Greetings Cosmic Americans!
As you all know by now, one of my favorite things to do is attend local talks on the Civil War - and yes...these take place in the Los Angeles area all the time. Last night I hauled my cookies (Coni joined me - for her first Civil War round table) all the way out to the West Valley for the Civil Warriors Round Table - a small and friendly gathering that takes place at a deli once a month. Attendance was a little lighter than usual, but that mattered little - we got a taste of a artillerist's life in the Army of the Tennessee...as told by said artillerist's grandson, David E. Wall.
Wall's talk, "Always in the Middle of Battle: Edward Kiniry and the 1st Illinois Light Artillery," followed his ancestor throughout the western theatre of war - from Forts Henry and Donelson to Atlanta and finally North Carolina. Following the talk, I asked Wall about Kiniry's position on politics and slavery - I found his wartime lack of interest for such matters intriguing - I am wondering if he just didn't record his opinions. I did turn out that after the war Kiniry (a person of Irish descent originally from Manhattan, mind you) tended to promote some degree of racial tolerance. One could assume that the war had made a difference on Kiniry's worldview. At least that is what Wall implied.
Next month, I will be speaking to this group about Robert E. Lee in the years following Appomattox...his public conciliation, his private reflection, his sense of duty, and Lee in public memory. It should be a rousing talk - hope to see you there!