index.php

Staying with the Roosevelt/Joe Wheeler meme just a little longer, I though I would share this newspaper collage that appeared the day after Theodore’s 1905 inaugural. It captures various moments in the life and times of the 26th president. The image in the lower left hand corner depicts the two men in Chattanooga, presumably on the campaign trail in support of Roosevelt’s presidential candidacy. It is interesting on a number of levels. First of all everyone at the time would have understood the symbolism of the former Confederate general traversing the city where, just 41 years earlier, Grant’s forces had taken Missionary Ridge. Also Wheeler was Democrat, as were most white Southerners from the 1860s through the realignment of the 1960s. For him to campaign for and with the sitting Republican president was unusual. Wheeler likely thought of this as a reconciliationist¬†gesture. Chickamauga/Chattanooga was the first of the Civil War national military parks, having been established by Congress in 1895.

(image/NYPL)