when you are surrounded by so much history. I’ve always been attracted to the history in my immediate surroundings. It’s what connects me to my community and/or allows me to make sense of things. Even when I travel overseas and for however brief a period of time, I find myself knee deep in local history. Since moving to Boston three weeks ago I’ve been reading local history non-stop. I just finished Eden on the Charles: The Making of Boston by Michael Rawson and Richard Archer’s, As If an Enemy’s Country: The British Occupation of Boston and the Origins of Revolution. I am now reading Stephen Puleo’s book about the second half of the nineteenth century, titled, A City So Grand: The Rise of an American Metropolis, Boston 1850-1900. In short, I am overwhelmed by so much history.
The original plan was to take the next year to write a book-length study of black Confederates. I have to admit, however, that my ability to concentrate on this subject has been seriously compromised. The book needs to be written, but I am beginning to doubt that I am the person to do it. I recently learned that James Hogue has been working on just such a study, but I have no idea where he is with it. His book, Uncivil War: Five New Orleans Street Battles and the Rise and Fall of Radical Reconstruction, is an excellent study that challenges our tendency to draw a sharp line between the Civil War and Reconstruction. I still don’t know where I am on this project, but that I am even questioning it should give you some sense of how the move has refocused me.
On Monday I am heading to the Concord Museum to check out a new exhibit on the Civil War. Following that I will head on over to the public library to meet with someone in their special collections department. I’ve become very interested in writing a community study and Concord may be just the ticket. Not much has been written about the community and the Civil War, though I learned that one study is close to completion. I am specifically interested in looking at the immediate postwar years as well as commemorative events in the area. Stay tuned.
I personally think that there were many more fighting with the Confederacy than previously thought.
I am not sure how to interpret your comment.
I hope you do the book, the world needs the kind of case-by-case debunking this myth that you are so qualified to provide.
Hey, a few weeks ago I saw a special exhibit about Provincetown in the Civil War at the monument museum. It wasn’t that great but it was interesting and is a great excuse to take the ferry across to Cape Cod. You should check it out. It does have the coolest regimental flag in the whole war: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/dkvWTqcjTZ9g9zhGlMALw4VP8HgobfiwH8KBIrebHMY?feat=directlink
Thanks for the vote of confidence, Larry. I may have to check it out. I am impressed with the number of small Civil War exhibits that dot the New England landscape.
I went to a family wedding in VT a couple of months ago. While driving from the airport to the weddin site, I went past a town center with a monument to the glorious Vermont heroes of 1861-1865. I’m more used to seeing those, albeit with a slightly different editorial message, down south.
If your in the Boston-Cambridge area go see
Ft Washington on Putnam Street in Cambridge,
It’s the last remaining earthwork from the 1775 Siege of Boston.
It’s very easy to find. It is a small rectangle and looks just like a fort one would find around Richmond-Petersburg.. it was right on the river bank when built bu tit’s an 8th of a mile away.
there is unfortunately no museum just a plaque but the DPW maintains it.
and its open day or night
Thanks Ray. I will check it out next time I am in the area.
well if it helps. I came across two individuals portraying black confederates at the Manassas Reenactment.
I noticed at least one in a video of the Manassas reenactment.
Good point; if your work and Hogue’s were published around the same time, you could get one of those “two-fer” reviews explaining how you’d BOTH gotten it wrong in Southern Partisan or the like!
If Kevin’s book prompted a spittle-flecked screed in the Southern Partisan, it would be a smart marketing more to put a blurb from that on the jacket of the second edition.
Even better I could place a blurb from the Southern Heritage Preservation folks. 🙂
I appreciate the feedback.
I agree with the others; your work on “black Confederates” needs to continue, whether it ultimately ends up in a book or some other form. It’s a subject that needs more eyes on it, not fewer.
Anyway, if Professor Hogue’s effort appears first, you’ll be in a great position to explain how he got it all wrong. 😉
Focus, dude, focus!
Totally understand, but sure hope you do the BCM; it would be very useful. Even a long journal article, as opposed to a monograph, would be a good piece of scholarship – or a version pitched at the secondary level.
I definitely didn’t mean to suggest that I am completing giving up the subject. It is important on a number of different levels.
It’s hard to concentrate on one historical period in an area steeped in another era. I grew up in French and Indian War country myself. We lived less that 10 miles from the section of Route 30 that follows the Forbes Trail. It wasn’t until I moved to south-central PA that I got interested in the Civil War.
Try to focus, though. I think you’d write a great book on Black Confederates.