Recapping a Controversy

At the beginning of this week, I had laid out plans for a few simple posts on matters related to the Civil War.  Little did I know what I would encounter moments after I turned on my iPad Monday morning.  As I’ve said elsewhere, This Was the Week That Was.  And it’s only Thursday.

We are left with a few questions.  We’ve had a confession and a recantation which contained allegations.  That seems unresolved.  We’ve had a press release breaking a story that simply led to more questions.  Those questions have not been answered.  We’ve had a lot of discussion about accountability and speculation about who knew what when or who should have known what when.  Finally, when all of this was about to recede, we had a discussion over who should be ashamed, prolonging all of this another day.

Maybe by tomorrow the discussion will recede, at least until several unanswered questions are answered.  We’ll see.  I believe that all that could be said has been said absent new information.  But I could be wrong.

I’ve created a new category for the posts addressing these matters.  It took me some time to come up with a phrase that would not in itself add to the controversy.  I’ve chosen “Lincoln Pardon Controversy” as the best way to do that for now.  We’ll see.

Thanks for reading and contributing.

Harold Holzer’s Excellent Diversion

In the scandal that keeps on giving, I now present for your inspection Harold Holzer’s recent entry commenting on the charges against Dr. Thomas P. Lowry on the New York Times Civil War blog, Disunion.

Holzer offers two arguments.  First, historians should be “ashamed” of themselves in this affair.  Not Lincoln scholars, not academics, not Civil War historians, but “the entire historical profession.”  Second, the impact of Dr. Lowry’s reported deception in doctoring a date on a Lincoln endorsement was to contribute to a myth of a kinder, gentler Lincoln, instead of the determined Commander-in-Chief he was in real life … a man who supported many measures to make warfare more violent and more lethal.

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