Category Archives: Civil War Culture

Interpreting Civil War Monuments: Further Reading

What follows is a short list of books for those of you who have been following the recent removal of monuments in New Orleans, as well as the broader debate, and are looking for suggestions for further reading.

This list includes titles that focus specifically on Civil War monuments, but also more broadly to include other periods in American history that have been memorialized as well as the international context.

This is certainly not intended as an exhaustive list. Continue reading

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the Lost Cause

I don’t want this weekend to slip by without a quick comment about Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s address on Friday. The New Orleans mayor chose the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument to deliver remarks about why he believed it was justified. It is a remarkable speech on a number of levels. Continue reading

Robert E. Lee Comes Down in New Orleans, Stands Defiant in Richmond

This has been a fascinating couple of weeks in the world of Civil War memory. After removing the Liberty Place monument on April 24 the city of New Orleans removed three additional monuments to Jefferson Davis (May 11) and P.G.T. Beauregard (May 16-17). Yesterday Robert E. Lee was removed from high atop his perch in full daylight. Continue reading

Will Richmond Follow New Orleans & Charlottesville?

Update: An extended version of this post is now available at Smithsonian Magazine.

A number of things happened today that has me thinking about Richmond, Virginia and the ongoing debate about Confederate monuments.

First, I had a conversation with a reporter from The Richmond Times-Dispatch about this debate. We talked about a number of things before we got around to the question of whether Richmond will follow other cities in deciding to remove monuments to the Confederacy and Confederate leaders. I suggested that it is unlikely. Continue reading

The Alt-Right Embraces Charlottesville’s Lee Monument

Yesterday a group of protesters gathered in my old home of Charlottesvile, Virginia to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument. The group was led by Richard Spencer, who popularized the term, “alt-right.”

Last night Spencer led a relatively small group in a torchlight ceremony that reminded many people of similar ceremonies held by the Nazi party in the the 1930s. Continue reading