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Join Us For A Special Live Stream Event at Gettysburg Battlefield

The Battle of Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. With more than 50,000 casualties, it represented a turning point in the Civil War and ended Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s second attempt to invade the North. This coming July, in conjunction with the 158th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, we are partnering with the American Battlefield Trust to tour the Gettysburg battlefield and share stories about the soldiers who were there. We invite you to join us for this unprecedented event as we live stream from Gettysburg on July 1-3, 2021.

Do you have an ancestor that fought at Gettysburg? This pivotal battle impacted soldiers, their families, and the communities they hailed from for generations. Regiments were often raised in towns; it was common for brothers, cousins, and even fathers and sons to serve in the same regiment. Thus, when a unit experienced heavy battle casualties, the impact back home was tremendous.

Archibald N. Euwer

Archibald N. Euwer was born November 22, 1843. After hearing a rousing call for volunteers at a town meeting, Euwer enlisted in the Pennsylvania 155th Infantry Regiment, Company C, in 1862. Not long after his regiment marched off to war, Pvt. Euwer wrote home to his brother. His letter conveyed a hint of adventure and excitement, “I have been very much pleased with my trip,” and “I have liked it very well so far.” Less than two weeks later, the 155th fought at the Battle of Antietam. The carnage and death shocked Euwer, who must have quickly realized his service would be much more than just an adventure.

The following summer, the 155th, now battle-weary and tired, arrived at Gettysburg. Union and Confederate troops had already been fighting for one terrible day. On July 2, 1863, Euwer, who was now a Color-Corporal, ascended a rocky hill at Gettysburg now known as Little Round Top. The view from the top came with a strategic advantage and fighting to control the hill was fierce. Men from the 155th struggled to help haul cannons to the summit and then stood ready for battle, as firm as the boulders around them. Wave after wave of Confederate soldiers tried to gain the hill’s summit, to no avail. The Pennsylvanians then gathered rocks on the hill and constructed stone walls for defense from Confederate marksmen, tucked among the boulders in an area known as the Devil’s Den. Bombardment and fighting flared throughout the vicinity and into the early evening. As darkness fell, the sounds of battle subsided, and the cries of wounded soldiers filled the air. Euwer bedded down for the night amidst the rocks and boulders.

The following morning brought continued fighting and a culminating assault by Confederates at Cemetery Ridge known as Pickett’s Charge. The attack resulted in heavy Confederate losses. Meanwhile, Euwer and others at Little Round Top saw the distant fighting and along with 10,000 others cheered the repulse of Pickett’s Charge. Their joy was short-lived as they surveyed the scene around them. The battlefield was awash with the dead and dying. The 155th lost six men killed at Gettysburg, with 13 wounded. Euwer survived, and according to family legend, ruined his teeth at Gettysburg by constantly using them to tear open packets of powder to load his musket.

Archibald N. Euwer returns to Gettysburg

Shortly after the war ended, Euwer moved to Iowa where he married and started a family. Years later, at a meeting of the Blue and Gray, he returned to Gettysburg. He was photographed on the rock where he said he’d fought so many years before. Archibald N. Euwer died in 1924 at age 81.

This is just one of the scores of stories we’ll bring to you from Gettysburg as we walk in the footsteps of your ancestors. Plus, expect artifacts from the battle, access to restricted sites, and special guests to boot! We’re looking forward to learning more about Gettysburg in the upcoming weeks. We’ve invited the experts at American Battlefield Trust to share more about the battle in a guest blog post at the end of the month. We also invite you to submit your ancestor’s Gettysburg story here for a chance to be featured during our live stream event. To see more records, Memorials, and photographs related to the Battle of Gettysburg, search Fold3® today.


  1. Please remember the students of Ole Miss, University Grays, who served their cause with honor at Gettysburg. Anyone thinking this war was all about slavery, then your history would be faulty.

    • Bobby Sikes says:

      Unfortunately, history is written by the side that prevails and not by unbiased true historians. Slavery was indeed a key issue…but not emancipation. Southerners wanted the freedom to move into the new territories with their ‘property’, Northerners wanted the territories for their own ‘wage labor’ control. Southerners wanted judicial protection of their property, Northerners did not want to enforce existing laws to that end. The agricultural South was not enhanced but was rather harmed by the effects of steep tariffs, whereas the manufacturing North reaped a bonanza. The War was about economic control and social control!

    • Mr. Sykes,

      Simply put, with secession the issue of slavery was settled as far as the territories and any other issues are concerned. The North wanted the “revenue” they would lose if the South left the Union., that was their only economic concern.

      Let me ask this of you, if you have documents proving otherwise please post.

    • Bobby Sikes says:

      George…read my reply? I agree with you…the abolition of slavery was not the early aim of Lincoln. But the limitation of the growth of slavery…and ‘slave’ political power…was a part of the cause. Economics…money and political power was the cause of the war.
      My Great Uncle Edward Lowery fought with Hayes’ Louisiana Tigers at Gettysburg; my 2 Great Grandfather was killed at Perryville with the 13th Tennessee; my Great Grandfather was made a POW by Yankees on Jan 1 1862 just north of Murfreesboro and he was just a 14 year old hunting food for his starving family. George…I understand; it is deep in my soul also!

    • Mr. Sykes,

      Yes I did read and understand your reply, however the only part I take issue with is this statement—“Slavery was indeed a key issue”

      Slavery was not an issue, the collection of revenue was, Buchanan said it, Lincoln said it the United States congress said it.

      Davis said– “We are not fighting for slavery. We are fighting for Independence,–and that, or extermination, we will have.”

    • Mr. Martin,

      Yes I do have a problem with the phony history some pass off as facts. You don’t?

    • John says:

      I think you misinterpreted my comments. I’m very aware the victor writes the history. Most just accept what is handed to them with no question

    • Don says:

      Yeah, but at the end of the day, it was mostly about slavery, in one way or another. In any event, would you diminish Germany’s culpability for the Holocaust, and our resolve against it, by arguing that FDR and the Allies continued to prosecute the war against Germany for many different reasons?

      And apologists for the Confederacy and the South — although the losing party — indeed wrote the history of the Civil War for at least the first 150 years. That old chestnut about the victor writing the history of a war has long been inapplicable to the Civil War. The South’s view still holds sway among much of the public. Its tropes (such as flags) may still be seen throughout the country. (I have often been to Germany. I have never seen a Nazi flag flying from a home, truck or town fair there.)

      It is only more recently that truth and balance have been brought to the subject in a public way, first in some few TV shows and movies, now in law and policy. The current National Defense Authorization Act, calling for the renaming of all forts named after “Confederate traitors” (the words used by General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the Congressional hearing on the law last summer), is a step in the right direction.

      Just a few examples of the Losers and their apologists writing the war’s history:

      The myth of the “Lost Cause”
      Birth of A Nation
      Gone with the Wind
      Shelby Foote
      Douglas Southall Freeman
      The Civil War Centennial Commemoration
      Commemorative stamps of the U. S. Post Office
      Fort Lee
      Fort Benning
      Fort Bragg
      Fort Hood
      Fort Polk
      Fort Gordon
      Fort Pickett
      Fort A. P. Hill
      Fort Rucker
      Camp Beauregard
      All Gettysburg reunions of the survivors
      Virtually all Civil War monuments in the South
      The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
      Etc, etc.

    • Jersey Girl says:

      Reality – slavery was waning. It was nor cost effective – new machinery was more effective and efficient. The goal was to emancipate EDUCATED people – not let loose those with no education and no skills in many cases.

    • Jeri Greve says:

      My children are had three in the Mississippi regiment lose their lives! Captain Goode Clark, Albert Clark, and Henry Clark of whom my mother-in-law, Henrietta Clark Justice was named. Two were killed the first day of the battle and the third on the last day. There is still a scholarship to honor the widow of Captain Goode Clark given in Calhoun County. Their letters home are archived in the library at Ole Miss!

    • Don,

      So perhaps you can tell us how any of the movies helped start the war?

      Perhaps tell us how the names of the forts or bases started the war? How are these fort names related to national defense?

      Milley is a bigot, that to call the Confederates traitors is exactly what he is supposed to say. Suppose you prove treason. How many Confederates were tried and convicted of treason?

      Perhaps you have ONE document proving the war was all about slavery? Let’s see it, it is that simple.
      Show us how much you really know.

      As to the monuments to Southern Heroes, we respect our ancestors a lot more than you folks do, after you folks are the ones taking down monument to to Lincoln, Washington etc.

    • Tom says:

      My history is not faulty. The war was all about slavery and all its implications.

    • David A Mason says:

      Nope. Your history is faulty. It was ALL about slavery. Just check the foundation statement by Alexander Stevens, VP of the Confederacy. Also mentioned innumerable times by Jeff Davis as the founding principle of the Confederacy. Don’t claim you know history if you don’t.

