Earlier today I came across this wonderful postcard featuring the Jefferson Davis monument on Richmond’s Monument Avenue. This street view captures a great deal of detail, but it also serves as a reminder of the extent to which the monuments themselves shaped the surrounding physical landscape as well as the memory of the war. This Read more

Yesterday the Sons of Confederate Veterans reinterred the remains of Confederate general and Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife on the grounds of their headquarters and new museum at Elm Springs in Columbia, Tennessee. Forrest is the most controversial of all Confederate military leaders owing to his involvement in the slave trade, the Read more

William A. Blair, The Record of Murders and Outrages: Racial Violence and the Fight Over Truth at the Dawn of Reconstruction (University of North Carolina Press, 2021). Mike Duncan, Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution (Public Affairs, 2021). Allen Guelzo, Robert E. Lee: A Life (Knopf, 2021). Caroline Read more

A Tough Week For The Virginia Flaggers

Last week must have have been a difficult one for The Virginia Flaggers as they watched the Robert E. Lee monument being removed from atop its pedestal and unceremoniously sliced in half. Its removal leaves the city’s famed Monument Avenue without any representation of the Confederacy for the first time since 1890. [Image from Newsweek] Read more

It is hard to believe that the next time I visit Richmond the Robert E. Lee monument will no longer rise over Monument Avenue. This morning the state of Virginia removed the monument from where it has looked out over the city since 1890. I run the risk of being misinterpreted, but I am mourning Read more

Last week John Hennessy retired from the National Park Service. His career spanned 40 years, beginning at the Manassas National Battlefield Park and ending as the Chief Historian/Chief of Interpretation at the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park. It is hard to think of anyone who has had more of an influence on how I Read more

The Pledge Our Students Deserve

It’s encouraging to see teachers beginning to organize against the many state laws that have been passed to ban the teaching of topics related to the long history of slavery and white supremacy. Educators returning to classrooms face a number of challenges, beginning with the ongoing COVID pandemic, but the political debate over the teaching Read more

Today in The New York Times Margaret Renkl tackles the ongoing debate taking place in legislatures across the South over Critical Race Theory and how to teach the history of race and slavery. It’s a powerful op-ed and well worth your time. That said, there is a tendency in op-eds on this subject to cast Read more

Blake Scott Ball, Charlie Brown’s America: The Popular Politics of Peanuts (Oxford University Press, 2021). Seth Blumenthal, Children of the Silent Majority: Young Voters and the Rise of the Republican Party, 1968-1980 (University Press of Kansas, 2018). Kent Masterson Brown, Meade at Gettysburg: A Study in Command (University of North Carolina Press, 2021). Bryan Burrough Read more

Is It a Tweet or Blog Post?

You may have noticed that the frequency of blog posts on this site has significantly decreased in recent years. Like others, much of my social media output has moved over to Twitter. There are a number of reasons for this. It is easier to connect with others, build an audience, and share your thoughts. As Read more