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Is There Room in Dark History…

I was perusing the program for the upcoming AHA in New York City and noticed a couple of interesting Civil War panels. They tend to reflect the recent turn toward exploring the emotional lives of soldiers and the challenges they faced throughout the postwar period – what some people are calling “dark history.” Here is... Continue reading

Why Charles Lee Loved Dogs

Earlier this year I wrote about how John Adams was discovered to have written some indiscreet comments about Gen. Charles Lee: “you must love his Dogs if you love him, and forgive a Thousand Whims for the Sake of the Soldier and the Scholar.”On 19 Sept 1775, Lee told Dr. Show More Summary

The 48th/150th: Peebles's Farm: 9/30/1864

150 years ago... The Battle of Peebles Farm: 9/30/1864(nps)...and after helping to secure the capture of Weldon Railroad in mid-August 1864, the war-weary, dirt-covered soldiers of the 48th Pennsylvania settled in once more to the monotonous but still deadly life in the trenches at Petersburg. Show More Summary

Body found near a previously-found one in Rossan Bog

Workers for Ireland’s semi-state peat harvesting company Bord Na Móna discovered an ancient bog body in Rossan Bog last Saturday, September 13th. As per protocol, when the remains were found, work stopped and the gardai (police) were called. When the gardai determined that it was not a contemporary crime scene, they quickly informed the National [...]

Gifts between N.Y., S.C. fire departments remembered

In 1865, Union soldiers set fire to cotton warehouses in Columbia, S.C. and then watched as the city burned. Residents formed a bucket brigade and desperately tried to put it out. Among the soldiers were several New York City firefighters who were appalled at the primitive firefighting methods used by city. Show More Summary

The Mifflins’ Marriage

Yesterday, when we looked in on the Brattle House in Cambridge in August 1775, Continental Army quartermaster general Thomas Mifflin had taken it as his home and office during the siege of Boston. Three women were already living there:...Show More Summary

Why I Am Still Willing To Talk About It

I haven’t thought much about the subject of black Confederates in any serious way lately, but the brief interaction I had last night with a Twitter follower serves as a reminder of why I think it’s still important. Here is a link to the photographs referenced by @RRT2451.

Peabody Essex Museum acquires gorgeous 18th c. Indian textile collection

The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts, has acquired a rare collection of 18th century Indian textiles that are in such spectacular condition that you’d be forgiven for thinking they were made yesterday. Made in the early 1700s for export to the Netherlands, the cotton chintz textiles include jackets, men’s dressing gowns (banyans), women’s [...]

“Women of Tory Row” Tour, 20 Sept.

Saturday, 20 September, is this year’s Cambridge Discovery Day. The city’s historical commission has organized a series of walking tours, exhibits, and lectures, most of them free. I’m leading a tour of Brattle Street called “The Women of Tory Row.” We’ll start at 3:00 at the Tory Row historical marker on the corner of Brattle and Mason Streets. Show More Summary

Essay on John Bowie Magruder Uploaded

I wrote the first draft of this essay on the colonel of the 57th Virginia Infantry during a summer seminar that I took with Gary Gallagher in 2001. It was my first attempt at writing something substantial after moving to Charlottesville in 2000. Up until then I had written a bunch of book reviews and... Continue reading

Archaeology students find Roman fort on the Rhine

An educational dig by the Goethe University Institute of Archaeology in the city of Gernsheim on the east bank of the Rhine in Hesse, Germany, has unearthed the remains of a Roman fort. Supported by professional archaeologists from the university and Hessian State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments, 15 students spent five weeks [...]

Free Course With Eric Foner Starts Tomorrow

I hope some of you have the time to take advantage of another opportunity to study the Civil War Era with one of the most prominent scholars in the field. The course is free and begins tomorrow. The video is well worth watching, especially the second half in which Foner reflects on the influence of... Continue reading

The Incentives Behind the A.P. Test

Having discussed the economic incentives that might fuel some criticism of the new A.P. U.S. History guidelines, I feel I should acknowledge the other side of the coin: the economics behind that revamping. Advanced Placement exams are administered by the College Board, the same company that handles the S.A.T. Show More Summary

A Taste of Civil War Memory Studies

Fellow blogger and historian, Keith Harris, recently asked me to put together a list of books for someone who might be interested in exploring the field of Civil War memory studies for his new online journal, The Americanist Independent.  The project is Keith’s attempt to utilize digital tools to bring quality history essays and other... Continue reading

Neolithic necropolis with 20 monumental tombs found in France

A team of archaeologists from the National Institute for Preventative Archaeological Research (INRAP) has unearthed a vast Middle Neolithic necropolis with 20 monumental tombs in Fleury-sur-Orne, in the northwestern French state of Lower Normandy. Dating to around 4,500 B.C., the tombs are of the Passy kind, named after the municipality in Burgundy 70 miles southeast [...]

The Buckland Races

The Buckland Races A song by J.E.B. Stuart Come listen to me, ladies, A story I’ll relate. Which happened in the eastern part Of the Old Dominion State Away down at New Baltimore, On a day of Autumn bright. The Yankee braggadocio Was...Show More Summary

“Will This Be on the (A.P. U.S. History) Test?”

Larry Krieger, the educator most voluble in his criticism of the new Advanced Placement U.S. History course guidelines, has a quick answer to the fact I documented yesterday: that most of the topics he and his allies say are missing from the new guidelines weren’t in the older, shorter guidelines either. Show More Summary

Why Paternalism is Meaningless on the Plantation

It’s disheartening to hear people who continue to insist on distinctions between good and bad slaveowners. I’ve never understood such arguments. It’s the commodification of the individual itself along with the possibility and reality of sale of so many that renders the institution by definition as evil.  What takes place between master and slave on... Continue reading

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