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

Yesterday I sent off a proposal for what I hope will be my next book, tentatively titled A Glorious Fate: The Life and Legacy of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. This is a project that I began a few years ago, but ended up putting it aside for a number of reasons. I very much regret Read more

The overarching question that is driving my book project about Captain John Christopher Winsmith is why a diehard Confederate officer from Spartanburg, South Carolina joined the Republican Party after the war and eventually advocated for Black civil rights. As I mentioned in a previous post, it is not just Christopher who made this transition, but Read more

I wanted to share a quick update about my current research project, which has taken a pretty drastic turn. It was only a few months ago that I outlined a project about Port Royal that grew out of another project about Robert Gould Shaw. The ongoing pandemic has forced me to shift my attention owing Read more

Here is a little taste of my forthcoming book, Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth, which was published last week at Smithsonian. I re-worked a few pages that focus on the role of camp slaves during the Gettysburg campaign. All too often we try to draw a distinction between the importance Read more

An Army of Slaves

One of the things that researching and writing Searching for Black Confederates has done is shifted how I think about slavery and the Confederate army. More specifically, it has forced me to reconsider how to approach the relationship between the Confederate soldier and slavery. Historians such as James McPherson have written extensively about the defense Read more

Bjorn Skaptason did an excellent job of interviewing historian, Peter Carmichael, about his new book, The War for the Common Soldier: How Men Thought, Fought, and Survived in Civil War Armies for the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago. The interview explores some of the individuals discussed at length in the book, but also focuses Read more

This past week I requested that the famous image of Andrew and Silas Chandler grace the cover of my forthcoming book, Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth, which will be published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2019. This should come as no surprise. Silas and Andrew have long Read more

Yesterday I learned that the Board of Governors at the University of North Carolina Press gave Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth its final approval. I knew the decision was scheduled to take place and that it would be a formality, but it was still a thrill to receive official notice 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