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Francis E. Dorn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Francis E. Dorn
Francis E. Dorn.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 12th district
In office
January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1961
Preceded byJohn J. Rooney
Succeeded byHugh L. Carey
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the Kings County, 10th district
In office
January 1, 1941 – December 31, 1942
Preceded byWilliam C. McCreery
Succeeded byWalter E. Cooke
Personal details
Born(1911-04-08)April 8, 1911
Brooklyn, New York
DiedSeptember 17, 1987(1987-09-17) (aged 76)
New York City, New York
Resting placeGreen-Wood Cemetery
Political partyRepublican
Alma materFordham University
Fordham University School of Law
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
United States Navy Reserve
Years of service1942-1946
US Navy O5 insignia.svg
Battles/warsWorld War II

Francis Edwin Dorn (April 8, 1911 – September 17, 1987) was a member of the United States House of Representatives from New York.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Furled and Unfurled: A History of the Confederate Battle Flag at Gettysburg (Lecture)
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So how is everyone this afternoon? Good? Good! I'm glad to hear it. I'm always very nervous that we'll do a talk and no one will show up. Everybody has things that keep them awake at night. In the middle of the night, I'm like, "my god no one's gonna show up to this!" but thank you for showing up. I appreciate it, particularly for this kind of contentious topic. also thank you for those that have been supporting the battlefield book series which we have been having every Saturday at 11 o'clock. we're talking about "Gettysburg Requiem" right now which is a biography of William C. Oates and I wasn't at the discussion this morning but I heard it covered some interesting topics that would probably be more suitable to HBO than our YouTube page but anyways again thank you for being here. we have a fair amount to cover and to talk about today so with your with your approval I'm going to kind of jump right into it. on the afternoon of July 3, 1863 Frank Haskell an individual we all probably heard of before 34 year old lieutenant served on the staff of John Gibbon watched as approximately 12,000 Confederate troops begin to make their way from Seminary Ridge cross that my mile of open ground to where Haskell was on Cemetery Ridge. "Every eye could see his legions" Haskell would later write. "An overwhelming resistless tide of an ocean of armed men sweeping up on us the red flags waved their horsemen gallup up-and-down barrel and bayonet gleam in the sun." To Haskell and the other Union soldiers on Cemetery Ridge, Pickett's Charge is an awe-inspiring sight but it's also a terrifying sight so many of them have never seen anything like it before Haskell would later write to his brother, "right on they move as with one soul magnificent, grim, irresistible." And of course we remember that attack today as Pickett's Charge the climactic moment of the Battle of Gettysburg and the men who were there that day and who survived would carry the memory of that day and that event with them the rest of their lives. They would never forget it. and a couple of different images kind of burned their way into the subconscious of the people that survived Pickett's Charge the sight of so many men and the sight of so many guns and more than anything the sight of the Confederate flag. On that day and on that battlefield the sight of the Confederate flag meant different things to different people one of the flags moving towards Haskell's position was the regimental flag of the 28th Virginia which was a veteran unit made up of farmers, shopkeepers, laborers, from Bedford, Roanoke, and Craig counties and the man that carried the flag of the 28th Virginia that day was John Eakin. He was 26 years old he was a farmer who is unmarried never owned slaves and he never would and he would end that day numbering among the wounded and we can only assume what the sight of that flag might have meant to him on that day. Now certainly as the the color bearer he felt a personal responsibility for it as its guardian and perhaps more than many in the regiment he appreciated the tactical significance of the battle flag: where he went the flag went. And where the flag went the regiment theoretically should go but just as easily the flag might have summoned up feelings of pride in his unit and his cause in the cause of the Confederacy however Eakin interpreted that. might have reminded him of his home or his family. the flag meant different things to different people and it meant something different to Frank Haskell. the individual we just talked about. To Haskell, it was the embodiment of all he was fighting against: a rebellious army, flag of treason, and he would describe it to his brother as the "damned red flags of the rebellion and treason's flaunting rag." to the citizens of Gettysburg it meant still more. Michael Jacobs, the man you see pictured on the screen was a professor at Pennsylvania College Gettysburg College today and he watched the beginning of Pickett's Charge from the garrett of his house was on Washington Street. to Michael Jacobs the flag was a visual representation of an enemy army that had overtaken his town, that had stole his belongings, and that chalked the buildings of town with the dead, dying, and mangled. Just down the street from Michael Jacobs lived this man Jack Hawkins, the black janitor at Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania College again in 1863. Now Hawkins had fled the town prior to the arrival of the Army of Northern Virginia but I don't think it takes any great imagination to decipher what the sight of that flag might have meant to him. It was a threat to his freedom, the freedom of his family, and a reminder that not far away from Gettysburg Pennsylvania or places like Shenandoah, Bedford, and Craig counties in Virginia where people that looked like him belong to somebody else. Across the north the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia reminded northerners of their defeat at the hands of that army. Defeats at places like Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville. The flag represented the men who fought under it formidable soldiers who had taken from them the lives of their sons, drove their most famous field army to the verge of defeat in July of 1863, and was close to winning the war. And in the South - this is an aerial view of Virginia - a battle flag that was never the official flag of the Southern Confederacy. It was by 1863 one of the most recognizable symbols of the Southern Confederacy. It was one of the most revered as one of the most successful and had become essentially by default almost the national emblem of the Confederacy. in 1863 and later on the battle flag meant different things to different people. It was complicated. It was complex. 