Daniel N.Rolph, PhD, Historian & Head of Reference Services for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, recently contacted me to tell me about a piece he had posted at his blog. Dr. Rolph is author of the excellent book, My Brother's Keeper: Union and Confederate Soldiers' Acts of Mercy During the Civil War which in my opinion explains, in part, some of the motivation behind the "reconciliation perspective" of the WBTS. There's much more to that view than what most academic historians today write about. Here's an excerpt from Dan's recent blog post, The 'Other' American Civil War: The Enemy My Friend?
"The ball struck the corner of his belt-plate and passed through his body, inflicting a mortal wound. His mind was perfectly clear, anf for one-half hour we were alone, undisturbed, and we wept and prayed together, invoking the Infinite Mercy of God to forgive us both."
Of this incident, and others like it, Dr. Rolph notes:
"Such at times was the American Civil War. It is not only a subject devoted to 'blood and guts,' heroic actions in battle, atrocities, or animosities between 'Yankees' and 'Rebels.' Oftentimes, as recorded by the very men who served within America's worst national conflict, it was also a time of faith, charity, and brotherly-love, even for those participants whose politics were diametrically in opposition to one another."
This is a great piece and worth your time to read. Check it out at Dan's blog, HSP's Hidden Histories.
You might also be interested in a couple of guest posts that Dan contributed a while back here and here at Old Virginia Blog.