Peter Carmichael did a good job moderating this discussion and I appreciate his pushing this issue of authority, but his questions and comments point to the gulf between how the three of us see our blogging and an apparent lack of comfort with the range of subjects and voices that are embraced outside traditional channels. We did our best to communicate our approach, but it is very difficult to do unless you’ve experienced the challenges and dynamics of blogging for yourself.
If I understand him, Pete seems to think that our respective credentials ought to translate into a privileged place in the blogosphere. That is not an unreasonable assumption when looking at the blogosphere from the outside. Professional historians operate under a certain set of rules related to publishing and advancement in the academy that are intended to maintain quality control. I’ve experienced first hand the benefits of peer review as well as feedback on papers presented at academic conferences. The point is that there are, at times, reasons to limit certain voices. To be fair, Pete has spent a good deal of time thinking through the value of blogging for his students and for the history profession. His organization of this panel is evidence enough of this. [click to continue…]
Thanks to David Thomson for the opportunity to interview with The Civil War Monitor’s new series, Behind the Lines. We talked mainly about my Crater book and toward the end I babble on a bit about blogging and social media. If you are curious the book is doing very well. Some of you are familiar with the standard academic press contract and I am now confident that within a few months I will make enough profit to take my wife out to a nice dinner. You can still pick up the book at a 40% discount. Just use the coupon code on the book page. [The code will override the 20% discount that you will see on the publisher’s book page.]
A couple of shorter blog posts have appeared with mixed reviews. Brendan Wolfe offered a thoughtful and critical assessment at the Encyclopedia Virginia blog on parts of the first chapter. I offered some feedback, but have not seen anything on the rest of the book. More curious is Tim Talbott’s review at Random Thoughts on History. It seems I overlooked a Confederate account of the battle that even he can’t reference. Again, most of the focus is on the first chapter. In the end I appreciate that they took the time to read at least parts of the book.
The date has been set. On December 8, Union County, North Carolina will dedicate a privately-funded marker on the Old County Courthouse honoring area slaves who performed various functions for the Confederate army. This has been a long time coming and many of you have followed this story here at Civil War Memory. Despite the reference to slaves in this article, the reference to these men as “Confederate Pensioners” does not bode well for an event that supposedly intends to recognize the role and place of slavesin the Confederate war effort. Both Wary (Weary) Clyburn and Aaron Perry are included in the list of men to be honored and have been discussed on this site at length.
As for the article itself, I would love for someone to explain this sentence to me.
While it’s impossible to know how many of the men willingly followed their masters into warand how many were forced, supporters of the plan called it an appropriate, if overdue, recognition of their service.
What does it mean to willingly follow your master to do anything?
Costumed Civil War re-enactors, national and state leaders of the SCV, and a color guard also will be on hand.
Will that include reenactors, who will play the role of camp servants? Will the audience get a glimpse into the world of slaves, who accompanied their masters to war or are we going to get the black reenactor in Confederate uniform routine? Will those attending and the many more who will read the marker later understand that we are talking aboutslaves?
As I’ve said all along, these men deserve to be recognized, but we should do so with a critical eye toward getting the history right rather than distorting it for our own self-serving reasons. I look forward to having my fears proven wrong. Oh, and Earl Ijames will deliver the keynote address.
This video just came across my YouTube feed and it’s a winner. This one features Edgerton addressing a group of kids at the 8th Annual Confederate Heritage Youth Day in Clover, S.C. this past weekend. This has got to be one of H.K.’s most incoherent presentations. At times I can’t tell what he is talking about. One kid looks horrified and the others just look amused and/or perplexed.