Imagine my surprise when I learned after reading Brooks Simpson’s blog that the Virginia Flaggers are reporting a theft at their backwoods location for their Confederate flag off of I-95. No, the flag is still proudly flying, but the excavator that was being used to clear trees is now missing and assumed stolen. [click to continue…]
Just a quick reminder for my Boston-area friends that tonight I will be speaking at the Nevins Memorial Library as part of their “Methuen Remembers the Civil War” series. My topic is the subject of my new book project on the history of Confederate camp servants and myth of the black Confederate soldier, but I will have copies of my Crater book for sale. Perhaps I will have a chance to talk about it briefly as well.
Come on out.
President Herbert Hoover finally made it official in 1931, when “The Star-Spangled Banner” was officially declared our national anthem. It’s as patriotic an anthem as it is difficult to sing, but we only sing the first verse at public events. I have to admit that I never paid much attention to the other three verses until I read Alan Taylor’s new book, The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832.
The third verse speaks directly to the British policy of liberating slaves in the Chesapeake region of Maryland and Virginia and their recruitment into the army.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
The “land of the free and the home of the brave” takes on a whole new meaning after reading this verse. I suspect that you will never hear our anthem quite the same way.
This week marks the eighth anniversary of Civil War Memory. I’ve been blogging for so long and it has become such a regular part of my daily routine that I have trouble remembering the time before.
No doubt there is an intrinsic value to blogging that can be found in the act of writing, the content itself and the rich conversations that often follow. But if spending time away from the classroom for close to two years after moving to Boston in 2011 taught me anything it’s that my passion for history is primarily social in nature. The social in social media only gets you so far. [click to continue…]
I have absolutely no idea why I didn’t go to the annual meeting of the Southern Historical Association, which is taking place this weekend in St. Louis. The past two years I didn’t go for financial reasons, but other than not wanting to miss time in class I have no excuse.
I am left looking at Facebook pics and following #sha2013 tweets. This tweet from Diane Sommerville caught my attention.
It’s from a roundtable discussion that included Gallagher, Lesley Gordon, James Hogue, and Carol Reardon. The title struck me as somewhat strange: “Should Military History Be Central to the Study of the Civil War.” Given the scholarship of the panelists I have no doubt that it was well worth attending. In fact, I am hearing through the grapevine that it was indeed a lively discussion.
I guess I just find it strange that we are still debating this question.