Disunion Blog To Be Released As a Book

DisunionWithout a doubt my favorite Civil War site over the past few years has been The New York Time’s Disunion column edited by Clay Risen.  Clay has done a fabulous job of publishing thought-provoking essays by scholars and non-scholars alike that both entertain and educate.  The essays cover a broad range of topics and even touch on subjects that typically fall under the radar. Since its debut in 2010 I have had three essays published.  The first addressed the controversy surrounding a Virginia history texbook and a passage about black Confederates followed by an essay on how I use battlefields to teach.  My most recent column explored the relationship between a Confederate officer and his camp servant.

In May the first volume of essays that cover the period between Fort Sumter and Emancipation will be published and I am happy to report that it will include my most recent essay.  I’ve also been asked to write an essay that will discuss how the book can be used in the history classroom.  Continue reading “Disunion Blog To Be Released As a Book”

Think I Might Join Sons of Confederate Veterans

sons of confederate veteransIn his report to the SCV’s National Leadership Conference Adjutant-in-Chief Steve Ritchie noted the following:

Adjutant Ritchie then announced what he claimed would be a controversial fact, that there is no national constitutional requirement for proof of lineage/descent from a Confederate veteran for membership in the SCV.  The membership packet required at national SCV headquarters includes a completed application, a check and preferably a type written summary of the applicants information but no paperwork for descent documentation is required by national headquarters.  Membership records are kept as hardcopies at SCV National headquarters.  SCV National does no genealogy verification.  The application requires camp officer signatures to substantiate membership satisfaction and camp requirements vary.  Compiled service records are sometimes illegible or inaccurate and many were lost during the War especially when towns were burned and razed such as in Sherman’s march.  Additional resources include the American Civil War Research database and Broadfoot’s records of Confederate veterans.  UCV and pension records are additional resources.  He highlighted that how an ancestor was separated or location of his burial may be unknown and don’t get hung up on those details when completing the application.

You have to wonder why this point was raised and whether it will lead to changes in recruitment policy on the local level.  Dispensing with the lineage requirement in what is clearly the most vocal Confederate heritage organization would certainly make it easier to fill the ranks and even branch out to welcome the descendants of all those loyal black soldiers, who we can’t quite match up with wartime records.  Apparently, we can blame Sherman for the lack of records.  At the same time it could undercut the organization’s own claims to authority based largely on their lineal descent.  We will have to see how this plays out.

Should These Men Be Prevented From Serving on Juries?

confederate

Update: Leave it to Ta-Nehisi Coates to remind us of just how silly this project actually is.

Anti-Neo-Confederate crusader Edward Sebesta is best known for his push to petition President Obama to cease sending a wreath to the Confederate memorial at Arlington as well as his claim that the Museum of the Confederacy is mired in Lost Cause nostalgia.  Now Sebesta and Euan Hague are hoping to rid juries of racial bias by identifying Confederate/Lost Cause bias among potential jurorsContinue reading “Should These Men Be Prevented From Serving on Juries?”