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It’s time to shut down The Edge of the American West. It’s been a long run, and I’ve enjoyed it, but blogging has become less compelling over the last year or so. I want to stop before writing for Edge actively becomes a chore. The blog has already had a number of lives, and different configurations, but I suspect that this is the last one. Show More Summary

New To the Civil War Memory Library, 08/13/14

Paul Escott, Lincoln’s Dilemma: Blair, Sumner, and the Republican Struggle over Racism and Equality in the Civil War Era, (University Press of Virginia, 2014). Evan Jones and Wiley Sword eds., Gateway to the Confederacy: New Perspectives on the Chickamauga and Chattanooga Campaigns, 1862-1863, (Louisiana State University Press, 2014). Show More Summary

Benjamin Franklin Leaves Boston in Style

Among the first generation of leading American statesmen, Benjamin Franklin is often said to be the only one who was ever in bondage to another person. Sure, he was an apprentice with a limited time until he became free, and his master...Show More Summary

What’s So “Odd” About It?

I’ve never had a problem with readers and fellow bloggers criticizing what I post here. Certainly, much of what I write is open to critical response, but for the life of me I have no idea what Richard Williams finds problematic about this post. Like many of you I was saddened to hear about the... Continue reading

Embracing the Safety of Reconciliation in Petersburg

Here is the link to the commemoration ceremony marking the 150th anniversary of the battle of the Crater. The event was organized by the National Park Service and held on the Crater battlefield this past July 30. A nice size crowd attended the event and I was quite impressed by the number of African Americans... Continue reading

Dispatch from the Green Dragon

I’m typing this in a coffee house in Carlsbad, California. But not just any coffee house—the one attached to the Green Dragon Tavern and Museum. I reported on the plans for this complex and its opening last year. So when I made plans...Show More Summary

Thanks for the Laughs and the Truth

“The Confederate Flag is just a symbol of states rights… Yeah, and the Swastika is just a Tibetan good luck charm, c’mon now.” Robin Williams, Live on Broadway (2002)

Bring On Governor John A. Andrew

I am scrapping the black Confederate book project. I just don’t have it in me to work on it anymore. There is nothing intellectually challenging about it and it only works to frustrate me when I think about some of the characters that I would have to address in the memory section. I’ve got an... Continue reading

Celebrating Benjamin Thompson

On Sunday, 17 August, the Rumford Birthplace Museum in Woburn will celebrate two anniversaries: the 300th of the construction of the house’s oldest rooms. the 200th of the death of the man who made that house famous enough to be preserved: Benjamin Thompson, later Count Rumford. Show More Summary

Today is a happy day!

Today is a happy day. The demolition of the Fleetwood Hill McMansion and the brick ranch house in front of it has begun! Thank you to everyone who donated to make this long-awaited day possible. From today’s Fredericksburg Freelance-Star: Brandy...Show More Summary

Cockburn’s Cure

Westminster Abbey explains:William Cockburn, a wealthy physician of St James Street Westminster, was buried in the middle aisle of the nave of Westminster Abbey, near the entrance to the Choir, on 24 November 1739, aged 70. He has no monument or marker. Show More Summary

Thinking about the Sesqui of Strother’s farewell from the army

Around 1:30 p.m. (I’m almost to the very minute when posting this), 150 years ago on this day, David Hunter Strother boarded a train at Harper’s Ferry, bound for Baltimore. He was just taking 20 days leave of absence… but ultimately, it sure appears as if he had had his fill of war. Was it […]

Founders’ Favorite Quotations, part 3

Here’s the final run of “quotations” from America’s founders as chosen by some current tech company founders earlier this year. I put “quotations” in quotation marks because not all of them are, in fact, quotations from the people said...Show More Summary

“Passes! Passes For White Folks!”

It’s impossible to deny the influence that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have had on Civil War scholarship. The two most obvious places in which you can see this influence is in the number of new studies on Civil War veterans as well as medical treatment of soldiers. You can also see it in... Continue reading

“For Every Flag Removed…”

Here’s the problem with this logic. It’s not simply a question of whether or not a Confederate flag is flying on a university campus, public building or roadside lamp. Confederate heritage groups can organize and raise as many flags as they want, but they will never be able to counter what is really being rejected.... Continue reading

Pennsylvania Civil War museum fights back

More than a week after Harrisburg, Pa., Mayor Eric Papenfuse attacked the city’s National Civil War Museum  as a financial drain on the city and asked county commissioners to stop giving the museum funds intended for tourism promotion for Harrisburg, museums officials struck back Friday. Read full article >>

Founders’ Favorite Quotations, part 2

As I explained yesterday, last month a website publishing for the technology world asked more than three dozen company founders to share their favorite quotations from America’s Founders. Some of those were actual quotations from America’s Founders. Show More Summary

This one hits close to home…..

My world, and welcome to it. The stuff that people feel that they have to share with us at book signings is pretty astounding. Please don’t mistake my sarcasm for a lack of gratitude. I really appreciate it that folks feel like they can approach me and for the most part, I enjoy the interactions. Show More Summary

Founders’ Favorite Quotations, part 1

Last month, Ronald Barba rounded up tech company founders’ favorite quotations from America’s Founders. But are all those quotations authentic enough to invest in? Let’s audit that list.“The purpose of money is to purchase the freedom to pursue that which was useful and interesting.” –Benjamin FranklinThis is a quotation from H. Show More Summary

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