Second Guessing Dick Ewell by Chris Mackowski and Kristopher White: Is it fair to blame General Richard Ewell for the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg? Plus Five Battle Maps by David Fuller
The Great Libby Prison Breakout by Steven Trent Smith: Engineering the war’s most daring escape – one furtive shovel at a time.
Unwritten History by Noah Andre Trudeau: The war memoirs Robert E. Lee chose not to write.
“Villains, Vandals and Devils” by Ken Noe: Rebels fought to the bitter end because they hated the Yankee invaders. See Ken’s book.
This month’s Civilians In Harm’s Way (the name change took me by surprise) by yours truly features Chickamauga’s Snodgrass house. Once again, thanks to friends Dave Powell and Lee White for their assistance. I didn’t get to travel for this one, so I don’t have any additional photos to share here. That won’t be the case with next installment.
I also make an appearance in a feature on Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell’s recent Confederate History Month proclamation, The Proclamation and the Peculiar Institution. Though it’s not the longest bit I’ve ever published, it’s certainly the largest and boldest font in which my stuff has appeared. I share space with William Marvel, Susannah Ural, Lesley Gordon, S. Waite Rawls III, Kevin Levin, Catherine Clinton, Harold Holzer and Michael Fellman. Here’s my full, unedited contribution (though I think the edited version was well done and a fair representation of my thoughts):
I think the Governor’s proclamation was nothing more than a dusting off of previously issued proclamations, made at least in part in fulfillment of promises given prior to his election. I believe not much thought at all went into it, and that the apology issued was genuine.
I find most of the reactions to the proclamation and the apology repugnant, outside of the obvious disappointment of those who objected to either and, in curious cases, both. Pendulums are funny things, and after watching them for a while you get the impression they spend most of their time at either end, and not much in the middle. At the extremes, we see reactions ranging from claims that Confederates were nothing more than terrorists, that slavery had little or nothing to do with the Confederate cause, that the Tea Party movement is primarily a gathering of neo-Confederate racists, and that the same movement reflects frustrations similar to those felt by the slaveholding south. All are gross distortions of the truth, and politically motivated. Unfortunately little attention has been given to valid historical issues raised by the issuance of the proclamation, notably that of the diversity of the people of the State of Virginia before and during the Civil War. I’m left with the feeling we let an opportunity slip through our fingers in favor of forwarding political agendas.