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In letters snatched from trash, a Brooklyn soldier writes of facing death at the Crater

A new display at the Brooklyn Historical Society, includes a particularly moving letter from Capt. Samuel Sims of Brooklyn that was almost lost to history. He was writing from the Petersburg lines in July, 1864, as he awaited the detonation of explosives below Confederate offenses that would become known as the Battle of the Crater. Show More Summary

Reenactment at Spell Hall, Coventry, 16-17 May

The Gen. Nathanael Greene Homestead will host a Revolutionary War reenactment on 16-17 May. The fourteen-acre site in Coventry, Rhode Island, will host Continental and British military camps, musket and cannon demonstrations, and tours of Greene’s completely restored 1770 home, Spell Hall. Show More Summary

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Neo-Confederates

You can’t make up these stories. The other day I told you about two students who posed waving Confederate flags on the Gettysburg battlefield, along…

Eighteenth-Century Developments in the Media

The past week has brought a little flurry of news stories related to eighteenth-century America.National Public Radio interviewed Ed Lengel, chief editor of the big Washington Papers Project at the University of Virginia, about the recent decision to give the same scholarly treatment to Martha Washington’s surviving letters. Show More Summary

“Already Bought My First Slave” at Gettysburg

I was a bit surprised when a couple of students on my recent Civil War trip attempted to purchase Confederate flags at one of the…

Watch out, Peter. David Brooks wants to rob you to pay Paul.

Ronald Reagan in “A Time for Choosing,” the Gipper’s speech for Barry Goldwater in 1964: Welfare spending [is] 10 times greater than in the dark depths of the Depression. We’re spending 45 billion dollars on welfare. Now do a little arithmetic, and you’ll find that if we divided the 45 billion dollars up equally among […]

Taking the General Monk

Yesterday I left the Pennsylvania navy vessel Hyder Ally and the Royal Navy sloop General Monk in the middle of a fight in Delaware Bay on 8 Apr 1782.The young captain of the Hyder Ally, Joshua Barney, told his helmsman to do the opposite of what he ordered and then yelled, “Hard a-port!” The helmsman steered to starboard. Show More Summary

A Headmaster’s Civil War Memory

Last month the headmaster of a middle school in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania took some time from the day to talk with his students about the significance…

Hyder Ally on Patrol in Delaware Bay

In April 1782, the port of Philadelphia was under the protection of an armed ship named Hyder Ally, after Hyder Ali Khan, the sultan of Mysore in India.When I first read this fact, I was struck by how Americans were honoring the Muslim governor of a monarchy on the other side of the world. Show More Summary

Daigler on Revolutionary War Spies in Newport, 7 May

On Thursday, 7 May, Ken Daigler will speak about the stories from his book Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence During the Revolutionary War with the Newport Historical Society.Everyone knows the names of Revolutionary...Show More Summary

Confederate Heritage is Alive and Well in Brazil

The gradual erosion of open celebrations of Confederate heritage throughout the United States stands in sharp contrast with a vibrant memory for the residents of…

Grandpa Was a Famous Nazi

With Abenesia in the news, I thought it might be useful to talk about another Axis nation’s complicated struggle with the memory of the Second World War. Jennifer Teege found out, at the age of 38, that not only was her grandfather a Nazi, he was an especially infamous Nazi: Amon Goeth, the commandant of […]

Two New Pre-Revolutionary Comics to Choose Between

Tea Party: An American Story is a webcomic from Sam Machado, Cynthia “Theamat” Sousa, and Amanda Sousa Machado, signing themselves as TAS.It’s one of the most scrupulous fictional depictions of pre-Revolutionary Boston that I’ve seen. Show More Summary

The 48th/150th: To Alexandria

150 years ago...the soldiers of the 48th Pennsylvania were settling into a new camp, this one at Fort Lyons, near Alexandria, Virginia, the men eagerly looking forward to going home. Officers of the 48th Pennsylvania at Alexandria, VA, 1865(From Left-to-Right: Edward Sykes, Dr. Show More Summary

Sons of Confederate Veterans Lose Lee Chapel Lease

This should not come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the situation at the Lee Chapel on the grounds of the Virginia Museum of…

Revolutionary Lectures at the Boston Public Library

As part of its Local and Family History lecture series, the Boston Public Library will host some notable free talks on Revolutionary topics over the next several months.Wednesday, 6 May, 6:00 P.M.Robert Love’s Warnings: Searching for...Show More Summary

Where Should the National Park Service Interpret Reconstruction?

It’s been noted on this blog more than once that we currently do not have a historic site devoted to Reconstruction. Today in the Atlantic…

Celebrate with the Journal of the American Revolution, 8 May

On Friday, 8 May, the Journal of the American Revolution plans to celebrate the publication of its second printed volume of articles with its second Revolutionary War Schmoozer in Boston.The online journal’s 2015 collection can be ordered...Show More Summary

Confederate Memorial Day Under Assault in the Heart of the Confederacy

The other day I solicited your thoughts about the winners and losers of the Civil War sesquicentennial. The post generated a very helpful discussion, which…

What a Black Confederate Can Tell Us About the Streets of Baltimore

I’ve spent most of the day in a sort of funk having gone from watching the unfolding protests and violence in the streets of Baltimore…

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