James I. Robertson’s Confederate Monument Rant

Update: Check out this interview of Robertson by Peter Carmichael from this year’s CWI. It’s well worth watching. Pete did a good job of focusing Robertson on his work during the centennial as well as his many books.

Recently historian James I. Robertson delivered the keynote address at a symposium on the history of Civil War monuments and the current debate at James Madison University. As I suggest in the title, “rant” is a more appropriate characterization of his presentation. [click to continue…]


The Future of Blogging at Civil War Memory

This past week I received an email from a reader expressing concern about what he perceived to be a decrease in the frequency of new blog posts here at Civil War Memory. Here is the deal. [click to continue…]


Seeing Democracy at Work Through Monuments

This week I am in the nation’s capital working with history educators alongside the incredible staff at Ford’s Theatre. This is my third year working with the team and it is one of the highlights of the year for me. [click to continue…]


When It Comes to Monuments, Location Matters

This week I am in Washington, D.C. working with roughly 35 history educators alongside the incredible staff at Ford’s Theatre. We are exploring the history and memory of Reconstruction through a wide range of places, including monuments throughout the city. Yesterday we stopped off at the African American Civil War Memorial in the historic Shaw District. [click to continue…]


*Searching For Black Confederates* Gets Final Approval

Yesterday I learned that the Board of Governors at the University of North Carolina Press gave Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth its final approval. I knew the decision was scheduled to take place and that it would be a formality, but it was still a thrill to receive official notice. [click to continue…]


New to the Civil War Memory Library, 07/10

I am currently making my way through David Blight’s new biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (Simon & Schuster, 2018). No, the book is not published. I just managed to get a review copy from the publisher. Blight is at the top of his game in this book so go ahead and pre-order your copy.

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Leave the Confederate Monument Debate to the Third Graders

This story brought a huge smile to my face. In New Orleans a group of third graders was given the task of imagining a new use for the empty pedestals throughout the city that once featured Confederate leaders. The students were aided by 826 New Orleans, which supports efforts to improve students’ reading and thinking skills. The results speak for themselves. [click to continue…]


Remembering Hari Jones

Harold “Hari” Jones (1958-2018)

While overseas last week I learned of the untimely passing of Hari Jones. Hari is best known for his work with the African American Civil War Freedom Foundation and Museum in Washington, D.C. You have likely seen him on any number of C-SPAN recordings and other videos about the Civil War. He was a tireless advocate of the USCT story and he will be greatly missed.

I first met Hari back in 2009 during the research phase for my book on the history and memory of the battle of the Crater. I interviewed a number of African Americans about what they had learned about the USCT story growing up, including Hari. I fondly remember our walk through the Shaw neighborhood of D.C. where he worked at the time and where he believed the story of the USCT must play a vital role in its revitalization. [click to continue…]