The Civil War began 150 years ago today, which is a really long time, and yet recently enough that my grandparents (all of whom I knew) themselves probably knew a few veterans in their own lifetimes.
I don't know what I could say about this that hasn't been said a thousand times, and better. It just boggles my mind how much the conflict and its aftermath hang over the south (and other parts of the country, but especially the south) to this day. People will argue over the war, its causes, and its legacy long after I am dead, I'm sure.
At the end of the day, it was a moment when this country failed to resolve its own problems without resorting to industrial-scale violence, and as a result we wiped out 1/50th of our own population in four years.
Not exactly our finest hour, any way you cut it.
(Photo: a cemetery in Jonesboro, GA--my home town--that holds between 600 and 1000 unnamed Confederate soldiers.)