Captain Montgomery G. Cooper and Union Civil War Vets
For many veterans, their participation in the Civil War was the most important period of their lives. As they aged, many joined veterans’ organizations, where they could meet with old friends and share memories of their service. The two main veterans’ organizations were the United Confederate Veterans (U.C.V.) for southern veterans, and the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) for veterans of the Union army. Annual reunions and parades were among the popular events held by these groups, who were active mainly between the 1890s and 1920s.
This December 1877 column from the National Tribune, a veterans’ publication, illustrates the troubling perception of memories fading – not the memories of those who fought and bled for Union, but those of the citizenry in general:
The events of the war, and the men of the war, are fast fading from the public attention. Its history is growing to be an “Old, Old Story.” Public interest is weakening day by day. The memory of march, and camp, and battle-field, of the long and manly endurance, of the superb and uncomplaining courage, of the mass of sacrifice that redeemed the Nation, is fast dying out. Those who rejoice in the liberty and peace secured by the soldier’s suffering and privation, accept the benefits, but deny or forget the benefactor.
Reflections such as these were typical; veterans seized the initiative and launched a number of campaigns to ensure that what they saw happening was corrected. Sources: Cosmic America and the National Tribune,http://www.museumoffloridahistory.com/exhibits/permanent/civilwar/20.cfm
From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr