For example, this week we're seeing a rebroadcast of the classic documentary by the Burns brothers, The Civil War. If we were recalling Civil War events we might wish to ponder that in 1861 Abraham Lincoln was yanking the leash on General John Fremont (the Pathfinder). Fremont was serving in Missouri at the time. Many may recall that in 1856 Fremont was the first candidate for president run by the nascent Republican Party. An angry Lincoln found it necessary to reel in the notorious abolitionist, Fremont, after the Pathfinder ordered the confiscation the property (including slaves) of anyone who professed support for the Southern Confederacy. In 1862 Lincoln would be emancipating slaves in the Confederacy but in 1861 he was trying to keep the border states in the Union.
In 1862 the Army of Northern Virginia was creating havoc with its invasion of Maryland. Stonewall Jackson was approaching Harper's Ferry, a place he had invested in 1861 by invading Maryland at the very start of the war in the first actual incursion by troops from one state into another (and they call it the war of Northern Aggression?). Jackson captured roughly 12,000 Union Troops in the next few days before joining Lee on his strategic move to threaten Washington, D.C. This campaign culminated with the slugging match at Antietam Creek and Lee ordered a return to Virginia.
In 1863 the Army of Tennessee was in motion to retake Chattanooga. The Confederates had been leveraged out of the city on September 6th by a Federal army masterfully handled by General Rosecrans. Jefferson Davis had already detached Longstreet's Corp of 12,000 to aid the beleaguered Army of Tennessee. All these forces soon came together at Chickamauga Creek where Rosecrans was soundly defeated in perhaps the bloodiest single day of combat and forced back to await rescue in Chattanooga.
In 1864 the victorious army of William Tecumseh Sherman continued its march through Georgia, this campaign deprived the Southern Confederacy of resources from that region. More than that it demonstrated that the Union was capable of marching armies throughout the Confederacy almost unhindered. All of this was done in the heat of a presidential election campaign pitting Lincoln against McClellan and, for a brief period against John C. Fremont. The sands were running out of the hourglass for the Southern Confederacy.
As we remember those lost in our own national tragedy it is important to recognize the breadth of events that share the same anniversary. Whether it be the 1814 Battle of Lake Champlain, Cromwell's massacre of the Irish at Drogheda (1649), the Battle of Zenta (1697), the Battle of Saint Cast (1758), the first comic strip (1875), the U.S. invasion of Honduras (1919), Ty Cobb's last at bat (1928), the Stromboli Volcanic Eruption (1930), the bombing of Buckingham Palace (1940), the conquest of Salerno (1943), the first entry of U.S. forces into Nazi Germany (1944), Ringo Starr joining the Beatles (1962), the debut of the Ford Pinto (1970), or the issuance of Ken Starr's report accusing President Bill Clinton of 11 possible impeachable offenses and so many other events, there is plenty to reflect upon.