Happy Thanksgiving

thanksgiving+turkey

Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving proclamation seems to me to be very appropriate this week.

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

A Happy and Peaceful Thanksgiving to you and your family.

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Still Fighting Reconstruction

I think there are a number of problems with Rev. Barber’s interpretation of Reconstruction, but I can’t help but acknowledge the ways in which the post-Civil War period seems to be creeping into our discourse about a host of issues related to racial politics in recent years. The sesquicentennial of Reconstruction Era offers a number of opportunities for serious discourse about the long-term consequences of the war and the challenges associated with race that we are clearly still dealing with today. Let’s hope we take advantage of it.

[Uploaded to YouTube on January 28, 2013]

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Return of ‘Military Campaigns of the Civil War’ Series

I’ve been a fan of Gary Gallagher’s edited series, Military Campaigns of the Civil War, from the beginning. The individual volumes introduced me to some of the most interesting historians in the field and went far in shaping what I know about Civil War military history and how I think about battles and campaigns. [click to continue…]

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Did Slavery Doom the Confederacy?

In this brief video clip Eric Foner talks with one of his graduate students about the crucial role slavery played in the formation and defeat of the Confederacy. Included is a reference to the debate surrounding the recruitment of slaves into the army. The reference to McCurry is Stephanie McCurry’s, Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South. This looks to be part of Foner’s ongoing MOOC course.

[Uploaded to YouTube on November 22, 2014]

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Treating Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief

Steven Hahn reviewed James McPherson’s new book about Jefferson Davis in yesterday’s New York Times. It includes nothing out of the ordinary from a typical academic review in a popular publication until you reach the very end. [click to continue…]

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