Speaking in the Land of Lincoln

Louis Martin
Louis Martin (National Archives)

It’s not until September 26, but I am super stoked about receiving an invitation to speak at the 2014 Conference on Illinois History in Springfield. I’ve never been to Lincoln’s home town.

Even better, I was asked to speak about Private Louis Martin, who as you can see was seriously injured at the battle of the Crater. This image has been with me from the beginning of my research on the Crater and it is featured prominently in my book. Unfortunately, I did not spend any time exploring his story, in part, because so little of it is known. Recently, a marker was placed in a cemetery in Springfield, where he is buried.

Not surprisingly, I am going to approach the subject from the perspective of memory. I want to explore in some detail how this image shapes how we think about the black experience in the Civil War and Martin’s story specifically. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to this talk.

Hope to see some of you there. More details forthcoming.

Click here for future speaking dates.

Update From Washington and Lee University

The group of students known as “The Committee” which recently published a list of demands regarding the place of Confederate flags and Confederate heritage generally on campus has met with school administrators. While I shared some thoughts about the scope of their demands I believe these students have every right to express their concerns about the state of their school.

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The Prattville Dragoons Camp of Sons of Confederate Veterans is “Heading for Extinction”

Prattville Dragoons Confederate Memorial Day 2014
Prattville Dragoons Confederate Memorial Day 2014

The leadership of the Prattville Dragoon Camp of Sons of Confederate Veterans, located just north of Montgomery, Alabama, had a less than successful Confederate Memorial Day commemoration this year. “I think we’re headed for extinction, judging by the crowd,” was the way group chaplain Tom Snowden summed it up. He went on to suggest that, “a degree of political correctness is being thrown into our brains, and it’s affecting us.”  Continue reading