America’s Civil War November 2010

30 09 2010

Sorry to be so late with this.  Inside this issue:

Letters

Everybody’s mad at Harold Holzer because as we all know Slavery had nothing to do with the Civil War and if it hadn’t ever existed in the first place there still would have been a war because of, ummm, er, ah, TARIFFS – yeah, that’s the ticket!

News

  • Segways on the battlefield and other high-tech touring trends.
  • Gettysburg Casino debate.
  • Interview with Gettysburg College Civil War Institute’s Pete Carmichael (which put the kibosh on one that was in the works for Bull Runnings).  Read it online here.

Features

  • Dateline: Gettysburg (Richard Pyle) – a reporter on the Gettysburg Address.
  • Shooting Above the Clouds – Photos at Lookout Mountain
  • Uncivil Action (Jonathan Turley) – The legality (or not) of Secession.
  • Bring Out the Big Guns – Pros and cons of siege guns
  • The Tactical Genius of Bloody Bill Anderson (Sean McLachlan) – Hunh?
  • Twilight at the White House (David Selby) – The actor who portrayed Quentin Collins on Dark Shadows weighs in on Abe and Nosferatu.  I’ve written a bit on that here.

Reviews

  • The Confederate Alamo: Bloodbath at Petersburg’s Fort Gregg on April 2, 1865, John J. Fox, III
  • Indiana’s War: The Civil War in Documents, Richard Nation and Stephen Towne, eds.
  • Union Combined Operations in the Civil War, Craig L. Symonds, ed. (this review is notable because Symonds is quoted as criticising Rowena Reed’s similarly titled book not because of methodology or handling of evidence or inaccuracies, but because  of what some perceive as the author’s “determination to portray [George] McClellan as a military genius of war.”  Very curious criticism indeed – I wonder how this determination is proven.)
  • The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of  1864, Jack H. Lepa
  • Libby Prison Breakout: The Daring Escape From the Notorious Civil War Prison, Joseph Wheelan.
  • Jews and the Civil War: A Reader, Jonathan D. Sarna and Adam Mendelsohn, eds.
  • An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge, Robert Enrico, Director.  View the film as presented on The Twilight Zone here.
  • In this issue, I was Just Wild About:
    • Breckinridge: Statesman, Soldier, Symbol, William C. Davis (reissue).
    • Lincoln and McClellan: The Troubled Partnership Between a President and His General, John C. Waugh.
    • Louisianans in the Western Confederacy: The Adams-Gibson Brigade in the Civil War, Stuart Salling.  See Stuart’s blog here.
    • A Friendly Little War, John Sherman.  Fiction by a descendant of Cump’s brother.




Tour at Liberia

20 08 2010

The Manassas Museum will sponsor a tour of Liberia Plantation (left) on August 28.  The focus is on spies at First Bull Run and the Civil War.  I tend to think the influence on the battle of intelligence received from folks like Rose Greenhow (right) was minimal at best, but it makes for a great story, so why let that get in the way?  See here for details.

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Potomac Crossing Event 2010

16 08 2010

To honor the 148th Anniversary of the Battle of Shepherdstown, the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association (SBPA) has scheduled a Battlefield Tour including a wading of the Potomac River. The tour is set, rain or shine, for Saturday, September 18, 2010.

Dr. Tom Clemens and Tom McGrath will be the guides. Two tours are scheduled; one to begin at 2:30PM followed by another at 3:30PM. Each tour will last about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

After each tour, the participants will hike to 132 Trough Bend Lane to enjoy a barbecue, beer, wine and soft drinks. We ask for a donation of $30 per person.

TO MAKE A RESERVATION, VISIT THE FOLLOWING LINK:

http://battleofshepherdstown.org/Hats.html

After you make your reservation we will email you precise instructions for the tour.

Reserve as soon as possible as we can only accommodate a limited number of participants.

Thank you for your continued support,

SBPA Board of Directors

See here for a summary of the 2009 crossing event.





