In examining the history related to the American Civil War, there are two significant entities that are worth remembering: General Robert E. Lee, commanding officer of the Confederate Army, and the 54th Massachusetts regiment. These two entities are commemorated in different ways, to assure their remembrance. Through The Public Art of Civil War Commemoration, Thomas J. Brown explains that their memories will continue to be preserved through a variety of different ways because their contribution to their respective sides of the Civil War was extremely important.
General Robert E. Lee is, and will continue to be, one of the most prominent figures of the Civil War. Brown refers to him as "the most important figure in postwar imagination of the Confederacy." (Brown 79) Both Southerners and Northerners view him as one of the most outstanding figures that is studied from the war. One of the main commemorations of General Lee is his enduring perception by Southerners as a "representative of the social order of the Old South" (Brown 79), a Southern hero in other words. For a even a century after the war had ended, Lee was not considered to have been a significant figure to blame for the Confederate defeat, by neither Southerners nor Northerners alike. He instead continued to be revered in the South and also by Northern writers and even British figures as well. "Former British prime minister Winston Churchill summarized the overwhelming verdict almost a century after Appomattox when he declared Lee 'one of the greatest captains known to the annals of war.'" (Brown 83) Also prevalent in Lee's remembrance is his personality and reserve during the actual war. Fo...
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... D.C. Which continues to contribute to the commemoration of this regiment.
Considering American as a whole, General Robert E. Lee seems to be a greater entity than the 54th Massachusetts regiment. This is mainly because Lee is still revered personally by an overwhelming amount of the white Southern population. His character and noble stature are still honored by both older and younger generations in the South. Also, his memory is still prevalent nationally through a very prestigious college named after him: Washington & Lee. The man is so revered by Southern youth, it overwhelming adds to his national importance. I think the 54th Massachusetts regiment is a very important national symbol of racial advancement but it is simply not as beloved by its admirers as General Lee is. This is why General Robert E. Lee continues to be a great entity of American society.
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