150 years later it still is. Very little has changed and rather than kind of falling by the wayside and receding into some kind of obscurity the battle flag and all that it represents and all that it has represents remains as potent as it ever was and all you need to do is turn the news on today to see that. In the decades following the Civil War Union veterans view the flag as a reminder of everything that they had fought against and they were determined not to see it displayed, flown, or flaunted particularly places like Gettysburg. To many Confederate Veterans they viewed the flag as a source of pride and they tried to detach it from the larger meanings and causes of the war. And that's a very selective interpretation of the flag but it is still very common today. It has been flown both at home and abroad as a symbol of defiance and rebellion, has been cast in bronze, etched in Granite, been flown at reenactments and used by living history groups including at this battlefield park every weekend. It's been flown from state capitals, displayed in museums, incorporated into state flags, it's been sold as shot glasses and bikinis. you have no idea how hard it was for me to find a picture of a Confederate flag bikini that I could actually show you! It was probably the most challenging part of the program. and as we all know it's been used to educate and we do that at this park and it has been used to segregate as well, particularly during the Civil Rights era. and it's long history has always been a violent one, of course in the carnage of places like Gettysburg during the Civil War but also the violence perpetrated by the Ku Klux Klan. there was a white man in Kentucky who was killed but a decade and a half ago for flying it from the back of his truck and of course the recent tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina. Not long ago maybe it was in December someone asked me why in the world was I going to give my my lecture on the Confederate battle flag - "I was from Massachusetts after all" which is true I'm from Massachusetts I grew up on the North Shore of Massachusetts in a town that's about as as Yankee as Yankee gets. In 1860 when the people of South Carolina are complaining about these radical abolitionist they're talking about people who lived on my street. Working at Gettysburg working at other battlefield parks has convinced me of the power of the flag both to educate but also of the power the flag to do wrong. and as you all know following the violence in South Carolina last year the director of the Park Service asked that all the parks that have book stores that carry Confederate flag items to request that those bookstores pull any item that is a "stand alone flag" so what that essentially means is John Coski's book, "The Confederate Battle Flag." which we are selling right now that stays but the the bikini goes. that's essentially what that means. And this park complied with that. We removed 11 items all told and as you can imagine that action caused a lot of angst, a lot of anger, an amazing amount of misinformation. There were a lot of people who construed what the park was doing as completely erasing the sight of the Confederate flag and the Confederacy from the battlefield for not just the stuff in the book shop, but from the museum and monuments on the battlefield and of course that wasn't the case. And there were others who thought that re-enactment groups and living history groups we utilize every weekend couldn't fly the flag and that also wasn't the case. And about a day after all this happened I was working at the desk out front and I was only there about an hour - that's one of the benefits of kind of moving up the ranks I don't have to spend as much time on the desk - kidding, kidding! I was only there for about an hour and I can't even tell you how many phone calls and almost all of them about the Confederate flag and I remember two really well to this day. One was from a gentleman who had been a longtime supporter of the park and who is absolutely irate that we were removing any Confederate flag even if it was just from the book shop and this individual was adamant that the flag had nothing to do with with race, or hate, or slavery. It was a battle flag; it represented the men who fought under it; it represented their daring, their fortitude. and that all I needed to do was go and learn the history the flag and I was meant to understand that I was included in that group that you're going to learn the history of it. About ten minutes later another call - just as irate and this individual told me that the Park Service is not doing enough! you need to remove it from the museum you need to not use it on the battlefield because you're just propagating a message of hate and I was told that all I needed to do is go and learn the history the flag and I would certainly see it from their point of view and I promised both of those individuals that I would and I did! At least as much as one can learn in a relatively short period of time and what I learned I will share with you today at least some of it and I can assure you that what I found would not have made either of those two individuals entirely happy with me and as a forewarning by the end of this talk you might not be happy with me either as a forewarning. But I'm not sure what you're expecting from the talk. If you're expecting me to come up here and give this very politically correct kind of company line we're not going to do that. If you're expecting me not to challenge the very sanitized view of the battle flag that absolves it from all the ways it's been used and all the groups that have used it in the past 153 years I'm not gonna do that either. what I'm going to do is try to be as objective as possible and to talk about the flag by using the words of the men that carried it and the men that captured it and the men that followed it and the different groups that have used it in the past century and a half and what I'm gonna do to limit what would otherwise be absolutely enormous topic is I'm going to focus on the different ways the flag has been used on the Gettysburg battlefield from the color bears that carried it in 1863 to the groups that come here today and they still use it. and I'm doing that for a very particular reason because I think how we use the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia at a battlefield park is different from how the battle flag might be used at a state capital or at a political rally or at a town park or a city square and I think it's an important differentiation to make. and by the end of the talk I hope a couple of things maybe will be clear and they might already be clear to be honest. first is that the flag itself is absolutely meaningless. It is an inanimate object. It is a piece of cloth. It's how people have used it and who has used it that gives it meaning that makes it what it is and again that should be fairly obvious. Secondly the meaning of the flag and the meaning of symbols in general change over time. They're not static. They change depending on how people use them. and finally and perhaps most importantly the Confederate battle flag has always been controversial there was never a point in time where it wasn't the source of debate and angst and anger and discussion and all you need to do to realize that is to go back to the beginnings of the Confederacy to go back to the first months of 1861 when the Confederacy's really only a nation in name. it has none of the trappings and infrastructure of a nation. it doesn't really have a navy, it doesn't really have a standing army, it doesn't really have a a government all those things would need to be created. they would need to create a constitution, they would need to create a navy, and they would need to create national symbols and national flags. and at first there is no real true national flag of the Confederacy in keeping with this kind of idea of states rights all the different states had their own flags but some of the most popular at least in the beginning of the war were flags that carried emblems from South Carolina so the one up in the upper left features a Palmetto, a crescent moon. It is a popular flag do we all know what the one on the bottom right hand is? The Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star. those originally are the most popular battle flags, not battle flags, but flags