I have been following the Disunion blog in the NY Times since it started last year to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. Yesterday’s post was about the Battle of Chancellorsville, whose anniversary was this month. It was Lee’s greatest victory, but perhaps sowed the seeds for his defeat at Gettysburg with the loss of his lieutenant Stonewall Jackson and causing him to rely too much on overly aggressive tactics. The post is about the acts of humanity shown to many of the wounded Union soldiers by the men of North Carolina’s Ramseur’s Brigade(and others). Some even whittled a cane and a crutch for two of the wounded.
“They were well appearing and their kind treatment of our wounded stamped them as a fine class of men. They might have felt ugly and revengeful … yet held no grudge and were glad to do what they could for us.”
It’s great to read about men keeping their humanity even when engaged in extraordinary circumstances such as war, circumstances that are made for stripping that humanity away.