Author Topic: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large  (Read 2304 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline PzLdr

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3,421
Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« on: July 01, 2014, 11:27:45 AM »
151 years ago today, the three day epic known as the Battle of Gettysburg began near a quiet little Pennsylvania town that happened to be a major road hub. The basic story of the battle is well documented [and increasingly so. Gettysburg is the most written about battle ever fought in North America]. Before the battle, Ewell's Second Corps passes through the village heading northeast. Day One: A meeting engagement west of town leads to a general attack by units of A.P. Hill's Third Corps against units of the Army of the Potomac, led by Buford's cavalry, and then infantry; then attacks from the northeast by Ewell, the Union troops [increasing in number]  falling back through the town to Culp's Hill. The rest of Day 1 was spent with the Southern troops solidifying their positions around the town, and moving west, and south to take position to the west of town on Seminary Ridge. Day Two saw most of the action on the southern end of the battlefield, where troops of the First Corps [Longstreet], still coming up the valley from Maryland, led attacks on the Roundtops, the Devil's Den, etc. They were repulsed, and increasing numbers of Army of the Potomac units now filled a five mile line from Culp's Hill to the Round Tops along Cemetery Ridge increasing numbers. By the end of the day, the Army of the Potomac was on the field in its entirety [except for the cavalry]. During the evening, Longstreet's last unit, Pickett's division arrived, as did J.E.B Stuart and the Cavalry Corps. Day Three saw two actions that completed the battle and sealed the Army of Northern Virginia's defeat. The first was, of course, Pickett's charge. The second was Stuart's repulse by Union cavalry [principally George Armstrong Custer], to the east of the battlefield at Runnel's Farm.

That's a fairly accurate, if shortened summary of the battle. But a lot of questions remain unanswered, about the campaign, the battle, and above all, about Robert E. Lee's generalship.

First off, what was the Army of Northern Virginia doing in Pennsylvania? Most histories describe the Gettysburg campaign as an "invasion". I disagree. If it was an invasion, what was the objective? A railroad bridge? Harrisburg?  Bringing the Union Army to battle? If the latter, why did Lee have his army spread over two states in an arc from Carlisle, Pa. back to the southern end of Maryland. And why would his instructions to his cavalry be to screen his march route north instead of searching out the enemy as far south as possible? I submit the operation was a raid, designed to give the Army of Northern Virginia's breadbasket, the Shenandoah Valley a chance to "breathe", while liberally foraging off the farming areas of Pennsylvania.

Secondly, why then? Robert E. Lee was, first and foremost, a Virginian. In early 1863 plans were being discussed in Richmond to send Lee, and two-thirds of his Army to the West to help against Grant.  [eventually, after Gettysburg, Longstreet's Corps would go]. Lee did not want to do that. So he proposed, instead the Pennsylvania operation. And while it would shield his beloved Virginia, and allow him to avoid going west, it did show a lack of strategic vision, and a disinclination to put the interests of his country over his state. Additionally, Lee had just, after the death of Stonewall Jackson, re-organized his army. Disinclined to choose Ewell over Hill, or vice versa, for the command of Second Corps, Lee cut the baby in half, forming a Third Corps from units from First and Second Corps. He gave Second Corps to Ewell and Third Corps to Hill. So Lee went into Pennsylvania with two-thirds of his infantry commanded by generals who had never commanded Corps sized units. And neither was used to Lee's "suggestion style" method of command. Nowhere was this clearer than one Day One, when Lee told Ewell to take Culp's Hill, "if practicable". Ewell decided it wasn't and didn't. But the problem remained.

The conduct of the campaign:

  Much has been written about the conduct of various of Lee's subordinates in the Gettysburg campaign, particularly J.E.B Stuart. Some have gone so far as to claim Stuart was responsible for the loss, losing contact with Lee in an effort to ride around the Union Army for the third time in the war. A lot of the criticism of Stuart is justified. A lot of it isn't. Blaming him for the loss certainly isn't. First, Stuart left Lee with over two brigades of cavalry, under two very competent officers to screen Lee's right. Since Lee was primarily concerned with screening enemy cavalry from observing his movements, they were more than adequate. Second, Lee's orders left Stuart too much leeway. For a cavalry officer smarting from bad press over Brandy Station, it was a recipe for potential disaster.

