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Shameless self-promotion, part 906….

Time for some shameless self-promotion. Over the weekend, I signed off on the page galleys for my newest book, The Devil’s to Pay: John Buford at Gettysburg. A History and Walking Tour. The file has been sent to the printer, and in about...Show More Summary

Samuel Adams the Wire-worker

In two postings on the Bostonian Society’s blog, Kathryn Griffith just profiled Samuel Adams the wire-worker, source of the striped cloth in the society’s collection that’s become known as the “Liberty Tree Flag.”Harris wrote about this...Show More Summary

A Victory For the Good Guys

Last week I shared the news that the iconic image of Andrew and Silas Chandler had been donated to the Library of Congress. Over the weekend The Washington Post picked up the story. The title of the article makes it perfectly clear that the image does not show two men going off to war voluntarily.... Continue reading

“The Lingering Stain of Slavery”

As the illuminating map generated by that study shows, children born in some regions—Salt Lake City and San Jose, Calif., for example—have a reasonable shot of moving up the social ladder. By contrast, many parts of the former Confederacy, it seems, are now the places where the American dream goes to die. Why is that... Continue reading

Ten books that influenced me

I received the following challenge: List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t over think it. They don’t have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, just books that have impacted you in some way. So, here goes, in no particular order: 1. Show More Summary

What Will Happen with the Sawin House?

Back in 2012, I noted that there was a discussion about tearing down the Sawin House in Natick. The oldest parts of that building are said to date back to 1696 and the first English settlers in that town, which was originally set aside for Native American converts to Christianity. Show More Summary

When Confederate Veterans Came North

Apart from the famous reunions at Gettysburg most of our images of Confederate and Union veterans reunions took place in the South. They typically involved the dedication of a monument or an entire battlefield. What we don’t know enough about involve examples of Confederate veterans traveling north. One such example took place in 1910 when... Continue reading

Half a Million Steps Along the Freedom Trail

Big congratulations to Charles Bahne for reaching the “half a million copies in print” milestone with his Compete Guide to Boston’s Freedom Trail!This paperback is not only a thorough and affordable little guide to Boston’s most famous historic sites from the Revolutionary and Federalist eras, but it’s also a fine example of micro-publishing. Show More Summary

“The Enmity Between North and South Is Dead”

From my southern Georgia grandparents’ estate, a bit of Lost Cause children’s culture, published 1914. pic.twitter.com/4AdsvibMWb — Shane Landrum (@cliotropic) August 23, 2014

Politics of the Doctors’ Riot

The New York doctors’ riot of 1788 arose from a popular emotional response to medical students’ grave-robbing and disrespectful treatment of corpses. But it also had a clear political component.Those students tended to take bodies from...Show More Summary

Thinking About the Civil War 150 Where It Really Matters

On a number of occasions I’ve addressed the question of whether the sesquicentennial has been a success. No doubt, as we move through the first part of 2015 these discussions will increase in frequency. For the most the framing of the question has tended to take both a long and broad view in terms of... Continue reading

Chasing Down the Obnoxious Dr. Hicks

The New York doctors’ riot of April 1788, most chroniclers agree, was set off by a doctor named John Hicks making a tasteless and ill-timed joke about a corpse he was dissecting. Identifying that man is complicated by the fact that two...Show More Summary

The 48th/150th: August 1864: Life In The Trenches & A New Kind of Warfare

In early August 1864, the soldiers of the 48th Pennsylvania begrudgingly returned to the normal routines of trench warfare, no doubt still shaking their heads in disbelief over the utter disaster that resulted at the Crater. Yet the war continued... Show More Summary

A Child’s Memories of the Doctors’ Riot of 1788

A few days back I mentioned William Alexander Duer’s New-York as it Was, During the Latter Part of the Last Century, published in 1849.Duer (shown here in a copy of a daguerreotype) was born in 1780, son of the British-born Patriot politician William Duer and grandson of the Continental general William Alexander, Lord Stirling. Show More Summary

Crater 150 Talk on C-SPAN3 Tonight

Just in case you have absolutely nothing else to do tonight C-SPAN3 will air (10:15pm) the talk I recently delivered in Petersburg as part of the 150th anniversary of the battle of the Crater. In fact, C-SPAN is going to re-run the commemorative ceremony that took place on July 30 as well as Emmanuel Dabney’s... Continue reading

Fight at the New York City Jail

When we left off William Heth’s account of the New York doctors’ riot of April 1788, the anti-dissection crowd had started to attack the city jail, where some anatomy teachers and students had taken refuge. Heth wrote:The militia were...Show More Summary

Coates on Ferguson and Civil War Memory

There is a wall that I always hit when I read commentary by Ta-Nehisi Coates owing to my personal background and race. While I can relate to his preferred interpretation of Civil War memory on an intellectual level I am aware that his understanding comes from a very personal place and a sense of community... Continue reading

A Virginian on New York’s Doctors’ Riot

In the spring of 1788 a Virginia planter and retired colonel named William Heth (1750–1807) was in New York, commissioned by his state as a negotiator with the young national government on ceding Virginia’s claims to western lands. While in New York, Heth witnessed parts of the doctors’ riot that I mentioned yesterday. Show More Summary

Nature’s Civil War: Lecture by Katherine Shively Meier

My friend, Katy Meier, recently delivered a Banner Lecture at the Virginia Historical Society on her new book, Nature’s Civil War: Common Soldiers and the Environment in 1862 Virginia. The book recently won The Wiley-Silver Book prize, which is given yearly by The Center for Civil War Research at the University of Mississippi. I highly... Continue reading

An excellent program

I have long been an enthusiastic supporter of the gang at Emerging Civil War. Chris Mackowski and Kris White founded Emerging Civil War to create a place for the next generation of Civil War historians to try out their voices. And they...Show More Summary

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