Tag Archives: Gettysburg

An Army of Imaginary Neo-Confederates at Gettysburg

I haven’t checked in with the Virginia Flaggers in quite some time. Yesterday I came across this photograph on their Facebook page, which suggests that support for neo-Confederate groups like the Flaggers and their policies has never been stronger. Fortunately, the Internet is the last place where such ridiculous claims like this can be made. Continue reading

Alabama’s Doug Jones Believes the War Caused the War

Looks like the Democratic candidate in Alabama’s Senate race has seen Ron Maxwell’s movie Gettysburg one too many times. Here is one of Jones’s recent political ads in which he reaches back into the nation’s reconciliationist memory of the Civil War.

Jones focuses on the desperate fight at Little Round Top on July 2, 1863 and introduces Colonels William C. Oates of Alabama and Joshua L. Chamberlain. According to Jones, “what brought those two men together…was war.” That was a nice sleight of hand on his part. “Two sides believing so strongly in their cause that they were willing to die for it.”

Jones hopes to bring this same spirit to Washington, D.C. if elected. If his understanding of history and memory is any indication of which Alabamians he will represent it is clear that it does not include African Americans.


Little Round Top, Gettysburg. Three times Col. William Oates of Alabama led the Confederate forces to take it. Running out of ammunition, Col. Joshua Chamberlain of Maine had his men fix bayonets to desperately repel the attack. What brought those two brave men, one from Alabama and one from Maine, together was war—two sides believing so strongly in their cause that they were willing to die for it. Those times are past, long ago, and our country is better for it. But now we fight too often over other matters. It seems as if we’re coming apart. I want to go to Washington and meet the representatives from Maine and those from every other state not on a battlefield, but to find common ground, because there’s honor in compromise and civility. To pull together as a people and get things done for Alabama. I’m Doug Jones and I approve this message, because on December 12, Alabama can lead the way.

Alabamians have one hell of a choice this year between Roy Moore and Doug Jones.

Correction: I agree with those of you who are pointing out what is, in fact, a false equivalence between Moore and Jones. Chalk this one up to writing much too early in the morning. Thanks for calling me on it.

Can We Commemorate R.E. Lee Apart From the Confederacy?

Last night I was invited to join Brown Advisory at the Spangler Farm on the Gettysburg battlefield to talk about the Confederate monument debate. We started out with a quick tour of a couple of key sites on the battlefield followed by dinner and conversation. It was an incredibly enjoyable evening. Great food and even better questions from the audience. I applaud Brown for their interest in engaging their employees about some of the most pressing issues of the day. Continue reading

The Federal Government’s Monuments to White Supremacy

The violence in Charlottesville this past weekend has already pushed the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky to take steps to remove its Confederate monuments. A councilman in Baltimore wants to see its monument of Lee and Jackson destroyed. Protesters marched last night in Richmond down Monument Avenue. This will continue and more monuments will come down. Continue reading

That North Carolinian Is Pointing at the Bryan Farm

This morning I spent some time reflecting at the North Carolina monument along Confederate Avenue at the Gettysburg National Military Park. I was thinking specifically about the entry points for engaging students on the battlefield. After a few minutes a group of high school students gathered around the monument with a guide. Continue reading