Last night at a political rally in Ohio President Donald Trump veered off into another one of his confusing tangents in American history, specifically the Civil War. The man could easily do an episode of Drunk History on the history of the American Civil War without consuming a single drink. Included in his commentary was praise of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. His choice of words hearkened back to his comments about Lee following the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. Continue reading
This was another bad week for the memory of the Confederacy and specifically Robert E. Lee in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. On Monday the Staunton City School Board voted 4 – 2 to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School. The public will have an opportunity to suggest new names for the school. Continue reading
This past Saturday I co-led a tour of Charlottesville’s Confederate monuments with Dr. Jalane Schmidt of UVA. We started at the slave auction marker on Courthouse Square before stopping at the Confederate soldier statue as well as the Lee and Jackson monuments. We had a nice crowd on-hand, including NBC29 News, which filmed the tour for a short segment. Continue reading
One of the books that I am currently reading is Patrick Phillips’s Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America. The book tells the story of the 1912 unsolved murder of a young white woman, followed by the lynching, the execution of two innocent teenage black teenagers, and the forcible removal of Forsyth County, Georgia’s entire black population. Continue reading
Update: Check out this interview of Robertson by Peter Carmichael from this year’s CWI. It’s well worth watching. Pete did a good job of focusing Robertson on his work during the centennial as well as his many books.
Recently historian James I. Robertson delivered the keynote address at a symposium on the history of Civil War monuments and the current debate at James Madison University. As I suggest in the title, “rant” is a more appropriate characterization of his presentation. Continue reading
Earlier today Washington & Lee University shared its Report of the Commission on Institutional History and Community on its website. The report is incredibly detailed and reflects a good deal of hard work by the commission’s members, which included faculty, students, staff, and alumni. Continue reading
This is a wonderful talk by Allen Guelzo about about the attempt on the part of the federal government to prosecute Robert E. Lee for treason after the war. Guelzo is currently working on a biography of Lee, which I am very much looking forward to reading.
Yes, he does answer the question posed in the title of this talk, but I will leave it to you to watch the video for the answer.
This week 60 Minutes aired an episode on the ongoing debate about Confederate monuments. It comes just a little over a week before the publication of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s book, In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History. It is one of the best short segments on the subject. The interviews highlight different perspectives and solutions, which makes it ideal for classroom use. Continue reading