Last week I was interviewed about the possibility of future legislation that would authorize the removal of Confederate monuments from Civil War battlefields within the National Park Service system. I am against their removal from the landscape. I say this with the understanding that these monuments pose some of the same challenges that those located Read more

In the late 1990s Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. toured our Civil War battlefields. He was disappointed both by what he saw and especially by what he read and heard at various interpretive stops. Rather than call for the removal of Confederate monuments, he demanded a more inclusive interpretation that ultimately pushed the National Park Service Read more

A Turning Point at Gettysburg

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is best remembered as the site where Union and Confederate armies fought between July 1-3, 1863. When it was all said and done the Army of the Potomac could claim a decisive victory. Tourists and history buffs travel each year to the battlefield to mark its anniversary, but this year the COVID19 pandemic Read more

On July 4 heavily armed right-wing militia arrived at Gettysburg National Military Park to confront an Antifa/Black Lives Matter rally that never materialized. News media reported a few confrontations, but thankfully it never turned violent. Gettysburg is a quiet town and has largely steered clear of the controversy and demonstrations surrounding Confederate monuments that have 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

I haven’t checked in with the Virginia Flaggers in quite some time. Yesterday I came across this photograph on their Facebook page, which suggests that support for neo-Confederate groups like the Flaggers and their policies has never been stronger. Fortunately, the Internet is the last place where such ridiculous claims like this can be made Read more

Looks like the Democratic candidate in Alabama’s Senate race has seen Ron Maxwell’s movie Gettysburg one too many times. Here is one of Jones’s recent political ads in which he reaches back into the nation’s reconciliationist memory of the Civil War. Jones focuses on the desperate fight at Little Round Top on July 2, 1863 Read more

I planned to spend most of today writing, but the weather is so nice here in Gettysburg that I decided to spend a couple of hours on the battlefield. I spent most of my time along Confederate Avenue. Our first stop is the North Carolina Monument: Would be nice to see a reference on this Read more

Last night I was invited to join Brown Advisory at the Spangler Farm on the Gettysburg battlefield to talk about the Confederate monument debate. We started out with a quick tour of a couple of key sites on the battlefield followed by dinner and conversation. It was an incredibly enjoyable evening. Great food and even Read more

The violence in Charlottesville this past weekend has already pushed the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky to take steps to remove its Confederate monuments. A councilman in Baltimore wants to see its monument of Lee and Jackson destroyed. Protesters marched last night in Richmond down Monument Avenue. This will continue and more monuments will come down Read more