Author Archive

Ta-Nehisi Coates gave Mitch McConnell a powerful lesson on reparations »

The writer Ta-Nehisi Coates testified for Congress on a bill that discusses reparations for slavery. Mitch McConnell weighed in with the following quote, which would be a lot less cynical if he didn’t use “We”. A politician who devoted himself to undermining the entire African American presidency he namechecks isn’t one to claim that efforts […]

What Is Juneteenth? »

I fell behind on my posting and missed Juneteenth! For those unfamiliar with the holiday on June 19th, let the eminent professor Henry Louis Gates explain it to you by clicking through to his article. ”‘The way it was explained to me,’ ” one heir to the tradition is quoted in Hayes Turner’s essay, ” […]

Armies of Deliverance »

A glowing review for a new Civil War book, Armies of Deliverance, by Elizabeth Varon. I usually avoid quoting last paragraphs of the articles I link, but this is quite the parting comment by the reviewer. While Varon doesn’t quite deliver on her argument about deliverance, she narrates battles and campaigns with an unusually deft, […]

Ken Burns on Monument Debate »

Ken Burns gives a great response to the Confederate Monuments debate. I’ll have to keep this in mind for the next time the topic comes up in our Round Table group. At one point, Tulane professor Walter Isaacson asked, “Do you think that by pulling down these monuments we’re losing some feel for history?” Burns […]

Gettysburg ‘Witness Trees’ »

Turns out one of the “witness trees” on Gettysburg has proven to be unusually resilient. Though water-loving honey locusts usually do not live much more than 100 years, this one is approaching 170 on high ground in the cemetery. Even more, it seemed doomed a decade ago after a wind storm sheared off much of […]

How hardtack won the Civil War »

Another small town article that I enjoyed. This one’s not quite as compelling as the Virginia story, but still has some fun facts to impart. Bakers of the day played their part as well. They made the biscuits as hard as possible because the biscuit would soften and become more palatable with time, due to […]

Virginia debated ending slavery after Nat Turner’s revolt »

One of the reasons I check out every small-town paper’s Civil War related stories is that you occasionally find some delicious wheat amongst the “round table meets tonight” or “Lincoln impersonator to speak at library” chaff. This article is one of the kernels that makes it worthwhile. A surprisingly in-depth look at some radical proposals […]

Atlanta History Center acquires rare flag »

The Atlanta History Centre has made a rare purchase, and boy is it a beaut! This USCT flag looks in great shape. I loved the added detail that there were famous flag-painters. Quite a niche specialty, but one that must have been a heyday during the war!     Measuring 72 by 55 inches, the […]

The South’s Remedies Will Rise Again »

When the Union blockade squeezed the South’s access to medicines, the Southern scientists turned to folk remedies. Modern researchers are turning to their findings, too, to test the efficacy of some of these remedies in our antibiotic-resistant era. During the Civil War (1861-1865), Union forces suffocated the South with a blockade, dramatically limiting the amount […]

Charleston lab restores Civil War cannons »

There are dozens of new “cannons recovered from swamp/river” stories every month, but this one is far more interesting and involved than most of the local news reports. Not only do you get a behind the scenes look at the preservation efforts, but you get a good deal of history – it was news to […]