Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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American Heroes: American War Heroes

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:

Suggested:

Supplemental Readings – Letters from and to Grant During the War:

A recording of the webinar is available below.