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152nd Georgia General Assembly

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

152nd Georgia General Assembly
151st 153rd
Great Seal of the State of Georgia
Meeting placeGeorgia State Capitol
Members56 (38 R, 18 D)
President of the SenateCasey Cagle (R)
Party controlRepublican Party
House of Representatives
Members180 (119 R, 60 D, 1 I)
Speaker of the HouseDavid Ralston (R)
Party controlRepublican Party
1stJanuary 14, 2013 (2013-01-14) – March 29, 2013 (2013-03-29)
2ndJanuary 13, 2014 (2014-01-13) – March 21, 2014 (2014-03-21)

The 152nd General Assembly of the U.S. state of Georgia convened its first session on January 14, 2013,[1] at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. The 152nd Georgia General Assembly succeeded the 151st and will serve as the precedent for the 153rd General Assembly in 2015.

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  • ✪ The Long Road to Reconciliation - Veterans and the Record of War (Lecture)


My name is John Heiser, Historian here at Gettysburg National Military park and welcome to the fourth of our Winter Lecture Series here at the park which we have every Saturday and Sunday throughout the winter. We have got some great subjects coming up this year and if you folks have been to the last three or so, you have probably heard some really good talks. I know Matt Atkinson, Karlton Smith, and Troy all gave excellent programs the past two weekends. And I hope to do the same at least continue in that vein of some sort. We have got a lot of other things going on this winter too, including the book discussion series on Saturday mornings and the Monuments series which goes on on Sunday mornings. It's really good stuff here at the park throughout the Winter months just before Spring starts and the sun comes back out and everybody is happy again! What I'd like to talk about today is, I have to admit, when I thought about this subject a while ago, I thought it would be fairly simple to talk about, but I have to admit, I may have bitten off more than I can chew. I'm talking about two veterans organizations and the record of the war that they left for us today to study and try to understand the four years of that conflict. The problem is these two veterans organizations lasted seventy plus years. And in that seventy plus year-record, it sure as heck hard to find out what is right and what is wrong. Often, these two groups - The GAR and the UCV - were at war with each other if not amongst themselves. But the record they left behind is so rich. It is so wonderful for us to look at and understand and study and maybe that is what attracts us to the Civil War. No other war in our nation's history has ever been written about so much by the veterans, the participants of that war. The volume of extra material and photographic material that came out of that war would stretch all the way from here to California and back again. Its an incredible amount of stuff and my experience in National Archives and state archives, historic archives right here at the park, you always find something of interest no matter what book, no matter what letter, no matter what manuscript you have in your hand. Its incredible whats out there. These veterans in the post-war period were so eager to tell their stories and write their stories and have their stories published, at least leave a record for their families and we enjoy those records today. Its really remarkable the thing that they did a great legacy, a rich legacy, for all of us. The problem is trying to discern what's right and what's wrong because obviously even though the war ended in 1865, there were still hard feelings that continued for another seventy years. And if anybody who is dealing with social media today, especially the flack over the Confederate flag last year, any aspect of our society right now, you know there is a lot going on that almost always goes back to the same similar feelings that occurred after the close of the American Civil War. Strange, strange parallels there. What I really want to talk about is the soldiers' reactions to their service to the war and in 1865, when the war is finally over, and men North and South are going home and changing their blue or grey for civilian clothing, they couldn't leave that experience behind. For many of them, it had been the four most remarkable years of their entire lives. They had been a farmer, or a simple laborer in 1861. They are coming home as a war hero and I mean that - truly - whether they were blue or grey, they came home as a war hero. They really weren't decided on as winners and losers, but the people at home, the people that saw them go off and welcomed them back, they were all heroes. And that's the way they came home. Now they are supposed to return to civilian life. Everything is supposed to be happy and supposed to go till the fields, but it was very very different for them to try to adjust to that civilian life again. Now what was left behind was the scars of the conflict, the scars of the war - all the way from Pennsylvania as far west as New Mexico territory. We are talking about not just one or two battlefields, but hundreds if not thousands of battlefields from coast to coast. What was the legacy to be left to those fields? Just simple memorials like this or was there a greater story to be told about that? And its the veterans themselves that started to think about that. You don't go through four years of that type of experience and go home and just simply forget about it because its not just horror and gore and terror, its also some good times some of the best times these men ever had. Some of the best comradeships, friendships ever achieved while in service. Anyone here who is a veteran? If you have been in service, you know that. You make some of the best friendships you have ever had in your entire life. You don't walk out of the Army or the military and its all over with. You think of these men over and over and over again. But its not just thinking of your buddy, its also thinking about the stories and the songs, the things that happen to you on a day to day basis. There was a Illinois veteran who wrote in 1865 that once he returned home and hung his uniform in the closet, and put on his suit to go out and till the field again, that everything seemed so strange and surreal. It was a very strange landscape. He was so used to the call of the long roll in the morning. The sound of the bugle, the booming of the cannon, the shouting of the sergeant. He could not get that out of his system and 30 years later, he wrote it was still there on a day to day basis. He never could forget that time in service. Every last little aspect was more dear to him than the crops grown that fall or harvested that fall. Many others felt the same way. An Ohio veteran, Charles Madden, wrote in 1868, "The more I contemplate the war, and I am connected with it, the grander and more inexhaustible the subject appears. I tell you there is food for thought in reflections there for us for the remainder of our days." That was probably true with a lot of Union veterans. Southern veterans probably felt very different because they went home to a very different type of landscape. Vene thought they had good stories and good memories, the devastation of those four years, we here they served, the armies they served, how they served, and then go home to a devastated landscape under military rule, Reconstruction, was a very very different environment. And many of them could not help but feel bitter. But also this air of uncertainty as to what the future held. I think the best statement comes from a Texan. His name is Rudolph Corth. He served in the West. He wrote in April 1865 returning home, "I fear the immediate future will bring terrible results because the least that will happen is the Negro will be be free." There's more in the future, more in the context of what's going to happen as far as uncertainty is concerned. But there is a fraternal feeling and the Grand Army of the Republic, its genesis begins during the American Civil War. Its that comradeship that these men share. Everyone heard of the Grand Army of the Republic or the GAR as the men who served in the war and eventually became part of the GAR, they truly believed that they were the saviors of the Republic. They saved America. They saved the United States. That's how they felt. And the GAR was a direct result of wanting again rekindle those old comradeships and once again maybe hear the sound of the drums or the fife, and tell the stories that they had told in service. And also to talk about what they had done and the impact they had on American history in those four years from 1861 to 1865. Now the GAR was not the first national organization of patriotic troops, or Union soldiers, Union veterans. That was actually the Military Order of the Loyal Legion is formed very soon after the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865. Its often referred to as MOLLUS. Every state had a chapter. Pennsylvania had its chapter for the MOLLUS located in Philadelphia. Military Order of the Loyal Legion though was very very different from the GAR. Its very much like an exclusive club, almost like the Explorers Club or something like that. It wasn't like the Moose Lodge where everybody could go. It was really for former officers and men of means rather than the common fellow who went back to his farm or went back to loading supplies in the shipyard. The GAR was much more than that. The GAR was absolutely inclusive of everybody who served the Union Army and the Union Navy. The Constitution itself states "any man who honorably wore the Union blue on the sea or on land, or whatever rank of whatever color, rich or poor, may enter and stand in line and answer to the glorious name 'comrade.'" So its inclusive of everybody. The GAR is the genesis of 1886. The first post is established in Decatur, Illinois and within the year, there are at least 120 posts throughout the country. People flocked to this. It was a chance to join together. It was really a social thing for a lot of these men. It where they got together at least once a month, talked about business, talked about their lives, talked about their experiences, and many of them also brought their relics of war that they had brought home with them and deposited them in what became GAR posts. The GAR post - The Daniel Skelley post - in Gettysburg, still survives is actually an old Methodist church. The GAR purchased the property and that became the GAR post. It was the same in almost every northern town and city throughout the North. And yes, there are even GAR posts in the South, in Louisiana, in Atlanta, Georgia, and one or two in North Carolina. These were mostly USCT veterans who lived in those areas who served in the Union Army, formed their own GAR posts there. It grew, expanded, but it almost died. Why was that? The constitution of the GAR was exactly like MOLLUS. There were certain levels or tiers of membership and anybody who joined MOLLUS, at first was called "recruit." He could not vote on any sort of MOLLUS business. He could not really contribute but just attend, pay his dues, and that was it until he was approved for the next tier, the next level of membership. The GAR was just like that and right away many of the privates, former privates, former sergeants, felt that there was a discrimination