There were four thousand Italian families in Montevideo at the time. When the city was put under siege Giuseppe put together a force of Italians to help defend the city. The fame the newspapers generated brought hundreds of those Italians to join Giuseppe’s forces with a two-fold promise: they would fight for freedom for Uruguay and use this fight as a training ground so they could all return to Italy and unite their own beloved country.
Since Anita could not wield a gun in one hand and a child in the other, Anita followed with the other camp wives, despite Giuseppe’s pleas that she stay behind until the baby was weaned. Instead, she rode with the three-month-old Menotti on the saddle in front of her. When the troops came to a stream swollen by recent rains, Giuseppe turned his poncho so the hood was in front and wrapped Menotti inside it so he could keep the wet child warm with his body heat.
The last component of the Lost Cause, and perhaps the key component, is the cherished belief in happy slaves and sub-human African Americans in need of civilization and Christianity. Lost Cause adherents deny the immorality and cruelty of slavery and insist slavery was a benign and misunderstood institution.
Movies profiled in this book:
My newest book The Civil War on Film (co-written with my colleague Peg Lamphier as part of ABC-Clio’s Hollywood History series) was published today.
Peg and I discuss 10 Civil War films based on their accuracy and cultural context. It is no surprise that we agree with a collection of historians that the most accurate of all the films of the Civil War is Glory (written by Kevin Jarre), though even that film makes the ‘mistake’ of omitting the fact that Harriet Tubman served as a spy for the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment.
As we say about many of the films, one film can’t encapsulate the entirety of a historical event (though Free State of Jones (written by Gary Ross) does try, and here we admit that that attempt to do it all makes for a long and plodding film, which is sad since it is a thorough portrait of Reconstruction, which is nearly never covered in films as they all prefer ending when the war ends).
As always it was a pleasure to work with Peg. We’re in the middle of our second book for this series – chronicling how Women’s History is covered in films coming sometime in 2021.
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“On October 26, 1860 Giuseppe Garibaldi found himself as far from his childhood home as a man could be, having traveled around the world and back again in his 53 years, seeking a goal no man had yet accomplished, the unification of his beloved Italy.”
Today’s research tidbit – did you know Eleanor Roosevelt spoke to the nation about Pearl Harbor the night before Franklin did?
She had a regularly scheduled Sunday night radio show called “Over Our Coffee Cups” so she went on the air that night to say some things that, while not “a date that will live in infamy” do resonate.
On the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, ER discusses what the nation must do to face this international crisis. ER also interviews Corporal James Cannon.
You can hear her voice in the collection at the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers or read this:
“Many of you all over the country have boys in the services who will now be called upon to go into action… You cannot escape anxiety. You cannot escape a clutch of fear at your heart and yet I hope that the certainty of what we have to meet will make you rise above these fears. We must go about our daily business more determined than ever to do the ordinary things as well as we can and when we find a way to do anything more in our communities to help others, to build morale, to give a feeling of security, we must do it. Whatever is asked of us I am sure we can accomplish it. We are the free and unconquerable people of the United States of America.
To the young people of the nation, I must speak a word tonight. You are going to have a great opportunity. There will be high moments in which your strength and your ability will be tested. I have faith in you. I feel as though I was standing upon a rock and that rock is my faith in my fellow citizens.”