Friday, April 17, 2009

He Was Not Actually a Governor, That's Just His Name

Ivan told me I could post a really old picture and it would still count as blogging, so I picked this picture from a trip to Gettysburg with Christi and her dad in 2003. The gentleman above in the great hat is Gouverneur Warren, overlooking Little Round Top. Gouverneur Warren was a Union general in the Civil War. I find maps of battles for some reason nearly impossible to understand, but I gather he basically saved the Battle of Little Round Top before it even started. This battle is described as both "dramatic" and "irrelevant"; not being very well-informed on battle tactics, I have no idea how important it really was. However, I am going to take a wild guess and say that when Warren spotted Confederate bayonets at the bottom of the hill, it probably seemed pretty important that he hold his ground.

Unfortunately, later in the war, he came to be seen as unfit to serve and was demoted by General Sheridan. Sheridan got the OK to do this from General Grant, who later noted Warren's grave deficiences as a commander:

"He could see every danger at a glance before he had encountered it. He would not only make preparations to meet the danger which might occur, but he would inform his commanding officer what others should do while he was executing his move."

Myself, I see his point. The last thing you want in a war is a person who continually insists on planning ahead. Warren later asked for an inquiry regarding this whole matter, but Grant was too busy being one of the worst presidents ever to get it going. Meanwhile Sheridan, having burned down much of the South, moved on to destroy the Native American population by killing four million bison for that express purpose. Warren was not exonerated until after his death.

This all merely goes to show that I'm absolutely one of those people who thinks that touring Civil War battlegrounds would be a really fun way to spend a summer.

1 comment:

Ivan said...

I think you and Sarah Vowell would be fast friends.