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“Red Horse Tavern” Reenactment in Sudbury, 1 Nov.

On Saturday, 1 November, Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury will host the annual “Battle of the Red Horse Tavern” reenactment. This event isn’t designed to recreate any specific fight in the Revolutionary War. Rather, it offers a chance...Show More Summary

Reconstruction As a Search For Security

Had a chance earlier today to read the introduction to Mark Summers’s new book on Reconstruction, which is part of UNC Press’s Littlefield Series. The following passage caught my attention: In the end, the search for security helped justice go far beyond what most observers in 1865 expected. Freedom was just the first installment in […]

“The 18th-Century Woman” in Arlington, 28 Oct.

The Arlington Historical Society will host a lecture on Tuesday, 28 October, on “The 18th-Century Woman” by Gail White Usher. This is part of a yearlong series with the theme of “Women’s Work.”The event description is basic:Gain greater...Show More Summary

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 10/26

Stephen Cushman, Belligerent Muse: Five Northern Writers and How They Shaped Our Understanding of the Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2014). Ezra Greenspan, William Wells Brown: An African American Life (Norton, 2014)....Show More Summary

“Fear in the Revolutionary Americas” at Tufts, 31 Oct.

On Friday, 31 October, the Center for the Humanities at Tufts University will host a one-day conference on the topic “Fear in the Revolutionary Americas, 1776-1865.” [A conference about fear on Halloween? Well played, Tufts University—well...Show More Summary

Weary Clyburn Didn’t Serve the Confederacy, He Survived It

It’s been a week of posts about Weary Clyburn and I suspect many of you would prefer that I move on to something else. Many of the usual suspects in the Southern heritage community believe that I am attacking the memory and good name of the Ms. Mattie Rice. One person in particular compared my […]

Revolutionary Book Talk at Old South, 30 Oct.

On Thursday, 30 October, the Old South Meeting House will host a book talk by Alex Myers, author of the novel Revolutionary. As the event announcement explains, that book is the fictionalized story ofDeborah Samson, a woman who disguised...Show More Summary

Christian Keller on the Military Education of Robert E. Lee

Glad to see that a video of Christian Keller’s recent talk at the Lee Chapel at Washington & Lee University is now available. You will notice that even without the Confederate flags flanking the Recumbent Lee statue it is still possible to commemorate the former general and president on the anniversary of his passing. [Uploaded […]

“In consequence of the past misconduct”

On 5 May 1772, the North End Caucus decided to support four men as Boston’s representatives to the Massachusetts General Court, or provincial legislature: Thomas Cushing, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and William Phillips. The next day, as I noted two days ago, the town met and elected those four men. Show More Summary

Video of Mattie Clyburn Rice Memorial Service

Below is video coverage of the memorial service for Ms. Mattie Clyburn Rice and her father, Weary Clyburn, which took place this past weekend. The opening speaker references Clyburn as a soldier in the 12th South Carolina Infantry, which is patently false given the evidence. The next speaker uses Lincoln’s Second Inaugural to suggest that […]

“A Non Compos Distracted or Lunatick Person”

Yesterday I described how James Otis, Jr., suffered a severe mental breakdown in the months after he suffered a head injury in a coffee-house brawl in October 1769. (There’s evidence that he’d had manic episodes before then, but theShow More Summary

Ben “Cooter” Jones Fires Up The General Lee

Most of the emails that I received over the weekend in response to my interview for a story about Mattie Rice Clyburn were predictable. The responses included references to the fact that I am “from” Boston even though no true Bostonian would agree with such an assessment since I’ve only lived here for three years. […]

“Otis is in Confusion yet.”

On 6 May 1772, a Boston town meeting elected four men to represent the town in the Massachusetts General Court, or provincial legislature: Thomas Cushing, the House’s longtime Speaker; Samuel Adams, its Clerk; John Hancock; and William Phillips. Show More Summary

What Confederate Defeat Ought to Mean to One Family

I see three generations of the Clyburn-Rice family in attendance for yesterday’s service in honor of the family matriarch, Mattie Clyburn Rice. It looks like a strong and loving family. Regardless of the nature of the relationship that the family has forged with descendants of Confederate soldiers, we should never forget that it was the […]

New Light on the North End Caucus

As Appendix C to his two-volume 1891 biography of Paul Revere, Elbridge H. Goss printed the “Proceedings of the North End Caucus,” which he said had been provided by A. O. Crane, a Boston publisher. Those documents have since disappeared,...Show More Summary

Who Was This “White Man’s Darkey”?

It’s not difficult to understand why Mattie Clyburn Rice believed that her father’s story was intertwined with Confederate soldiers. It was. Growing up Ms. Rice listened to her father’s stories about Confederate soldiers and the war. It goes without saying that it must have been an exciting time in his life and it should come […]

Samson Occom’s Harsh Words for Eleazar Wheelock

The Occom Circle is an interesting online collection from the Dartmouth Library.In past decades, this collection might have been presented under the name of the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, writer or recipient of most of the documents, or of the college he founded in New Hampshire.But here they’re organized around the Rev. Show More Summary

R.I.P. Mattie Clyburn Rice

For those of you who linked to this site from the AP story about Mattie Clyburn Rice and are visiting for the first time, welcome. For those of you interested in reading further about the subject of black Confederate soldiers I put together this page, which includes some of the many posts on this blog […]

Harold Holzer to speak at National Archives on Thursday

“Lincoln and the Power of the Press” is the latest of the several dozen books that Abraham Lincoln expert Harold Holzer has written. Known as an entertaining speaker and a hard man to stump with a Lincoln question, Holzer will appear at the National Archives’ McGowen Theater at 7 p.m. Thursday. Read full article >>

Jack Tar on the Web

British Tars, 1740-1790 is a blog with a nicely specific focus: images of British sailors in those busy decades of the eighteenth century. The creator, Kyle Dalton, is a Revolutionary War reenactor who worked at the Maritime Museum of...Show More Summary

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