Remembering The Battle of the Crater: War as Murder (New Directions in Southern History)
Kevin M. Levin
The battle of the Crater is known as one of the Civil War's bloodiest struggles -- a Union loss with combined casualties of 5,000, many of whom were members of the United States Colored Troops (USCT) under Union Brigadier General Edward Ferrero. The battle was a violent clash of forces as Confederate soldiers fought for the first time against African American soldiers. After the Union lost the battle, these black soldiers were captured and subject both to extensive abuse and the threat of being returned to slavery in the South. Yet, despite their heroism and sacrifice, these men are often overlooked in public memory of the war.
In Remembering The Battle of the Crater: War is Murder, Kevin M. Levin addresses the shared recollection of a battle that epitomizes the way Americans have chosen to remember, or in many cases forget, the presence of the USCT. The volume analyzes how the racial component of the war's history was portrayed at various points during the 140 years following its conclusion, illuminating the social changes and challenges experienced by the nation as a whole. Remembering The Battle of the Crater gives the members of the USCT a newfound voice in history.
Supremacy and states’ rights. Lost Cause advocates such as Jubal Early assumed an aggressive posture against ex-Confederates like Mahone who threatened their own conservative social and political agenda. As Mahone was not an outsider but a successful Confederate general, he had to be dealt with severely, and they dealt with him by attacking his war record, including his leadership at the battle of the Crater. A closer look at Mahone’s postwar difficulties sheds light on the heated debates.
Property. If the government purchased sufficient ground near Petersburg, and dedicated it to the use of the veterans of both armies as a national park, this difficulty would be overcome, and monuments to the memory of soldiers of the various commands, North and South, would spring up as if by magic. The value of these to the present generation, to posterity and to the truth of history would be more than commensurate with the cost to the government, to say nothing of the encouragement to.
Some 533 yards beyond. If all went as planned, black soldiers stood a chance of being the first Union soldiers to enter the city of Petersburg.9 The presence of African American soldiers signaled a dramatic shift in the overall policy of the Lincoln administration, which had hoped to save the Union strictly through military means without risking popular support by redrawing deeply entrenched racial boundaries. By the middle of the summer of 1862 it had become clear to military officials in the.
Values of particular importance to African Americans in Petersburg have not been adequately represented.” One important observation contained in the report underscores the belief among some local residents that the preservation of African American history ought not to be reduced or understood simply as the preservation of artifacts and historic landscapes. This is especially true for those black residents who are descended from slaves rather than from the vibrant free black population that.
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