Yesterday while reading about the history of the Confederate monument vandalized for a second time in Charlotte, North Carolina I came across the United Confederate Veterans official program for its dedication. The event took place on June 5, 1929. The program is filled with what you might expect. There is a schedule of events, articles about Stonewall Jackson and other prominent Confederate, images of local and national U.C.V. members as well as words of support from various ladies auxiliary groups. Advertisements for Davidson College, Merrick’s Chocolate and Plexico can also be found. None of this surprised me.
What did surprise me, however, is a full-page feature on “Negro Schools” and “Negro Education in the South.” Why would this be in a U.C.V. program? [click to continue…]
A monument in Charlotte, North Carolina commemorating a Confederate reunion, which took place in 1929, has been vandalized for the second time this summer. While the tag #BlackLivesMatter has been seen on other Confederate monuments the message left in this case relates directly to the Charleston murders. The names of all nine victims were spray painted on one side while the message, “‘The Cause For Which They Fought—The Cause of Slavery Was Wrong'” was left on the other.
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Update: Sorry to see that the staff at the Stones River National Battlefield chose to remove the post featured below from their Facebook page. That’s disappointing given the many perspectives shared in the comments section.
I fully support the recent decision to remove gift items featuring the Confederate flag in National Park Service stores. In fact, I believe this policy should be extended to include a ban on Confederate flags from park ground except in situations that are strictly controlled by the NPS for the sake of public education. Of course, there are First Amendment concerns, but the events of this summer have clearly demonstrated that the many meanings attached to the Confederate flag extend beyond its role as a soldiers flag in a war that took place 150 years ago. Park visitors ought to feel safe when visiting Civil War sites and that simply cannot be guaranteed given the violence that has taken place around the Confederate flag this summer and throughout its history stretching back to the 1940s. [click to continue…]
Jonathan Lee Krohn is posting some wonderful photographs on his Twitter feed at Stone Mountain, Georgia, where a Confederate flag rally is underway. It looks like everyone is having a good time. As to what exactly is being commemorated…well…that has yet to be determined.
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My knowledge of the Confederate army is confined mainly to the Army of Northern Virginia. As I sketch out my cultural biography of Silas Chandler, however, I am running into my limited understanding of the Army of Tennessee. Silas’s master, Andrew Chandler, served in Co. F of the 44th Mississippi Infantry up to the battle of Chickamauga in 1863. He then served Andrew’s brother in the 9th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment, which accompanied Jefferson Davis after he abandoned Richmond in April 1865. That’s another story.
Silas and Andrew were together for some of the major battles such as Shiloh in which the latter was taken prisoner and Chickamauga, where Andrew was wounded. According to stories Silas supposedly convinced a doctor in Atlanta not to amputate his owner’s leg and used coins stitched in his jacket to pay for passage for the two to return home to Mississippi. [click to continue…]
I’ve said before that if I could do it all over again I would have pursued a career in public history and worked at a historic site. The deepest connections with- and opportunities to encourage careful thinking about the past has the best chance of taking hold on site. Having left the high school history classroom this past spring I am hoping to join a historic site in the Boston area in some capacity.
This morning I traveled to The Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford, which is just a few miles north of downtown Boston. I’ve known about this site for some time, having read recent news coverage of their efforts on the interpretive front and in a very good book about the Royall family and slavery in New England by C.S. Manegold. I was met by Gracelaw Simmons, a longtime volunteer, who took me around the the Royall home and slave quarters, which is the only surviving structure of its kind in the northeast. [click to continue…]