One of the projects that I am currently working on is a historiographical piece for the Blackwell Companion to the U.S. Civil War edited by Aaron Sheehan-Dean and published by Wiley-Blackwell. This is going to be released in two volumes, the first includes 34 chapters on “Battles and “Campaigns” with the remaining 30 divided between “Leaders”, “Politics and Society”, and “The Civil War in History”. It looks like a great line-up of contributors, a few of whom stop by Civil War Memory on occasion. This is my second project with Aaron. Some of you may remember that I published a piece in The View from the Ground: Experiences of Civil War Soldiers, which examined the competing memories of Confederate veterans surrounding their experience at the Crater.
My assignment is to examine the historiography of Virginia in 1861. I am still in the early stages of my reading, but I have developed a chart that breaks down the various themes that I believe need to be addressed. Still, I thought it might be interesting to get your feedback as it has assisted me so many times in the past. Here is the question: In your view what is the most important interpretive development in our understanding of Virginia in 1861 and which book[s] are responsible for it?