3352Re: [TalkAntietam] Added Upon/New Member
- Mar 7, 2007Dear Mark,
Your post was very moving. I feel a sadness at many of the Civil War
battlefields and especially if I tramp through a cemetery which has
Civil War dead in it.
However, I would like to comment on one of your paragraphs, the one
about the change in the Federal government etc. brought on by the war.
That is the main reason I reenact and also do living history as a
I look forward to hearing from you your comments, thoughts, questions,
etc as it relates to the field at Sharpsburg.
Yr. Obt. Svt.
G E "Gerry" Mayers
To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even on
one's mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the Union, a
passport to any foreign country, and a benediction from the Almighty
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Holt" <que182001@...>
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2007 12:30 AM
Subject: [TalkAntietam] Added Upon/New Member
> To All:
> I am Quentin Holt of Renton, Washington State. I have been an
> amateur historian since deep into my childhood, and I am now 58
> years old. I am well-read and widely traveled and have a lifelong
> penchant for thinking for myself. I am a male-type person and have
> never been into emotional breakdowns or serious failures to
> function. I was nearly a dozen years between the National Guard and
> the Army Reserve. I am a graduate of the Infantry School at Fort
> In November of 1990, my Army Reserve unit, the 889th Supply and
> Service Company, Great Falls, Montana was mobilized for active duty
> in Desert Shield. When the company was demobilized from Desert
> Storm six months later, I was without military responsibilities for
> two and a half months, without a civilian job, and without an
> address. What I did have was a lot of freedom, free time, and long
> green. It was the perfect combination to visit some places that I
> had wanted to visit all my life but lacked either the time or the
> money or both.
> One of those places was Sharpsburg. Others were the Smithsonian,
> Gettysburg, Crampton's Gap, Harper's Ferry, The Kennedy Farm,
> Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania,
> Guiney Station, and Ford's Theater. Others still were a lady in New
> Jersey, whom I had met in Arabia, and the beach at Sandy Hook. I
> was single then.
> When I visited the blood-soaked, ghost-haunted battlefields of the
> War, I felt like I was like most other tourists there except that I
> may have been more knowledgeable about the history of the War and
> that I was alone in my visits. Like most any caring and decent
> person, I was also saddened by the ways that Americans used to
> regard and treat one another, but it did not go beyond the normal at
> the time.
> After about a month, I finished my road trip, returned to Great
> Falls, Montana, stayed there a weekend to recover from a cold, and
> then moved to where I am now. Following that, I got a job like the
> one that I had trained for in Montana but could not get there,
> joined a new Army Reserve Unit, got a better job, and acquired a
> wife (my first and the one that I have now).
> On my visits to the battlefields, particularly The Wilderness and
> Harper's Ferry but all of them more or less, I felt a heaviness that
> I cannot describe and have never felt anywhere else. Some element
> of what is there has seemingly penetrated my being and has made me
> different. Perhaps it is for the better, but I am certainly not
> more comfortable.
> Before the trip, my thoughts about the War were that it was (1) not
> God's judgment on America for anything but only the direct result of
> people who wanted it to happen and what they did to make it happen;
> (2) horrible, cruel, tragic, and awful beyond comprehension; (3)
> pseudo-justified by lies and vicious propaganda; (4) by the general
> public, even more misunderstood now than then; (5) started by the
> National Government and (6) that as an ordinary, freedom-loving
> American, I lost when the federal invasion was completed and started
> to lose even when it began. The War was the epoch when the National
> Government started to transform exponentially from what it was meant
> to be by the Founding Fathers into what it is now.
> After the trip, the things that I had earlier thought about the War
> were and are now things that I feel deeply on an an emotional level.
> It seems especially that some relatively tiny measure of the terror,
> sadness, pain, and disgust that permeated the atmosphere at
> Sharpsburg on and after September 17, 1862 and the other
> battlefields just sort of attached itself to my soul like a cockle
> burr might attach to the bottom of my pants. Unlike something
> physical, I cannot pull it out. Time has not lessened the effect of
> It is not like someone might feel when he sits through a sad movie
> or hears a sad story. In those cases, the listener thinks through
> the story, empathizes with one or more of the characters, and then
> feels the pain that they think that they would feel if they were in
> the situation in real life. It is more like the pain was poured
> directly from one bucket into another, or more proportionately, like
> my bucket was added to directly by a spigot attached to the bottom
> of Grand Coulee Dam. I feel it now. My eyes pour tears as I type
> this. I feel it when I hear crap idolizing President Lincoln or the
> other principal figures who decided to instigate the War or some
> blasphemous song of the period written to promote the armed invasion
> of the South.
> At work I receive calls all day from former hospital patients and
> their family members about their accounts. I did all right,
> considering the complexity of it all and my newness on the job,
> until my first call last Friday. The man responsible for the
> $400-some debt told me that his wife had died ten months ago.
> Normally, I would just verbally express my regret and otherwise say
> and do what I am required by my employer to say and do and then
> would just casually go onto the next call. However, this time I
> could directly feel the man's emotional pain (and it was and is very
> considerable). It just poured right into me immediately like it was
> being dumped from one bucket into another. It did not come by
> empathizing with him or consciously thinking about how he must feel.
> It did not generate within me at all. It was his pain generated
> within him and transmitted telepathically into me just as easily and
> quickly and completely as his voice was being transmitted into my
> earpiece. I could hardly function for the next call, and my
> supervisor, seeing me from a distance, stopped by to ask what was
> wrong. It was hard to explain, and I might have come off looking
> like a quiet mental case on the edge of not functioning on the job.
> All of this brings me to the point of my joining this group and
> writing this post. Do I need to find some way (can't imagine how)
> to just straighten up and get over it, or are there any of you who
> are going through or went through anything like this because of your
> visits to such places as Sharpsburg?
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