National Tribune Online!

29 01 2011

Thanks to Brett Schulte (one link for each name) for sending the welcome news that the National Tribune is now available online here.  This is outstanding news to me, though as Brett explains there are some issues with searchability.

The National Tribune was a publication for Union veterans of the Civil War.  Think Confederate Veteran for the good guys.  It published first as a monthly, then as a weekly from, 1877 to 1917.  It featured current news of interest to vets, but also had contributions from readers recounting the glory days.  Columns like Fighting Them Over featured back and forth between veterans with often wildly conflicting recollections of events.

Now all we need is a good, searchable text version.  But hey, this is a start.  Hopefully I’ll have the patience to start going through and picking out the Bull Run stuff.  If any of you readers has an index, that would make things much easier for me…

UPDATE: A reader notes that there are issues missing and this is not a complete run – but it’s more than we’ve had.





Civil War Times April 2011

28 01 2011

Inside this issue:

Letters:

  • Ron Soodalter disagrees with Stephen Budiansky’s take on George Custer

Blue & Gray

  • Gary Gallagher looks at The War’s Overlooked Turning Points and argues for the importance of the Seven Days’.

Collateral Damage

Your host writes about the Benson family and their compassion toward a wounded New Hampshire soldier at First Bull Run.  Thanks to a couple of readers who jarred my memory of this a while back.  Even though the house wasn’t and isn’t there (you’ll have to buy the magazine to figure that one out), it’s a great story that deserved retelling.  More on this in a later post.

Field Guide

  • Robert Behre leads us around Charleston, SC.

Interview

  • James I. “Bud” Robertson recalls the Centennial.

Letter from the Editor

  • The Sesquicentennial kicks off

Features

  • The Butcher’s Bill - Edward Bonekemper argues that U. S. Grant’s management of the war in Virginia wasn’t as bloody as represented.
  • Eye on Arlington – Kim O’Connell’s text and Robin Holland’s photos document the ongoing renovation at Arlington House.
  • First Blood at Big Bethel – John V. Quarstein on the June 10, 1861 battle in Virginia.
  • Last Letter Home – Dana Shoaf presents a poignant communique from a 14-year-old Third Class Boy aboard USS Galena.
  • Cradle of Secession - Joe Loehle photo essay on Charleston, SC.
  • ‘Black Jack’ at War - Paul Bradley sketches John Logan’s war career.

Reviews





“The Conspirator” Trailer

27 01 2011

It looks like Robert Redford’s The Conspirator will be making its debut on tax day, April 15, 2011.  Here’s the trailer (hat tip to Hop Tak):





Was AL More Like GBM Than HUG?

27 01 2011

The recent flood of posts on various blogs resulting from the Lowry controversy has been fascinating.  Now there’s one out there that’s tangential but tantalizing – tangentializing?  Check out Dmitri’s riff on Crossroads’ retort to Opinionator’s opinion.  It’s a shame that Dmitri doesn’t allow comments (that’s his right, of course), but if you want to express your thoughts – recognizing they be thoughts on the post and not knee-jerk reactions to the poster and whatever you suspect his motivations to be – feel free to comment away!  I know this is supposed to be my blog, and you may think it inappropriate for me to entertain a discussion of another blogger’s post, but hell, it IS my blog and I can do whatever I want, so there.





Ownership Change and Book Sale

26 01 2011

I received the following today:

Morningside Bookshop 

Morningside Bookshop has a new owner. Andy Turner, associated with Morningside since 1993 and owner of The Gettysburg Magazine, has taken over ownership of Morningside. His goal is to continue on in the tradition of quality books that was established by Bob and Mary Younger. Morningside, along with The Gettysburg Magazine, are now part of Gatehouse Press. Gatehouse will continue to print and sell Morningside titles with the Morningside name on them.

Morningside has always carried many Civil War books by other publishers as well. As the business is reorganizing, we are adjusting our inventory. As part of this reorganization, we are offering many books for sale. These are books that will be sold at the sale price until they are gone and not restocked. Many of them are down to one copy left. Please see the pdf file listing books for $5, $10, $15, and $20 each. Click here for the list

To order, you can call or email, as we need to check stock to make sure the book you’re looking for isn’t sold out. Once we’ve verified it’s still here, you can pay with a credit card, or we’ll hold the book if you prefer to send a check. Please make checks payable to Gatehouse Press. Shipping is $6.00 for the first book and $2.00 for each additional book.

We’re currently reworking the Morningside and Gettysburg Magazine websites to update them and combine them into a Gatehouse Press website. We’ll let you know when it goes online. We’ll also be sending out soon a listing of some of our rare and used books for sale.

