[Part 1, Part 2, and John Hennessy’s assessment of the evidence]
Not too long ago I featured a guest post by Michael Schaffner on the subject of Richard Kirkland. Mr. Schaffner did extensive research on Online sources related to the Kirkland story which left him with a number of questions re: the veracity of the story. I thought it was well documented so I decided to feature it on Civil War Memory. I’ve also written a bit about our fascination with the Kirkland story. In the end, while I’ve expressed skepticism about the story based on the available evidence I am much more interested in our continued attraction to this particular story. It’s a wonderful case study for understanding how we, as a nation, have chosen to remember our Civil War.
Former National Park Service historian, Mac Wycoff, has done extensive research on the story and has written up his findings for a series of posts at Mysteries and Conundrums. This is a must read for those of you who are interested in this story. I suggest that if you have comments that you leave them with Mac’s post so that he can address them directly. Finally, let me just reiterate that my goal in writing about Kirkland has never been to “debunk” or use the story to “attack” the South. Such a suggestion is silly and not really worth acknowledging. I use this site to ask questions. If you are uncomfortable with the questions that I ask than you really need to find yourself another blog.