Does the SCV Really Want to Share William Mahone’s Story?

Today it is being reported that Urquhart-Gillette Camp No. 1471 of Courtland, Virginia is making steady progress in restoring the boyhood home of William Mahone.  The group is currently using it for their monthly meetings, but they hope to expand their operations in the future to include educational outreach.  This includes sharing Mahone’s history as a Confederate general, businessman, and politician.  According to Greg Bell, who authored the article and is a member of Urquhart-Gillett Camp:

There is a wonderful story to be told about this good man Mahone and his contributions that is not being taught in today’s schools. Preserving this national and state historic landmark is an opportunity that this SCV Camp feels will become something positive for all the public to reflect upon while being taught about Billy Mahone…. I can tell you that when sitting in the tavern during one of the monthly SCV meetings, you can feel the history coming out of the walls. We are very proud to have been able to preserve such a historic place and help to promote the true Southern history through purchasing Little Billy Mahone’s boyhood home.

As many of you know I’ve spent considerable time researching and writing about William Mahone’s postwar career.  I published an article on the subject back in 2005 in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, which appears in revised form as chapter 3 in my forthcoming book on the Crater.  Mahone is clearly an important nineteenth-century Virginian; in fact, a case can be made that he is the most important post-Civil War figure in Virginia.  [Click here for an overview of his life.]

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Confederate Black Hair Flag

Black Hair Flag by Sonya Clark

The artist is Sonya Clark and her work is currently on exhibit at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, Texas.  “In Black Hair Flag, the battle flag of the Confederacy is sewn through with black fibers; cornrows make the stripes, Bantu knots form the stars of the Stars and Stripes. The hybrid design that emerges asserts the presence of black people in the making of American modernity.”

A Good Year For Silas Chandler

I absolutely love this photo.  Pictured below are two generations of the Chandler-Sampson family taking the time over the holidays to learn about their famous ancestor.  The photo conveys the power of history and reinforces my firm belief that what we do as historians matters.  I am sure my co-author, Myra Chandler Sampson, agrees.  There is still time to pick up the most recent issue of Civil War Times at your local newsstand.  I think it is safe to say that 2011 was a good year for Silas Chandler.

North Carolina’s Other Civil War Sesquicentennial

After Virginia no other state has done more to commemorate the American Civil War than North Carolina.  Their state commission has done an excellent job thus far of organizing activities that reflect an incredibly rich and complex past.  They are doing their very best to make the war relevant to the state’s diverse population by focusing on a wide range of themes from the military to race to memory.  I have a number of friends who are directly involved in the commission’s work and I can say with confidene that they are making an impact on a number of levels.

Even with all the work this group has undertaken it appears that not everyone is satisfied.  In fact, there are two Civil War sesquicentennial commemorations taking place in North Carolina.  The other one is being called the North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial and they even have their own website.  The commission is headed by Bernhard Thuersam, who works as a home designer.  So, why an alternative commemoration?

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Dear Amanda

As many of you know there are certain people that are not allowed to comment on this site.  You are free to disagree with what I write here, but I expect that you do so in a respectful manner.  This is my personal website and I set the rules.  You are free to use your language of choice on other websites or on your own.  Now, it seems that I may have been too quick to dismiss a comment that I thought had been authored by an individual who is banned from commenting on this site.  More on why I believed this later, but first I give you Mr. Carl Roden’s version of the events in question.

The last thing I want to do is alienate a young adult who expresses an interest in American history.  I’ve spent the past 12 years working to make history both exciting and relevant to high school aged students.  With this in mind I want to offer a sincere apology to young Amanda.  I encourage you to share your ideas on this site in the future if you are moved to do so.

Two things before I close: First, let me suggest that you change your email identification to something other than dixibytch.  It is not fitting for a young Georgia girl.  And I wonder if you can explain why your comment and that of Mr. Roden, who has been banned from this site, have the same IP Address?  I found it strange that your first and only comment on this blog, which references Mr. Roden specifically, includes the same IP address.

Well, I am sure that it was just a coincidence, but I truly hope that you understand why your comment was edited.  Best of luck with the second half of the school year.

Update: Dear Amanda, — It appears that the post in question was deleted from the Southern Heritage Preservation Group’s page, but just to show how sincere I am in my apology I include two screenshots below.  Here is a link to the edited comment.  Looks like Amanda gets around. :-)