While Robert E. Lee was whipping Joe Hooker at Chancellorsville in May 1863, there were ominous developments for the Confederacy in Mississippi. During that month, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee crossed the Mississippi River south of Vicksburg and then executed a lightning campaign of maneuver that sealed the doom of that important Confederate stronghold, which surrendered on July 4.
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.
The designated moderate in the Republican presidential field, Chris Christie, will have to run on a little more than his famous bellicosity. There is the matter of his record as governor of New Jersey and his success in dealing with that famously Republican constituency: organized labor. In that regard, Christie may have a problem.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced today that "it will use Amalgamated Bank’s cash management services to handle most of its day-to-day banking needs for the 2013 Inaugural activities," according to a press release.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie has accepted the endorsement of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA), according to an announcement from the Republican's reelection campaign. The organization "is one of the largest unions in the state, representing over 20,000 laborers across New Jersey primarily within the construction and manufacturing trades."
The Florida chapter of the AFL-CIO appears to be encouraging folks to break the law. In a message on the homepage of their website, the union writes, "There is a mantra that we --at the Florida AFL-CIO-- like to live by, 'Vote Early, Vote Often'."
The Chicago Tribune has refused to print an anti-teachers union ad, according to the Center for Union Facts, the group whose ad was rejected by the paper. The Tribune rejected the ad by saying it had "racial undertones."
Philadelphia Speaking at the Workers Stand for America union rally in Philadelphia today, Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz wasted no time attacking newly announced Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.
The United Auto Workers union is sending out a letter from its legislative director, Josh Nassar, urging senators to vote against several budgets pending in the Senate. One of the budgets UAW apparently opposes is President Obama's own budget.
A final get out the vote call from Mitt Romney's campaign in Wisconsin suggests an unholy alliance of the Santorum campaign, "union bosses," Democrats, and Santorum's "cronies" might be conspiring to extend the GOP contest, and urges Wisconsin voters to stop those efforts by voting for Romney. The call seeks to align Romney with Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, whose challenge of public employee unions has made him immensely popular among the state's Republicans.
It’s the year for revisiting the Civil War, and also, alas, for “revisioning”—according to current sensibilities—how the war should be remembered. A recent casualty of the blogosphere skirmishes is the famous letter from Union major Sullivan Ballou to his wife Sarah, written a week before his death in the first battle of Bull Run. (The full text of the letter is available here.)