A Quick Thought About the Coates-Smith Interview

I don’t know how I failed to comment on this, but the discussion early on in the interview is important.  It is unusual to hear two African-American men talk about the importance of the Civil War as one of the most important democratizing events in American history.  Of course, Coates is referring to the end…

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The 54th Massachusetts Regiment in Myth, Memory, and History

This post was published last year at this time and since my students are preparing essays on the subject I thought I might offer it once again. Today my Civil War classes finished watching the movie Glory, which is still my all-time favorite Civil War movie. Students enjoy the movie in part because of the…

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Exploiting John Brown’s Body

I‘ve been thinking about the recent press release by the Sons of Confederate Veterans on the eve of the 150th anniversary of John Brown’s Raid at Harpers Ferry. If you remember, they have chosen to commemorate the death of Heyward Shepherd, who happened to be black and working at the local train station at the…

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