A Sesquicentennial Thank You to Cheryl Jackson

Cheryl Jackson

With Cheryl Jackson at Petersburg National Battlefield

The Holidays are a time to share those things that we are grateful for and in the spirit of this blog, and with the end of the sesquicentennial looming ahead, I want to express my gratitude and thanks to Cheryl Jackson. Cheryl is the executive director of the Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission. In my mind no one has worked harder to highlight this important anniversary. [click to continue…]


Last Best Hope of What?

Most Civil War enthusiasts, including yours truly, know much too little about the international context of our civil war. It is with this in mind that I dove right into Don Doyle’s new book, The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War. It’s an absolutely fascinating story that includes a cast of characters that is largely unknown to me. [click to continue…]


Merry Christmas, Mr. President

On this day 150 years ago Union general William Tecumseh Sherman entered the city of Savannah, Georgia. On the following day he sent this telegram to President Lincoln.

Sherman Telegram[Source: Library of Congress]


Confederate Monument Replaced By a Bud

Update: No surprise that Richard Williams is upset about the removal of the statue. He goes through his standard schtick by blaming the politically correct crowd, but then refers to me as part of the anti-Confederate crowd. No mention at all that it was the United Daughters of the Confederacy that approved the removal of the statue to the cemetery. Seems to me that in this case it’s the UDC that ought to be saddled with this label. Old Virginia is a strange place indeed.

Back in 2011 the Confederate solider monument in Reidsville, North Carolina was hit by a car. A debate ensued about whether it should be repaired and whether it should be relocated. The United Daughters of the Confederacy chose to move it to a local cemetery. City officials have recently decided on a piece of public art to replace the monument. It’s called “The Bud.” You can read about the concept in the article. [click to continue…]


VMI Cadets Lose More Than Their Shoes

Field of Lost Shoes

Update: Robert Moore has a post up that takes issue with aspects of this little review. It’s worth reading, though I am not sure what exactly Robert takes issue with re: my reference to “Old Judge.” I don’t doubt that there are aspects of his portrayal that reflect available sources. [There are passages in the quoted postwar source by Wise that beg for interpretation.] What I take issue with is the way in which the slave’s portrayal fits into the broader goal of getting these boys right on the issue of race and slavery.

The film, “Field of Lost Shoes”, is currently available on YouTube (at least for now). I watched it a couple of days ago and even though I’ve read some negative reviews I had hopes that there would be some redeeming qualities. Well, I was wrong. The movie tells the story of a small group of VMI cadets that includes Moses Ezekiel, John Wise (son of Henry Wise), and Garland Jefferson (yes, that Jefferson). [click to continue…]