Like many of you I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of historian and journalist Tony Horwitz. I am in the middle of reading his latest book, Spying on the South. In fact, I took it with me last week as I traveled through Georgia and Alabama with thirteen students to explore historic Read more

Those of you following me on Twitter know that I am in the middle of a 5-day civil rights journey with 13 high school students. We started off in Atlanta on Sunday and have since spent time in Montgomery and Selma. Today we travel to Birmingham to focus specifically on the state’s criminal justice system Read more

I can already anticipate the response to Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth in certain quarters. I am going to be asked to respond to newspaper accounts in northern newspapers referencing armed black men; pension documents that upon closer inspection are clearly marked for former body servants or camp slaves; muster Read more

You can now pre-order Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth direct from the University of North Carolina Press at a 40% discount. Use the discount code 01DAH40 on the purchase page. With the discount you pay $18 + shipping, which is a great deal, especially for those of you who are Read more

My goal in the first two chapters of Searching for Black Confederates was to try to understand the role of enslaved labor in the Confederate army, in camp, on the march, and on the battlefield. In doing so I offer a picture of how the challenges of military life shaped and on occasion stretched the Read more

I haven’t written about Earl Ijames on this blog in quite some time. The curator at the North Carolina Museum of History is notorious for his presentations and even film about what he calls “Colored Confederates” – another misnomer that distorts the legal status and role of the vast majority of black men who labored Read more

The Confederacy’s reliance on slave labor throughout the Civil War is easily explained. The difference in population between North and South necessitated the mobilization of as many black bodies as possible. Enslaved people were needed on the home front to harvest crops for the army. They labored in mines, constructed rail lines and earthworks, and Read more

Update: You can now pre-order Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound. Amazon is offering a pretty good discount on the list price so secure your copy today. John Conroy, Lincoln’s White House: The People’s House in Wartime (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017). Michael J. Larson Read more

I’ve been wanting to write a book about the history of Confederate monuments ever since the spring of 2017, when New Orleans completed the transformation of its Civil War commemorative landscape. I eventually dropped the idea having assumed that my window of opportunity had passed. Given some of the more recent debates and rallies at Read more