Before Challenging Fellow Historians…

Look, you gotta get your own ducks in order before you challenge fellow historians in the body of your text. More importantly, your publisher has a responsibility to put in place a process that ensures that those ducks are not decoys. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to have happened in the case of a new book about Ulysses S. Grant and historians who have written about Grant published by Ted Savas.

“True Slavery Was Never Practiced in the South”

EverythingYouWereTaught-COVER-2012You can’t make this stuff up. I’ve written about Sea Raven Press in the past, specifically in reference to their book on Nathan Bedford Forrest for teens. This particular title, Everthing You Were Taught About the Civil War is Wrong, Ask a Southerner, seems to be the most popular given the number of times I’ve seen it referenced on certain websites. Here is a list of a few of the corrections to what you learned. I’ve highlighted a few of my favorites. I particularly like the claim that Abraham Lincoln both wanted to isolate blacks in their own state and transport them back to Africa. Apparently, these were not mutually exclusive options. 

• American slavery got its start in the North
the American abolition movement began in the South
• most Southern generals did not own slaves, and many, like Robert E. Lee, were abolitionists
• many Northern generals, like U.S. Grant, owned slaves and said they would not fight for abolition
• according to the 1860 Census a mere 4.8 percent of Southerners owned slaves, 95.2 percent did not Continue reading ““True Slavery Was Never Practiced in the South””

I’ve Seen the Future of Civil War History…

…but it may take me some time to sort through it all.  Had a great time in Gettysburg this weekend.  I was challenged intellectually.  I caught up with old friends and even made a few new ones.  It’s the kind of weekend that leaves you exhausted, but rejuvenated and ready to tackle new projects.

For now I want to leave you with an image that Jonathan Noyalas analyzed in a panel on teaching Civil War memory that I took part in on Friday.  Enjoy.

Duffs Rebel Restaurant from Noyalas

Ulysses S. Grant #POTY1863

Earlier today the Museum of the Confederacy held their symposium to determine 1863’s Person of the Year.  Most of the choices were once again predictable, though a few are just downright odd to me.  Robert Krick’s selection of Stonewall Jackson is neither surprising or interesting in any way.  I want to hear more about why Jennifer Weber believes Clement Vallindigham is so important.  Ed Ayers decided to change things up by giving a nod to the United States Colored Troops.  That makes perfect sense to me.  Here is the final tally.

Joe Glatthaar should have had it much easier by selecting Ulysses S. Grant, who is the logical choice.  Jackson coming in a close second is just downright bizarre.  And how the USCTs placed last even with a charismatic advocate like Ed Ayers is inexplicable to me.  Oh well.

I am sure everyone had a fun time, which is ultimately what this is all about.