If it weren’t for having to work on taxes last night I probably wouldn’t have caught a single episode of CNN’s new documentary about Abraham Lincoln, called “Divided We Stand.” Last night’s episode focused on the first half of the war. It included a focused look at the impact of Willie’s death on his parents Read more

Robert E. Lee and Us

If there is one book to recommend as an introduction to the ongoing debate about Civil War memory and Confederate monuments it has to be Ty Seidule’s Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning With the Myth of the Lost Cause. The book is part memoir, part historical analysis. “For decades,” Seidule writes, “I Read more

Like many of you I have been thoroughly entertained by the new AI technology introduced by MyHeritage that brings motion to still photographs. Upload a still photograph and watch your subject come to life through ever so slight changes to its facial expression. I’ve seen people respond strongly to the sight of deceased family members Read more

Of course not. Today I spent a little time preparing for a discussion tomorrow with students in Amsterdam who have been reading various explanations for Confederate defeat and Union victory. I quickly realized that I haven’t given much thought to this question in quite some time. It also got me wondering about the state of Read more

A couple weeks ago I was interviewed for a story that was published yesterday by The Virginian-Pilot about former Confederates who supported African Americans during the postwar period. I focused on William Mahone, who was the subject of my first book. The reporter was interested in whether his postwar career as the leader of the Read more

First up is a short video about the Lost Cause myth that features historian Karen L. Cox. This is ideal for classroom use. With all the recent scholarship on Civil War memory, we still don’t have an academic study devoted specifically to how African American remembered and commemorated the war. This presentation by Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders Read more

Yesterday I sent off a proposal for what I hope will be my next book, tentatively titled A Glorious Fate: The Life and Legacy of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. This is a project that I began a few years ago, but ended up putting it aside for a number of reasons. I very much regret Read more

Robert Elder, Calhoun: American Heretic (Basic Books, 2021). Kellie Carter Jackson, Force and Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019). Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain eds., Four Hundred Years: A Community History of African-America, 1619-2019 (One World, 2021). John Matteson, A Worse Place Than Hell: How the Read more

Last week I was interviewed about the possibility of future legislation that would authorize the removal of Confederate monuments from Civil War battlefields within the National Park Service system. I am against their removal from the landscape. I say this with the understanding that these monuments pose some of the same challenges that those located Read more

The latest news out of Virginia suggests that it is just a matter of time before the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond is removed. Lee will follow the same fate as Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, J.E.B. Stuart, and Matthew Fontaine Maury, who once looked down on the people of Richmond from atop their pedestals Read more