Why Are You Interested in the Civil War?

My co-blogger Paul Zummo and I also blog at The American Catholic.  Yesterday we were asked by a commenter why we were interested in the Civil War.

Here is my answer:

There are many eras of history that interest me, Pinky, but I am especially interested in the Civil War for the reason noted by Shelby Foote:

“Any understanding of this nation has to be based, and I mean really based, on an understanding of the Civil War. I believe that firmly. It defined us. The Revolution did what it did. Our involvement in European wars, beginning with the First World War, did what it did. But the Civil War defined us as what we are and it opened us to being what we became, good and bad things. And it is very necessary, if you are going to understand the American character in the twentieth century, to learn about this enormous catastrophe of the mid-nineteenth century. It was the crossroads of our being, and it was a hell of a crossroads. “

Here is Paul’s answer:

I’m an American history buff, and the Civil War is the seminal moment in our history. There’s also something to the fact that many of the battlefields are either wholly or at least partially preserved. You can go to Gettysburg, spend a couple of days there, and still not see everything. So being able to stand on the fields and see how the battles played out is something that is unique to the Civil War, as I don’t believe the Revolutionary War battlefields are as ubiquitous.

I know many of our readers are interested in the Civil War, so I pass the question along to you:  Why are you interested in the Civil War?

Published in: on February 15, 2011 at 5:30 am  Comments (1)  
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One Comment

  1. Two reasons, the first would dovetail in Paul and your words. I love this nation. It has had an awesome effect in the history of the world, its wars, economy, medicine,issues of faith, the list goes on. But except for the Providence of God in both the Revolutionary War (was of 1812) and the Civil War the USA as we know it would never have existed.
    The second reason, I come from a family divided by this war. Small parts of each army marched in front of our farm, camped and spyed on the opposition from the same rock out croppings I ran across as a son of West Virginia. How can one NOT be interested in what gave us birth in a nation that protects its citizens and provides opportunity for wealth for its common people unknown in any other culture… in history I believe.
    missionaries now in Guatemala,
    In Christ
    Dennis McCutcheon

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