Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Secession is a bad idea, full stop.

The Battle of Gettysburg, Pa. July 3d., 1863, by Currier and Ives.
The Economist talks about secession today.  This is not an issue that I think that anyone, let alone the President, should take seriously. However, if anyone thinks the case against secession need be made, I think a helpful place to start is the Wikipedia article about the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, and in particular, what occurred at the Bloody Angle, which was probably the most fierce and horrible battle of the entire war.  I don't think anyone wants to unleash anything like this ever again:
"'The combat they had endured for almost 24 hours was characterized by an intensity of firepower never previously seen in Civil War battles, as the entire landscape was flattened, all the foliage destroyed. An example of this can be found in the Smithsonian Museum of American History: a 22-inch stump of an oak tree at the Bloody Angle that was completely severed by rifle fire. There was a frenzy to the carnage on both sides. Fighting back and forth over the same corpse-strewn trenches for hours on end, using single shot muskets, the contending troops were periodically reduced to hand-to-hand combat reminiscent of battles fought during ancient times. Surviving participants attempted to describe in letters, diaries, and memoirs the hellish intensity of that day, many noting that it was beyond words. Or, as one put it: 'Nothing can describe the confusion, the savage, blood-curdling yells, the murderous faces, the awful curses, and the grisly horror of the melee.'"