This is a wonderful talk by the late historian Joseph Harsh that explores the historiography surrounding Robert E. Lee and the Antietam Campaign that led to his own trilogy of books on the subject.


Book Update: Finished reviewing the copy edits for Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth. As far as I am concerned, it really is the most painful part of the entire publishing process. The next step should be the review of the page proofs within a few months and the construction of the index.


Check out this op-ed by historians Greg Downs and Kate Masur, who are calling on the Senate to pass the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park Act before the end of the year. The legislation will, among other things, link various NPS sites devoted to the history of Reconstruction and encourage even deeper interpretation of this crucial period in American history.


The University Press of Kentucky is offering a sweet discount on my first book about the history and memory of the battle of the Crater. Order directly from the publisher and you can get a 50% discount on both the paperback and hardcover version. The discount brings the price of the paperback down to roughly $13.

If you haven’t done so already make sure you pick up a copy of Joanne Freeman’s new book, The Field of Blood. It’s one of the best Civil War-era titles to be published this year. Eric Foner gave it a very positive review at the London Review of Books.

This passage in the review caught my attention:

Despite the many incidents Freeman describes, in the years before the Civil War the House and Senate were functioning institutions. They accomplished far more than they do today, when lawmakers are hard-pressed to keep the government functioning, much less address issues such as climate change and healthcare.

That is quite horrifying.

I actually talked with the two lawyers in this case two weeks ago about the history of the Lost Cause and the memory of Robert E. Lee specifically. Our conversation was confined to the relevant history being raised in this case and not about guilt or innocence of their client or whether the portrait prevents this individual from receiving a fair trial.

Unfortunately, I was unable to travel to Virginia to testify. I will be interested to hear the judge’s decision.

For this #ScholarSunday on twitter I asked my followers to share their recent book publications or those forthcoming in the near future. The result has been overwhelming. I was directed to a number of new Civil War books that for one reason or another I had missed. Anyway, check out the list if you are on twitter.

This discussion between Brooks Simpson, Isabel Wilkerson and moderator Clarence Page on Reconstruction is well worth watching.


Here is David Blight discussing his new biography of Frederick Douglass here in Boston. I attended this talk and have also read the book, which I highly recommend.