Monday, October 13, 2008

In the Spirit of Elisha Hunt Rhoads

Reader Note: Elisha Hunt Rhoades was a Union solider who wrote A LOT of letters home during the Civil War and was featured in the PBS Civil War series

Dearest Miley,

It has come to our observations that you seem to show a lack of desire to truly explore and study the great steps your forefathers have taken in this country. I am filled with distress as I find you do not feel the need to pour your heart into the history of our great nation.

When you were told that your father's family and your mother's family fought against each other not only in the Revolutionary War (your mother's family was from Hessians who consumed far too many spirits on Christmas Eve and your proud father's family served directly under George Washington) but also the Civil War (your now established mother's family helped free the slaves and your father's family fought for the ways of the genteel South),  I regret to say you show little emotion nor concern.

I admit this saddens your father and I as we watch you slowly drift to sleep when we watch the Civil War Series produced by the great film maker Ken Burns. I can only wonder what is going through your mind that is more important than your history lesson.

At the moment the great Southern writer described an encounter among Union soliders and a trapped rebel--"Why are you fighting?" "Because you are here."--both your father and I found the comment interesting and truly a satisfactory answer, you had turned you head against the pillow and had closed your eyes. 

We are troubled and pray we will find a cure for this seemingly disrespect that has plagued your disposition. 

In God's Hands and Hope,

Your mother 

21st Century translation--Miley, FOCUS darn it. This movie will help you understand your roots and help you get good grades in history.


The White House said...

Cute post! I like the translation at the end... kind of like Cliff's notes

Anonymous said...


it always matters when we want it to:-)

dani said...

lisa, as you have probably discerned, i am a news junkie. in being so, i was watching cnn several days ago, and this was a huge topic of discussion.
the findings showed that it is a lack of knowledge (teaching) of our US history (not reading, mathematics, nor science) that plagues our country!!!
basically we know not from where we come to have the inspiration/motivation to follow through with what our great forefathers started. hence, we are running blindly forward in a sort of ignorant chaos:/
i love that you posted this letter; i hope many read it:)

Momo Fali said...

My Grandmother gave the first female account of Pearl Harbor to a NY newspaper in January 1942. I thought that article was THEE coolest thing ever. My daughter couldn't care less. Maybe because WWII to me, wasn't that long ago, and when you think about it, the Civil War wasn't either. Kids just don't get it!

Brian and Staci said...

Oh...sweet Miley :) I was never a history buff either...but Brian, oh my goodness...couldn't get any buffier!!! LOVES IT! Maybe history's just not her thing...but she'll remember what matters :) Very creative post :)

andreawilliams said...

Love it!

Anonymous said...

Um, I was lost at first...but thank goodness I found the translation! Now I gets it!

Thank you for visiting me:)

anti-supermom said...

Lovely translation. History isn't my thang either. I was great in math though ;)

Mamasphere said...

What a fascinating family history!

JCK said...

Always fascinating to read these historial pieces. But, your translation? Now that's true art! :)

Shannon said...

Oh, I love Ken Burns' "The Civil War"!

And your 21st century translation... too funny!