Same Flag: From Selma to Ferguson

Selma to Montgomery, Alabama (March 21, 1965)

March in Selma, Alabama (March 21, 1965)

Ferguson to Jefferson City, Missouri (December 4, 2014)

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A Reconstruction Milestone That Went Unnoticed

Tim ScottTim Scott was sworn in today as the newest Senator from the state of South Carolina. That’s not such a big deal until we add in the fact that he is the first African American since Reconstruction to be elected to the Senate from a former Confederate state. I’ve been surprised by how little this fact has been referenced since his election among my “friends” on Facebook and Twitter.

Could it be the fact that Scott is a Republican?


The Civil War Monitor’s Best Books of 2014

Civil War MonitorThis year Terry Johnston was once again kind enough to ask me to contribute to another roundup of the best books of the year for the magazine. The categories were slightly different this year, but I don’t think there are any surprises regarding my top picks. If you don’t like my picks you can peruse books chosen by A. Wilson Greene, Kathryn Shively Meier, Gerald Prokopowicz, Lesley Gordon and Andrew Wagenhoffer.

Best Book: Jennifer M. Murray, On a Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2012 (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2014)

This book serves as a reminder that the interpretation and even physical appearance of our Civil War battlefields is constantly evolving. Gettysburg enthusiasts and scholars alike will enjoy reading about an idea to cover battlefield monuments with bushes in the 1930s by park superintendent, James R. McConaghie, and plans to scrap the Virginia Monument during WWII. Unlike many books that explore the history of Civil War battlefields Murray brings her story to the present day, including discussion of the demolition of the Observation Tower and the controversy surrounding the destruction of the old Visitor Center along with the construction of the new one. Readers interested in Civil War memory, public history, tourism, and popular culture will enjoy and profit from this book. [click to continue…]


Conservatives and the Confederate Flag

In this short video a black Republican argues against the Confederate flag. His understanding of the history of the Democratic and Republican parties is problematic, but the broader argument certainly complicates our understanding of the deep divisions that exist in this ongoing controversy.

[Uploaded to YouTube on November 25, 2014]


A Few Thoughts About Lesley Gordon’s 16th Connecticut

We’ve been waiting for this book for some time. I remember talking to Lesley Gordon about regimental histories eight years ago following a panel discussion I took part in at the AHA in Philadelphia. Well, her new book, A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut’s Civil War, arrived on Tuesday and I am just about finished reading it. I highly recommend that you pick up a copy. [click to continue…]