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Confederate Flag Flap at Beauvoir

All is not well at Jefferson Davis’s postwar home of Beauvoir. [The website is downright ugly.] The news article linked to here is poorly written so it is difficult to piece together the nature of the dispute, but there seems to be a rift between Bertram Hayes-Davis (the former president’s great-great-grandson) and the Mississippi Division, […]

Carry Me Back to Old Virginny

Thanks to Patrick Schroeder of the National Park Service and David Coles of Longwood University for inviting me to take part in their Civil War seminar this weekend in Farmville, Virginia. I had a wonderful time. I stayed at the Spring Grove Bed and Breakfast near Appomattox, where I enjoyed the hospitality of Emily and […]

The South Boston Parade’s Legend of John Henry Knox

Today the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is scheduled in South Boston, sponsored by the local Allied War Veteran’s Council under the leadership of John “Wacko” Hurley.A while back, a nice person from one of greater Boston’s history museums contacted me, aghast at the parade’s “History” webpage. Show More Summary

Revolutionary Women in Weymouth, 27 Mar.

On Thursday, 27 March, the Abigail Adams Historical Society in Weymouth will host a panel discussion of “Revolutionary Women: Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, and Judith Sargent Murray.” All three of those women came from upper-class...Show More Summary

The 48th/150th: Back To The Front. . .and Some "Troublesome Customers."

150 years ago...and after what must have seemed like a blink of an eye, the thirty-day furlough for the veteran soldiers of the 48th Pennsylvania came to an end. Officially, their furlough ended on March 4, 1864, but when the regiment...Show More Summary

Lincoln, Jackson and Grant looking for good home

On Saturday, successful bidders at an auction at Gettysburg’s American Civil War Wax Museum will be taking home life-sized figures of President Abraham Lincoln, Generals Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman as well as unnamed slaves, soldiers and civilians. Read full article >>

Black Confederate Kickstarter Campaign Needs Your Help

Last month I shared an unusual Kickstarter campaign seeking funds for a children’s book about black Confederates. The campaign has until the end of this month to raise $3,000 dollars. Unfortunately, as of today only one pledge has been made for $15. This is pathetic. Where is the support? This project is perfect for white […]

Founder of Blog Makes Good

Ari Kelman, who co-founded this here blog, manages to make good: Columbia University announced today that two acclaimed works will be awarded the 2014 Bancroft Prize: Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time by Ira Katznelson (Liveright Publishing Corporation / W.W. Show More Summary

Evacuation Day Exercises in Dorchester and Roxbury, 17 Mar.

Monday, 17 March, is the anniversary of the day in 1776 when the British military left Boston and the first Continental troops moved in. That event will be commemorated with historical exercises in Dorchester and Roxbury starting at 10:00 A.M. Show More Summary

Misplaced Massacre Wins Bancroft Prize

The judges for the 2014 Bancroft Prize could not have selected a better book this year. I’ve been raving about Ari Kelman’s A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling over the Memory of Sand Creek (Harvard University Press) since its publication. Here is my blurb for a “best of” list that recently appeared in The Civil War Monitor […]

Black Confederate Movement “Demented”

This weekend the University of Virginia’s Miller Center will begin airing their “Our American Forum” interview with Gary Gallagher on public TV stations across the country. The Center has uploaded a few preview clips, but I thought this clip in which Gary describes the black Confederate movement as “demented” was worth sharing. I’ve always appreciated […]

The mysterious new Lincoln letter

Last Friday, the Associated Press reported on the discovery of a previously unknown Abraham Lincoln document, and with it, a puzzling mystery.  Addressed only to “My dear Sir,” a portion of the letter had been carefully removed, eliminating the key to understanding its meaning.  Lincoln appears to have been writing “in haste” to someone asking if he […]

Talk on the Shays Rebellion in Lincoln, 16 Mar.

On Sunday, 16 March, the Friends of Minute Man National Park will host a lecture by Gary Shattuck on “Shays’ Rebellion: The Trials for Job Shattuck.” It looks like this lecture will be based on Gary Shattuck’s recent book, which theShow More Summary


The cost of living is going up: We are writing to provide you advance notice that the price of your [Amazon] Prime membership will be increasing. The annual rate will be $99 when your membership renews on July 14, 2014. Even as fuel and transportation costs have increased, the price of Prime has remained the same for nine years. Show More Summary

Why the Historians May Not Matter To Napolitano

I’ve already said that I think both Andrew Napolitano and Jon Stewart ought to leave the history to the historians. It will be interesting to see whether Napolitano continues to voice claims about the war that are decidedly false. The two that stand out include a mistaken belief that slavery was on the verge of […]

Making Me Think Even More Highly of Steve Jobs

After Glenn Beck made racist comments on his Fox News show, Steve Jobs was not pleased: When Apple founder Steve Jobs found out what Beck had said, he was furious. On a Saturday, Jobs, who hadn’t known Apple advertised on Fox, firedShow More Summary

Talks All Mapped Out in Lexington This Spring

The Scottish Rite Museum and Library in Lexington, also known as the National Heritage Museum, or formerly the Museum of Our National Heritage, has some intriguing talks mapped out for the spring.In particular, this Saturday there will be a talk on Col. Show More Summary

Why We Need Professional Historians

Last night Judge Andrew Napolitano returned to The Daily Show a week after Stewart’s segment in which he critiqued some of the judge’s most problematic claims about Lincoln and the war. You can watch the interview [and here] as well as the little game show skit featuring Napolitano and a panel of historians, including Eric […]

Has It Been An “Anemic” Civil War Sesquicentennial?

Here is another excerpt from The Civil War Trust’s interview with Gary Gallagher. Here Gary responds to a question about the impact of the sesquicentennial in comparison with the centennial. I think it’s been anemic. I don’t think many states have done much. Virginia’s done a great deal with a series of what they call […]

Now That’s A Book I Want To Read

I don’t know when this interview with Gary Gallagher took place, but this little comment caught my attention in response to the question of where further research is most needed. I’m not sure there is a big hole in the literature that’s just crying out to be filled. What’s interesting is that a book occasionally […]

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