You are presenting the Evidence, and then discussing yours and other people's opinion as well. We all know that a Politician's words are that credible. Their actions speak of truly where their mind is at. You and those people have their opinion, I and the people that I quote have their opinions. It is the same. It boils down to who you as a historian find more credible. In violating my rule of not interjecting today's politics onto the past (by the way, I hated Trump, but I really hate Biden), Today's politics appear to just as confusing and passionate as in the 1860s. Just like Trump, Biden is a liar. You can liken Covid 19 today with the Secession issue of the Civil War, both sides of the Vaccine debate have very credible stands. The real question is personal choice, do we allow our people to have personal choice, which we are all about, at the cost of personal freedom (the government taketh and never giveth back) at the potential cost of health. (I am not weighing in on the right or wrong of either side of the debate just using as an example. Do we value personal freedom or health. The anti vaccine, anti mandate crowd, do have a right to question, based on just the social facts (not talking about the science) all of it. It is the Flu on Steroids, thousands of people die of Flu, Pneumonia, heart disease, die of other complications when injured from accidents or hospitalized. They argue they that the virus is wiping out a lot of people who are going to die anyway, that with or without a vaccine, you have a over 95% or higher survival rate, the vaccines are experimental. and rushed, there is not enough on long term effects of the disease, questions of effectiveness. They argue flu shots are not mandatory, the argue that they did not lock down country when Ebola was a huge threat. the view it as a political tool to seize and maintain control, and give the government to pick and choose, and it interferes not only with personal freedom, but the perceived right to work. Science and the other side of the issue states, that this a horrible deadly disease, that must be controlled, they point out the large numbers of people who are dying. They think that public safety is 1st and foremost and that it trumps personal freedom of choice. The media portrays very tragic deaths and stories of the horrors of the disease, and they make pro choice people look like they are just being selfish and viewing anti mandate people as being evil selfish people. Biden promised no mandates on the vaccines, and was basically opposed to mandates, when Trump was in office, but is now doing some major mandates returning to his original position and platform he had while running for DNC nomination. He now has all these reasons for his change of position and the science as to why, he also promised no more lockdowns, but plans are being put in place for mandatory boosters, and lockdowns when this horrible new MU variant strikes, and in case that another disease in India, which may start a pandemic sets in. Political tool? personal Safety? personal freedom? who is right? Who gets to decide who is right? An elitist government? A vote of the people? Individual Choice? That boils down to opinion, as now, so it is about the War, we weren't there, so we have to rely on other opinions to help us interpret what is said. Take the Bible for example, people read the same passages, and their is different interpretations of the same passage, Some take it literal, some take it as an analogy, some view it as politicalized fiction. Some view it as historical with no relevance or meaning today. Whose opinion matters? What makes you opinion, absolutely right and mine wrong. How dare me, if I think I am right and your are wrong? Which I don't. that is why I still research.
I do have a problem with people who thinks their opinion is right because it is their opinion. I may question a view and I present evidence against it, but I am not going to question your intelligence, integrity or pass judgement. I like your style George, and consider you to be personally and professionally, a great guy. If I offend, please forgive me, and you please continue to challenge me as you have done. If I need to clarify, I will. I do value your opinion, and it is fun discussing things with you.
I am not qualified on my own to make judgement calls of people. I know Sherman and his troops did horrible terrible things. I have read about them before, And I appreciate He is quoted as saying "War is Hell". Some of my family was in middle of it. Occupied the farm, used house as headquarters, then burned it when he left. The man was ruthless. He studied Julius Caesar and the Romans, and he modeled and conducted war much the way the Romans did. He studied and fought to win. He viewed as Caesar, if the enemy in front of you is worried about their family and the soldiers and families have no food, and no shelter, they cannot fight. I am sure that the things that he did haunted him. In war, a civilized man is called to do things, that a civilized man, he believes is wrong, but he must do his duty. He must do his job. He did his extremely well. Too well. I found out long ago, my emotions and hate, and inaccurate views of him and history, were not changing anything at all. I realize that I have more to work on, that is what I am doing. Just because are opinions are different, and appear to be polar opposites, but often may be the other side of the coin. I no longer blame or harbor any emotion or anger over what he did. We just need to accurately record and put the historical record as we can.
In the case of the Star of the West, and Buchanan, and Lincoln, the view of the North and the US Government, they believed they were legally and morally justified by their actions and handling of Ft. Sumpter. In the South in view of Jefferson Davis and the South, they were illegal acts of war. Two completely polarized viewpoints? Which is the Correct and official historical version? who is right, Who is wrong? Who is to blame? In the case of history, it no longer matters if it was legal or not, or who was the most morally right. All war is immoral, and both sides engaged in it. Am I saying that governments and individuals should not defend themselves, no. Sometimes wars become necessary. But by definition, and by actuality war is an immoral waste by itself.
So by having such passion for our points of views, it is a good indication that the issues remain unresolved today. It is a fun twist, in my Counseling courses, I learned in trauma treatment, any trauma of the past, that still triggers a strong emotional response, is an unresolved issue, an a point requiring addressing/treating, and when one can discuss a traumatic event, and you are able to talk about it like you would in discussing Theodore Roosevelt's creation of the Park service.
I have decided to be come aware of that in my discussion of history. while fun to plays devil's advocate just to see somebody have a meltdown, may be fun, (and I may or may not have been guilty of this in the past,) but it is destructive and serves no purpose but entertainment. I have learned by putting evidence forward, and discussing it with an open mind, all involved learn and grow, and given a different perspective.
You may plant seeds in my head and view, that might change it down the road. I may present a view or perspective and information that might help you understand the other view. When we can identify where and why a person has a certain view point, we can work to find common ground. That is the big failure of the Political leaders of the era, they lost, and never even attempted to understand the other or to develop the common ground, a common bond.
I think history can be used for that common ground, and a bond. A shared history means a lot. That is why combat veterans who have never met, never seen each other, immediately start insulting each other and seem to become instant friends. It is that shared history. It Does not even have to have shared the same war. I have seen Iraq and Afghanistan veterans bond quickly. That is why I think that is an important part role of history in today's society. It Can bond differing races, differing educational levels, differing economic class, different political views. make us all one as US Citizens. We can celebrate the diversities through history, and we can understand each other.