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This was the linkback perk for the August 1, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl, originally hosted by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It came out of the May 2, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was prompted by [personal profile] stardreamer.


"Rewriting the Narrative"


Who speaks is heard;
who writes is remembered.

After the Slaveholders' Rebellion,
the losers rose up to tell their own tales
in which they made themselves out
to be doomed heroes, for few wish
to think of themselves as evil,

even when their deeds show it so.

Oh, there were many causes
that fed into that awful conflict, but
the root and the fruit of it lay in slavery,
which the North could not endure and
the South would not surrender.

So the war was fought,
and it was lost and won,
but the conflict was not over.

The slaveholders simply
continued their rebellion
by other ways and means.

They spent huge amounts of time
and effort rewriting the narrative
of what happened, and to this day,

a great many people still don't know
the truth because the only history
they ever get is in school -- which is
taught from the losers' perspective.

Sometimes history isn't
in the truth, but in the retelling.

* * *

Notes:

Read about the Civil War and the Slaveholders' Rebellion.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-07 07:19 pm (UTC)
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
Accurate :(

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-09 04:06 pm (UTC)
johnpalmer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] johnpalmer
There was a meme written that Grant was a drunkard and a sledgehammer-wielder who just threw wave after wave against the virtuous, brilliant, Les. There was then a retrospective by Fuller (who I'm told is revered as a strong military mind).

There was some truth to Grant as a brute. He was the kind of general who thought that the kindest treatment of soldiers was "ending the goddamned war" so, if he's broken the line after three days of hard fighting, he'll send his men in pursuit, rather than let them rest. See, it's true his men are tired and battered... but the Southern troops were tired, battered, and, broken, and scared. Don't let that advantage go!

Fuller admired Lee as a tactician, and gave some reasoning for his being revered: he was like a knight of old, sans peur et sans reproche; do all that you can, and then accept that Providence will choose the right side. Lee was a brilliant tactician, and the *last* thing *anyone* wanted to do was compete against him in this field.

But he was a *terrible* general. He let his army march without sufficient supplies, he didn't enforce military discipline (there were frequent stragglers among Southern troops, for example), and didn't have the larger understanding of strategy needed to win the war.

Grant wasn't perfect by any means - but he knew how to rally troops, he knew the extreme importance of supplies, and he made mistakes... once. And he learned his enemy, and drove Lee to a pinned-down position, and then let Sherman loose.

Far more important than the *army* is the political will, and Sherman broke that.

Far more interesting is that the Confederacy works the way the GOP praises now... and they got their butts handed to them, in spite of having superior economic power at the time (the Civil War was at a time when raw materials - like cotton - still outvalued labor and production).

It was a pretty good book, but Fuller assumes a military mind is reading it - he calls out sites of strategic value without any explanation of why, except for a map. The map may speak to a strategist or tactician who can put themselves in the mindset (first war of The Rifle, railroads and boats for transport), but not helpful to civilians like me.

(The Rifle: the Civil War was the first war fought where there was a large number of magazine based rifles. This completely changed military tactics. With single shot long arms, a cavalry charge is extraordinarily powerful With repeating rifles, it's "suicide". A small group of men in an entrenched position can hold off a much, much larger force. Cavalry was now for scouting, diversions, and mobility, not breaking positions.)
Edited Date: 2017-08-09 04:08 pm (UTC)

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