Putting a Minor in History to Work

The creator of this video claims to be putting his minor in history to good use by sharing what the Civil War was really about. I think you know what this is code for. I will try to find out where his minor in history was completed, though I am fairly confident that no one I know will be embarrassed. The one point that does resonate with me having read Edward Baptist’s new book comes at the 3:25 mark when it is claimed that the elimination of slavery was a “deep blow to private property and free enterprise.” Southern slaveholders would have certainly agreed with that claim.

By the way, you don’t really need to watch this video.

[Uploaded to YouTube on September 29, 2014]

“We Shall Overcome”

Confederate FlagLooks like more Confederate Battle flags are flying over America’s Southern highways, but I suspect that heritage groups won’t be celebrating. A group calling itself The Lewla Movement hopes to spark discussion about race relations, history and the meaning of the Confederate flag.

I appreciate how this billboard juxtaposes the history of the flag and its connection to a war to protect slavery and white supremacy with the rallying cry of this nation’s most important grassroots movement to expand civil rights.

But that’s just my interpretation.

White Southerners To Dedicate Monument to Confederate Massacre

There are a number of narratives that have emerged over the course of the sesquicentennial. While the story of black Union soldiers has taken center stage, focus on the War in the West and guerrilla warfare isn’t far behind. Scholarship on the Western theater is on the rise, but popular interest can also be seen in the form of reenactments, museum exhibits and even in the dedication of new monuments. Continue reading

Walking in Lincoln’s Footsteps

I had an incredible time in Springfield, Illinois this past weekend. Thanks to Sam Wheeler, who is the Research Historian for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, for inviting me to speak at Friday’s Luncheon. Sam was an incredibly gracious host. My talk on Louis Martin and the Crater went over very well. The audience asked thoughtful questions and I even managed to sell some books. Most of my time, however, was spent walking through the city and touring sites associated with Lincoln. It was such a thrill walking through Lincoln’s home, the Old State House, and his final resting place. I also visited the Abraham Lincoln museum and will write up a short review very soon. Continue reading