The Road To Modern Atlanta

THE VISITORS WHO COME HERE FOR THE OLYMPICS this summer won’t find Tara. What they will find is a city facing an unusual—and sometimes painful—past with clarity of vision and generosity of spirit.

 

When the olympians fly into Atlanta, the first sign of the city they will see from the air is not the skyline of proud towers, shimmering in the humidity, but Stone Mountain, the immense dome of granite sixteen miles to the east. Even from a mile in the air they will be able to see clearly the three huge figures carved into the face of the rock: Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson. Read more »

The Return Of The Peacemakers

The great emancipator and the liberator of Kuwait get together in the newest White House portrait

 

From the moment he was first inspired to paint it, George Peter Alexander Healy harbored huge ambitions for the canvas he entitled The Peacemakers . The artist longed for it to be universally embraced as “a true historical picture,” cherished as the emblem of sectional reconciliation following the bloody Civil War.

 
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The Media And The Military

After more than 130 years, the fundamental dispute between the American media and the American military has changed hardly at all. The essential argument is still about access. How much should the press be allowed to know and see of the conduct of battle?Read more »

The Big Parade

Once the South was beaten, Eastern and Western
troops of the Union army resented each other so violently that some feared for the survival of the
victorious government. Then the tension
disappeared in one happy stroke that gave the
United States its grandest pageant—and General
Sherman the proudest moment of his life.

When the Civil War sputtered out early in May 1865, there were two huge Union armies within a few days’ march of Washington, D.C. One was the Army of the Potomac, winner of the war in the East, commanded by Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade. The other was the Army of the Tennessee, or the Western Army, the men who had marched through Georgia to the sea, commanded by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman. What to do with these two very different bodies of men was a problem that vexed politicians in Washington. Read more »

The Rock Of Chickamauga

Lee. Grant. Jackson. Sherman. Thomas. Yes, George Henry Thomas belongs in that company. The trouble is that he and Grant never really got along.

Of all the great commanders in the Civil War, the most consistently underrated and overlooked is Gen. George H. Thomas, the big Virginia cavalryman who fought for the Union. From January 1862 at Mill Springs, where he won the first major Federal victory of the war, through December 1864 at Nashville, where he destroyed the Army of Tennessee, Thomas never lost a battle when he was in command. Read more »

The New Sherman Letters

Extraordinary correspondence, never published before, takes us inside the mind of a military genius. Here is William Tecumseh Sherman in the heat of action inventing modern warfare, grieving the death of his little boy, struggling to hold Kentucky with levies, rolling invincibly across Georgia, and—always—battling the newspapermen whose stories, he believes, are killing his soldiers.

William Tecumseh Sherman,” announced The New York Times near the end of the Civil War, “has surpassed all newspaper correspondents in writing about military affairs...for conciseness, perspicacity and comprehensiveness with brevity he is the perfect model.” One Associated Press reporter went so far as to say that the man would have been an even better war correspondent than a general. Read more »

The Charleston Inheritance

In the quiet luxury of the historic district, a unique form of house plan—which goes back two hundred years—is a beguiling surprise for a visitor

Charleston is and always will be a small town, the citadel of a “hereditary Nobility,” as its founders willed it to be. In its early days Charleston was a walled city, and in some sense it has continued as such, though the walls long ago vanished. The boundary markers of historic Charleston today are, in addition to its implacable sense of self, the Ashley and the Cooper rivers, which meet at the tip of the Charleston peninsula, and Broad Street, the third side of the triangle.Read more »

3.when Generals Sue

Westmoreland and Sharon embarked on costly lawsuits to justify their battlefield judgments. They might have done much better to listen to Mrs. William Tecumseh Sherman.

War is hell—and so is the coverage of war. Gen. William Westmoreland and former Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, claiming injury as a result of press reports, retaliated with batteries of lawyers armed with videotapes, classified documents, and loaded depositions. Have the risks of soldiering taken on new dimensions in the last half of the twentieth century? Are the reporters, the editors, the publishers, the producers of recent decades so antagonistic that they provoke unprecedented courtroom battles? How else can a military man combat his detractors?Read more »

1.the First News Blackout

The Civil War ignited the basic conflict between a free press and the need for military security. By war’s end, the hard-won compromises between soldiers and newspapermen may not have provided all the answers, but they had raised all the modern questions.

Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman was a good hater, and he hated few things more than newspapermen. His encounter with the correspondent Floras B. Plympton of the Cincinnati Commercial in September 1861, five months into the Civil War, was typical. Plympton approached the general on a railroad platform in Kentucky and asked him for an interview. He handed over letters of introduction, including one from Sherman’s brother-in-law.Read more »

From Atlanta To The Sea

A newly discovered Union diary shows that Sherman’s march was about as Ruthless as Southerners have always said it was

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