American Presidents on Robert E. Lee

Last night at a political rally in Ohio President Donald Trump veered off into another one of his confusing tangents in American history, specifically the Civil War. The man could easily do an episode of Drunk History on the history of the American Civil War without consuming a single drink. Included in his commentary was praise of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. His choice of words hearkened back to his comments about Lee following the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. Continue reading

Neo-Confederates Move to Vermont

While everyone else is sharing a few laughs over last night’s Kavanaugh Hearing Cold Open on Saturday Night Live, I wanted to highlight this little gem. Enjoy.

Speaking of Vermont, later this week I will travel to Northfield, Vermont to attend Norwich University’s annual William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium. I am honored to be participating as a visiting historian, which will include, among other things, the opportunity to visit classes and talk with students.

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 09/30

John B. Boles, Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty (Basic Books, 2017).

Joan Cashin, War Stuff: The Struggle for Human and Environmental Resources in the American Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Earl J. Hess, Fighting for Atlanta: Tactics, Terrain, and Trenches in the Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2018).

Jason Phillips, Looming Civil War: How Nineteenth-Century Americans Imagined the Future (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Steven Sarson, Barack Obama: American Historian (Bloomsbury Academic, 2028).

Sam Wineburg, Why Learn History (University of Chicago Press, 2018).

Smithsonian Misinterprets Famous Civil War Image

This past week I requested that the famous image of Andrew and Silas Chandler grace the cover of my forthcoming book, Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth, which will be published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2019. This should come as no surprise. Silas and Andrew have long been the face of this mythical narrative. The image has been misinterpreted by a cross section of the historical community, from National Park Service staff to Confederate heritage groups. Continue reading

Sights and Sounds from Charlottesville

This past Saturday I co-led a tour of Charlottesville’s Confederate monuments with Dr. Jalane Schmidt of UVA. We started at the slave auction marker on Courthouse Square before stopping at the Confederate soldier statue as well as the Lee and Jackson monuments. We had a nice crowd on-hand, including NBC29 News, which filmed the tour for a short segment. Continue reading

In Charlottesville to Talk History, Memory, and Monuments

This is my second trip to Charlottesville, Virginia in recent months to work with teachers and the community on how to understand and teach the history and memory of its Confederate monuments. In June I co-led a tour and delivered a talk to a group of educators. Yesterday, I spent ninety minutes with a group of roughly twenty-five teachers at Charlottesville High School and today I will spend some time with another group of educators at the Jefferson School. Continue reading