Civility and History

Pardon the headline pun, but with all the talk of “civil dialog” in Scottsdale city politics and government lately I couldn’t resist. I was going steal a line from Guns-n-Roses: “What’s so civil about war anyway?” But I couldn’t figure out a way to make it work. Aren’t you glad?

I recently had a conversation with John Bamberl of the Scottsdale Civil War Roundtable about historic preservation in Scottsdale, and in particular his efforts to obtain official recognition for the Stoneman Military Road as an Arizona Historical Road and eventually as a National Historical Military Road.

In case you don’t know about the post-Civil War Stoneman Military Road, it connected the Army’s Ft. McDowell (yes, it was actually a fort, not just a catchy name for a casino) in the East Valley to Ft. Whipple in Prescott. In the process it traversed areas that would become McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Brown’s Ranch, The Boulders Resort, and Cave Creek.

John B. Hood, CS Army | Wikipedia

SCWRT is sponsoring an essay contest for Scottsdale students for the sesquicentennial [150 years…I had to look it up] of the beginning of the Civil War. The first prize for high school students is $300 and gifts, and the first prize for middle schoolers is $100 and gifts. The contest closes March 22. Contact Dr. John Bamberl at 602-430-4700 for details.

SCWRT meetings are open to the public and visitors are always welcome. They have a different, distinguished speaker every month. Join them at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3839 North Drinkwater Boulevard, Scottsdale, Arizona, at 6:45 p.m. on the 3rd Tuesday of the Month, from September–November, and January–May.  A Civil War video is shown before each meeting, from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m. For more information, call 480-299-0153 or email

John M. Schofield, US Army | Wikipedia

As an aside, I grew up in Columbia, TN, just south of where the Battle of Franklin was fought. In case you are not a student of the Civil War, the Battle of Franklin was in essence the beginning of the end of the Civil War. Hood’s mighty Army of Tennessee dashed itself against Schofield’s Army of Ohio.

The Battle of Franklin left 14 Confederate general officers among the casualties, along with 55 regimental commanders. Franklin and the subsequent Battle of Nashville reduced the Army of Tennessee to half its strength, effectively eliminating it as a fighting force.

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