I have been watching a Civil War show tonight that I recorded earlier from PBS. My younger son and I recently did a fieldtrip Friday to a cemetery in a neighboring city. We came across the separate African American cemetery here. This of course created a candid discussion about attitudes framing history in general. We also went to the Confederate cemetery.
I love learning and reading about the Civil War. This started when I was younger and found my still now interest in ancestry. My uncle told me stories he learned from his grandparents when he was younger. Some of these involved Sherman and his march of terror, the atrocities he forced upon helpless families, sometimes alone with women and children while the men were off at war. I learned first hand, from stories passed down, how my great grandparents of several generations ago, along with aunts and uncles and cousins, were raped, maimed, tortured, starved, and killed...under the orders of a man who is honored in the North in history and who is truly a horror of mankind still to some in the South.
These stories were passed along often when discussing old photographs of who was who and what he or she did and how they lived and died. It broke my heart to watch my uncle tear up when I was younger as he described the memory of his grandmother crying from tales of memories personal to her...eating chicken scratch to stay alive, the men, home from war, taking to the swamps and the thicket of the woods to not be killed or harmed by Union soldiers. The houses and barns and corn sheds burned. Winter supplies taken and families with small children left with nothing before the cold of winter set in...
While my son and I were viewing the graves...we noticed how so many were simply unknown.