What’s In a Number?

There’s been a lot of talk lately about numbers, specifically in assessing the number of Civil War dead. J. David Hacker’s essay “A Census-Based Count of the Civil War Dead” appeared in a 2011 issue of Civil War History. The essay received a great deal of attention and a shorter version appeared in the New York Times Disunion blog. Keith Harris offers some thoughts here. More recently, Nicholas Marshall published an essay in The Journal of the Civil War Era that can be seen, in part, as a response to Hacker. Whether Marshall’s essay garners as much traction has yet to be seen, but it did receive a thorough critique from fellow blogger Vince Slaugh at Lancaster at War. Continue reading

“In Memory We Trust”

Allison Gillingham is working on an M.A. Thesis that tracks what Americans from different generations and ethnic backgrounds believe about the Civil War. The interviews are being posted on Vimeo and are quite interesting.

I’m not quite sure what this individual is planning to do with these interviews, but it is another example of how social media can complicate our understanding of how Americans remember the Civil War Era.

The Rise of the West During the Sesquicentennial

SCWH Public History AwardI’ve been upfront in my conviction that it is too early to write off the overall impact of the sesquicentennial. We ought to resist drawing uninformed comparisons with the centennial and conclusions based on attendance alone will not get us very far. There are a broad range of factors that need to be taken into consideration. Continue reading

“We Are A Remembering People”

The following video was produced by the National Park Service and offers some scenes from yesterday’s opening ceremony marking the sesquicentennial of the Overland Campaign. It features excerpts from addresses by Northeast Regional Director Mike Caldwell, Park Superintendent Lucy Lawliss, FRSP Chief Historian John Hennessy, RNBP Ranger Alshley Whitehead Luskey, and Dr. James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr.  Well done. Continue reading