New Survey Text on the American Civil War

Flip LearningI wanted to share with you a brand new survey of the American Civil War authored by Gary Gallagher and Joan Waugh that is suitable for both high school and college history classrooms. Even given the notoriety of its authors the book is likely to fall through the cracks given that it is not being released by a major publisher.

The American War: A History of the Civil War Era is published by Christian Spielvogel, who runs Flip Learning.

Over the past ten years I have used a number of different texts, including Brooks Simpson’s, America’s Civil War, Louis Masur’s, The Civil War: A Concise History and This Terrible War: The Civil War and Its Aftermath by Michael Fellman, Lesley Gordon and Daniel Sutherland. They all work well in different ways. [click to continue…]


Impressed Confederate Camp Servants

It’s Black History Month and time one again for Confederate heritage groups like the SCV to push their wild fantasies about thousands of black men fighting along side their ancestors. It never ceases to amaze me.

Today I received a complimentary copy of Donald Frazier’s most recent book, Blood on the Bayou: Vicksburg,Port Hudson,and the Trans-Mississippi (State House Press, 2015). Don recently contacted me with a question of whether I had ever heard of slaves being impressed specifically as camp servants. I have not. I am certainly aware of the steps taken by the Confederate government during the war that resulted in tens of thousands of slaves being impressed to work on various military related projects. [click to continue…]

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Civil War Museum Under Fire For Displaying Items From the Civil War

National Civil War MuseumYou heard that right. The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is taking heat from the mayor and others for a new exhibit on firearms sponsored by the National Rifle Association. While the source of the funding has come under scrutiny, the larger concern is the display of weapons, including William Quantrill’s colt revolver.

I spoke at the museum last September and had a chance to hold this specific weapon with the assistance of Wayne Motts, who is the museum’s director. Wayne and the rest of the staff have done a fabulous job promoting Civil War history in the Harrisburg area under conditions that any public historian can appreciate. The permanent exhibit is well executed and offers a comprehensive overview of the war, Reconstruction and memory. [click to continue…]


Colonial Williamsburg Punts on Super Bowl Ad


Update: Colonial Williamsburg’s website is once again featuring the Super Bowl commercial.

After intense criticism Colonial Williamsburg has removed its Super Bowl ad from its website as well as its social media pages.  [You can still see it here.] A number of criticisms were leveled including its cost, but the one that has been voiced the most concerns the use of footage of the collapse of the World Trade Center in reverse. [click to continue…]


“Buy Confederate Flags From a Black Guy”

I posted this on the Civil War Memory Facebook page a few months ago, but it just came across my feed again so I thought I would share it here. It’s quite clever. Enjoy.

And yes, there really is a website.

[Uploaded to YouTube on August 31, 2015.]


Confederate Heritage Groups Reveal True Meaning of Their Flag

Confederate Flag

Update: The Tallassee Tribune is reporting that the flag will not be placed on property referenced in initial reports.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating that Confederate heritage groups like the Sons of Confederate Veterans are their own worst enemies when it comes to promoting their preferred interpretation of the battle flag. News that three such organizations intend to erect a 50-foot flagpole off of I-85 and within eyesight of Alabama State University (a historically black college) in Montgomery undercuts any denial of racist intent.

Despite claims to the contrary, cheers erupted when one group announced the proximity of the flag to the university. [click to continue…]