    • J Harding says:

      The greatest efforts made by the defeated insurgents since the close of the war have been to promulgate the idea that the cause of liberty, justice, humanity, equality, and all the calendar of the virtues of freedom, suffered violence and wrong when the effort for southern independence failed. This is, of course, intended as a species of political cant, whereby the crime of treason might be covered with a counterfeit varnish of patriotism, so that the precipitators of the rebellion might go down in history hand in hand with the defenders of the government, thus wiping out with their own hands their own stains; a species of self-forgiveness amazing in its effrontery, when it is considered that life and property—justly forfeited by the laws of the country, of war, and of nations, through the magnanimity of the government and people—was not exacted from them.
      George Henry Thomas, November 1868.

    • Margaret Tull says:

      Yes, Thank You for remembering the Mississippi Grays!

    • Mary Melcher says:

      It was about preservation of the union because from day 1 the founders knew that absent a central government and a constitution, there could be no united states–and we would have had an unruly bunch of tiny countries (like the Europe, they sought to escape). Slavery had to be confronted because free vs. slave states threatened to roll back the founders’ idea of a democracy and a country united under the rule of law. Confronting the fact of owning and working other humans was necessary so in the final analysis it was about slavery.

  2. Hi everyone! I am really looking forward to telling your ancestor’s stories at Gettysburg. If you are willing to share, please visit this link and give the information so that we can looking into your soldier’s story. Thanks! (Link: )

    • Ms Mitchell,

      Can someone who is not a member of Ancestry or Fold3 make a submission using this link?

    • Yes! Anyone can submit a story. Union or Confederate soldiers or just someone who was there. We want them all 🙂

    • Alan N. says:

      Ms Mitchell, if this blog is illustrative of the “information” to be discussed at your affair at Gettysburg, I’ll pass.

      There was a Facebook post this morning, and I paraphrase and edit – the Confederacy lasted only five years. It was a failure on many, many fronts. You’re not in love with the Confederacy, you’re in love with white supremacy. Stop pretending.

      That says it all.

    • John Martin says:

      Where did that come from? If you aren’t interested in the presentation, just pass. Why do you feel it necessary to be rude and insulting to other’s point of view/ interest? You sir , are a total jerk.

    • Alan N
      How is the recording of stories about a historical event ” white supremacy.” If you are white , why are you so ashamed?

      Bet that is your best shot at being factual.

    • Bob Velke says:

      May I just say … you have the patience of a saint.

  3. John Martin says:

    This topic amazes me, amazes me that people are still ferociously defending their opinion and verbally attacking the opposition. I made similar statements as those above and was immediately called an ignorant , uneducated racist. Of course I have no idea the educational level of the person attacking me, but I do hold a B.S. in Bus Mgt, minor in Psychology. I’d encourage all on both sides of the issue of what the war was about to discuss it open mindedly , but learn from our past and move ahead in support of all. So much in the news ramping up hate, trying to divide us again. Don’t fall for it, think for yourself.

  4. Mr. Martin,

    With all due respect to your education, Business Mgt. is not a study of history, neither is Psychology. When you put these out as your credentials for discussing history, sir they fall well short.

    Me, man I barely graduated high school, but I have studied the cause of the war , using documents and the speeches of Buchanan, Lincoln and Davis for some 30 years. I maintain a website chocked full of sourced information that is well worth reading if one has the time. I have debated men and women with all sorts of educational backgrounds, and like you have been insulted because these folks could not compete with proven fact. That has happened right here in this blog. Frankly I have no need for insults, but if attacker I can exchange insults with the best, as I am sure you can.

    Like you, I tell everyone don’t believe everything you read or hear from someone, not even me, do the research yourself, that way you will know.

    • John Martin says:

      Did I say a degree in Bus Mgt or Psy had anything to do with history? Nope, don’t think I did. And I’m not holding myself higher than anyone else by that statement. It was merely to point out I was called ignorant and uneducated. And by the way, Mommy and Daddy didn’t pay for my education, I did because I wanted the education.
      That said you say you’ve studied the cause of war , etc. What makes you think my education was strictly limited to the 2 above fields. I also have always been interested in history, and not just the Civil War, but all history. And I’ve read and studied it also.
      So, you might want to hold back on the bad mouth about people and circumstances you are totally ignorant of.
      Congrats on your dedication to the study of history also. History probably determines more of our future than any other study.

    • Mr. martin, I never said that your degrees had anything to do with history, I simply pointed out that had NOTHING TO DO WITH HISTORY. Sure you are trying to put yourself above everyone else by mentioning these degrees as if that gives you some special insight to historical events.

      Mommy and Daddy didn’t pay my way either, so what is your point here?

      I didn’t bad mouth you, or your circumstances, I am letting you do that to yourself. To be sure I just really don’t care about your circumstances or your education.

      I never said your education was limited to two field. Anyone can read history books, which may or may not be telling the facts. I note actual fact is something you avoid. So show me how smart you really are and post one document proving the cause of the war was slavery, let’s see it, it is just that simple.

      Or perhaps that is the lack of knowledge of history?

    • John Martin says:

      Mr Purvis, I note you seem to cross swords with a lot of folks on here. You are so intent on venting your hostility that you don’t even try to understand the content of what’s said. I was in agreement with you on several points and then you go off on a rant about my education, etc etc. You twist the most basic statement into something totally foreign to give yourself fuel for an argument. For instance in your last post in answer to mine , you ask me to post a document saying the war was over slavery. Listen up, I never mentioned that topic. And as far as me avoiding facts , you wouldn’t recognize a fact if it came up and sat on your face.
      Now, go wage your little word war behind the safety of your computer screen with everyone else. You are of no importance to me , you do not exist. Oh, and I won’t be wasting any more time trying to reason with an idiot.

  5. Dwight says:

    Mr Purvis, Remind me what Jefferson Davis said about the institution of slavery. The ISSUE of slavery was at the core of North-South disagreements, even if that issue morphed through many permutations before and during the war. Many on both sides were proud enough to think that they could win the war fairly easily, and both were dead wrong. That said, the anaconda encircled the South and eventually squeezed it to death, after the expenditure of much blood and treasure. As Sam Houston told his fellow Texans (who did not follow his advice) roughly paraphrased “those Yankees are slow to anger, but once you arouse them, they will come down here and kick our asses.” Done.

    • Mr. Dwight,

      Davis said as, as I pointed out—Davis said– “We are not fighting for slavery. We are fighting for Independence,–and that, or extermination, we will have.”

      Now you may post any document you have proving the South was fighting for slavery. You may also post any document you have proving the North was fighting to free the slaves.

      BTW how many slaveowners fought for the North?

      The anaconda plan was a war measure, it had nothing to do with the institution of slavery.

      But until the Yankees started getting the foreign immigrants involved and Lincolns German mercenaries involved, the South was winning.

      Sam Houston also said this— “Let me tell you what is coming. After the sacrifice of countless millions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives, you may win Southern independence if God be not against you, but I doubt it. ***I tell you that, while I believe with you in the doctrine of states rights, the North is determined to preserve this Union.**** They are not a fiery, impulsive people as you are, for they live in colder climates. But when they begin to move in a given direction, they move with the steady momentum and perseverance of a mighty avalanche; and what I fear is, they will overwhelm the South.”

      And of course Lincoln said this— Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable – a most sacred right – a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.

      The South had the right, they had the power against the Union, just not the Union and its mercenaries. Those are the historical facts.

    • John Martin says:

      Seems you hold a bit of hostility . LOL

    • Mr. Sikes,

      You should read Dwight’s response to me again. He claims nothing about the South fighting because they were invaded, but he does claim the war was all about slavery. Note neither of you have provided any documents supporting your stance.

      I am waiting.

    • Bobby Sikes says:

      George…you are beginning to be an embarrassment to my patriotic Southern blood! If you want documentation come by and visit me in the beautiful Colorado Rockies and read from my library of over 1,000 historical books including several from the tortured 1850’s, and several more from the 1860’s. Of course the war was not solely about slavery, but to deny that issues revolving around slavery played into the conflict is clearly an untruth…an outright lie! I expect that from ‘damn yankees’ but we should hold ourselves above that. I am proud of my heritage; and I am done with yours!

    • Mr. Bobby Sikes,

      So you are telling me that with this massive amount of historical information right at your fingertips you cannot give one historical fact proving that slavery was the cause of the war? AMAZING!!!

      If I was in that position I would be embarrassed too!!!!

      Oh by the way your response is that I have come to expect from the good folks who want to stand on the slavery issue, but just don’t have enough facts to actually debate with. My suggestion is burn all your books and start over.

  6. Mr. Martin,

    Yes I do have a problem with the phony history some pass off as facts. You don’t?

