Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Spirituality and the US Civil War

What could possibly stir up more controversy concerning the US Civil War than the issue of slavery. If nothing comes to mind, the next time you are at a Civil War roundtable or reenactment, ask someone thier religious convictions about slavery.

To me, this was (and is) at the very heart of the matter. If modern historical-revisionists insist on their claim that the United States was not founded on Christian principles, let them tackle the slavery question from an atheistic point-of-view. Of course this is tried time and again through socio-economic terms, but those views simply fall flat upon the revelation of historical documentation.

I no longer actively participate in Civil War reenactments but did so for the better part of a decade. The groups I participated in were considered "hardcore" representations of historical units. Our efforts were less on the dates and battles that history textbooks are ripe with and more upon the realistic portrayal of the private soldier. The problem was, everyone seemed to want to play the part of the drunkard or irreverant and profane backslider.

Few to none actually felt inclined to play the part of the reverent Christian of which the majority of both armies consisted of. Most wanted to be the general or the captain or the lieutenant, but few wanted to represent the revered regimental chaplain. In fact, in my early days as a reenactor, it was my own personal disdain for the chaplain that caused me much strife on a weekend event.

Through fervent study to try to revise the chaplain from the field, I discovered a most uncommon history.

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Favorite Books

  • Portals to Hell
  • To Die In Chicago
  • While God is Marching On

Favorite Movies

  • Dances With Wolves
  • Gettysburg
  • Glory
  • Master and Commander
  • Red Badge of Courage