A Sesquicentennial Thank You to Cheryl Jackson

The Holidays are a time to share those things that we are grateful for and in the spirit of this blog, and with the end of the sesquicentennial looming ahead, I want to express my gratitude and thanks to Cheryl Jackson. Cheryl is the executive director of the Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission. In my mind no one has worked harder to highlight this important anniversary. Continue reading “A Sesquicentennial Thank You to Cheryl Jackson”

In Defense of Hess, Gallagher, and Meier

My good friend, Megan Kate Nelson, has fired the first solid shot in response to essays on the state of Civil War military history published in The Journal of the Civil War Era and Civil War History. The former was authored by Gary Gallagher and Katy Meier and the latter was written by Earl Hess. I encourage you to head on over to Megan’s blog to read her post as well as the thoughtful responses. I’ve had a chance to read both essays, but other than a brief post have not offered anything more comprehensive. While I do believe that both essays offer quite a bit to consider, the authors unfortunately frame their arguments in ways that make it easy for readers to dismiss as reflective of little more than a turf war. I am not interested in wading into the value of Traditional vs. new Military History or what Hess calls War Studies. My shelves are lined with books about military leaders, battles/campaigns, politics, cultural and social studies and memory. They cover the short and long war and everything in between. It’s all interesting and important to me. Continue reading “In Defense of Hess, Gallagher, and Meier”

A Reconstruction Milestone That Went Unnoticed

Tim ScottTim Scott was sworn in today as the newest Senator from the state of South Carolina. That’s not such a big deal until we add in the fact that he is the first African American since Reconstruction to be elected to the Senate from a former Confederate state. I’ve been surprised by how little this fact has been referenced since his election among my “friends” on Facebook and Twitter.

Could it be the fact that Scott is a Republican?

Looking For Conflict Along Sherman’s March

I’ve said it before. Mainstream media can’t help but report a Civil War related story without resorting to the popular meme of an “unfinished war.” Americans are supposedly still fighting the war. This afternoon I caught this interview with Professor James Cobb of the University of Georgia, who discussed the history and especially the legacy of Sherman’s March. The reporter pressed him on explaining why the new marker placed by the Georgia Historical Society to commemorate the anniversary of the march is still so divisive.

Well, it’s not. Cobb correctly noted that while there may still be small, but vocal groups of Americans who are still upset about what Sherman did to their state most people have not given it any thought. Keep in mind that this breaking news is not coming from some transplanted Yankee carpetbagger. Just listen to that accent. In short, the placement of the marker that supposedly includes a “revisionist” account of the events of November-December 1864 is, in the end, not a big deal. It changes nothing for the vast majority of white and black Georgians.