Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gettysburg Controversy Continues

Dear Andrew,
I stumbled onto your blog and just happened to notice my name being mentioned. Mr. Siderio has now responded not once, but twice to my original letter. I thought about writing to the Civil War News one more time, but it would take a little work of magic to try and tie in all of the letters together in order to make a coherent response. Hopefully you've read the letters chronologically since his first letter was written back in the May issue. I stand by my response in the July issue. Unfortunately, Dan took my letter as some kind of direct point by point response to his letter and it wasn't. However, in spite of a tiny bit of hyperbole and assumption on my part, I believe my letter was on target. I think most people would have drawn similar conclusions to what I came up with. Without rehashing the entire back and forth, one of his direct quotes included the following: "...while still allowing for the natural rebirth and rejuvenation of this special place and, at the same time, keeping all of the beneficial effects that trees have on humans, plus preserving a beautiful habitat for birds and forest wildlife."
Part of my response is what you have posted on your blog. It's unfortunate that he paraphrased part of my response and left out the key words, "it would seem" in a subsequent letter. (And I have no problems with what you have attributed to me even if it's not in it's entirety.)
I think many fans of Gettysburg, especially those that live there, don't want to see a single tree fall, let alone a whole slew of them. My take is that, for the most part, I like what they are doing at the park. I look forward to the day the Cyclorama building is gone and Zeigler's Grove is restored. My concerns echo some things that others have mentioned. I would not have taken out the trees around Colt Park or the NPS maintenance shed. Going the historically accurate route is not always the right way to go.
Chris Shelton
p.s. Feel free to post this email on your blog if you wish or email me back if you want to have any more dialogue.