Category Archives: Civil War Historians

A Black Confederate Flashback

Yesterday I spent some time working on the section of my black Confederate book that deals with the 2010 Virginia textbook controversy involving author Joy Masoff. I am sure most of you remember.

While doing a search for additional information about the scope of the news coverage following the publication of the initial Washington Post article I came across this local news interview with Civil War historian James I. Robertson. It’s a real gem and one that I’ve never seen. Robertson’s initial response is priceless: “I don’t even want to know his name.”

John Marszalek Reflects on 1864′s Person of the Year

This past February the Museum of the Confederacy hosted its annual “Person of the Year” for 1864. As you already know the audience selected William T. Sherman. The event was broadcast this weekend on C-SPAN. Here is John Marszalek reflecting on Sherman’s victory. Marszalek offers some interesting thoughts at the beginning in response to a question of whether he was surprised by the audience’s choice. I agree with his response in that it tells us as much about the profile of the audience as it does about the relevant history.

Again, congratulations to “Uncle Billy.”

New To the Civil War Memory Library, 03/21

Michael Adams

Also wrote “Our Masters the Rebels” (1978)

Michael C.C. Adams, Living Hell: The Dark Side of the Civil War (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014).

Shauna Devine, Learning from the Wounded: The Civil War and the Rise of American Medical Science (University of North Carolina Press, 2014).

Michael Kreyling, A Late Encounter with the Civil War (University of Georgia Press, 2013).

Louis P. Masur, The Soiling of Old Glory: The Story of a Photograph That Shocked America (Bloomsbury Press, 2008).

K. Stephen Prince, Stories of the South: Race and the Reconstruction of Southern Identity, 1865-1915 (University of North Carolina Press, 2014).

Brian Steel Wills, Confederate General William Dorsey Pender: The Hope of Glory (Louisiana State University Press, 2014).

Remembering the Battle of the Crater Reviewed in Civil War History

Civil War HistoryThanks to Benjamin Cloyd – author of an excellent study of the history and memory of Civil War prisons – for the very fair review of my book in the most recent issue of Civil War History (March 2014). I should have focused much more on the intersection of the centennial and the civil rights movement in Petersburg.

Cloyd identifies what I now clearly see as the weaker sections of my book. This is likely the last review to appear in an academic journal and overall I am pleased with how the book has been received by the scholarly community.  Continue reading

Carry Me Back to Old Virginny

High Bridge (Farmville, Va)

High Bridge (over the Appomattox River)

Thanks to Patrick Schroeder of the National Park Service and David Coles of Longwood University for inviting me to take part in their Civil War seminar this weekend in Farmville, Virginia. I had a wonderful time. I stayed at the Spring Grove Bed and Breakfast near Appomattox, where I enjoyed the hospitality of Emily and Joe. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer day yesterday. The temperatures were in the high 60s.

My fellow speakers did a great job and the audience remained engaged throughout the entire day. It was nice having a chance to catch up with Gordon Rhea, who I think is one of the nicest guys around. Invitations to speak almost always offer a chance to make new connections. This time I got to meet Brian Steel Wills, Stephen Engle, and Eric Wittenberg in person. It’s always nice to see Al Mackey and Mike Rodgers, who are long time blog readers. I also enjoyed meeting Boston native, John Buchanan, who managed to listen to my talk and keep track of the Bruins game. After the conference a bunch of us took a walk along the new footpath over High Bridge. Thanks Craig Swain who showed us some fairly complex Confederate earthworks on the east side of the bridge. The views are spectacular and I highly recommend it if you are in the area.

Good luck to my friends in Virginia today and tomorrow, who will hopefully be shoveling for the last time this winter. Looking forward to returning to Virginia this summer for the 150th anniversary of the Crater