against them. They came in as recruits and the men who were GAR post leaders, or members of the GAR who were now in charge of state division charters, were the officers, the former officers. It was just like being in the Army again. So membership started to die off and by 1876, it was at a critical level. The GAR actually ceased to exist in some northern states until they finally changed the charter, changed the constitution, got rid of this crazy system, which they called the "grade system." They got rid of it. Everybody who came was all an equal member. It didn't matter whether you were the lowest of the low or the highest of the high in military service, you were all basically comrades after 1878. Now what happened, the GAR expanded. With in a span of about 10 years, it boasted over 350,000 members all across the country. I don't remember exactly how many GAR posts there were, but the GAR was the equivalent of the American Legion today, or the VFW, or even Disabled American Veterans. It was a very strong organization. And with this many veterans gathered together, you'd think they would really be politically active. They weren't. Why was that? In the constitution of the GAR, no member could use membership in the GAR for political means. You couldn't run for office saying "I'm a member pf the GAR and GAR supports me." But, the GAR did have an influence in Congress, especially pushing for veterans' pensions, pushing for Memorial Day activities, and became active parts of their community. Not a single town or city in the North went without a GAR post by 1885. There were GAR posts everywhere. It was a great organization to be a part of. And these men were very very proud of themselves. One thing about the GAR, and this is a great photograph of GAR Post 160 in Casanodia, New York, GAR posts were fully integrated. They were not segregated at all. The white soldiers felt that the black soldiers, the black veterans, they served side by side for the same purpose and they should all be members equally in the GAR. It was really quite remarkable, especially at that time of post-Reconstruction where race had become an issue in the country. Very much so or certain classes, North and South, everywhere, but GAR posts were all equal as far as membership is concerned. And only a handful of Northern cities, and of course Southern cities, where GAR posts were all black or African American. Its all summed up really by one soldier who wrote, "The men who paid the price, the survivors of this horrific struggle, who later joined the GAR, to not forget the bondsmen and the blood they shed at their side. Black and white veterans were able to create and sustain an integral organization in society originally divided on the color line because the Northerners remembered African-American service in a war against slavery." Again, politically the GAR was pretty complacent especially for the first couple of administrations - Grant, like that - but in 1884, President Grover Cleveland, the first Democrat, is elected President of the United States. The first Democrat since before the American Civil War. Cleveland was much more open as far as appointments, especially in the cabinet, foreign dignitary offices, so he chose a lot of former Southern officers, former Southern politicians, for those posts. So that kind of rankled some of the GAR leadership a little bit that these former Confederates are now being awarded with Federal positions, including the Supreme Court. But, it really came to a head in 1887 when the proposal came to return the 500 plus captured Confederate battle flags the War Department was still holding to the Southern states. That did not go over very well. You can imagine why. Lucius Fairchild, who commanded the 2nd Wisconsin here at Gettysburg, lost an arm on July 1, severely injured. He was the chief, the commander-in-chief of the GAR at that time and he was absolutely furious. But he reflected the feeling of the GAR. These banners, these were symbols of the rebellion, had been captured, brought as trophies to the War Department for safe keeping by United States government, paid for in blood. It wasn't just a flag. American blood had been shed to bring these flags back. And Fairchild wrote, and rightly so maybe, "May God palsy the hand that wrote the order. May God palsy the brain that conceived it. May God Palsy the tongue that dictated it." The GAR finally came out directly against a presidential order, presidential idea. Needless to say, Cleveland dropped the idea in June and it would be another 40 something years before the flags were actually returned to the Southern states. But the GAR was active , I think they were much more conciliatory in their attitude, especially for their former Confederate enemy. The political symbols, flags and things like that, were an issue, but as far as the Confederate soldiers, the Confederate veterans were concerned, the GAR thought more on a national basis rather than a regional basis. In 1892 or 93, there was a proposal in Congress to make April 9, 1865 a national holiday. The GAR came out against it for a number of reasons. It did not want to bring up the idea that we'd be celebrating a national holiday and our descendants, their descendants, would be creating a national holiday to celebrate the death of Southerners in a four year war. It was not worth that. That meant more than just a national holiday. It wasn't more than just a celebration of the war. It had to be a celebration of peace and unification. The GAR really came out as a national organization, especially in the 1890s. The voice of the GAR was the National Tribune, one of the finest newspapers I think ever published. Anybody who has ever studied or read about the war has heard about the Tribune. It is absolutely filled with great accounts and great stories and great biographies of the men who served in the Civil War. The nice thing about the Tribune, the great thing about the Tribune different from the MOLLUS papers, was this newspaper was distributed across the country for everybody and everyone in the GAR had a voice in it. Any private, any former sergeant, any former general could write in to the Tribune and talk about their experiences or even criticize former officers and they could get away with it. But the Tribune also was a platform for a lot of argument. I don;t know how many times regiments went back and forth about who was the first one into Vicksburg, who fired the first shot at Atlanta, who was the first one up Missionary Ridge. Gettysburg, likewise, is one of those controversial subjects that goes back and forth, back and forth, and I think one of the primary examples of what goes on with the Tribune occurs in 1884 I believe it is. General O.O. Howard commanded the 11th corps here at Gettysburg and wound up commanding the troops here on the first day of action on Cemetery Hill. And he wrote a very stirring account of his experiences at Gettysburg. It was published in the Atlantic in 1878 I believe. Or 1876. There were a lot of veterans of the 1st Corps who read that article and denounced it because Howard primarily gave the 11th Corps more credit for the victory on July 1, or the rallying on July 1 there on Cemetery Hill. He kind of downplayed the other troops that were there. Well members of the 1st Corps didn't like that at all and there was quite a bit of consternation. November 1884, Howard's article is published again in the pages of the National Tribune. A lot of editing to it. Howard rewrote most of it, changed some things, added some times, and things like that, but it did not go over very well then either. It wasn't the first - the first installment came out in November. it wasn't a week later that a letter from a man named James Biele who was a self-appointed historian for the 12th Massachusetts, denounced Howard's monograph and the letter was published in the National Tribune in a section called "Fighting Them Over." Biele took Howard to task and basically took him apart. His regiment of the 12th Massachusetts in Robertson's division, had fought out on oak Ridge that day. They had been some of the last troops to leave that part of the field, and according to Howard's account, they were some of the first ones to leave. The 11th Corps had actually held the line. Well Biele took him to task number by number, bit by bit. Well that went over really well with some of the 11th Corps veterans. Naturally! A man named A. R. Barlow, I think his name was Arthur Barlow, a veteran of the 152nd New York of Shurz's division, is also out there that day, replied to Biele in a very short, concise, 2 or 3 paragraph letter, which is also published in the National Tribune "Fighting Them Over" section. And what really got him was this one section directed towards Biele. "It is most contemptible and any old soldier of this day with so many of the comrades are in the dust of the grave, to dole out wholesale charges of cowardice against them as the record of their soldier life. Its enough to say Biele that the 11th Corps saved the 1st Corps from utter route on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg. Now tell us frankly. Were you in that fight? If so, did you not travel in a Headquarters wagon?" Well that's the ultimate insult by saying "your're not even on the field. How would you know what went on out there?" What's Biele going to do? Well naturally he is going to reply ten weeks later in the second edition of the National Tribune. Howard's monograph is the third or fourth installment. Biele responds to Mr. Barlow by saying point by point Howard's wrong, your're wrong, and this is what we did that day and I know because I was there. I was on the field. Everything that I put into my article, I'll be glad to justify it. I don;t mind the criticism, but be concise and be a comrade when you reply to me. So Biele was actually trying to be fairly friendly about this whole thing. It didn't go over very well with Mr. Barlow who had to naturally reply again. His letter shows up in another edition he fires back and adds "your attempt to gain laurels from what you may please to term bad record of the flying half-moons. In other words you have bitten off more than you can chew." In other words, Biele is taking on too big a task. Biele has finally had enough. Howard's last installment is already in there and Biele now is responding. Finally he has had enough. His response to Barlow on May 7, 1885, and closes with a final insult for Barlow to basically stop wreathing the crescent badge with garlands of victory from some unknown soldier's grave. They are really getting nasty. And finally I think the editors in chief just cut them off. This is enough! Because not just Biele and Barlow are going back and forth but Lyman of the 147th Ney Work writes letters in about Howard's monograph. Back and forth back and forth. Poor O.O. Howard is probably sitting in Washington wondering "What have I done? I'm just trying to tell the story and I'm not pleasing anybody." But this is something really about the Tribune that's very intriguing. The stories that these guys tell, the stories that are in paper and preserved for us today are wonderful stories but not everybody agreed with them. And I think that's part of the whole strange perspective of the National Tribune and why historians today use it over and over and over again to try and study battles, campaigns, and certainly the leaders. In that column, "Fighting