Civil War Times: June 1999 Letters

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Civil War Times
Civil War Times

Who Stole From Whom?

The fine article of Morton Bryer and Irwin Schorr on the Southern Illustrated News (March 1999) cites its complaint that Punch, the British humor magazine, stole from it. The groan appears next to an anti-Lincoln and anti-black cartoon. This is funnier than many readers may know, though the authors must, for the cartoon itself is a theft from Punch. I lift a Scotch cap to the illustrious Illustrated.

Gabor Borritt
Gettysburg College

Editor’s note: Gabor Borritt is a member of the Civil War Times advisory board.

Standing Ovation

On March 6, 1999, I attended a performance of The Civil War at the Schubert Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut. I was hesitant to attend after reading your scathing review in the February issue. But I decided to go, and I’m glad I did. I thought it was marvelous, and the cast received a standing ovation. I will agree with you on a couple of items: it could use a good story and some of the songs were a little maudlin. They have made changes since it was reviewed in October, and when they open on Broadway on April 22, hopefully they will have it all together.

Nancy S. Fletcher
Winsted, Connecticut

Wrong Gun

The revolver pictured on page 80 (“Gallery”) of the March issue is incorrectly identified as an 1844 Colt revolver. The Colt Firearms Company was not in production in 1844. The revolver in the picture is a .36-caliber Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver. This model was produced by Colt at Hartford, Connecticut, from 1851 through 1872.

James J. Cartwright
Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Sperryville Outrage

In the March 1999 issue, there is an illustration on pages 24 and 25, for the article “The Sperryville Outrage.” The article is about an ugly incident that occurred on a Virginia farm in July 1862. The illustration has been cropped and does not show that this is a painting done in 1908 by Howard Pyle called “The Shell.” The original painting shows an artillery shell with a burning fuse in the foreground, a crouching Confederate to the left of the two women, who are outside the entrance of a cave dwelling with the courthouse of the city of Vicksburg in the distance. This is a classic illustration showing the hard times endured by both civilian and soldier during the 47-day siege. I think CWT should have used a better illustration, as this seems a bit misleading.

Glenn C. Bandy
Memphis, Tennessee

I found the article “The Sperryville Outrage” in the March 1999 issue a most disgusting piece of tripe. You have every right to publish such trash; I have every right not to allow such garbage to enter my home.

Richard H. Gabriel
Harper Woods, Michigan

“The Sperryville Outrage” was both captivating and troubling. It’s not often that one is able to read the exact words of those Americans who were participants in the Civil War. It made it seem very close and personal. We are reminded of how simple the diets were. Cherries, honey, bread, and eggs must have been a feast for the men who were sustained on salt pork, hardtack, and water. We are also reminded of the inner struggles families went through when one brother was a Yank and one a Reb. These men deserved whole-heartedly the punishment they received. This piece was fine journalism.

Brian Campbell
Lewes, Delaware

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