Blog Profile / Civil War Memory


URL :http://cwmemory.com/
Filed Under:History / US History
Posts on Regator:1876
Posts / Week:4.3
Archived Since:March 3, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Review of Free State of Jones

I went to see Free State of Jones on Friday and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s not a perfect movie by a long shot, but it is an important movie when placed in the context of the ongoing backlash against Confederate iconography and the gradual erosion of the Lost Cause narrative of the war that we’ve […]

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 06/21

William A. Link and James J. Broomall eds., Rethinking American Emancipation: Legacies of Slavery and the Quest for Black Freedom (Cambridge University Press, 2016). Carol Reardon and Tom Vossler, A Field Guide to Antietam: Experiencing the Battlefield through Its History, Places, and People (University of North Carolina Press, 2016). David Rieff, In Praise of Forgetting: […]

Southern Baptists Call for Removal of Confederate Flag

Earlier today the members of the Southern Baptist Convention, which is meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from public life. It reads in part: … we call on all persons, along with public, governmental, and religious institutions to discontinue the display of the […]

Interpreting Reconstruction at Historic Sites

Not much going on this week. I am finishing up my presentations for CWI, which kicks off this coming Friday. Here is one of the sessions from a recent symposium on Reconstruction that took place at the Columbia Museum of Art in April. This panel discussion on the ongoing push to find a suitable historic […]

New Interpretive Plaque at Ole Miss

Earlier this year the University of Mississippi announced plans to place an interpretive plaque at the site of the Confederate soldier statue on campus. It created a bit of a buzz on campus and led to the university’s History Department issuing its own alternative interpretation. As indicated in the first link above, I also expressed […]

“Does Any One Remember Negro Confederates?”

On a number of occasions over the past few years I have announced a cash award for anyone who can locate a piece of wartime evidence that points to the presence of black men fighting as soldiers in the Confederate army. I would love to find a letter or diary entry from a Confederate soldier […]

Stonewall Jackson is Still the ‘Black Man’s Friend’

In the proposal for my book on the myth of black Confederates, I suggested that the final chapter will likely remind some readers of Tony Horwitz’s wonderful travel narrative, Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War. There are a number of interesting and complex individuals that for one reason or another have […]

Final Countdown to Free State of Jones

This morning CBS’s Sunday Morning program ran a very nice segment on Matthew Mcconaughey and the upcoming movie, the Free State of Jones. It’s well worth watching. Mcconaughey is interviewed alongside director Gary Ross, a local historian related to the Knight family, and two members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I was hoping to […]

The Civil War Institute Embraces Reconstruction 150th

In a little less than two weeks I will drive to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for the Civil War Institute’s annual conference. This will be my fourth year as a member of the faculty and as always I am super excited. For the past five years the conference theme tracked the Civil War sesquicentennial. Compared to the […]

Roots, Fort Pillow, and the Legacy of Racial Violence

I thoroughly enjoyed the re-make of Roots. Rather than comment on the entire series, which plenty of others have already done, I want to say a quick word about the inclusion of the massacre of black soldiers at Fort Pillow, Tennessee in the final episode. The original series did not include this scene nor as […]

William Mack Lee Conned the UCV & SCV

A few people have inquired as to the likelihood that the Norfolk County Greys Chapter, Sons of Confederate Veterans or the national organization will take steps to correct the history reflected on the headstone that was recently dedicated to William Mack Lee. The SCV claims, among other things, that WML was a cook and servant […]

PBS’s Black Confederate Problem

We all remember the debacle that took place on The Antiques Roadshow back in 2010 when appraiser Wes Cowan attempted to interpret the famous tintype of Silas and Andrew Chandler. Thankfully, PBS corrected the problem a few years later on an episode of History Detectives. Unfortunately, it looks like PBS has once again found a […]

Remembering Southern Unionism on Memorial Day

My latest column at The Daily Beast hopefully sheds a little light on those white and black Southerners, who for one reason or another chose to remain loyal to the United States during the American Civil War. With all the talk about the dangers of erasing history in connection with the public display of Confederate […]

Does History Deserve Roots?

Like many of you I am excited about the first episode of the mini-series Roots, which airs on the History channel tomorrow evening. I am also concerned. History does not have the best track record when it comes to programs that are actually about history. Many of their most popular programs have only a loose […]

John Hennessy on the Legacy of the Civil War

There is no one better at engaging an audience on the topic of the legacy of the American Civil War than John Hennessy. That is all. Watch, enjoy, and reflect. [Uploaded to YouTube on May 28, 2016.]

William Mack Lee Outed in Confederate Veteran

This afternoon a good friend contacted me after having looked into the claim made by William Mack Lee that he served in the 27th Virginia Infantry. It should come as no surprise that there is no compiled service record for WML in that unit. More interesting, however, is a thorough debunking of WML’s claims of […]

The Making of a Black Confederate Soldier

Recently the Norfolk County Grays Camp No. 1549, Sons of Confederate Veterans installed a military style marker to honor William Mack Lee, who they claim was Robert E. Lee’s “cook and body servant” during the war.” In addition to the headstone, a Cross of Honor reaffirms the belief among the organizers of the event that […]

House Votes to Ban Confederate Battle Flags

By now most of you have heard that yesterday the House of Representatives voted to severely restrict the display of Confederate battle flags at VA cemeteries. The Senate still needs to vote, but there is a good chance that they will follow suit. I shared a few thoughts about the decision at The Daily Beast. […]

“CHEERFUL AMID HARDSHIPS & PRIVATIONS”

This morning I sat in front of the rear of the Robert Gould Shaw and Fifty-Fourth Regiment Memorial before heading into the Boston Athenaeum for a day of writing. It is certainly not the first time I have read the inscription on the rear of the memorial, which most people miss when they visit. This […]

Not So Far Removed from the Lost Cause

Much of my writing about the Civil War 150th is framed around a sharp contrast with how Americans commemorated the war in the early 1960s, during the Centennial. There can be no doubt that we have witnessed significant shifts in how Americans remember and commemorate the war. The most significant shift has got to be […]

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