Blog Profile / Civil War Memory


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Filed Under:History / US History
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Archived Since:March 3, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Jim Downs Comes to the Defense of John Stauffer

We can now add Jim Downs to the list of historians who has decided to wade into the debate about the existence of black Confederate soldiers. Rather than directly engage Stauffer’s claims, however, Downs offers a meta-analysis of my response. He begins by mis-characterizing my own view by suggesting that I believe there were no […]

John Stauffer, Black Confederates, and the Case for Military History

Yesterday I wrote a lengthy post in response to an essay by John Stauffer on the controversy surrounding the existence of black Confederates, which appeared in The Root. As you can see I believe there to be numerous factual and conceptual problems with many of the author’s claims. I do not wish to repeat them […]

John Stauffer Goes Looking For Black Confederates and Comes Up Empty…Again

I was surprised to see that John Stauffer has once again decided to wade into the debate surrounding black Confederates. You may remember that back in 2011 Stauffer gave a talk at Harvard on the subject, which I attended. Though we had a spirited exchange, I left feeling incredibly disappointed with his overall argument. Earlier […]

The Last Hurrah For Lee and Jackson

From a classroom in Tallahassee, Florida in 1957… … to celebrating Robert E. Lee’s birthday in Montgomery, Alabama… … to the next generation in Rockbridge County, Virginia. You interpret.

Virginia Flaggers Upstaged by Local High School Students

A few of you have already seen this photograph in a previous post, but I thought it was worth highlighting with its own post given that one of the participants shared his thoughts in the comments section. More to the point, it’s just downright hilarious. I can’t think of a better way of pointing out […]

Appropriating the Very Recent Past to Distort the Distant Past

The only thing missing was the Virginia Flaggers marching down the streets of Lexington with their hands in the air or on the ground for a die-in. Actually, both images are ideal for a talk that I am scheduled to give at a high school on the history of the Confederate flag.

If the Virginia Flaggers Show Up in Your Town…

…and no one comes out to greet them, does it really matter? One of the reasons behind Robert E. Lee’s 1862 invasion of the United States was the belief that the state of Maryland was being held against its will. Lee hoped that the presence of his army would be sufficient for closet Confederates to […]

“Point of Honor” Buries the Lost Cause For Good

The producers of Amazon’s new series, “Point of Honor,” set out to appeal to mainstream viewers who for whatever reason prefer their dramas to be set in the past. The history itself is almost incidental. “Point of Honor” plays with the time tested popular meme of the family caught in the middle of an unfolding […]

The Daily Beast Shows How Not to Think about the Confederate Flag Controversy

Jonathan Horn’s short article in The Daily Beast is designed to highlight his new biography of Robert E. Lee by wading into to the Confederate flag controversy at Washington & Lee University. While it will likely convince those predisposed politically to agree with his conclusions the historical content falls short. Horn’s basic point is that […]

Why Charles Dew’s Secessionist Commissioners Matter 150 Years Later

My abbreviated course on the Civil War has hit the ground running in the last two weeks. This time around I am using Louis Masur’s brief history of the war and Reconstruction and so far it is working out well. I tend to look for a concise narrative that I can supplement in various ways. […]

Trailer For “Point of Honor”

Well, the trailer for the pilot episode of Amazon’s “Point of Honor” is available and its even worse than first thought. It looks like a movie version of a Don Troiani painting. It is worth emphasizing that in light of recent Hollywood releases “Point of Honor” is an outlier given the narrative’s emphasis on distancing […]

Will It Be a ‘Point of Honor’ to Respect the Past?

Of course, we should not pre-judge Amazon’s forthcoming Civil War drama called, “Point of Honor.” But let’s be honest, it is very likely going to be another in a long line of disasters. At the start of the Civil War, a Virginia family, led by their West Point bred son, John Rhodes (played by Nathan […]

“The Most Pernicious Idea” 150 Years Later

At the beginning of the Civil War neither side was willing to accept volunteers and/or draft African Americans into their respective armies. For the United States that process only began in fits and starts in 1862 before it commenced in earnest following the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. For the Confederacy […]

A View of Emancipation From South of the Border

Over the past few weeks my survey courses have been examining the political debates over the expansion of slavery in the United States as well as the experience of the slaves themselves. As part of the introduction to my Civil War unit today I tried to emphasize just how unexpected the end of slavery was […]

History Books That People Actually Read in 2014

I’ve seen this image floating around over the past few days on various social media channels after it was featured during an American Historical Association Session this past weekend in New York City. The session was titled: “Buying and Selling History: Some Perspectives on the Marketplace” and the image was posted by Marla Miller on […]

“Forever Scarred By Their Service”?

In re-reading a section of Anne Rubin’s new book about Sherman’s March I came across a couple of paragraphs that touch on some of the concerns that I’ve expressed about the extent to which we have applied the lessons of recent wars to Civil War veterans. Rubin hones in on the dangers of doing so […]

“Going Home” by Julian Scott

Brian Jordan referenced Julian Scott’s “Going Home” (1887) in a previous post so I decided to look it up since I am only vaguely familiar with the artist. Scott served in the 3rd Vermont Infantry at the tender age of 15 and was awarded the Medal of Honor in February 1865 for rescuing wounded Union […]

That’s a Wrap on 2014

Like many of you I have a lot to be thankful for this past year, including good health and a loving family. As always, thank you for taking the time from your busy day to visit Civil War Memory. Although the real anniversary is not til November, I am thinking of the entirety of 2015 […]

A Few Thoughts About Brian Matthew Jordan’s Marching Home

It is difficult to deny the influence that the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have had on recent scholarship about Civil War veterans and the broader genre of studies that now fall under the heading, “dark history.” In the preface to his new book, Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War, Brian […]

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 12/29

I decided this year to discontinue my “Best of…” lists. Simply put, I read a lot of really good Civil War history and I am finding it difficult to single out specific books. Here are some late arrivals to my library in 2014. Don H. Doyle, The Cause of All Nations: An International History of […]

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