Heading Home

Sitting here at BWI airport waiting for my flight home to Boston and thinking about the last ten days on the road with roughy forty teachers. I am both exhausted and overwhelmed by the sites I saw, but especially by the experiences I shared with these remarkable people. It was truly an honor for me to serve as the group’s historian and guide.

I am humbled by their passion and commitment to the teaching profession. Many of these teachers work under very challenging conditions that I have no context with which to understand. During our final debriefing last night I listened as teachers talked enthusiastically about the teaching resources picked up during the trip and preliminary ideas about how they hope to integrate their experiences into their classrooms. [click to continue…]

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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.

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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. [click to continue…]

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Report from the Road

Having a great time on my 10-day Civil War trek through Tennessee, Virginia and Maryland. Yesterday our trip was covered by the Chattanooga News. Thanks to Sean Phipps for spending some time with the group.

I also learned through the grapevine that my friends with the Virginia Flaggers Facebook Page have taken an interest as well. The comments are hilarious. 🙂

That’s it for now.

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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. [click to continue…]

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