Comments about ‘Through Utah's eyes: Civil War 150 years ago’

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Published: Sunday, April 10 2011 8:21 p.m. MDT

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Dave from Taylorsville
Taylorsville, UT

Although Utah, and it's pioneers descendants, have only a somewhat detached and cursory relationship with the American Civil War, my family is resplendent with heritage of that great conflict.

I have three ancestors who fought for the Union; all three from the State of Kentucky. They were brave and honorable men who took up arms for what they believed was right. I also have 28 ancestors who fought for the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy. They joined their neighbors in fighting to repulse an invader who was actually illegally invading their home state. (And when the Confederates invaded Maryland and Pennsylvania, they too were acting illegally.)

I'm sure there will be many who will spout their politically correct mantra that the Confederates were traitors, and even worse, terrorists. But my ancestors were neither of these. None of them were slave owners with plantations. They were American Patriots, and not dupes of an evil cause.

They fought in most of the major actions of the war. Three of my direct-line ancestors were at Gettysburg. I honor them always, but also especially on this the 150th anniversary of the War Between the States.

Hellooo
Salt Lake City, UT

Interesting picture, but why not a picture of Federal troops at Fort Douglas during the actual civil war. They occupied the territory all during the civil war to prevent the "supposedly" eminent insurrection. Yes, even when the Union was desparate for men and failing to meet draft quotas from every state, they maintained the armed force in the Utah territory.

silas brill
Heber, UT

Confederates weren't American patriots. That's ridiculous to assert that. Maybe they were Confederate patriots, because America equals Union. I'm tired of people excusing the lack of moral sensibilities of the people who fought for the Confederacy. I'm not impressed with their religiosity. I'm descended from abolitionist Quakers. I'm proud of that. I have an x*great grandfather who fought for the Confederacy at Gettysburg. I'm not proud of that. The Confederacy was not a proud heritage. It was an ignominious one.

AT
Prospect, KY

I recently read _The Real Lincoln_ by Thomas DiLorenzo. A interesting read and a perspective very different than what you were taught in school about Lincoln and the War for Southern Independence. Highly recommend it!

RR_Xing
San Diego, CA

The Civil War had a profound impact on Utah: it focused the Republican Party's attention on the South for over a decade.

No mention of the Republican 1856 "twin relics of barbarism" platform or Lincoln's response to Brigham Young, which was along the lines of "I'll leave you alone if you leave me alone"?

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

A conquered people never forget. It's really time for some people to get over the civil war. I've actually recently heard one southerner refer to it as "the war of northern aggression." It was a tragic event and we need to remember it, But....it had the correct conclusion and we need to acknowledge that. This is coming from someone who has a degree in history and is a real Civil war buff. Thank goodness our union was saved and we have become the great country we are.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Utah considered themselves a "slave state" and agreed with the south.

darjen
Cleveland, OH

The Civil War was a terrible tragedy that could have easily been avoided. Every single civilized country in the world got rid of slavery without having to fight such a ridiculous war. Lincoln simply didn't want anyone to escape his power and domination. I agree with the comment above who mentioned _The Real Lincoln_ by Thomas DiLorenzo. Great read!

stemar
Salt Lake City, UT

Interesting comments. I would suggest also reading "A Team of Rivals" , D. Goodwin. An excellent read on Lincoln, civil war and the Republican Party. Darjen's comment that Lincoln "simply didn't want anyone to escape his power and dominiation," is a little over the top, in my opinion.

Brother Chuck Schroeder
A Tropical Paradise USA, FL

Other then DN, does anyone really give a rats-behind about this hogwash?. The opening salvo of the American Civil War will be recreated in the harbor of Charleston, S.C., as part of events marking this week's 150th anniversary of the start of the conflict. The island stronghold Fort Sumter will be the focus. Part of the National Park Service, events can go ahead there now that a federal government shutdown was averted. The superintendent of Fort Sumter National Monument, Tim Stone, says the observance is not a celebration but a somber commemoration of a war in which 600,000 Americans died Concerts on Monday evening and before dawn Tuesday will precede a daylong recreation of the canon bombardment Tuesday. Confederate forces demanded that a Union garrison surrender the fort and fired on it on April 12, 1861. Union forces surrendered two days later.

The NORTH (Lincoln) set free the slaved, held hostage in the South (the democrats), and the North won this war. End of report.

Have a happy 150th.

