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

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


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    127

Crazy Delawares

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When I was a kid, both of my grandfathers had books on the Civil War. I would almost study the pen&ink drawings (I didn't know they were woodcuts at the time). I loved the uniforms for some odd reason. I loved the kepi and bummer hats. What did I know? I was only 6-8 years old at the time. Then I would watch the TV show, "Johnny Yuma." LOVED that show second only to the "Lone Ranger."

As for the teaching of CW history in schools, as a retired teacher, I believe they need to add a third year of required US History to be taught in the high schools. Curriculums are being watered down now because there is too much history to teach and the Rev War and CW are getting cut from the curriculums. Proposal: One year of World History (which I feel can and should be taught in the Middle Schools) and three years of US History making four years of required history. Just my "soapbox" speechifyin'. Sorry.
 

unionblue

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As for the teaching of CW history in schools, as a retired teacher, I believe they need to add a third year of required US History to be taught in the high schools. Curriculums are being watered down now because there is too much history to teach and the Rev War and CW are getting cut from the curriculums. Proposal: One year of World History (which I feel can and should be taught in the Middle Schools) and three years of US History making four years of required history. Just my "soapbox" speechifyin'. Sorry.
@Crazy Delawares ,

Stay ON that soapbox, my friend, none of us can hear too much about American History.

And you have nothing to be sorry for.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
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Greg Seeley

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I saw a discussion about whether the Civil War needs to be taught more in school for younger people to be interested in it so I decided to make this poll. I know a lot of these factors probably play a role for most people but choose the one that you think is the earliest/most fundamental reason for your interest.

Feel free to elaborate more in the comments.
Reading the letters that my great-grandfather wrote home. That inspired me to write my fictional novels Henry's Pride and Henry's Land: A Broken Peace
 

GunnerSixxCSA

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My love for the Civil War and history came from my Father...he was career military and we got to live in and visit some real historic places.As a kid growing up listening to my Dad explain everything he knew about whichever subject we were discussing or visiting I always thought he knew everything.....he had such wonderful ways of making history come alive...
 
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James N.

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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.
Sounds like this scene from Stone Mountain Park's now-defunct Civil War Battlarena from the 1960's:

1564157958349.png
 

James N.

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I had two 19-year-old 2nd great uncles who lost their lives in this war. That first piqued my interest to learn more.
Reading the letters that my great-grandfather wrote home. That inspired me to write my fictional novels Henry's Pride and Henry's Land: A Broken Peace
Welcome to you both to the forums from the host of the Stonewall Jackson Forum!
 

Lee

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I was quite fortunate to have an Aunt in the family that read extensively and cared for many relics and letters written home by my Confederate ancestors during the war. She gave me a Confederate note (money) that was from my family of course mine was stolen many years later in a burglary of my home. She also had a huge collection of old family bibles. Many years later I had a friend do a huge research project on my family and would not take a dime for his efforts but he traced us back to Daddy and Momma's families landfall from the British Isles. I have it on a thumb drive. Being from the Carolinas I honestly can not remember a time in my life that I wasn't interested in the ACW.
 
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James N.

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1564158723561.png

I honestly have no idea.
Growing up in the '60's, the ACW was in its centennial. Many books and stories about the war were available...
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...
None of the poll options caused my interest. I did have a passing interest in the Civil War, probably just from living in the South, where the battle flag was just a part of the culture... I can't see myself ever exhausting the topic or losing interest at this point.
I haven't checked ANY of the choices either, because like Salmon P Chase and Andersonh1, I really can't identify any specific defining moment I became interested, and like truthckr I found myself in the 1950's and 60's taking it pretty much for granted. I'm sure the many TV references in western series and old movies like those already mentioned played a big part and was likely responsible for George Custer being my first period hero, followed soon by the Gray Ghost, John Mosby. Also like several here, my army of Louis Marx plastic toy soldiers were constant companions. I was already hooked by the time of my first battlefield visit, like ucvrelics to Shiloh when I was eight, above in a photo I've posted many times before.
 