in the Confederacy. February 9, 1861 the Confederate Congress appoints a committee on "the flag and seal" and the job of this committee is to design a national emblem and flag. and that committee was led by this man by the name of William Miles of South Carolina. To get designs Miles turns to the people of the Confederacy and they submit dozens upon dozens of different designs for a national flag almost all of them though almost all the designs that Miles got borrowed heavily from the American flag and the flag of the United States - the stars and stripes. and there were a lot of people in the Confederacy in 1861 that didn't want to abandon the stars and stripes one man wrote to Miles, he said "let the Yankees keep their ridiculous tune of Yankee Doodle but by all that is sacred, do not let them monopolize the stars and stripes." and as Miles pointed out to this gentleman there were obvious problems with that. he wrote, "we cannot without encouraging very obvious practical difficulties retain the flag of the government from which we have withdrawn." he said "it is idle to talk of keeping the flag of the United States when we have voluntarily seceded from them." that being said the flag that is ultimately presented to the Confederate Congress is a flag that borrows very heavily from the flag of the United States. and that of course is this one the stars and bars or the First National flag of the Confederacy. in 1861 a lot of people love that flag. wide approval. one man that didn't like the flag though was this guy. He had two reasons for it: one, it looked like the flag of the United States and two, he had his own design that he thought was a whole lot better. But we'll put that aside for a second. The stars and bars were never meant to be used as a battle flag. Again it was the First National flag of the Confederacy though some units did use it as a battle flag. but in the early years of the war there were a lot of different battle flags and when we say battle flag we need to be kind of specific about what we're talking about because some units out west under Leonidus Polk use a flag that looked like that. other units led by William Hardy and Patrick Cleburne they use that kind of flag and the sight of that would hardly offend anyone today. it's too obscure. its kind of languished in the dust of history. Units in the Army that was led by Earl Van Dorn used a flag that looked like that and in Virginia under Pierre Beauregard and Joseph E. Johnston they really use the stars and bars primarily. really the first test of the stars and bars as battle flag would come in July 1861 the First battle of Bull Run the First Battle of Manassas and we all know about that battle. It is confusing, its chaotic, its fought by untried men, the uniforms look the same, the flags look the same. The Confederates win that battle but it becomes very obvious to Peirre Beauregard once the battle is over that the Stars and Bars they got to go just too confusing and so Beauregard is determined to create a new flag a battle flag that is distinguishable that is distinct from the Stars and Bars. and he has a man on his staff that would be absolutely perfect for the job: William Miles. and Miles goes back to that design of his own that he really really loved and he suggested that they use it and this is roughly the design that Miles suggested. it featured a blue St. George's Cross on a red field. on the flag would be fifteen white stars for the slave-holding states along with the palmetto and crescent symbols of course of South Carolina. the flag was met with criticism and controversy. first off a lot of people thought it was too busy just too much going on and so Miles modified it. He removes the Palmetto and the crescent. others found it to be a very controversial flag in part because it uses the St. George's Cross which is kind of a very blatant Christian symbol and there are a number of people in the Confederacy's kind of Jewish population - and Richmond at a fairly significant Jewish population - that thought that kind of flag might be apt to offend Jewish Confederates and in a move that we would have to call politically correct today Miles changes to a St. Andrew's Cross. It's still a cross but it's you know a little bit different. it's less blatant and thats the flag that he puts forth. and critics said it looked like a giant pair of suspenders. regardless in November of 1861 it's that flag that is issued to Confederate units that would ultimately become the Army of Northern Virginia and on that day Beauregard issued a special order for his troops which tied the flag to the cause of the Confederacy. he said, "a new banner is entrusted today as a battle flag to the safekeeping of the Army of the Potomac" - what they called the Army of Northern Virginia back then - "soldiers your mothers, your wives, your sisters have made it consecrated by their hands and must lead you to substantial victory and to the complete triumph of our cause." the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia as we call it today came to be the most popular of the many kind of variations of the battle flag and ultimately I'd say it comes to represent the Confederacy itself. In January of 1862 the Charleston "Mercury" predicted that the battle flag will become the southern flag by popular acclaim and by 1863 it essentially become a reality because I think it became apparent to the southern people that the success of the Confederacy didn't really depend on its president, it didn't depend on congress, it didn't depend on its governmental offices in the various states. the survival of the Confederacy depended on its field armies like the Army of Northern Virginia. the hopes of 9 million white southerners, their ideals, their aspiration, their cause were dependent on the fortunes of that banner and the men that carried it. so it became essentially a national symbol beginning in 1863 the St. Andrew's Cross and a rectangular banner was made into the naval Jack of the Confederacy and was carried on ships like the Florida Tennessee Alabama that proclaimed the Confederacy's presence across the globe. on May 1st 1863 Jefferson Davis made the "stainless banner" or the Second National flag the official flag of the Confederacy. And on the 12th of May it was that flag that draped the coffin of Stonewall Jackson and all you have to do is look at it to see the prominence of the Confederate battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. "in the Second National flag" proclaimed the Richmond "Daily Dispatch" "is preserved that immortal banner the battle flag which has been consecrated on so many battlefields." "While the whiteness" wrote the Savannah "Daily Morning News" would "be emblematic of our cause. as a people we are fighting to maintain the heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race." Now ultimately on the right hand side a vertical red bar would be added - thats the Third National flag of the Confederacy but the battle flag is going to remain a prominent part of the national flag of the Confederacy to the end of the war and its goign to remain this symbol of the Army of Northern Virginia until its furled finally at Appomattox. let's jump back to Gettysburg for a second because not at Appomattox and not with the Army of Northern Virginia is the flag of the 28 Virginia and its color bearer, John Eakin. Gettysburg. what happened to the colors and the color guard of the 28th Virginia at Gettysburg on July 3rd is very typical of the fate which met a lot of other Confederate units. by the time the shattered remnants of the 28th Virginia crossed the Emmitsburg Road, the color guard, the color bearer John Eakin - you can see there - have been shot three