As of April of last year (2011) we are starting the four years of recognizing 150th anniversary of the American Civil War which began with the firing on Fort Sumter SC in April 12, 1861. Lee surrendered to Grant nearly 4 years later in April 9, 1865 and the war officially ended shortly after that.
April 6-7, 1862 is the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh, fought in SW Tennessee, at the time the bloodiest battle in American history. It was the battle that opened the eyes of both the North and South to the fact that this would be no ordinary war. No it would cost the lives of over 600,000 Americans and change our country forever.
A book on the Civil War (American Heritage Illustrated History of the Civil War by Bruce Catton) that my grandmother had in an antique bookcase in the upstairs of her home in West Lafayette IN is what first provoked my interest in history. It has become a life long passion and still my favorite way to pass time is with my nose pressed into some book of history of one kind or another.
I think it is significant to recognize that the Civil War was fought 150 years ago and to remember what happened then. Even when I was in school in the 60's-70's...they were already reducing study of the Civil War and all the historic events before and after to just a couple of days. It's a shame.
I highly recommend a visit to one of our nations Civil War Battlefields. The photos in this post were taken when my son Ian and I visited Shiloh together, just father and son several years ago. It is still one of my favorite trips...and it does bring me joy to know that one legacy I have passed onto my son (and yes even my daughter though she would disagree after being dragged to so many battlefields as a little girl!) is a passion for the Civil War and History in General.
It really is true that you can garner a better understanding of the world today by simply understanding what has happened before and yes, history does repeat itself.
I would imagine from time to time I'll choose to post about my interest in the Civil War with this 150th Anniversary Happening until 2015. So stay tuned...
One of the good things though is whenever i visit a Civil War Battlefield whether it be at Gettysburg (the largest and most well known) or Shiloh or any of countless others there is usually quite a few visitors there...so the war and it's history is definitely NOT forgotten.