Guest Post

One of this blog’s readers recently emailed some thoughts about the conference that Mark Grimsley is organizing at Ohio State.  Given that I am in the middle of a blog hiatus I thought that it would make for an excellent guest post.  The author agreed and re-worked the material for that purpose.  From the author Read more

David Blight Reviews Bruce Levine’s Confederate Emancipation No surprise that David Blight approves of Levine’s ground-breaking study that seriously challenges the popular belief that black Southerners willingly fought for the Confederacy in large numbers. Blight knows all too well that this belief is rooted in a postwar re-interpretation that sought to distance the memory of Read more

I highly recommend The United States Civil War Center’s online resource, Beyond Face Value: Depictions of Slavery in Confederate Currency. The images clearly reflect the role of slavery in the Southern economy/culture and nascent Confederate nation. Along with the words of Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens and other leaders, the currency provides a clear rationale for Read more

What Political Act Freed the Slaves?

Check out Mode for Caleb for a thorough analysis of the meaning of political action as it relates to the abolitionist movement. The question of how historians should understand the necessary and sufficient conditions of political behavior has tended to focus on those “who were willing to roll up their sleeves and engage in formal Read more

On this day 143 years ago the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect thus changing the overall goal of the war effort and its meaning. Over at Anti-Neo-Confederate, Edward Sebesto has posted some interesting thoughts on the significance of the proclamation. I particularly enjoyed his musings regarding how the EP has fared in historical memory: In Read more

Yesterday on C-SPAN I watched Allen Weinstein who is the Archivist of the United States interview Lonnie Bunch who is the founding director of the Smithsonian’s planned National Museum of African American History and Culture. It was an excellent interview and I was thoroughly impressed with both the intellectual rigor and emotion that Bunch brings Read more

Thinking About Reconstruction

One of my favorite classroom exercises takes place during our examination of Reconstruction. I divide the class into groups of four and ask each group to imagine that they are serving on a congressional committee in charge of Reconstruction policy. They must work together and answer the following questions: (1) What responsibilities did the federal Read more

Don Troiani’s Crater

Don Troiani’s “Mahone’s Counterattack” (Historical Art Prints, 2003) stands in sharp contrast to the early painting by Elder. The attack of the 6th Virginia Infantry figures prominently in both paintings; however, Troiani places USCT in the center of the action. Along with their white counterparts, USCT display their manhood as they stand in defiance of Read more

John Elder’s Crater

This is probably the most famous painting of the Crater and it was completed in 1869 by John Elder. Elder was born in 1833 and studied under Daniel Huntington in New York. The painting was commissioned by William Mahone who is best remembered for leading the successful Confederate counterattack that resulted in the retaking of Read more