Category Archives: Civil War Sesquicentennial

Dedication of Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site

The Battle of Island Mound marked the first time that African-American troops were engaged in Civil War combat, nearly a year before the battle depicted in the film Glory. Battle of Island Mound State Historic site encompasses Camp Africa, where the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry were camped in 1862 before a pitched battle with pro-Confederate forces near a low hill named Island Mound. When the site is developed, it will interpret the battle, as well as the effect that the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry has on later Union decisions to allow African-American units to fight.

[website for the Missouri Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission]

Should We Still Associate Racism With Confederate Heritage?

The following clip was pulled from a recent NEH panel on the legacy of emancipation.  It included Ed Ayers, Gary Gallagher, Christy Coleman, Eric Foner, and Thavolia Glymph.  I highly recommend viewing the entire session if you have the time, but for now check out this short clip from the Q&A.  In it an African-American student asks if we should still associate racism with Confederate heritage.  I am not surprised that Christy Coleman, president of the American Civil War Center, decided to respond and she does so in a very fair and balanced manner.  Coleman’s response reflects both the difficulties of her position as a black woman running a Civil War museum in the former capital of the Confederacy and someone who has listened closely to visitors hailing from very different backgrounds.  Yeah, count me as a fan of Christy Coleman.

John Brown Lives!

This event has been a long time in the making and I signed on to take part when I was still living in Virginia.  John Brown Lives! is a small organization led by Martha Swan, which focuses on public and educational outreach around issues related to freedom and oppression in history and in our world today.  Freedom Then, Freedom Now offers a little something for teachers, students, and anyone else who is interested in the history and legacy of emancipation.  The list of speakers and subjects to be discussed looks very interesting and David Blight will deliver the keynote address.  I am going to host a screening of Glory for the community and then work with a group of teachers on how they can use it in the classroom.  It promises to be a fun weekend. Continue reading

The Intellectual Bankruptcy of Flaggers

I had no idea that there is now a chapter of Flaggers in North Carolina.  It would be a stretch to draw any type of formal connection with the Flaggers in Virginia. It’s the same inane rhetoric about a subject they apparently know very little about.  In this case, it’s a new exhibit about Lincoln on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Asheville.  These people have nothing to say about the actual exhibit beyond vague accusations of Lincoln as a war criminal.  Kirk Lyons (misspelled by the media as Lion) and H.K. Edgerton were in attendance, but all they can manage is the same old dog and pony show that has become their trademark.

It looks like some of the students had a good laugh at their expense.

H.K. Edgerton Entertains the Old White South One Last Time

Not too long ago I suggested that H.K. Edgerton’s performance is geared to and best received by white Southerners, who find vindication in his narrative of slavery as a benign institution and the peaceful co-existence of the races during the antebellum period and through the war into Reconstruction and beyond.   Today I learned that H.K. is going to retrace his steps on this 10th anniversary of his famous trek across the South.

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