I got better things to do.

shellperson
Centerville, UT

What Brigham Young said by the first telegraph message once the line was completed to SLC was: "Utah has not seceded but is firm for the Cionstitution and laws of our once happy country."

Governor Cumming, as nearly as more than ten hyears of research have shown, did not fight in the war. When he returned to Washington to try to recover his expenses as governor, he was jailed without habeus corpus and was only released after two years. He is often confused with his nephew of the same name who was a general in the CSA. The younger Cumming had a colorful CSA career and was severely wounded in the Atlanta campaign which ended his fighting.

timpClimber
Provo, UT

Having lived in four southern states as a child and an adult it was interesting to to learn of the feelings about the Civil War from my friends, neighbors and students. In general the folks of the south felt that the Union soldiers where butcherous invaders and the Confederate soldiers were cultured gentlemen fighting for a special way of life. Lincoln is seen as the great butcher. Sheridan was the bloody hatchet who carried out the butcher's orders. Many thought J.W. Booth fully justified in what he did. My guess is that many southerners secretly cheered the symbolic cannon firing on Fort Sumpter.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

Ernest T. Bass, please enlighten us as to why you believe Utah (I assume Deseret) considered itself a "slave state"?

One could make the argument that Deseret was firmly behind the south insofar as they emphasized states rights, but I believe you've gone too far in portraying Deseret as pro-slavery. I don't believe history would support you there.

But I'd like to hear your sources.

Jack
Aurora, CO

Oh I could certainly understand how someone could call the state of Utah a "pro-slavery" state.....when the Mormons were driven from Missouri, a real slave state, since they opposed slavery. I don't recall any slaves coming to Utah in the history books, and since most of the members of the Church at that time were from abolitionist Northern states.........Yep, I can sure see how Utah could have been called a "pro-slavery" state.....

teleste
Provo, UT

@ Say No to BO

1. The Mormons were essentially seceding from the Union in 1847 when they left Nauvoo to move west (secession is a very Confederate friendly idea to say the least).
2. The Republican Party hated slavery and Polygamy. Utah was guilty of both. Many (perhaps most?) in Utah would likely NOT have considered themselves Union sympathizers in 1860-1865.
3. Volunteers from Utah marched to fight with the Confederacy. Some are buried at Soldier Summit Wasatch County.
4. Union forces occupied Utah because it was not seen as friendly territory by the Federal Government.
5. I was at the Museum of the Confederacy in December...when I was asked by a Confederate re-enactor where I was from and casually said 'Utah' thinking he'd have nothing to say one way or the other...I was shocked when he said "so you're one of us." Yes, even the South sees Utah that way.

teleste
Provo, UT

@ Say No to BO

Census records show 26 African slaves in Salt Lake in 1850 and 29 in 1860.

Three of them even have their names carved on the Brigham Young Monument in downtown SLC.

That's pretty pro-slavery sounding to me...

Also...

And for whatever reason, the Mormons (the founders and vast majority of Deseret) did not even let African Americans into their own church leadership until 1978. This is not enough to declare them "pro-slavery" but it certainly demonstrates that for whatever reason they had a significant bias towards people of African descent. Not unlike much of the South...

1Infidel
APO, AE

I too having lived in 4 Southern States, and Maryland (essentially much the same) and worked in a 6th, have heard the "war of Northern aggression" for decades. One also continues to hear others quaintly remark that, "The South will rise again." (As in rebellion? I have never gotten a straight answer, or the same one from any two proud Southerners.)

With somewhat tongue-in-cheek humor, I have always responded, "When you are at the bottom, there is no way but up."

Modern verbal fencing aside, it was a war fraught with terrible suffering and loss of life, fought to preserve the Union which gives us strength today, and to preserve/dismantle a cruel, out-moded and dehumanizing way of life. I give pause then to thank God for Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Phil Sheridan, William Tecumseh Sherman, General Hancock, Col Chamberlain, and the countless brave and decent men and women who fought gallantly on both sides for their American-held beliefs, and who worked to aid the suffering where possible.

I am amazed too at the lack of wider recognition today over the Prophet Joseph's clear statement about the onset of the war. Clear prophecy.

mcclark
Salt Lake City, UT

Dave from Taylorsville The civil was was about SLAVERY you Koch-Party types always want to downplay that, but that is the FACT. You people want to go back to how it used to be. When slavery was legal, when women couldnt vote. Heck, when only landowners could vote. No thanks.

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