Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bits and Pieces, April 2011

Springfield Ohio Civil War Symposium, May 7

A Civil War symposium will be held in Springfield, Ohio on May 7 at the Heritage Center, 117 South Fountain Ave. The symposium will start at 9:00 and include 3 speakers before lunch at 12:00. Following lunch will be two more speakers and a panel discussion on "Was the Civil War Inevitable?" Speakers include Fergus Bodewich, Mark Grimsley, Ethan Rafuse, and Nicole Etcheson. The cost is $25.00 and there is limited seating.

There will also be a bookshop and book signings and Andy Turner of the Morningside Book Store the publisher of the "Gettysburg Magazine" will be there. The symposium will end at 5:00. Reservations are required and the deadline is April 30, 2011. You can call the Springfield Heritage Center for tickets at 937-324-0697.

For Pennsylvania Casino, a Civics Lesson from Wal-Mart

By James Lighthizer and Tom Kiernan of the Civil War Trust

"Wal-Mart recently made the responsible and welcome decision to abandon its plan to build a supercenter on the Wilderness Battlefield in Orange County, Va. Just as its permit to build on the Civil War site was about to go to trial, and after enduring what one media outlet called "withering opposition," the nation's largest retailer explained that it "just felt it was the right thing to do." But other historic sites are not so lucky. As well-intentioned as it may be, the proposed Mason-Dixon Casino near Pennsylvania's Gettysburg Battlefield could similarly compromise the integrity of some of the most hallowed ground in our country - ground soaked with the blood of tens of thousands of our ancestors, and further consecrated by the words of Abraham Lincoln as he set the nation on a path toward "a new birth of freedom." If approved, the proposal would allow a casino to operate at the battlefield's edge, just a half-mile from the boundary of Gettysburg National Military Park.

Four years ago, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board decided that an application for a gaming hall twice as far from the battlefield was inappropriate. But the controversy continues as another proposal is considered.

America is poised to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War this year. From coast to coast, communities are preparing to pay tribute to its staggering consequences and its role in shaping the country we know today. Now is not the time for division. Rather, let us use this occasion to put controversies behind us.

As the newly inaugurated president of a nation on the brink of a mass fratricide, Abraham Lincoln told his fellow citizens, "We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot's grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when touched again, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

Today, too, we must remember that we are not enemies, but fellow citizens of a country shaped by the men who fell at Gettysburg, Wilderness, and thousands of other battlefields before, during, and since the Civil War. If Wal-Mart can change its mind and subjugate financial gain to respect for our national heritage in the case of Wilderness, will Mason-Dixon's investors not consider a similar act of corporate and social responsibility for Gettysburg? "

March 2011 Quiz:

1. One of President-elect Lincoln's cabinet appointees tried to withdraw prior to the inauguration. Who was he?

2. How many reinforcements did Major Robert Anderson say he needed in order to hold Fort Sumter?

3. What was the last Major public act of Sam Houston, the deposed governor of Texas?

4. The Confederacy sent three commissioners to negotiate with the Lincoln administration. Who
were they?

5. What Supreme Court Justice served as a go-between for the Confederate commissioners with what Lincoln cabinet member? What were the results of these dealings?

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