If you had to choose a single event to go back and witness first hand, which one would you choose?
Tough choice between Pickett’s charge and Hood’s attack at Franklin. Tough choice because the former is more iconic but the latter of the magnitude.
Either Gettysburg Address or Ford’s Theatre
Agree with Charlie
My first choice would be Fredericksburg both because of its importance in the early half of the war and because two of my ancestors fought there, one under Longstreet at Marye’s Height and one under Jackson. The latter wounded in the right arm and unable to fight again though he stayed in the army and was driving cattle from south Florida up to Georgia at the end of the war.
My second choice would be a personal one. To watch my ancestor who decided to fight in the 1st Florida Cavalry Union Volunteers enlist.
The Army of the Cumberland’s charge up Missionary Ridge on 11/25/63.
The assault of the Army of the Cumberland during the Battle of Chattanooga
Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, effectively ending the war.
Fredericksburg without a doubt. Would want to go in with the 5th New Hampshire.
The last day of the Battle of Cold Harbor because the 155th and the 164 th NYV including my great grandfather were caught up in it.
The conversation between McClellan and Lincoln after Antietam. Tension!?
i recently found out my g–grand farther was involved at Gettysburg on July 1, so I would like to see that and how much action he saw. How close did he come to bring killed, which would have prevented my birth? Did he shoot anyone? Was he in the action or did he shirk?
1) To observe President Lincoln read his Emancipation Proclamation to the assembled Cabinet, 22 Jul 1862. I’d like to see the reactions of that group of leaders, and actually hear their comments.
2) Battle of Fort Donelson: To observe General Grant as he met with Generals Wallace and McClernand, directed them to restore the Union right flank, and then ride with him to obseve General C. F. Smith lead his divison to capture the Confederate entrenchments. The story of the old man rallying his soldiers into column and leading them from the front has always thrilled me.
Appomattox hear Grant tell Lee we will never forget your valor and in the camps when both sides met in peace also with the 36 Va, at CEDER CREEK
Something personal…the day shortly after wars’ end when my great-greatgrandfather Samuel (41st Ohio Volunteer Infantry), his sons, my great-grandfather Warren (125th OVI), and great-uncle Wesley (125th OVI) were re-united with my great-great-grandmother, Wealtha. All of them together for the first time since elder brother Ebeneezer (105th OVI) had died on May 1, 1863. It must have been a very bitter-sweet moment.
Definitely General Jackson’s victory and liberation of Winchester (May 25, 1862). Second choice, Jackson’s funerals – I know that might sound weird, but to be able to witness first-hand the reaction of the army and civilians would be enlightening to my research.
For Civil War:
1 – Be in the room at Appomattox
2 – Ride with Rosecrans at Stones River December 31, 1862
3 – Pickett’s Charge
Honorable mention: Stand with Grant and Thomas at Chattanooga, Nov 25, 1863
For other (because the question didn’t specify just Civil War):
1 – Be at Independence Hall, July 2, 1776
2 – Go ashore with Perry in Tokyo Bay, July 14, 1853
3 – Ride with Sobieski to Vienna, September 1683
Honorable Mention I: Be with Jellicoe at Jutland, 1916
Honorable Mention II: Evacuate Corregidor with MacArthur and staff, March 1942
Honorable Mention III: Be with Kitchener at Omdurman, 1898
For “other,” I would’ve been awed to have been in the Enola Gay.
That would have been quite the experience, for sure.
Since Chris introduced an “other” category I’d like to add riding with Crazy Horse at Little Big Horn.
I would like to overhear Bee’s comment about Jackson at Manassas. Some naysayers contend that “Stonewall” was an insult, but I’ve always believed that if it had been, it never would’ve caught on with the men of the brigade as popularly as it did. To be there when Bee said it–and to dodge the bullet that soon thereafter got Bee–would be a way to put that nagging little controversy to rest.
Interesting questons! Mexican-American War, I’d say at the moment. I’d like to ask some question of Robert E. Lee at the Siege of Veracruz to research the book I’m writing.
Lincoln – Douglas at Freeport 1858
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