On the Black Confederate Front

Today I completed a rough draft of an essay on John Christopher Winsmith and his servant Spencer for the NYTs Disunion column.  Winsmith’s letters are incredibly rich and help to sketch a constantly evolving master – slave dynamic during the first sixteen months of the war.  As a teaser consider the following reference to Spencer…

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Honor Slaves For Surviving the Confederacy

I am not surprised that public officials in Union County, North Carolina have finally authorized the inclusion of a marker/monument on courthouse grounds to honor its local slave population.  [I've followed this story for quite some time.]  Given everything I know about the folks involved in this project I am not optimistic that the final…

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At the Heart of the Black Confederate Matter

Update: I just wanted to take a second to encourage all of you to read Pete Carmichael’s presentation in its entirety. The last thing I want is for you to read this post as some kind of hatchet job. His thoughts regarding battlefield interpretation deserve a careful read and perhaps in the next few days…

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Were Slaves Really Loyal to the Union From the Start?

Having a great time here in Milwaukee at the OAH/NCPH.  I just finished participating in a lively roundtable discussion on the Civil War 150th.  The participants covered a wide swath of the education and public history field and the topics ranged from how to engage the general public to shaping content on the Internet.  Tomorrow…

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