John A. Andrew’s Abolitionism Through Whiggish Eyes

I am making my way through and thoroughly enjoying Henry Greenleaf Pearson’s, The Life of John A. Andrew, which was published in 1904. It’s nice not having to compete with multiple biographies of the Massachusetts governor and in this case Pearson’s biography is a different kind of beast altogether. It’s been a while since I read one published at the beginning of the twentieth century. Like many biographies published at this time this one has a strong Whiggish bent to it. Continue reading

New To the Civil War Memory Library, 08/13/14

Jonathan WhitePaul Escott, Lincoln’s Dilemma: Blair, Sumner, and the Republican Struggle over Racism and Equality in the Civil War Era, (University Press of Virginia, 2014).

Evan Jones and Wiley Sword eds., Gateway to the Confederacy: New Perspectives on the Chickamauga and Chattanooga Campaigns, 1862-1863, (Louisiana State University Press, 2014).

Michael Korda, Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee, (Harper, 2014). I have not read through the entire book nor do I plan on doing so for the reasons outlined in Allen Guelzo’s review.

Thomas O’Connor, Civil War Boston: Home Front and Battlefield, (Northeastern University Press, 2014).

Jonathan W. White, Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln, (Louisiana State University Press, 2014). This is a must read. White challenges long-standing views about the support within the ranks for Lincoln and the Republican Party in 1864. His analysis of the extent to which the Lincoln administration and Union high command suppressed dissent in the ranks is also very interesting.

I also want to highlight a new book co-authored by Michael Musick called “I Am Busy Drawing Pictures”: The Civil War Art and Letters of Private John Jacob Omenhauser, CSA, which you can pick up from the Friends of the Maryland State Archives. Omenhauser spent time at Point Lookout Prison. While his letters are insightful, the real prize are the incredibly rich images that detail life in prison – some of the most interesting focus on race relations and the humiliation of being guarded by black Union soldiers.

What’s So “Odd” About It?

Update: Williams offers an update that confirms that his problem is more with Robin Williams’s view of the Confederate than anything having to do with me. I have never compared Confederate soldiers with Nazis, but that isn’t even what Robin Williams is suggesting anyway. Any reasonable person will see the post for what it is: a simple acknowledgment of Robin Williams’s brilliant sense of humor.

I’ve never had a problem with readers and fellow bloggers criticizing what I post here. Certainly, much of what I write is open to critical response, but for the life of me I have no idea what Richard Williams finds problematic about this post. Like many of you I was saddened to hear about the death of Robin Williams. Continue reading

Embracing the Safety of Reconciliation in Petersburg

Here is the link to the commemoration ceremony marking the 150th anniversary of the battle of the Crater. The event was organized by the National Park Service and held on the Crater battlefield this past July 30. A nice size crowd attended the event and I was quite impressed by the number of African Americans who were in the audience. Yes, that fact bears mentioning if you’ve spent enough time at these events. Overall, the speakers did a good job and there were a few highlights for me, but overall the speakers struck a reconciliationist tone that avoided the tough questions that the anniversary of this particular battle raises.  Continue reading