    • Dwightd says:

      George, If you beleeeve strongly enough and you are interested only in the facts that support your beleeeef that it was NOT about slavery, you can certainly collect a lot of factoids, especially since politicians and Presidents say all sorts if things over the years about their intentions, limitations, goals etc., and you can start with Lincoln as Exhibit A. I assume that you already know about the many statements supporting the cause of slavery, the justification of the institution, and even the hesitancy to use black soldiers, “because it would prove that all we have been fighting for was wrong.” etc. If you have studied the matter as extensively as you claim to have, then you know that there is a lot of that material out there. Since it does not support your case, I suppose, we should not expect you to acknowledge it, but surprise me, and acknowledge it.
      And yes, Anaconda was a battle plan, but this is, ostensibly, about the Battle of Gettysburg etc right?
      Anyway, I have read Civil War histories since I was twelve. In my old age I am moving to the primary sources, first-person accounts of soldiers from my community who fought. If I wanted to, I could try to make the case that some of them were not fighting to end slavery, because at least one was angry at the Emancipation Proclamation and that freeing the “n*****rs was not what he signed up for. He got over it and fought on until he bought it in the days of fighting at Spotsylvania Courthouse.
      You and I both know (I think) that if it were not for the institution of slavery, there would NOT have been a Civil War. If you can’t acknowledge that, then you need to go back and contemplate how the slave-based (as it turned out) plantation economy shaped the South and its values (whether or not, most of the folks were slave-owners,) especially from the time of the cotton gin, on. I just learned in the last week that the railroads in the south were designed to get cotton to the ports, rather than actually connect the cities. In any case, Stoneman’s cavalry came and tore up the tracks again.

      Do we really need to go down that road of how slave-powered plantations and cotton shaped the South? Have you read, “The Bear,” in which Faulkner, as a southerner tried to come to grips with the matter?

    • Bobby Sikes says:

      Well said Dwight…like you, I am an old man now that developed an intense interest in the “War Between the States’ at an early age…through the centennial issues of the old ‘AMERICAN HERITAGE’ monthlies (I still have about 30 of them). The slavery based political structure pulled my people…who emigrated from England to Norfolk Virginia in the early 1630’s as Jamestown was faltering…who were not slave owners or big property owners into the jaws of destruction and death in 1861. They fought because they were invaded…they fought to defend their homes and their families; and many of them died. The heroic Ol’ Miss students…and hundreds of thousands of other Southern patriots fought, struggled and ultimately lost…their property, their families, their health, and in many cases their lives…not defending slavery, but in defending their ‘Country’. God Bless my Southern family…and my Northern family; may God Bless the USA! Thank you, George, for bringing us into this conversation.

  7. Dwight,

    Since you claim to have studied the issue since you were twelve, I am sure that you have some documents from the period that prove the war was all about slavery. By this I mean something that is NOT YOUR NARRITIVE. Please post them for all to see.

    The 1st EP would have allowed the South to return to the Union and keep their slaves. The 2nd EP only freed the slaves in the rebelling areas.

    Again I say, slavery had nothing to do with the start of the war. The collection of “revenue’ was the cause, Buchan said it, Lincoln said it. Those facts cannot be disputed.

    What you and I think does not matter, it is the facts that tell the true story. Most railroads are designed to get to the trade centers nothing new about that. Just had to get a dig in eh??

    Refresh my Memory, what office did Faulkner hold in the Confederacy/ Union???

    Thank you.

    • Rob Markowski says:

      @George Purvis — Looking for documents to prove the war was about slavery? Look no further than the articles of secession from states like Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina.

      I’ll even send you a link to these *primary sources* :

      From the second paragraph of the Mississippi declaration: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin. That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove.”

      From the Texas declaration: “In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color– a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.”

      There’s much more if you care to read through. In fact, between the articles from Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia, the word “slave” or “slavery” appears no less than 84 times.

      I’ll give you that there were many other social and economic reasons behind the war that had been brewing for decades prior, but for anyone to say that the main cause of secession wasn’t the preservation of the RIGHT to own slaves, they are sadly mistaken.

    • Ron says:

      George, you are right in everything you have stated about the cause of the war between the states. I’ve been a reenactor for over 20 years and as such I learned that what I had been taught in school about slavery being the cause of the war was completely inaccurate. Can you please provide the link to your website?

  8. Dwight says:

    George, You wrote, “Again I say, slavery had nothing to do with the start of the war. The collection of “revenue’ was the cause, Buchan said it, Lincoln said it. Those facts cannot be disputed. ”

    You obviously have tunnel vision on this one because of what you beleeeve. C’mon, if you want to cherry-pick what Buchanan said, or Lincoln said at any given moment to “prove” the war was not about slavery, you are obvious grasping at straws, but ones that must seem really important to you for your “gotcha” moments. Bobby (I think) and I are asking you to look at the big picture, and the big picture shows that slavery is the 800 lb gorilla in the room. If the South could have developed King Cotton without slavery, there still would have been regional disputes over tariffs, whatever, but lasting compromises, I’m pretty sure, could have been worked out. With slavery underlying the whole issue, all the issues got exponentially magnified. I could begin to flesh out my theory of “moral dread” in both the South and the North. Both knew that slavery was wrong, but the North did not want to fight a war over it, and the South, at least subconsciously knowing that they were in the wrong, got even more defensive and aggressive about the matter. The events spooled themselves out in ways we could not predict, as history almost always does. We, who have studied it most of our lives, have hindsight to help us come to some conclusions, half-baked or otherwise. Alas, yours seem so agenda-driven that real give and take will be challenging. All you have to do is Google something like “How did the South make it clear that they supported slavery?” and you will have plenty to consider. I assumed that you already knew this stuff.

    • Dwight,

      Not cherry picking anything, however if I am cherry picking Buchanan and Lincoln, at least I am not doing like you posting my narrative as fact. Two, wasn’t you the person who cherry picked a quote by Sam Houston? Now prove me wrong. Post some actual documents as fact. Surely you must have a least one.

  9. Dwight,

    Not cherry picking anything, however if I am cherry picking Buchanan and Lincoln, at least I am not doing like you posting my narrative as fact. Two, wasn’t you the person who cherry picked a quote by Sam Houston? Now prove me wrong. Post some actual documents as fact. Surely you must have a least one.

  10. Dwight says:

    All five of these mention the central role of slavery and anti-slavery in the matter:

    This article makes my points in a general way:

    The Missouri Compromise, Compromise of 1850, the Kansas Nebraska Act, the Dred Scott decision, and the Fugitive Slave law are the most well-know of the government workings that show over and over how slavery was at the core of the matter. This has to be an act of wilful eyes-closed-tight to ANYTHING that does not support your case, and that is a lot of eye-closing, given all the stuff that happened in the forty years before secession.

  11. Gary Goodson says:

    All Serious Nonfiction 1861-65 Civil War Historians:
    Besides the common “Civil War” also known as the “War of Southern Independence” issues of states rights, financial, slavery, etc. please do your primary research and see how few people in the South actually held slaves by checking the 1860 United States Census!
    National Awarded Civil War Historian,
    Gary R. Goodson Sr. – University of Oregon
    Assoc. D.C.E. Professor.

    • E Brog says:

      How few? I have been surprised to find in my husband’s tree how even a common farmer without tremendous wealth owned 2 slaves to work the farm until his children were of working age.

    • Don says:

      Goodson, what you say is true — and widely known — but of little relevance to the issues discussed here. It is a virtual truism that wars are mostly fought by those who have little connection to the root causes. I served as an officer during Vietnam. To this day, I couldn’t tell you why we were fighting it (nor could the officers with whom I served when I asked them), or at least why it was worth almost 60,000 American lives. Nevertheless, I did my duty to the fullest extent of my ability . . . .

    • Mr. Goodson,

      The number of slaves is not important, the cause of the war is Buchanan and Lincoln both sent a invasion fleet to Charleston for the purpose of collection of “revenue.” The South was being invaded by a hostile nation and defended themselves.

      Another question to ask, is how many slaveowners fought for the Union??

  12. Cindy says:

    The way I see it the ultimate cause of war was whether the southern states, being contractually obligated to the Union through the Constitution, DOI and other early documents, had the RIGHT to leave the Union. Yes, the issue at the heart of it was slavery. But it was far more complicated than people want to believe. The issue of secession was the reason Lee and some other Southerners fought for the Confederacy even tho’ they did not support slavery. There is talk is secession even today. I think states do have the right to leave the Union as nowhere is it stated that it’s a binding agreement. And I’m from the North! Ultimately tho’ the reason for secession and everything mentioned here IS slavery. Without it, there probably would not have been a War. The South did not want to be told what to do and how to do it.

