I say Philip Way does more damage to the memory of the Confederate soldier when he appears on television and encourages viewers to steer clear of sound bites and then does just that. I say that H.K. Edgerton disrespects the memory of Confederate soldiers every time he performs his little skit in front of their descendants. I say the Virginia Flaggers disrespect the memory of Confederate soldiers with their highway flags and suspect membership. I could go on and on.
But if pointing the finger at my blog makes it easier for you to maintain some useful illusion about your heritage than so be it. In the end I know it’s not really about me anyway.
I’ve said it before, but I find most Civil War battle reenactments to be disrespectful to the memory of Civil War soldiers. The following reenactment, which will take place as part of the 150th anniversary of the Wilderness, takes the cake.
Carolinian Grief Mason, 21, will be beaten to death – again – in a field near Spotsylvania, Va., by Pennsylvanian Stephen Rought, 22, the Union soldier who was determined to get the regimental flag Mason carried at any cost on May 5, 1864.
Modern-day Charlottean Rex Hovey, a Civil War historian and re-enactor, is behind the event, which calls for about 20 local men and 50 or so re-enactors from around the state to play the part of the 13th NC Troops. The group will take on descendants of the original Pennsylvania soldiers who made up the 141st Pennsylvania Infantry.
Is there really no other way to honor these men?
This photo was taken during the National Day of Prayer ceremony at the Spotsylvania County Judicial Center.
Photo from The Free Lance Star
The interview is less than four minutes, but you will be amazed by how many factual and interpretive mistakes are made by Philip Way, who is the commander of a Sons of Confederate Veterans camp in Harrisonburg, Virginia. How many can you find? [click to continue…]
Louis Martin (National Archives)
It’s not until September 26, but I am super stoked about receiving an invitation to speak at the 2014 Conference on Illinois History in Springfield. I’ve never been to Lincoln’s home town.
Even better, I was asked to speak about Private Louis Martin, who as you can see was seriously injured at the battle of the Crater. This image has been with me from the beginning of my research on the Crater and it is featured prominently in my book. Unfortunately, I did not spend any time exploring his story, in part, because so little of it is known. Recently, a marker was placed in a cemetery in Springfield, where he is buried.
Not surprisingly, I am going to approach the subject from the perspective of memory. I want to explore in some detail how this image shapes how we think about the black experience in the Civil War and Martin’s story specifically. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to this talk.
Hope to see some of you there. More details forthcoming.
Click here for future speaking dates.