North Carolinians Knew It Was a Rebellion

How many times have you been told that the proper way to refer to our civil war is the “War Between the States”? The folks who insist on it almost always assume they are speaking for their ancestors. We don’t need to go into the arguments for or against it here. In 1914, North Carolinians went to the polls to decide whether to change the name of the war to “War Between the States.”

In the end they decided that “War of the Rebellion” worked just fine. Turns out that the generation that fought the war, and their children, knew exactly what they had unsuccessfully engaged in and were comfortable acknowledging it.

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A Meeting Between Grant and Lee

It’s probably safe to assume that a recreation of the meeting between Grant and Lee in Wilmer McLean’s home at Appomattox Court House will be part of the sesquicentennial anniversary next April. Unlike the video below, the performance will likely stick to a well vetted script that adheres close to the available historical record. There is something about this meeting that strikes a chord with our Civil War memory. Of course, the two commanders didn’t have to meet to agree to terms of surrender. That they did presents us with a dramatic conclusion to and a sharp contrast with the previous year’s bloodletting. We want to know what these two men thought of one another. [click to continue…]

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Will Civil War Reenactors Surrender at Appomattox in 2015?

Last week I learned of the retirement of long time Robert E. Lee impersonator, Al Stone. Mr. Stone plans on using the 150th anniversary of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House as the backdrop for his final performance. I’ve noticed an uptick in stories from around the country that plan on using this particular anniversary as the final roll call for local reenactments. Check out this story from Keokuk, Iowa. Not too long ago I read that a large group of veteran reenactors was going to lay down its arms for good at Appomattox in April 2015. [click to continue…]

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Remembering Slavery Alongside Confederate Heritage in Richmond

While the Virginia Flaggers have made a name for themselves for their insistence that a Confederate flag fly on the grounds of the Soldiers’ Home, along the Boulevard in Richmond, others have also taken an interest in the history of the site. A student from the Agua Dulce Dance Theater recently performed an interpretive dance in front of the Robinson House to explore its connection to the history of slavery. [click to continue…]

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Three Papers Uploaded to Academia.edu

In my ongoing effort to make as much of my published work available I’ve uploaded three additional papers to my Academia.edu page. [click to continue…]