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3352Re: [TalkAntietam] Added Upon/New Member

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  • G E Mayers
    Mar 7, 2007
      Dear 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
      Confederate.

      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
      God. --Anonymous
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Mark Holt" <que182001@...>
      To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
      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
      > Benning.
      >
      > 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.
      >
      > 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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