One Final Confederate Memorial Day Celebration

Oakwood Cemetery, May 7, 2016

Oakwood Cemetery, May 7, 2016

Update: Apparently, I touched a nerve with the Virginia Flaggers. Susan Hathaway reports that their CMD celebration attracted roughly 200 people. At one point ceremonies honoring the Confederate dead attracted more substantial numbers from local communities. Now, in the former capital of the Confederacy it might attract 200, including the color guard. Thanks for making my point.

The debate over Confederate iconography in public spaces may still be very much alive, but Confederate heritage is dead. The other day I suggested that Confederate heritage organizations like the Sons of Confederate Veterans and United Daughters of the Confederacy ought to confine their activities to specific times and places. Not everyone agreed with the suggestion. Hopefully, it is sufficiently clear that my thoughts on this subject are driven by a firm conviction that interest in commemorative activities is confined to a very small group that will likely continue to decrease. [click to continue…]


Celebrating Ten Years of Blogging at Boston 1775

Concord, TroianiYou can’t escape the history and heritage of the American Revolution in and around Boston and if you read and write about it you can’t escape John L. Bell’s fabulous blog, Boston 1775. Today is the 10th anniversary of John’s blog and it’s a big deal for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, the writing and content are top notch. John manages to uncover obscure individuals and events through careful archival research while at the same time he is able to articulate a new twist on the popular stories that we think we already understand. At a time when predictions of blogging’s demise are on the rise, it is worth acknowledging that John has maintained this level of quality for a decade. [click to continue…]

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A Shrinking Confederate Universe

cemetery2009A quick thought.

Tomorrow the local UDC and SCV chapters in Charleston, South Carolina will commemorate Confederate Memorial Day in Magnolia Cemetery. It’s a beautiful place that both evokes the scale of death that Confederates experienced and the lengths to which white Southerners went to honor their sacrifice during the postwar years.

As the debate continues surrounding the public display of Confederate iconography across the South, it is becoming more and more difficult to openly celebrate the Lost Cause. Here I am drawing a distinction between those who care little more than whether a local bakery agrees to accept an order for a Confederate battle flag cake and those who have a deeper attachment to Confederate heritage/history. [click to continue…]


H.K. Edgerton Protested by Ku Klux Klan


Update: Edgerton continues his march through Florida.

H.K. Edgerton is currently walking across the state of Florida in support of Confederate heritage and the battle flag. Yesterday, while paying his respects at the Hemming Park Confederate Monument in Jacksonville, H.K. was approached by a couple members of a local KKK chapter, who took issue with his embrace of the Confederate flag. Fortunately, the situation was quickly defused. [click to continue…]


New to the Civil War Memory Library, 05/08

Confederate Political EconomyMichael Brem Bonner, Confederate Political Economy: Creating and Managing a Southern Corporatist Nation (Louisiana State University Press, 2016).

Nicholas Guyatt, Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation (Basic Books, 2016).

Sarah Haley, No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity (University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

D. Peter MacLeod, Northern Armageddon: The Battle of the Plains of Abraham and the Making of the American Revolution (Knopf, 2016).

Christopher Phillips, The Rivers Ran Backward: The Civil War and the Remaking of the American Middle Border (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Ben Wilson, Heyday: The 1850s and the Dawn of the Global Age (Basic Books, 2016).