civil wars:

☞ The English Civil War (1642-1651) pitted Parliamentarians (Roundheads) against Royalists (Cavaliers) over who would govern England.

☞ The French and Indian War (1754-1763) was, in part, a war between the British and the French, fought in Canada over who would control Canada. (What is now the nation of Canada was then a group of British and French colonies.)

☞ The Russian Civil War (1917-1922) was a series of battles between the Red Army (Bolsheviks) and the White Russians (anti-Bolsheviks) over who would rule Russia.

☞ The Irish Civil War (1922-1923) was fought between pro-Treaty forces and anti-Treaty forces over whether Ireland would be a dominion within the British Empire or a republic to itself.

☞ The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) saw La Banda Republicana battling La Banda Nacional to determine who would rule Spain.

☞ The Rwandan Civil War (1990-1994) involved Hutus fighting Tutsis for control of Rwanda.

In the War of 1861, as in the War of 1776, the fighting was not between two or more factions within a single nation fighting for control of that nation; rather, it was the Confederate States of America vs. the United States of America -- two separate nations -- fighting over the question of independence for one of the nations.

The War of 1861 was an almost exact replay of the War of 1776:

In the 1770s, Virginia, the two Carolinas, Georgia, and nine other States seceded from the British Empire.
In the 1860s, Virginia, the two Carolinas, Georgia, and nine other States seceded from the United States of America.

In the 1770s, the British Empire could have simply let the seceding States go in peace.
In the 1860s, the United States of America could have simply let the seceding States go in peace.

In the 1770s, the British Empire did not want to lose the seceding States, so they attacked.
In the 1860s, the United States of America did not want to lose the seceding States, so they attacked.

In the War of 1776, the British Empire's objective in fighting was to force the seceded States to rejoin the British Empire.
In the War of 1861, the United States of America's objective in fighting was to force the seceded States to rejoin the United States of America.

In the War of 1776, the seceding States' objective in fighting was in response to being invaded by British forces.
In the War of 1861, the seceding States' objective in fighting was in response to being invaded by United States forces.

In both wars, one side was battling for independence while the other side was battling to prevent independence.

Since the War of 1776 is often referred to as The War for American Independence, a very-much-to-the-point name for the War of 1861 is The War for Southern Independence.
Wrong and off topic.
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
14,931
Location
South of the North 40
AN ACCURATE NAME FOR THE WAR OF 1861

The War of 1861 is commonly, but erroneously, called "The Civil War."

By definition, a civil war involves two or more factions within a single nation battling over which faction will rule the nation.

Not since the French and Indian War (1754-1763) has there been a civil war fought between Caucasians on the American continent north of the Rio Grande.

Examples of civil wars:

☞ The English Civil War (1642-1651) pitted Parliamentarians (Roundheads) against Royalists (Cavaliers) over who would govern England.

☞ The French and Indian War (1754-1763) was, in part, a war between the British and the French, fought in Canada over who would control Canada. (What is now the nation of Canada was then a group of British and French colonies.)

☞ The Russian Civil War (1917-1922) was a series of battles between the Red Army (Bolsheviks) and the White Russians (anti-Bolsheviks) over who would rule Russia.

☞ The Irish Civil War (1922-1923) was fought between pro-Treaty forces and anti-Treaty forces over whether Ireland would be a dominion within the British Empire or a republic to itself.

☞ The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) saw La Banda Republicana battling La Banda Nacional to determine who would rule Spain.

☞ The Rwandan Civil War (1990-1994) involved Hutus fighting Tutsis for control of Rwanda.

In the War of 1861, as in the War of 1776, the fighting was not between two or more factions within a single nation fighting for control of that nation; rather, it was the Confederate States of America vs. the United States of America -- two separate nations -- fighting over the question of independence for one of the nations.

The War of 1861 was an almost exact replay of the War of 1776:

In the 1770s, Virginia, the two Carolinas, Georgia, and nine other States seceded from the British Empire.
In the 1860s, Virginia, the two Carolinas, Georgia, and nine other States seceded from the United States of America.

In the 1770s, the British Empire could have simply let the seceding States go in peace.
In the 1860s, the United States of America could have simply let the seceding States go in peace.

In the 1770s, the British Empire did not want to lose the seceding States, so they attacked.
In the 1860s, the United States of America did not want to lose the seceding States, so they attacked.

In the War of 1776, the British Empire's objective in fighting was to force the seceded States to rejoin the British Empire.
In the War of 1861, the United States of America's objective in fighting was to force the seceded States to rejoin the United States of America.

In the War of 1776, the seceding States' objective in fighting was in response to being invaded by British forces.
In the War of 1861, the seceding States' objective in fighting was in response to being invaded by United States forces.

In both wars, one side was battling for independence while the other side was battling to prevent independence.

Since the War of 1776 is often referred to as The War for American Independence, a very-much-to-the-point name for the War of 1861 is The War for Southern Independence.
If the term “Civil War” is good enough for Robert E Lee & Jefferson Davis it’s good enough for me.
 


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