In our last class we discussed the importance of providing hyperlinks when responding to another blogger. First, it is intellectually honest to do so; it provides context and allows the reader to judge for herself as to whether your criticisms are warranted; and it prevents readers from concluding that you are simply engaging in a bitter/personal attack for reasons unknown.
Today’s lesson will focus on the posting of comments by disgruntled readers whose commentary addresses a subject on another blog. We will focus specifically on a comment that had been deemed inappropriate for publication, usually for reasons that are apparent in the comment itself. Consider the following example. The first thing that you will notice is that the comment has absolutely nothing to do with the post under which it is located. Again, no context is provided by the blog host to explain to his readers why the comment made it through. The reader is left to wonder why it has been posted at all. In this example, however, a third party is referenced in the comment who happens to be another blogger and a frequent commenter. Notice that this reader now has to defend himself apart from the narrative thread in which the discussion evolved. That is unfortunate. However, the most important reason why one should avoid this practice is because it prevents readers from concluding that you are simply engaging in a bitter/personal attack for reasons unknown.
This week’s installment takes us to the end of Part I in Crocker’s The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War. With Fort Sumter fired upon and Lincoln’s call for troops issued, Crocker leaves us with this little gem about the South and a looming war:
It was its martial prowess–its men born to the saddle and to arms, the military tradition of its aristocrats, and the raw-boned rebel yell of its small farmers, workingmen, and frontiersmen in which the South trusted. It had never claimed to be an industrial power like the North. It had disdained Northern efficiency in favor of manners and charm. Yet when Lincoln’s armies crossed the Potomac, the South was ready with serried ranks of armed, equipped, and uniformed men led by more than competent generals. The Federals would find that Southern fighting prowess was no trifling matter. (35)
Indeed. Well, there you go. Another installment from a book written for people who have very little interest in history.
Back in May I posted a short video of my Civil War library and related studies. You can see that I am slowly running out of space and, as a result, I have drastically cut back on the purchasing of new titles. Most of what comes my way, however, are complimentary copies from publishers and authors who hope to have their books reviewed on this site. I am going to update the list of books received every few weeks.
Stratford Hall will be hosting what promises to be an exciting and educational weekend seminar on Robert E. Lee as military commander on January 22-24, 2010. The program will be led by historians, Gary Gallagher and Peter Carmichael. The weekend includes a trip to Gettysburg for a tour of the battlefield. Not only are Gallagher and Carmichael two of the most respected historians in the field, but they are also extremely knowledgeable battlefield guides. I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with both so do not miss this opportunity. Gallagher will present a talk on Friday evening, titled “The Most Important Confederate: General Lee’s Impact on the Battlefield and the Home Front” and both Gallagher and Carmichael will lead a discussion on Sunday morning about primary sources related to Lee and the campaign. Civil War enthusiasts and teachers alike should consider attending this program.
I graciously accepted a very kind offer to take part in the conference as the “official” blogger. Can’t wait!
I‘ve seen this video around, but have never seen any clips from it until now. This has got to be one of the most convoluted and confusing documentaries that I’ve ever seen. After the glaring mistake of identifying March 1864 as the year that the Confederate Congress authorized the enlistment of slaves and within six minutes the video moves freely between discussions of slave loyalty to the master class before the war to slaves volunteering for service in the Confederate army to slaves serving as labor in the army. I have no idea who is being interviewed and I suspect they have done little or no research on the subject – at least nothing that I could find. The director, Stan Armstrong, is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (what a surprise). Click here for a short article on Armstrong’s interest in the subject. It turns out his great-great grandfather “took his black son to war.” I have no clue what that is supposed to mean. Enjoy.
The 150th anniversary of one of the most fascinating Civil War battles is fast approaching. Learn about what happened on that bloody day and how the battle has been remembered. Get your signed and discounted copy direct from the author.
"Levin is both superb scholar and public historian, showing us a piece of the real war that does now get into the books, as well as into site interpretation.” –David W. Blight, Yale University