November 2013 Web Mailbag
Colonel John Antal, U.S. Army (ret.), the first managing editor of the Armchair General magazine and a frequent contributor (click here to see his FLASHPOINTS series), proudly displays his Gettysburg edition of the Armchair General magazine at Gettysburg during the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the battle, July 1-3, 2013. The memorial to the 72d Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment, topped by “Fire Zouave with clubbed musket” is called “The Angle” and is located near the famous copse of trees that Confederate General Robert E. Lee used to focus General James Longstreet’s attack at the center of the Union line on the third day of the battle. The famous Confederate charge against the Union defensive line is knows as “Pickett’s Charge,” in honor of General George Pickett who commanded the brigade that made the attack, and is considered the “High Water Mark” of the Confederacy. The 72d PA statue is the subject of the 2011 “Gettysburg” America the Beautiful quarter dollar commemorative coin.
COL John Antal,
US Army (Ret.)
I had the chance to look over the September, 2013 copy of Armchair General and one letter and photograph stood out to me. I did not have the chance to read the article about the trial and execution of Henry Wirz, the confederate commander executed after the Civil War but I was offended by the photograph that seemed to celebrate a traitor to this country an the man who presided over the prison camp where so many Union soldiers died unnecessarily. That there is a tombstone at Mount Olivet Cemetary in Washington, D.C. that lists him as “Confederate Hero – Martyr” is wrong on so many levels that I do not have the time to go into it in a short letter. More to the point, your magazine, showing the letter and photograph supports the false notion that he is a hero and a martyr. As a confederate he was neither a hero nor a martyr to anyone but the other bias and hateful of the South at that time. We should not be celebrating men like that, better celebrate the unknown men he let die.