Richard Gimbert 
Member since Jun 7, 2018


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Re: “Looking South

I am a Civil War Enthusiast and write a small travel blog about visiting Civil War venues with information on where to stay and what to see and such. Like most people who research the Civil War, I have particular units that I like to follow. In this case it is the 7th Kansas Cavalry; Jennings Jayhawkers. They fought at Helena. After doing some research, I can tell you that Helena is a lesson that Memphis could learn from. They have an outstanding web presence on Civil War Tourism. The websites visithelena.com and civilwarhelena.com have articulated to me that regardless of the regiments I like to research, I will have a magnificent experience driving down from Kansas City and visiting where the last shots were fired in the Vicksburg Campaign. I made the decision that Helena needed to go on "the list" while researching Memphis. Perhaps Memphis should considering enhancing it's Civil War Tourism, like Helena did? Regardless of whether you embrace the idea of the lost cause or not, promotion works. Personally, after researching Helena, I think they struck an excellent balance between honoring the Freedmen, which is their heritage, and honoring their Confederate roots. The fact that they pay specific honor to Patrick Cleburne, regarded as one of the best Generals of the Civil War, North or South is testament that they have not forgotten that Arkansas was part of the secession. I feel that a balance has been struck and Helena will receive my discretionary dollars. I may stop in Memphis on my way home, but I will visit Helena. See the difference? Memphis should promote their Civil War Heritage. There is money to be made by doing so. The "Contraband" or "Freedman" experience is a valid part of our history. When studying the Civil War there are some truths that must be accepted. John Brown was a terrorist, and The Lost Cause was a narrative put forth by Confederate General Jubal Early after General Lee's death that was largely based on desires, not truths. If you recall your history, General Lee had to fire Jubal Early after the Confederate defeat at Cedar Creek because in order to save face from the defeat, General Early had news paper articles published absconding his subordinates for the failure. Early was not exactly the leader to be modeled after.

Posted by Richard Gimbert on 06/07/2018 at 6:25 AM
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