times. when a minieball struck Eakin's arm he finally gave the flag up and gave it to the man who was right next to him, a man from Company K. no sooner did that man grab onto the flag and he was killed. the next man to pick up the colors was the Colonel of the 28th Virginia, a man by the name of Robert Allen. He is a native of Shenandoah County, graduate of VMI, he was a good soldier, a strict disciplinarian, but only moments after grabbing the flag Allen was shot in the head, a mortal wound. his last words were "where are the colors?" the banner of the 28 Virginia was then picked up by Lieutenant John Abbott Independence Lee. that is a post-war photograph. He was only 24 years old at the time. He looks like Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Revenant." Lee made it all the way to the stonewall on Cemetery Ridge "waving the old flag which had hardened the men and so many battles." the flag was knocked from his hands, he picked it up, the staff was broken and he held onto it until a Union soldier, bayonet fixed, demanded that Lee "throw down that flag or I'll run you through" and John Lee and the flag of the 28 Virginia had seen their last battle. Lee became a prisoner of war and he stayed a prisoner of war until believe it or not June of 1865 and the flag became the property of the Army of the Potomac. Gettysburg ended in a Confederate defeat and one of the most immediate tangible representations of the magnitude of the Union victory at Gettysburg were the insane numbers of Confederate battle flags that littered the slopes of Cemetery Ridge. during the Gettysburg Campaign George Meade said in total his army captured 41 stands of colors. on July 3rd alone after the repulse of Pickett's Charge at least 28 Confederate battle flags were taken from the Army of Northern Virginia. and so many flags were to be had on Cemetery Ridge that the story of Christopher Flynn of the 14th Connecticut is by no way unique. Christopher Flynn is a Medal of Honor recipient for capturing a Rebel battle flag. He won the Medal of Honor December 1st 1864 for his action at Gettysburg. all he did was as his regiment was advancing after the repulse he looked in the grass and there was a Confederate battle flag and he picked it up and gave it to his commanding officer and whala, he's a Medal of Honor recipient. Anthony McDermot who was a soldier in the 69th Pennsylvania was positioned right smack dab in the center of the angle on Cemetery Ridge and he remembered seeing at least 10 flags along the stone wall while he rounded up Confederate prisoners. he said "I could have had a flag without any trouble and if I thought acts like that would have brought a medal it's more likely I would have preferred the flag to gathering up prisoners." the soldier that captured John Lee though and the flag of the 28th Virginia was a 29 year old house painter from St. Paul Minnesota and his name is Marshall Sherman. contemporaries described Sherman as a gentleman, small, quiet, soft-spoken. He had served in the 1st Minnesota since the start of the war and he was with company C positioned near the Copse of Trees on July 3rd when Lee and the flag of the 28th Virginia crossed the rock wall. Sherman advanced bayonet fixed he took the flag and his prisoner and by July 10 the flag was in Washington DC in the custody of the War Department. It was stored first in an attic and then in a basement along with a whole bunch of other captured Confederate trophies and just like Christopher Flynn on December 1st 1864, Marshall Sherman received the Medal of Honor. the Army of the Potomac had never won a victory like that before. it had never won such a huge resounding victory they never captured so many colors before and for no other battle in which the Army of the Potomac was involved would so many of its members receive the Medal of Honor like Flynn and Sherman most of them for capturing a Confederate flag. for the men of the Army of the Potomac, for men like Marshall Sherman, particularly after the war, Gettysburg comes to represent not only a turning point in the war but Gettysburg came to represent the definitive moment of that war where the tide turns in favor of the Union, where slavery was destroyed, where the Republic was saved and they came to see the battlefield as an incredibly important place to the story of the Union Army and to the Union cause. and they were not alone in that estimation. established just weeks after the battle this is a story we all know the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association made up of Gettysburg citizens goes around and starts buying up parcels of land to create essentially a battlefield park - a monument, a memorial to the Union victory at Gettysburg to the Union sacrifice at Gettysburg. And that is essentially what it still is today but how the Army of Northern Virginia, how the Confederate Army would be remembered on that battlefield has been a contentious issue since the establishment of the GBMA particularly in the first decades after the battle. The most tangible reminder of the Confederacy were the hastily buried remains of Confederate soldiers men like Robert Allen of the 28th Virginia. And of course as we all know Union dead are interred in in the Soldiers National Cemetery but Confederates remain on the battlefield until the early 1870s and over time their mass graves had eroded away, animals would root through the graves creating a kind of very gruesome sight around the town of Gettysburg. and it was one that George Meade himself noticed when he came back to the battlefield in 1869 to help dedicate the Soldiers National Monument. In his remarks that day he talked about how the Confederates should be remembered on the battlefield, particularly how the dead should be remembered and he said this of the the bodies of the Confederates then on the field, "why should we not collect them in some suitable place? I do not ask that a monument be erected over them. I do not ask that we should anyway endorse their cause or their conduct or entertain other than feelings of condemnation for their course, but they are dead." again by 1871, the vast majority of the Confederate remains on the battlefield were shipped South to places like Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond and that essentially erased the last physical vestiges of the Army of Northern Virginia's presence on the battlefield. And it became truly very much a Union memorial park and by 1895 the year the Federal government took control of the battlefield about 522 acres of park - of battlefield land - had been preserved and again Gettysburg became the place where Union veterans hoped that future generations would come to remember and reflect on what they had accomplished in 1863, what they had sacrificed, how the battle was fought and how it was won. and to help do that during the 1870s predominately the1880s and 1890s hundreds of regimental memorials are erected on the battlefield like this to the 45th New York. and almost every time a monument was unveiled there was a big ceremony there were speeches, there were poems read, and their were orations given in which Union veterans would talk about the significance of the battle and what it meant to them and time and time again in these monument dedications, in these orations Union veterans talked about flags not just the Confederate battle flag but their own flag the stars and stripes. And to Union veterans the flag they fought under represented not only their soldierly qualities, not only their bravery, their fortitude, their daring, but it was also the tangible representation of everything they fought for. To the Union veterans the flag represented their cause. as one said at the