In a like vein, George Pickett has been accused of all sorts of perfidy, but the fact remains that he commanded the charge for two reasons. His division, being last to arrive on the field [evening, Da Two] was the only of Lee's units to have suffered no casualties up to that point. Second, no one else wanted the job [most of the troops in Pickett's attack came from hill's Corps]. Pickett did the best he could. He stayed near the front, maneuvering his units as best he could. He just faced an impossible situation.

James Longstreet came in for a great deal of criticism in the post -war era from the 'Lost Cause' crowd, particularly Jubal Early, because he had [strongly] argued against eh whole battle, [more strongly] against Pickett's charge, and because he laid the blame for the defeat at the feet of Robert E. Lee. He's the only major Confederate general without a statue in the South [he now has one, ironically, at Gettysburg].

So who's at fault? The answer is simple. Robert E. Lee is. He planned, and conducted an operation whose objective seemed to have been primarily to avoid transfer to the west. He undertook his raid/ invasion with a re-organized Army,  and no clear operational objectives than to strip the land. He misused the cavalry he had, and made little or no effort to find the Army of the Potomac, or ascertain what it was up to. He allowed a subordinate officer of a 'green' Corps commander [ Hill was ill] to commence a series of skirmishes/ meeting engagements/battles, while his Corps were not in supporting distance of each other, against an unknown enemy. When that enemy was discovered, Lee chose to attack, despite the fact he was outnumbered by about 25%, and held a nine mile exterior line, to the enemy's five mile interior line, and despite the fact the Union Army was in an excellent defensive position. Unable to easily, and quickly move troops along his line, and unable to coordinate attacks at different points of that line, Lee engaged in piecemeal attacks on all three days [the only constant being Culp's Hill]. They all failed. So why did Lee do what he did? Hubris. Lee thought he, and his men could beat anybody, anyplace, any time. The record seems to bear him out, but on closer scrutiny, not so much. Lee's greatest successes were defensive. Second Manassas [ IMO, his finest operation] combined tactical defense [Jackson] with strategic offense [Longstreet]. Fredericksburg could have been won by anybody, so long as Burnside commanded the Union. Chancellorsville was  the classic lemon/ lemonade battle. What has been lost in the telling is that Joe Hooker had outmaneuvered Bobby Lee, and if he'd kept pushing, might have won on the open fields. The Peninsula campaign should have shown Lee what the Union troops could do with a good defensive position [see Malverne Hill]. While Lee's penchant for the offense often resulted in higher casualties for the Union, in every battle, except Fredericksburg, and perhaps Second Manassas, Lee lost a higher proportion of his Army than the North.

But by Gettysburg, Lee believed the superhuman efforts of his troops, combined with his will, could overcome anything. He was wrong. And the Confederacy began its march into the twilight of defeat.
Hillary's Self-announced Qualifications: She Stood Up To Putin...She Sits to Pee

Offline GourmetDan

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 7,168
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 11:36:22 AM »

The Civil War was such a slaughter.  So many good men lost.

Wonder what they would think of the culture of those they liberated today?

"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." - Ecclesiastes 10:2

"The sole purpose of the Republican Party is to serve as an ineffective alternative to the Democrat Party." - GourmetDan

Offline massadvj

  • Editorial Advisor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,174
    • Auktion Online
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2014, 12:36:04 PM »
I agree that history has not been kind to Robert E. Lee's decision-making at Gettysburg.  The battle is often reported as the "high water mark" of the confederacy, but in truth the Civil War was lost at Shiloh, not Gettysburg.  I think Lee understood this, and gambled that a victory on the northern front would force the Union to refocus its energies away from the Mississippi, and possibly bring much needed help from potential European allies.  It was, in his mind, the South's only hope to win the war.  I think he knew the odds of winning were remote, but given the situation in the west, the war was going to be lost one way or the other.  He rolled the dice and lost.

That's the long term view.  The short-term view is much murkier.  Lee had almost no strategic advantage that particular morning.  In light of the artillery on Little Round Top and the Union soldiers barricaded behind stone walls on higher ground, Pickett's charge was no less than a suicide mission.  Lee should have maneuvered to another battlefield before confronting the Union.  He had a clear path to Washington.  Had he proceeded in that direction he may well have found a field in which his army could occupy the high ground and force the attack to come at him.
"She only coughs when she lies."

