New to the Civil War Memory Library, 09/03

Blood in the WaterMatthew Mason, Apostle of Union: A Political Biography of Edward Everett (University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

Carol Reardon and Tom Vossler, A Field Guide to Antietam: Experiencing the Battlefield through Its History, Places, and People (University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

Timothy Sweet ed., Literary Cultures of the Civil War (University of Georgia Press, 2016).

Alan Taylor, American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 (W.W. Norton & Company, 2016).

Heather Ann Thompson, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy (Pantheon, 2016). I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I picked it up on the day it was published a little less than two weeks ago and couldn’t put it down. It is a long, but incredibly fast-paced book. Thompson drops her reader into the events that immediately preceded the uprising at Attica and from then on it is just a matter of buckling up for the rest of the ride. This is one of the few history books that left me with a strong sense of “bearing witness” to an important moment in recent American history.

Lost Cause Nostalgia Revisited

This video was originally posted to YouTube back in 2009, but it still packs a punch. It is perfect for generating a discussion in a high school or college level class on the Civil War that addresses memory.

Mississippi State University Removes State Flag From Campus

mississippi state flag

Update: Mississippi University for Women also announced earlier today that it will no longer fly the state flag on campus. That leaves Delta State University as the last school standing.

Up until this morning MSU was the only state university that still flew the state flag on campus. Pressure on other campuses and in municipalities across the state has led to its removal owing to its inclusion of the Confederate battle flag in its design.

The university released the following statement announcing the decision earlier today: [click to continue…]

Civil War Memory Wants to Partner With You


Are you looking to connect your product or project with a large and engaged community of Civil War enthusiasts? If so, advertising at Civil War Memory may be just what you are looking for.

Civil War Memory is an award-winning blog that has been in continuous operation for 11 years. Readers come from a wide range of backgrounds, including history teachers, popular and academic historians, and Civil War enthusiasts. It is a community that values history education, historic preservation, and embraces the latest scholarship. [click to continue…]

The Return of Gettysburg’s Electric Map


If you are a Gettysburg enthusiast of a certain age than you likely have fond memories of the Electric Map, which first served as the centerpiece of the Rosensteel Museum and was later included in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum. For many visitors it offered a helpful orientation to the three-day battle, but it was dismantled to make way for the new visitor center and placed in storage. I wrote about this decision back in 2008. [click to continue…]

Slaveholding in Robert E. Lee’s Army

Glatthaar Table

The latest issue of the Journal of the Civil War Era (September 2016) includes Joseph Glatthaar’s Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture, which compares the cultures in the Army of the Potomac and Army of Northern Virginia. The essay includes a number of helpful graphs, including the one above, which shows that slaveholders were over represented in Lee’s army compared with the rest o the slave states. [click to continue…]

“A Black Person Voting for Trump is Like a Slave Fighting for the Confederacy”


This is a wonderful complement to the previous post on the politics of the black Confederate myth. Today in the Hartford Courant Frank Harris III makes the case that a black man voting for Trump is as unlikely as black men fighting for the Confederacy in March 1865. This certainly plays loose with some of the relevant history, but it is a nice example of how the black Confederate myth still resonates politically.

Listening to Donald Trump make his pitch for African-Americans to support his presidential candidacy lit a fuse that shot me like a cannonball to 1865 in the waning weeks of the Civil War. I landed in the South, where the Confederacy was getting its butt kicked. I shook my head with my black brethren as we heard Confederate leaders had signed a bill on March 13, 1865, authorizing the use of slaves to serve in the Confederate Army as soldiers bearing arms. [click to continue…]