Could This Man Be Silas Chandler?

Update: Here is another sketch set during Davis’s flight from Richmond that depicts camp slaves on foot and as teamsters.

Recently I went through some old email correspondence related to my research on black Confederates. All the way back in 2011 Andy Hall emailed a link to two sketches that appeared in the Illustrated London Times from 1865. The first sketch depicts Jefferson Davis “signing acts of government” while on the run following the abandonment of Richmond in early April 1865. In the second sketch Davis “bids farewell to his escort two days before his capture.” [click to continue…]


Gary Gallagher to Lecture ‘About Us’

Gary Gallagher Lecture FlyerTomorrow afternoon Gary Gallagher will deliver a lecture on his home turf of the University of Virginia on the state of Civil War history. As you can see by the title of his talk, this promises to be an entertaining lecture and one that has the potential to ruffle a few feathers.

For some of you this talk is a reminder of the essay that Gallagher co-authored with Katy Meier in the December 2014 issue of The Journal of the Civil War Era on the state of Civil War military history. It is unclear whether Gallagher will simply present a version of that essay or whether he will take the opportunity to address the many responses that the essay generated.

This is one of those days when I wish I still lived in Charlottesville. The good news is that the Nau Center plans to record and post the lecture for those of us who are unable to attend. Looking forward to it.

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New to the Civil War Memory Library, 04/10

Daniel CroftsOver the weekend, Martha Hodes’s wonderful book, Mourning Lincoln, was once again honored, this time with the OAH’s Avery O. Craven Award. This is one of my favorite memory studies of the past few years.

Daniel W. Crofts, Lincoln and the Politics of Slavery: The Other Thirteenth Amendment and the Struggle to Save the Union (University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Onuf, “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (Liveright, 2016).

Allyson Hobbs, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life (Harvard University Press, 2014).

Steven Nash, Reconstruction’s Ragged Edge: The Politics of Postwar Life in the Southern Mountains (University of North Carolina Press, 2016).


Another Moment in #ConfederateHeritageMonth


This year twitter is being embraced by folks who disapprove of proclamations issued by state and local governments recognizing April as Confederate Heritage Month. The hashtag #ConfederateHeritageMonth has produced a healthy clip of tweets over the past few weeks. I have added a few of my own ‘Another Moment in Confederate Heritage Month” tweets, including one today that recognizes the 151st anniversary of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.

When historians look back on how the Civil War was remembered and commemorated during the 150th they will have to come to terms with the important role that social media played in shaping and giving voice to the nation’s collective memory.


Banned From Black Confederates Facebook Group

confederate-angry-old-manThis morning I decided to join a new Facebook group devoted to black Confederate soldiers. Once approved I responded to two posts. The first, not surprisingly, was a re-posting of the Atlanta Black Star piece that I commented on earlier this week. I simply noted that the accompanying image was that of Union soldiers and not Confederate. The second was a response to a post claiming that Silas Chandler served as a Confederate soldier.

In addition, I noticed that one of the group’s administrators grew up in the Boston neighborhood in which I currently reside. I fired off a quick message. Within two hours I was banned from the group and a few minutes ago I received the following message from the administrator. [click to continue…]


Making Lincoln Great Again

This is from a recent interview that Donald Trump gave to The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward. I think it is safe to say that Woodward knew not to follow up on Trump’s response. Like just about everything else that comes out of his mouth, this is both horrifying and hilarious.

Trump, LincolnThe historian David Donald wrote an essay in 1956, titled, “Getting Right With Lincoln” in which he surveyed the ways politicians attempted to embrace Lincoln as their own. I am not quite sure how you would classify Trump’s identification with our 16th president.