This year we mark the 160th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War. You probably haven’t thought much about that, but if you are reading this post it is likely that you have thought a great deal about the legacy of the Civil War over the past few years. It has me wondering Read more

The Civil War Institute has been knocking it out of the park with their regular series of interviews with Civil War historians. This week’s interview with historian Katy Shively is no exception. Katy is currently working on a biography of Jubal Early. I’ve known about this project for quite some time, but only after listening Read more

William A. Darity Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen, From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century (University of North Carolina Press, 2020). Kate Masur, Until Justice Be Done: America’s First Civil Rights Movement from the Revolution to Reconstruction (Norton, 2021). Tamika Y. Nunley, At the Threshold of Liberty: Women, Slavery, & Read more

Last week historian Stephen Berry joined John Heckman and Peter Carmichael for a fascinating conversation about the growing influence of digital history on the researching and writing of history. I am not even going to try to capture the richness of this discussion. Suffice it to say that it is well worth your time. Steve Read more

On this day in 1865 the Confederate government authorized the enlistment of slaves as soldiers. For many it’s an opportunity to take a shot at just how desperate the Confederacy had become by this point. It’s true. The military situation was certainly precarious at best and many people had given up hope on independence, but Read more

One of the many things I am enjoying as I research and write about Colonel Robert Gould Shaw is the sheer volume of source material that is readily available. His personal letters stretching back to the early 1850s have been catalogued and digitized by Harvard University. Most of his wartime letters have been published by Read more

If it weren’t for having to work on taxes last night I probably wouldn’t have caught a single episode of CNN’s new documentary about Abraham Lincoln, called “Divided We Stand.” Last night’s episode focused on the first half of the war. It included a focused look at the impact of Willie’s death on his parents Read more

Robert E. Lee and Us

If there is one book to recommend as an introduction to the ongoing debate about Civil War memory and Confederate monuments it has to be Ty Seidule’s Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning With the Myth of the Lost Cause. The book is part memoir, part historical analysis. “For decades,” Seidule writes, “I Read more

Like many of you I have been thoroughly entertained by the new AI technology introduced by MyHeritage that brings motion to still photographs. Upload a still photograph and watch your subject come to life through ever so slight changes to its facial expression. I’ve seen people respond strongly to the sight of deceased family members Read more