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“Fleetwood Fight, June 9, 1863?, by W. W. Blackford

Many thanks to friend Clark B. Hall for sharing this poem with me. Capt. William W. Blackford was J.E.B. Stuart’s able engineering officer in the spring and summer of 1863. He was 31 and one of several brothers serving in the Confederate service. Show More Summary

The Problem of Southern Thinking From a Southerner

No, I don’t believe that the views expressed in this video reflect the views of any one section of the country, but I do believe that “Mungo” gets at something interesting. He at least echoes many of the hysterical views expressed in the wake of the W&L Confederate flag controversy and other so-called heritage violations. […]

Digging for Shays

The Burlington Free Press just ran an Associated Press story (also picked up by the Boston Globe and Wall Street Journal) about a high-school teacher’s archeological dig in Sandgate, Vermont, with roots in post-Revolutionary America:On...Show More Summary

Is a Dialogue Possible With the SCV’s New Chief of Heritage Operations?

Brooks Simpson is optimistic that a dialogue is possible with the SCV’s new chief of heritage operations. I fully support whatever extent Brooks and Mr. Jones are able to engage in a civil conversation about those issues related to Civil War memory that continue to divide Americans. That said, I think it is safe to […]

The “Adams” Cannon Relieved from Its Post

Today the Boston National Historical Park has closed the steps to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument in order to remove an item that’s been in the chamber atop that stone tower since the 1840s.That artifact is the “Adams“ cannon, shown at right. Show More Summary

The 48th/150th: "The Regular Siege Life Again:" The Dust Settles at the Crater

Confederate Troops Re-Occupy The Crater It probably meant little to the soldiers of the 48th Pennsylvania, especially coming from a man who offered little--if any--support and from a general who largely forsook the 9th Corps in its struggle in the Crater, but 150 years ago on August 3, Major General George Meade issued General Orders No. Show More Summary

Revolutionary War Comic Coming in 2015

Last month the Nerdist website announced that in April 2015 Dark Horse Comics will launch the comic book Rebels, which “will explore the lives of soldiers, ordinary colonists, and the extraordinary men and women that lived and died during...Show More Summary

This Is How Grayson Jennings Defends His Heritage

Why am I not surprised that Virginia Flagger, Grayson Jennings, has taken to social media to vent about my appearance in Petersburg this past week for the 150th anniversary of the battle of the Crater. As I mentioned in my last post, he had every opportunity to engage me following my talk on Friday evening, […]

My Encounter With the Virginia Flaggers

The Flaggers have been huffing and puffing for months about my scheduled visit to Petersburg for the 150th anniversary of the Crater. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was flattered that they thought me “flag” worthy. On Wednesday morning I arrived at the battlefield early in time to commemorate the explosion of […]

Three-day Gettysburg seminar for $100

The Gettysburg National Military Park and Gettysburg Foundation are among the sponsors of a $100, three-day seminar on Sept. 12 to 14 titled “The Unfinished Work: Abraham Lincoln, David Wills and the Soldiers’ National Cemetery.” The...Show More Summary

First-Person Holder

Noah J. Nelson of Turnstyle via the Huffington Post recently profiled a new videogame—or is that the right term?“Thralled is an interactive experience about a runaway slave in 18th-century Brazil who becomes traumatized over the disappearance...Show More Summary

Thank You Petersburg

As much as I Iove living in Boston I’ve missed the opportunity to take part in sesquicentennial events here in Virginia over the past few years. Spending the week here in Petersburg for the 150th anniversary of the Crater has been especially gratifying. It was so nice having the opportunity to spend time with friends […]

Searching for Mrs. Seaver

Yesterday I quoted from the page of the Hopkinton meetinghouse records shown above, photographed this week for the New York Times: February 26th. 1763. The Church met at the meeting-house (pursuant to adjournment) and unanimously Voted, That the Charge brought against Mrs. Show More Summary

Preserving New England’s Church Records

Yesterday’s New York Times had a front-page article about an ongoing search for old New England church records. Many churches still have those records, but in less than ideal conditions. The region’s Congregationalist heritage means two things. Show More Summary

Review of Smith’s Race and Recruitment

Here is my review of Race and Recruitment: Civil War History Readers, which was just published at The Civil War Monitor. In recognition of Civil War History‘s 60th anniversary, the editors at Kent State University Press are releasing a series of books that feature some of the journal’s most important publications. The essays in the […]

Crater 150

It’s been a long day. I will share some thoughts at another time. For now I will leave you with this photograph of the 22nd USCT’s regimental flag. The reenacting unit took part in today’s ceremony at the Crater.

Battle of Mobile Bay flag on exhibit

A 24-foot-long American flag believed to have been flown on shipboard during the Battle of Mobile Bay in Alabama by the USS Brooklyn is now on display at the former Grand Army of the Republic headquarters in the small town of Adams, Mass., in the northwestern part of the state. Show More Summary

Tree Rings Under the Trade Center

I first mentioned dendrochronology—the new science of matching up the thicknesses of tree rings to identify the age and source of a piece of wood—back in 2007. It’s usually applied to buildings, and especially to determining whetherShow More Summary

The 48th/150th: "If I Had Known What A Blunder It Would Be, I Never Would Have Gone In To Relight The Fuse:" Sgt. Henry Reese Remembers the Crater

Alfred Waud's Depiction of the Explosion of the Petersburg MineJuly 30, 1864 ? It was one of the most remarkable successes of the war...followed by one of its worst disasters. 150 years ago this morning, the 48thShow More Summary

Playing Nice With United States Colored Troops at the Crater

Today the NYTs Disunion page features an essay by Richard Slotkin on the Crater and the story of the “colored” Fourth Division. I recommend his book on the battle, though the source material utilized is very limited. The following passage about the battle cry of the black soldiers caught my attention. Union officers used that […]

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