Muster

Public Monuments and Ulysses S. Grant’s Contested Legacy

Public Monuments and Ulysses S. Grant’s Contested Legacy

On Memorial Day, three million people watched the first part of a three-episode documentary on the life of General and President Ulysses S. Grant. Three weeks later—on the much-publicized Juneteenth holiday, no less—a statue of Grant in San Francisco was vandalized and toppled. What gives? The motivations for this act ...
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Elderly African American man seated in a chair with a cane.

Juneteenth and the Limits of Emancipation

On June 19, 1865, not long after forcing the surrender of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith at Galveston, Texas, General Gordon Granger issued General Orders No. 3: “The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, ‘all slaves are free.’”  ...
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Announcing “Race, Politics, and Justice”

Uprisings prompted by recent police killings of Black people, like all incidents of racist violence and anti-racist protest, must be understood in the context of their present moment. People also rightly turn to history to understand how we arrived here. The Civil War Era was a critical moment in the ...
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The Even Uglier Truth Behind Athens Confederate Monument

The Even Uglier Truth Behind Athens Confederate Monument

On Sunday, May 31, 2020 protestors gathered at a Black Lives Matter protest around the so-called Athens Monument, a monument to the Confederate dead that has been a flashpoint in Athens, Georgia for decades. The protest was organized by city commissioner Mariah Parker, and the protest included the Athens Anti-Discrimination ...
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The Limits of Black Forgiveness

Since May 25th, when we lost George Floyd, a whole lot of white folk have been apologizing and asking for forgiveness for the systemic racial injustice that has existed for at least four hundred years. I know a few white allies well.  I know they sincerely grieve with us and ...
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Author Interview: Alaina E. Roberts

Author Interview: Alaina E. Roberts

Today we share an interview with Alaina E. Roberts, who published an article in the June 2020 issue, titled “A Different Forty Acres: Land, Kin, and Migration in the Late Nineteenth-Century West.” Alaina is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh. Her forthcoming book, I’ve Been Here ...
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Farewell to Founding Digital Editor of Muster!

June has been a period of transitions. With the postponement of SCWH conference until next year, Muster, too, has undergone a major editorial transition—the first of its kind—the departure of Kristen Epps. As I step into this role, I am forever grateful for her guidance throughout the process. In today’s ...
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Congratulations to the Winner of the 2019 George and Ann Richards Prize

Congratulations to the Winner of the 2019 George and Ann Richards Prize

Caroline E. Janney has won the $1,000 George and Ann Richards Prize for the best article published in The Journal of the Civil War Era in 2019. The article, “Free to Go Where We Liked: The Army of Northern Virginia After Appomattox,” appeared in the March issue. Janney’s essay examines ...
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Serving the Society of Civil War Historians in the Coronavirus Era

This essay is offered as an effort in presenting my thoughts about navigating the current pandemic and what it means for me as a historian and as SCWH President. Although these are largely personal reflections, I hope that they find some resonance with other scholars and students of Civil War ...
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Popularizing Proslavery: John Van Evrie and the Mass Marketing of Proslavery Ideology

Popularizing Proslavery: John Van Evrie and the Mass Marketing of Proslavery Ideology

Let’s start with a quiz. 1: What are zygomatic arches? 2: Who, exactly, was Amunoph IV? 3: What are the key similarities and differences between the Esquimaux Dog (C. familiaris, Desm.) and the Hare-Indian Dog (C. familiaris lagopus)? These questions are drawn from references made in one of nineteenth-century America’s ...
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Editor’s Note: June 2020 Issue

Themes of movement and mobility unite the essays in this issue. We begin with Amy Murrell Taylor’s 2019 Watson Brown Award acceptance speech for her book Embattled Freedom: Journeys through the Civil War’s Slave Refugee Camps. The speech encapsulates a central contention of Taylor’s book—that movement was critical to the ...
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Announcing Our New Digital Media Editor, Hilary Green

The Journal of the Civil War Era is pleased to announce that, starting in June, Dr. Hilary Green will step in as our new Digital Media Editor. Dr. Green is an Associate Professor of History in the Department of Gender and Race Studies at the University of Alabama. She earned ...
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Interpreting Slavery Through Video Games: The Story of <i>Freedom!</i>

Interpreting Slavery Through Video Games: The Story of Freedom!

As a child of the 1990s, some of my earliest memories revolve around playing PC video games. Whether connecting to the dial-up modem to play a racing game with my grandfather or walking with my classmates to the school computer lab, video games sparked my curiosity and provided countless hours ...
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Tracing Black Mothers’ Love: Reconstruction-Era Reunification and DH Possibilities

Tracing Black Mothers’ Love: Reconstruction-Era Reunification and DH Possibilities

The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the importance of digital humanities (DH) projects and accessible digital tools for those locked out of traditional archival repositories.  The recent and expanding democratization of archival materials, moreover, has introduced new possibilities for researching African American reunification efforts as an embodied application of Civil War ...
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Author Interview: Evelyn Atkinson

Author Interview: Evelyn Atkinson

Today we share an interview with Evelyn Atkinson, who published an article in our special issue on the Fourteenth Amendment in March 2020, titled “Slaves, Coolies, and Shareholders: Corporations Claim the Fourteenth Amendment.” Evelyn is a doctoral fellow at the American Bar Foundation and Ph.D. candidate in History at the ...
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Welcoming P. Gabrielle Foreman to the <i>Muster</i> Team

Welcoming P. Gabrielle Foreman to the Muster Team

We are pleased to announce the addition of a new correspondent to our Muster team, P. Gabrielle Foreman. Gabrielle recently moved to Penn State from the University of Delaware where she was the founding faculty director of the award-winning Colored Conventions Project. At Penn State, she'll launch and direct the Center ...
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