Category Archives: Civil War Historians

The Year of the Crater/Upcoming Talks

Commemorating 1864 means, among other things, commemorating and remembering the battle of the Crater. As you might imagine the highlight for me will be the opportunity to speak in Petersburg on the anniversary of the battle itself on July 30. Beyond that I wanted to take a minute to share where I will be discussing the Crater in the next few months both here in Boston and elsewhere.

  • February 7: “Lincoln, Race, and the Battle of the Crater,” Boston Union Club, Boston, MA.
  • February 9: Book Signing and Talk, “Remembering the Battle of the Crater,” Sons of Union Veterans, Concord, MA.
  • February 17: Book Signing and Talk, “Remembering the Battle of the Crater,” University of North Carolina at Pembroke/Workshop with area teachers on digital literacy and the myth of the black Confederate soldier.
  • March 15: Confederates Assess the Battle of the Crater, Longwood University, Civil War Seminar, Longwood, VA.

My calendar is quickly filling up, but I am still open to additional speaking engagements as long as they don’t conflict with my teaching responsibilities. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

War Between the States: If It’s Good Enough For Jeopardy…

So, I spent part of my afternoon with a university press book that I am reviewing for one of the Civil War journals. It’s a pretty good read so far, but one of the things that caught my attention is on one occasion the author referred to the war as The War Between the States. I have to admit that it caught me by surprise. Other than this one reference the author refers to “Civil War generals”, “Civil War soldiers”, “Civil War battles” etc. It will be interesting to see if there are additional references to WBTS as I read further. For what it’s worth, the author teaches at a northern college.

Rest assured that it will have absolutely no impact on how I evaluate the book in my review. Like I said, the reference took me by surprise. If it’s good enough for Jeopardy than it’s good enough for me.

Henry Louis Gates and Black Confederates (Redux)

Yesterday Henry Louis Gates published an extensive piece on the process that led to the recruitment of African-American soldiers during the Civil War at The Root. It’s well worth reading. As I was perusing the piece I wondered whether Gates would use the occasion to discuss the controversy surrounding black Confederate soldiers. Continue reading

Scott Hartwig to Retire From National Park Service

img_1363-scaled500Yesterday I learned that Scott Hartwig, Supervisory Historian at Gettysburg National Military Park, will retire from the National Park Service at the end of this week. Unfortunately, I only had the opportunity to chat with Scott in person on a few occasions over the past few years. On the other hand, few NPS historians have taught me more about a broad range of topics related to public history and the challenges related to interpreting our nation’s Civil War battlefields. Scott’s list of accomplishments is extensive, from his most recent study of the Antietam Campaign to his work on developing interpretation and exhibits at Gettysburg’s new Visitor Center.

He is a talented historian, educator, and most importantly, a trusted custodian of some of our nation’s most significant treasures. His impact at Gettysburg and elsewhere will surely be felt for decades to come.

I trust that Scott won’t stray too far from the battlefield and a public that values his voice. Hopefully, retirement will give him the time to focus on research and new ways to engage the general public’s appetite for good history. No doubt, he deserves it.

I know I speak for everyone when I say thank you for all that you’ve done on behalf of the American people.