Muster

“Don’t Forget your Soldier Lovers!” A Story of Civil War Valentines

“Don’t Forget your Soldier Lovers!” A Story of Civil War Valentines

Is materialism ripping out the heart of Valentine’s Day? Every February, thousands of Americans lament the commercialism of this holiday with critical articles and tweets about modern consumerism. Some blame the pressures of social media on the rise in spending. And it is definitely rising; the National Retail Federation estimates ...
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Author Interview: Timothy Williams

Author Interview: Timothy Williams

Our December 2018 issue featured top-notch work on the Civil War era, including a fascinating piece by Timothy Williams, titled "The Readers' South: Literature, Region, and Identity in the Civil War Era." We share below a recent interview with Dr. Williams, who is an assistant professor of history at the ...
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Barton Myers

A New Member of the Muster Team, Barton A. Myers

Due to other commitments, our field correspondent James Marten has had to step down from his role at Muster. We will miss seeing his regular posts, but we wish him well in his future endeavors. In his stead, we are pleased to announce a new member of our Muster team, ...
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What Academics Owe Activists: A Report on “Removing Silent Sam” at the AHA

As monuments to (and of) white supremacy, Confederate statues simultaneously re-embodied masculinity in white Southerners who failed their patriarchal society, christened future generations in Lost Cause mythology, and intimidated, punished, and policed the bodies of black Southerners.[1] It was no mistake that Confederate memorialization crested during two periods of intense ...
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Lessons from the Crimean War: The Augusta Arsenal

Lessons from the Crimean War: The Augusta Arsenal

In 1853 a conflict began that, for the first time since the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, pitted most of the great powers of Europe against each other. What initially started as a conflict between the Russian and Ottoman empires quickly escalated to involve the western European maritime ...
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The Grave and the Gay: The Civil War on the Gilded Age Lecture Circuit

The Grave and the Gay: The Civil War on the Gilded Age Lecture Circuit

This is our final field dispatch from correspondent James Marten. We have greatly enjoyed his contributions to Muster and it has been such a pleasure having him on our team. We will be announcing his replacement in 2019, so stay tuned! For decades before and after the Civil War, thousands ...
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Mudsills vs. Chivalry

Mudsills vs. Chivalry

Writing home from Alabama in November 1863, an Ohio cavalryman celebrated the overthrow of the Southern aristocracy: “The mud sills of the North roam at will over the plantations, burn rails, forage on the country, and the negroes flock into our camps, leaving their lordly masters helpless and dependent,” he ...
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The Electoral Politics of “Migrant Caravans”

The Electoral Politics of “Migrant Caravans”

Images of the “migrant caravans” heading north from Honduras, through Guatemala and Mexico and toward the United States, are now familiar to us all. There have been other “migrant caravans” from Central America in the past, but none have registered in American media and politics quite like the one that ...
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1818-2018, The Mary Lincoln Bicentennial: Sisterhood and the Civil War

1818-2018, The Mary Lincoln Bicentennial: Sisterhood and the Civil War

Just over two hundred years ago today, on December 13, 1818, Mary Ann Todd came into the world screaming. Or at least, we assume she came into this world screaming, as most babies do. It was a rainy Sunday in Lexington, Kentucky. Mary’s mother Eliza likely sent for the midwife ...
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The Mystery of William Jones, An Enslaved Man Owned by Ulysses S. Grant

The Mystery of William Jones, An Enslaved Man Owned by Ulysses S. Grant

On March 29, 1859, Ulysses S. Grant went to the St. Louis Courthouse to attend to a pressing legal matter. That day Grant signed a manumission paper freeing William Jones, an enslaved African American man that he had previously acquired from his father-in-law, "Colonel" Frederick F. Dent. Described as being ...
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Editor’s Note: December 2018 Issue

We are pleased to present the editor's note for our December 2018 issue, chock full of fascinating articles. To subscribe, please visit our subscriptions page. This issue features essays on the political and social contexts of the sectional crisis, looking carefully at what Americans read and how they voted—and for ...
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Shaping Public Remembrances of Abolition and Emancipation: Memory in the Post-Emancipation Era at the 2018 SHA

Today we share the last of our conference reports on the November 2018 annual meeting of the Southern Historical Association, held in Birmingham. Thank you for following along with us as these four reporters shared details about these fascinating and thought-provoking panels. When one attempts to explain to non-historians that ...
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Defining Defeat and Redefining the Lost Cause: An SHA Panel Recap

Today, the Lost Cause is rarely far from historians’ minds. Headlines of Confederate monuments coming down compete for space with stories of southern lawmakers proposing monuments to black Confederates. States are finally rewriting their curriculum to address slavery’s central role in the causation of the Civil War, while reality TV ...
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Spatial Roots, Lawsuits, and Leisurely Pursuits: A SHA 2018 Recap

Spatial Roots, Lawsuits, and Leisurely Pursuits: A SHA 2018 Recap

Morning panels on the last day of conferences can be difficult. But a Sunday morning panel at the SHA 2018 Annual Meeting offered refreshing perspectives on Reconstruction Studies scholarship. The three panelists of “Emancipationist Memory and Radical Dreams of Freedom: New Directions in African American History of the Reconstruction Era” ...
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War Trauma and the American Civil War: A Roundtable Discussion

Today we share the first in our series of panel reports on the recent Southern Historical Association annual meeting in Birmingham, Alabama. There were a number of timely Civil War era panels that we are excited to share with readers. Follow along the rest of this week! As Diane ...
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Author Interview: Bradley Proctor

Author Interview: Bradley Proctor

Today we share an interview with Bradley Proctor, who published an article in our September 2018 issue, “‘The K.K. Alphabet’: Secret Communication and Coordination of the Reconstruction-era Ku Klux Klan in the Carolinas.” Bradley Proctor is a member of the faculty at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Originally ...
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