Is the Civil War Sesquicentennial Over?

It’s a question that is on my mind right now as I work to complete an editorial for the Atlantic. We’ve commemorated the trifecta of our Civil War Sesquicentennial, which in my mind includes Emancipation, Gettysburg, and the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Other than the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, what else is there…

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Boston’s Civil War Memory or Lost Cause

The other day I briefly noted my surprise by how little the war was being discussed in a conference devoted to Massachusetts and the Civil War.  What I am struck by now looking back on the three days of talks at the MHS is the overwhelming emphasis on Boston’s abolitionist community.  That should not come…

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Not A Single Former Slave Involuntarily Removed

Here is something to think about from James Oakes’s Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865. It is not hard to understand the flurry of support for colonization during the Civil War.  Notwithstanding the opposition of radical abolitionists, colonization presupposed emancipation, and whenever talk of emancipation arose, so too did talk…

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