dedication of a New York monument on the battlefield, "what had you veterans in the dark days of the rebellion to encourage you when thoughts of home and country crowded into your minds but that flag. when heartsick at the thought of never seeing friends left behind and it seemed as if the God of battles had deserted the side for which you fought, the cloud of doubt and discomfort would for an instant be drifted away by the wind of hope revealing the old flag." another man much more simply just said this he said, "here we shed our blood that the nation might live. here our comrades gave up their lives in defense of that flag" again he's talking about the flag of the United States "which is the emblem of liberty in all lands." and to Union veterans just as their flag represented their cause and their ideals, the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia represented all that that army had fought for and in the opinion of Union veterans that was rebellion. It wasa flag of treason. It was a flag being flown by an army that was helping to create a country based around the institution of slavery. One New York veteran called it the "red flag of Anarchy carried by the red hands of its insanguint followers." Moreover from the perspective of Union veterans at Gettysburg the victory of the stars and stripes over the battle flag of the Confederacy was a mutually beneficial thing to the North and to the South. and this is kind of how they processed it as one veteran said, "all is now peace and our old adversaries rejoice with us in the outcome of the struggle. they would not have had it otherwise and today we stand shoulder to shoulder with us to protect the Constitution and the glorious flag emblem of Liberty." the Union viewpoint that was kind of off base a little bit Confederate Veterans didn't necessarily feel that way. The truth of the matter was really much more complex in the immediate decades after the war as the South is rebuilding physically, politically, socially, as men like John Lee, John Eakin trying to rebuild their lives the Confederate Veterans found themselves in kind of a unique position concerning the battle flag two things though I think are pretty clear one: to the Confederate veteran bflags they followed into battle stained with the blood of their comrades captured at Gettysburg or furled at Appomattox they were just as important to them as union regimental flags were to Union veterans, men like Marshall Sherman who captured the flag of the 28th Virginia and who lost a leg at deep bottom were able to go home after the war and see their regimental flags displayed in places of honor at state capitols they were carted out at regimental reunions they were things to be celebrated the majority of Confederate battle flags were stored away in the basement the War Department the exception though being the flag of the 28 Virginia. The flag of the 28th Virginia probably in May of 1864 was given to Marshall Sherman by the War Department and he took that flag to St. Paul Minnesota to help the First Minnesota recruit its ranks up and he never returned the flag. It is still in St. Paul today we'll talk a little bit about that later Second thing that I think we can draw from Confederate Veterans and their flag is that in the decades following the war they attempted to disassociate their flag from the larger meanings and consequences of the war. And a veteran Carlton McCarthy kind of express this the best. He was a veteran of the Army of Northern Virginia and he said this of the battle flag he said "this banner the witness and inspiration of many victories lived on the field of battle and on the last fatal field ceased to have a place or meaning in the world it was not the flag of the Confederacy but simply the banner or the better the battle flag of the Confederate soldier as such it should not share in the condemnation which our caused received or suffer from its downfall." There is another Confederate veteran named Randolph McKim and you may have heard of him he fights on Culp's Hill. He is from maryland and in McKim's view after the war, he gives a speech in 1904 he says that Confederate veterans have been able to develop a dual loyalty and which they're loyal both the stars and stripes but also to the battle flag he says there is in our hearts a double loyalty to the present and a loyalty to the dear dead past we still love our old battle flag with the Southern Cross upon its fiery folds not now as a political symbol but as a consecrated memento of a day that is dead. And what do you think Union veterans thought of this particular interpretation of the flag? They didn't care for it, they didn't care for it as a matter of fact to Union veterans it was completely unacceptable. One survivor of the Army the Potomac said they have been asking that the war be forgotten yet they will keep us daily reminded by the flaunting of the Confederate bars and no union organization was more outspoken in its criticism of the Confederate Flag than the Grand Army of the Republic and the GAR in part because I think a lot of GAR men felt that just the sight of that flag in the South is going to cause young southerners to rebel just like their fathers did and much to the dismay of a lot of GAR men, a lot of Union veterans as the decades passed. Oh, did my mic go out? I came prepared just in case that happened. we had so many issues, there we go, we will go that way. Where was I? GAR right? Over the years in the decades after the war it seemed like to a lot of Union veterans, that interpretation of the battle flag the Confederate interpretation really became the dominant one. The Confederate Veterans are kind of winning out and how they view the flag was becoming the dominant narrative. And it seems to a lot of Union veterans that the battle flag of the Confederacy was being offered up both kind of symbolically and politically as a kind of a prisoner of war exchange in the name of reconciliation. On April 30th 1887 Adjutant General Richard Drum rediscovered the long forgotten Confederate battle flags in the basement of the War Department and he wrote to the then Secretary of War and he asked you whether or not he's battle flag should be returned, should we give them back to the Southern states and eventually this gets all the way to the President, Grover Cleveland. Cleveland decides yes we should give the Confederate battle flags back. He signs an executive order, so executive orders aren't only controversial today their controversial back then. I have just spilled my water going downhill fast. We are going to have Caitlin edit this thing up. Cleveland issues an executive order to return the battle flags and what do you think the GAR had to say about that? They were furious over the very idea of it was just furious no one more so and that's a great cartoon, thats Richard drum he is being obviously stabbed by the trophies won by the GAR. No one was more outspoken than a Gettysburg veteran who was then commander the GAR, Lucius Fairchild, he is in the iron Brigade he loses an arm he is absolutely appalled that this is happening. And he said quote "we have no feelings of hate or malice toward the south but we feel that they have no right to take back into their possession the relics of the rebel's flags to return them would be a lesson in treason" and he went on to say that he hoped that God might palsy the hand of the President before he can sign the order. And Cleveland does, he does, he rescends the order so much was the outcry against against it but by the turn of the century even the National Tribune, that is kind of the mouthpieces of the GAR is slowly starting to embrace this Confederate viewpoint of the battle flag. And as one