    • Lee Roderick says:

      I have a question for all the constitutional scholars out there. If a state or states voluntarily joined the union, did they not also have the right to withdraw from that union if things did not work out to their liking?

    • Cindy,

      as I said to others here, If you believe the issue was about slavery, then post documents supporting your stance.

    • Lee Roderick,

      There was no law and there still is no law against secession.

    • David A. Mason says:

      Please note: Lee was a slaveholder, and by all accounts, a brutal one. He personally punished slaves who got caught trying to escape.

      During the invasion of Pennsylvania, he authorized his solders to capture free black citizens and send them south into slavery. He did indeed support, condone, and fight for slavery, believing that this was the right of white men. There are several extant letters of his which outline his pro-slavery position clearly.

    • G.K. says:

      I found your comment interesting and also comments from the others too. Been following the conversations between everyone. I have learned some things I did not know from several of the ones who posted comments.
      Differences in opinion is interesting to read…makes you want to research : )
      I would like to think that the southerners who did not have slaves, fought just because they wanted to protect their families, homes, farms & land and keep their economy strong.

  13. Dorothy Greene says:

    Read the Confederate’s Constitution and also what the VP of the Confederacy said in many speeches. It might not be the reason for many Southern Solders fighting but it was the reason for succession.

    • dorthory,

      Please post the exact sentence from each of these documents that state the confederacy is going to war to save the institution of slavery.

      Oh by the way you may also want to keep this in mind– the war started in 1861, the United States freed the slaves in 1865.

  14. Tom Helmantoler says:

    I pose these questions to all that have contributed today.

    1. Do you honestly believe the USA would be a better country today if the South had won and still had slavery?
    2. Do you believe the Allies would have won WWII if the USA had been split into two countries?
    3. Do you think FDR would have told the CSA President about the atomic bomb? He didn’t even tell Churchill.

    Just curious.

    • G.K. says:

      Wow…very thought provoking questions! I would probably answer “no” to all three questions

  15. MIKE KOLOSKI says:

    My 4 time GG and his son fought for the 20th Massachusetts Malachi Garrity and Edward C Garrity

  16. GENE BAUMWOLL says:

    Where is the link or date and time for the live stream event ?
    I see no mention, no information, no link for streaming???

  17. john d overby says:

    The South wanted separation from the North and even sought to recruit a monarch from Europe to govern the Confederacy. The soldiers of the South were uneducated for the most part and did not really understand the cause(s) for with they were fighting. The aristocracy of the South led the rebellion from the North and like all wars used those with little or no purpose in the conflict to fight for the upper crust of their society. Some states such as Louisiana really did not want to separate from the North.

    with the issue of Stats Rights being a major issue for the South, could the Confederacy have been sustainable. A good example is the issue of rail commerce when the gauge of the tracks were not consistent throughout the South and goods would have to be unloaded and moved to a train with a different gauge. How could this work? The philosophies of the Confederate States was another issue that would have had to be overcome for the Confederacy to sustain its existence.

    • Karen says:

      Please site research that substantiates your claim that “soldiers of the South were uneducated for the most part and did not really understand the cause(s) for with they were fighting.” Likewise site references that support Northern soldiers intellectual superiority and understanding of the issues unaffected by social narratives.

      Otherwise. This sounds much like northern bigotry that still exists as your comment exemplifies I ran into such bigotry in NY in 1997 when I over heard a private high school admin make a derogatory comment about southern schools. Her northern ignorance was showing. The private school our children attended in Houston was leagues ahead of anything we encountered here.
      If you have information that supports your comment please provide it. Otherwise your showing your true colors.

    • john d overby says:

      For Karen: The source is the two volume work The History of the Civil War in America (1863 Edition) . [Abbott, John S. C.}

  18. Timon Malloy says:

    my Great great grandfather fought at Gettysburg. He joined the Union Army to fight to free the slaves because slavery is wrong. The idea that the war was about much other than slavery is a big lie. The issue of slavery divided the north and south since the 17th century.

    • Timon,

      Prove your point, it s that simple. and no at the atrt of the war there was no plan to free the slaves.

    • Diana ( Wesley) James says:

      yes, I agree, Slavery was the issue.

    • HagarTHorrible says:

      it was not much of a divide in the 17th century; New Englanders seized, sold and held many hundreds…probably thousands of Native Americans as SLAVES in the latter 1600’s and 1700’s. a booming business existed in the transporting of these people on a one-way trip to the West Indies. Black and Indian slaves were present in the north through the end of the Civil War; as were poor white European immigrants held in debt servitude. Abolition didn’t gain widespread acceptance…if it ever reached that threshold…until the 1830’s/40’s. if Lincoln would ever have stated a Union war aim in 1861…he would have had no troops to fight his war with! The war was in response to Southern secession…whether lawfully constitutional or not.

  19. Richard Smith says:

    My wife’s GGuncle was a school teacher from Alexandria Alabama and joined the 10th Alabama when it was formed. He kept a daily journal for most of his life. He was wounded twice the 2nd time at Gettysburg on the second day’s battle. He and other wounded were left behind when Lee retreated after the third day, His journal was used as the basis for a book entitled “I saw the elephant “ If you can find a copy and want to know the why and how of an everyday soldiers life it may help throw light on the reasoning of one mans war. His name was Bailey G McLellan. Of particular interest is his funeral reported by a writer from the Anniston Star newspaper. He said it was conducted by a Methodist pastor, a Baptist pastor, the Masons, the Oddfellows, the KKK and lastly by a former Slave .

    • Interesting story, thanks for sharing!

    • john d overby says:

      Amazon: I Saw the Elephant: The Civil War Experiences of Bailey George McClelen Company D, 10th Alabama Infantry Regiment Paperback – December 1, 1994
      by Bailey George McClelen (Author), Norman E. Rourke (Editor)

    • John says:

      Thank you for sharing. It looks like a really interesting read. I always love to see/hear/read first hand accounts of the Civil War and the people who were involved and impacted by it.
      I can only find it for $796.00!! Is that a misprint?
      Is there another source where I might be able to get it cheaper? Again, it looks to be a good read.
      Thank you.

    • Richard Smith says:

      Regarding “I saw the elephant”it had gone out of print. But the author who edited it into book form was Norman E Rourke and I was able to obtain a couple of copies from him to pass on to my two daughters. It was in paperback form and only 46 pages long with a list price of 6.95. You may be able to get a copy from Norman Rourke he lives in Oklahoma. The book was printed by White Mane publishing Co. Inc. PO Box 152 Shippensburg Pa 17257 Phone 717-532-2237 Thank you for your interest…

  20. Dale Holley says:

    People/Gentleman and Ladies,
    Let’s keep in mind this isn’t a debate, political office,
    but the stories of families and men who died.
    While they are points of conversation, stick to
    the agenda?
    These men died, in battle or as a POW in a foul
    Camp, decimated,or sick.
    I myself had family, on 2 branches on both sides!!
    One died in a Union POW camp in Illinois, on his birthday?Only to be buried in a mass grave, never
    to be took home for proper reintegration.
    So, put aside your, gripes, and expression to
    Honor the died. Thanks

    • Richard Smith says:

      Well said Dale my wife had 26 ancestors who fought for both sides. A couple from a New York regiment…most from the south. One of her ancestors who was taken prisoner at Chicamauga was killed by a Michigan sentry guarding the warehouse where the prisoners were being kept on a 2nd floor. He was warned twice by the sentry to quit spitting on him and breaking off little pieces of brick to throw at him. The third time he shot him. My wife cane be quite stubborn on occasion but she comes by it honestly, however I probably won’t shoot her. My ancestors who fought for the CSA weren’t as colorful as hers. Oh she is also a distant relative of George B McClellan who made the mistake of calling President Lincoln a baboon. As you know he was fired twice as Commander of the army of the Potomac.

    • Margaret Clinton Humphries says:

      On my Northern side I had a ggg grandfather that had 9 sons and 2 died in the Civil War. One was at Andersonville Prison and the other one was in battle somewhere in Virginia. My Southern side I had a ggg cousin who was hung by Union solders because they thought he was deserter. The thing is he was only 12 and big for his age. Also our family was neutral at that time but the family became Confederate because of this.

  21. Neal Ganzert says:

    With the Mississippi River system so much apart of the United States Northern States would have had difficulty trading their products through ports controlled by the South. Looks like for both sides it was an untenable position.

  22. Norman Biller says:

    My great great uncle David Bowman fought at Gettysburg with a regiment from Lebanon PA. He was shot in the heart, but the New Testament in his shirt pocket stopped the ball and saved his life.

  23. Mark Rogers says:

    For the truth of Lincoln’s War, go to!

