Interview With The Civil War Monitor

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.]

The book has received some favorable reviews.  Jim Cullen reviewed it for History News Network earlier this summer and I was especially pleased to see Caroline Janney’s positive review in The Civil War Monitor.  I first learned about William Mahone in a summer seminar for history teachers at the University of Virginia taught by Gary Gallagher and William Thomas. Carrie was one of the teaching assistants for the course.  I am very much looking forward to her forthcoming study of Civil War memory, which will be published next year as part of the University of North Carolina Press’s Littlefield Series.

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.

2 comments

Blogging the Civil War on C-SPAN

This weekend C-SPAN will air a panel on Civil War blogging that took place at Gettysburg College back in June as part of the Civil War Institute.  The panel included Brooks Simpson, Keith Harris, and yours truly.  We got into some really interesting issues so do yourself a favor and check it out on Saturday at 6 and 10pm and Sunday at 11am EST.  Here is a short preview.

8 comments

Confederate Pensioners of Color Day

Aaron Perry Did Not Serve in the 37th NC

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 slaves in 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 war and 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 about slaves?
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.
30 comments

H.K. Edgerton Addresses Confederate Youth…I Mean, Kids

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.

20 comments

The Last Battle of the Civil War?

Today marks the 50th anniversary of campus violence at Ole Miss over the admission of James Meredith.

We have a front-row seat at American history, with a debt we can never repay no matter our achievements. We are like refugees, not from another country but from another time, carrying memories that propel us forward. – Dumas

Thank you, James Meredith.

10 comments