editorial in the newspaper said "as ensigns of an unholy cause the Confederate flags are and of right ought to be odious to the eyes of loyalty but as the exponents of manly daring fortitude and devotion to an idea although a wrong one they are entitled to the respect of all men" and in 1905 under the Roosevelt administration the Confederate battle flags are taken from the War Department and given back to the southern states. But again not returned is the battle flag of the 28th Virginia because Marshall Sherman remember he brings that back to Minnesota and he never returns it. So it's still in St. Paul, Minnesota and in the 1880s and 1890s it was carted out during reunions of the First Minnesota it was for a time displayed in St. Paul version of the cyclorama when Marshall Sherman dies they bring it to his funeral and then after he dies it's given to the Minnesota Historical Society's that is a flag was never really returned. But the battle flag would be a point of contention for really the past century and a half and nowhere really more so at least at Gettysburg than during the Great Blue and Gray Reunions that happened primarily in 1913 and 1938. Now reunions of the blue and gray as we all know were relatively rare they got a lot of attention but at their heart they were exercised in reconciliation. That is essentially how we see them today. Less obvious to us today though is in the planning phases of these reunions they were incredibly contentious events nothing was more contentious than whether or not Confederate Veterans would be allowed to bring their flags to these reunions. Now in 1913, the great peace Jubilee, the reunion of the blue and gray brought over 45,000 Union veterans to the battlefield as many as 9,000 Confederates they were housed in a great camp that took up 7,000 tents it was a four day reunion it was an enormous enormous event. And twenty-five years later the ancient veterans of the blue and gray who were still around they do essentially the same thing they come back to the Gettysburg battlefield and they have a reunion. Now by now you know these these events are are among the most iconic in the history of the the battlefield but they almost never happened. In 1913 Union veterans were determined not to attend the Gettysburg reunion if the Confederates were allowed to bring their flags and you can imagine just a sense of almost betrayal that a lot of Union veterans must have felt. Their government and the State of Pennsylvania even to think that they would allow Confederates to bring their battle flag to this was an outrageous thing "we will not go to Gettysburg" one man said and "March under the Confederate flag that we fought so long and so hard to eliminate." Confederate veterans were equally as determined that they're not gonna show up if they can't bring their flags they are not going to go one man spoke I think for a lot of Confederate Veterans when he said this quote "I do not see how any man who came back in April 1865 to smoking ruins and desolate fields 6 bitter years of reconstruction can celebrate side-by-side with the victors of our defeat in the most important battle of the war." Another Confederate Veteran, this was a doctors, he kind of spoke anatomically he said "such reunions cannot in reality heal the deep ugly wounds of war, in my mind the only affect a superficial healing of the sore leaving beneath the surface the irritating pus. And what happens well ultimately the Confederates come to the reunion Union veterans come to the reunion the battle flag is there though it was not quote, unquote an official symbol of the reunion nevertheless thought it was obvious to a lot of people in 1913 that the country really was far from achieving a perfect reunion. As the Gettysburg times reported "the bitter feelings between north and south are far from being a thing of the past if sentiments expressed by veterans of both sides are to be taken as any indication." Again the same exact scene repeats itself in 1938. The GAR, like this man and Edwin Foster of Massachusetts refuses to go to the reunion if the battle flag is gonna be present. Confederate veteran said the exact same thing they're not gonna go unless they can take their flag and again the Union interpretation of the flag loses out. Confederate Veterans are allowed to bring their flags. John Milton Claypool who is 92 decided to go to Gettysburg after he was told he could take his flag and he said he said this is a quote "since the Lord has put up with the Yankees all this time I guess I can also put up with them for a few days." The battle over the Confederate Battle Flag at Gettysburg was waged not only at reunions but in monuments as well. The first major Confederate Memorial on the battlefield is of course the Virginia memorial, it's dedicated in 1917. But plans for a monument to Lee go back as early as 1903. In 1903 the GAR was adamant in its opposition against any kind of statue to Lee or Virigina on the battlefield but by 1908 some things have changed Confederate battle flags have gone back, there are plans for a reunion in 1913 things had changed. That year the state of Virginia passed a resolution creating a commission with the job of erecting a statue to Lee and Virginia on the battlefield and ultimately the initial design for the Virginia memorial is essentially what you see out on the battlefield today. Two things however are different. Today if you go out to the Virginia memorial you'll see the banner being carried by the group in the front is a Virginia state flag there were no Virginias state flags used by the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia Gettysburg. And also the inscription that we see today if we were to go out there says "Virginia to her sons at Gettysburg." That wasn't the original inscription the original intent of this Virginia Commission was to have a battle flag on the monument and to have an inscription that said quote "Virginia to her sons at Gettysburg they fought for the faith of their fathers." At that time the battlefield park is managed by the War Department and the War Department had established a commission made up of Union veterans primarily and a Confederate Veteran to help manage the battlefield park and the, the Commission at Gettysburg didn't really have any problem with the Virginia memorial or even with a statue of Lee at this point in time. What they did have a problem with is: one, the flag and, two, the inscription because at that point in time and we still today technically, the commission is operating under a law if you will a guideline that inscriptions on markers and monuments be without quote "censure, praise or blame." And as John Paige Nicholson the kind of the head of the Gettysburg Commission noted they fought for the faith of their fathers may be a fact but it certainly opens up the inscription to not a little adverse criticism. Another Union veteran on the Commission Charles Richardson was a little bit more pointed in his criticism of both the flag and the wording he said this quote "I don't like the action of the Virginia Commission at all they persist in pushing to the front a sentiment unnecessary and which tends to provoke discussion of Antebellum subjects and which in my opinion should be allowed to remain dormant." Ultimately as we all know the Battle Flag was switched out and it is the Virginia State pride and the inscription is changed to just "Virginia to her sons at Gettysburg" Between 1917 and 1994 every state who gave men to the Confederate Army at Gettysburg would ultimately erect a monument on the Gettysburg battlefield. And again what becomes very apparent fairly quickly when you look at this is that the Union interpretation of not only