  24. Florence Moon says:

    My ggggrandfather Corporal John C Charlton (46 yrs old) was killed on July 2, 1863, one of 3 killed on the first day of the battle at Gettysburg . His name is on the monument at Gettysburg. His son Private John C Charlton (16 yrs old)was wounded during the battle and his name is also on the monument. I am 77 yrs old and did not know this until about 10 yrs ago. I have since visited the monument. I am from Pennsylvania and my family on both sides arrived in USA abt 1638. I grew up in Bucks County, Pa. and visited many historic sites. I have always loved this country and I am a proud American. I have ancestors that fought in the Revolutionary war, War of 1812 and Indian War, etc. Some were slave owners, but later freed their slaves before the Civil war and other left some of their plantations to their slaves. My Ancestors were Christians, Antibaptist, Pennsylvania Dutch, Mennenites and Amish. All had came to American to escape religous persecution. Slavery was simply wrong! But the wrong doers were the ones who mistreated their slaves and others were ignorant to enslaving humans. Slavery was common practice during those times and whites were also enslaved and lets not forget that many blacks were captured by other blacks and sold into slavery. My ancestors gave their life to free the slaves no matter what other political issues our government used. The common farmer or business owner fought for many reasons and to protect his family, his property and his freedom. My father fought in WW11. He was so proud of his service to his country, my husband also served in the Marines. Once a Marine always a marine. I am so overwhelmed by the hatred of the flag and country and those who serve our country including our Police. We can’t do anything about this hatred until we change the heart. A smile and a tear always comes when I think of my ancestors who fought and died for a Love of Country so strong that they were willing to died for it. God Bless America.

    • Thank you for sharing your story! And we appreciate your father and husband’s service to our country.

    • G.K. says:

      Good comment and very well said…agree with you.
      I have ancestors in the Revolutionary War, Civil war, WWI and also both parents in WWII. My mom was a Wave, my dad a Marine! Most of my uncles and at least one of my aunts served in the WWII. I am very proud of their service and that of my ancestors.
      I love our country and it grieves me to see division in any nation internally…especially mine. In my lifetime I have never seen this much division in our nation.
      I can only imagine the heartbreak of all of the families who lost loved ones in the Civil War. I think Civil Wars are the hardest on any country.

  25. Jenny Ashcraft says:

    Friends, the purpose of this blog post is to honor those who fought at Gettysburg. Both sides suffered a tremendous loss. Let’s honor our ancestors by sharing their stories and by engaging in a respectful dialogue that focuses on unity rather than division.

    • Jenny,

      If you are wondering why I try to post the REAL cause of the war here, did you know that there is efforts to remove the Confederate monuments at Gettysburg?

      So when everyone, from the lowest peon to the highest general in the United States , including Fold 3, is ignorant of the true causes of the war, and the memory of the Confederate soldier and what he fought for, is being erased, it is time to speak up.

      Best regards,
      George Purvis

    • George, there are many places across the internet where you can debate the causes of the war. There are many, including slavery. And the reasons that men on both sides decided to fight are many — way to many to enumerate here. What I am interested in is telling the stories of these men who fought this long and bloody war. We can never know for sure what was in most of their hearts and minds as to why they fought unless they left letters or some other ephemera that tells us. But we can study their lives and try to understand them better and what their experiences where. Union or Confederate. White, Black, Hispanic or Native American. Regardless of the side they chose or their ethnic background they brought their experiences back home with them (or left them on the battlefield or in the hospital) and those experiences impacted their lives as well as their families and their communities for generations to come. And these are the “WarStories” as it were that I want us to tell and understand. Either side. I have 10 Confederates in my family tree and 3 of them were at Gettysburg. I don’t worship the Confederacy as one gentleman suggested and I reject white supremacy as a vile belief. But I think it is important to understand the events in soldiers lives so I can understand their families and my family better. If you wish to share the story of your ancestors or anyone who fought in that battle, I would love to hear it. Every soldier had a story and all of them are interesting and important. But this post has nothing to do with the causes of the war. Nothing. So stay on topic and have your discussion about the causes of the war in an appropriate place. This is not it. — Anne Mitchell,

    • John Martin says:

      Can I get an AMEN , Sista

    • Anne ,

      That is true , in fact I visit several nearly everyday and own a couple myself. True we can never know what each and every man fought for, but at least we can tell the truth as to why the government of each country went to war and the cause WAS NOT slavery. There is just too much information that is to had to prove slavery WAS NOT the issue. Now more to my point, have you noticed NOT ONE PERSON who claims slavery to be the issue has made any valid arguments to support their stance? Not one person has disputed anything I said with a factual response.

      I wasn’t the one who brought up “white supremacy”, have no Idea why you mentioned it to me when I defended you. To be sure there is nothing wrong with having pride in your race.

      Oh and another thing I notice, I am not sure you have anything to do with Fold 3, but do you notice the lack of a story about a Confederate at Gettysburg? Surely Fold 3 can find at least one? Perhaps this is supposede to be a memorial to only Union soldiers?

      I did share some stories, don’t know if you have seen them or not.

    • George, I work for Ancestry / Fold3 / Newspapers / Find A Grave and have worked here for 13 years. And I can assure you we will be telling both Union and Confederate stories at Gettysburg Live 158! I and others have been researching both.
      And I will be discussing the stories of individuals, not discussing the goals of governments.

    • So Dwight prove me wrong if you can.

  26. Kenneth Stevens says:

    My Great Great Grandfather James F. Morris, Pvt., 15th Ga., Benning’s Brigade, fought in this area of the field on July 2.

  27. Jan Kyle says:

    My gr-grandfather Wiley C Plemmons was a private in the 11th Georgia Infantry, F Co. He came from Gilmer County, GA. He took a musket ball to his chest at Gettysburg and was taken POW. He died Aug 6 from pyremia (blood poisoning) and was buried in the Confederate Cemetery in Brooklyn NY.
    This is all the info I have. I would love to hear more!

    • Bob Velke says:

      Your gr-grandfather’s extant service record (26 pages) has been digitized and is on at He has an interesting story. His records are cross-referenced to “W. H. Plemmons.” I hope that Anne Mitchell won’t mind me saying that if you don’t have a subscription to Fold3 then you might consider a trial subscription or check with a large library or LDS Family History Center in your area as many will offer you free access. If you do a lot of research of military records, I’m sure you’ll find as I have that a subscription to Fold3 is well worth the price.

  28. Diana (Wesley) James says:

    My great Great Grandfather fought with the New York 137th. He was a cigar maker from Ithaca, New York. He was 32 years old when he died in a skirmish in front of the breast works on Culps HiLL. They held the fighting there, and prevented Ewles confederate troops from marching up the Baltimore Turn Pike and into the white House. Venable Wesley . He left behind wife Elizabeth and son John 6 and James 4

  29. James Roushey says:

    My great grandfather was a member of the 53rd regiment Company “F” of the Pennsylvania volunteers. He fought at Gettysburg. That’s dad’s side of the family.

