Robert E. Lee

What’s in a Rank?

I am hearing more and more from people who believe that we should start referring to Confederate officers by the ranks they attained in the United States Army before the Civil War. This is part of a broader debate over language in relationship to the Civil War and specifically over the extent to which the 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

The latest news out of Virginia suggests that it is just a matter of time before the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond is removed. Lee will follow the same fate as Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, J.E.B. Stuart, and Matthew Fontaine Maury, who once looked down on the people of Richmond from atop their pedestals Read more

I’ve always thought this is a strange question to ask of any historical subject. The question assumes that at some point our historical knowledge is complete with nothing more to learn. Of course, that is never the case. Good history always involves the interrogation of new evidence that has surfaced and a reevaluation of old Read more

Remember back in 2018 when Richmond’s Monument Avenue Commission recommended removing the Jefferson Davis statue and interpreting the rest with signage? Seems so long ago. At the time I was skeptical that the Davis statue would be removed, but here we are. It is likely that over the past seven months more Confederate monuments came Read more

One of the most remarkable things taking place on Richmond’s Monument Avenue is the way black Richmonders have appropriated the space around the Robert E. Lee monument. I was not surprised by the tagging of the monuments or even the removal of the Jefferson Davis statue, but the wide range of activities taking place at Read more

It is impossible to keep up with the news coming out of Richmond. I am still having difficulty wrapping my head around the fact that at some point in the near future the Confederate monuments on Monument Avenue will be removed. Until that time I suspect that demonstrators will continue to appropriate the Lee Circle Read more

By now most of you have seen the photographs of the damage/tagging done to Confederate monuments throughout the country in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. In addition to monuments, the headquarters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Richmond also sustained serious damage. This should come as no Read more

This blog post title pretty much says it all. This morning the city of Winston-Salem removed a Confederate statue that had been sitting on the courthouse square since 1905. It will be relocated to a local cemetery. I don’t know if this is exhaustive, but here is a list of monuments/memorials, flags and other Confederate Read more

Last night at a political rally in Ohio President Donald Trump veered off into another one of his confusing tangents in American history, specifically the Civil War. The man could easily do an episode of Drunk History on the history of the American Civil War without consuming a single drink. Included in his commentary was Read more