The Best Civil War Books of 2021

Thanks once again to Terry Johnston at The Civil War Monitor magazine for inviting me to contribute to their annual feature that highlights some of the best Civil War titles of the year. It’s always a challenge to whittle my selections down to one or two for each category. Though much of my time right Read more

Democratic Governor Ralph Northam has ordered the 40-foot-tall pedestal, which once held up the Robert E. Lee monument on Richmond’s Monument Avenue, be removed by the end of the year. The ground itself will be transferred to the city. No doubt, part of this decision was in response to the loss of the governor’s mansion Read more

Last week the Montgomery Advertiser published an article about a ceremony in Gadsden intended to honor two supposed Black Confederate soldiers. Hadley Hitson did an excellent job researching and writing about this event and I am pleased that she contacted me for comment. We’ve seen this story before. Local African-American woman hopes to identify ancestors Read more

Earlier this month I shared some information about the important work that historian Barbara Gannon and her students at the University of Central Florida are doing to identify and honor the Black and white Union soldiers buried in a mass grave on the Olustee battlefield in Florida. Dr. Gannon and a few of her students Read more

First, thanks to Terry Johnston at The Civil War Monitor magazine for once again giving me the opportunity to share some of my favorite Civil War books of 2021. You can read it for yourself for a brief description of each category, but here they are: Top Pick, Caroline Janney, Ends of War: The Unfinished Read more

Last week historian Barbara Gannon delivered the keynote address at the “Crossroads of Memory” conference hosted by the University of Mississippi. It was a fascinating talk. In it she shared the work that she and her students are doing at the University of Central Florida to identify the burial site of black and white United Read more

John Bodnar, Divided By Terror: American Patriotism After 9/11 (University of North Carolina Press, 2021). Stephen Cushman, The Generals’ Civil War: What Their Memoirs Can Teach Us Today (University of North Carolina Press, 2021). Ada Ferrer, Cuba: An American History (Scribner, 2021) Christopher Grasso, Teacher, Preacher, Soldier, Spy: The Civil Wars of John R. Kelso Read more

Earlier today I came across this wonderful postcard featuring the Jefferson Davis monument on Richmond’s Monument Avenue. This street view captures a great deal of detail, but it also serves as a reminder of the extent to which the monuments themselves shaped the surrounding physical landscape as well as the memory of the war. This Read more

Yesterday the Sons of Confederate Veterans reinterred the remains of Confederate general and Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife on the grounds of their headquarters and new museum at Elm Springs in Columbia, Tennessee. Forrest is the most controversial of all Confederate military leaders owing to his involvement in the slave trade, the Read more

William A. Blair, The Record of Murders and Outrages: Racial Violence and the Fight Over Truth at the Dawn of Reconstruction (University of North Carolina Press, 2021). Mike Duncan, Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution (Public Affairs, 2021). Allen Guelzo, Robert E. Lee: A Life (Knopf, 2021). Caroline Read more