Hello From Boston

I apologize for the lack of posts over the past week, but as most of you know my wife and I just completed a move to Boston.  We absolutely love our new home as well as the surrounding neighborhood.  I am enjoying a very cozy reading room surrounded by my Civil War library.  Our house Read more

Goodbye Virginia, Hello Boston

Yesterday I took one final trip up Rt. 20 to Fredericksburg.  Apart from a few select pieces I was able to sell the remainder of my Don Troiani collection to a Marine officer, who is going to auction them off to help raise money for the Wounded Warrior project.  [More on this at a later Read more

2011 Tom Watson Brown Book Prize

I know some people have trouble with these kinds of awards, but since the Society of Civil War Historians has created the prize we can have some fun and suggest a few nominees.   Last year Daniel Sutherland won for his outstanding synthesis of guerilla warfare, A Savage Conflict: The Decisive Role of Guerrillas in the Read more

An official count showed about 21,015 people stood in lines with waits ranging from 3 to 7 hours to see the Emancipation Proclamation, which was on display at the The Henry Ford, in Dearborn, Michigan, for 36 straight hours.  Meanwhile, the Sons of Confederate Veterans continue their quest for vanity plates in former Confederate states Read more

Here is some more video from the new documentary, Southern Belle.  In this segment historians respond to the attempt on the part of the organizers to remove any discussion of slavery from their program.  They address the following question: Why would the “yeoman” farmer go to war with no dog in the Civil War fight?  Read more

21st Century Southern Belles

This looks to be a fairly interesting documentary.  Here is a brief description: The Civil War may be long over, but the spirit of rebellion is hard to extinguish even in something as innocent as a girls’ summer camp. Southern Belle is an insider’s look at the 1861 Athenaeum Girls’ School in Columbia, Tennessee, where Read more

Update: Andy Hall has an interesting post up on the absence of any significant debate on the arming of slaves in Texas. Philip Dillard recently wrote an essay that analyzes the various factors that led to the debate in Virginia and the reasons why Texans failed to consider this crucial step. It can be found Read more

Yesterday I shared a short excerpt from the John H. Claiborne letters, which are located in Special Collections at the University of Virginia.  I was looking for one particular letter in which he discussed his camp servants.  Unfortunately, no date was included in the description of the collection so I had to make my way Read more

I Thank God I am a Virginian

I am writing from the Special Collections Department at the University of Virginia, where I am going through some files related to body servants and impressed slaves.  Here is a little nugget from the John H. Claiborne letters, which I’ve spent quite some time with over the past few years.  This collection of letters and Read more

Talking Past One Another

Looks like the Associated Press has picked up another story about the myth of black Confederates out of North Carolina.  It includes what has become the standard fair: Black man struggles to come to terms with what he believes is the military service of one of his ancestors: “Gregory Perry of Monroe, N.C., who learned Read more