2:00 PM, Jul 3, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
One hundred and fifty two years ago, at 2:00 p.m., General Longstreet, who could not bring himself to speak the order, nodded to General Pickett that his division could begin the assault up Cemetery Ridge The South’s greatest – and most peculiarly southern – novelist wrote of how that moment lives. The past, after all, not being dead and, not really even being past:
For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances…
11:17 AM, Apr 15, 2015 • By HUSSAIN ABDUL-HUSSAIN
Here in Kuwait, as in the rest of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, there is a sense that the Middle East is changing. In the Gulf media, there seems to be a consensus in support of Operation Decisive Storm, the Saudi-led military campaign launched to beat Houthi insurgents and reinstall Yemen's government under President Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi. Almost everyone wants to see Iran and its allies, like the Houthis, cut to size, and almost everyone is excited to see Arab governments flex their military muscles. Even those who are questioning the campaign couch the debate not in terms of regional political doctrines like Arab nationalism or Islamism, but rather in terms of national sovereignty and constitutionality.
It was a fight to the finishApr 20, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 30 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The two armies had been in almost constant contact for the first week of what would become known as “the Forty Days.” The Battle of the Wilderness had been inconclusive, as, thus far, had the one at Spotsylvania, with the epic struggle for “the Bloody Angle” still to come. Neither commander had been able to accomplish his ultimate objective: namely, victory in a battle of annihilation. What had so far been accomplished was attrition, and a woeful amount of that.
Was the Civil War a second American Revolution? Jan 5, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 17 • By ALLEN C. GUELZO
Americans love revolutions. Our national identity began with a revolution, and a revolutionary war that lasted for eight years; and we cheer on other people’s revolutions, as though we find satisfaction in multiplying our own. “I hold that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing & as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical,” wrote Thomas Jefferson.
Sherman breaks the deadlockNov 10, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 09 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
On September 2, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln received a telegram from General William Tecumseh Sherman that read, “Atlanta is ours, and fairly won.” This was more than a victory. It was deliverance.
2:05 PM, Sep 17, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
At a school on MacDill Air Force Base, President Obama was asked whether he fought in the civil war. "No," Obama reportedly responded. "I was born in 1961."
Via the pool report:
The fight for Georgia Aug 18, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 46 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
In the summer of 1864, the Union cause rested with Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman. They commanded the most formidable armies ever seen on the continent, yet neither had been in uniform four years earlier, when the war began. Both were West Point trained and had served, without distinction, in the regular army. One had left the army in disgrace; the other in frustration.
The fight that Grant regrettedJun 9, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 37 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The evening before the battle, a Union officer walked among troops who would be assaulting Confederate positions in the morning and observed something he had not seen before. As he wrote after the war, “I noticed that many of the soldiers had taken off their coats and seemed to be engaged in sewing up rents in them.”
10:39 AM, May 12, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Good news for those of us – and our numbers are legion – who are abidingly and insatiably interested in the American Civil War and the large footprint it has left on our history: Mackubin Owens has published a splendid piece in the current National Review on the battles and maneuvers of 150 years ago that have come to be known as “The Virginia Overland Campaign.” In his treatment of
150 years ago—the appointment that won a war Mar 31, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 28 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
He arrived without ceremony. No pomp, no pageantry. It was as far in spirit from Caesar’s entry into Rome as it could possibly have been. He had come to Washington to be made only the third lieutenant general in the nation’s history (George Washington and Winfield Scott were the others) and to assume command of all the Union armies and, consequently, the direction of the war from Texas to Virginia. He was being asked—commanded, actually—by civilian leadership to save the Republic. He was not the first.
And three years of foreign policy missteps. 8:35 AM, Mar 15, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
Today marks the third anniversary of the beginning of the Syrian rebellion, a popular uprising that started as a protest movement and degenerated into a civil war that has already claimed more than 146,000 lives. As the White House has come to enumerate the various reasons why it has balked at arming the rebels—they’re fragmented, they’re farmers, they’re al Qaeda—it’s worth remembering that even before the opposition picked up weapons to defend itself against a regime shooting at unarmed protestors, it took Obama nearly half a year before he called for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to step aside.
8:01 AM, Oct 21, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The New York Times think it's found a civil war among conservatives and Republicans. The Times quotes the boss:
Some optimistic Republicans note that both of those campaigns planted the seeds for the conservative movement’s greatest success: Reagan’s 1980 election and two terms as president.
6:07 PM, Aug 28, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
In an interview with PBS, President Obama says no decision has yet been made on Syria:
"I have not made a decision," said Obama. "I have gotten options from our military. I had extensive discussions with my national security team."
The president went on to say that "terrible things have been happening in Syria for quite some time" and that the "Assad regime there has been killing its own people."
Gettysburg: an epic tale of not quite enough and just in timeJul 8, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 41 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
A century and a half later, the battle of Gettysburg’s place in the national consciousness is so secure that you think of it as inevitable: the great contest of arms toward which all the previous battles of the Civil War had been leading. Thus, all that came before the breaking of Pickett’s Charge was rising action, and all that followed, conclusion and denouement.