Virginia Historical Society Interprets the Civil War’s Aftermath

If I were heading back into the classroom to teach my course on the Civil War and historical memory I would begin by showing this video from the Virginia Historical Society’s exhibit, An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia.  If you haven’t seen it you are missing one of the more innovative exhibits…

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The Greying of Civil War Memory

Earlier today I spent some time with an Associated Press writer discussing connections between Civil War remembrance and the upcoming anniversary of 9-11.  I tried to outline some of the shifts that have taken place in our collective memory of the Civil War and suggested that our national memory of 9-11 will likely follow these…

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Did the South Win the Civil War?

This is a question that Howard N. Meyer posed in the November 1961 issue of Negro Digest.  It’s a thought-provoking essay that anticipates a burgeoning black counter-memory that emerged in the pages of popular magazines by 1965.  It also provides a helpful reference point to gauge the evolution of Civil War memory over the past…

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Ebony Magazine Remembers Black Union Soldiers

Another image that I am hoping to use in my forthcoming book about the Crater and historical memory is the August 1968 cover of Ebony. I went through the entire run of Ebony and Jet magazines during the course of my research in an effort to better understand how African Americans remembered black Union soldiers…

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Then And Now In Stone Mountain, Georgia

It’s an unusual form of Civil War remembrance, but the idea of a sculpture in the shape of a “Sherman’s necktie” opens up a number of avenues of interpretation.  It raises issues related to the physical destruction and displacement of civilians that Sherman’s men wrought.  The twisted rail also functions as a metaphor for change…

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