Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Preparations For The Civil War Sesquicentennial

OK, so it's been a few days since I last posted here, let's see if I remember how to do this...
I'm still engrossed in Cozzens' "Darkest Days of the War" as part of my study of the Western Theatre, and the going is a bit slower than usual. Not to worry, because though I'm not ankle-deep in Lost Cause writings (good stuff coming up on that theme in the future), there is a new thread for us to pick up and see where it leads.
The Civil War sesquicentennial is just a few year years away, so today I decided to see where the preparations for this milestone stand. At both the Federal and state level, there seems to be some signs of life. There's a House Resolution to establish a commission to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. There's also the National Park Service's "Sesquicentennial Initiative", which looks to be staggering out of the gate.
It's not just some Federal bodies, either. A few states have launched their own committees and commissions, check here, here, and here for see for yourself. There are two striking items to note here: only three states seem to have enough of an act together to have an internet presence, and secondly, all are former Confederate states.
Do Northern states not care as much? Are all of the other states just biding their time? We'll have to see. It'll also be interesting to see where all of these resolutions, initiatives, and steering committees end up, not the least because of the crushing economic pressures all must be feeling, but also when faced with the myriad challenges of presenting and remembering the war in a sober, honest, and comprehensive fashion.


Robert Moore said...

Regarding whether or not the Northern states will actually form sesq. commissions... that's a good question, but with the exception of Pa. (maybe), I have doubts that anything will happen in that direction. I wonder if it really boils down to what a state has that it can use as a focal point for commemoration... or, of course, if they have battlefields to work into some sort of heritage tourism plan. - Robert

Robert Moore said...

I forgot to mention, while there is no evidence of any commemoration efforts in the states of the North, the Sons of Union Veterans is onboard with their own programs for the 150th.