Week 4: The War in History and Memory

Dr. David Blight’s discussion

Dr. Blight returns for week four’s discussion. To listen to his lecture, click below.

Part 1
Part 2

To see the audio index, click here.


Monument Walk

The final week of the seminar the participants met at Hodgson Hall, headquarters of the Georgia Historical Society, to go on a walking tour of downtown Savannah and see the monuments, markers and statues that commemorate the war and the people involved. The group started with a walk through Forsyth Park to the Confederate Monument, where Dr. Groce explained the history of the monument. We continued down Bull Street stopping at markers dedicated to the Union Army headquarters at what is now the Oglethorpe Club,  and then on to General Sherman’s headquarters at the Green-Meldrim House. From there we made our way to see the Beach Institute, opened in 1867 as the first school in Savannah designed for the education of African-Americans. We stopped off at the Second African Baptist Church, where General Rufus Saxton read Sherman’s Field Order No. 15 to the citizens of Savannah and promised the newly freed slaves, “40 acres and a mule.” The group finally made its way down to the river and the slavery memorial depicting an African-American family with broken shackles at their feet, whose inscription by Maya Angelou reads, “We were stolen, sold and bought together from the African continent. We got on the slave ships together. We lay back to belly in the holds of the slave ships together in each other’s excrement and urine together, sometimes died together, and our lifeless bodies thrown overboard together. Today we are standing up together, with faith and even some joy.”

Dr. Todd Groce, of GHS, talks about the history of the Confederate Monument in Forsyth Park in downtown Savannah, Ga.


From the Collection

MS 1341

Helen Dortch Longstreet papers, 1904-1941

This collection consists primarily of correspondence, with the majority consisting of carbon copies of letters written by Helen Dortch Longstreet. A large portion of the collection describes her efforts to clear General Longstreet’s name. She attempted this through speeches, publications, the Longstreet memorial Association, and the Longstreet Memorial Exhibit, both at the New York World’s Fair of 1938 and the Golden Gate Exposition of 1940. There are also photographs of the exhibit, the Longstreet Memorial and the 75th Gettysburg Reunion.


Confederate Memorial Day pin – 1902

Robert Hunt’s Confederate Memorial Day pin from Dallas, Texas, 1902

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