Author Archives: Matt Stanley

Monumental Discussion: Matt Stanley

Part of being an historian is changing your conclusions in light of new evidence. Just days ago, on the anniversary of the U.S. dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, I explained to a colleague how my views on the … Continue reading

Posted in Memory, Monuments, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

1870s Politics: When a Presidential Election’s Outcome Was Contested with Threats of Violence

This commentary originally appeared on Oct. 21, 2016, in the History News Network’s daily newsletter and is reposted here with permission. The aftermath of the 1876 presidential election saw an uncommon moment of electoral pandemonium. Coming after over a decade of … Continue reading

Posted in Internet, Websites & Blogs, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Cosmopolitanism of the Union Army: What Did It Mean?

I was recently assessing the demographic makeup of Union and Confederate armies in my Civil War and Reconstruction class when one of my students asked a thought-provoking question: “What percentage of the Union Army was northern, white, English-speaking, and native-born?” … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Common Soldier, USCT | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Kayaking to “Glory” Island

During a recent visit to the Charleston, South Carolina, area, my father and I kayaked to Morris Island, an uninhabited and completely undeveloped island on the south side of Charleston Harbor.  I thought I would share a few photos (taken … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Emerging Civil War, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rethinking the Civil War Dead

It seems particularly topical as the United States commemorates the Civil War sesquicentennial that one of the most steady and recognizably tragic numbers in American history – 620,000 – has been called into question, and perhaps invalidated.  Although historians have … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | 7 Comments

Albert R. Parsons: Confederate Veteran, Labor Activist, Radical Martyr

In considering future research endeavors, I find myself coming back to the topic of Albert R. Parsons, an activist and newspaper editor best known for being one of the five “Haymarket martyrs” executed by the state of Illinois in 1887 … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | 7 Comments

Race and Reunion 10 Years Later: “Reconciliationist” Memory Trumps “Emancipationist” Memory

Part one in a series With a decade of perspective on which to draw, it’s clear that David Blight’s Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (2001) represented both a culmination of and shift within Civil War memory … Continue reading

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Civil War, Civil Rights, and Thoughts on the MLK National Memorial

In late August 1963, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. spoke on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and conjured the Union war leader in envisioning a new America: “Five … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | 14 Comments