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Subjects: Civil War


Grant Park, Atlanta

An Old South Landscape for a New South City

by Steve Gallo

“Entering the park was like visiting an idealized past.” As Clement A. Evans, the Confederate general turned Methodist minister, mounted the makeshift pulpit and surveyed his surroundings on April 27, 1890, Atlanta’s Grant Park appeared more like a military camp than a public pleasure ground. Rows of white tents were erected on the greensward and »


The Kinetic South

by Alex Hofmann

It was not supposed to end like this. On September 15, 1896, “Crush, Texas,” was supposed to be just another kinetic spectacle in a place replete with them. The name was a double entendre, both a cheeky allusion to the staged head-on train collision scheduled to take place there and an eponym for William G. »


The “Good Old Rebel” at the Heart of the Radical Right

by Joseph M. Thompson

On July 4, 1867, Augusta, Georgia’s newspaper, the Daily Constitutionalist, published the words to a new song that seemed to reflect the bitterness felt by many white southerners following the Confederate defeat. The paper printed the song’s title as “O! I’m a Good Old Rebel” above a spiteful dedication to Thaddeus Stevens, the abolitionist congressman »


The Original Southerners

American Indians, the Civil War, and Confederate Memory

by Malinda Maynor Lowery

When Robert E. Lee met Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox in 1865, Grant introduced Lee to his personal military secretary, a man named Ely S. Parker. At first, the story goes, Lee refused to shake Parker’s hand, mistaking his darker complexion for that of an African American soldier in Union blue. But Parker was not »


“Defend with True Hearts unto Death”

Finding Historical Meaning in Confederate Memorial Hall

by John Bardes

“The museum offers no chronological or thematic organization. Without context, its objects drift in ether, detached and baffling.” In May of 2017, as the world watched mammoth cranes in New Orleans lower a sixteen-foot-tall likeness of Robert E. Lee from a sixty-foot-tall marble column, few took note of the stately brick building behind the warring »


“Would to God I could tear the page from these memoirs and from my own memory”

Co. Aytch and the Confederate Sensibility of Loss

by Edward John Harcourt

“Just as any man had ‘as much right to make a dictionary as Mr. Webster,’ he had as much right to write a history of the war as any Confederate general.” The Confederate undead have a way of rising, zombie-like, to haunt the American landscape,” the journalist Tony Horwitz wrote recently in the Washington Post following the »


Sanctified by War

A Tale of Two Silver Bowls

by Dale Rosengarten

This is the story of two silver bowls whose journeys since the decade of the American Civil War make interesting narratives in themselves because they follow closely what the late French historian Marc Bloch called “the vicissitudes of life.” The tale is one of return, and of loss averted, reassuring to white southerners, Christians and »



An Atlanta Monument

by Daniel Judt

On May 1, 1886, Jefferson Davis visited Atlanta for the last time. He had agreed to speak at the unveiling of a statue of the late Georgia senator Benjamin Harvey Hill. The former president of the Confederacy looked gaunt and frail. He sat on stage during the ceremony, and one might imagine that the crowd »

An Embattled Emblem

by John Shelton Reed

“It appears that favorable opinions about the banner are more widespread than the flag itself.” The rebel flag (properly, the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia) is increasingly an “embattled emblem,” as a recent exhibit and symposium at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond recognized and illustrated. A few surveys, mostly recent »

The Confederate Flag and the Meaning of Southern History

by Kevin Thornton

“The author argues that the time has come to give up the Confederate battle flag as a public symbol. A sense of southern identity, though, should be preserved.” For most of this century, public memory in the South has cherished the noble Lost Cause. The Confederate monument in Yazoo City, Mississippi, erected in 1909 by »

The Confederate Battle Flag in American History and Culture

by John M. Coski

“Through more than three dozen photographs, the author reveals the battle flag’s history and its symbolism.” The most controversial and ubiquitous of Confederate symbols today, as well as for the last half-century, is the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia—a blue St. Andrews cross emblazoned on a field of red.