It Over," very well termed because they were fighting them over all the time to the very last edition. Southern Voices. How are the Confederate veterans getting their voices heard? In 1866, or 1868, excuse me, Dabney Mallory founded the Southern Historical Society and the Southern Historical Society Papers began publication about 2 or 3 years later. And what those papers are which again that's a wealth of historical textual information for us to study and use today, are stories, biographies, accounts of battles and campaigns given by Confederate veterans. Those papers were published monthly and are just filled with great stories and great accounts of service during the American Civil War. But they did not get a wide distributorship. It wasn't until about 1882, a journal called The Southern Bivouac was published. It was published out of Louisville, Kentucky. The Bivouac was meant specifically more towards the common man, the common veteran. It did not have a really wide distributorship. What the bivouac did was tell a lot of stories and preserve a lot of stories and biographies of Confederate leaders, especially Lee, Jackson, Forrest, the men who are held the highest as far as Confederate service is concerned. These were the heroes of the South. Very few articles were about Braxton Bragg, things like that. But the Bivouac was a great journal. But it struggled financially for a long time. And not everybody bought into Southern Bivouac at all. If any of you were here last week for Matt Atkinson's program might recognize this gentleman, Jubal Early. Robert E. Lee's Bad Old Man. Mr.Early didn't like anything. He didn't like Southern Bivouac, he didn't like anybody, and the editors of Southern Bivouac rejected every article and every letter he sent them, save one. I think they published something of his finally in 1884 1885. But he really derided Southern Bivouac. He was one of these guys that just, I have to point this out really quick because it wasn't just the preservation of textual records of Southern service. Jubal Early always threw a monkey wrench into it. In 1882 or 1883, there were several folks in the North that wanted to contribute money to have a soldier's home built in the South for aged Confederate veterans who were disabled. Well naturally Mr. Early didn't like that idea and wanted the editorials published in the Bivouac states right here that 'John Jubal Early opposes receiving money from Northern men to build up a home for disabled Confederate soldiers and said that all Confederates who need help are deadbeats. This is going quite far. The General has won quite a reputation saying bitter things since the war in which he does not follow the example of his illustrious chief." That illustrious chief being Robert E. Lee. But as much as the record is being preserved in the Southern Historical Society papers and the Southern Bivouac, its not getting the wide distributorship it really should get. And the Southern veterans I think for the most part were trying to find a voice, trying to find some way that they could equal the Union counterparts. And finally in 1889, United Confederate Veterans was formed. Before the UCV was formed and organized in New Orleans in 1889, there were a number of publications that came out in the 1880s that really turned the tide as far as studying the Civil War is concerned. The Comp de Paire had published his history of the Civil War in the 1870s, he publishes a history of the Battle of Gettysburg in the 1880s, the War of the Rebellion: The Official Records are being published from 1883 on, and Century Magazine purchased Southern Bivouac in 1887. What they did was they took the Southern Bivouac articles, added their own articles to it they had garnered from Century Magazine elsewhere, and published it. Its an incredible set called "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War." This 4-volume set is still used today by historians and academics because it is a wonderful record, tremendous record, of the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865. Every campaign, and almost every battle you can think of. Now the focus of "Battles and Leaders" is primarily major battles: Chickamauga, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, the Overland Campaign, the Appomattox Campaign. But, Century Magazine took Union and Confederate accounts and put them into one. Its one of the first major publications where the voices of North and South finally come together into one. The GAR thought this was a wonderful thing and they promoted this. They sold this to the National Tribune that this was probably one of the best histories of the war ever compiled because you are hearing the voices of former officers, former men who served during that war. The record now is there for all to read. Did everybody read it? Probably not. But on top if this, there there was almost a fervor of remembrance of the American Civil War. It was 25 years afterwards and how are you going to commemorate it? There were commemorations at Gettysburg and a few other battlefields, but it's still very very fresh in everyone's mind. 25 years goes by pretty fast and its hard to forget those hardship. What happened during the American Civil War? What happened in the aftermath? American society is changing forever because of the American Civil War. In this atmosphere, the United Confederate Veterans is formed in New Orleans in 1889. Finally the Confederate veteran has an organization, a fraternal organization, that he can join. More importantly, he also has an organization, a national organization, where his voice can be heard. Not just the old officers, not just the former politicians, but the voice of the common man can finally be heard through the United Confederate Veterans. And it will come to fruition and they and the GAR will be contentious fighters for the truth. One is going to fight the other. You think old soldiers, memories may fade away, but passions do not. And that is the key element here between the GAR and the UCV. The passions of why they fought and what they go to service for. I love this photograph. It was taken about the turn of the century of a UCV, at what they called Southern Camps rather than GAR posts, but this is a small post or camp reunion and these guys are enjoying watermelon. If you look at the guys in front, they are all holding slices of watermelon. So it must have been a hot day that day. UCV was formed though as a social literary historical and benevolent society. That was one of the main means of it and in 10 years, they had over 1500 UCV camps throughout the South, even a couple far out West. Confederate Veteran magazine was their equivalent of the National Tribune. And this was the voice for most Confederate veterans. Its not just the old officers but everybody could write in with a little bit of their experiences be it in the Gettysburg campaign, or Port Hudson, or even on the coast of Florida. Its a wealth of information, a wealth of memory, but it also set the tone of what the Southern veterans wanted their descendants to understand about the war. The hardships that these men faced. If anybody has read about the war or read about how these Confederate veterans wrote about themselves, especially 1880s and 1890s in the turn of the century, every man was barefoot, every man was ragged, everyone was hungry, there were never any times of wealth, they were always constantly fighting against a larger foe. Confederate Veteran Magazine and the articles they write, the articles they published, set that standard for us to remember today. How the Confederates were. And I think part of the confusion has always been trying to straighten out how the Army of Northern Virginia looked in 1863, how it looked in 1862, how it operated. What were the hardships? You can't always rely on what these guys write because they dwell on that constantly. Sure there are maybe a couple of weeks where they had no shoes, a month where they had no food, but it wasn't like that all the time. That's not the impression they definitely give in the articles in Confederate Veteran magazine.But, on the other hand too, the magazine was also very congenial and very conciliatory towards some of the Union veterans and the Union side of it. There was a letter published by an officer from Illinois. His name was Captain L. J. Daughty. He wrote the paper, "I like the spirit of fairness towards soldiers of the Union Army which seems to pervade his columns and which I believe will cause acceptance by an veteran on either side. Brave men are always generous and no greater sacrifice and heroism was ever shown them by soldiers of the late war. None should be more generous with each other." And believe it or not, Confederate Veteran Magazine wound up into a lot of GAR halls. The GAR posts who met maybe once a month for the first moments of discussion was, "what was in Confederate Veteran last week?" They had a very wide distributorship. UCV grew very rapidly. The first national commander was John B. Gordon. Gordon - hero of the war, major general by war's end, led the last parade of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox for the surrender ,went back to Georgia, dabbled in politics, worked for the railroads for many years, was a Senator for the government of Georgia - and when the UCV was formed, he was elected the first president, the first national commander. A position he held until his death in about 1904. But the first convention that was held in 1890, if you look very closely at this, you will see Gordon's image on the front and behind is not the Confederate flag but the flag of the United States of America. When the UCV formed, one of the points they made was that the flag that they are formed under was the flag of the United States, not the flag of the old Confederacy. But still, the flag of the Confederacy would be brought out, would be presented at parades, get togethers, things like that. When Jefferson Davis passed away, the flag that draped his coffin was the Confederate flag. A lot of Union veterans didn't like that. Why not? That's what they fought against. They fought against what that flag symbolized. Confederate Veteran is a little bit different. Gordon was much more conciliatory in these terms. Eve though he was adamant against Federal authority, promoter of the Lost Cause, hated the Reconstruction periods, did all that he could do to get Georgia out of the Reconstruction period.As far as commander of the UCV, he much more conciliatory in telling the good stories. Who here has read Gordon's memoirs? I loved it! I read it in college. I actually read it again, maybe about 15 20 years ago. Its a great book! A lot of academics and even historians deride it because they think it is just too light on the subject. That some of the things Gordon says in there never happened, he made up stories, but it is absolutely packed full of wonderful anecdotes about former commanders and events that happened to Gordon that he experienced throughout the entire Civil War. Gordon had a certain version of the war that fell right in line with what the UCV wanted. They wanted the compassion of the Southern soldier to be known. They wanted the honor and the virtue of the Southern soldier to be known. And Gordon was a promoter of that until the very last day of his life. He visited Gettysburg in 1896, pictured here on the battlefield with guide Luther Minnigh, Emmor Cope who