Blog

Appearance on CSPAN

This past weekend CSPAN aired the final panel from this past year’s Civil War Institute. The panel included yours truly and addressed a number of issues related to the war in 1863.

I haven’t been able to watch it on the road, which is a good thing since I can’t stand the sound of my own voice. Even worse, I sometimes exaggerate my claims as if I am blogging. It really is OK if visitors have fun on battlefields.

The Face of Public History

The group of teachers that I have been working with over the past seven days has experienced the best in Civil War site interpretation from Nashville to Washington, D.C. At the same time, however this trip has reminded me of just how important it is that our public historians reflect the gender and racial profiles of their audiences.

This group of teachers is overwhelmingly white and female. Throughout Tennessee and Virginia our guides were almost all white and male. Let me stress that site interpretation was sophisticated and clearly based on the latest scholarship. Eric Jacobson did a fabulous job of interpreting the Carter family and the battle of Franklin that touched on gender and slavery and NPS Ranger, Christopher Young at Chickamauga, led one of the best battlefield tours that I’ve ever experienced. Continue reading “The Face of Public History”

A Response to Ted Savas

I feel a need to respond to this before I head out tomorrow. Back in February I shared the jacket description for Stephen Hood’s new book about John Bell Hood. I suggested that it was just a bit over the top given the claims that the author makes about previous Hood scholars. The book would somehow show that previous scholars ‘ignored or suppressed facts sympathetic to Hood.’ In other words, these scholars were engaged in nothing less than a hatchet job. Continue reading “A Response to Ted Savas”

Civil War Road Trip

Chickamuagua by Tom Redman“I am following the river down the highway to the cradle of the Civil War.”

Tomorrow I fly to Nashville to help lead a group of history teachers on a 10-day Civil War road trip to Washington, D.C. The trip is funded by the Teaching American History program and organized by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale. It promises to be an exciting and educational experience for all involved. I was asked to help out as a historian/guide. My main responsibility is to talk with the teachers at the end of the day, help them to synthesize what they learned, and how it might apply to the classroom. Once in Virginia I will be more involved with leading some of the tours. Continue reading “Civil War Road Trip”