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2. Confederate Community

David C. Humphrey Texas State Historical Assn ePub

2.

CONFEDERATE COMMUNITY

ON JULY 18, 1861, 104 MEMBERS of the Tom Green Rifles, their “flag to the breeze,” paraded down Congress Avenue and headed east across the Texas prairie for Virginia—the first company of volunteers from Austin and Travis County to join the fight against the Yankees. Not until September 12, almost two months later, did they reach the Confederate capital at Richmond, their journey marked by a 100-mile trek to the nearest railhead at Brenham, a grueling twelve-day march across swampy west Louisiana, and endless days riding and waiting for trains. If the capital city was distant from many settled parts of Texas, it was far more remote from the military struggle that consumed the nation for four years.26

Situated on the periphery of the Confederacy, beyond the reach of railroad or telegraph, 1,400 miles from Richmond, and remote even from the war in the West, Austin residents found it impossible to keep abreast of the unfolding conflict. “Its events become history with you before rumors of them reach us,” lamented one resident to a friend in Arkansas. The flow of rumors that did reach the capital city—sometimes wildly erroneous reports disguised as reliable news—made an accurate picture of the fighting all the more elusive. In late July 1863, three weeks after the Confederate debacle at Gettysburg, Austin’s newspaper was still reassuring its readers that Gen. Robert E. Lee’s invasion of the North had produced stupendously successful results, highlighted by the capture of Washington, D.C., and 60,000 Union soldiers. Yet distance from the Civil War and an unremitting flow of muddy and conflicting reports hardly meant that Austinites were disengaged from the conflict. They were absorbed by it, feeling quite rightly that its course and its outcome had profound implications for them.

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16. Janie and Harry

Margaret Lewis Furse Texas A&M University Press ePub

Chapter 16

JANIE AND HARRY

While the Hawkins family often spent Sunday afternoons together at some county beach or wooded spot on the ranch itself, they were also likely to gather on a week day in the evening on the screened porch at Janie’s house in Bay City. The time of day chosen would have been “after supper,” in the early evening. Meal times for all households were scheduled, sit-down affairs, and visitors courteously delayed an unannounced arrival until after supper. Gatherings like this were also likely settings where the condition of the Ranch House was discussed.

The porch at Janie’s was next to the dining room, and on evenings when the family gathered on that porch, Janie and Harry would have finished their supper. Typically it would be a thin steak, grits, tomatoes with cucumbers, biscuits, and for dessert, Jell-O with heavy cream. After the meal they would put away their large white dinner napkins, folding them and pushing them through their respective silver napkin rings. Janie’s was an oval one with “Janie” engraved in cursive script; Harry’s was octagonal with his initials in block letters, H.B.H. for Henry Boyd Hawkins. I was often there too, a child who had stayed too long and been invited to supper. If I had been in the way, the family’s code of hospitality would never have let that fact be noticed.

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5. Observations

Paul Santa Cruz UNT Press ePub

Chapter Five

How history will measure the Kennedy years cannot be foreseen, but it does seem clear that a legendary glamour, which is not dimming with time, surrounds his name and that of his family. The present generation will long be bewitched by the legend, if only because it continues to live through his widow and his two active brothers.

—Journalist Richard Wilson1

Wilson’s statement nicely encapsulates the two-track challenge we confront in understanding JFK’s impact upon American history. There exists the ongoing debate among historians as to how his presidency should be judged. Much time and many hundreds or thousands of pages have been devoted to his actions and intentions related to Cuba, the Soviet Union, civil rights and the fulfillment of his domestic agenda, Vietnam, Latin America and the Alliance for Progress, his nascent interest in fighting poverty, and his interactions with the American business community and economic policies in general. Alongside this debate is the second track that has frequently clashed with the first: popular memory of Kennedy, which has remained decisively positive, influencing subsequent generations no less than that of the 1960s. A discussion of popular memory and President Kennedy would be incomplete if it did not include an assessment of not only how that memory has been shaped and used, but why it matters—what effect popular memory has had on our conception of presidential leadership. How has popular memory of JFK influenced what we expect from our chief executives? Analyzing how he has been memorialized is interesting from a historical standpoint, but does our memory of the late president offer commentary on what we want the occupant of the White House to do? I believe that it does, and some attempt must therefore be made to weigh the value of the things for which we have remembered Kennedy—to judge whether his memory has influenced us for better or worse. As is the case with his presidential legacy, the image he created for himself that has so deeply defined the public’s memory has had mixed implications in terms of what presidential leadership means to us today. And it may be that the expectations we harbor about what presidents should do, and how they should do it, are the most enduring feature of both his legacy and our popular memory of him.

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7 Negotiating Modernization: The Kariba Dam Project in the Central African Federation, ca. 1954–1960

PETER JASON BLOOM Indiana University Press ePub

Julia Tischler

On the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, about 240 miles downstream from the Victoria Falls, you can see a “gracefully curved mass of concrete,” “a colossus” which has tamed the “moods of violence” of the Zambezi River (South African News Agencies 1959, 5).1 The Kariba Dam was built in the second half of the 1950s to meet the growing energy needs of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, creating what was, at the time, the biggest artificial lake in the world. Newspapers around the world did not tire of telling “the romantic and adventurous story of how the dark jungle was opened up to provide light and power for a nation.”2 The Kariba Dam and the massive reservoir are a monument to the great expectations that coincided with the establishment of the Federation in 1953.

The dead trees which still stick out at the fringes of the lake remind us, however, that there is another side to the story. High-tech development came at a cost and Kariba has remained notorious for the catastrophic resettlement which its building entailed, as the rising waters submerged the homes of 57,000 Gwembe Tonga north and south of the Zambezi. Moreover, the hydroelectricity project monopolized the Federation’s credits for years, channeling vast resources into infrastructural development, which could have been used elsewhere. Hence, Kariba has been interpreted as the epitome of the Federation, for both its aspirations—of becoming a “powerful,” “multiracial” nation—and its flaws, seen in white settlers’ racist politics.

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3 Remembering the Great War through Autobiographical Narratives

Bucur-Deckard, Maria Indiana University Press PDF

All this humiliation . . . you witnessed with your own eyes. Of course for you this spectacle remains a great, indescribable pain. . . . You did well to bring to light all that you saw. Others should do the same. . . . Our Calvary will not be fully told if we don’t also know these horrors. . . . When all is known, the virtues of our people who produced today’s Romania will appear even more brilliant.

—Take Ionescu (1921)1

If I dare bring to light my modest war Journal after so much time, it is because I kept waiting for others more capable than me, more competent at writing, to speak and remember those who fulfilled their duty under the folds of the holy Flag of the Red Cross, raised here by the greatest and dignified Queen of our days. I waited, I searched, but I did not find more than two-three lines here and there.

—Jeana Col. Fodoreanu (1928)2

3

Remembering the Great War through Autobiographical

Narratives

R

emembering World War I was only in part a matter of mourning the dead and coping with loss. While some worked to lay to rest their loved ones, others worked through their own remembrances of the war. In the interwar period Romania saw an explosion in autobiographical writing, much of it centered on the 1914–1918 period.

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