was part of the park commission, and entertained an audience there at Brua Chapel over at Gettysburg College and told stories for about an hour about the Battle of Gettysburg, his experiences in the war. The one thing that he did not do was criticize former commanders, especially Robert E. Lee. He did talk about the honor and the virtue of the Army of Northern Virginia, why it fought, and their final honorable service there in surrendering at Appomattox. That was his key element. He had his particular version; others had their own. George Llewellyn Christian was a veteran of the Richmond Howitzers, severely wounded at the Bloody Angle on May 12, 1864, lost a leg, severely injured. After the war, he became a lawyer and then eventually a judge in the Richmond area. And when the UCV was formed, Christian became basically the department commander. He did not feel the same way that Gordon did. Even though they agreed quite a bit about the Lost Cause, where Gordon wasn't quite so vocal, Christian absolutely was and he used every platform and every encampment he could to again reiterate the cause of the Lost Cause - the meaning of the Lost Cause. It almost became, I wouldn't say comical - it almost became so outlandish and so outrageous every time he spoke, it seemed to get worse and worse and worse. And what he meant to do was actually vilify the Northern cause and sectionalize it once again. If anything, the rhetoric that he gave at these encampments wasn't confirmed at the encampments, because it got into the papers, it got into the journals, and Northern veterans found out about it and no, they didn't like it. If anything, it helped with the division between the GAR and the UCV, especially in the 1890s. As one veteran form New York pointed out, 'the war is over in 1865 but the now the fighting is on paper. We are fighting it again from the speaker stand.'And Christian is going to promote this.A couple of examples: at the Richmond Conference in 1896, its one of the first big ones there - he states, "as we are true and loyal to the cause of the South, we will be true and faithful citizens for our country today because the principles for which Confederate soldiers fought, the only ones in which Constitutional liberty can never rest in this or any other county." Basically goes back to the problem of fighting for state's rights and against the Federal government. But its more than that. Christian goes one step beyond that. In an 1898 speech, again he says, "The North fought for an empire which was not and never had been hers. Outrage inflicted upon the defenseless people by the mercenary hordes of the North permitted and encouraged by the remorseless cruelty and questionable omission of some of their leaders." Bascially he is talking about Lincoln, Stanton, everybody, political leaders - they are the ones who wanted the war, they are the ones who brought it on. He goes so far as to say that slavery was just a patriarchal institution in Virginia. It was dying. It really didn't mean that much to the Southern economy, the Southern way of life. It was the Northerners who really wanted it. The Northerners really wanted slavery. And that's why they fought the war. Does that make any sense? But if you say something enough, people will believe it. Christian knew it. And if you follow any of the Republican debates lately . . . [audience laughter] - my best Matt Atkinson. Author Caroline Janney who wrote an excellent book about Reconciliation between the GAR and the UCV published 2 or 3 years ago - I will give you the title later - wrote about Christian and many of the others going back and forth and you see the UCV was formed to be a benevolent group of veterans but it became more than that just like GAR there was a lot of infighting and the UCV was no different. As it goes on it becomes worse and worse and this rhetoric again divides the North and the South all over again. Now its a war of words and a war on paper but she surmises that by saying that while none of the yankees were without moral worth, the cause of the yankees was without moral worth, the southern cause was much more honorable and full of virtue. Well that didn't settle very well with the GAR at all, why would it. Again, it is this sectional feeling and Christian wasn't the only one. Lafayette McLaws who commanded a division here at Gettysburg under James Longstreet, he seethes with anger that there were actually GAR posts in the south, he thought this was an insult to southern women and southern society that these former Union soldiers actually had meetings and parades on southern soil. For thirty years he railed about that. He could not stand that, he was not alone. There were many others that felt the same way. What really happened though in the 1890s was, not just a war of words between the groups, school textbooks were now being published and sent to schools north and south talking about the causes of the American Civil War. Well not all of them fell in line with how they felt. In some books they basically would not call the South traitors or rebellious or even refer to it as a rebellion, it was The War of Northern Aggression. Visa Versa. Some of the books going to the North were the same way, vilifying national heroes. The GAR and The UCV went as far as to form special committees to review textbooks going to schools and if they didn't like what the school book said they actually went to the school board and asking them don't allow these textbooks to be used here. Don't allow these textbooks to be used by students. Because the record of the war was being usurped by passions. Passions. Rather than sense and rather than historical fact. I only want to touch on this very briefly too but it as far as the UCV was concerned you would think they would be one big happy family and it certainly wasn't. Poor old James Longstreet, if you've ever been to one of Karlton Smith's talks you know about James Longstreet, Lee's old War Horse. If anybody had a contentious history during the war it was he. It was in the aftermath of the American Civil War that James Longstreet kind of like Jubal Early had trouble getting along with anybody. He felt closer actually to the Northern Veterans he dealt with than his fellow Southern Veterans. When the United Confederate Veterans was organized Longstreet wanted to be a part of it. But basically he was disinvited. Gordon, many of the other UCV leadership absolutely despised James Longstreet because he was the antithesis of southern history, southern manhood and what they had fought for. He became a republican, he wrote what they would consider to be a scathing article in 1878 called Lee in Pennsylvania. About Lee during The Gettysburg Campaign. They thought it was detrimental to Lee's memory. It downplayed Lee as a General and Lee was not there to answer for himself but it made Longstreet basically the commander, the smart commander, the wise commander of the Gettysburg Campaign. And things went wrong. But Longstreet's account "Lee in Pennsylvania" is still used by historians and authors today for many many reasons, one it gives us an insight into what Lee was thinking and doing during the battle of Gettysburg which few others had insight to or even bothered to write about. Think about that. For example in that article he was writing about July 3rd. That morning the orders have come through that they are going to attack the Union line again. The fighting is raging at Culp's Hill and Longstreet is in the process of beginning to withdraw his troops and march around the Round Tops to get in the Union rear when Lee arrives. And we know this happened but exactly what was said there at that little meeting, Longstreet gives the best account. He says "from the beginning of the march around the Union flank to go around the Round Tops Lee replies no, pointing with his fist at Cemetery Hill, the enemy is there and I am going to strike him." Does that sound familiar to everyone? Of course it does. "I felt then that it was my duty to express my convictions and I said General I have been a soldier all my life I have been with soldiers that have engaged in fight by couples, by squads by regiments, by divisions and armies and should know as well as anyone what soldiers can do, it is my opinion that no fifteen thousand men ever arrayed for battle can take that position, I should not have been so urgent, had I not foreseen the hopelessness of that proposed assault." That little paragraph is going to be used over and over again when we discuss Pickett's Charge, Longstreet's assault that last great day here at Gettysburg. Why do they do it? What was in Lee's mind? It all points to right there. It is just Longstreet had the audacity to doubt Lee's decision. And that is what rancors so many southern leader, specifically John Gordon. And that is why James Longstreetis basically excluded from the UCV encampments though he does got one National Convention down in, I think it was New Orleans. And, uninvited walked in and there was a business meeting going on at the time and all of the veterans who were there got up and cheered him and actually pushed the tables aside and pushed Gordon off the stage so they could get Longstreet up there to say a few words. John Gordon didn't like that very much and Longstreet was never invited again but he actually felt that he was not a part of the UCV. He did not want to be part of that organization. Instead he preferred hanging around with Union officers and I have to hand it to Longstreet he is one of the first to actually reach across the former enemy lines and embrace former enemies including those that he fought with. He is standing here at Gettysburg right beside Daniel Sickles who almost lost his life here, it was Longstreet's corps that assaulted and really destroyed the Third Army Corps but here he came back and visited battlefields and battlefield sites with former foes to talk about what happened there and discuss from a rational perspective the history of these certain events. Maybe this is one thing that vilified him, I don't know. Maybe this is one thing that made him a demon in the south, I really don't know. But Longstreet left us a remarkable record because of this willingness to cooperate and discuss in a rational manner what happened at Gettysburg and other battlefields with former enemies. This sets a standard in what we call preservation of battlefields. Up to this point, 1889 the majority of Civil War battlefields were monuments to the Union victories. At great battles, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg, That is where a lot of the monuments were going. All monuments were put up by Union Veterans. Save a handful of exceptions like the monument to the 2nd Maryland Battalion CSA on Culp's Hill here at Gettysburg. Almost all of the monuments by 1889 were to Union veterans, Union units. The GAR was a great promoter of these monuments, every national tribune had articles in the back or advertisements for monument companies so they could order their monument to put up at a battlefield somewhere. The states contributed money for these monuments to go up so, the battlefields were being well marked for the Union Regiments and the Union batteries that served there but what voice did the Confederates have on these battlefields? None, the record is being preserved in textual record and magazines and journals and books but it wasn't being preserved physically on the battlefields