What a Cruel Thing is War


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What a Cruel Thing is War

“But what a cruel thing is war; to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world!”

-General Robert E. Lee, December 25, 1862,   Fredericksburg, Virginia

One of the greatest parts of Stafford’s Civil War story was the suffering inflicted on the county’s wartime residents. The wartime experiences later reminded one Stafford historian, Thomas M. Moncure, Jr., of Biblical times and proportions as he recalled the words in Psalm 74:23:

“Forget not the voice of thine enemies: the tumult of those that rise up against thee increaseth continually.”

The people of Stafford — white and black, men and women, young and old, loyalists and secessionists – lived amidst that tumult, and paid an extraordinarily high price during America’s most brutal conflict. Few American places paid such a high price…