Civil War Historians Posit 'You Had To Be There' Theory

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Civil War Historians Posit 'You Had To Be There' Theory

ATLANTA—After years of conflicting approaches to interpreting the Civil War, a coalition of historians on Tuesday posited the non-specific theory that "you had to be there" to fully understand the complexities of the war. "It's not just a matter of 'Were the Southern forces as confident and dedicated as their Northern counterparts?' or 'Was Gettysburg the turning point?'" said conference chairman Shelby Foote. "The whole gist of the war is just hard to really get unless, you know, you were there and saw it happen." The coalition also advanced a theory that the Great Migration, wherein one million African-Americans moved to northern cities between 1915 and 1920, was "a black thing."