Today I am writing from the North Shore in Lynn, MA, where in a few hours I will be speaking at the G.A.R. Museum. I took the scenic route and made my way through a few small towns to check out their Civil War monuments. Just head straight to the town center and you are bound to find one. Continue reading
Update: More details are emerging about this meeting: “Passions ran high, at one point erupting in a spontaneous chorus of “Dixie” led by a black man, H.K. Edgerton, who called Union soldiers rapists and wielded his large Confederate flag like a conductor’s baton as the audience sang.” Oh, brother.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection held a meeting last night on a proposal to add a monument to Union soldiers on the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park. This story has been in the news for some time, but it’s still not clear to me why there is an issue with adding a monument to a battlefield. Most monument controversies are about their removal.
Speaking out against the addition of the monument, along with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, was none other than H.K. Edgerton, who we haven’t heard much from of late.
“There is no place in the south land of America to memorialize Yankee soldiers,” Edgerton said. “This is an army that came here raping, robbing, stealing, killing and murdering our people. The kinds of things that happened here under the sanction of Abraham Lincoln were for these men to commit total warfare against innocent men, women and children who could not defend themselves.”
What the commission made of a black man carrying a Confederate flag is anyone’s guess. Probably a good thing H.K. didn’t show up in full uniform.
Earlier this week a settlement was reached in Selma, Alabama surrounding a monument to Nathan Bedford Forrest. You can read the story here.
Whether the photographer intended to or not, the accompanying image serves as a reminder that regardless of the battles that Forrest may have won during the Civil War, ultimately, he lost. And that is something that all of us can be thankful for today.
While I was in Gettysburg this past June for the CWI I took a few minutes to record a Civil War Trust Civil War in4 video with Garry Adelman on Civil War memory. I was way over-prepared and incredibly nervous. Let’s just say that I found it very difficult to whittle down this vast subject into a four minute segment, but somehow the editors managed to create some level of coherence out of the full recording.
Thanks so much to Garry for giving me my shot at stardom. I hope this serves as a useful introduction for teachers who are looking to introduce the subject to their middle school and high school classrooms. Finally, you need not worry as I promise not to quite my day job.
It should come as no surprise that one of my biggest concerns upon moving to Boston in 2011 was that I would be without a community of fellow Civil War enthusiasts and few places to visit related to the war. After all, I just assumed most Bostonians have always been more interested in that earlier squabble involving something about independence and the British. Continue reading