• Civil War and Todays GenerationRead More

    Category: Commentary Posted: 10/9/2011 Author:  | 

     I first discovered the civil war when I was in the third grade; right around Christmas time. It all started with a 1000 piece puzzle. The puzzle was a map of the United States during the conflict years, with inlays of battle scenes and prominent people. It started with asking my mother “Whats a civil war?” Soon, I had read and reread  The Killer Angels. From there I amassed a small library...

  • The War's Least Deadly Bayonet Charge...Read More

    Category: From the Archives Posted: 10/6/2011 Author: Terry Johnston | 

    … or close to it. The following description comes from the pen of Pennsylvania volunteer Oliver Willcox Norton, who on June 30, 1861, wrote his sister to let her know how he was getting on as a soldier:

  • BERRY (ed.): Weirding the War: Stories from the Civil War's Ragged Edges (2011)Read More

    Category: Book Reviews Posted: 10/5/2011 Author: W. Fitzhugh Brundage | 

    The essays themselves explore nooks and crevices of Civil War history that are always interesting, sometimes poignant, and often revelatory. Berry’s introduction is especially cogent about the thread that runs through the collection: the “littleness” of the war. Almost certainly this view of the conflict is rooted in the experience of contemporary Americans with war. We have a half century of...

  • "It made us an 'is'."Read More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 10/4/2011 Author: Andy Hall | 

    It's one of the great quotes, from one of the great documentaries, that sums up the legacy of the American Civil War:

  • A War of WordsRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 9/29/2011 Author: Amy Murrell Taylor | 

    There’s a lot that remains unsettled about the Civil War: “Manassas” or “Bull Run”? “Civil War” or “War Between the States”? Forget the big questions about what the war was about: we cannot even agree on something as simple as what words to use to describe what actually happened between 1861 and 1865. It’s the sort of disagreement that isn’t going away anytime soon, because...

  • GOODHEART: 1861: The Civil War Awakening (2011)Read More

    Category: Book Reviews Posted: 9/28/2011 Author: A. Wilson Greene | 

    Adam Goodheart’s much heralded 1861: The Civil War Awakening is an eloquent, innovative, and deeply researched collection of chapter-length vignettes that surveys a variety of events at the outset of our national bloodletting...

  • GALLAGHER: The Union War (2011)Read More

    Category: Book Reviews Posted: 9/28/2011 Author: Nicole Etcheson | 

    Ken Burns’s Civil War series made famous Rhode Island soldier Elisha Hunt Rhodes’s phrase, “All for the Union.” Gary W. Gallagher agrees with Rhodes. Gallagher emphasizes that, for northerners, the war was one for Union. Although he welcomes the flood of literature that has emphasized the importance of race, slavery, and emancipation to the Civil War, Gallagher believes that this focus has...

  • Texas SCV Calls for a New StrategyRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 9/27/2011 Author: Andy Hall | 

    Recently Mark Vogl, Lieutenant Commander of the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, called for a shift strategy in that organization's approach to "heritage defense," away from throwing up legal challenges to perceived slights and instead focusing on a more proactive, less-confrontational approach.

  • These Sacred Fields: Union Commemorations at GettysburgRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 9/21/2011 Author: M. Keith Harris | 

    For Union veterans of the Civil War, the battlefield at Gettysburg served as the epicenter for war remembrance. The modern landscape certainly attests to this. A forest of marble, granite, and bronze—monuments to the Union cause—cover the rolling farmland and rocky hills of the area immediately surrounding the small Pennsylvania town where in the summer of 1863, two armies clashed in one of...

  • We Cannot Know Their MindsRead More

    Category: Analysis Posted: 9/21/2011 Author: Andy Hall | 

    Certainly there are many people from that era, men and women, soldiers and civilians, who left diaries and letters that have survived down to the present that give us real insight into their thoughts at the time. There are also those who wrote memoirs decades later; these are helpful but come with the caveat that they were written both from the perspective of the intervening years, and with the...

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