the battle flag but the battlefield as a Union Memorial Park is being lost to a a battlefield park that celebrates and commemorates both sides north as well as south and it also becomes apparent that the standards that the Virginia memorial was held to kind of go away almost the second that Union veterans aren't on the Gettysburg Commission and the park ultimately is run by the National Park Service. And just really quickly we can run through and we can see it in 1929 the North Carolina memorial is dedicated it's the second Confederate Memorial and it shows a group of North Carolinians as you can see covered by the American flag there advancing across the battlefield the flag is sculpted by Gutzon Borglum. He did it in such a way that really can't tell what flag it is but we can assume and it's likely I won't read it but it's likely that the inscription on the North Carolina memorial would not have met with the approval of John Page Nicholson or Charles Richardson. Now the vast majority of Confederate monuments and memorials are placed within 10 years of the centennial these include a lot that feature the Confederate battle flag, so the Soldiers and Sailors Monument dedicated in 1965 has it, the Arkansas memorial has cornerstones that are the battle flag. In 1971 louisiana dedicates a monument that features a fallen soldier with the battle flag draped over the top of him. Mississippi features a a color barrier who just been hit, he's grasping the battle flag and Tennessee, Tennessee dedicated in 1982 made a unique choice they have the inscription there and it's clearly the stars and bars and it's a version of the stars and bars that actually predates Tennessee joining the Confederacy there's not even a star for Tennessee on the flag on the Tennessee monument and they probably did that because that point in time the Confederate battle flag was much more contentious symbol but the original plans for the Tennessee monuments dating from 1969 feature the battle flag they changed it. Union Veterans as I mentioned before they hope that the Gettysburg battlefield will become a Union Memorial Park. A place where the victory, sacrifice and memory of the Union veterans would be enshrined. As we can see by the middle of the 20th century the battlefield park had become a place where soldiers both sides were honored equally and a place where the flags of both sides were commemorated equally and over that exact same period the flag that had once been loathed by Union veterans the flag that had once been upheld by Confederate Veterans as a symbol of bravery and daring and fortitude had taken on what I guess you could call much more sinister connotations. And nothing really has more to do with that then its use during the civil rights era and its adoption by the Ku Klux Klan you all may remember this in 2006 roughly 30 klansmen came to Gettysburg they had a rally just north of Meade's headquarters and they brought with them you know all the trappings that are synonymous with the Ku Klux Klan the robes, the acidic dialogue and of course the Confederate battle flag. And they were met that day by a counter protest that included a lot of different people but also included a lot of Confederate re-enactors. And one Confederate re-enactor said that he said quote "these guys" referring to the Klan "don't stand for anything I stand for and it's time we disengage our flag." The 2006 rally at gettysburg wasn't the first and it wasn't the last since the nineteen twenties the Ku Klux Klan has been coming to Gettysburg but the Klan rallies that took place in Gettysburg in 1925, 1926, 27 and 28 were different in a lot of ways to the rally that happened in 2006. First off, the Klan came to Gettysburg and they rallied under a different flag it wasn't the battle flag of the Confederacy, it was the flag of the United States now that's not at Gettysburg it is in Washington DC but that's essentially the same flag that they carried at Gettysburg in 1925. In 1925 over 3,000 klansmen mostly from the state of Pennsylvania came to Gettysburg. They had this massive parade that came down Baltimore Street and rather than being met with counter protesters in 1925 the Klan is welcomed with open arms seemingly by the town of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg times actually publishes a special Ku Klux Klan edition of their newspaper and again it's not the battle flag the klan is using at this point in time it's the Stars and Stripes and The Times reported this "it's at Gettysburg bedecked with stars and stripes with flags flying from the flagstaffs of many buildings welcomed members of the invisible empire they were made to feel that this battlefield town welcome them with open arms and goodwill." And the klan rallies that happened at Gettysburg particularly in 1925 we're nothing if not strange. They encamped themselves in a field actually about where the rec park is today they called it the Klan field which is also right next the African-American part of town. They had rallies like this one on Oak Ridge and what you see in the background is the original Oak Ridge tower. Again they use of the American flag they were welcomed by the exalted Cyclops of the Gettysburg chapter of the Klan they marched and paraded through town to the tune of onward Christian soldier and they at one point donated a hundred and fifteen dollars to the AME church on Washington Street. These rallies in 1925 26 were nothing if not strange and it was a different Klan but it was the same Klan so the grand imperial wizard who came to gettysburg in 1925 was this man he's a dentist from Texas his name is HW Evans and prior to the Gettysburg rally HW Evans in Texas took part in the torture and killing of a black man he encouraged other violence against African-Americans and minorities this is not a a warm and fuzzy ku klux klan that is coming to gettysburg in 1925 and again this was done not under the battle flag but under the stars and stripes and there were a number of people in Gettysburg that did speak out about this some of them were some students from Gettysburg College and they published an underground student newspaper called The Blister that they were kinda tacked to the bulletinboard of Gladfelter Hall every morning and they said this in their Klan issue quote "anyone having the least spirit of America, anyone who can stand by the avenue of Klan parades and watch docily the stars and stripes used as a promiscuous koffer to catch coins pitched from the spectators and can remain unmoved belongs to a land where National respect and self-respect are a gross hallucination" the priest that was at St. Francis Catholic Church the time also spoke out he said this, he called the Klan "a desecration of the most sacred spot in the United States and a sacrilege to the memory of the catholics, jews and Negros who gave their lives in the cause of preserving the United States." Again in 1925 the Klan is using the stars and stripes but after the Second World War during the civil rights era roughly around the time of the centennial the Klan re-adopts the battle flag and they used it for all the reasons the Klan still uses the flag today. Now if the Confederate battle flag is used as a symbol of racial hatred if it's used to protest civil rights if it was carried by an army that impart was fighting for a nation that that was attempting to maintain the institution of slavery it's apt to be interpreted that way people are apt to look at it as as that symbol and one of the individuals who did and who still does is this guy his name is John Sims he's an artist and in 2004, my sophomore year at Gettysburg College he was invited to the school to put on an art exhibition and the exhibition he planned