Ingteresting article in the current (Fall '09) issue of the Michigan Historical Review entitled The "Fighting Fifth": The Fifth Michigan Infantry Regiment in the Civil War's Peninsula Campaign by Thomas E. Sebrell II. The article draws on primary sources, since no regimental history was ever written by its members.
That's the age of the State of Michigan today, given its admission to the Union on 1/26/37. Unlike many others, Michigan was let into the US of A only after unconscionable delay and political manuvering. Ultimately, lemons became lemonade when Michigan had to settle for the Upper Peninsula as consolation for losing the Toledo Strip to Ohio. The deal ranks up there with the Babe Ruth transaction.
When Michigan was but 23 years old, it participated in the momentous election of 1860, casting the majority of its popular vote and all of its electoral votes to the anti-slavery candidate, A. Lincoln. One can easily understand, then, when states that had helped keep Michigan out of the Union, and who attempted after the '60 election to break up the Union that Michigan had fought so hard to get into, the Great Lake State did not cotton to such a course of action 'tall.
BTW, Michigan's 6 electoral votes for Lincoln were more than California's, Iowa's, Minnesota's, New Hampshire's, New Jersey's, Oregon's, Rhode Island's, Vermont's, and Wisconsin's (same number as Connecticut's). Not to mention certain states located in the South or along the border.
Fair warning: this post tangentially relates to the Civil War, more to how the common buzz tries to impersonate wisdom.
Been reading a lot about how Time and other national publications have been feasting on images of Detroit's decline. Thanks to such diligent reporting, the old Michigan Central Depot is almost as well-known as the skyline. Well, last Friday evening belied such a common idea. First, a stop at the Auto Show to see the Big 3 rebounding. Next, dinner at a downtown restaurant -- a first visit, based on a recommendation that turned out to be right on. Meal: Lake Michigan whitefish with accompaniments that were outstanding, plus a unique key lime pie from a Royal Oak bakery. Finally, a concert at "The Max" where the DSO played three major pieces beautifully ... and afterward, conductor Leonard Slatkin and featured soloist Hilaary Hahn sat comfortably and answered each other's questions and the audience's. Truly spellbinding.
Should mention that the show was full of folks from all over, the restaurant packed with young urbanites, and the Max nearly full and full of diversity. Great to see.
Where's that Civil War tangent? Well, you have to check out the name of the eating place for that: US
The 35th annual Great Lakes History Conference, sponsored by Grand Valley State University, will be held in Grand Rapids MI on October 8-9, 2010. All fields of history, as well as other disciplines, are invited to submit proposals related to this year’s theme, "Civil Wars in Domestic and Global Context: Conflict and Resolution from the Battlefield to the Home Front."
There are two distinguished keynote speakers for this year’s conference
. On Friday October 8, Dr. Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, will provide the conference’s opening keynote address. Dr. Foner is a distinguished historian with numerous accolades. His Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 won the Bancroft Prize, the Parkman Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He is the leading contemporary historian of the post-Civil War Reconstruction period. In addition, Dr. Brooks Simpson will provide an address on Saturday October 9. Dr. Simpson is a Foundation Professor of History at Arizona State University. He has authored five books, coauthored another, and is the editor or coeditor of six other books. He is best known for his work on Ulysses S. Grant, especially Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph over Adversity, 1822-1865 (Houghton Mifflin 2000).
Growing up in the 60's, we heard this theme a lot. It typically meant civil disobedience to prevent government action. Today, it often means people working to get things done with government as a partner. For sure in Monroe MI.
Continuing on the theme this year (so far), today was the occasion for another celebration of a Michigan history success story. No, it didn't deal with the Civil War (unfortunately) but with the War of 1812. In the Monroe City Hall council chambers, Senator Carl Levin, Congressman John Dingell, and a host of state and local officials officially celebrated the creation of the River Raisin National Battlefield Park. Here are a couple of news items on it: Freep and Parks blog.
Attending such an event is a real shot in the arm. The power of community is demonstrated so well by what happened in Monroe. We need to magnify that kind of phenomenon statewide.
Both members of Congress were featured more prominently tonite in news stories about the advanced battery initiative that launched the first Big 3 product today. Both stories involve federal investment in Michigan, something long overdue. The NPS investment, though, will have much longer lasting benefits, and it will leave more of a legacy for future generations. IMHO.
Take a look at this map: Download CWPT Richmond Area Acres Pictures can be worth many words, and this one sure is, demonstrating how much the Trust has done to preserve the Seven Days area. It's really staggering to think what the area would be like (perhaps...Nashville?) if nothing had been done. It demonstrates the power of people privately organizing themselves to do a great thing, not content to rely exclusively on public sources.
Here in Michigan, there are people working on preserving and improving the condition of several Civil War-related sites. Hopefully we'll be able to talk about those during the year as the Sesquicentennial work continues to pick up pace.
One of the three things? See yesterday's post. The thing: taking action!
Michigan Radio will start a new feature on Monday, asking leaders and followers what three things could in 2010 make Michigan a better place by the year-end. Great idea. The actual focus is "three ideas for things each of us can do to revive our state." Link is here: 3 things
If they mean 'each' as in 'all', that's a different kettle of fish. Can all of us buy a house and renovate it, as the first commentor on the page recommends? Since not likely, tho a positive contribution by those who can/will embark on it, is the focus more on what each person surveyed will do? Is the Governor going to list the things she'll do, or the 3 things that she recommends we all do? Not sure.
This author can think of 3 things he'll do but that not all others can. Wonder what others would list....