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Civil War Times: December 1999 Letters

Originally published on HistoryNet.com. Published Online: September 23, 1999 
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Civil War Times
Civil War Times

RIGHT, BUT A LITTLE WRONG

I had the great fortune to have been born and raised in the Gettysburg area and recall many instances of looking out over the revered battlefield, experiencing many of the same emotions put forth in your article ("The Last Full Measure of Ambition," October 1999). I have also had the great misfortune of attending an executive training session on that same hallowed ground. To try to equate business and war, especially the events that transpired on the Gettysburg Battlefield, is demeaning to the spirit of the brave men who fought and died there, whatever their cause, whatever their reasons.

Don Miers
Denham Springs, Louisiana

Finally, a man who speaks for many who detest the win-at-all-costs mentality of the business world. As a teacher of history, I see the effects that cutthroat business and sports advertising have on young people, and it disturbs me. For anyone who has ever fought in a war, to compare a board meeting to a battlefield is ludicrous.

Paul Monachina
Lee, Massachusetts

I agree to a large extent with your editorial regarding using Gettysburg as an executive training ground. I do feel, however, that you have overreacted to this purpose. I visited Gettysburg several years ago and a number of students from West Point were walking on Little Round Top. When I asked my tour guide why they were there, she told me they come every year to study Joshua Chamberlain and his tactics in small group leadership. The difference between training future military officers and business executives seems very great, but both groups go there to get a true sense of leadership–and what lies in the heart of a man–that makes him a great leader.

Curt Kubly
Madison, Wisconsin

The use of our traditions to excite and motivate our business leaders of the future seems to me to be a wonderful use of our national treasure, the Gettysburg Battlefield. The success of our nation's businesses will ultimately determine the quality of life of every American. It's true that a businessman doesn't face the stark terror of battle, but don't believe for a minute that we as a nation are not in a worldwide economic war. We need to prepare our people to do well in this competition. Their success will ensure that a strong America will be able to maintain our human rights and freedom.

Robert Gorrell
Lambertville, Michigan

ONE MAN'S TREASON

In his letter "A Double Standard" (October 1999), Frank Warren states his opinion that both the Sheltons and the Franklins were guilty of treason against their home states and the Confederacy. That point of view requires the conviction that the states had the constitutional right to secede from the Union. If they did not have the right to secede, then the seceding states and those supporting them, not the Sheltons and the Franklins, were guilty of treason.

Don Hirsch
Boothbay, Maine

PICKETT'S GAIN, OUR LOSS

The ruling in favor of Mr. Pickett is very bad ("News," October 1999). Mr. Pritchard was smart, did his homework, and knew the real value of the artifacts he was buying. Mr. Pickett, on the other hand, was foolish, did not do his homework, and let them go for less than they were worth. That should have been the end of the story. Just another case of, "If I had only known then what I know now." But now this ruling has turned everything upside down. The end result of this ruling, if it is upheld, will be to set a precedent for the lawyers in this country to challenge each and every sale of an antique item. No one will ever again be able to feel safe in assuming that they really own an antique they have purchased, or feel safe against lawsuits by disgruntled or disenchanted former owners.

T.J. Youhn
Hollywood, Maryland

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