Offline PzLdr

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3,421
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2014, 01:45:22 PM »
I agree that history has not been kind to Robert E. Lee's decision-making at Gettysburg.  The battle is often reported as the "high water mark" of the confederacy, but in truth the Civil War was lost at Shiloh, not Gettysburg.  I think Lee understood this, and gambled that a victory on the northern front would force the Union to refocus its energies away from the Mississippi, and possibly bring much needed help from potential European allies.  It was, in his mind, the South's only hope to win the war.  I think he knew the odds of winning were remote, but given the situation in the west, the war was going to be lost one way or the other.  He rolled the dice and lost.

That's the long term view.  The short-term view is much murkier.  Lee had almost no strategic advantage that particular morning.  In light of the artillery on Little Round Top and the Union soldiers barricaded behind stone walls on higher ground, Pickett's charge was no less than a suicide mission.  Lee should have maneuvered to another battlefield before confronting the Union.  He had a clear path to Washington.  Had he proceeded in that direction he may well have found a field in which his army could occupy the high ground and force the attack to come at him.

I would disagree only to the extent that I believe the war was lost for the South at Vicksburg, which surrendered one day after Pickett's defeat. That campaign, the most brilliant, IMHO, was waged by the much maligned U.S Grant, and had two things Lee's meander into Pennsylvania did not: A clear, worthwhile strategic objective, and a focus on achieving that focus.

As you [and Longstreet] pointed out, if Lee wanted battle, he could have had it on his terms, by getting between Meade and D.C. The Union would have HAD to fight if he did. And against a defensively deployed Army of Northern Virginia, on ground of the latter's choosing; negating the Union's numerical advantage. But Lee's 'blood was up', and neither the strategic nor operational possibilities seem to have crossed his mind. That's a REALLY bad shortcoming in what was both an Army and Theater commander. But my argument is Lee was not that good.
Hillary's Self-announced Qualifications: She Stood Up To Putin...She Sits to Pee

Online rangerrebew

  • America defending Veteran
  • TBR Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 71,178
  • “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2014, 05:01:13 PM »
In part, I think Lee wanted a southern victory in the north, something he did not achieve at Antietam.  The presidential election campaigns were not far off and he felt that a victory on northern soil would bring public sentiment against Lincoln and the war which he knew was the South's chance for ending the war without surrendering.  He also had distant dreams of taking D.C. itself.  But the defeat only steeled the resolve of the north to  complete what had been started.

The two hour cannonade the preceded Pickett's Charge did little but drain Porter Alexander's ammunition which left them with little to support the infantry and nearest supplies were about 200 miles back.  In other words, there was no way for the south to rearm and resupply/

Part of the problem for Pickett's Charge was that the left side of his line, under Pettigrew, was much closer to Cemetery Ridge than his right, so to overcome this Kemper  and Garnett had to change alignment on the right to roughly follow the Emmitsburg Road to get to the copse of trees at the same time as Pettigrew.  This, in turn, allowed the 13th, 14th, and 16th Vermont and the cannons on Little Round top to enfilade them and eventually swing around them to continue  firing on their rear.

Had Lee been able to get the second corps, under Ewell and licking it's wounds on Culp's Hill, involved there may have been enough men to carry the charge.  By the time Pickett's troops got to the assembly point, almost 6,000 of their 12,000 troops were out of action and was essentially the same size as the north defending the ridge.  But they were better situated.   The first volley from the north, troops had 1 to 5 muskets loaded waiting for the charge,  was devastating.  The ground from the Emmitsburg Rd. to Cemetery Hill is quite uphill which was difficult for Pickett's men , many who had been badly mauled over the first two days.

Once Lee committed to battle, he had little choice but to go all out.  Without food, munitions, worn and hungry horses, worn and hungry men, it was now or never.  He was also aware, I'm sure, that if he lost Gettysburg and Grant took Vicksburg, the war would be all but over so he crossed the Rubicon.  There was not one major, experienced  General officer who thought the charge was anything but suicide and their chances slim, at best.  The only one somewhat enthusiastic was Pickett himself who thought this was his moment of glory and, in a sense, it was.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 08:40:54 PM by rangerrebew »
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness -- these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles."
George Washington

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
Benjamin Franklin

Offline mountaineer

  • Member
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 36,119
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2014, 06:24:13 PM »
Interesting post - thanks all. We'll be visiting Gettysburg in just a few weeks.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

Offline massadvj

  • Editorial Advisor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,174
    • Auktion Online
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2014, 06:51:13 PM »
I would disagree only to the extent that I believe the war was lost for the South at Vicksburg, which surrendered one day after Pickett's defeat.

