November 11, 2015

Veterans Day 2015

Instead of posting a photo of my father or grandfather or one of the other veterans in my family tree, I decided to just post a few things from my Civil War Field Trips website, starting with a verse I wrote for the first page.

The website started out as a homework project for History 298, Advanced Civil War. Later I neglected it after starting this blog and posting pictures from Civil War sites on this blog.

I miss Professor Poland's class! It mostly consisted of day-long tours of Civil War sites, and we covered a portion of the war every summer. It took eight years to complete the series, and then I wound up doing the entire series again!  Now our professor has retired, but he and his wife hosted a potluck dinner for his faithful students this year. It was nice to see old friends again!

Over the years we visited hundreds of sites, not just battle sites but also churches, bridges, hospital sites, museums, and  homes. Many of the tours included a stop at a soldiers' cemetery. Here we considered the casualties of the battles, an appropriate step for a terrible war.

I marvel at the courage of the people who put aside their personal lives and went off to war. After studying this war for a couple of decades, I concluded that most of these people braved the dangers of war out of a loyalty to their community. In quite a few cases, this loyalty took precedence over their own philosophies, particularly in the southern states. Their are many stories of people who opposed secession and had no personal stake in preserving slavery, yet they joined the southern army. And as we know, many of the soldiers on both sides never made it back home, or came home wounded or maimed. It's a long, tragic story.


  1. I like your poem. It is indeed a tragic story. It is hard to imagine how many were lost to the war.

  2. War is hell, and that one proved it.

  3. That sounds like a great class taught by a dedicated teacher. here in Oklahoma it seems that the Civil War seems a little remote and we are the poorer for it.

  4. Must have been a very interesting class. I didn't really know much of the Civil War until I moved here. Living relatively close to Manassas and the battlefield, which we visit often, is a real education on what went on. I enjoyed learning more from your post. Thank you Linda.


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