    Samuel Young from mom’s side, also served. He served in Company “F” of the 9th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Reserve Infantry as a Private. In July of 1861, Samuel Young and his unit moved to Washington where the marched up Pennsylvania Ave and out through Georgetown to take up camp at Tennallytown, Md. In September they crossed the Chain Bridge into Virginia to picket at Great Falls. IN October they moved to Camp Pierpont near Langley, Virginia. In December 1861 Sam Young participated in his first major action at Dranesville. In June of 1862 he was present at the battle of Mechanicsville and Gaines Mill, part of the campaign known as “Seven Days Before Richmond.” On August 30, 1862 Sam Young was engaged in the bloody Second Battle of Bull Run, of which he spoke. From September 8 to October 3, 1862 Sam’s service record states he was in a general hospital, and apparently, he missed the Battles of South Mountain and Antietam. However, in December of 1862 he was at the Battle of Fredericksburg, where of 4,500 men in the Third Division, Pennsylvania Reserves, 2,000 men were killed, wounded, or missing. In January of 1863 he was in the infamous “Mud March”, and during the spring of 1863 he was on duty at Washington and Alexandria, being based at barracks on E. Capitol St. in Washington, D.C.
    On the first of July 1863 the Third Brigade, Pennsylvania Reserves, including the 9th Regiment, was ordered to march immediately toward the conflict at Gettysburg. They left Uniontown, Maryland at 5:00 AM, crossed the Pennsylvania state line at about 4:00 PM, marched through Hanover after dark and halted at McSherrystown at 1:00 AM July 2. But revile was at 4:00 AM and they were on the march again at 5:00 AM reaching Rock Creek, 2 miles from Gettysburg at about noon, July 2. They had marched 42 miles in 28 hours with less than three hours sleep!
    In the afternoon of July 2 the Fifth Corps (including the Third Division, or Pennsylvania Reserves) moved into a position to the rear of, and in support of the left flank of the Union line, against which a determined Confederate assault was then driving Sickle’s Third Corps back through the Peach Orchard and Wheatfield. When the Confederate success against the Union left became apparent, the Fifth Corps was committed, and about 5:00 PM, the Third Division Pennsylvania Reserves, followed the first and second divisions of the Fifth Corps in ascending the slope behind, and to the right of Little Roundtop. As the Third Brigade of the Third Division was taking up a position under fire of the Rocky Ridge to the right of Little Round Top, four additional divisions were ordered to the left to reinforce troops on Little Round Top who were then in a desperate struggle to stop the Confederates from flanking the southern end of the Union line. The 9th crossed Little Roundtop from North to South, under fire, and assisted in repulsing the rebel drive on Little Roundtop. At the end of the second day’s fighting at Gettysburg, the 9th and the 10th Pennsylvania Reserves had taken a position extending across the ravine between Little Roundtop and Big Roundtop to the South, and were then in the southern most troops guarding the Union’s left flank. However, during the night other troops extended the Union line south to the crest of Big Roundtop. The next morning (July 3, 1863) the 9th reserves moved forward about 100 yards toward the Confederates, at Devil‘s Den, and began construction of the stone breastworks, which may still be seen today. The 9th made no further advances but held this position during the reminder of the Battle of Gettysburg.
    In later years, Sam Young talked of the fighting at Little Roundtop, the Peach Orchard, the Wheat Field, and Devil’s Den. One story retold is that in an attack toward Devil’s Den the first Confederate to turn around and see the advancing Yankees opened his mouth to yell and at the same time received a shot which pierced both cheeks. If the Reb. had not opened his mouth to yell, the minnie ball would have shattered his jaw. My grandfather, Rev. Wiley S. Young, told that Samuel Young, also his grandfather, was promoted to company commander on the field of battle at Gettysburg. It was supposed to be in the Peach Orchard that the commanding officer fell mortally wounded and his last words were an order to Sam Young to take charge of the company. Wylie said that Sam Young’s discharge documents had a notation that he was promoted to Corporal for bravery while leading his company from the Peach Orchard to take Devil’s Den. Of the 10 companies in the 9th Pennsylvania Reserves, originally 1,000 men, there were only 377 men left to go into action at Gettysburg.

  30. Brian says:

    Fort Bragg- named after one of the most inept Corps commander on any side. An embarrassment of riches in a country with a history of some fine soldiers other than this guy.

    • HagarTHorrible says:

      Bragg led my 2Great Grandfather to his death at Perryville. But as Jefferson Davis personal friend, he proved untouchable. Nathan Bedford Forrest told Bragg to his face that if he ever issued another order to him, that he, General Forrest, would kill him, General Bragg. Jefferson Davis was smart enough not to take any action…Bragg continued his stumbling as a commander and Forrest excelled to the point that General Grant proclaimed him the finest leader of troops in combat on either side. But, I suppose anything with the name of General Nathan B Forrest emblazoned upon it, has already been renamed.

  31. Chuck Bird says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how people can be so un-civil hiding behind the fascade of a reply box. Like an unruly, discourteous driver that hides inside his/her car so that he/she doesn’t have to face the person that they just cut off in traffic or did something else to them that was unkind. Reading through these replies reminds why we have war. We can’t agree to disagree in a civil manner. Name-calling seems to be a favorite response to those we don’t agree with. The thing is, history is only the observation of an event by someone who thinks they saw enough of what happened to generalize about the event. There is no guarantee that it was a legitimate viewpoint. Only that someone expressed their opinion as to “they think what happened”. Similar to the conflicting observations of a traffic accident.
    So what’s my point? Simply this – give each other the benefit of the doubt or at least a little leeway as others express their opinions. Be kind and remember, THIS is NOT the CIVIL WAR on this website! Take a few deep breathes and DON’T rush to judgment and start calling people names. “Do unto others as you would like to be treated yourself” – has a familiar ring to it…

  32. F. Milling says:

    I think the “ISSUE” of slavery was the cause the war. There are many things tied up in that word ‘issue,’ but if there had been no such institution as slavery, there would not have been a War Between The States. While ‘slavery’ may have been the cause of the war, it was not slavery, per se, that the South fought for, and it was not slavery, per se, that the North fought against. It was the other ‘things’ tied up in the word ISSUE that were what both sides were fighting for (maintaining the Union vs. Independence of the South, the unfair tariffs, agrarian vs. manufacturing cultures, representation in congress, States Rights, etc. — mostly money and power were behind them). Slavery in and of itself was only a minor reason that soldiers fought, and Lincoln’s saying he would not free a single slave if that would keep the Union together solidly confirms that. I strongly suspect that if Union soldiers could see the U.S. today, many would not have fought in the War. And, yes, I had relatives at Gettysburg and many other battles. I served in Vietnam, and know soldiers.

    • Dwight says:

      So many things about our culture today would blow their minds, that I don’t think that last statement about what the soldiers would or would not fight for is very meaningful. Up to that point, your commentary was (IMHO) spot on.

    • F. Milling–
      The real problem is , you can’t prove slavery was the issue. The North wanted the South’s money, as a result invaded the South , the South fought back. Plain and simple it is factual history and so easy to prove.

    • Dwight says:

      “Plain and simple it is factual history and so easy to prove.” George, you have given up your right to be taken seriously.

    • Dwight,

      Everyone is waiting for you to prove me wrong. What is holding you back besides lack of knowledge?

  33. Thomas Booth says:

    ALL wars are about money , oil or territory . Prior to WW2 the USA was in a depression from 1930 until 1941. It is a shame that the Constitution wasn’t ratified to phase out slavery ; The congress had over 50 years to get it done, almost as bad as our congress of today . Let us not forget that slavery started back in the late 1600’s by the Dutch who founded the New England provinces . Many of my European ancestors of New York, Pennsylvania and later Ohio owned slaves , who mostly worked on small farms or cleared land for roads, and towns . New England profited from the enslaved south , for the cotton to supply their textile plants in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire . We all share some blame from both sides of the Mason Dixon Line .

  34. Bob Velke says:

    I own two companies. One does Segway tours on the battlefield at Gettysburg. The other is a research service for which we use Fold3 extensively and then we digitize records at the National Archives. So this live stream event is right up my alley and I’m really looking forward to it. Let me know if there’s anything that I can do to help.

    • Denise Burch says:

      Mr. Velke,
      Do you assist people looking for information about a family member who fought in the CW, or just general research of the battles and things of that nature?
      I’ve been trying for over a year now, to find out about a relative , my father, Thomas L Cain, and it would have been an Uncle I believe, by the name of John Cain. However, there were lots of them, and out of Pa. as well. I know from family stories that he was injured and possibly lost his leg or part of it. I know he Mustered in from Pa., and was discharged at the same point. He carved two canes depicting the CW, and the battle of Antietam , which he fought in. He also later carved a chair in his likeness, which I have. I don’t know which museum my parents donated the canes at, but I ’ve checked in with a few before the pandemic, then of course everything came to a end.
      If you know where or how I can find out more about him, I would be so grateful. When I was younger I really didn’t have any interest, but now that I am old, I wanted to give my grandchildren the information and pass on the chair to them when I pass away.
      Thank you so very much for a reply-
      Denise ( Cain) Burch

    The State of Mississippi monument at Gettysburg is southwest of town on West Confederate Avenue. (West Confederate Avenue – Part 4 tour map) A small presentation tablet is near the walkway to the monument.

    The statue was sculpted by Donald DeLue, who also created the nearby State of Louisiana monument and the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors monument. it was dedicated on October 19, 1973.

    Mississippi sent over 4,900 men to Gettysburg, with almost 1,500 becoming casualties. It was the fifth largest contingent from the twelve Confederate State at Gettysburg and the fifth highest casualty total (see the States at Gettysburg).

    • HagarTHorrible says:

      I stand with you George, to honor the final sacrifice of these young Mississippi ‘PATRIOTS’! They didn’t serve to perpetuate slavery or to necessarily end the constitutional republic of the United States; they served their home state of Mississippi, they fought and died for their Mississippi families and friends, they fought because of their remarkable allegiance to the men beside them in the line of battle. This last…in every war in the long history of mankind, is the primary reason men fight, struggle and die in war…in service to their mates.
      George, you are a remarkable Southern Patriot, and I am proud to have met you here in these posts as we remember the faraway and long ago sacrifice of our American ancestors…HEROES ALL!

    • HargarTH,

      I have collected more sourced information than most of these folks will ever read. These facts and sources cannot be disputed, I don’t care what sort of narrative these “drive by poster” put up. You notice not one person ahs challenged me on facts. That should tell you something right there.

      Two did you see my post where the US house voted to remove Confederate monuments from Gettysburg. Why, because those ***** think the war was about slavery. Note that Fold# does not mention one Confederate Soldier or a Confederate Unit? They did mention Pickets charge. It is almost as if Fold 3 Is a monument to the union.

