Sunday, June 7, 2015

Civil War Sunday - The End

Today, on Day #7 of the Write Tribe Festival of Words #4, we are encouraged to flex our writing muscle.  So with that, I have to make a decision about a Sunday blog feature I've been writing for the past four years.  It is a "Civil War Sunday", blogging about an American war whose 150th anniversary we just commemorated.  It began in April of 1861 and it ended on....

Well, it depends, which is why I am calling today's blog post "The End".

I've discussed the future of this Sunday feature with my readers, and my decision is at the end of this post.

But first - why is it so hard to determine the end of a war?  And, should the question actually be "has the United States Civil War ever ended?"

If you consult Google, Google will respond with an end date of April 9, 1865, the date of the first major Confederate surrender to Union troops.  There were other surrenders after that, however - Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, so enshrined in our history, was only the first of the major surrenders.  It was not even the biggest, which took place later in April 1865 in North Carolina.

Consult and it gives you a date of June 2, 1865, when Confederate General E.K. Smith formally surrendered Confederate troops west of the Mississippi.

But was that the end?  Well, there were the guerrilla wars that persisted after the official end, especially as freed blacks, former slaves, tried to assert themselves.  This sad history, in some ways, continues today. 

Possibly the most comprehensive argument I have ever read (full of trivia that trivia lovers will love) in favor of the war never ending is in this New York Times blog post suggested by one of my readers.
And yet, the article reenforces which I also believe is true, which is that much of the greatness of our nation today (despite its flaws, of which there are many) also came from that same Civil War.

Which is why I am going to continue the Civil War Sunday feature and continue to flex my writing muscles.  At the end of the New York Times blog post is a Civil War pop quiz.  I got seven out of 15 (shame on me!) and the Times, said, of me:
You are a competent officer and fight bravely in battles for historical knowledge but sometimes you get distracted, go to the sutler's tent, and drink too much overpriced whiskey. This is what has kept you at the same rank for a while."

Now, I need to return to the battle for historical knowledge.

And, I do need to investigate that link between the Civil War and the soft drink Coca-Cola some more.  Just, I guess, without the fine bourbon.


  1. That quiz focuses on very esoteric trivia.

  2. Here's a great informative post Alana

  3. I got a 10! Would like to have gotten one more so I could be a "General" but Major is not bad.

    I have long felt that the war did not end until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, and I also feel that Reconstruction continues through the present era, although I had hoped it was over with the election of President Obama.

  4. Hi Alana...although I don't often comment on your Civil War Sunday...I read it most every Sunday, and I have to say, I would miss the history lessons and your takes on the events of this seemingly never ending event.

    A couple of trick question put me in the sutler's tent with you. My Confederate Ancestors are shaking their heads. Bottoms Up, Lieutenant!
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

  5. Glad you're doing to continue this feature. I always learn something new.

  6. I got a bit confused. First you announced 'the end' to Civil War Sunday and I breathed a sigh of relief. (But that's because I live in another country, and also don't like war.) But then, you said you would continue in the same vein to show how America became the great nation it is today. Ah, well. I'll bet the information you share is popular.

  7. Well, I'm glad you are going to continue because our family is civil war buffs and I always enjoy your civil war Sunday articles and often share them with my hubby. There are so may important issues to understand and discuss involving the civil war. :)


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