Muster

The First Lost Cause: Transnational Memory

The First Lost Cause: Transnational Memory

The study of Civil War Memory has grown exponentially over the past decade. While Civil War history in general has taken a small transnational turn, memory studies continues to lag behind in that regard. Michael J. Turner’s 2012 work served as an early attempt for its exploration of the image ...
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How the Party of Lincoln Became the Party of Lee

On November 2, 2021, Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers tweeted her support for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin. She encouraged Virginians to vote Republican and “Make General Lee proud.” While Rogers’ instruction attracted media attention, it is fully within the neo-Confederate nature of the modern Grand Old Party (GOP).[1] Confederate ...
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Portrait of man standing in doorway

Congratulations to the 2021 Anne Bailey Prize Winner

We are happy to announce that Jonathan Jones has been awarded the Anne Bailey Prize for 2021 for his dissertation, "Opium Slavery: Veterans and Addiction in the American Civil War Era.” The selection committee was chaired by Jane E. Schultz, Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, and included Kathryn Shively, Virginia Commonwealth University, ...
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Black and white image of rows of headstones in a cemetery

“As American citizens, we have a right….”: Death, Protest, and Respect in Alexandria, Virginia

One of the newest—yet oldest—members of the National Park Service’s African American Civil Rights Network (AACRN) is the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial, first established in 1864 in Alexandria, Virginia. The sites in the AACRN, created by Congress in 2017, “offer a comprehensive overview of the people, places, and events ...
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Large statue hoisted in air by large crane.

Captured Confederate Flags and Fake News in Civil War Memory

Earlier this summer, after a decades-long fight that gained traction over the past four years, the city of Charlottesville finally removed its infamous statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. In doing so, Charlottesville joined the ranks of cities like New Orleans, Baltimore, and Richmond, southern cities that have ...
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The Long Travails and Promises of Black Border Crossing

The Long Travails and Promises of Black Border Crossing

On September 19, 2021, Agence France-Presse (AFP) photographer Paul Ratje published vivid images of U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback forcefully corralling Haitian migrants in Del Rio, Texas.  When the images spread on social and news media, with commentators spotlighting the swinging leather strap in one agent’s hand, Homeland Security ...
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Engraving of dancing Black and white adults at a formal event.

Fake News, Dirty Tricks, and Civil War Politics

Today’s political discourse includes frequent talk of “fake news” (a term which seems to only occasionally mean actual trickery rather than simply unfavorable reporting). Meanwhile, partisan political concerns sometimes seem thick with racial hostility, appealing to voters’ irrational fears. None of this is new. During the Civil War a handful ...
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Outdoor funeral procession

The Case for Posthumously Awarding André Cailloux The Congressional Medal of Honor

Now that a brigade of Confederate commanders has been hauled down from their pedestals, there’s scant consensus about what should take their place. In Richmond, Virginia, monumentalizing social justice activists is all the talk.  Kentucky leans toward a rotating cast of deserving figures from across the spectrum.[1] But in my ...
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Group of Black men sitting on lumber and standing in pose for a group photograph.

“I remember that Jasper Gray told me that he had herded sheep in Australia”

In 1906, Oscar Nelson, a local African American living in Tennessee, provided testimony on the extraordinary life of Jasper Gray, a United States Colored Troops (USCT) veteran, of the Thirty-First United Colored Infantry (USCI). Gray was a man whose entire life—in bondage and freedom—was one of constant physical movements and ...
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Women and Gender History of the Civil War Era: A Roundtable

Women and Gender History of the Civil War Era: A Roundtable

We are delighted to publish three essays on women’s history of the Civil War Era by three leading scholars in the field. This roundtable draws on a lively session at last summer’s Society of Civil War Historians conference. Together these pieces provide a wide-ranging assessment of the field as a ...
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The Gendered Consequences of Legislation Targeting Critical Race Theory

When Professor Silber asked us to reflect on what it means to study women and gender in the Civil War era, the news in the state of Texas, but also in other states, centered on efforts in the legislature to restrict what we teach in American history and the theoretical ...
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Why We Should Forget the Civil War

Nearly twenty years ago, now, in a 2002 review essay on women in the Civil War, Thavolia Glymph concluded that “the period of the Civil War and Reconstruction remains the most racially gendered and regionally segregated historiographical space in US history.”  Surveying the first wave of literature on the period ...
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Introductory Remarks: The Study of Gender and the Civil War

When we began planning for the SCWH 2020 conference, one critical component of our planning entailed a special plenary that would survey the field of gender and Civil War history.  This is a field of long-standing interest for me, going back to the publication of the co-edited collection I did ...
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Historical marker with text

Jousting with History-on-a-stick: Centering African American Women in Civil War Public History

In April 2021, Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia would add five new markers focused on African American history to its state historical marker program. Playfully referred to as "history-on-a-stick," historical markers are intended to inform passersby about a significant person, place, or event. As useful as they might be ...
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Previewing September 2021 Issue: Immigration in the Civil War Era

Previewing September 2021 Issue: Immigration in the Civil War Era

While recent immigration scholars have turned most of their attention to the twentieth century, many historians are also reexamining immigration policy in the mid-nineteenth century. Alison Clark Efford, in a recent review essay in this journal, reflects on how nineteenth-century immigration historiography is marked by an “imperial framework in which the ...
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Portrait of William Welsh standing with hand over breast in uniform.

Retracing Hallowed Grounds From the Battle of the Crater

For Black men during the Civil War, military service in the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) offered a hopeful pathway towards citizenship and equality. Freedom would be theirs by the sword. However, to temper prejudicial Northern attitudes concerning the arming of black men, the U.S. War Department’s Bureau of Colored Troops ...
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