Question of the Week: 2/17-2/23/2020

Imagine this…you have to time travel and talk with any former U.S. President about the American Civil War. Who will you spend your hour with? What questions do you want to ask them related to the Civil War or Reconstruction?

8 Responses to Question of the Week: 2/17-2/23/2020

  1. Teddy Roosevelt. Sure he wasn’t even in the war but he was such a conservationist and a hero to our National Parks Service today. Teddy was also a veteran and I think would have been very open to saving more battlefield lands from the urban sprawl that was to come. It’d save us from playing the catch-up game we are now.

  2. Ike. I like Ike! He retired to Gettysburg. I’d bet he would be a blast to chat with and ask questions of.

  3. Well, I did spend an hour today dropping down into a lil’ ravine where Wilderness Run once ran. It’s around there on the north side of Orange Plank, I believe Brevet Major-General James S. Wadsworth was fatally blasted in the brain. While down there disposing of much debris, I asked (later 2 term POTUS)Lieutenant General US Grant, why he allowed Meade to press the most exhausted and eldest officer to his death like that? Was that the last decision Grant regretted most before he seized full command away from Meade by the next morning setting off for Spotsylvania? I also had to ask Lincoln if he thought of how he might have tried harder to keep Wadsworth in office and out of the War? Then I asked them both, why they allowed so many like noble Wadsworth behind in these dreaded woods? Addressing Abe, why’d he leave most all there over a year? Then, I remembered aloud to both twice elected Presidents, that Wadsworth would have wanted nothing more than for us to think of his death and duty done for them both and his country in this Battle that was the beginning of the end for the enemy of the United States Army.

  4. Teddy Roosevelt, because of his mother’s Confederate family, and his father’s complicated relationship with it.

  5. I’d speak with Lincoln, and I’d ask him these questions.

    1. Did he think the tariffs had anything to do with the South’s willingness to secede? In retrospect, does he now think those tariffs were a good idea?
    2. After Southern hotheads fired on Fort Sumter, he called for 75,000 troops to put down the rebellion. Does he now wish he hadn’t called for those troops so quickly.? Does he wish that he’d waited instead, let tempers cool, tried to work with Southerners who didn’t want to secede (e.g., Zebulon Vance of North Carolina), and hopefully find a solution short of bloodshed?
    3. When McClellan gave him that long letter full of “advice” on how President Lincoln should run the war, Lincoln put the letter in his pocket. Did he want to punch McClellan instead?

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