Blogging the Civil War on C-SPAN

This weekend C-SPAN will air a panel on Civil War blogging that took place at Gettysburg College back in June as part of the Civil War Institute.  The panel included Brooks Simpson, Keith Harris, and yours truly.  We got into some really interesting issues so do yourself a favor and check it out on Saturday at 6 and 10pm and Sunday at 11am EST.  Here is a short preview.

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

Purchase your copy today!

8 comments… add one
  • Vince (Lancaster at War) Oct 7, 2012 @ 16:37

    Regarding Prof. Carmichael’s disappointment in the lack of conversation around the 901 stories / Gettysburg Compiler project (, could someone please suggest to him to make comments available on that site?

    • Kevin Levin Oct 7, 2012 @ 16:39

      Hi Vince,

      They just started this site and may have intentionally turned off the comments function temporarily.

  • Lorraine English Oct 7, 2012 @ 8:22

    Dear Mr. Levin,
    I learned of your website/blog today watching the very interesting panel discussion on CW blogging.
    I plan to explore your site thoroughly.
    Thank you for starting it.
    My interest in all this was piqued enormously when I recently saw a history channel presentation (on Netflix) entitled ‘Aftershock, beyond the Civil War’.
    I have never been a ‘student’ of the CW and Reconstruction.
    I know what I was ‘taught’ in school.
    I was shocked to learn from that presentation that the man I was taught to revere through my classroom textbooks, N.B. Forrest, started the KKK in Tennessee after the war.
    You could have knocked me over with a feather.
    I realized in an instant that having been born in Mississippi, then having later moved to Florida where all my formal education occurred, I had better question everything I learned.
    I immediately went to my local public library and checked out
    ‘The Invisible Empire: The KKK in Florida’ by Michael Newton.
    I’m on a roll now.
    I appreciated the moderator of the discussion I heard today in which you were a panelist but I disagree with him regarding his overall view of scholarship and the availability of material as it is today and who contributes to it.
    From just watching a show on Netflix, then picking up a book at the library, to learning of your website/blog today, I am now on a quest to learn more about the ‘facts’ I had drilled into my brain during my school years.
    What about those textbooks that were used in my classrooms?
    What is in them now here in the south regarding the Civil War and Reconstruction?
    Again, thank you!!!

    • Kevin Levin Oct 7, 2012 @ 9:11

      Hi Lorraine,

      Thanks for the kind words about the panel and the blog. I’ve been writing for seven years now so you should have plenty to read through in the near future. You can search for Forrest in the searchbar, which will take you to everything I’ve written. For the most reliable study of Forrest I highly recommend Brian Steele Wills’s The Confederacy’s Greatest Cavalryman.

  • Pat Young Oct 6, 2012 @ 14:35

    Watching you, Brooks Simpson and the Cosmic American on C-SPAN. Very interesting.

    Peter is someone whose work I enjoy, but his comments on blogs seem so out of context. He acts as though you control the discussion of these topics on the net, not just on you site. He clearly needs to learn about how search engines work.

    If history is just antiquarianism then blogging for a popular audience is beneath someone of your intelligence. But for me, it helps me understand the texture of modern American life. And we all know people who distort it to further contemporary political agendas.

    Blogs like yours, and I check CWM out two or three times a week, also help non-professionals like me challenge the sloppy history learning being inflicted on the younger generation.

    Out for dinner a week ago with two of my old college buddies. Their very bright daughter, who is in high school AP history, was along for the ride. My friend Glenn was talking to me about my blogging on immigrants in the Civil War and he asked his daughter if she had studied it yet in her advanced course. She had.

    As an experiment, I asked her what caused the war. She said she used to think it was slavery, but her teacher told her it was lot more complex, that it was the tariff and other non-slave related economic and cultural issues that really caused it.

    • Kevin Levin Oct 7, 2012 @ 3:41

      Hi Pat,

      I think Pete – to his credit – is working through some of these issues related to blogging and authority. Keep in mind that he organized this panel and is also pushing his students to blog for CWI.

      • Pat Young Oct 7, 2012 @ 9:39

        Understood. But it was interesting to hear his student during the Q&A say that the site rarely gets any comments.

        I’m not trying to knock Peter (or Gary G.). I read their work and enjoy it. But people under 25 (30?) are much less likely to get info from academically curated print sources. They, and their youngish teachers, turn to google to answer questions. The answers are curated by SEO techniques, whether we like it or not.

        Once those doing solid research learn to use the tools of new media, they will develop a devoted following, as your blog obviously has.

  • Michael Aubrecht Oct 3, 2012 @ 11:37

    Looking forward to this one Kevin. Especially after spending a few years of blogging ‘at you’ from the other side. It took me a few years, but I finally ‘got it.’

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