… at this post by Andy Hall at Dead Confederates. It’s a really interesting exercise on how one weighs evidence as one struggles to construct a narrative that tells us what happened.
In recent years memory studies, which rest on some of the same principles as the practice of deconstruction in literary studies, look at various accounts and determined what shaped those accounts. These studies have been very valuable, yet I still say the hardest thing for a historian to do is to find out what happened in the first place. That some people misunderstand what good historians do by claiming that it’s all a matter of pick and choose according to some predetermined agenda or ideology say this in part as a way to evade the real spadework of scholarship.
Take a look at Andy’s post and see what you make of the two accounts he presents.