Today I ventured out into the rain to the Hogtown BBQ fund raiser to benefit the Union Church preservation project. There were multiple BBQ vendors, and a friend's band was playing. It rained most of the time, but it was still fun.
The Civil War Historymobile was there too. While touring it, an older gentleman was explaining to his wife how the Confederate war effort was hampered by the fine Christian morals that kept them from attacking cities and civilians, like the Union did. I tried to stay out of it, I really did. He continued on about how Lee refused to sack Gettyburg out of respect for the citizens. Then, he looked directly at me and asked me if I was aware of this fact.
If I was going to get sucked into debating a lost causer I was going all in. I commented that his analysis was a rather generous take on Lee's actions at Gettysburg, and that I believed his hesitation there was more due to the fact that his Calvary had not reported in and he didn't know where the Union Army was located.
He then went on to try to convince me that Sherman was anti-Christian due to some comment about "War is hell." Apparently just using that word makes you a satanist, but enslaving your fellow man is a sign of good Christian values. He then went on to repeat some of the well worn exaggerations about Sherman's March to The Sea. I rebutted with the fact that I'm from Atlanta and very familiar with the Southern mystic around Sherman's campaign. I also commented that if his actions helped the war end in 1865 instead of 1866 then untold millions of Confederates were spared additional suffering and death at the hands of war. He then blamed Andersonville on the North, as the blockade made it impossible for the Confederates to extend proper Southern hospitality to their guests.
He then tried to connect the North's immoral war to what is happening in the Middle East by asking me if I approved of the civilian causalities in the Middle East as part of the war on terror. I told him I thought the only thing that would make us safer in the Middle East was to get all the troops out of there. From there he started talking about 6 million dead in the fire bombing of Dresden. I have no idea why we were talking about WWII all of a sudden. Maybe he wanted me to admit it was wrong and then he was going to connect it back to Sherman? Maybe he is a Lost Causer and a Nazi? The truth is I really don't know enough about the events at Dresden to have an opinion. I commented that maybe 12 million die if we don't do that and the war drags on for 2 more years. At that point he gave up, snidely commented that I should educate myself with some real history books, and walked off.