Thanks very much for your reflections and insights. It'll take me a while to "digest" what I've seen. As I said earlier, I suspect I'll be back with a quite different perspective on the matter.
The Civil War is maybe THE
event in the history of these United States. And as a responsible citizen, I feel it's time well spent to acquaint myself with the enormity of my forebears' sacrifice.
But it sure is hard on the spirit...
...and you say Shiloh is even WORSE?
And I was planning on stopping there on the way home...maybe I should rethink that.
Originally Posted by Pantah
Doc - I had those same emotions when I visited the first time. I was attending the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Assn reunion in Philly about 1992. I had just finished Foote's trilogy. During the reunion a buddy and I drove to G'burg and arrived about dusk. The place was silent and eery in the dying light. We drove to the spots we wanted to see. It was shocking because the slaughter was so easily imagined. As pilots we witnessed plenty of firefights, but nothing on such a terrible scale as Gettysburg.
It was another 10 years before I visited any battlefields. In 2002 I was assigned to a project in DC for a year. I brought my MZ Street Moto and visited my friends on the 'wall' at dawn on Sundays for a few weeks. After getting used to that, I started reading Foote again. Eventually I set about visiting all the battlefields around there. I started with the earlier battles in Northern Virginia, but eventually went back to G'burg. I felt better about it then and was able to study it some. I did my big battlefield tour of the South in 2007. Still... I was upset by Shiloh even then.
Looking forward to your visit with your buddy in SC.