Defending Silas Chandler

I have spent hundreds of hours over the past ten years looking and thinking about this photograph (tintype) of Andrew and Silas Chandler. At times I think I have enjoyed a fleeting glimpse into the complexity of the relationship between master and slave and how it fits into the broader story of the Confederacy and slavery. At other times I look away with an overwhelming sense of futility and doubt that I will ever understand the two men staring back at me. [click to continue…]

Publisher of Blacks in Gray Uniforms Threatens Legal Action

This morning I received an email from the president of Fonthill Media threatening me with legal action because of my blog post about Phillip Thomas Tucker’s book Blacks in Gray Uniforms (America Through Time Publishers).

The initial email failed to point out anything specific that was problematic in the post, but the author made it very clear: “…I cannot allow you to do damage to my commercial trading without redress. I invite you to desist, if you do not I will immediately request our attorney to commence action against you on the basis of damage to corporate reputation.” [click to continue…]

Phillip Thomas Tucker’s Black Confederate Mess

Correction: America Through Time is an imprint of Fonthill Media, not The History Press. Arcadia Publishing & The History Press distributes these titles for Fonthill.

A few weeks ago I briefly mentioned the forthcoming release of Phillip T. Tucker’s book Blacks in Gray Uniforms: A New Look at the South’s Most Forgotten Combat Troops 1861-1865. I expressed concern over the use of the iconic image of Andrew and Silas Chandler as the book’s cover art since Silas never served as a soldier during the war and that it did not bode well for the rest of the book. [click to continue…]

Blogging is Here to Stay (for now)

Over the past few years there has been no shortage of commentary pointing to the death of blogging. The prediction has been that people would continue to abandon long-form writing for platforms such as Facebook and Twitter which favor short bursts of commentary in exchange for instant feedback.  [click to continue…]