"I'm interested in the common soldiers," Robertson said. "The journals with personalities, the problems on the home front such as what the women were facing, sickness and religion. -- things of that sort appeal to me and they appeal to students. I guess my great hallmark for teaching is you can never understand and appreciate history until you understand the emotions in it and this is certainly true for the Civil War, it's a very emotional war."If you are committed to understanding and teaching history in two-syllable words, "emotions," with its three syllables, is actually a daring breakthrough concept. Bravo, Robertson, you are exceeding the low standards you have set for yourself and your charges.
BTW, can you think of a better definition of the Centennialist's practice of history than emotionalism? They are such haters and lovers that their books are like mood rings or carnival rides.
Note that Robertson touches on that other staple of Centennial dogma that it was a "soldier's war." Napoleon had a different idea about war. From Fuller's Generalship:
'The personality of the general is indispensable,’ said Napoleon; ‘he is the head, he is the all, of an army. The Gauls were not conquered by the Roman legions, but by Caesar. It was not before the Carthaginian soldiers that Rome was made to tremble, but before Hannibal. It was not the Macedonian phalanx which penetrated to India, but Alexander. It was not the French Army which reached the Weser and the Inn, it was Turenne. Prussia was not defended for seven years against the three most formidable European Powers by the Prussian soldiers, but by Frederick the Great.Of course, the Centennialist will tell you the Army of the Potomac succeeded in spite of its generals on the one hand while indulging personalities to their fullest on the Southern side.
Suppressing sources, footnoting badly or not at all, saddling a master narrative on unwilling material - these too represent emotional choices.