Recently came back from a family trip (mini-vacation) to Gettysburg PA. This year was particularly cool (not in a temperature way, but in a demeanor way of being awesome) because we had a very specific mission … to find the monument of my ancestor’s unit that fought on days 2 & 3 of the battle in 1863.
I’ve been interested in genealogy and family history for many years … and so much of my stuff is data around births, deaths, marriages … dates, places and the like …
Yet the best part of it all is not the data – but the stories that are uncovered. It’s the stories that provide a continuum from ancestor to the present day. The stories give meaning to the collection of facts, dates, places, names, etc. The stories personalize the experience … and this is what our kid has been talking about since we’ve come home from Gettysburg. He wants to learn more about what it was like … not from a textbook-date_laden-jumble of information … but from the point of view of his ancestor (who, along with his brother, fought with the 82nd NYC Infantry of the 2nd NY Volunteer Infantry … who helped to prevent a total collapse of the Union line when Sickles had to retreat on the second day, and who stood at the center of the Union line during Picket’s charge on the third day. The brother was wounded on July 3rd.)
Ulysses Grant: Stubborn and practical, Grant was successful in almost every campaign he fought. Some thought him a mindless butcher who cared nothing for his men, when in reality he regretted every wasteful battle he ever fought. Credited with changing Union strategy in the East from being focused on places, like Richmond, to focusing on Lee’s army. Grant realized that the Union could field an army far longer than the Confederacy, and kept the pressure on until Lee’s army eventually ran out of supplies, men, and will.Some claim that Grant’s reputation is overrated as an actual general, but those who disagree with them argue that Grant had a winning formula and stuck with it to final victory.
Take this quiz!