Tag Archives: Joseph Glatthaar

Dwight Pitcaithley on the Cause of the Civil War and Public History

Before I get to the subject of this post I wanted to mention that I’ve just finished previewing a forthcoming episode of American Experience on Robert E. Lee.  The show will premiere on PBS on Monday, January 3 at 9:00 p.m. ET.  Back in 2007 I received a call from one of the producers to chat about their plans for the episode.  We talked for quite a bit and I had a chance to offer some suggestions on various interpretive threads as well as suggestions on who to contact for additional commentary as “talking heads.”  The producers were able to bring together an excellent line-up of scholars that includes Peter Carmichael, Gary Gallagher, Emory Thomas, Michael Fellman, Emory Thomas, Lesley Gordon, Ervin Jordan, Elizabeth Brown Pryor and Joseph Glatthaar.  The folks at American Experience did a fine job.

The Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission now has all of the panels from the recent conference in Norfolk available on their YouTube page.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed going through them.  While I enjoyed Dwight Pitcaithley’s presentation he never really got around to discussing the challenges of interpreting Civil War causation within the NPS.  He did, however, say something relevant to my recent post on my tendency to steer clear of referring to people as Neo-Confederates.  In response to a student’s inquiry into whether he teaches the “true history” of the war, Pitcaithley points out to his audience that it is important to remember that people who subscribe to various strands of Lost Cause thought “come by it honestly.”  It’s important to remember because it seems to me that by calling folks “Neo-Confederates” we assume an accusatory stance that implies a conscious denial of a more complete understanding of what the war was about.

Assessing Glatthaar’s General Lee’s Army at the SHA

I just booked my room and registered for this year’s meeting of the Southern Historical Association, which meets in Charlotte, North Carolina from November 4-7. It’s by far my favorite conference of the year as it comes at just the point when I can use a couple of days away from school and it gives me a chance to catch up with good friends.  Perhaps I will even be able to check in with the publisher to get an update on my Crater manuscript.  The panels are always interesting but I am especially looking forward to one on Joseph Glatthaar’s General Lee’s Army.  I’ve blogged about it here at Civil War Memory over the past year and I can’t say enough good things about it.  Not only is it an excellent synthesis of recent scholarship, but Glatthaar’s analysis of key topics such as slavery, morale, discipline, religion and even black Confederates make this volume indispensable.  An independent study with one of my students has given me the opportunity to go through it again.

POINTS OF DEPARTURE: REFLECTIONS ON JOSEPH A. GLATTHAAR’S GENERAL LEE’S ARMY

Presiding: John Coski, Museum of the Confederacy

General Lee’s Army and General Lee: How Does Glatthaar Fit into a Contentious Historiography on the Rebel Chieftain? — Gary W. Gallagher, University of Virginia

The High-Water Mark of Social History: The Methodology of Glatthaar’s “General Lee’s Army” — Peter S. Carmichael, Gettysburg College

“They Are One in Reality & All of the Country”: Blending Battlefront and Home Front — Jacqueline Glass Campbell, Francis Marion University

Author’s Response: Joseph A. Glatthaar, University of North Caroline, Chapel Hill