Which #NOLA Monument Will Fall Next?

Despite the headlines, the Liberty Place Monument does not directly commemorate the Confederacy. Properly understood, it commemorates an event that took place during Reconstruction in New Orleans. This is an important distinction with the other three monuments commemorating Generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard and President Jefferson Davis. [click to continue…]


Liberty Place Monument in New Orleans Gone

There were hints yesterday that the city of New Orleans would begin the process of removing four controversial monuments overnight. These rumors proved to be true. Over night workers removed the monument commemorating the battle of Liberty Place in 1874. [click to continue…]


What Can We Learn From the “Angel of Marye’s Heights”?

Thanks to Wayne Motts and the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA for hosting me yesterday as part of their monthly lecture series. We had a packed house for my talk on Confederate monuments that included one couple that drove two hours for the talk. It’s certainly an important topic and I very much appreciate the enthusiasm and curiosity of the audience. [click to continue…]


That North Carolinian Is Pointing at the Bryan Farm

This morning I spent some time reflecting at the North Carolina monument along Confederate Avenue at the Gettysburg National Military Park. I was thinking specifically about the entry points for engaging students on the battlefield. After a few minutes a group of high school students gathered around the monument with a guide. [click to continue…]


You Don’t Really Have to Wave That Confederate Flag

I always get a kick out of those people who are committed to waving the Confederate battle flag in public, regardless of how it makes others feel. For descendants of Confederate soldiers and others who are still, for whatever reason, committed to defending the cause it reflects a lack of creativity. It’s either the flag or nothing. [click to continue…]


“A Government With Slavery As Its Great Distinctive Feature”

Reading through the letters of Lt. William Cowper Nelson, who served in the 17th Mississippi and came across this little gem:

I don’t know that I much regret the loss of Stephen [runaway slave]. I have thought that this war was ordered by Providence, as a means of settling definitely and conclusively the question of slavery: if slavery is a divine institute, I believe we will be successful, that our independence will be recognized and the Southern Confederacy will be established as a Government with slavery as its great distinctive feature. if on the contrary, slavery is a curse and obnoxious to an All Wise and Good Creator I believe that he will make this war, the means of abolishing it from the face of the earth. I have the greatest confidence in the wisdom of God, and believe that all things work together for good to them that we love. (p. 102)

Winchester, Virginia, October 29th 1862


Do Gettysburg’s Confederate Monuments Perpetuate the Lost Cause?

Tomorrow I head to Gettysburg to do a little research and on Saturday will give a talk at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg on the ongoing controversy surrounding Civil War monuments. Of course, I plan on spending some time on the battlefield. [click to continue…]


New to the Civil War Memory Library, 04/18

S. Max Edelson, The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America Before Independence (Harvard University Press, 2017).

Jennifer Ford ed., The Hour of Our Nation’s Agony: The Civil War Letters of Lt. William Cowper Nelson of Mississippi (University of Tennessee Press, 2007).

Wallace Hettle, The Confederate Homefront: A History in Documents (Louisiana State University Press, 2017).

Robert G. Parkinson, The Common Cause: Creating Race and Nation in the American Revolution (University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

Carol Reardon & Tom Vossler, Gettysburg: Experiencing the Battlefield through Its History, Places, and People (University of North Carolina Press [2nd edition, 2017]).