Thanks to Wayne Motts and the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA for hosting me yesterday as part of their monthly lecture series. We had a packed house for my talk on Confederate monuments that included one couple that drove two hours for the talk. It’s certainly an important topic and I very much appreciate the enthusiasm and curiosity of the audience. [click to continue…]
This morning I spent some time reflecting at the North Carolina monument along Confederate Avenue at the Gettysburg National Military Park. I was thinking specifically about the entry points for engaging students on the battlefield. After a few minutes a group of high school students gathered around the monument with a guide. [click to continue…]
I always get a kick out of those people who are committed to waving the Confederate battle flag in public, regardless of how it makes others feel. For descendants of Confederate soldiers and others who are still, for whatever reason, committed to defending the cause it reflects a lack of creativity. It’s either the flag or nothing. [click to continue…]
Reading through the letters of Lt. William Cowper Nelson, who served in the 17th Mississippi and came across this little gem:
I don’t know that I much regret the loss of Stephen [runaway slave]. I have thought that this war was ordered by Providence, as a means of settling definitely and conclusively the question of slavery: if slavery is a divine institute, I believe we will be successful, that our independence will be recognized and the Southern Confederacy will be established as a Government with slavery as its great distinctive feature. if on the contrary, slavery is a curse and obnoxious to an All Wise and Good Creator I believe that he will make this war, the means of abolishing it from the face of the earth. I have the greatest confidence in the wisdom of God, and believe that all things work together for good to them that we love. (p. 102)
Winchester, Virginia, October 29th 1862
Tomorrow I head to Gettysburg to do a little research and on Saturday will give a talk at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg on the ongoing controversy surrounding Civil War monuments. Of course, I plan on spending some time on the battlefield. [click to continue…]
S. Max Edelson, The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America Before Independence (Harvard University Press, 2017).
Jennifer Ford ed., The Hour of Our Nation’s Agony: The Civil War Letters of Lt. William Cowper Nelson of Mississippi (University of Tennessee Press, 2007).
Wallace Hettle, The Confederate Homefront: A History in Documents (Louisiana State University Press, 2017).
Robert G. Parkinson, The Common Cause: Creating Race and Nation in the American Revolution (University of North Carolina Press, 2016).
Carol Reardon & Tom Vossler, Gettysburg: Experiencing the Battlefield through Its History, Places, and People (University of North Carolina Press [2nd edition, 2017]).
It’s been quite some time since SNL used the Civil War for one of their skits. This one, featuring Harry Styles, is pretty good.
[Uploaded to YouTube on April 15, 2017]
Quick announcement to let people know in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area that I will be in town next Saturday to speak at the National Civil War Museum. As you can see below my topic is the ongoing controversy surrounding Confederate monuments. My goal is to talk a little history surrounding specific monuments, but my focus will be on the broader trajectory of Civil War memory to explain why Confederate iconography (especially monuments) remains controversial. I will also talk a bit about how communities might go about addressing specific challenges. [click to continue…]