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

Among the writing projects that I need to complete over the course of the next 12 months is a 7,500 word historiographical survey of military affairs in Virginia in 1861.  The essay will be included in A Companion to the U.S. Civil War edited by Aaron Sheehan-Dean and published by Wiley-Blackwell.  The completed book, which Read more

Why settle for one fictional account of a black Confederate soldier when you can have two?  The latest offering comes from Robert Broome, Jr. who recently self-published his book, My Confederate Cousin.  Here is the jacket description: My cousin, Basil Dawson, was a black Confederate soldier born in Poolesville, Maryland. As a soldier in the Read more

There are two Civil War Sesquicentennial memes that get bandied about without any reflection at all.  The first suggests that white Southerners are still fighting the Civil War or that they are holding onto a traditional narrative that is being threatened by various external forces.   Even a cursory glance at recent commemorative events in South Read more

[Hat-tip to Mark Dunkelman] … R-Truth interrupts Vince and Austin. Truth comes out dressed like a Confederate soldier and is singing a tune about Little Jimmy. Truth says he’s supposed to apologize for what he did last week. Vince shows us a clip of Truth berating fans last week. Truth says he’s a good little Read more

I am about half-way through Bruce Catton’s A Stillness at Appomattox and I am enjoying it immensely.  While I’ve read a few essays and sections of various books this is the first Catton book that I will read in its entirety.  It is easy to see why he is so popular and I have a Read more

The latest issue of the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography arrived this past week and it includes a very thoughtful essay by Aaron Sheehan-Dean, titled, “The Long Civil War: A Historiography of the Consequences of the Civil War.”  In September Aaron will take up a new teaching position as the Eberly Professor of Civil Read more

Spinning History and Memory

We, in contrast, are almost constantly engaged in presenting ourselves to others, and to ourselves, and hence representing ourselves–in language and gesture, external and internal.  The most obvious difference in our environment that would explain this difference in our behavior is the behaviour itself.  Our human environment contains not just food and shelter, enemies to Read more

According to Brian Schoeneman it does.  That name might right a bell for regular readers of CWM.  On occasion, Brian has commented not so much on the content of my posts, but on my handling of various discussion threads.  Brian is a candidate for Virginia House of Delegates in Fairfax, Virginia.  Recently he toured South Read more