Vicksburg was the decisive battle, but Shiloh pretty much guaranteed that Vicksburg would fall eventually.  Once the North controlled the upper arteries to the Mississippi, it was just a matter of time.
"She only coughs when she lies."

Online rangerrebew

  • America defending Veteran
  • TBR Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 71,178
  • “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2014, 08:36:37 PM »
Interesting post - thanks all. We'll be visiting Gettysburg in just a few weeks.

It is far and away the best marked of all the preserved battlefields.  It is also one of the largest.  So don't hesitate to go the museum first to get directions around the area.  If you go to Gettysburg College the administration building, a large white building with a cupola in the middle, was the only building of the campus at the time and was used a surgical hospital.  People from all over the world have reported seeing a Civil War soldier on look out in the cupola and reported it to police.  But when the police have arrived the building was locked and the cupola empty.  So watch out for ghosts, they are reported to be fairly common.  In fact, the college library was so infested they actually held an exorcism to rid it of ghosts because people refused to go up there.  One final thing, the last body found of a Civil War Soldier around Gettysburg was in 1997 and there are probably more.
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness -- these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles."
George Washington

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
Benjamin Franklin

Offline Bigun

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 23,529
  • The income tax: Root of all evil!
    • The FairTax Plan
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2014, 09:06:04 PM »
I agree that history has not been kind to Robert E. Lee's decision-making at Gettysburg.  The battle is often reported as the "high water mark" of the confederacy, but in truth the Civil War was lost at Shiloh, not Gettysburg.  I think Lee understood this, and gambled that a victory on the northern front would force the Union to refocus its energies away from the Mississippi, and possibly bring much needed help from potential European allies.  It was, in his mind, the South's only hope to win the war.  I think he knew the odds of winning were remote, but given the situation in the west, the war was going to be lost one way or the other.  He rolled the dice and lost.

That's the long term view.  The short-term view is much murkier.  Lee had almost no strategic advantage that particular morning.  In light of the artillery on Little Round Top and the Union soldiers barricaded behind stone walls on higher ground, Pickett's charge was no less than a suicide mission.  Lee should have maneuvered to another battlefield before confronting the Union.  He had a clear path to Washington.  Had he proceeded in that direction he may well have found a field in which his army could occupy the high ground and force the attack to come at him.


I beg to differ!

I believe that the Battle of Pea Ridge was the game changer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Pea_Ridge

Offline GourmetDan

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 7,168
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2014, 11:44:28 AM »

I believe that the Battle of Pea Ridge was the game changer.


I walked that ground one day for my son's Boy Scout hiking requirement.  It was saddening to think of the lives lost there...

"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." - Ecclesiastes 10:2

"The sole purpose of the Republican Party is to serve as an ineffective alternative to the Democrat Party." - GourmetDan

Offline Bigun

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 23,529
  • The income tax: Root of all evil!
    • The FairTax Plan
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2014, 03:51:41 PM »
I walked that ground one day for my son's Boy Scout hiking requirement.  It was saddening to think of the lives lost there...

I have been there as well. And to Shiloh,  Chickamauga,  Chattanooga, Tupelo, and Wilson's Creek as well.  They all bring me to tears over what was lost during that time.

Offline massadvj

  • Editorial Advisor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,174
    • Auktion Online
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2014, 04:33:36 PM »
I have been there as well. And to Shiloh,  Chickamauga,  Chattanooga, Tupelo, and Wilson's Creek as well.  They all bring me to tears over what was lost during that time.

I have been to Antietam, Gettysburg and Appomattox.  Fredericksburg is next on my list.  I think the sunken road at Antietam is the most startling place I've seen.  What a slaughter.

 
"She only coughs when she lies."

Offline Bigun

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 23,529
  • The income tax: Root of all evil!
    • The FairTax Plan
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2014, 07:23:43 PM »
I have been to Antietam, Gettysburg and Appomattox.  Fredericksburg is next on my list.  I think the sunken road at Antietam is the most startling place I've seen.  What a slaughter.

 

If it's worse than what happened at Shiloh I don't think I could take it.

Offline massadvj

  • Editorial Advisor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,174
    • Auktion Online
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2014, 07:43:29 PM »
If it's worse than what happened at Shiloh I don't think I could take it.


I haven't been to Shiloh, but here is what happened at the sunken road.  The place is still there and looking down it, imagining all that carnage and how they were just sitting ducks in that spot... well, it really brings it home.

http://history1800s.about.com/od/civilwar/ss/The-Battle-Of-Antietam_3.htm
"She only coughs when she lies."

