Category Archives: Civil War Culture

Happy Lee-Jackson Day

intro_leemonlgFrom the Richmond Planet, June 7, 1890:

The negro was in the Northern processions on Decoration Day and in the Southern ones, if only to carry buckets of ice-water.  He put up the Lee monument, and should the time come, will be there to take it down.  He’s black and sometimes greasy, but who could do without the Negro….

You may say what you will the Negro is here to stay.  Nothing goes on without him.  He was in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the War of the Rebellion, and will be in every one that will take place in this country….

An old colored man after seeing the mammoth parade of the ex-Confederates on May 29th and gazing at the rebel flags, exclaimed “The Southern white folks is on top–the Southern white folks is on top!”  After thinking a moment, a smile lit up his countenance as he chuckled with evident satisfaction, “But we’s got the government!  We’s got the government!”  Yes, our party has the cations, the most people will allow them to keep.

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Read Gov. Tim Kaine’s official proclamation acknowledging the day and notice the choice of words.  I have no doubt that Lee and Jackson are rolling over in their graves in anticipation of Tuesday’s inaugural event. :)

The Civil War is Alive and Well in Italy

This past spring I had the pleasure of welcoming one of my blog readers from Italy who is both a high school history teacher and an avid Civil War enthusiast.  We spent the day touring the Richmond-Petersburg area battlefields and have stayed in touch ever since.  The following was written by Giuseppe Rufino on the challenges of writing about the Civil War outside of the United States. 

I met Kevin during my stay in America last spring.  Well there is no need to remind you of what he thouroughly described about our walks of Virginia battlefields.  Yet there are other things that I would like to impress upon all readers of  his wonderful blog.  In the first place I want to express my thankfulness to him for giving me the opportunity to write here.  Without his support and that of many other people “on the other side of the pond’, the job I’m doing in my country would not be possible.  I conveyed to Kevin the status of research and culture in Italy of the American Civil War in a recent blog post which you can find here.

Now there is something else to add. Last year I concluded some personal research about the Gettysburg campaign, which gave birth to a book.  At the time I had to find an editor until just a few months ago. Needless to say this is just a first step.  I started with the intention of writing an essay for my curriculum vitae requirements, yet the more I progressed the more I was convinced that I should write a popular history of the Civil War for distribution in Italy.  I cannot rule out that this will be the target of my next work.  We’ll see. [Giuseppe's Gettysburg study can be found here.]

I have succeded in capturing one’s attention, although more must be done for commercial purposes.  As far as I am concerned I only  wish to say that if an attempt could be made to change some stereotypes about your country’s history I hope I have done my share.  It was also helpful to me to change some of the views I had about the Civil War and I think only through dedicated research, along with the love for historic truth and a dialogue with fellow-colleagues, can help to perform this task.

Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Kevin Levin on internet talk radioEver since I first heard “Wolfman Jack” on the radio I’ve harbored a deep desire to host my own radio program. Now with Blog Talk Radio anyone can host their own program. My big leap into this format will take place tomorrow at 11:30am. I set up an account, which was easy enough to do, and now it is a matter of figuring out what I am going to talk about for 30 minutes. My guest tomorrow will be my brother, who just completed a B.A. in history and is set to begin a second career in teaching after 15 years in the culinary industry. Here is the link for the show and a phone number that you can use to call in with questions or comments. I have no idea what to expect, but I am hoping to have fun with it. Future programs will include interviews with historians and even call-in shows to discuss various topics raised on the blog. The show will be archived and easily accessible if you miss the broadcast.

Update 2: I just completed a 15-minute radio segment with my wife.  It went really well.  My brother and I are going to try and schedule an interview for tomorrow.  Please let me know what you think.

Update: Well, the show didn’t go so well. Although my brother called-in I was unable to figure out how to click him in for the interview. On top of that I learned from a listener that my voice was very choppy, which I now realize was the result of using a cell phone. The format is a bit unintuitive, but I think I was able to figure it out. I deleted the episode and plan on scheduling another one for tomorrow at the same time.