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James N.

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None of the above, really. Once I'd more or less satisfied my curiosities about the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and the Mexican-American War, the Civil War was just next on the list. And I found it to be the most fascinating one.
That was pretty much my path as well, except the Civil War was the beginning. From there, I wanted to know what all the fuss about Jeb Stuart being the Southern Murat meant and why everybody was devoted to Napoleon, so that became my interest while in college and afterward, until I wondered why many of that cast of characters respected George Washington, leading to the Colonial, French and Indian and Revolutionary wars. And now over a decade ago, my boyhood interest in WWII reemerged, and for its own centennial, WWI. But always, lurking not very far in the background of all was the Civil War, which really reappeared when I discovered reenacting at the time of the 1976 Bicentennial.
 

scone

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Always had feeling of the the past .. Lone ranger, war movies, John Wayne, tv series etc where I came from and thinking of them.. know of WWII , WWI, Korea, Vietnam … I met them family vets in my youth . stuck with me

The book: Some account of the Cone family in America principally of the descendants of Daniel Cone, who settled in Haddam, Connecticut, in 1662. Comp. by William Whitney Cone..

He's my 9th great grandfather

https://archive.org/details/someaccountofcon01cone/page/n8
 

Mrs. V

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I’ve always known we had someone captured and held at Andersonville. However, I really got hooked trying to keep up wit my son, and participating in the musical entertainment when the Ohio Chautaqua came to our town. I made my son’s uniform, swore at the frock coat rear pleats....and made my first day dress. My son was the only entertainer from school who played without sheet music in front of him, and came dressed. Yes, it had farby parts..(plastic sword!) but it was fun. And I was hooked.
 
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Rogue

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I share the birthday of Abraham Lincoln. I was born in Indiana, same state that Lincoln lived in when he was a boy. This led me to reading lots a of Lincoln books when 7i was young. That was when li learned that there was a Civil War. I also had older brothers and my Dad that were into history. The Civil War thing started to take off when i read The Red Badge of Courage in elementary school. I also had an excellent professor who taught a great Civil War class in college. Introduced me to lots of great Civil War books. This started many trips to battlefields. I still have many more i want to see. I would say it was definitely books for me that started me on the path.
 

JKT

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Mar 31, 2017
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From an American History teacher in college.
Me too. 9th or 10th grade American History class when the battle of the Iron Clads (Monitor vs Merrimack/CS Virginia) was brought up & coinciding with all Centennial celebrations (cause it was ~ 1962). So I was hooked. Being raised in northeast Alabama about 15 miles from
Alexandria/Jacksonville, the “Gallant” Pelham’s homestead sealed the deal!
 
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58th Virginia

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Nothing really listed for me on the Poll.

My interest was because of the local History of it.

Before the computer age, most of my info came from articles in local newspapers.

I also own the set of Civil War books by Time-Life that I got back in the 80's, although I never thoroughly read them.
 

JKT

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I absolutley feel it should be taught more to clear up the ignorance we have these days because people just beleive whatever their told and if someone says this is bad of course they believe it and that's why our monuments are being destroyed because of ignorance .
Well said. I live in Sacramento but was born & raised in Alabama (but maternal relatives all from Ohio). This trendy revisionist history cr_p and is a version of ..those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I was asked some time ago to present a Civil War talk to a class of 7th graders & brought some basic pictures/maps & artifacts (minie balls, buckle & Kepi). Afterwards a few of the kids had questions about slavery & southerners. My response was that slavery is indefensible, as is 20/20 hindsight of this period as my interest is the individual soldiers (one’s duty to the reb or yank next to you and military strategy). So I asked how many of the kids were of German ancestry and several hands went up. Of course, my next question, for those who wanted to dispense “collective guilt” was..So are any of us to judge your fellow classmates based on the Nazi atrocities of WW2? I’d like to think we all had a moment of reflection rather than the uneducated response of ..all Yankees were righteous and all Rebels were immoral.
 
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