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“A British grenadier made prisoner”

In his History of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment, of the Independence of the United States of America, in a section dated to late 1776, the Rev. William Gordon included this anecdote of the war:It happened, that a garden of a widow woman, which lay between the two camps, was robbed at night. Show More Summary

1960s National Cemetery Parking Lot “Retaining Wall”

As part of the National Park Service’s professed goal of turning the Gettysburg Battlefield back to its 1863 appearance, this 1960s era wall will remain in place at the National Cemetery Parking Lot. This view was taken facing southwest at approximately 7:30 AM on Wednesday, August 3, 2016. Show More Summary

The DeDixiefication of the South Continues

The DeDixiefication of the South continues this week with the news that the University of Mississippi’s marching band has dropped “Dixie” from its playlist. “The newly expanded and renovated Vaught-Hemingway Stadium will further highlight our best traditions and create new ones that give the Ole Miss Rebels the best home field advantage in college football,” […]

Nine sites in Winchester, Va., area come together for a Civil War weekend

Annual summer event in Virginia showcases Civil War sites in Shenandoah, Frederick and Clarke counties and the city of Winchester on Aug. 19-21.

An Impressive Reenactment in Newport, 27 August

Next Saturday, 27 August, the Newport Historical Society is sponsoring another of its fine large-scale reenactments in the center of town: “Naval Impressment: A 1765 Reenactment in Colonial Newport.” The society explains:On the afternoon...Show More Summary

“Five thousand acres of land from Government”

As I described yesterday, the war separated Thomas and Eunice Hazard of Newport, Rhode Island for more than three years, starting when he left the town with the British military in late 1779.Thomas had to leave since he was an active...Show More Summary

“Left her three years ago in a condition almost helpless”

Yesterday we left Eunice Hazard and her children in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1779 after her husband Thomas evacuated the town with the British military. In February 1782 she described her situation in a petition to the Rhode IslandShow More Summary

Is Your School Looking For a Speaker to Talk about the History of the Confederate Battle Flag?

A new school year approaching means another opportunity to address the ongoing debate about the history and public display of the Confederate battle flag and monuments. Over the past year I worked with students and teachers at both the high school and college levels. The topic offers students a chance to take part in this […]

An enduring and iconic feature in the Shenandoah

For over 177 years, the Virginia Military Institute has been an iconic part of the history of the Shenandoah Valley. Today, I happened upon the following clip from the August 13, 1859 edition of the Richmond Dispatch: Having set the context with this clip… the more things change, the more… well, you know.  While the number of new “Rats” […]

Appomattox to honor Civil War soldier whose remains are en route to Maine

Pvt. Jewett Williams, whose ashes were discovered in the basement of the Oregon State Hospital, is heading home to Maine via a motorcycle relay organized by the Patriot Guards. His cortege is scheduled to make a stop at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Va., on Thursday for a 1 p.m. ceremony honoring the soldier […]

Ashes of Civil War veteran taken on cross-country trip, including stops at Appomattox and Gettysburg

The ashes of Civil War veteran Pvt. Jewett Williams, recently found in a storage room an Oregon mental hospital, are en route to his home state of Maine, carried there by a relay of motorcycle riders, with recently added stops at Appomattox Court House and Gettysburg.

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 08/16

Earl J. Hess, Braxton Bragg: The Most Hated Man of the Confederacy (University of North Carolina Press, 2016). Matthew Karp, This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy (Harvard University Press, 2016). Williamson Murray and Wayne Hsieh, A Savage War: A Military History of the Civil War (Princeton University Press, 2016). […]

The Hazards of Thomas Hazard

Thomas Hazard was born 22 Feb 1727 on the west side of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay. He was the descendant of a man of the same name who had come to Boston in the 1630s Puritan migration, then helped to found Newport in 1639. Hazard...Show More Summary

Vanderbilt to Remove “Confederate” Inscription

The announcement came earlier today that Vanderbilt University’s Confederate Memorial Hall will be re-named. Click here for the history of this particular campus building.

When Civil War Reenactors Legitimize Racism

Last week I shared a segment of Vice Does America that focused on the interaction between a young black man and a Confederate reenactor in Jacksonville, Alabama. The reenactor questioned Wilbert Cooper as to why he chose not to suit up and join a Confederate unit based on his belief that blacks fought in integrated […]

Rhode Island Furniture in Connecticut, Opening 19 Aug.

On Friday, 19 August, The Yale University Art Gallery will open a new exhibit titled “Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650-1830.” The exhibit’s website says: “Drawing together more than 130 exceptional objects...Show More Summary

But Enough about Me—Let’s Talk about My Book

Laura Beach of Antiques and the Arts recently interviewed me about how I got into researching and writing history and then creating this blog. Here’s a taste of that exchange:How broad is public interest in American history? American history at this level is a niche interest, but, like any niche, it has fervent followers. Show More Summary

A Split in the Merchants’ Club in 1771

On Tuesday, 13 Aug 1771, John Adams went into Boston for a weekly meeting of one of his gentlemen’s clubs and discovered that most of the club wasn’t there. He wrote in his diary:Spent the Evening at [Hannah] Cordis’s, the British Coffee house.—In the front Room, towards the long Wharfe, where the Merchants Clubb has met this twenty Years. Show More Summary

“75,000 Confederates of Color?” on a Billboard

This is one of two billboards sponsored by the Missouri Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans that have recently been placed along Missouri highways, one near Kansas City and the other outside of St. Louis. There is something desperate about placing such an advertisement on a large billboard, but it does serve as a wonderful example […]

The Fights After the Fight off Fairhaven

Yesterday I started describing the 14 May 1775 fight outside Buzzard’s Bay between the newly-armed whaler Success from the village of Fairhaven and two trading sloops that the Royal Navy had recently captured.When I broke off, provincial...Show More Summary

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