Some Civil War stories better left to books

Topeka Capital-Journal
March 24, 1993

VICKSBURG, Miss. – The Kansas monument in the Civil War battlefield here is different, to say the least. The monuments, in what is now a National Park, were donated by the various states to honor the troops, on both sides, who fought here.

Some are huge, taking up hundreds of square feet or towering far above the scene of another slaughter in the war between the states. Most feature statues of soldiers with guns, or a lady of peace promising this would be the last senseless war. Some cost a million or more to build.

Most are made of marble or native stone and have special touches symbolic of the states they represent. Around every turn in the 16-mile drive through the battlefield there is another one, usually just as impressive as the last one .


Kansas is a notable exception. Its monument is about 8 feet high and four feet wide, made of wrought iron, and cost $5,000 when it was erected in 1960. It features three circles that have a meaning never made clear to me and my two sons by the guide we hired for $20 to show us through the park.

There were many things that God never made clear to us, like what started the war, and who won. She spent all her time telling us the history books and Civil War scholars are all wet and that to this day very few people understand what happened.

When you hire a personal guide you have no way of knowing what you’ll get. You ask a woman in the reception area to get you one, and she calls the next name on the list. We drew a woman will call Connie, short for Confederate . Continue reading