Memory

The loyal slave/black Confederate narrative is an insidious myth. As I argue in Searching for Black Confederates, it reduces African Americans to caricatures and has long treated them as a means to an end in the development and reinforcement of a Lost Cause narrative that for a long time helped to maintain legal segregation and Read more

Update: In 2010 the Georgia Historical Society dedicated a marker commemorating the 44th USCT and their treatment at the hands of Confederate soldiers near Dalton, Georgia. As Confederate officials in Richmond and citizens throughout the country debated whether to recruit slaves into the army as soldiers, black Union soldiers were being massacred on battlefields throughout Read more

Like many of you I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of historian and journalist Tony Horwitz. I am in the middle of reading his latest book, Spying on the South. In fact, I took it with me last week as I traveled through Georgia and Alabama with thirteen students to explore historic Read more

Those of you following me on Twitter know that I am in the middle of a 5-day civil rights journey with 13 high school students. We started off in Atlanta on Sunday and have since spent time in Montgomery and Selma. Today we travel to Birmingham to focus specifically on the state’s criminal justice system Read more

The Confederacy’s reliance on slave labor throughout the Civil War is easily explained. The difference in population between North and South necessitated the mobilization of as many black bodies as possible. Enslaved people were needed on the home front to harvest crops for the army. They labored in mines, constructed rail lines and earthworks, and Read more

This morning I learned that the Texas monument, located on the Wilderness battlefield in Virginia, was recently spray painted with some colorful language. It’s the latest in a long string of incidents that extends all the way back to the war itself. Plenty of people are outraged, including Chris Mackowski, who shared his thoughts about Read more

Update: Thanks to the commenter below who clarified that individuals are not “made” veterans. They are veterans owing to their service. In this case, service in the United States army. It is absurd to think that Memorial Day is a day to honor Confederates who fell in battle along side the white and black Americans Read more

Every year since its publication in 2011 I share a piece written by historian David Blight that lifts the veil on what is very likely the first Decoration (Memorial) Day celebration. It’s a wonderful example of how history is lost and later remembered and why. On May 1, 1865 Charlestonians black community (mainly former slaves) Read more

Many of you will be pleased to hear that my proposal for a Confederate Monuments reader is now being reviewed by a very interested publisher. Along the way I decided to bring on Professor Hilary Green, who teaches at the University of Alabama, as a co-editor. The scope of the various sources is much richer Read more