Friday, July 28, 2006

History Lessons

Despite being something of a history nut, I've never had much use for the Civil War (unless we're talking about the Guns N' Roses song!). The obsession some have with it seems unhealthy -- though I realize that's hardly unique to Americans. I could never get into "Confederates in the Attic." Having lived here for seven years, I've heard enough about what a shit Sherman was. And so on.

That said, I'm often amazed down here, walking the streets and realizing I'm walking over 142-year-old battlefields. Placid neighborhoods or heavily-used thoroughfares that were once the site of fierce fighting. What was once a Confederate front line is now the Pitch-'n-Putt liquor store on Johnson Road. It's hard to envision -- when I think of battlefields, I think of, say, Gettysburg -- a large field, not city neighborhoods.

Not sure why this is so new to me -- Colorado had its share of history, after all. But I guess people there are squeamish about markers noting how many Indians were slaughtered on a particular spot.

I love maps, and I love looking at old Atlanta maps, looking at how things have changed over the years -- new streets, vanished streets, the stuff that used to be where shopping centers and parks lie now. I suppose that leads to a project for another day -- find a map of the Battle of Atlanta, and actually get some idea of where this thing unfolded, in my present-day personal geography.

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Despite my aversion -- I must say that the Atlanta History Center's Civil War exhibit is fascinating, and has come close to putting some holes in my avoidance of the War of Northern Aggression. Check it out if you're in the area.

And on a lighter note -- the Battle of Atlanta led to one of the funniest Onion articles ever. A decade on, it still brings out the giggles.

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Couple new links: the really cool All My Little Words, and the really funny American Hockey Fan. Check 'em!

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