With regards,

Andy Turner

Gatehouse Press
PO Box 1311
Dayton, OH 45401
937-461-6736
gatehousepress@yahoo.com





Bory at West Point

26 01 2011

The New York Times blog Opinionator on P. G. T. Beauregard as USMA superintendent, A Short Stay – and a Long JumpCheck it out.





The Lowry Kerfuffle

25 01 2011

Update: For anyone who thinks that by asking how this fraud slipped by for so long I’m being too harsh or judgmental, check out Harold Holzer’s comments on the New York Times blog Opinionator.  Yikes!!!

——————————–

In this post I linked to stories about Thomas P. Lowry and his apparent doctoring of an Abraham Lincoln pardon.  Needless to say the topic has been burning up the blogosphere, Facebook, and discussion groups the past two days.  Dr. Lowry and his wife now deny having committed the act despite a signed confession.  While history is rife with confessions signed falsely under duress, I’m not Oliver Stone and things don’t look good for the doctor.  But anything is possible, and John Coski is willing to give Lowry the benefit of the doubt.

I wondered aloud how such a fraud could have gone undetected under the circumstances (those circumstances being the long-time inclusion of the document in Basler’s edition of The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln and the association of the fraudulently dated document with perhaps the most studied day in Lincoln’s life and one of the most studied days in American history).  Most accept that Dr. Lowry’s motivation was to gain some fame by the “discovery” of the document, yet at the same time many claim that it was such a minor blip – after all, it didn’t really change anything we already knew about Lincoln – that hardly anyone, and certainly no one important, even noticed at the time it was made, despite the NARA press release.  Some have said that another reason the discovery went unnoticed was that Dr. Lowry received little attention from mainstream historians, yet the book in which the doctor doctored document was used received the endorsement (I know, a blurb is a blurb is a blurb and I don’t expect blurbers to have gone over every footnote with a fine tooth comb) of a mucky-muck in a Lincoln scholar organization and another from an established historian who also wrote its foreword.

In various forums, my questioning of how the fraud went undetected at the time and took 13 years to correct (kudos again to the folks at NARA – better late than never) has resulted in accusations that I am flinging out a red herring to deflect blame from Dr. Lowry (whom I do not know) – I’ve maintained from the outset that he deserves whatever he gets.  Seems like a strawman red herring (a straw-herring?), though both those terms are so over- and mis-used they’ve become meaningless to me.  Others seem to think I’m pointing fingers at specific individuals or classes of individuals for not catching the fraud earlier.  Other than NARA, I don’t believe any one person or group of people should have caught it.  But I was imprecise in what I was trying to say.  Given the vast number of folks who consume every tidbit of info on Lincoln and in this case his assassination, which includes pretty much everything concerning the days surrounding his murder, I’m really just mystified none of them, none of them, looked into the announcement any further.  Maybe it really wasn’t a big deal and nobody noticed.

But they’ve sure noticed now.

In a different life I was a corporate internal auditor.  In my experience, there are two types of auditor personalities (both dull): one who wants to catch the bad guy, the bad guy being his focus; and one who wants to find out how an act can in the first place be committed and in the second go undetected – he’s interested in systems and controls.  I was always the second type.  Old habits die hard.  I’m sorry if my doubts caused anyone to take offense.

As for how the fraud could have been mechanically carried out, I’ve communicated with my NARA contacts past and present and others familiar with the doctor and his wife.  The Lowrys were trusted researchers: they spent a lot of time in the archives. A whole lot of time. Were some of the restrictions placed on less regular visitors relaxed in their case? Not formally or in practice by anyone I’ve heard from. But if Lowry’s confession is to be believed, somehow that pen made it into the central research room.

Also, as trusted researchers, when they declared their discovery it was taken at face value – NARA likely didn’t feel the need to verify prior to making the announcement of what some there believed a major find.  That a trusted researcher might tamper with a document signed by Lincoln, a sacred document, may have been unthinkable.  Perhaps precedent also came into play – no other Civil War document alteration has come to light at NARA in 150 years.  since its founding in 1934.

What has impressed me most over the past 24 hours is the sense of loss felt and expressed by people I’ve corresponded with who were close to Dr. Lowry (yes, some respected historians are in that group).  They all considered him a friend.  By most accounts he’s been a good guy, quick to help and give advice.  Perhaps some of those friendships can be repaired.  Short of exoneration I suspect most will not.  All in all this has been a very sad episode.  Shakespearian in character, if not in scope.  Burnham Woods has come to Woodbridge, VA.








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