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December 11th: A Day of Firsts in US Military History

On Dec 11, 1862 the Union Army was pinned on the Northern shore of the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg, unable to cross the river and invade the town. This desperate situation led to two decisions by General Burnside of the Union Army that ultimately had wide ranging effects not just on the outcome at Fredericksburg, but on how the US would conduct war in the future. [more inside]
posted by COD on Dec 11, 2012 - 40 comments

 

July 4th, 1862

“If ever men should celebrate the day with the rapt ardor of devotees, it is the soldiers of the Union,” bent on “saving the Union of the revolutionary fathers from destruction.” The residents of Fredericksburg VA didn't celebrate Independence Day in 1862. It was no longer their Independence Day. However, just across the river, within both sight and sound of the residents of Fredericksburg, the Union Army threw a raucous celebration, complete with fireworks, artillery salutes, mule races, a greased pole, and a greased pig.
posted by COD on Jul 4, 2012 - 10 comments

Tyranny is helpful, especially when voting against tyranny

On May 23, 1861, Spotsylvania County, Virginia voted 1323 - 0 in favor of succession from the Union. Historian John Hennessy provides an explanation of how that vote came to be a perfect 100% in favor of succession. So people rebelling against "Northern tyranny" themselves used tyranny to rig a vote that was undoubtedly going to go overwhelmingly in their favor anyway?
posted by COD on May 27, 2011 - 22 comments

Perspective Matters

Perspective Matters. The exact same moment in history (the arrival of Union troops in Fredericksburg VA in 1862), as described by a white woman resident of the area, and a black slave. It would be an understatement to say they had diverging viewpoints.
posted by COD on Jul 10, 2010 - 27 comments

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