and this was a dilemma, this was the issues especially I think for the UCV. The GAR too became more and more upset with the rhetoric that was coming out of the UCV leadership. And that really turned a lot of them off there was a proposal about 1891 or 1892 for more Confederate monuments to be allowed on battlefields and for the most part the GAR said no. No. We fought to preserve the nation, they fought to preserve their own way of life, they don't see the same things that we see. We understood why our blood was shed. There was a real division by 1892 and 1893. But prior to that there had been indeed mutual relations, mutual reunions, a handful of them. One occurred here at Gettysburg in 1887 when the Philadelphia Brigade Association invited members of Pickett's Division Association to come here to Gettysburg to meet on the ground where they had fought against each other and tried to annihilate one another on July 3, 1863. In 1887 they meet there at the angle, shaking hands across that stone wall. This comes at a time when there was a lot of things going on. A lot of war of words going back and forth. This is when Cleveland had proposed returning the Confederate flags to the South, there was opposition from the GAR. It is remarkable this occurred. But it was a very thing string they are walking on. So feelings came out of this little reunion here at Gettysburg very strong, very good, very light-hearted not everybody could come. One of Pickett's men said he could never, ever, ever meet on a battlefield with his former enemies and shake hands in some sort of silly love fest. There was too much loss, too much blood shed for him to not forget what happened from 1861 to 1865. Others felt differently and the association, Pickett's Division Association invited the Philadelphia Brigade to come to Richmond the following year to help dedicate the monument over George Pickett's grave in Hollywood Cemetery. About one hundred of them showed up, go to Richmond, they are treated very well. fed very well, the day of the dedication though they line up in the parade and they realize that the only flag that was in front of them was a Confederate flag. So what are they doing marching behind a flag that they fought four years to defeat? Doesn't go over very well. Finally calmer heads intercede. And a United States Flag is presented, the veterans march and dedicate the monument over Pickett's grave. But still, hard feelings come out of this, and Northern Newspapers and the Tribune both feature articles about this, about again, the Confederate Flag rears its traitorous, treasonous view or something like that, I don't remember the exact words but again, the Confederate Flag shows itself when it should not be presented at all. Does that sound familiar to anybody? Especially in the atmosphere of the past year or so? There were mutual reunions but further and further as time went on, especially in the 1890s the rhetoric got worse and worse and worse. George Christian and a few others, even in the North they weren't excluded from this either. There were some that were absolutely against any sort of mutual reunion or mutual joining. But there were two union veterans from Ohio. And there names were, Henry Van Ness Boyton and Ferdinand Vanderveer. These were Ohio veteran that had fought at Chicakamauga, they had been back to battlefield several times and sure it had its share of Union markers and monuments and things going on there but they felt very strongly about that battlefield, that it should be preserved and in 1889 they began to petition GAR posts all across the country to preserve Chickamauga Battlefield as a site of national reconciliation. That is a key word, why did they choose national reconciliation? It wasn't just the GAR they contacted, it was the fledgling UCV that they also contacted and they visited UCV camps and talked about the importance of this great battle of the west fought in the Fall of 1863. The turning point in the west as far as they were concerned was one of the great battles of the war needed to be commemorated a holy ground not just to the Union cause but also to the southern army that fought there as well. This was a really unique idea. And finally Chickamauga/Chattanooga National Military Park was born. As a memorial to the two armies that fought there. It sets a precedent because not all battlefield in the national park preserved today or even state parks are founded on such legislation. Gettysburg is, Gettysburg is very similar to Chickamauga because it was founded, the legislation specifically states Gettysburg National Military Park is preserved as a memorial to the two armies that fought here, The Army of the Potomace and The Army of Northern Virginia and as such, the battle lines will be marked for both armies equally and with out preference one over the other. It sets that unique standard and this is in the middle of the 1890s when some of the worst rhetoric is going back and forth between the GAR and the UCV, people are, politicians are getting involved, it's crazy, it's nuts. But Gettysburg is finally legislated and formed in 1895 and the commission is composed of Union and Confederate Veterans. I think this is what is very unique about Gettysburg. There is one Confederate Veteran on the commission and I really have to talk about him quite a bit. There is two, John Page Nicholson is the head of the commission. His office is actually in Philadelphia at the, he is a member of MOLLUS, he is a member of the GAR. He is the head of the commission. He is tasked with marking the battlefield with all the textual material he can that makes it a memorial park. As a memorial to both the armies that fought here. The pressure he is under immediately, from the GAR to absolve any sort of Confederate marker on this field starts right away. He has to resist letters, personal calls, people coming to his office saying, we don't want Confederate markers on that battlefield. Nicholson is going to say "the legislation says otherwise" and he has a real fight on his hands. Fortunately he's got a wonderful Confederate veteran William Mac Robinson helping him out. Robinson is a veteran of the 4th Alabama volunteer infantry, fought here at Gettysburg down at Little Round Top does an incredible job. He takes over for William Forney who had been one of the first commissioners, Forney died, Robbins comes in. He is the one that is responsible for researching and writing the textual material that is on the battlefield today, the brigade tablets, corps tablets, division tablets that we have out there today. When you go out there and you see these tablets and markers, he is the man responsible, he was very fair and very equal in how he wrote these. He didn't write them up, this is the top of the Victorian times too, everybody is a hero, everything is just glorious. He did not write a single thing that way. Charles Richardson who did the Union tablets, brigade, divisions and Corps likewise did the same way, this is the narrative of the events that occurred here. This is what this unit did here, this is the record. Now fortunately, they had the official records available to them to write these tablets, but they also did a lot of individual research. Robbins himself was here on the battlefield for at least four months out of the year and some times as long as five or six. He went around the field with Confederate veterans as well as Union veterans to tag and mark spots on the field. He was probably one of the most knowledgeable people about the Battle of Gettysburg by the time of his death in 1909 I believe. John Page Nicholson lived into the 20's and Nicholson did an incredible job creating what we have as Gettysburg National Military Park while resisting pressure from the GAR and the UCV. One of the worst episodes of all probably occurred about 1903. They had just placed the George Gordon Meade equestrian statue on Cemetery Ridge and somebody in the Pennsylvania Legislature thought it would be a great idea if we had a statue of Robert E. Lee here from Seminary Ridge looking across at Meade. Great idea. Pennsylvania is going to pay for it. what do you think the Pennsylvania veterans thought about that? Yea, yea. Oh yea, they were not happy. Some of them didn't mind a statue to Lee, others were absolutely adamant against that traitor being on this battlefield. Fortunately cooler heads took charge and Nicholson was one of the first ones to suggest, if we are going to put up a statue to Lee which is appropriate on this field, let's talk to Virginia. Let's talk to the state of Virginia. And Virginia Representatives came here, the governor came here. Thought it was a great idea, they would put up a monument not just to Lee but a monument to all the Virginia soldiers who fought here. That fits right in line with the legislation, that fits right in line with what the whole park's purpose is to be. Fits right in line with that. They thought they would put it right up at The Angle. Right there at the High Water Mark, perfect place for it. Nicholson says basically "are you nuts?" "No" so the governor says, well I am not going to put a monument after all. It takes negotiations back and forth for about a year before finally they decide on what has now become the Virginia Monument. Unfortunately it wasn't ready by the 50th anniversary, it was finally dedicated in 1917. It does have that statue of Lee on top of it, beautiful sculpture of him looking across at Meade, looking back and forth across that field. A place where these two men meant so much in fighting this battle here. Nicholson had so much to do with the placement of the monuments and markers and he was adamant that it had to be someone so strong and willing to fight that battle we would not have half the stuff we have today out there on the battlefield or it would be so confusing we wouldn't even know what was going on out there but I really hold up a lot to both of these men. Now the country is semi divided even despite all the efforts they make in the 1890s for reconciliation, it's just not working. The UCV, the GAR are at odds with one another. What do you need to pull a country together? A war. You need a common enemy. Thank you Spain, we appreciate that. The destruction of The Maine in Havanna harbor and The Spanish American War. William McKinley, the President of the United States at the time did an outstanding job in coordinating the volunteer services or helping to coordinate the volunteer services. He told the War Department he did not care whether the man was a former Confederate or not, if he was willing to serve his country as an American soldiers he was more than welcome and it was McKinley that approved Joe Wheeler, Fitzhugh Lee, former Confederate commanders in command of United States Volunteers. That's really, unique, that's really unusual what happened. But for the most part, for the most part, many Union veterans loved it. Because now their sons and grandsons were serving side by side in regiments of their former foe against a common enemy. The Spanish American War had so much to do with the reconciliation, the reunification of this country than any other war we have been in. It is really incredible what it did. And fortunately it didn't last very long though the result is of course, eventually the assassination of William McKinley changed, the United States changed so much between 1900 and 1910. And a lot of that is due to, its all on