Saturday, May 24, 2008

Confederate Monumental Landscape

I recently finished a research paper on the Confederate monumental landscape at Gettysburg. I enjoyed writing it and my professor was encouraging, so I may try to turn it into something publishable.

My central argument was that the Confederate monuments at Gettysburg are specifically designed to preserve the mythology of the Lost Cause by presenting it to 20th and 21st century. I built this argument by examining three aspects of the Confederate monumental landscape: placement (where monuments are located), style/form (what monuments look like), and literate sources (inscriptions and dedication addresses).

In addition to the three major sections, I included an introductory section about the Union monumental landscape at Gettysburg so that I could compare the two at various points. One important difference between the Union and Confederate monuments at Gettysburg is that the vast majority of the former were erected by veterans during the 1880s and 1890s, while almost all of the later were built by veterans' descendants during the 20th century. While Union monuments generally commemorate the actions of Northern soldiers at the battle of Gettysburg, Confederate monuments attempt to offer commentary on the causes and meaning of the war.

I will post some modified sections of this paper here over the next few days. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments. This project is in its infancy, and I know there are a lot of knowledgeable people out there, so any tips, counterarguments, or suggestions would be most welcome.

(Louisiana monument photo via)

Here are the other posts:
Part I: Argument
Part II: Union Monuments
Part III: Style
Part IV: Literate Sources
Part V: Placement

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