Category Archives: Civil War Sesquicentennial

A Southern Nationalist Addresses Sons of Confederate Veterans

This short address by self-proclaimed Southern Nationalist and League of the South member, Harold Crews, came across my YouTube feed this morning. It’s actually quite interesting. Crews’s argument is straightforward: As a member of the SCV he fully supports the goal of the Confederacy in its bid for independence as a slave-holding nation with white supremacy at its center. Crews wants others within the SCV and those who are active in Southern Heritage communities to acknowledge the impossibility of maintaining a “dual identity” as both Southerners and Americans. Continue reading

 

William Forstchen and Newt Gingrich Massacre the Crater… Again

Today’s Washington Post features an essay on the Crater by Forstchen and Gingrich, which focuses on the men of the Fourth Division. You may remember that two co-authored a work of historical fiction on the battle back in 2011. Shortly after its publication I was invited by the Atlantic to review the book. Needless to say, the book has numerous problems even as a work of fiction, not the least of which is its failure to deal honestly with the well documented accounts of the massacre of large numbers of black Union soldiers. The authors also imagine a conversation between Robert E. Lee and William and Mahone in which the former orders that no captured black soldiers be harmed. There is no evidence of such a meeting taking place and even a fictional account has numerous problems. Continue reading

 

Diehard Playmobil Confederates

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Playmobil soldiers used in quite this way. The screenplay is full of errors, but the filming is quite impressive. Five Playmobil Confederates survive the war and pledge to avenge the South over the end of slavery and Sherman’s March across Georgia. Mannie Gentile, eat your heart out my friend. :-) Continue reading

 

“I Am Silas”

Looks like the story of Andrew and Silas Chandler is now the subject of a poem by Yusef Komunyakaa, which appears in the collection, Lines in Long Array: A Civil War Commemoration: Poems and Photographs, Past and Present. There is something satisfying about the story of Silas making it into such a collection and some of the stanzas are quite beautiful, but it is unfortunate that Komunyakaa makes so many mistakes. More to the point we are presented with the story of Silas as the loyal slave whose world is defined by service to Andrew and the Confederate cause. Continue reading

 

The Future of Civil War Memory Only Recently Arrived

No one has done more to remind me of the importance of the experiences of immigrants during the Civil War era than Patrick Young. More importantly, Pat has convinced me that future efforts to keep the Civil War front and center in our collective memory must take seriously the changing ethnic dynamic of our nation. More specifically, educators and public historians will have to think carefully about how to make the Civil War relevant to new Americans who desire to build new roots in this country? Continue reading