      Let me give you a couple websites to visit—

      I post a lot at Mississippi and the News and Views sites.

      Post to either one and I can give you additional links.

    • HagarTHorrible says:

      THANK YOU George….you and I could carry on an interesting and informed debate; I look forward to running into your thoughts again.


    he State of Mississippi seceded from the Union on January 9, 1861. On May 4th, nearly the entire student body and many of the professors at the University of Mississippi formed ranks on the grounds in front of the Lyceum, left school and enlisted in the Conferderate Army. Only four students reported for classes in fall 1861, so few that the university closed temporarily.

    The Greys, as Company A of the 11th Mississippi and the Army of Northern Virginia, served in many of the most famous and bloody battles of the war. The most famous engagement of the University Greys was at Pickett’s Charge during the Battle of Gettysburg, when the Confederates made a desperate frontal assault on the Union entrenchments atop Cemetery Ridge. The Greys penetrated further into the Union position than any other unit, but at the terrible cost of sustaining 100% casualties—every soldier was either killed or wounded.

    Historians agree that the Rebel charge by the boys from Mississippi was the high water mark of the Confederacy. During the height of the July 3rd cannonade preceding Pickett’s Charge, a stretcher was carried into a Confederate aid station somewhere behind the fighting. Surgeon LeGrand Wilson of the 42nd Mississippi, saw a head raised and recognized University of Mississippi student Jerry Gage. The following is the surgeon’s writing and J.S Gage’s letter home.

    Although I have read this many time, it still tugs at my Ole Miss heart and brings tears to me eyes.
    Sad to say Ole Miss is separating themselves from anything Confederate. Now you folks understand my posts????

  37. Robin James says:

    My great grandfather’s both fought in the Civil war for Southern States. On the other side where more great grandfathers, remember if you have a great grandfather you will have four of them, these men where from Ireland and after coming here fought for the Union side New York State and Pennsylvania.
    This war happened a long time ago. It divided our country and attempted to change the horrible situation of a man owning other human beings and treating them like a tool.
    , no a human! If that situation is a Noble cause, then many they should try it some time. Having your children ripped out of your arms, being whipped, forced to live like beasts in shacks, rapped, denied education, etc. doesn’t sound like any system that should be looked upon as “the right way to make a living” The South closed its eyes, why to church and proclaimed them selves as Righteous Christians! Our history is still here with us today. I never thought I would see the CSA flag in the Capitol of the USA. Waved as a proud symbol of Hate and prejudice!

    • Robin,

      Your narrative is that of a biased individual of the North. You should actually look for unbiased sources and real facts about slavery before posting such ignorant statements.

  38. HagarTHorrible says:

    Yes George…Robin’s is a very misinformed and bigoted post; and with her all but impossible ancestral time-frame…extremely ‘misleading’. Most folks with Union soldier ancestors and a true knowledge of history hold their bias honestly, just as you and I hold our Confederate heritage up to the revealing ‘light of day’. I believe we all should view and judge the the events of the early 1860’s through the proper lens…what we as a people hold true in the 21st Century doesn’t apply retroactively.

  39. Bob Velke says:

    Denise (Cain) Burch, I’m not sure what the protocol here is and I don’t want to distract from the topic (as so many others have done). I’m happy to help you with your research question. You can click on my name which will take you to my web page. Then click on “Contact Us”. I will do my best to help.

  40. Rob Markowski says:

    @George Purvis — Looking for documents to prove the war was about slavery? Look no further than the articles of secession from states like Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina.

    I’ll even send you a link to these *primary sources* :

    From the second paragraph of the Mississippi declaration: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin. That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove.”

    From the Texas declaration: “In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color– a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.”

    There’s much more if you care to read through. In fact, between the articles from Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia, the word “slave” or “slavery” appears no less than 84 times.

    I’ll give you that there were many other social and economic reasons behind the war that had been brewing for decades prior, but for anyone to say that the main cause of secession wasn’t the preservation of the RIGHT to own slaves, they are sadly mistaken.

    • Dwight says:

      Not sure that George will accept the fact that if slavery led to secession, and secession led to the War, that slavery had ANYTHING to do with the War. It is apparently a cornerstone of his creed that the War was NOT about slavery, and that he, apparently, will never accept that possibility. Hey, Southerners fought on, long after it was clear that the War was lost, because they (or at least enough of them) could not stomach the idea of surrender, until Lee was completely cut off as he tried to flee West, and Richmond had fallen. Many others had had the common sense to desert by that time.
      There are other inferences that it is not fair to view slavery then, the way we view it now. There is some truth to that, but history has made the call here. The fact is that despite the fact that Southerners fought with skill, gallantry, and stubbornness, as Grant said about Lee, never did any man fight for a worse cause.

    • Ok Rob good job, at least you found “something” . Now lets take a look at these docs. Where in any of these documents does it say “we are going to war?” Please show me if you don’t mind.
      One thing I would like to point out to you, the 4 (FOUR) states you refer to are only 1/3 of the Confederate States, there were 13 total in the Confederate States.
      Now since you have cherry picked a portion to present to me as your proof positive, I am certain you have no objection to me cherry picking a few myself? .

      From your source–
      Mississippi — It seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better.

      Texas— The Federal Government, while but partially under the control of these our unnatural and sectional enemies, has for years almost entirely failed to protect the lives and property of the people of Texas against the Indian savages on our border, and more recently against the murderous forays of banditti from the neighboring territory of Mexico; and when our State government has expended large amounts for such purpose, the Federal Government has refuse reimbursement therefor, thus rendering our condition more insecure and harassing than it was during the existence of the Republic of Texas.

      Georgia– In the first years of the Republic the navigating, commercial, and manufacturing interests of the North began to seek profit and aggrandizement at the expense of the agricultural interests. Even the owners of fishing smacks sought and obtained bounties for pursuing their own business (which yet continue), and $500,000 is now paid them annually out of the Treasury. The navigating interests begged for protection against foreign shipbuilders and against competition in the coasting trade.

      South Carolina— The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue.

      Virginia– The people of Virginia, in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in Convention on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, having declared that the powers granted under the said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States, and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression; and the Federal Government, having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern Slaveholding States.

      Done in Convention, in the city of Richmond, on the 17th day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and in the eighty-fifth year of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

      Does this date mean anything to you? It should if you notice this is 4-17-61. Lincoln called for 75,000 troops 4-15-61. See where I am going?

      Nice try but no cigar, try again.

    • Dwight,

      Do like Rob at least bring a source to the table. We are all waiting

  41. HagarTHorrible says:

    The historical cause of the Civil War…or of any war ever fought in history…is not necessarily the cause which led young men for thousands of years to lay their lives on the line against their perceived enemies. Men fight in wars for countless reasons, and it seems improper for you to assume African slavery was what these men of all ranks fought for. My Irish ancestors who had endured the ‘Famine’ under the bootheel of the English and then boarded dark and dismal ships to undertake a voyage to America, landing in New York, New England ports, and for some, New Orleans. These men fought for themselves…to survive…and for their friends and families, for their fellow soldiers standing beside them. There is no cause more noble than that! I heartily salute the heroic memory of my ancestors…Blue and Gray…who fought for their own reasons, not the trite PC blanket epithet of ‘racism’ that is so misused today in this 21st century America. These men contested over a piece of verdant rolling Pennsylvania ground in July of 1863 because of their allegiance to God and country. For my great Uncle Edward Lowry…of the 6th Louisiana and Lee’s fearless ‘Tigers’ on the slopes of Culp’s Hill…I hope you appreciate my standing up for our mutual Irish heritage and American ‘FREEDOM’ earned by the blood shed by generations of those like us.

    • Rob Markowski says:

      Hagar — I’m not saying that every man who fought for the south was a racist in favor of slavery. In fact, only a very small portion of the Southern population could afford slaves and it seems most were content to mind their own and live their lives as best they could. What I am saying, mostly in response to Mr. Purvis’ repeated calls for someone to provide historical documentation to “prove him wrong” is that, without a doubt, the main cause of secession was the right to own slaves. The preservation of this right led to secession, secession led to war and war led to ~750,000 young men on both sides giving up their lives for what they believed in. Whether those beliefs are “right” or “wrong” by today’s standards is a different story altogether and not a debate that I have any interest in perpetuating.

    • Rob,

      Secession only lead to the war because Buchanan and Lincoln wanted to collect revenue. It was never their intention to free the slaves. Lincoln said this —
      My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.

      Now the EP, freeing the slaves was nothing more than a war measure.

      “Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation, Washington, DC, January 1, 1863,”

      “Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, towit:”

      If this doesn’t prove my point I have much more to post.