the back of the Spanish American War but also, thanks to Theodore Roosevelt, one of the most progressive Presidents this country has ever had. What Roosevelt does is make the United States an international power, not just a national power, internationally. He send the U.S. Navy fleet all the way around the globe to impress foreign countries. We are not going to be pushed around anymore by anybody. Be it Spain, France, whoever, we're not going to be pushed around. That instills something we call national pride in all Americans, it didn't matter whether you were North or South. All Americans felt that pride in that short span of time Roosevelt changed the complexity, the outlook of this country. It is really remarkable what he did. It also assisted, quite a bit in what was coming: to observe the 50th anniversary of the American Civil War. Henry Hideacopper who was in the 150th Pennsylvania, he was a Lieutenant Colonel, he was severely wounded here on July 1st and lost an arm, he was very interested in what was going on at Gettysburg. He was a great supporter of the Gettysburg Battlefield Commission and the work it was doing here. He is the first one to propose a mutual reunion of former veterans, of former foe here on the battlefield at Gettysburg. He went to the governor of Pennsylvania who approved it right away, he thought it was a great idea. And in 1910 they had the first meeting of representatives of the GAR and the UCV here at Gettysburg to discuss this great reunion they are going to have in 1913. Things went OK for the first couple minutes until the Confederate representative got up and did the whole line about basically the lost cause and what the war was all about. Putting down the tyrant, keeping the tyrant out of the southern land. Well the GAR representative didn't think that very kindly and he got up to say if you don't think the war was over slavery you are nuts! So, already the war is starting all over again. Calmer heads fortunately took care and calmed down the situation and sequential meetings of state representatives leading up to the 1913 anniversary did a great job in coordinating and planning it. As far as they were concerned you can talk about the honor and the virtue and the dedication of the soldier be it in the blue and gray but don't talk about the politics, don't wave the flag in their face. Don't do it. Because it's more than that. this is a union, or a reunion of reunification. Gettysburg, like Chickamauga is founded as a site of national reunification. And all of this fervor, planning up to the 1913 anniversary it's Union and Confederate veterans that propose the idea for a memorial here for the Eternal Light Peace Memorial. They are the ones to propose it. Not some government official or some do-gooder, it is the veterans that propose that and they want the monument, at least the foundation to be laid and dedicated in 1913. Unfortunately it is not going to happen. And eventually, as you know 54,000 Union veterans come to Gettysburg to observe the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Not everybody came. But those that did come, one man remarked that it was like a Methodist love feast. It's remarkable to see former Union and Confederate veterans walking arm in harm, hand in hand over a battlefield where fifty years before they had tried to annihilate each other. And many as they stand their talking about their comrades, talking about their experiences tears rolled down their cheeks and they are not comforted by a comrade, but they are comforted by a man in a different colored uniform. I think it is remarkable that these old soldiers, and I have a soft spot in my heart for veterans, I always have. It is remarkable that these men came here for those four days in 1913 which were brutally hot and it didn't stop them from going out on this battlefield and sharing their stories and their friendships and their comrades with what they knew about the Battle of Gettysburg, observing the sites, but also talking to men who had tried to kill them fifty years before. And there are several instances on this field during that anniversary of men who may need help, cause of the heat, heat exhaustion, or sun stroke or they are sick or they are ill or they are lost. Who comes to their aid? A man in a different colored uniform. The only consternation is of course the political end of it. When politics come up, of course there is arguments, especially in the bars in town at night. I can't imagine why... Alcohol and old soldiers is a bad mix sometimes and then there is some consternation one day when governor Mann of Virginia arrives and this huge Confederate banner rolls out on West confederate Avenue to welcome him. Some of the Union veterans were furious in seeing that flag, that flag that represented rebellion, presented once again, especially on northern land. Calmer heads fortunately took charge and things went smoothly for those four days. Now naturally not every veteran that fought in the war came to Gettysburg in 1913. And not all of them that really came here wanted to shake the hands or act with comradeship with the men that had been on the other side in either blue or gray. What was remarkable about this is one Confederate veteran put it this way: In being here for four days and seeing you all I know I am a good an American as any of you. And I think that is the whole key. I'm as good an American. I'm not as good a northerner, I'm not as good a southerner. I'm an American. And that is really the point of what we would call reconciliation between the groups. Now things weren't always smooth between the GAR and UCV. Unfortunately, after the 1913 anniversary things kind of went downhill. A lot of it had to do with changes in the world, World War One, Jim Crow laws, Segregation in society. American society became so fractured especially in the 1920s. Sentiments grew again. in some cases, daughters, sons, of these veterans were to blame for some of that consternation. For some of that hatred. They didn't want their fathers or grandfathers being paraded anymore as prisoners or captors. They didn't want them paraded, they didn't want them dragged places where they would be put in front of cameras. They didn't want that. The GAR and UCV again, kind of went to war with one another and that lasted throughout the 20s and the 30s. 1938, the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg they proposed once again to have the last great reunion here. There are only about four thousand or so Union and Confederate veterans still living in the nation at that time, still alive. They wanted to bring as many as they could here. they brought a little over three thousand. Unfortunately some of them could not come because of age, infirmaries, health. Those that did come, though as the Newsweek article says, their memories may have mellowed but their passion certainly had not. The passion of why they fought had not mellowed one bit. For the southerner it was a manner of fighting for virtue, fighting for the cause, fighting for what they thought was their constitutional rights. For the North and the majority of the northern veterans, they said "I fought to preserve the Union and the nation that we have today. Those reasons were very succinct, very straightforward and it did not vary one bit amongst the veterans. The photo at the right, you have seen that quite a bit. Its actually a stage photograph, mutual radio and a film company took these veterans out here to an area near the angle. they couldn't go right there to the angle because there was some sort of ceremony going on there at the time, they took them to this stone wall just North of the Brian buildings to shake hands across the wall, if you have been fortunate enough to have seen the Ken Burns series, they show part of that film, they are shaking hands across the wall, hello, how are you and they start the rebel yell and one fella says "That's the rebel yell." I love that. But this is the staged image of just the men shaking hands across the wall. They didn't know each other and they weren't really friends, they did this just for reason, for the purpose of saying former enemies can at least shake hands across this stone wall once again because we are all Americans. The veterans are telling us a story through that photograph, we are all Americans. Was there ever really any reconciliation between the GAR and the UCV? No, not really. There was an understanding of why the veterans of those organizations fought. But there was never really a good solid reconciliation of "we fought the good fight, no we are a better country." There was always some division. Always some division. And unfortunately a lot of that has still carried over today in our discussion and our studies about The American Civil War. And the significance of it. And what we really fought that war all about. Caroline Janney who I mentioned once before again talked about this, that if true reconciliation had occurred, reconciliation which both sides agreed to remain silent on the causes of the war, these fierce debates would have not existed. Indeed, many veterans on both sides tried to embrace reconciliation, they did so did not mean forgetting, on the contrary, gestures of reconciliation reminded both Confederate and Union veterans how fiercely they needed to protect their own memories of The American Civil War. They preserved their stories for us today, that was their intent. That was their meaning, that is why they wrote these papers. That's why they wrote articles in the National Tribune and The United Confederate Veteran magazines and Southern Bivouac. to preserve the story of their experiences for us today to appreciate and enjoy and figure out at times what the heck they're saying. Because it is confusing. As I said earlier, no other war has ever generated so much textual materials, the last year alone over thirty eight or, I have lost track, thirty eight or thirty nine books about The Battle of Gettysburg alone have been published. Supposedly, another dozen will be coming out this year. How many books do we need? I don't know. For most of us, the more books the merrier! Of course my wife might have other ideas, when I start piling them in the kitchen and everywhere else. But, the wonderful thing about this, it generates the interest and our appreciation of that period of history, but not just that period of history. We appreciate the men that came back here to Gettysburg and countless other battlefields to preserve this record we have today. Because they weren't Union and Confederate, they were Americans. And I think that is what we need to remember when we look back on The American Civil War. Because this was an American conflict by Americans. If you are interested in some of the references that I used today, these are some of the books if you want to take a snap shot of that or write down some of the titles. I recommend all of these, they are incredibly wonderful books, very insightful. David Blight's book, Carolina Janneys book down at the bottom and Gary Gallagher and Alan Nolan. There are several great books studying about the memory of the Civil War and how it was remembered by the Union and Confederate veterans. Thanks for coming this afternoon, lectures next weekend, we've got some good ones coming up as well as book discussions and the monument program. Please come back next weekend and enjoy yourself, have a good weekend. Thank you.


