Affirmation, Baby?

3 02 2007

Today I listened to Pete Carmichael, author of Lee’s Young Artillerist and The Last Generation, on carmichael200.jpg Gerry Prokopowicz’s Civil War Talk Radio program recorded Feb. 2.  (That’s Pete’s photo from the UNC Greensboro site to the left.)  During the idle banter preceding a fascinating interview on aspects of southern society before and after the war, Gerry asked Pete where his loyalties lay for Super Bowl XLI.  Pete – a fellow Penn Stater whom I met on an alumni tour of Fredericksburg a few years ago – plead allegiance to the Colts.  He also said that Colt quarterback Peyton Manning was indeed named for the James Longstreet staffer featured in A 100 Pound Quarterback?

Pete’s statement was made with no qualifiers, no “may have beens”.  I hope that he may stumble across this blog one day and see fit to expound on this.  While I find the circumstantial evidence highly suggestive, I stop short of being certain.   I looked for an autobiography authored by Archie and Peyton when I was at Barnes & Noble the other day, but had no luck.

I do agree with Pete in his assertion that many modern studies of Civil War soldiers’ motivations inappropriately downplay the role of ideology.  In fact, at the end of the above referenced tour a discussion in Fredericksburg National Cemetery along these lines became a little heated, with Pete taking the minority position that the role of Union soldiers in “sacking” the town in December, 1862 was in large part politically, or ideologically, motivated.  I found his argument convincing, but I admit to a predisposition to do so – I thought those arguing against his position were perhaps too hung up on the motivations of 20th century American soldiers.  I guess I’ll have to move The Last Generation up on my “to read” list.

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8 responses

3 02 2007
Mannie Gentile

Harry,

Your whole superbowl thing is so funny to me. I’m so not into football that reading these posts is like a Laplander landing at the lingerie counter at Macy’s and the young lady says “may I help you?”.

But I do appreciate the fact that you are able to make such cogent connections with a football metaphor (I just need others to explain them to me).

I hope your team wins. (Is “night train Lane” still playing?)

Best wishes,

Mannie

3 02 2007
Harry Smeltzer

“Night Train” Lane? I think he’s still suspended for gambling along with Alex Karas. No relation to Senator Jim Lane of Kansas – at least, I don’t think so.

Harry

4 02 2007
Steve Basic

Harry,

I too listened to the program, and automatically thought of your blog when Pete mentioned that Peyton was named after a staffer on Longstreet’s staff.

I agree it was a fine and interesting discussion, and I too just picked up a copy of his book. Have known Pete for some time now, and the old joke whenever I saw him was when is the book coming out, and he would always say…”eventually”.

I guess “eventually” has finally arrived. :)

For what it is worth, I echo your comments on the program, and recommend those who read the blog to check it out at the CW Talk Radio site.

Hope all is well, and boy are the Penguins playing great. :)

Regards from the Garden State,

Steve

4 02 2007
Mike Peters

Harry:

And I always thought the Colts’ QB was named for Mr. Farquar, the character that swung from the Owl Creek Bridge. :)

Mike

4 02 2007
Harry Smeltzer

Mike,

You’re brutal. But I always thought that guy’s name was Troy Smith?

Harry

4 02 2007
Harry Smeltzer

Steve,

Maybe you can get Pete to share his sources on the Manning name here?

Harry

5 02 2007
Mike Peters

Harry:

LOL! Point taken.

Mike

5 02 2007
Steve Basic

Harry,

I can ask him, and will drop him an e-mail.

Steve

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