to hold was called quote-unquote "The Proper Way to Hang a Confederate Flag" and his intent was to build a giant 13 foot tall gallows in front of the art building and literally lynch the confederate flag and he was gonna do this he said because quote "that flag cause me major problems I'm lynching it and then I'm going to risk resurrected it on my terms." As you can imagine the exhibition caused not a fair amount of controversy in Gettysburg in 2004. Some of you might remember it in part because a lot of people it seems that that that demonstration with a confederate flag wasn't really in keeping with what Gettysburg was about. According to one local "after the war here in Gettysburg there was reconciliation and reunions the flags are not in this town for any symbolism other than the Civil War it's a civil war community now." Eventually the college decided to relocate the display they took it inside the art building rather than outside the art building and John Sims refused to come because they changed his his piece but that's what it looked like inside inside the art gallery. I think it is difficult to imagine that Marshall Sherman, John Lee, John Eakin would have ever imagined that the flag they saw carried captured at Gettysburg in 1863 would have ever become the very complex controversial multifaceted symbol that it is today. The past one hundred and fifty years have seen the the battle flag of the confederacy decried as an emblem of treason, upheld as a lofty symbol of courage and daring the flag itself is gone from the the the battlefield to the dusty recesses of the War Department buildings the tops of state capitols to the monuments on on this battlefield and elsewhere across the United States. And in the case of the battle flag of the 28th Virginia it was involved in what we could probably call a custody dispute between Minnesota and the state of Virginia many of you probably know about this so just to refresh our memories Marshall Sherman captures the battle flag of the 28th Virginia on July 3rd he gives it to the War Department the War Department gives it back to him in march of 1864 he brings it to St. Paul he never returns the thing he dies it is now in the Minnesota Historical Society and in 1998 Confederate re-enactors in the 28th Virginia want their battle flag back. So they go to the state of Minnesota and they asked the state to return the battle flag back to the Old Dominion and what did Minnesota do? They refused, they said no! Their justification was that Minnesota had a six-year statute of limitations on reclaiming lost goods and they they said that at that point it had been expired by a hundred and twenty-eight years the reenactors regrouped and two years later in 2000 they got the support of the government of Virginia and Virginia legislature passed basically a resolution requesting that the state of Minnesota return the battle flag of the 28th Virginia back to Richmond. And Jesse Ventura the governor said "no, no we won, why would we do that" he said quote "to the victor go the spoils we took it that makes it our heritage" at the exact same time Senator John Edwards of Virginia explain it quote "It's a matter of state pride a sacred icon." So and it is still unresolved today and as as I would imagine with this and many of the the battles over the battle flag it doesn't seem to be resolved anytime soon. In writing of the modern battle over the battle flag of the 28th Virginia I think of one Minnesota reporter kind of encapsulated the whole story when he said this he said "like all flags its ideological tofu soaking up the flavor, color and meaning of what's around it to each person who sees it waves it revere's it or hates it the flag itself is a statement." This is one of those programs where you're not quite sure how to end. It was so much about but the flag is still being debated, still being talked about. It seemed by so many people to be such a different thing and it's very much a story that doesn't really have an ending, we are still battling with it we're still dealing with it today and so I thought to end the program I would try to find at least one point in time at least one point the past one hundred and fifty-three years where two individuals who had very different viewpoints on the battle flag were able to come together and I found this from the New York Times reporting on the 1913 reunion at Gettysburg and I will read it to you in full and that will be it the New York Times said this "An old Virginia soldier who got into camp late wandered through the thousands of tents last night trying to find out where he was located his idea was to open each tent flap he saw ask the occupant where he could find his regiment this did not look like a very hopeful prospect but the man persevered as he opened the fifth tent flap on his travels and explained his trouble a man inside asked him what regiment he belonged to, the 28th Virginia he answered the devil you did said the man inside do you know what became of your regimental flag? I dont said the Old Confederate you see I don't rightly remember just what happened to the flag after we jumped into those Yankee batteries but I think some of you Yankees got it, we did said the man in the tent. I'm captain TH Pressnel of company F 1st Minnesota we captured your flag and we've got it now in St. Paul. We've got a spare blanket here and you'll never find your tent tonight come in and bunk with us. As the Old Confederate was leaving the next morning to find his quarters after he and his 1st Minnesota friends had fought the battle over most of the night he said I'm sorry we lost that flag but if we had to lose it i'm glad it was you fellows who got it." Thank you so much folks, I appreciate it



He was born on April 8, 1911, in Brooklyn. He attended St. Augustine and Bishop Loughlin Memorial High Schools. Dorn graduated from Fordham University in 1932, and Fordham University School of Law in 1935. He also studied at NYU Wagner School of Public Service in 1936. Dorn was admitted to the bar that year and began his practice in Brooklyn.

He was a member of the New York State Assembly (Kings Co., 10th D.) in 1941 and 1942. He resigned his seat on April 1, 1942, and enlisted in the United States Navy.[1] Dorn served four years overseas during World War II and was discharged in 1946 as a lieutenant commander of the Naval Reserve. He was later promoted to commander.

He was elected as a Republican to the 83rd United States Congress, holding office from January 3, 1953, to January 3, 1961. He advocated adding the phrase "under God" into the formerly nonsectarian Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. He was defeated for re-election in 1960 by his neighbor, future New York Governor Hugh Carey, and thereafter continued in business as owner of his F.E.D. Concrete Company until his death.

Dorn died on September 17, 1987, in New York City; and was buried at the Green-Wood Cemetery.

Dorn's Park Slope mansion was purchased by actor Paul Bettany and his wife actress Jennifer Connelly.

See also


  1. ^ DORN LEAVES ASSEMBLY in the New York Times on April 2, 1942 (subscription required)

External links

  • United States Congress. "Francis E. Dorn (id: D000433)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Francis E. Dorn at Find a Grave
New York Assembly
Preceded by
William C. McCreery
New York State Assembly
Kings County, 10th District

Succeeded by
Walter E. Cooke
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John J. Rooney
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 12th congressional district

Succeeded by
Hugh L. Carey
This page was last edited on 3 July 2019, at 03:50
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