Letters – America’s Civil War January 2013

Light my fire
Excellent cover of Phil Sheridan and The Burning (November 2012). Had I not already been a subscriber, I would have bought the issue off the newsstand. As it was, it seemed to light up the inside of my mailbox!

Robert Driscoll
Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Fathers and sons
I read with interest Winston Groom’s analysis of Ulysses S. Grant’s General Orders No. 11 (November 2012), the most unfortunate order he ever wrote. But I was surprised that Groom made no reference to the possible role Jesse Grant played in his son’s frustrated response to the extensive cotton speculation going on in his department. Grant’s complicated relationship with his father is well documented. When the general learned of his father’s business relationship with one of the speculators, although probably not a Jew, years of repressed anger and disappointment might well have contributed to the ill-conceived edict that expelled all Jews from his department, hoping that this broad-brush approach would solve the speculator problem in the process.

Gordon Berg
Greenbelt, Md.

Raid remembered
As a resident of Holly Springs, Miss.,
I was excited to see the story of the December 20, 1862, Van Dorn raid on General Grant’s supply base at Holly Springs in “Primary Sources” (Novem­ber 2012). We have put up interpretive markers about the raid, with the help of the Blue & Gray Education Society. We are also working with local SCV units and the state of Mississippi to put up markers along Grant’s Mississippi Central Railroad campaign route to tell the story of the first Union try to take Vicksburg. The markers should be in place by the end of 2012.

Jim Thomas
Holly Springs, Miss.

Unsportsmanlike conduct
I am writing in response to the Field Notes story in your November 2012 issue about the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act, which passed the House of Rep­resentatives with bipartisan support. The article included a quote from Craig Obey, of the National Parks Conserva­tion Association, snidely suggesting that hunters and firearms enthusiasts may wish to target practice at Gettys­burg or at the Flight 93 Memorial.

I find it unfortunate that your fine publication would give valuable space to such a condescending and uninformed opinion. Hunters and firearms aficionados have deep respect for history and the outdoor traditions that have made our country great. Indeed, hunters and target shooters are following in the footsteps of citizen soldiers, both North and South.

Reasonable minds may differ about the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act without trying to denigrate hunters and target shooters as callous and disrespectful individuals.

Clayton W. Rhoades
Midlothian, Va.


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