Aug 25, 2012

One of the most famous battles in American history........

It's hard to put into words how much the Gettysburg memorial moved me. Firstly with the vast display of honour (amongst the soldiers). The field is littered with over a thousand marble and granite memorial's all erected by the divisions, platoons, squads that participated.

 The second was how pointless is all was in the end.

 Take a minute to think of the battle field, General Lee on one side, General Meade on the other. Over 16000 men dead after the first day's conflict.

 Lee was determined to make Gettysburg the last gasp for Union forces knowing that a victory here would open supply lines and smash any sort of Union momentum. It was not the only battle fought in the north during the Civil War. There were bloody battles fought throughout the war zone both south and north. This battle was different though. Gettysburg had 10 roads leading in and out of it and holding it would make equipping soldiers and moving ranks much easier for either party.

 The first day of the battle was the bloodiest day of the three leaving 16000 men dead or wounded on the field.

 By day 3 the field was littered with soldiers dying or dead and the Confederates were on their last legs. Lee decided to push for an all out assault that through the sheer stupidity of his generals failed miserably and the push for Gettysburg was over.

 On day three, the day depicted in the famous Cyclorama (pictures below) Lee came to the field with 150guns and 12000 men. Meade on the otherside had 100 guns and 7000 soldiers.

 The confederates had to cross ground though in order to make the attack stick. I'm no historian or even well read on the subject and there are literally thousands of educated people online with better write ups and info, so i randomly chose one. 

 At the end of day three with nearly 50000 men dead Lee retreated and the battle was over. for the people of Gettysburg the rebuilding would take generations. For the soldiers the wounds would heal with time but the scars left on them would never heal. Some confederates still fly their flag not letting the old south die. For many of them the war had very little to do with the modern concept of the Civil War which was about the freeing of the slaves. Oh certainly Abe did do so with the Emancipation Proclamation but hindsight reveals more to the story than anyone wants to meet their eye.

 The freeing of the slaves was a momentous occasion. However I hesitate to applaud it based on honest application. Instead I question why Abe waited so long to release the document? Why did he not do so at the beginning of the war? And if you follow the money...who got rich and who was poor when the war was over? Which is of course what wars are all about...a transfer of wealth from one party to another. They have nothing to do with good feelings, righteous causes or freedom. These are lines used to promote wars but rarely do "the people" feel the direct benefits of such talk.

In the end just years after declaring victory life for Black Americans was as horrible as it was under ownership. Sometimes worse if you want to get deep into the situations. What happens to a man or woman who has served under someone for years and years, ever since they were a child and at the moment of freedom were left uneducated, without resources and in a nation hellbent on segregation? What happens to a nation that free's it's own men only to subject them to hateful, hurtful scorn and humiliation? The for another 100 years before the modern civil rights movement treated them as a burden creating such Constitutional amendments such as "Equal but separate" and then given nothing equal but certainly kept separate.

Under the clouds of God that this nation is so thoroughly attached to through both written documents and historical connections I wonder what the good Christians of the time were subjected to when they passed through their perspective gates.

 The US was so segregated back then that there is a lot of writing about how many Union forces threatened to leave the Federal Army and joins the rebels if Abe free'd the slaves. A good many politicians voiced their concerns as well some attempting to vilify Abe and possibly upset the election.

But all these dead men, all these heroic deeds...they were all just another test of survival for the blacks or america. For after the Emancipation some blacks really believed that equality was there right, they expected to participate in politics, education and the framework of modern america. Some of them even did. There are all sorts of pictures of fancy dressed blacks (I'm sure they were referred to by some slang by other blacks back then as it is now with any of us that feel a class difference).

 However the good times were not to last and within 10 yrs the segregation of America under the leadership of the whitehouse was in full effect. The same business leaders who lost their shirts when the wealth transferred from south to north (keep in mind that the south at the time produced 3/4 of the worlds cotton and the north milled it) were the same ones consulted when the north complained of higher production costs due to the newly formed "paid" labour force.

 Think about that as a sweeping victory for money...4million people made a handful of rich men richer...then when given freedom those 4 million tax payers made the gov't that much richer controlled everything they did. Freedom? Maybe from being owned by an individual but moving ownership from one for of slavery to another isn't rocket's politics.

And the worst of America can be seen after the Civil War ended...not before. Before the war ended there was a few individuals who were committing the worst atrocities. Propaganda is used by all parties and it's used successfully by all parties in this conflict as well. At first the focus was on vilifying the slave trade (a rightful and righteous cause) but then on hindsight it's found that some of it just wasn't true. Some of it there was questions to be asked. Not about slavery...ownership of a fellow human is wrong on more levels than I can express. But there is much more to the story than public opinion and smoothing over of those things that don't make sense in order to not ruffle any feathers.

 I liken it to today's modern removal of Gaddafi from Lybia. The war was presented under the context of freeing his citizenry from a vile dictator. Its something the average person can get behind especially when they don't have both sides of the story. It's actually how america presents all of it's conflicts to it's people...there are still people down here that link 9/11 with it's not a first that they would play shadow puppets with the truth leaving some images exposed on the wall long after the flash has gone off.

 In the end though bombing the shit out of Tripoli, arming what in another conflict they are calling "insurgents" and lining up their corporations for "rebulding" doesn't really add up to a war of good intentions. Instead it makes you want to follow the money...who wins, who loses? And through that you can usually find out who is behind it. Like 9-11...if today you still believe that 19 arabs bounced onto three planes, held their box cutters out and stole a plane in order to crash it into the WTC buildings and other landmarks...then you can believe the official story that they are out to destroy america because of your freedoms. I can't believe that because there are too many loose ends with that theory.

 Just like in the Civil War I can't believe that it was about freedom. I'd like to, it sure would make it easier. But I have to wonder about those business people in the north whose wealth skyrocketed at wars end. I have to wonder about the agreement between nothern money and southern money to maintain a cheap labour force after it's all said and done. I wonder why at the reunion where man Union man stood across from Confederate man just 10 yrs after the war calling it "A mistaken conflict" there was no black men among them, even though soldiers on the Union side fought voluntarily and on the Confederate side through orders. I wonder why someone like Woodrow Wilson would be nominated out of all successful candidates just 40 yrs later? (a little research on Woodrow will uncover one of the most racist politicians in American history and a man who is in bed with money so deeply that you have to just laugh that he declared an oath to be an honest president). (signed the 1913 federal reserve act and also signed the amendment for segregation to be legitimized)

Looking down at Ike's farmhouse

The cyclorama was a wonderful way to get an imagined idea of what went on during Day 3

This painting was done by a french guy in 1884. It measures 49' high and 377 ' around.

A collection of sidearms

620000 dead...war if nothing else has become more proficient at increasing the body counts of one side over the other

Honest Abe?? Not by my fact all of the fore fathers were bastards when you look back on them only jockeying their own wealthy positions while creating a nation of segregation and division.

This guy had a sweet ride. I took 2 days at Gettyburg and he took 3!
 All in all it was an epic visit. I don't know if what I wrote above makes sense or not...I do hope though that you get the idea that nothing from the political realm is done with the greater interest of the people in mind. There are no honest politicians only honest candidates. If you treat them all with disrespect first and make them earn it we'd all be much better off over putting them on pedestals waiting for them to fall.

 Maybe that is what is wrong...the teachings of these founding fathers seems to create an aura of greatness around them that I am not finding on hindsight. But...the idea that anyone running for such an esteemed office is naturally good seems to have crept it's way into our society. When was the last president shot? Reagan? Damn near 30 yrs ago...I'm not saying someone should shoot a president, that would be crazy :) might shake them wake up a little.

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