April 2, 1865: Attacking Petersburg

On April 2, 1865, the Army of the Potomac launched a major attack upon the Confederate fortifications at Petersburg. The heaviest fighting took place at Fort Gregg, a prominent Confederate position.

One of the most notable characteristics of a Kurz and Allison print is how well dressed both sides are. Look at the Confederates in regulation attire. Very snappy. Everything is so neat and clean.

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Upcoming Flag Celebrations

Over the next nine days Americans in general and Virginians in particular will have cause to celebrate and commemorate one of the most important events in American history. We have the flags to highlight each event … because displaying flags to honor heritage is a great tradition. As there are five flags commemorating heritage in Virginia, we want to show the five flags that will commemorate this memorable week, as well as their existing equivalent in Virginia: Continue reading

Prelude to the Final Campaign in Virginia: March 1865

“I now feel like ending the matter.” –Ulysses S. Grant

Both Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant waited anxiously for spring in 1865, and for the same reason. Warmer weather meant dry roads, and dry roads meant armies could move quickly again. Lee knew that with the advent of spring he would have to evacuate his lines of fortifications defending Richmond and Petersburg, abandoning the Confederate capital to the Yankees, and seek a battle of decision elsewhere. Grant knew this as well, and he wanted to make sure that Lee did not elude his grasp.

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A Modest Proposal for the Arizona Legislature

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has emphasized the importance of civic literacy in the education of Arizona schoolchildren. I wholeheartedly agree with this idea. People should know the basics of American history, the political process, and the law, including the United States Constitution and the Arizona Constitution.

I propose that the members of the Arizona State Legislature should model the behavior of good citizenship by serving as a test group for the examination they propose to administer to high school students. After all, they, too, should be well versed in civic literacy. They should know something about the Bill of Rights, the supremacy clause of the US Constitution, and so on. Indeed, should they fail to achieve a passing score on the test, they should immediately resign their seat in the state legislature, because they surely can’t claim that they should hold a seat given their manifest failure to understand American civics and history.

Who’s with me?

The River Queen Conference: March 27-28, 1865

On March 27 and 28, 1865, Abraham Lincoln welcomed Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, and David Dixon Porter aboard The River Queen to discuss how to close out the Civil War.

The Peacemakers (Wikipedia Commons)

Lincoln had been visiting Grant at his headquarters at City Point, Virginia, for several days when Sherman arrived. Here’s how Sherman described what came next: Continue reading

The Peace Meeting That Wasn’t

In late February 1865 Major General Edward O. C. Ord met with Lt. General James Longstreet under a flag of truce. The subject was the exchange of prisoners … at least that’s how it began. After all, Ord and Longstreet knew each other in the prewar army, and getting together gave them a chance to catch up.

Before long the conversation shifted to the current situation. Longstreet was a realist: he knew that the Confederacy was in bad shape. So long as Jefferson Davis was in charge, however, a negotiated settlement seemed unlikely. Ord, who had little interest in emancipation, also longed for the war to end. In the discussion that followed wistful thinking gave way to imaginative solutions, and none more imaginative than what emerged.

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The Persistence of Myth in Confederate Heritage

As people reflect on William T. Sherman’s march through the Carolinas, it stands to reason that some folks hold dear to myths about the march, especially when it comes to certain claims about Yankee atrocities. So, for example, we aren’t surprised to see that a Confederate heritage blogger points to a famous letter, offering it without comment or analysis, as if the letter speaks for itself.

The document in question, as you might recall, was supposedly a letter from a Union officer, Thomas J. Myers, composed on February 26, 1865, at Camden, South Carolina. It professed to detail exactly how the Yankees went about their business of looting and destroying property. You can find it here, in the first of two posts that appeared on this blog in August 2012. Both that post and a followup post about another letter on the same topic examined certain troubling facts about both letters.

Note that these posts were published in August 2012. The post in question from Defending the Heritage appeared in November 2013.

Now, what are we to conclude from this? After all, we all know that certain folks who embrace Confederate heritage visit this blog often. They did not contest the discussion of the letter. They simply continue to embrace it as true. This suggests that to “defend the heritage,” one has no problem ignoring history, or fabricating it … as the fellow who runs Defending the Heritage has done before. So, are they stupid, ignorant, or dishonest? Or some combination of the above?

You tell me.