It couldn’t get any worse for groups like the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Virginia Flaggers, who gather each year in Lexington, Virginia to mark a day that no longer enjoys official recognition. Confederate flags no longer fly from city-owned lamp posts; VMI has removed a statue honoring Stonewall Jackson and sand blasted his name Read more

In 2017 former President Donald Trump gathered with African-American supporters to kick off Black History Month. In his remarks Trump referenced Frederick Douglass as “an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more.” We are once again being reminded of Douglass’s importance. This time from a Republican lawmaker Read more

I want to thank the Zinn Education Project for putting together this comprehensive report on the current state of teaching of the Reconstruction Era in classrooms across the country. The report is extensive and there is way too much to cover here in a blog post. History educators, museum professionals, and others will want to Read more

Thanks to my friend Garry Adelman from the Battlefield Trust for posting this image of Robert Gould Shaw and his fellow officers in the Second Massachusetts Volunteers. It’s one that I don’t remember coming across before, but it’s incredibly revealing and one that I will likely include in my biography of Shaw. Source: Military Order Read more

There is no shortage of op-eds warning us outright or questioning the likelihood of another civil war. The American Civil War looms large in our current public discourse, perhaps too much so. Here are a few of my favorite headlines: “Imagine Another American Civil War, But This Time in Every State” “Is the US Really Read more

Parents Are Not History Teachers

Indiana Republican State Sen. Scott Baldwin is walking back comments about the need for history teachers to remain impartial in their classrooms, even when teaching the history of Nazism. This comes as another state considers legislation that addresses unfounded claims ranging from the teaching of Critical Race Theory to white students being taught self-hate in Read more

Slavery’s Long Hold on Congress

This is a fascinating piece of research that appeared today in The Washington Post. Through a careful investigation of census and other records, it details the number of congressmen and women, who at one point in their careers owed slaves. The results will certainly surprise many of you. The Post concluded that 1,715 members of Read more

The past few years have witnessed some of the most divisive public debates about American history in recent memory. Newspapers are filled with op-eds about the dangers and opportunities of reconfiguring American history around such dates as 1619 and 1776. State legislatures across the country have passed laws banning some of the most important and Read more

Earlier today CBS Sunday Morning kicked off with a story about a group of historians, who have contributed to a volume, edited by Julian Zelizer, assessing the Trump presidency. It’s a stellar line up of scholars with different areas of expertise. Viewers got a taste of the ways in which the Trump presidency will be Read more

I recently finished reading and highly recommend John M. Sacher’s new book, Confederate Conscription and the Struggle for Southern Soldiers (LSU Press, 2021). Sacher challenges head on the claim that conscription reflects the kinds of internal factors that many historians have argued explain Confederate defeat. Rather than view conscription narrowly as the result of the Read more