Party composition


Affiliation Members
Republican Party 38
Democratic Party 18
  Independent 0
  Vacancies 0
 Total 56 

House of Representatives

Affiliation Members
Republican Party 119
Democratic Party 60
  Independent 1
  Vacancies 0
 Total 180 



Position Name District Party
President Casey Cagle n/a Republican
President Pro Tempore David Shafer 48 Republican

Majority leadership

Position Name District
Senate Majority Leader Ronnie Chance 16
Majority Caucus Chairman Butch Miller 49
Majority Whip Cecil Staton 18

Minority leadership

Position Name District
Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson 41
Minority Caucus Chairman Horacena Tate 38
Minority Whip Vincent Fort 39

House of Representatives

Position Name District Party
Speaker of the House David Ralston 7 Republican
Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones 46 Republican

Majority leadership

Position Name District
House Majority Leader Larry O'Neal 146
Majority Whip Edward Lindsey 54
Majority Caucus Chairman Donna Sheldon 105
Majority Caucus Vice Chairman Matt Ramsey 72
Majority Caucus Sec./Treas. Allen Peake 137

Minority leadership

Position Name District
House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams 84
Minority Whip Carolyn Hugley 133
Minority Caucus Chairman Virgil Fludd 64
Minority Caucus Vice Chairman Billy Mitchell 88
Minority Caucus Secretary Debbie Buckner 137

Members of the State Senate

District Senator Party First elected Residence
1 Earl “Buddy” Carter Republican 2009 Pooler
2 Lester Jackson Democratic 2008 Savannah
3 William T. Ligon, Jr. Republican 2010 Brunswick
4 Jack Hill Republican 1990 Reidsville
5 Curt Thompson Democratic 2004 Tucker
6 Hunter Hill Republican 2012 Atlanta
7 Tyler Harper Republican 2012 Ocilla
8 Tim Golden Republican 1998 Valdosta
9 Don Balfour Republican 1992 Snellville
10 Emanuel Jones Democratic 2004 Decatur
11 Dean Burke Republican 2012 Bainbridge
12 Freddie Powell Sims Democratic 2008 Dawson
13 John Crosby Republican 2008 Tifton
14 Barry Loudermilk Republican 2010 Cassville
15 Ed Harbison Democratic 1992 Columbus
16 Ronnie Chance Republican 2004 Tyrone
17 Rick Jeffares Republican 2010 Locust Grove
18 Cecil Staton Republican 2004 Macon
19 Tommie Williams Republican 1998 Lyons
20 Ross Tolleson Republican 2002 Perry
21 Brandon Beach Republican 2012 Alpharetta
22 Hardie Davis Democratic 2010 Augusta
23 Jesse Stone Republican 2010 Waynesboro
24 Bill Jackson Republican 2007 Appling
25 Burt Jones Republican 2012 Jackson
26 David Lucas Democratic 2012 Macon
27 Jack Murphy Republican 2006 Cumming
28 Mike Crane Republican 2011 Newnan
29 Joshua McKoon Republican 2010 Columbus
30 Mike Dugan Republican 2012 Carrollton
31 Bill Heath Republican 2004 Bremen
32 Judson Hill Republican 2004 Marietta
33 Steve Thompson Democratic 1990 Marietta
34 Valencia Seay Democratic 2003 Riverdale
35 Donzella James Democratic 2009 College Park
36 Nan Orrock Democratic 2006 Atlanta
37 Lindsey Tippins Republican 2010 Marietta
38 Horacena Tate Democratic 1998 Atlanta
39 Vincent Fort Democratic 1996 Atlanta
40 Fran Millar Republican 2010 Atlanta
41 Steve Henson Democratic 2002 Tucker
42 Jason Carter Democratic 2010 Decatur
43 Ronald Ramsey, Sr. Democratic 2006 Decatur
44 Gail Davenport Democratic 2010 Jonesboro
45 Renee Unterman Republican 2002 Buford
46 Bill Cowsert Republican 2006 Athens
47 Frank Ginn Republican 2010 Danielsville
48 David Shafer Republican 2001 Duluth
49 Butch Miller Republican 2010 Gainesville
50 John Wilkinson Republican 2012 Toccoa
51 Steve Gooch Republican 2010 Dahlonega
52 Chuck Hufstetler Republican 2012 Rome
53 Jeff Mullis Republican 2000 Chickamauga
54 Charlie Bethel Republican 2010 Dalton
55 Gloria S. Butler Democratic 1999 Stone Mountain
56 John Albers Republican 2010 Roswell

Changes in Membership from Previous Term

District Previous Subsequent Reason for change

Changes in Membership During Current Term

Barry Loudermilk resigned from the Georgia Senate, representing the 14th district, in August 2013, to focus on his campaign for a seat in the United States House of Representatives. Bruce Thompson won a special election to fill the remainder of his term.[2][3]

