Greetings all! I have been posting updates on Twitter of late chronicling the progress of my next web-course: The American Civil War. I am very pleased to announce that the launch date is May 14, 2016. The course includes nearly forty video lectures and other projects covering military, social, political, and economic aspects of the conflict.
I am most excited to offer this course to my founding web-students for a 50% discount off the already reasonable price. You won’t find this deal anywhere but through this site – and the offer goes away on launch day. So you had better get on the stick. Here’s what you need to do:
ONE – be a current student or enroll now in either my Gettysburg or Reconstruction Era web-course for the regular discounted price available only from Keith Harris History.
TWO – sign up to be part of the Keith Harris History CREW so I can be sure to get you the info you need.
Get that all squared away and on launch day you will receive your discount code via email. And that’s it. Easy right?
From time to time, as you all by now surely know, I ask some sort of little question on Twitter to get the ball rolling toward a conversation. Recently I asked the hypothetical: “Who would you rather have on your side, Grant or Lee…and why?” Kind of a silly question of course, since there are so many other factors to consider when it comes to victory and defeat, but my point was to get people talking about the military prowess of each commander.
The most interesting thing happened. The votes were unanimously cast for Ulysses S. Grant. This surprised me a little – the Twitter universes is a big place, and surely there have to be some Lee fans out there. But not this time.
A number of things could explain this. One, we are looking at these two men retrospectively and well, we know who won. So yes, we all like to pick a winner.
But I think there is more to it than that. Answers indicate that Lee was overrated both in his time and by subsequent generations…that he was too audacious and unnecessarily bled his army to defeat. Grant, on the other hand, masterfully used the resources that those before him did (or could) not. This suggests to me that myths surrounding both men have changed drastically over the last several decades.
Others suggested that northern leaning sentiment is slowly taking over the Internet – that perhaps a less technologically savvy older generation favors the Lee camp and thus doesn’t really use social media platforms to speak their minds. I’m not sure if I agree with this – I have seen plenty of web-based pro-Confederate groups who maintain active forums declaring the many virtues of their beloved Robert E. Lee.
At least one person figured that I might have driven the pro-Lee crew away and they just did not participate. After all, besides being a “Yankee metrosexual wearing purple sunglasses” I am also on record as favoring the Union cause…maybe I was just baiting them. (I wasn’t. I am also on record as stating that I think RE Lee was a hell of a soldier)
I’ll give the Lee crew a chance to weigh in here. But as it stands so far – Grant is a clear winner in the “who would you rather have on your side” contest.
Good morning friends and a Happy Independence Day to you all! Today I would like to take a moment to commemorate the fall of the Rebel stronghold at Vicksburg – July 4, 1863. I am quite certain that the loyal citizens of the United States appreciated the significance of such a victory on such a day. Huzzah!
Appomattox Day, in case you’re wondering…was yesterday, April 9th, 2014. Not many really “celebrate” this day anymore – though it is often commemorated – especially owing to its clear reconciliationist overtones. But not too terribly long ago, this day was celebrated with great joy and truimphalism by Union veterans – particularly those who fought with the Army of the Potomac – as the day the forces of the United States suppressed a domestic rebellion.
Not for nothin’ my fellow citizens – happy (belated) Appomattox Day!
Oh if only Grant and Lee could once again meet face to face to debate the great issues of the Civil War…a “what if” that even I will ponder. And wouldn’t it be great if they could meet on a bizarrely conceived 1970s game show called “Risk Your Reputation” where they could both engage in surreal recreations complete with a cheese ball host and leotard-clad narrators? That sure would be fantastic…