Category Archives: Civil War Sesquicentennial

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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The Last Battle of the Civil War?

Today marks the 50th anniversary of campus violence at Ole Miss over the admission of James Meredith.

We have a front-row seat at American history, with a debt we can never repay no matter our achievements. We are like refugees, not from another country but from another time, carrying memories that propel us forward. – Dumas

Thank you, James Meredith.

Assessing the Sesquicentennial

It’s probably too late to say anything substantial about the sesquicentennial at this stage, but two recent events suggest that Americans remain interested in the Civil War and continue to travel to various destinations in impressive numbers.  Fellow bloggers Robert Moore and Craig Swain both attended events commemorating the 150th of Antietam and were encouraged by what they saw.  This past weekend John Hennessy attended and spoke at an event built around the famous August 19, 1862 photograph of slaves crossing the Rappahannock River to freedom.  He estimates that anywhere between 300 and 350 people were in attendance.  Finally, it will come as no surprise that Gettysburg is bracing for a large turnout next summer.

We continue to enjoy a steady stream of Civil War books from both academic and popular publishers.  I also get the sense that public history programs related to the Civil War era have continued at a healthy pace.  All in all, I remain very optimistic.  What do you think?

Note: Later today I will be a guest on Civil War Talk Radio with Gerry Prokopowicz (3pm est).  No doubt we will talk a great deal about my Crater book.  I will post a link to interview once it is available on their website.

September 22, 1862 – 2012

That on the first day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any state, or designated part of a state, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free;  and the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will  recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom. – Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation

[Image: President Obama views Emancipation Proclamation in Oval Office]