Monday, February 28, 2011

The Siege of Atlanta (A Ken Burns Production): Part Three

"As we lay there watching the bright stars, many a soldier asked himself the same question: What is it all about? Why is it that 200,000 men of one blood and one tongue, believing as one man in the fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man, should in the 19th century of the Christian era be thuse armed with all the improved appliances of modern warfare and seeking one another's lives? We could settle our differences by compromising, and all be at home in ten days."
-- A veteran Confederate officer during The Siege of Atlanta


Shelby Foote, Civil War Historian: "When I look back at the events of day three of the Atlanta Campaign, I'm constantly reminded of the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The Gospel of Luke tells of the story of the young son who wastes his inheritance only to come home and repent and be taken back in by his father. In a way there are some parallels between The Prodigal Son and Michael Vick's return to Atlanta."

Narrator: "On a sunny, February Sunday; Michael Vick returned to Atlanta."

Foote: "The stories in the newspapers, the hundreds of autograph collectors, the old ladies weeping in the aisles. It must have been a tremendous sight to behold."

N: "One such collector was General Christopher Harris."

General Christopher Harris: "Mine eyes have seen the glory, and of the redemption. And while he plays for my team now, let it be said that Atlanta is, was, and always will be, Michael Vick's city. I do regret asking him about that pass at the end of the Green Bay game, but all in all, I am satisfied."

Daniel Orkent, The New York Times: "Michael Vick returning to Atlanta was a big deal. I mean, even Sports Center covered it! Ummm... When was the last time a cardshow made national news? Like, never, right? But it was such a wonderful event."

N: "But while General Harris and others were busying acquiring their Michael Vick autographs, the rest of the cardshow went on. By the time the show ended, the casualty totals were immense."

Shelby Foote: "The carnage was immense. There wasn't a single dollar, fifty-cent, quarter, of dime box that hadn't been ravaged by the Yankees. I'm sure that the Confederate card dealers that set up in Atlanta that weekend had no idea what hit them. I sure wouldn't have predicted it."

Harris: "The only thing worthy of this cardshow was the discount boxes. I have been able to cross off my wantlists inserts that I've been looking for decades. If not for this, this whole weekend would have been a waste."

George Will, Washington Post: "Many historians may look at the Atlanta Campaign as a waste. A waste of airfare, a waste of hotel space, a waste of time. However, I tend to look at it as a success. The Union forces of Harris and Thomas were able to complete many of their sets -- some dating back years -- and met many of their internet friends."

N: "All in all, the Atlanta Campaign was mixed result. Perhaps it was best summed up by General Harris in his diary."

Harris: "The cardshow was not what I expected. But definitely trying to turn this trip to Atlanta into some kind of Civil War epic was a failure. I mean, I took me almost three weeks to write this damn thing, and after Day Two, I wanted to quit. Next time I shall concentrate on ripping off Hunter S. Thompson."

1 comment:

deal said...

One wonders, after this brutal campaign, if the Harris batallion will emerege at the historic Valley Forge encampment this weekend.