During the session on blogging at the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College last June, moderator Peter Carmichael claimed that certain interpretive battles concerning the Civil War had been won: I suggested otherwise.
In truth, I would have liked to have had a discussion defining these battles, outlining what they were over, what contending parties believes (there may well be more than two answers), who “won,” how, and why.
Several news stories this past week about the historical opinions of various officeholders suggest that certain battles are far from over, and that we might err in rushing to declare who won.
Ask Arkansas state legislator Jon Hubbard about slavery, and he might well tell you it was a blessing for the enslaved, even if it was “a blessing in disguise.”
Or take the views of fellow Arkansas state representative Loy Mauch, who seems quite comfortable with the Confederacy, denounces Lincoln as a Nazi, and embraces the League of the South (I wonder if he makes public his desire for southern independence). Mauch also reportedly defends slavery.
The war for Civil War memory continues.