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Constitutional Correlations

In a recent issue of the New Yorker, Jill Lepore reviewed some recent books about economic inequality, which has been measured for a century on the Gini scale, and what that phenomenon might say about and mean for different societies.Toward the end of her review Lepore mentions some work by the political scientists Alfred Stepan and Juan J. Show More Summary

"The Japanese obviously did pep-talks differently"

In his fine The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War, Andrew Roberts relates the horrors of the war - the Final Solution, the atrocities committed by the Japanese - with appropriate gravity and revulsion. And yet, in even...Show More Summary

A Sesquicentennial Anniversary That Gets Lost in the Present

Reading Edward Ball’s, Slaves in the Family, when it was first published in 1998 was a transformative experience. The book was as much about the…

"A nudist who frequently wore only a pith helmet and carried a fly-swatter in camp"

I've been reading (and listening to) Andrew Roberts' exceptional The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War. Highly recommended. On the audio side, the Audible narrator, a British chap, is highly entertaining, although his imitations of an American accent need some work (his renditions of Churchillian cadence are excellent though). Show More Summary

Proposal for a Bill of Attainder with Corruption of Blood

I had reason this week to look up information about Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas (shown here), and I found this curious line on Wikipedia:Corruption of BloodIn 2013 Cotton introduced legislative language to overturn the United States Constitution prohibition of attainder. Show More Summary

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 03/14

Jeanette T. Greenwood, First Fruits of Freedom: The Migration of Former Slaves and Their Search for Equality in Worcester, Massachusetts, 1862-1900 (University of North Carolina…

Slave museum opens on Louisiana plantation

In an area of the South long known for its tourist-popular restored plantations, one of them stands out. The meticulously restored Whitney Plantation, located 35 miles west of New Orleans in the small town of Wallace, has the mandatory Big House, but the visit there is not about hooped skirts and mint juleps. Show More Summary

Has General Washington’s Riband Come Back Around?

Back in 2010 I wrote some articles about Gen. George Washington’s decision in July 1775 to adopt a blue sash or “ribband” across his chest as the sign of his rank in the new Continental Army.It turns out that Washington’s riband might...Show More Summary

Washington Jumping Rope and Sleeping with a Black Soldier

Here are two anecdotes of Gen. George Washington and an African-American soldier from Massachusetts, as reported by the Rev. Henry F. Harringon in Godey’s Magazine and Lady’s Book, July 1849:There lately died [in 1842 actually], in the city of Boston, a very respectable negro, named PRIMUS HALL. Show More Summary

A Civil War Sesquicentennial Project

How has memory of the American Civil War changed over the past few years in the South? What trends can be discerned and where specifically…

Kilpatrick’s shirt-tail skedaddle: The Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads, March 10, 1865

Conclusion of a series. Cross-posted at Emerging Civil War. Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads, second phase After rallying his troops, Kilpatrick found a ragged old nag of a horse, and ordered a counterattack by his men, who surged forward out of the swamp and engaged the Confederate cavalrymen. Show More Summary

Congress Argues about the Black Soldiers in the Continental Army

The official record of the Continental Congress on 26 Sept 1775 says:The Committee appointed to prepare an answer to General [George] Washington’s letters, reported the same, which was read and agreed to.Ordered, That the same being transcribed be signed by the president and forwarded immediately. Show More Summary

Moving Beyond Stonewall Jackson’s Black Sunday School

There is a fairly popular narrative that places slaveowners at the center of a progressive movement to minister to and educate slaves in the decades…

Keeping a finger on gold

Forthcoming in September, from Basic Books On this day in 1933, it was the first Friday of Franklin Roosevelt’s administration, and the new president met reporters to talk to them about ending the bank holiday with which he had begun his term. The Federal Reserve Banks would open on Saturday so that member banks of […]

“The Friends of Forrest” Includes The Virginia Flaggers

I have absolutely no problem with the Virginia Flaggers voicing their position at the recent hearing in Charlottesville, Virginia over whether Lee-Jackson Day ought to…

Kilpatrick’s shirt-tail skedaddle: The Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads, March 10, 1865

Part two in a series. Cross-posted at Emerging Civil War. Col. Gilbert J. Wright Col. Gilbert J. “Gib” Wright, who commanded Hampton’s old brigade, was determined to try to capture Kilpatrick. He ordered Capt. Samuel D. Bostick of the...Show More Summary

The Men of Drury’s Company

Looking for documents about African-Americans in the New England ranks before Gen. George Washington’s arrival, I checked the new Harvard database of Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Petitions. As I noted before, it contains many documents that don’t touch directly on slavery. Show More Summary

The Free State of Jones Delivers Another Nail in the Lost Cause Coffin

The big budget Hollywood movies released during the sesquicentennial have all been decidedly anti-Lost Cause. Think “12 Years a Slave,” “Django,” and “Lincoln.” In contrast,…

My Book Sales in 2014 and Looking Toward the Future

Today I received my royalty check from the University Press of Kentucky for this past year’s sales of Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War…

Kilpatrick’s shirt-tail skedaddle: The Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads, March 10, 1865

Part 1 of a series. Cross-posted at Emerging Civil War: The stakes were high. Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee’s 5,500 man corps was in a race for its life. If it could reach the Clarendon Bridge across the Cape Fear River in Fayetteville, NC first, Hardee could get his men across and then destroy the only crossing of the Cape Fear in the area. Show More Summary

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