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Meeting Thomas Dugan in Concord, 7 June

Tomorrow, 7 June, the Concord Museum and the Robbins House will co-sponsor a walking tour that explores Concord’s antislavery history. The route will begin at the museum, which is hosting a special exhibit called “Thomas Dugan, Yeoman of Concord,” and end at the Robbins House, built for the children of Caesar Robbins. Show More Summary

“Now for awhile aside I’ll lay my childish trifles and my play…”

This delightful drawing is from the Royal Collection Trust, the art collection of the British monarchs. It reportedly shows Prince George, grandson of George II, drawn from life one July at age nine. This prince reading under his chair tent would grow up to be George III. Show More Summary

Confederate Memorial Day service announced for Winchester, Va.

For the 149th year, the 2,575 Confederate dead buried in the Stonewall Cemetery within Mt. Hebron Cemetery in Winchester, Va., will be remembered at a Confederate Memorial Day service. The ceremony, organized by the Turner Ashby Chapter...Show More Summary

A Fleetwood Hill then and now

With many thanks to Clark B. “Bud” Hall, who not only provided me with these two images, Bud was also the one who identified the historic image as being of Fleetwood Hill when it had been mislabeled for years as being a camp in other locales. The first image was taken in the fall of 1863. Show More Summary

Presidents Out Standing in Their Field

Though I did just visit Virginia, I didn’t go to Presidents Park outside Williamsburg. That’s because Presidents Park, which opened in 2004, lasted only six years. Never a surefire idea to begin with, the attraction didn’t survive the...Show More Summary

Quote of the Day

On Tuesday night the local chapters of Sons of Confederate Veterans and United Daughters of the Confederacy of Murray, Kentucky came out to commemorate Confederate…

Studying Washington at the Fred W. Smith National Library

Yesterday’s new research library was the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon.As my last dispatch reported, the D.A.R. Library in Washington is open to everyone, and access is surprisingly simple and easy. Show More Summary

How Secure Was Slavery in the Union?

In this final installment of the New York Times’s Disunion column, Paul Finkelman surveys some of the significant ways the Civil War changed how Americans…

The Continued Appeal of the Lost Cause

I frequent a number of Facebook pages that attract people who, for one reason or another, cling tightly to the Lost Cause narrative. You will…

A Peek in the D.A.R. Library in D.C.

Yesterday I visited the research library at the national headquarters of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, D.C., for the first time. For folks visiting Washington, the library is quite accessible: the building entrance...Show More Summary

The best review of my writing career

With many thanks to Dave Roth, the publisher, for giving me permission to reprint it here, here is Rob Grandchamp’s extraordinary review of “The Devil’s to Pay”: John Buford at Gettysburg. A History and Walking Tour that appears in the current issue of Blue & Gray Magazine. Show More Summary

How Fleetwood Hill looks today….

Here is how Fleetwood Hill looks today, June 1, 2015. This view is taken from the Flat Run Valley, to the south of where Lake Troilo once sat. Thank you to all of you who made this view possible–and especially to Bud Hall, the CivilShow More Summary

A British Comedian on the “New England Stage”

John Bernard (1756-1828) was a British actor of middling success known chiefly for comedies. He toured the U.S. of A. starting in 1797 and wrote his memoirs of the country in a manuscript published as Retrospections of America in 1887. Show More Summary

Camp Servants and Confederate Exceptionalism

Over the past few weeks I’ve made steady progress on my new manuscript, which is now tentatively titled, Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War’s…

Virginia Takes an Even Less Firm Stand Against the Stamp Act

None of Virginia’s established political leaders liked the Stamp Act. Gov. Francis Fauquier (shown here) had advised his superiors in London against it. John Robinson, speaker of the House of Burgesses, and Peyton Randolph, attorneyShow More Summary

The 48th/150th: The Dead of the 48th Pennsylvania

As initially envisioned and intended, this date--May 30--was, in 1868, originally designated as Decoration Day, a day of solemn remembrance during which Americans were to pause and pay tribute to those who died fighting in defense of the United States during the Civil War. Show More Summary

Virginia Takes a Less Firm Stand Against the Stamp Act

On this date 250 years ago the Virginia House of Burgesses took up the resolutions against the Stamp Act that Patrick Henry had drafted the previous day. Those same legislators had narrowly approved them as a committee of the whole, but this was the official vote. Show More Summary

The High Ground Held

This morning I read through an essay by Robert K. Sutton about the National Park Service’s Holding the High Ground initiative, which grew out of…

Virginia Considers a Firm Stand Against the Stamp Act

Britain’s North American colonies had a chance to weigh in on the Stamp Act before Parliament passed it, as described back here. All of them said it would be a Bad Thing. Few or none offered any alternative way for the Crown to raise revenue for its army on the continent. Show More Summary

An idea whose time has come….

My friend Craig Swain has a very thought-provoking post on his blog indicating that the time has come for the founding of a state battlefield park in Culpeper County, Virginia. I commend it to you. One would be hard-pressed to find a...Show More Summary

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