Tag: Confederate memory

Statue on a marble column with buildings in background.

A Crashing Monument and the Echoes of War

The beeping of construction equipment pierced the morning air. The dull sounds of traffic and commuters interrupted by a backhoe in the middle of the park. Then, a groan and a creak, and the taut cable began its work. The column upon which John C. Calhoun's likeness stood for more ...
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Upcoming JCWE Webinars

The Journal of the Civil War Era is sponsoring three webinars with historians in coming weeks. For each event, JCWE editors Greg Downs and Kate Masur will interview the featured historian(s) and take questions from participants. Recordings will be posted on the JCWE's YouTube channnel. Please see below for more ...
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The Lost Cause in the Children’s Room: Toys and Memory

The Lost Cause in the Children’s Room: Toys and Memory

My first conscious exposure to the American Civil War came sometime in the seventh grade when Kabel 1 showed Gettysburg on May Day. As a child, whose parents had watched many Western movies, this film created a fascination with the conflict in North America. In the following week, I tried ...
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Gettysburg and July 4, 2020: Four Historians Respond

Gettysburg and July 4, 2020: Four Historians Respond

After the gathering of armed militia at Gettysburg National Military Park on July 4, 2020, JCWE editors asked four historians to respond, three of whom have especially intimate connections with the park, one of whom had expressed his outrage to us. Their responses are below in this special Muster post ...
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Gettysburg National Military Park and July 4, 2020: Personal Reflections

To be surrounded by men and women in festive patriotic attire and jungle fatigues, and holding a range of rifled weaponry was not how I expected my protest to end on July 4th. For much of the day my conversations with members of the Alt Right were uninteresting and largely ...
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Ground Zero: The Gettysburg National Military Park, July 4, 2020

Ground Zero: The Gettysburg National Military Park, July 4, 2020

Seven score and seventeen years after the roar of Union artillery and Confederate rifle fire fell silent on the Gettysburg battlegrounds, Adams County endured another invasion. This one, on July 4, 2020, brought a Civil War-sized company of right-wing extremists, some heavily armed, onto the nation’s most hallowed ground in ...
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Fear of a Black Planet (Part I)

Fear of a Black Planet (Part I)

In 2013, the Confederacy returned to Gettysburg’s battlefield. In 2015, the Confederacy took the town of Gettysburg. In 2016, the Confederacy occupied the Peace Light Memorial on the battlefield. In 2017, the Confederacy pledged allegiance to their flag on the Union side of the battlefield. In 2019, like each November, ...
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The Contested Memories of General Nathaniel Lyon in St. Louis

The Contested Memories of General Nathaniel Lyon in St. Louis

The removal of a Confederate monument from its original dedication spot in Forest Park almost two years ago aroused a great deal of controversy among St. Louis residents. Like the debates taking place in other cities that have Confederate iconography, supporters praised the removal of a monument they considered to ...
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Freeman Tilden’s <i>Interpreting Our Heritage</i> and the Civil War Centennial

Freeman Tilden’s Interpreting Our Heritage and the Civil War Centennial

On March 30, 2019, a group of public historians will convene at the National Council on Public History’s Annual Meeting to discuss the interpreter Freeman Tilden’s 1957 publication, Interpreting Our Heritage. My fellow NPS colleague Allison Horrocks and I created this conference panel to discuss Tilden's ideas in historical context ...
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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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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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Confederate Widow Confidential: Varina Tells (Almost!) All

Confederate Widow Confidential: Varina Tells (Almost!) All

Today we share the first post in our roundtable on recent Civil War fiction. The guest editor's introduction, by Sarah E. Gardner, includes links to all the posts and can be found here. The cover of Charles Frazier’s Varina: A Novel identifies its author as the “bestselling author of Cold ...
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What the Name "Civil War" Tells Us--and Why It Matters

What the Name “Civil War” Tells Us–and Why It Matters

What do Americans call the conflict that tore their nation apart from 1861 to 1865? And what difference does it make what name they use? Today most call it the Civil War, but as I discuss in my recent article in the September issue of the journal, Americans have not ...
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