Category Archives: Antebellum South

William Freret: From Folly to War to Success

William Freret Jr. enjoyed one of the most unusual careers during the Civil War, including brief service in the Washington Artillery. He also had one of the most successful postbellum professional careers; by the time of his death, he was … Continue reading

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Scenes from Vicksburg, Day 2 (part two)

part of a series When I got out of the car at the Windsor ruins, I was awed by what I saw: the skeletonal remains of an opulent plantation house accidentally destroyed by fire after the war. We decided to … Continue reading

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The Other Beauregard Monument

Welcome back, guest author Sean Michael Chick For Civil War historians living outside of Louisiana, Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard is a colorful figure. For many, he is an underrated commander. For others, a figure who is exotic and comical, particularly … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Monuments, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Congressman Wheeler Speaks in the House on Causes of the War

Jack Melton, publisher of Civil War News, often talks with me about little-known sources and items in Civil War history. Recently he pointed me to one such: a speech by Joseph Wheeler, later Confederate major general, then U. S. Representative … Continue reading

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A Conversation with Emma Murphy (part three)

(part three of five) We continue our conversation this week with Emma Murphy, a park guide at Andrew Johnson National Historic Site. Emma started her job at the park back in February, so she’s still learning her new park and … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Battlefields & Historic Places, National Park Service, Personalities, Politics, Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Not the Same African Americans We Always See

I was watching a television show a couple of weeks ago, and the subject of Black History Month was mentioned. One of the characters complained that America always trots out the same four African Americans every year to stand in … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Common Soldier, Memory, Personalities, Politics, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

War Comes to St. George’s (part one)

(part one of a series) Last August, I had the honor of giving a lecture at my church, St. George’s Episcopal Church, about its history during the Civil War. Several living historians, members of Women of the Civil War, the … Continue reading

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Soldier-Artists and the Battle Experience (Part II)

This is the second of two posts regarding soldier-artists and their depictions of the experience of battle. Part I may be found here. To appreciate the extent that images such as Adolph Metzner’s Cozy corner defied the conventions of mainstream art, it … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Armies, Arms & Armaments, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Civilian, Common Soldier, Emerging Civil War, Material Culture, Memory, Mexican War, Photography, Primary Sources, Weapons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Poet’s Perspective: Herman Melville and the Civil War

It was November of 1860, and America had a new president. He was highly popular among the northern states, but he was widely disliked in the South. At the same time you have Herman Melville, famous for his 1851 novel … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Books & Authors, Civil War Events, Civilian, Emerging Civil War, Memory, Newspapers, Personalities, Ties to the War | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Historic Harbors

A couple of weeks ago I attended a leadership retreat where a speaker touted the longtime importance of Hampton Roads as a harbor and host to very important events in American history. This got me thinking: what are the most … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Battlefields & Historic Places, Economics, Navies, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments