Some of you may remember this classic docudrama, The Lincoln Conspiracy, which poses the theory that President Lincoln’s Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, was behind a plot to kill him at Ford’s Theater. His motive was his opposition to Lincoln’s adamant refusal to allow the North to punish the South for its actions. The “official” assassination goes awry when another would-be assassin, the second-rate actor John Wilkes Booth, learns of the plot and decides to beat the government to the punch, for reasons of his own. In the movie, it is Stanton’s assassin who is mistakenly captured and killed, rather than Booth. Click through for all 9-part episodes.
We see blacks mentions in all areas of the war but no defentive evidence has been found. I believe as I have read about the Confederate Marines the evidence was lost in the fog of war. I hope someone some where will find the smoking gun to prove these pictures and letters right.
Mike then went on to add the following after I asked why he had a need to see these stories vindicated:
Because I want all those old colored people who told me about their kin fighting for the South to be vindicated in the academic world that thus far had derailed and denyed the truth of their oral history.
Well, here is your chance Mike. I would like you to cite at least one historian in the “academic world” who has, in your view, “derailed” and “denied” the truth of the stories that you believe prove the existence of black Confederate soldiers. In addition to a name, I would also like a reference to the book or article as well as the page numbers. Finally, I would appreciate an analysis of the text in question that demonstrates an attempt to deny the past. Take your time and be careful because permission to participate in this community is at stake. I am tired of these off the cuff comments that engage in sweeping generalizations and condemnations of historians without any attempt to support said charges.
A number of readers took issue with last week’s post in which I reduced the celebration of Lee-Jackson Day, here in Virginia, to free parking. I guess I could have provided some thoughtful analysis about the almost complete lack of interest in this particular day as a result of changing demographics as well as other factors.
So, since I didn’t make my own personal view sufficiently clear, let me do so now. The reason I don’t celebrate Lee-Jackson Day is because I don’t celebrate the cause for which Lee and Jackson are remembered. They are remembered for their service in an army that functioned as the military extension of a government that was committed to perpetuating slavery and white supremacy. I find it simply impossible to distinguish between the individuals in question, including their many virtues, and the cause for which they attached themselves to. Because I abhor slavery I am glad that the Confederate government, along with Lee and Jackson, failed and that our national sin of slavery was abolished.
I don’t think I’ve stated anything controversial here. I do hope, however, that it clarifies things.
This Jimmy Kimmel Live skit about the Leno-O’Brien/NBC feud suggests that the Ken Burns-style documentary has become a permanent fixture in our cultural lexicon. Other examples can be found here and here. You will have to look closely, but when they get to photoshopping the famous photograph of Lincoln and McClellan in the tent at Antietam the audio doesn’t match the video. It’s a funny little video. By the way I am Conan supporter all the way.
On this cold and dreary January day I was pleasantly surprised to find complimentary copies of the latest issue of Civil War Times waiting for me when I arrived home. This latest issue includes my article on Confederate executions. The goal of the essay is to explore how Confederate soldiers, along with civilians, responded to these events throughout the war. This is a condensed version of a much longer essay that I wrote for a graduate seminar back in 2004. Since it’s not one of the more hot-button topics I thought it would make for an interesting magazine article. I also wrote a 500-word sidebar on an execution that took place in Stonewall Jackson’s command in August 1862. Since I didn’t get a chance to do so in the essay I want to acknowledge two sources that were extremely helpful with this shorter piece on Jackson. The first is John Hennessy’s classic, Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas and the other is Peter Carmichael’s excellent essay on the execution that appeared in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (Vol. 111 ). Dana Shoaf did an excellent job editing the essay and I absolutely love the layout in the print version. I also very much appreciate Dana’s enthusiasm when I first submitted the piece. He has done an outstanding job since taking over as editor. Luckily, if you can’t afford the print version you can read it Online. I hope you enjoy it. Comments are welcome if you manage to read through it.