"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Leadership and Gettysburg

Today I showed to my media leadership a U-Tube clip of the Battle of Gettysburg movie, where Col. Joshua Chamberlain of Maine, on Little Round top, saved the Union. It wasn't Grant or Lincoln. The Army of The Potomac had never beaten the Army of Northern Virginia under Lee. It had invaded Pennsylvania, looking for shoes, victory, and taking the war on the offensive. Next stop--Washington D.C.

I asked my students--what do you do if your army is losing? If you've always been beaten  by this other army? If they have the better leaders? If you're out of ammunition? If the enemy wins, and therefore defeats your entire army? If two days from now they enter Washington, and win the war? What do you need, other than a miracle?

Answers? A leader with a sixpack( from an Army sergeant (female). A leader who can inspire. A leader with courage.

Watch the clip on UTube, in HD. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjceQjmlzwI

Watch it and cry.

My students, independent thinkers all,  think "leadership" at UCO has become a buzzword, but they grabbed this. My guys, the ones in gray, with the star-crossed flag, came up against this rock-hard Mainer who decided to charge, not retreat, and saved the Union on the second day of Gettysburg. The next day, my general, Lee, made the mistake that cost us our cause--ordering Picket's Charge.

Leadership isn't a buzzword--it is written with blood.

Today, Bowdoin College in Maine has a statue on its grounds to a famous ex-president--Col. Joshua Chamberlain. Been there, seen it.

I met one of his descendants 10 years ago...but that is a different story.

I'm a Confederate, a Texan, and--you'll think I'm crazy but I don't care--I marched with Bobby Lee in a former life--but here's to Col. Joshua Chamberlain, who saved the Union.

That's leadership. Thank you Col., from a Confederate.

2 comments:

  1. Having seen the battlefield, it is utterly amazing what Col. Chamberlain accomplished on that day. Leadership is definitely putting words into actions and following through with it. As another Texan and one who serves, cheers to the good Colonel as well! He was an inspiring leader...also, you should read Lincoln on Leadership...good read.

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  2. I know who I was in a former life as well. Not details, but I realize that I was involved in history far more complex than my 31 years.

    [Stephanie Scott]

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