Setting the Record a Little Too Straight

Confederate Monument at Arlington National Cemetery sculpted by Moses Ezekiel

Over the weekend I was informed of an editorial on black Confederates that appeared in The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Virginia by Calvin Crollier and Kevin Crowder.  I have no idea who these individuals are or why they felt a need to wade into this discussion.  In fact, I probably would not have taken the time to write a response except for the fact that I am referenced, along with Bruce Levine, as examples of historians who have “attempt[ed] to set the record a little too straight.”  I have no idea what this is suppose to mean.  I have no problem with publishing a wide range of opinion on any subject in a newspaper’s opinion column, but it seems to me that there is a difference between thoughtful and responsible commentary and commentary that does little more than obscure and mislead the public.  It is safe to say that this essay by Crollier and Crowder is an example of the latter.  You can read my response here.


Gearing Up For CWI’s 2012 Gettysburg Conference

I recently accepted an invitation to take part in the Civil War Institute’s annual conference at Gettysburg College, which will take place from June 22-26, 2012.  Unfortunately, my move to Boston prevented me from taking part in this past year’s institute so I am very excited about being able to attend this time around.  The theme this year is “The Civil War in 1862” and it will explore, among other things, Civil War tactics in 1862, The war in the West, debating self-emancipation, and the 1862 campaigns of U.S. Grant.  I’ve seen a preliminary schedule and the sessions look to be very interesting and the presenters are all well-respected scholars.  I will be taking part in a panel with Brooks Simpson and Keith Harris on Civil War blogging so that should be a lot of fun.

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Three Videos

Dave Chappelle's "Time Haters" Skit: "Because shooting a slave master is just matter what color your skin."

It never ceases to amaze me of the extent to which readers get emotionally worked up about the videos I post on this site.  Here are three videos that I’ve posted in the past.  All of them led to heated discussion in the comments section here as well as on other sites.

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I Love the Smell of a New Civil War Magazine in the Morning

From the Cover of Civil War Monitor magazine (Vol. 1, No. 1)

About a year ago Terry Johnston contacted me to discuss his plans to start a new Civil War magazine.  He was enthusiastic from the beginning, but wanted to make sure that it was done right.  We talked about print v. digital and other issues that continue to shape how we access and consume information.  You may remember Terry as the associate editor at North and South magazine.  Considering that magazine’s gradual decline over the past few years it is clear that Terry was largely responsible for the quality of content and the breadth of content.

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Goodbye, Borders

History Book Club at Borders Store #10 in Rockville, MD

By now most of you are aware that Borders Books & Music has closed up shop.  The reasons for the closure are many from the company’s failure to jump on the e-book bandwagon to the exorbitant rents it paid for specific locations.  Eric Wittenberg has reflected on his experience as a long-time Borders customer.  I am also just a bit sad about the end of Borders.  Yes, I was a customer for many years but for a few short years in the 1990s I was an employee.

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