Offline Bigun

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 23,529
  • The income tax: Root of all evil!
    • The FairTax Plan
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2014, 07:53:56 PM »
I haven't been to Shiloh, but here is what happened at the sunken road.  The place is still there and looking down it, imagining all that carnage and how they were just sitting ducks in that spot... well, it really brings it home.

http://history1800s.about.com/od/civilwar/ss/The-Battle-Of-Antietam_3.htm


Here's what happened at Shiloh.

http://history1800s.about.com/od/civilwar/ss/The-Battle-Of-Shiloh_2.htm

Bloodletting on a massive scale.

Offline Oceander

  • Technical
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 47,032
  • Dork
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2014, 08:30:30 PM »
I haven't been to Shiloh, but here is what happened at the sunken road.  The place is still there and looking down it, imagining all that carnage and how they were just sitting ducks in that spot... well, it really brings it home.

http://history1800s.about.com/od/civilwar/ss/The-Battle-Of-Antietam_3.htm


Also known as the Bloody Lane




Online DCPatriot

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 32,563
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2014, 08:34:52 PM »





I drive to Sharpsburg, MD....and by the Antietam Battlefields...at least once or twice a month.
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"Journalism is about covering the news.  With a pillow.  Until it stops moving."    - Iowahawk

"You can lead a liberal to the Truth, but you can't make them Think" - damned if I know

Online rangerrebew

  • America defending Veteran
  • TBR Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 71,178
  • “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2014, 05:41:58 PM »
I have been to Antietam, Gettysburg and Appomattox.  Fredericksburg is next on my list.  I think the sunken road at Antietam is the most startling place I've seen.  What a slaughter.

 

I was at Fredericksburg a couple months ago, and the only thing left of the battle site is the stone wall and the sunken road.  The city has over run the rest.  Don't forget you're only about 9 miles from Chancellorsville which has little to see besides the foundation for the Chancellor house and a ranger station.  But the Wilderness basically surrounds it and gives a pretty good image of what happened there.
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness -- these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles."
George Washington

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
Benjamin Franklin

Offline massadvj

  • Editorial Advisor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,174
    • Auktion Online
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2014, 05:54:25 PM »
I was at Fredericksburg a couple months ago, and the only thing left of the battle site is the stone wall and the sunken road.  The city has over run the rest.  Don't forget you're only about 9 miles from Chancellorsville which has little to see besides the foundation for the Chancellor house and a ranger station.  But the Wilderness basically surrounds it and gives a pretty good image of what happened there.

Thanks.  I have heard from some of my reenactor friends that Fredericksburg has less to see than either Antietam or Gettysburg.  But I'd like to go anyway.  One of the nice things about living in South Central Pennsylvania is the access to so many historical places.  Not just Civil War.  We are not very far from Valley Forge and Philadelphia.
"She only coughs when she lies."

Online rangerrebew

  • America defending Veteran
  • TBR Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 71,178
  • “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2014, 09:27:40 AM »
Thanks.  I have heard from some of my reenactor friends that Fredericksburg has less to see than either Antietam or Gettysburg.  But I'd like to go anyway.  One of the nice things about living in South Central Pennsylvania is the access to so many historical places.  Not just Civil War.  We are not very far from Valley Forge and Philadelphia.

Valley Forge was an interesting place.  Much different than I had pictured it.  My son lives in Philly so every time we visit him we visit something historical.  Constitution Hall gave me the chills to think I was in the same room where the Constitution was written.  And right in front of it, the spot where Lincoln gave a speech on his way to D.C.  The Liberty Bell was disappointing, I didn't think the modern building where it is hung added to the mystique at all.
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness -- these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles."
George Washington

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
Benjamin Franklin

Offline massadvj

  • Editorial Advisor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,174
    • Auktion Online
Re: Gettysburg: Hubris Writ Large
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2014, 10:21:56 AM »
Valley Forge was an interesting place.  Much different than I had pictured it.  My son lives in Philly so every time we visit him we visit something historical.  Constitution Hall gave me the chills to think I was in the same room where the Constitution was written.  And right in front of it, the spot where Lincoln gave a speech on his way to D.C.  The Liberty Bell was disappointing, I didn't think the modern building where it is hung added to the mystique at all.

I have to agree.  I do like to wander around old Philadelphia.  I wish they had preserved more of it.
"She only coughs when she lies."


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf