Black Confederates?

In the introduction of his biography, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson, Bernard Bailyn attempted to explain how distance from the historical event shapes the interpretation. According to Bailyn, early histories “that follow a great and controversial event are still a significant part of the event itself.” For the historian, “the outcome [of the event] is Read more

Civil War As Entertainment

Few things bother me more than watching people get their kicks off of some aspect of the Civil War. It is difficult to define my frustration, so let me share a few anecdotes. I’ve seen it at Civil War Roundtables whose audiences hope for nothing more than the same tired stories about the same short Read more

Why High School History?

Not too long ago I ran into one of my student’s parents in a local bookstore. It was a casual discussion that eventually turned to my interests in the Civil War. He asked about my ongoing projects and whether I might be speaking in the area in the near future. He eventually asked me if Read more

Student Research Wrap-Up

My Civil War students are now in the final stages of their research projects based on the Valley of the Shadow project out of the University of Virginia. As discussed in a previous post, this course is structured around the idea of a college research seminar. Students are introduced to the research process from learning Read more

Overview of Crater Manuscript

I am at the beginning stages of the final chapter of my book manuscript on postwar commemorations and memory of the Battle of the Crater. The final chapter will bring the analysis of memory up to the present day– specifically to the release of the movie Cold Mountain. Here is a brief overview of the Read more