New Evidence Changes Views on Civil War

I am NOT shaving my beard!Much like the Nag Hammadi library and other long lost scrolls discovered in the Egyptian desert, new diaries and letters written during the Civil War have shed light and brought about differing interpretations as to why the war was fought.

“We used to think it was about slavery or state’s rights or whatever you want to call it.  But these newly-discovered letters have changed the minds of many scholars” says an American History professor at NYU.

The professor is referring to a batch of letters and diary entries found by accident inside a season one DVD of Sex and the City.

Typical of the findings is the diary entry of Confederate Calvary general Jeb Stuart, dated May 5th, 1863:

“By the glory of the Almighty we have defeated the Yankees at Chancellorsville and turned them back across the Rappahannock.  May our Government triumph over the northern aggressor. May General Lee prevail. While I deprecate the necessity of war, for I too feel the sting of battle and grow weary of seeing good men die, this war is vastly preferable to being home and listening to my wife nag me about shaving my beard.”

General William Tecumseh Sherman, best known for sacking Atlanta and marching to the sea wrote this letter to the Mayor of Atlanta, dated September 12, 1864:

“You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will.  War is cruelty and you cannot refine it and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I had no hand in making this war (my wife did) and I know I will make more sacrifices today than any of you to secure peace.  But I’m not shaving my beard, wife be damned.  And I’m not taking her dancing either.  And she already has enough shoes.”

A Union prisoner of war at Andersonville writes:

“As we entered the place a spectacle met our eyes that almost froze our blood with horror and made our hearts fail within us.  Before us were forms that had once been active and erect – stalwart men, now nothing but mere walking skeletons, covered with filth and vermin.   Part of this marshy place had been used by the prisoners as a sink and excrement covered the ground, the scent arising from which was suffocating.  Still, as bad as conditions are all prisoners seem to agree on one thing: this is preferable to being home and listening to our wives bitch to us about shaving our beards.”

The first draft of Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address contains the following:

“Four score and seven years ago, our clean-shaven fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal and have the right to grow a beard if they want, wives be damned.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and dedicated can endure.”

So it seems that a drastic revision in Civil War interpretation is on the horizon.  The woman who bought the Sex and the City DVD but instead found these letters had this to say, “Naturally I’m disappointed.  I wanted to watch the DVDs.  But I guess I can always go out, drink a few cosmos, dance and have sex with a man I’ve never met before – as long as he doesn’t have a beard.”


2 Responses

  1. innominatus says:

    I guess I’m lucky that my wife thinks my ‘stache and stubble are cool. Unfortunately my employer disagrees.

  2. Manhattan Infidel says:

    I recently grew a beard. I’m going to have to shave it due to significant and growing criticism from certain people. – MI

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