Go about 2/3 of the way down the page on this link to a local Virginia newspaper's site to the section entitled Terrill Hill to see some more details on the family struggles William Terrill had when deciding which side to support during the Civil War, and the threats his own father made against him when he announced his final choice.
It is easy to say we can imagine the struggle such young men went through when making such a decision, but I don't know that any of us ever will be forced to make such a choice that would cause so much heartbreak to our families. At least I hope no one has to do so, especially to choose between country and family.
Stories like that of the Terrill family show just what a tragedy the Civil War truly was. As much as many (myself included) want to celebrate famous leaders (political or military), charges, battles, speeches or other events associated with those 4 years, the reality of that whole time was just horrible. Perhaps it was necessary - uniting the country forever and ending slavery forever were two noble achievements of the war - but with more than 600,000 dead young men and hundreds of thousands more wounded or crippled, it truly was an American tragedy.
On this anniversary of perhaps the most famous and most often memorized speech in American history, I was thinking about the Gettysburg Addr...
I'm not really sure how to approach this idea that popped into my head today, but it seems like a good idea or question to mention here ...
Having completed the two essays in Why the Civil War Came that deal with what they called the failure of the American political system, I h...