Announced Retirements

Members of the House of Representatives

District Representative Party First elected Residence
1 John Deffenbaugh Republican 2012 Lookout Mountain
2 Jay Neal Republican 2004 LaFayette
3 Tom Weldon Republican 2008 Ringgold
4 Bruce Broadrick Republican 2012 Dalton
5 John D. Meadows, III Republican 2004 Calhoun
6 Tom Dickson Republican 2004 Cohutta
7 David Ralston Republican 2002 Blue Ridge
8 Stephen Allison Republican 2008 Blairsville
9 Kevin Tanner Republican 2012 Dawsonville
10 Terry Rogers Republican 2008 Clarkesville
11 Rick Jasperse Republican 2010 Jasper
12 Eddie Lumsden Republican 2012 Armuchee
13 Katie M. Dempsey Republican 2006 Rome
14 Christian Coomer Republican 2010 Cartersville
15 Paul Battles Republican 2008 Cartersville
16 Trey Kelley Republican 2012 Cedartown
17 Howard R. Maxwell Republican 2002 Dallas
18 Kevin Cooke Republican 2010 Carrollton
19 Paulette Braddock Republican 2010 Hiram
20 Michael Caldwell Republican 2012 Woodstock
21 Scot Turner Republican 2012 Holly Springs
22 Calvin Hill Republican 2002 Canton
23 Mandi L. Ballinger Republican 2012 Canton
24 Mark Hamilton Republican 2006 Cumming
25 Mike Dudgeon Republican 2010 Suwanee
26 Geoff Duncan Republican 2012 Cumming
27 Lee Hawkins Republican 2012 Gainesville
28 Dan Gasaway Republican 2012 Homer
29 Carl Rogers Republican 1994 Gainesville
30 Emory Dunahoo Republican 2010 Gainesville
31 Tommy Benton Republican 2004 Jefferson
32 Alan Powell Republican 1990 Hartwell
33 Tom McCall Republican 1994 Elberton
34 Gregory Charles Republican 2012 Kennesaw
35 Ed Setzler Republican 2004 Acworth
36 Earl Ehrhart Republican 1988 Powder Springs
37 Sam Teasley Republican 2010 Marietta
38 David Wilkerson Democratic 2010 Austell
39 Alisha Thomas Morgan Democratic 2002 Austell
40 Rich Golick Republican 1998 Smyrna
41 Michael Smith Democratic 2012 Marietta
42 Stacey Evans Democratic 2010 Smyrna
43 Sharon Cooper Republican 1996 Marietta
44 Don Parsons Republican 1994 Marietta
45 Matt Dollar Republican 2002 Marietta
46 John Carson Republican 2010 Marietta
47 Jan Jones Republican 2003 Milton
48 Harry Geisinger Republican 2004 Roswell
49 Chuck Martin Republican 2002 Alpharetta
50 Lynne Riley Republican 2010 Johns Creek
51 Wendell Willard Republican 2000 Sandy Springs
52 Joe Wilkinson Republican 2000 Atlanta
53 Sheila Jones Democratic 2004 Smyrna
54 Edward Lindsey Republican 2004 Atlanta
55 Tyrone L. Brooks, Sr. Democratic 1980 Atlanta
56 "Able" Mable Thomas Democratic 2012 Atlanta
57 Pat Gardner Democratic 2001 Atlanta
58 Simone Bell Democratic 2009 Atlanta
59 Margaret Kaiser Democratic 2006 Atlanta
60 Keisha Waites Democratic 2012 Atlanta
61 Roger B. Bruce Democratic 2002 Atlanta
62 LaDawn Jones Democratic 1994 Atlanta
63 Ronnie Mabra Democratic 2012 Fayetteville
64 Virgil Fludd Democratic 2002 Tyrone
65 Sharon Beasley-Teague Democratic 1992 Red Oak
66 Kimberly Alexander Democratic 2012 Hiram
67 Micah Gravley Republican 2012 Douglasville
68 Dustin Hightower Republican 2012 Carrollton
69 Randy Nix Republican 2006 LaGrange
70 Lynn Ratigan Smith Republican 1996 Newnan
71 David Stover Republican 2012 Newnan
72 Matt Ramsey Republican 2006 Peachtree City
73 John P. Yates Republican 1988 Griffin
74 Valencia Stovall Democratic 2012 Ellenwood
75 Mike Glanton Democratic 2012 Jonesboro
76 Sandra Scott Democratic 2010 Rex
77 Darryl Jordan Democratic 2000 Riverdale
78 Demetrius Douglas Democratic 2008 Stockbridge
79 Tom Taylor Republican 2010 Dunwoody
80 Mike Jacobs Republican 2004 Atlanta
81 Scott Holcomb Democratic 2010 Atlanta
82 Mary Margaret Oliver Democratic 2002 Decatur
83 Howard Mosby Democratic 2002 Atlanta
84 Rahn Mayo Democratic 2008 Atlanta
85 Karla Drenner Democratic 2000 Avondale Estates
86 Michele D. Henson Democratic 1990 Stone Mountain
87 Earnest "Coach" Williams Democratic 2002 Avondale Estates
88 Billy Mitchell Democratic 2002 Stone Mountain
89 Stacey Abrams Democratic 2006 Atlanta
90 Pam Stephenson Democratic 2002 Decatur
91 Dee Dawkins-Haigler Democratic 2008 Lithonia
92 Tonya Anderson Democratic 2012 Lithonia
93 Dar'shun Kendrick Democratic 2010 Lithonia
94 Karen Bennett Democratic 2012 Stone Mountain
95 Tom Rice Republican 1996 Norcross
96 Pedro Rafael Marin Democratic 2002 Duluth
97 Brooks P. Coleman, Jr. Republican 1992 Duluth
98 Josh Clark Republican 2010 Buford
99 Hugh Floyd Democratic 2002 Norcross
100 Brian W. Thomas Democratic 2004 Lilburn
101 Valerie Clark Republican 2010 Lawrenceville
102 Buzz Brockway Republican 2010 Lawrenceville
103 Timothy Barr Republican 2012 Lawrenceville
104 Donna Sheldon Republican 2002 Dacula
105 Joyce Chandler Republican 2012 Snellville
106 Brett Harrell Republican 2010 Snellville
107 David Casas Republican 2002 Lilburn
108 B.J. Pak Republican 2010 Lilburn
109 Dale Rutledge Republican 2012 McDonough
110 Andrew Welch Republican 2010 McDonough
111 Brian Strickland Republican 2012 McDonough
112 Doug Holt Republican 2004 Social Circle
113 Pam Dickerson Democratic 2010 Conyers
114 Tom Kirby Republican 2011 Loganville
115 Bruce Williamson Republican 2010 Monroe
116 Terry Lamar England Republican 2004 Auburn
117 Regina Quick Republican 2012 Athens
118 Spencer Frye Democratic 2012 Athens
119 Chuck Williams Republican 2011 Watkinsville
120 Mickey Channell Republican 2002 Greensboro
121 Barry Fleming Republican 2012 Harlem
122 Ben L. Harbin Republican 1994 Evans
123 Barbara Sims Republican 2006 Augusta
124 Henry Howard Democratic 2006 Augusta
125 Earnest Smith Democratic 2009 Augusta
126 Gloria Frazier Democratic 2006 Hephzibah
127 Quincy Murphy Democratic 2002 Augusta
128 Mark Jackson Democratic 2008 Sandersville
129 Susan Holmes Republican 2010 Monticello
130 David Knight Republican 2004 Griffin
131 Johnnie Caldwell, Jr. Republican 2012 Thomaston
132 Carl Von Epps Democratic 1992 LaGrange
133 John David Pezold Republican 2012 Fortson
134 Richard H. Smith Republican 2004 Columbus
135 Calvin Smyre Democratic 1974 Columbus
136 Carolyn Hugley Democratic 1992 Columbus
137 Debbie Buckner Democratic 2002 Junction City
138 Mike Cheokas Republican 2004 Americus
139 Patty Bentley Democratic 2012 Reynolds
140 Robert Dickey Republican 2011 Musella
141 Allen Peake Republican 2006 Macon
142 Nikki Randall Democratic 1999 Macon
143 James Beverly Democratic 2012 Macon
144 Bubber Epps Republican 2008 Dry Branch
145 Rusty Kidd Independent 2009 Milledgeville
146 Larry O'Neal Republican 2001 Bonaire
147 Willie Lee Talton Republican 2004 Warner Robins
148 Buddy Harden Republican 2008 Cordele
149 Jimmy Pruett Republican 2006 Eastman
150 Matt Hatchett Republican 2010 Dublin
151 Gerald E. Greene Republican 1982 Cuthbert
152 Ed Rynders Republican 2002 Albany
153 Carol Fullerton Democratic 2008 Albany
154 Winfred J. Dukes Democratic 1996 Albany
155 Jay Roberts Republican 2002 Ocilla
156 Greg Morris Republican 1998 Vidalia
157 Delvis Dutton Republican 2010 Glennville
158 Larry "Butch" Parrish Republican 1984 Swainsboro
159 Jon G. Burns Republican 2004 Newington
160 Jan Tankersley Republican 2010 Brooklet
161 Bill Hitchens Republican 2012 Rincon
162 Bob Bryant Democratic 2004 Garden City
163 J. Craig Gordon Democratic 2006 Savannah
164 Ron Stephens Republican 1996 Savannah
165 Mickey Stephens Democratic 2008 Savannah
166 Ben Watson Republican 2010 Savannah
167 Jeff Chapman Republican 2012 Brunswick
168 Al Williams Democratic 2002 Midway
169 Chuck Sims Republican 1996 Ambrose
170 Penny Houston Republican 1998 Nashville
171 Jay Powell Republican 2008 Camilla
172 Sam Watson Republican 2008 Moultrie
173 Darlene K. Taylor Republican 2010 Thomasville
174 Ellis Black Republican 2002 Valdosta
175 Amy Carter Republican 2006 Valdosta
176 Jason Shaw Republican 2010 Lakeland
177 Dexter Sharper Democratic 2012 Valdosta
178 Chad Nimmer Republican 2011 Blackshear
179 Alex Atwood Republican 2010 Brunswick
180 Jason Spencer Republican 2010 Woodbine

Changes in Membership from Previous Term

District Previous Subsequent Reason for change

Changes in Membership During Current Term

Date seat became vacant District Previous Reason for change Subsequent Date of successor's taking office
July 1, 2013 100 Brian W. Thomas Resigned Dewey McClain December 5, 2013
August 27, 2013 104 Donna Sheldon Resigned Chuck Efstration December 13, 2013
October 30, 2013 22 Calvin Hill Deceased Sam Moore February 11, 2014 [4]


  1. ^ House Daily Status Reports. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  2. ^ "Sen Thompson takes office after beating Laughridge in runoff". Cherokee Tribune. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  3. ^ "Thompson, Prince, Efstration Win General Assembly Seats". December 4, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  4. ^ Sam Moore. Retrieved February 7, 2016.

External links

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