Soldiers

An Army of Slaves

One of the things that researching and writing Searching for Black Confederates has done is shifted how I think about slavery and the Confederate army. More specifically, it has forced me to reconsider how to approach the relationship between the Confederate soldier and slavery. Historians such as James McPherson have written extensively about the defense Read more

Bjorn Skaptason did an excellent job of interviewing historian, Peter Carmichael, about his new book, The War for the Common Soldier: How Men Thought, Fought, and Survived in Civil War Armies for the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago. The interview explores some of the individuals discussed at length in the book, but also focuses Read more

This past week I requested that the famous image of Andrew and Silas Chandler grace the cover of my forthcoming book, Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth, which will be published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2019. This should come as no surprise. Silas and Andrew have long Read more

Yesterday I learned that the Board of Governors at the University of North Carolina Press gave Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth its final approval. I knew the decision was scheduled to take place and that it would be a formality, but it was still a thrill to receive official notice Read more

Update: Thanks to the commenter below who clarified that individuals are not “made” veterans. They are veterans owing to their service. In this case, service in the United States army. It is absurd to think that Memorial Day is a day to honor Confederates who fell in battle along side the white and black Americans Read more

Congratulations to Andrew Bledsoe and Andrew Lang on bringing their forthcoming collection of essays one step closer to publication. Yesterday the editors shared the cover art for Upon the Fields of Battle: Essays on the Military History of America’s Civil War, which will be published later this year by LSU Press. This volume brings together Read more

I am beginning to see the outlines of an argument. Our tendency to focus on the last six months of Col. Robert Gould Shaw’s military career in command of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry has left us with an incomplete and even distorted view of his place in Civil War memory. We tend to see Read more

I’ve spent the better part of the past few weeks reading as much as I can about Robert Gould Shaw and taking extensive notes. In addition to books about the Civil War I have been thinking about how to go about writing and structuring a biography, which I have never written before. Historian and biographer Read more

Was Robert Gould Shaw an Abolitionist?

Glory is still one of my favorite movies, but like all Hollywood productions, there are places where it falls short in explaining the history or providing the proper historical context. Few Hollywood movies have had more of an influence on how we remember the Civil War and, specifically, the story of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Read more

We expend a great deal of energy re-casting Confederate soldiers as engaged in a constitutional struggle or defense of home that had nothing to do with the protection of slavery. The price we pay is to ignore what actual Confederates said during the war about the consequences of slavery’s demise and their efforts to re-build Read more