      Your turn.

    • Bob Velke says:

      Is it really necessary to hijack the site for this interminable debate? Aren’t there a thousand places online where this tedious conversation about the causes of the war goes on every day? This post is about a livestream event in Gettysburg for goodness sake.

  42. HagarTHorrible says:

    Rob…I had read and agreed with your points; your review of the Mississippi document is telling indeed. I continually tell my ‘Volunteer’ family that the slavery of their landholders led to the hillside farms of my Tennessee and North Carolina ancestors to be laid waste. Without a doubt…I am sure my mountain folk fought because the ‘yankees’ were there…at their doorsteps! My comments above were directed at Dwight for what I deem to be a most disrespectful and disagreeable post. Like my ancestors, I would very much take issue with his attacks…and most probably, in this instance, the South would not lose!

  43. Michele says:

    I had several ancestors who were at Gettysburg and my 3rd Great Grandfather was Captain Wm M Norman Co A, 2nd NC. He watched Pickett’s charge from
    a distance and would not and could not describe it due to the horror of it, even to him, a soldier. Regardless of your political view, lets not forget
    actual men and even some women fought on this battlefield and never returned home, on both sides. This is who we are remembering during this event.

  44. Galen Graham says:

    George, you are a prime example of why the war will live on in perpetuity. The root cause for this war was undoubtedly slavery. It stirred in the minds of Americans for decades prior to the war. Many issues relating to this cause can be argued and discussed. Any unbiased mind will agree. Pretty simple.

    • Galen,,

      Good we need to keep the memory of those brave men on BOTH sides alive. If I am the one to do it, so be it.

      I suppose you really expect me to believe your comments??? As I said before, if you believe the cause of the war to be slavery, then post facts supporting your stance.

    • Hagar,

      My ancestors were in the 7th , 3rd, 33rd and Moorman’s Cav. The 7th took the field in 1961 with 1,100 men. In 1865 there were about 90 left alive. You are right they coved themselves in glory and not for the institution of slavery.

    • Hagar,

      That should be 1861, not 19—

      My apologies.

  45. Patti R says:

    I started to read the comments, which I thought would be a great discussion of a community of people who had family fighting, on either side, for what they believed in at the time.
    Or, I thought maybe I could learn more about the Civil War from people who are much more knowledgeable than I. While I did learn as I read through, it didn’t take long for me to
    be shocked and surprised that people were actually arguing, and one person in particular demanding specific facts and sentences and lists and whatever.
    This is my first time on this site and I am really sad and disappointed in most of this comment section. Do people have to fight about everything, including history, when none of us
    were there and there are facts and information provided by people who lived back then and have no clue what was “politically correct”, or what was even right from wrong? It’s the
    way they lived and what they knew. Next thing we know, people are going to argue about how people who lived in prehistoric times treated women and killed other people and
    I’m sorry that this was my first experience on this site. Hoping future views will be more positive and educational.

    • Patti,
      When someone takes a stand on an issue they should be able to give specific facts related to that stand. If they can’t give specific sources , it is nothing more than a fairy tale.

      Do you really want to learn about the WBTS? If so it is not likely you will get much info here.

    • Brian says:

      Our ancestors were covered with blood, not glory. Stop drinking the kool-aid of the lost cause. It is done, over with. Take pride in your family on both sides, and I am wishing you the best in finding an outlet for your anger other then your fellow countrymen.

  46. Dena says:

    Hi! I hope that the presentation focuses on a healing path forward. Gaging the comments and volatility today, we seem to not have recovered as a nation from this devastating civil war. Taking on a perspective of heritage, I don’t want future generations, our children or theirs, to pay for ongoing bitterness. What do we need to move forward? How do stories of ancestors help? Keeps them alive, honors them, and best of any memorial, reminds us not to engage such a war again. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” Stories of us for future Generations: How do we want them to remember us? What world do we idealize to leave them? <3

    • Patti R says:

      Thank you Dena, and to those who respectfully responded after her. I look forward to hearing all your stories and reading suggested materials.

    • HagarTHorrible says:

      The visceral antagonistic back and forth really is not about the events of 1861-1865, they are about the current events since the beginning of the 21st century. As a nation, we are ‘cleaved’ in the middle…our disparate values are not compatible with one another. This situation was tenable when those in power at least tolerated the ‘outliers’…but with overt aid of big-tech, the entertainment industry, and academia, the outliers of 2006 have become the tyrants of 2016. There is no longer any comity between the wings of values…it is all one way. Gettysburg was a cataclysm of violence in July 1863…what horrors await us now just a few miles down the road? Reading and being an active participant in this back and forth, it is clear that there is no middle ground…the intense hatred that I sense for my way of life demands of me the same level of sacrifice as shown by my Great Uncle Edward on the steep incline of Culp’s Hill, or my 2 Great Grandfather being fatally wounded in 1862 at Perryville, my Great Grandfather being arrested as a 14 year old out hunting to feed his family on Jan 1 1863 near Murfreesboro and sent to a horrid POW Camp Douglas in Chicago. My Great Uncle James at Gettysburg with Rhode Island Artillery, my 2 Great Grandfather, just off of the boat from Ireland to carry the war against the Sioux in Minnesota and the Dakotas (where Abe hung 38 warriors for acts of ‘war’)…and many more uncles, cousins…on both sides. What they endured then, we will endure again as a people. Maybe we will learn the lesson this time? The future is in the ‘Hand of God’!

  47. Brian says:

    After reading so many ‘my knowledge is the right knowledge’ comments it is PAINFULLY clear those “Better Angels Of Our Nature” still have yet to show.
    May those who braved those days in July be remembered, respected without such bitterness as is sometimes on display.

  48. pat says:

    Read Battle Cry for Freedom, y’all. Pulitzer prize. If I recall it vorrectly, it reads that slavery importation was outlawed in 1807. Northern “aggression” and western expansion and greed were the catalysts.

  49. Susan Gilmont says:

    My g-g-grandfather served in Co. B, 28th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (later Veteran Volunteer Infantry), and was at Gettysburg, on Culp’s Hill. Co. B had been hit hard at Antietam, and subsequently was made provost guard, guarding headquarters. On the 2nd day of the battle, however, General Meade decided that he needed all hands, and provost guards were released from guard duty, and put into the lines on the 3rd day. This may interest those who had relatives serving as provost guards in the Union Army. My great-great granduncle, his son, and several cousins also served in this company.

  50. Linda Roush says:

    My husband’s uncle on his mother’s side was James L. Cook. He served with the 2nd Pennsylvania and is on the PA monument at Gettysburg. He was one of many Irish immigrants who fought in the war and then marched to NYC after Gettysburg to help quell the riots that occurred there. For those of you interested, read the newspapers of the time and see why the riot occurred? Because the Irish, who competed with free blacks for jobs, were reading the lists of names of all the Irish killed at Gettysburg and were very unhappy. So they “rioted”. Too bad their kinsmen then had to march into the city and get them to settle down. Remember the posting of all the “NINA” signs for many decades (No Irish Need Apply)??. Glad to see we no longer have that issue, although lots more to still try to fix.

  51. GMac says:

    Come on people, we’ve fought this war long enough! Time to move on. We’re all Americans. I’ve direct ancestors on both sides. I’m not here to debate. Let’s simply honor their sacrifices, whatever the cause may be. Respectfully,

    • John Martin says:

      Very good point. I’m amazed at the people that are verbally attacking each other on this post. It’s history, treat it as such and learn.

  52. Patti R says:

    To George Purvis – I will pray for you and hope that your life becomes full with friends, family and other things that will hopefully make you happy.
    All the best George. Enjoy life!

    p.s. I won’t respond if you reply, as I’m not on here to argue.

  53. Andrew Carter says:

    I was a member of a Uk based American civil war re-enactment organisation and we reenacted Gettysburg, we had other groups with us with large batteries of artillery, although we obviosly lacked the numbers of the real battle we represented very well. The noise and vibrations of the earth from the artillery barrage was awesome and can only wonder at the terror to be facing this in battle alongside massed infantry fire. it was terrifying for us and we at least all lived to fight another day not so for the brave participants of Union and Confederate soldiers Big respect to the Blue and grey.

  54. I have photos from a Guidebook that my grandparents had.

    My grandmother’s grandfather was in the Cavalry at Gettysburg.

  55. Rob Markowski says:

    George Purvis says:
    June 10, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    “Slavery is not necessar[il]y (sic) racism.”

    Well, there it is. Thanks for the laughs, George but I won’t engage in debate with someone whose small mind can’t accept one of the most basic tenets of human rights. I may not have the right to judge how people felt back then, but that kind of thinking has no place in today’s world. I’ll leave you to your sad little life and apologize to everyone that has had to read your rantings.

    Looking forward to the live stream!