Deep Thoughts By H.W. Crocker III (3)

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.

Acquisitions 10/03/09

38783024Back 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.

William Blair and Karen F. Younger, eds., Lincoln’s Proclamation: Emancipation Reconsidered (University of North Carolina Press, 2009).

Lacy K. Ford, Deliver Us From Evil: The Slavery Question in the Old South (Oxford University Press, 2009).

Judith Giesberg, Army at Home: Women and the Civil War on the Northern Homefront (University of North Carolina Press, 2009).

Jeffrey W. McClurken, Take Care of the Living: Reconstructing Confederate Veteran Families in Virginia, (University of Virginia Press, 2009).

Scott L. Mingus, The Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign, June-July 1863 (Louisiana State University Press, 2009).

Barton A. Myers, Executing Daniel Bright: Race, Loyalty, and Guerilla Violence in A Coastal Carolina Community, 1861-1865 (Louisiana University Press, 2009). Note: This book has already won the 2009 Jules and Frances Landry Award.

Robert E. Lee Symposium on Civil War History

ghost_leeStratford 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!

“Black Confederates in Gray”

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.

Is This An Example of American Exceptionalism That Should Be Taught?

I didn’t have much more to say about this issue until I read John Stoudt’s response to my last post.  [By the way, I love the fact that I can now link to your profile page if I want to single you out.]  Stoudt asks if the Biblical justifications of slavery by Thornton Stringfellow, James Henley Thornwell, Robert Dabney, Benjamin Palmer, and others should not count as examples of American Exceptionalism.  Well, that depends.  If our goal in teaching this concept is to impose our own assumptions about the significance of American history than perhaps not, but if the focus is on how Americans at different times understood their nation than it seems to fit in with the “City Upon a Hill”, “Manifest Destiny”, and the “White Man’s Burden” and Cold War ideology.

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