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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

Richmond will fall again for 150th anniversary

Between April 1 and 4, the former Confederate capital will experience anew the transformative events that led President Jefferson Davis to order the evacuation of Richmond, the devastating fires that followed and the triumphant arrival of the Union army, including black U.S. Show More Summary

The Massachusetts Government on Black Soldiers in the Summer of 1775

On 20 May 1775, one month into the Revolutionary War, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress’s Committee of Safety made this statement about the war it had undertaken and the troops it would employ:Resolved, That it is the opinion ofShow More Summary

Stamp Act Approved by Lords

On 27 Feb 1765 the House of Commons gave final approval to the new Stamp Act for North America. The bill then moved on to the House of Lords.The North American colonies had some friends in the British peerage, or at least men willing to argue against chief minister George Grenville. Show More Summary

“Keep the Skeer on ‘Em”

This past week in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” and a visit by the president of the United States, a group calling…

John Green’s View of the Massacre

On 24 Mar 1770, five days after a draft of Boston’s report on the Massacre was submitted to the town meeting, justices of the peace John Ruddock and John Hill quizzed John Green about what he’d seen on the night of the 5th. I spent some time earlier this week trying to figure out who John Green was, and this is my best guess. Show More Summary

Why Changing the Name of the Edmund Pettus Bridge is a Mistake

Today marks the 50th anniversary of what came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.”  Civil Rights marchers were brutally beaten back by state police while…

A Modern Look at Crispus Attucks

The new Digital Public Library of America is now aggregating public-domain material from other websites. I tried a search for “Boston Massacre” and saw this image for the first time. This image, “Crispus Attucks,” was painted by William H. Show More Summary

We’ll Always Have the First National Flag

There is a reason why Confederate heritage groups like the Virginia Flaggers emphasize the public display of the battle flag. It’s not simply that the…

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