“We Shall Overcome”

Confederate FlagLooks like more Confederate Battle flags are flying over America’s Southern highways, but I suspect that heritage groups won’t be celebrating. A group calling itself The Lewla Movement hopes to spark discussion about race relations, history and the meaning of the Confederate flag.

I appreciate how this billboard juxtaposes the history of the flag and its connection to a war to protect slavery and white supremacy with the rallying cry of this nation’s most important grassroots movement to expand civil rights.

But that’s just my interpretation.

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The Exceptionalism of American Slavery

As I continue to make my way through Edward Baptist’s book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, I can’t help but think about its implications for the way we think about the idea of American Exceptionalism. It’s a timely issue given the recent debates about the revised AP US History curriculum. [click to continue…]

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White Southerners To Dedicate Monument to Confederate Massacre

There are a number of narratives that have emerged over the course of the sesquicentennial. While the story of black Union soldiers has taken center stage, focus on the War in the West and guerrilla warfare isn’t far behind. Scholarship on the Western theater is on the rise, but popular interest can also be seen in the form of reenactments, museum exhibits and even in the dedication of new monuments. [click to continue…]

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Walking in Lincoln’s Footsteps

I had an incredible time in Springfield, Illinois this past weekend. Thanks to Sam Wheeler, who is the Research Historian for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, for inviting me to speak at Friday’s Luncheon. Sam was an incredibly gracious host. My talk on Louis Martin and the Crater went over very well. The audience asked thoughtful questions and I even managed to sell some books. Most of my time, however, was spent walking through the city and touring sites associated with Lincoln. It was such a thrill walking through Lincoln’s home, the Old State House, and his final resting place. I also visited the Abraham Lincoln museum and will write up a short review very soon. [click to continue…]

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New To the Civil War Memory Library, 09/24

Rebel YellBarbara Berenson, Boston and the Civil War: Hub of the Second Revolution (History Press, 2014).

Graham Dozier ed., A Gunner in Lee’s Army: The Civil War Letters of Thomas Henry Carter (University of North Carolina Press, 2014).

Harold Holzer, Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion (Simon and Schuster, 2014).

James McPherson, Embattled Rebel: Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief (Penguin, 2014).

Ethan Rafuse, Manassas: A Battlefield Guide (Bison, 2014).

Heather Cox Richadson, To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party (Basic, 2014).

Craig Warren, The Rebel Yell: A Cultural History (University of Alabama Press, 2014).

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