Battle Of Gettysburg

July 2 An Historic Day In So Many Ways!

July 2 is an extremely historic day in American history in so many ways, more than typical.

July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, with the document being printed, and beginning to be signed on July 4.

July 2, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed Morrill Act, granting land for state agricultural colleges.

July 2, 1863, Second day of Battle of Gettysburg, turning point battle of Civil War.

July 2, 1881, President James A. Garfield was shot and mortally wounded by Charles Guiteau, died 79 days later on September 19, 1881, a tragedy I devote a chapter to in my Assassinations book, now out in paperback from Rowman Littlefield.

July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, most path breaking and historic civil rights law in American history.

July 2, 1986, the Supreme Court upheld Affirmative Action in two cases.

Significant Fourths Of July, And The Most Important One Of All!

It has been 238 years since the Declaration of Independence, declared in Philadelphia on this day in 1776.

Some of the Fourth of Julys that have followed have been more significant than others.

In 1801, the 25th anniversary, the nation celebrated the first turnover of government to the opposition being conducted successfully four months earlier, as Thomas Jefferson succeeded John Adams.

In 1826, the 50th anniversary, Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both intimately involved in the document’s formulation, died, during the administration of Adams’ son, John Quincy Adams.

In 1831, the 55th anniversary, President James Monroe died, marking three of the first five Presidents dying on Independence Day, but it has never occurred since then. This death occurred during the administration of Andrew Jackson.

In 1876, the nation celebrated its first century of independence during the administration of Ulysses S. Grant.

In 1901, the 125th anniversary, the nation celebrated the new century, during the administration of William McKinley.

In 1976, the bicentennial was celebrated during the administration of Gerald Ford.

In 2001, the 225th anniversary was celebrated during the administration of George W. Bush.

But none of these anniversaries mattered as much as July 4, 1863, the 87th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, as the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, fought the three previous days, and won on July 3 by the Union Army over the Confederacy, insured that the Union would be preserved, the ultimate purpose of Abraham Lincoln leading the nation into the Civil War in 1861. The last real chance of the South to win independence was lost, although the war continued for another 21 months.

So July 4, 1863 is more to be celebrated than any other July 4, and we must remain thankful that those who wanted to break up the United States were overcome. We must be ready to react against any threat of further secession put forth by right wing propagandists who want America to lose its whole purpose of creation, the establishment of a democracy which would be the beacon for people all around the world, who would want to come here and be part of the American experiment in freedom. It is immigration that makes, and has made, America the great nation that it is!

150th Anniversary Of Greatest Speech In American History: The Gettysburg Address Of Abraham Lincoln!

150 years ago on November 19, President Abraham Lincoln gave a speech to commemorate the loss of life at the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, which occurred on July 1, 2, and 3, 1863.

Although only a two minute speech, it is regarded as possibly the greatest speech ever made by an American President, although not regarded as such at the time.

Lincoln was one of the greatest orators of our history, memorable for his Second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1865 and for other speeches and declarations, both in the White House years and in his earlier career as a Congressman from Illinois, and a Senate candidacy against Senator Stephen Douglas.

The Battle of Gettysburg, and the tremendous loss of life, remains a center of fascination to historians and tourists alike, and the short statement of Lincoln honoring the dead remains a classic of Presidential oratory that will reverberate through all of time!

150th Anniversary Of Battle Of Gettysburg: Turning Point Of Civil War!

A century and a half ago, on July 1, 2, and 3, 1863, the greatest battle of the Civil War occurred in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the furthest north the Confederate armies of the South ever managed to reach during the war!

About 50,000 casualties occurred in those three days, and only on July 3 was it clear that the Union Army had triumphed, but at great cost!

This author has visited the Gettysburg historic site with his older son, and we were both sobered by the reality of that battle, and the amount of blood that was shed, and the ghosts that many claim still haunt the battlefield and the homes nearby that date back to that time period.

President Abraham Lincoln commemorated the loss of life in November of that year, and the commitment to human freedom, that those who fought on the Union side died for, while acknowledging the bravery and commitment of the Confederate soldiers who died in that sleepy Pennsylvania town 150 years ago!

This is a time to commemorate those who died and were wounded, and keep the commitment to human freedom and legal equality that is always under challenge in the modern world, both outside our nation, but sadly also still being an issue that divides Americans, and even the Supreme Court!

150th Anniversary Of Bloodiest Military Day In History Of American Wars: The Battle Of Antietam, September 17, 1862

Tomorrow will mark the 150th Anniversary of the bloodiest one day battle of the Civil War and of all American history—the Battle of Antietam in Sharpsburg, Maryland, which took more loss of life than even D Day on June 6, 1944.

Almost 23,000 casualties on both sides occurred on September 17, 1862–with almost 3,700 dead, and 17,200 wounded and 1,800 captured or missing.

The total losses that day surpassed double the total of the entirety of the War Of 1812, the Mexican War, and the Spanish American War combined!

This battle stopped the Confederate advance further north than it had ever been in the war, and only the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 saw a further advance, also stopped by the Union Army.

The battle decided that the British and French would hold off on recognition of the Confederacy, and also led to the decision of Abraham Lincoln to issue the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

This author was fortunate to have visited the Antietam Battlefield in 2011, and today, there is a reenactment of the battle being conducted, and being covered by C Span 3, an excellent source for American history on a regular basis.

Visiting Antietam would sober anyone as to the loss of life, and yet, the principles being fought about during the Civil War, which led to such massive deaths, would be better understood!

149th Anniversary Of Battle Of Gettysburg: States Rights Battle Won Then Being Revisited Again!

On this day in 1863, the Union army defeated the Confederate army at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and prevented any further Confederate advancement into the Northern states of America, the decisive battle of the Civil War.

It was the turning point of the Civil War, and having visited the battle site, and heard stories of ghosts that still linger today, and recognizing the tremendous losses of both sides in the three day battle that was topsy turvey until the third day of the battle, one is humbled by the fact that it decided the issue of states rights, even though the war went on for nearly two more years.

It is ironic that the Republican Party under Abraham Lincoln fought against states rights, but now the Republican Party is more Southern than anything else, and has revived the issue of states rights in fury over the Affordable Care Act being declared constitutional by the Supreme Court last week.

So Southern governors, including Rick Scott, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, and Bob McDonnell, and joined by northern Republican governors, including Scott Walker, Rick Snyder, Paul LePage and others, are declaring “war” on setting up programs to deal with the oncoming “ObamaCare” in 2014, and in Congress, Republican leaders are making their campaign on repeal of “ObamaCare”, even though the chances of that are nearly zero.

So the GOP is fighting the Civil War all over again on another battlefield, against their own history, and they are doomed to lose yet once again!

And get this, Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential nominee, is trying to veer away from “ObamaCare” as the major issue, causing a split within a party that has no love lost for him!

Good luck, Republicans, but you will face an historic defeat in November, while Abraham Lincoln weeps in heaven at what you have done to the party that fought states rights!