An Overlooked Civil War Memory Study

Somehow I overlooked Thomas Brown’s The Public Art of Civil War Commemoration for my proposed course on Civil War memory.  The book is part of Bedford/St. Martin’s "The Bedford Series in History and Culture" which covers a broad range of subjects in American history.  The nice thing about these books is their length which makes them ideal for classroom use.  The chapters are short and include an excellent selection of primary sources.  Thomas Brown’s book will be perfect for my course as it includes chapters on Civil War soldiers, Lincoln, Lee, the 54th Massachusetts, and women.  The primary sources include inscriptions, paintings, statues, monument designs as well as public addresses and two perspectives on the public display of the Confederate flag.  The book will also be very helpful in preparation for day-long trips through Charlottesville and Richmond, which will include stops along Monument Avenue and Hollywood Cemetery.  This is going to be an awesome class.

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

Purchase your copy today!

4 comments… add one
  • Kevin Levin Feb 9, 2008 @ 6:00

    Ed, — Many companies did indeed offer catalogs to prospective customers/towns. The irony, of course, is that many of these companies were located in places like Philadelphia and New York City.

  • Ed Still Feb 8, 2008 @ 23:12

    I have lived in the South my entire life (except for 2 years in DC) and seen many Civil War monuments on courthouse grounds or other spots in town. I have often wondered if the companies selling them put out a catalog of these monuments for prospective buyers. “Your order for the Forlorn Rifleman will be delayed by 3 months. We have the Bayonet at Ready model available for immediate shipment and installation, if you would like to substitute it.”

  • Kevin Levin Feb 5, 2008 @ 6:48

    Hi Chris, — That book definitely falls within the scope of this course and I have thought quite a bit about using it. I have a few articles on reenacting, including a few by Hodge which I will utilize. Hell, I may even take my class to a reenactment. It would be my first.

  • Chris Paysinger Feb 5, 2008 @ 6:07

    Hey Kevin,

    Though it may not be in the scope of what you are doing, but I thought “Confederates in the Attic” would interest students. If nothing else, students could see how large elements of the South still perceive and wrestle with the war. It may be old hat now though.

    I actually met Robert Lee Hodge a few years ago. Extremely nice guy. I guess I thought he would be eating sow belly, sipping swampwater, and howling at the moon. He has a small production company that makes Civil War documentaries. When I met him,he was filming a documentary and Ed Bearss was walking him in the ground at Carnton plantation in Franklin, Tn. Good luck with the course.


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