As the old adage says, freedom isn’t free. The military heroes who defend our freedom display courage at its finest—and there is a lot that we can learn from them.
In that spirit, this webinar explored two heroes from the Civil War. Ulysses S. Grant is known for his decisive leadership during the war and his later tenure as president. But Grant was also criticized during his life as a drunk, a failure, and an incompetent commander. How could those go together in one person? Robert Gould Shaw, though less known, came from a very different background but displayed no less courage. Shaw was the commander of the first all-black regiment, the 54th Massachusetts. He fought for equal treatment of his troops and died a hero leading his regiment on an assault against Fort Wagner. Ultimately, the 54th Massachusetts inspired thousands more African Americans to enlist for the Union.
In this webinar, Executive Director Jeff Sikkenga discussed Ulysses S. Grant and Robert Gould Saw with Dr. Dan Monroe, a professor at Millikin University and a member of Ashbrook’s national faculty. Dr. Monroe is a well-known scholar of the Civil War and antebellum America, and a wonderful storyteller.
Jeff and Dr. Monroe explored the following documents on the webinar:
- Proclamation on Enforcement of the 14th Amendment, U.S. Grant, 3 May 1871
- Letter to D.H. Chamberlain, U.S. Grant, 26 July 1876
- Recollections of the War, U.S. Grant, 1885
- A Speech at the Unveiling of the Robert Gould Shaw Monument, Booker T. Washington, 31 May 1897
Supplemental Readings – Letters from and to Grant During the War:
- Grant to Buckner, 16 FEB 1862
- Grant to Banks, 15 March 1864
- Grant to Butler, Meade, and Sherman, 2 April 1864
- Lincoln to Grant, 30 April 1864
- Lincoln to Grant, 17 August 1864
A recording of the webinar is available below.