The Civil War in Memory: 1877 to 2013

The Civil War in Memory: 1877 to 2013

Did the 50th anniversary have any good results?

Many people applauded the reenactment of Pickett’s Charge. At its end, the Confederate and Union veterans stood at the stone wall—the very one where Lewis Armistead had crossed at the height of the battle on July 3, 1863—and shook hands. Cameras caught the moment, and reconciliation seemed the order of the day.

Almost no one commented on the dearth of African-American participants at Gettysburg in 1913. There had, it is true, been very few blacks on the field in 1863, but it is still surprising to us today to learn that the only way blacks could participate in 1913 was to sell blankets to the veterans. Reenactment and reconciliation, clearly, did not include African Americans.


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