The (Bent Out Of) SHAPE of Confederate Heritage

Readers of this blog will recall that a few days ago I challenged a post from Southern Heritage Advancement Preservation and Education’s George Purvis claiming that census records showed that Abraham Lincoln owned a slave in Springfield in 1860. Other blogs soon picked this up, offering even more detailed discussion of the evidence in question.

Now George Purvis has responded as only he can. Continue reading

H. K. Edgerton on the Lee Chapel Controversy

Our hero H. K. Edgerton is quoted by several Confederate heritage groups as offering the following opinion:

The desecration of the Memorial at Washington and Lee is no less a declaration of War against the South than was Lincoln’s illegal attack upon Ft. Sumter. And to use unknowledgeable college youth with the aid of those who are there to protect the legacy and Memorial to General Lee and his men is tantamount to the acts of Judas, Benedict Arnold and MiMi Elrod . Kenneth Ruscio should be immediately dismissed and the Board of Trustees investigated under the premise of their dismissal as well.

You may have to read that middle sentence a few times to understand what Edgerton’s saying (before Connie Chastain tells you what he really meant to say, of course).

Jen Murray on the Gettysburg National Military Park

I have always found the evolution of the Gettysburg National Military Park to be a fascinating topic, and Jen Murray’s new bookOn a Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933–2012, provides a terrific examination of that process. Here she is offering a presentation based on that book at this year’s Sacred Trust lectures at Gettysburg earlier this month.


Will Confederate Heritage Advocates Take Robert E. Lee’s Advice?

If there is an icon of Confederate heritage, that icon is Robert E. Lee. The recent controversy over the display of Confederate flags at the Lee Chapel at Washington & Lee University should remind us of that. However, as this letter suggests, Lee himself might not be too happy with some of the actions being undertaken supposedly to defend his name and honor.

Guess that’s an insight some Confederate heritage advocates ignore all the time. Continue reading

July 17, 1864: Hood Replaces Johnston

If you believe that the fall of Atlanta in September 1864 guaranteed Abraham Lincoln’s reelection, and in turn you also believe that John Bell Hood’s performance during his first seven weeks as commander of the Army of Tennessee crippled Confederate efforts to hold on to Atlanta or to frustrate William T. Sherman’s offensive operations, then today’s an important anniversary.

Simply put, was Jefferson Davis right to replace Johnston? Was he right to replace Johnston with Hood? How do you evaluate Hood’s performance as an army commander over the following seven weeks?

You may want to read this insightful essay on Hood by Eric Jacobson.