Charlottesville’s Lee Park Could Be “Confederate Fabulous”

I have been consistent in maintaining that the future of Confederate iconography, including monuments must be debated and ultimately decided by local communities. Having taught history, lectured and led tours in and around Charlottesville for ten years, I feel a bit more comfortable sharing my personal perspective on what should happen to its monuments.

A recent controversy highlights one way forward for the Charlottesville community. On September 17 the Charlottesville Pride Festival took place at Lee Park that includes an equestrian monument to Robert E. Lee. Though it was not sanctioned by the organization, at one point someone attached a bright multicolored boa around Traveler’s neck. It was eventually removed after a local resident complained to city officials. [click to continue…]

Daniel Crofts on Lincoln and the “Other” Thirteenth Amendment

This past week Daniel Crofts delivered a Banner Lecture at the Virginia Historical Society that focuses on the crux of his new book, Lincoln and the Politics of Slavery: The Other Thirteenth Amendment and the Struggle to Save the Union.

The book does an excellent job of clarifying the issues surrounding Lincoln’s position on an amendment to protect slavery in 1861, its place within the brief history of the Republican Party and the unraveling of the Union.

The Virginia Flaggers’ Lost Cause

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that the Virginia Flaggers would not be pleased with my recent piece in The Daily Beast. They huffed and puffed on their Facebook page and blog, but failed to use the opportunity to do some serious soul searching. 🙂

Susan Hathaway accused me of engaging “in old, tired ‘7 degrees of separation’ theories to try and link us (and me, especially) to anyone and anything they think will FINALLY turn the public against us. Every example, including the owners of the property on which two of their flags fly, is linked directly to Hathaway and the Flaggers. Their association is based on a decision to partner and be seen publicly.[fn id=”1″] [click to continue…]

When a Casting Director Comes Calling

Last week I was contacted by a casting director to see if I might be interested in hosting a new show for A&E/HISTORY. I was a bit surprised, but curious enough to reply that I would like to hear more. Following a short telephone call I filled out a short list of questions in preparation for an audition via Skype. [click to continue…]

Recognizing Five Years of Virginia Flagger Follies

Five years later and the Confederate Memorial Chapel – where it all started – is still without a battle flag. In fact, we can go down a list that includes protests against the Museum of the Confederacy at Appomattox, Washington & Lee University, the Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission as well as the cities of Lexington, Danville, Charlottesville and Alexandria and not find a single victory. [click to continue…]

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 09/18

My book, Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder, will be out in paperback next year and is now available for pre-order. Secure your copy NOW.

nothing-ever-dies-coverSven Beckert and Seth Rockman eds., Slavery’s Capitalism: A New History of American Economic Development (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016).

Charles Dew, The Making of a Racist: A Southerner Reflects on Family, History, and the Slave Trade (University Press of Virginia, 2016).

Matthew Harper, The End of Days: African American Religion and Politics in the Age of Emancipation (University of North Carolina Press, 2016.

Viet Thanh Nguyen, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (Harvard University Press, 2016).

Ronald C. White, American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant (Random House, 2016).

Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad: A Novel (Doubleday, 2017).

Kevin Collier’s Lost Cause

It’s nice to see that Robert Moore has had some time to publish a few blog posts in the midst of his pursuit of an advanced degree in digital history. As always, he is thoughtful and offers an important perspective that is worth considering. Yesterday he offered a few words about Kevin Collier, who refuses to turn in his SCV vanity plate in Virginia. You may remember that Virginia discontinued this particular plate a few years ago owing to the display of the SCV’s logo, which includes a Confederate battle flag. [click to continue…]

What Have You Learned?

That is the question posed to a group of historians by the Civil War Trust in this brief video. I was asked this question back in 2014 while in Petersburg for the 150th anniversary of the battle of the Crater.

So, what is the big thing that you have learned as a result of studying the Civil War era?