“What Does History Tell Us?”

I was honored to give this talk back in 2008. This year the mayor of Fredericksburg spoke on the anniversary of the battle. It’s an incredibly thoughtful presentation, which includes this passage about her family’s connection to the town and its history.

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What Have You Read This Year?

I would love to know what book(s) have made an impression on you this year. Feel free to share titles that go beyond the field of Civil War history and even history altogether. Don’t know about you, but I sometimes get caught up in books about the Civil War for months at a time and fail to come up for air.

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Sweet Southern Victory in Pensacola, Florida

On Thursday evening Escambia County’s board of county commissioners voted to remove the Confederate flag from the Pensacola Bay Center. This wouldn’t be such important news but for the fact that a certain Southern romance writer and blogger, who monitors what she calls “Flogger” blogs (like mine), happens to live there.

Below is a video of the meeting. The public testimony in favor of removal is really quite passionate. Unfortunately, the video does not include testimony from residents in favor of keeping the flag. [click to continue…]

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Some Thoughts About Civil War Historians and Social Media

In response to my last post a reader inquired into a point I made in passing:

Also, can you clarify what you mean by your statement that “we need to think about the ways in which social media is shaping the organization of relatively small conferences like the SCWH”?

Let me respond by taking a step back. [click to continue…]

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In Defense of Hess, Gallagher, and Meier

My good friend, Megan Kate Nelson, has fired the first solid shot in response to essays on the state of Civil War military history published in The Journal of the Civil War Era and Civil War History. The former was authored by Gary Gallagher and Katy Meier and the latter was written by Earl Hess. I encourage you to head on over to Megan’s blog to read her post as well as the thoughtful responses. I’ve had a chance to read both essays, but other than a brief post have not offered anything more comprehensive. While I do believe that both essays offer quite a bit to consider, the authors unfortunately frame their arguments in ways that make it easy for readers to dismiss as reflective of little more than a turf war. I am not interested in wading into the value of Traditional vs. new Military History or what Hess calls War Studies. My shelves are lined with books about military leaders, battles/campaigns, politics, cultural and social studies and memory. They cover the short and long war and everything in between. It’s all interesting and important to me. [click to continue…]

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