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 […]

Rare Walt Whitman Artifacts Go on View »

Happy 200th birthday, Walt Whitman! To celebrate the poet’s bicentennial, the Library of Congress has a special exhibition of some of his belongings and notebooks. If you’re in Washington DC this summer, stop in for a visit. On June 3, the notebook will join a pair of partly frosted eyeglasses and a walking cane given […]

Remembering Tony Horwitz »

Some sad news – author Tony Horwitz has died. I read his Confederates in the Attic over 20 years ago, and was taken both with his humourous writing and his focus on the war’s lingering effects on America. I had actually earmarked a review of his new book the other day, with the intention of […]

Last Known Ship Carrying Captives For Slavery Found »

Some archaeological news from Alabama – the remains of the last slave ship was found. Researchers were also looking for a ship that had been burned and scuttled in the waters around Mobile — reflecting the captain’s attempts to block law enforcement from finding evidence of a crime. From February to July 1860, the Clotilda […]

In the Shadow of Stone Mountain »

I’m not sure I agree with this lady’s take on Stone Mountain, but it’s a refreshing reminder that the Confederate statues debate is not always a black and white debate. (My issue is that the shades of gray most people promote are of a particularly Confederate hue.) Brown, who is 78, and other longtime residents […]

Questioning Lee’s Legacy »

Trump’s blundering into the Confederate statues debate has unleashed quite a backlash against Lost Cause history. I am all for reversing the yellow history, but I’m not sure swinging the pendulum entirely the other way is going to accomplish much. Did Lee make mistakes? Without question, especially at Gettysburg. But to suggest that he was […]

Walt Whitman Exhibit »

The University of Virginia is marking Walt Whitman’s bicentennial with a new exhibit. If you’re in the area, it’s ongoing to July 29th. This year, the University of Virginia celebrates the bicentennial of his birth with an exhibition, “Encompassing Multitudes: The Song of Walt Whitman.” The exhibit showcases various editions of his best-known volume, “Leaves […]

Our Native Daughters »

I noticed this story on the Smithsonian page today, and clicked kind of idly. A few seconds into the first linked video, I was hooked. Rhiannon Giddens and some of her fellow black women banjo players have created a moving and haunting CD of music inspired by and based on slave tunes.  It really is […]

Civil War-Era Musical in SF »

Readers in the San Francisco Bay area should note there’s a new stage show currently playing at the Berkeley Rep Theatre. It’s profiled in the NYTimes, though the focus is on the fact that its producer is Garth Drabinsky – a name we Canadians know and note less for his lavish productions than for the […]

Utah’s state constitution bans slavery — mostly »

So it turns out Utah’s constitution still allows for slavery, “Except as a punishment for a crime.” This legal loophole was explored in great depth in the excellent Douglas Blackmon book, Slavery By Another Name. (The book was the basis of a PBS documentary, too.) A hundred and fifty plus years after the war ended, it’s amazing […]