New to the Civil War Memory Library

I haven’t updated my list of new acquisitions in quite some time. Most of what I am reading is in connection to my current book project on the life of John Christopher Winsmith of Spartanburg, South Carolina, who served as a captain in the Confederate army and later supported the Republican Party during Reconstruction. William Read more

GLORY Comes to Netflix

Earlier this month the popular streaming service Netflix added the Hollywood movie, Glory, to its catalog. Released in 1989, Glory is still in my mind the best Civil War movie ever made. Pay crisis scene in Glory To mark its re-release I shared some thoughts about the intersection of fact and fiction in an essay Read more

Back in June I sat down with historian Dr. Hilary Green to talk about the Confederate monument controversy as part of the “Cabinet Conversation” series hosted by my good friends at Ford’s Theatre. It was a real thrill to be able to chat with Dr. Green. She is doing important work to raise awareness at Read more

The overarching question that is driving my book project about Captain John Christopher Winsmith is why a diehard Confederate officer from Spartanburg, South Carolina joined the Republican Party after the war and eventually advocated for Black civil rights. As I mentioned in a previous post, it is not just Christopher who made this transition, but Read more

How To Remove a Confederate Monument

Supervisors in Albemarle County, Virginia have announced that the Confederate statue that has stood in front of the old courthouse since 1909 will be removed on September 12. As a former resident of Charlottesville I know this statue well. For eleven years I brought students and the general public to this site to help them Read more

I wanted to share a quick update about my current research project, which has taken a pretty drastic turn. It was only a few months ago that I outlined a project about Port Royal that grew out of another project about Robert Gould Shaw. The ongoing pandemic has forced me to shift my attention owing Read more

This week the mayor of Augusta, Georgia appointed a commission to study public spaces throughout the city that honor Confederate leaders and make recommendations as to how to move forward. This includes the city’s large Confederate monument. My hope is that they do a thorough review of the relevant history surrounding this particular monument. I Read more

In the late 1990s Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. toured our Civil War battlefields. He was disappointed both by what he saw and especially by what he read and heard at various interpretive stops. Rather than call for the removal of Confederate monuments, he demanded a more inclusive interpretation that ultimately pushed the National Park Service Read more