Heading down to Petersburg, Virginia later today for the 150th anniversary of the battle of the Crater. I will be on the battlefield at roughly 4:45 tomorrow morning to mark the initial explosion at Pegram’s Salient and the beginning of the battle. Throughout the day I will do my best to post pics and comments on twitter with the hashtag #Crater150. Continue reading “See You In Petersburg!”
Over the past few weeks I’ve been putting together some thoughts for my talk next Friday in Petersburg to mark the 150th anniversary of the battle of the Crater. I’ve been re-reading sections of my book and thinking about how this particular battle fits into the major themes and direction of our ongoing sesquicentennial. Continue reading “Why Should We Remember the Battle of the Crater?”
Hope everyone is doing well. My wife and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Portugal that included Lisbon and Porto. The food was amazing, the people are incredibly friendly, and best of all you can enjoy the country on a fairly limited budget. Continue reading “On the Eve of the 150th Anniversary of the Crater”
I thought we would never get here, but in roughly two weeks the 150th anniversary of the Petersburg Campaign kicks off. The staff at the Petersburg National Battlefield has put together a helpful handbook [PDF] that includes all the information you need related to events between mid-June and the end of September. There is quite a lot taking place this summer and fall. From what I’ve heard the crowds have been impressive throughout the commemoration of the Overland Campaign, which is a great sign that public enthusiasm can be sustained.
As you might expect I am very excited about the 150th anniversary of the Crater. I will be in Petersburg beginning on July 29 through August 2. On August 1 there will be two panel discussions on aspects of the battle of the Crater and at 7pm I will be delivering an address on the battle and Civil War memory. The location for the panels and my talk has yet to be decided.
I am so looking forward to the commemoration and I am honored to be a part of it. Hope to see some of you on the Crater battlefield at the crack of dawn on July 30.
Today’s Washington Post features an essay on the Crater by Forstchen and Gingrich, which focuses on the men of the Fourth Division. You may remember that two co-authored a work of historical fiction on the battle back in 2011. Shortly after its publication I was invited by the Atlantic to review the book. Needless to say, the book has numerous problems even as a work of fiction, not the least of which is its failure to deal honestly with the well documented accounts of the massacre of large numbers of black Union soldiers. The authors also imagine a conversation between Robert E. Lee and William and Mahone in which the former orders that no captured black soldiers be harmed. There is no evidence of such a meeting taking place and even a fictional account has numerous problems. Continue reading “William Forstchen and Newt Gingrich Massacre the Crater… Again”