Andrew and Silas Chandler Remained Life Long Friends

The vast majority of black Confederate accounts on the Internet follow a well-worn narrative.  First, we are somehow to believe that servants/slaves volunteered to accompany their owners to war and in doing so solidified a bond of friendship and a commitment to the achievement of Confederate independence.  Many of these postwar accounts offer rich descriptions…

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Choosing To Become a Slave

Every once in a while you will read about free blacks petitioning local or state government to become a slave.  In the wrong hands such accounts reflect a lingering Lost Cause view that slavery was benign.  Why else would a free black individual choose bondage?  Many of these requests were made in the late antebellum…

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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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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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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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