Fort Sumter in Charleston, SC was fired upon on April 12, 1861 — kicking off the War Between The States. Growing up in the Deep South, and sitting here today in Raleigh, NC, it’s hard to believe it happened here. But it did, and there are monuments in many towns and stories in many families to prove it — my wife’s not-sure-how-many-greats-grandfather was left to rot in the Union prison at Point Lookout, often listed as the worst of the Northern POW camps.
So here’s John Wayne in The Horse Soldiers (1959) to commemorate this less-than-wonderful anniversary. For some reason, I’ve always loved this particular still from this unjustly maligned film. (Click the photo to enlarge it — there’s a lot to see.) A good way to mark this occasion on this blog seems to be with something from John Ford, by all accounts a huge Civil War buff.
Saw a piece the other day about how many (young) people don’t realize that the Titanic tragedy actually happened, thinking it’s just this overblown James Cameron movie. (“OMG, there was a real Titanic!?”) So, just to clarify — the Civil War really happened. It was a truly terrible time in U.S. history. And John Wayne did not fight in it.
By the way, my daughter is currently building a model of the H.L. Hunley out of a paper towel roll. It’s still in drydock, but what I’ve seen of it is pretty cool.