One of the most surprising aspects of blogging has been the ways in which Civil War Memory has found a place in high school and college classrooms. Though I never anticipated this development it has allowed me to think of my blogging as an extension of my classroom teaching. In the past I’ve hosted a short series of guest posts by graduate students at West Virginia University and Skyped with an America Studies class at Skidmore College. You can find links to this site on a number of high school history class websites and blogs and I remain in contact with a number of teachers throughout the country.
This semester Civil War Memory has shown up on Professor W. Caleb McDaniel’s American Civil War Era class blog at Rice University. It looks like Prof. McDaniel started the course off by addressing a number of recent public controversies, including the black Confederate narrative. Their first assignment is to read a series of posts from the blog on the Virginia history textbook controversy as well as older posts on Silas Chandler and Weary Clyburn:
Then, leave a comment here responding to these questions: What other arguments do defenders of the “black Confederate” thesis make about the Civil War era or the history that has been written about it? Do these other arguments shed any light on the question of why Confederate heritage groups are interested in finding supposed “black Confederates” like Weary Clyburn and Silas Chandler?
I went back and perused the Clyburn post, which now includes over 100 comments. One of the things that I did hope for was that this blog might be of interest to historians and teachers interested in public history and memory. Getting beyond the emotion of many of these comment threads it is possible to see it as a catalog of various perspectives – an archive of America’s evolving and rich Civil War memory.