caroline e. janney Thirty-two years after the first Union invasion, the boys in blue--now aging veterans--again wound their way to Chattanooga. This time, instead of slow, laborious marches, they rode in palace cars along the restored railroads; instead of hardtack and bacon, they dined in first-class restaurants; and instead of camping in the mud and snow, they slept in Pullman berths.1 But this trip would be markedly different than that of November 1863 in another powerful way. In September 1895, Union veterans would meet with their former enemies on the fields of Chickamauga and Chattanooga not in battle but in peace. Together they would dedicate the first national military park in the name of all Americans. For months, the park commission had exerted tremendous effort into ensuring that both Union and Confederate interests were equally represented in the processions and dedication services. As they hoped, the three-day festivities proved overwhelmingly reconciliationist in nature. The orators had, for the most part, emphasized the courage of soldiers who wore the blue and gray, stressing the fraternity and unity evident upon the field. Many had likewise remained silent on the divisive issues of the war's causation and the tumultuous aftermath of
The Journal of the Civil War Era – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Aug 29, 2012
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