Moving to Substack

I’ve been blogging here at Civil War Memory since 2005. Many of you have been with me for a good chunk of that time. It’s been an incredible experience that has enriched my life in ways that I could not have imagined when I began this journey. But as we all know the social media Read more

Bradley R. Clampitt, Lost Causes: Confederate Demobilization and the Making of Veteran Identity (Louisiana State University Press, 2022). Louis E. DeCaro, Jr., The Untold Story of Shields Green: The Life and Death of a Harpers Ferry Raider (New York University Press, 2020). Carole Emberton, To Walk About in Freedom: The Long Emancipation of Priscilla Joyner Read more

Like many of you I watched HISTORY’s 3-night documentary about Abraham Lincoln. The previews suggested that it would adopt the standard format for recent documentaries that includes dramatic scenes complimented by commentary from historians and other public intellectuals. I didn’t expect anything new and in the end the documentary failed to deliver anything new. Overall Read more

Hulk Lawyer: Black Confederate?

Neo-Confederates and others love to trot out the Black Confederate myth during Black History Month as a means to promote their twisted idea of diversity. Of course, it has nothing to do with diversity or history and everything to do with the continued attempt to drive a wedge between the Confederacy and slavery and protect Read more

Of all the efforts on the part of state legislatures to regulate the teaching of history, the most baffling is the attempt to ensure that our students do not experience feelings of discomfort. It assumes that teachers have the power to manipulate the emotions of their students. More to the point, it raises the question Read more

Seth Bruggeman, Lost on the Freedom Trail: The National Park Service and Urban Renewal in Postwar Boston (University of Massachusetts Press, 2022). Laura F. Edwards, Only the Clothes on Her Back: Clothing & the Hidden History of Power in the 19th-Century United States (Oxford University Press, 2022). Kate Clifford Larson, Walk With Me: A Biography Read more

‘The Kids Are Alright’

It seems like every day I wake up to news of a state having passed legislation or debating legislation that seeks to protect students from being exposed to certain aspects of the American past. We are told that exposure to the history of slavery, for example, may upset them or cause psychological damage of some Read more

Last week I had the pleasure of once again assisting the research staff at PBS’s Finding Your Roots with interpreting a document that relates to my scholarship on the Black Confederate myth and the history of Confederate body servants or camp slaves. The document in question is one that I know very well. In the Read more

Today is the official publication day for the paperback edition of Searching for Black Confederates from the University of North Carolina Press. The decision to wait over two years to issue a paperback edition reflects, in part, the strong sales of the hardback edition. I have all of you to thank for that. For those Read more

Standing Up For History Education

If you had asked me in high school what I wanted to do with my life, the last thing I would have said was a history teacher. I had very little interest in the subject in high school, which was par for the course with my other classes. I can tell you next to nothing Read more