Civil War Times October 2010

5 08 2010


Inside this issue:

  • Susannah Ural and I get complemented by one letter writer for level-headedness in our contributions to last month’s piece on the Governor of Virginia’s Confederate History Month proclamation.  Another contributor wasn’t so lucky.  Of course, other letter writers attacked all the contributors to the piece.  Go figure.
  • Susannah Ural is interviewed about her research on Irish and Texan common soldiers.
  • Gary Gallagher’s Blue & Gray column examines the phenomenon of emancipated slaves in the wake of advancing Union armies.
  • Yours Truly offers up his third installment of what is now known as Collateral Damage with Antietam’s Roulette farm.  Keep an eye out here for the photos that weren’t used.
  • This issue’s Field Guide by Chris Howland features sites in Atlanta.

Features include:

  • Kevin Levin: “Until Every Negro Has Been Slaughtered“- Did Southerners see the Battle of the Crater as a slave rebellion?
  • Eric Niderost: Mad as a Hatter – John Wilkes Booth’s killer Boston Corbett.
  • Dana B. Shoaf: Loose Cannon – A visit with cannon collector Charlie Smithgall.
  • J. David Petruzzi: Cemetery Hill’s Forgotten Savior – John Buford at Gettysburg
  • Thomas G. Clemens: Memories of America’s Bloodiest Day – Ezra Carman
  • Peter Cozzens: Blunder at the Bridge – Union troops miss a rare opportunity to destroy a Rebel force near Corinth.

Reviews

  • Chester G. Hearn, Lincoln, the Cabinet and the Generals
  • B. R. Burg, ed., Rebel at Large: The Diary of Confederate Deserter Philip Van Buskirk
  • Robert Hunt, The Good Men Who Won the War: Army of the Cumberland Veterans and Emancipation Memory
  • Thomas G. Reynolds, General Sterling Price and the Confederacy
  • Charles R. Knight, Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market and the Opening of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign, May 1864
  • Richard L. Armstrong, “God Alone Knows Which Was Right”: The Blue and Gray Terrill Family of Virginia in the Civil War
  • Ural on URLs – www.Footnote.com




Manassas Events for 150th

21 07 2010

On this the 149th anniversary of First Bull Run, we keep in mind that it’s never too early to make plans for celebrating the sesquicentennial in 2011.  Here’s an article with some info on planned events in Manassas next year.





On Firing Generals

1 07 2010

I stayed away from the whole McChrystal flap – I tend to think comparisons of modern to historical events are nothing more than parlor tricks: you can construct them to make whatever point you choose.  (For example, was Lincoln’s condemnation of living off of the sweat of another’s brow an indictment of the welfare state or of capitalism – or just of slavery?)  But I think fellow blogger Dmitri has a good commentary here.  The notebooks to which he refers were discussed here (the first of four parts).





See the Crap I Have to Put Up With?

14 06 2010

Warning: This is NOT an invitation to violate the prime directive of this site, which prohibits the discussion of modern politics.

I received this from a reader as a comment:

Hay Harry great way to advance you Obama agenda by using the Civil War Times so show you hate for the Tea Party.

Nice.  Beyond the assault on my senses presented by this guy’s spelling, I have no idea how he so completely misread my quote in Civil War Times (you can read the full version of what I submitted here).

I was inclined to let this reader’s comment die an obscure death, but I was informed today that he also sent a note to the magazine, calling my quote a “cheap short”.  I assume he meant “cheap shot”.

My thoughts on the whole controversy surrounding Governor McDonnell’s Virginia Confederate History Month proclamation boiled down to disappointment that, rather than being used as an opportunity to discuss historical issues such as the diversity of the population of the Confederacy and of Virginia before and during the war, it was being used to forward agendas on both ends of what is viewed as the political spectrum in our country these days.  That’s why my references to the Tea Party movement included characterizations of it by extremists, both opponents and supporters.

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.

It could be that the reader confused me with one of the other folks quoted.  There was at least one opinion expressed that could be considered polemic.








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