The Week in Review: April 9th-13th Part 2
Happy Friday the 13th! Our extended Week in Review continues below.
What We Have Been Watching…
Recently, three videos have caught our attention: Edward L. Ayers' piece “What caused the Civil War in Two Minutes” courtesy of The Gilder Lehrman Institute (hat tip to Kevin Levin), “DC Emancipation Act (April 16, 1862) -- 150 Years,” and American Artifacts Preview of “Clara Barton's Missing Soldiers Office.”
What We Have Been Reading…
Needless to say, we’ve been reading a lot these past few weeks. Our friends at the Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial explored the role of “Civil War Naval Aviation” while guest Renegade South blogger Ed Payne shared several documents featuring Jones County, Mississippi ancestors. A guest post on the Grand Army Blog by Allison Jordan explored the heartrending postwar tale a former Civil War artillerist hopelessly haunted by Gettysburg. The Washington Post uncovered Clara Barton’s secret war with crippling depression while the cdr salamander blog explained why age doesn’t really matter in times of war. Meanwhile, Keith Harris has been experimenting with Pinterest. And the folks over at Disunion have been very busy. Some of our favorite pieces included Richard Striner's discussion of Lincoln's plan for compensated emancipation, C. Kay Larson's recounting of John L. Worden’s heroic adventures captain the USS Monitor, Phil Leigh’s account of why the relationship between Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee mattered, Diane Miller Sommerville's explanation of why so many Confederate soldiers committed suicide, and Ben Tarnoff's delineation of a Philadelphia shopkeeper's "Counterfeiting Conspiracy" which caused problems for the Confederacy.
In entertaining news, some Civil War bloggers have been purchasing John Wilkes Booth bobblehead dolls despite their controversy. Keith Harris is asking Cosmic America fans to join his “Inner Circle" and to help him discern the career of Civil War naval officer F. A. Whitehead. Meanwhile, our digital advisor Harry Smeltzer revealed that the University of Virginia’s Albert & Shirley Small Special Collections Library has granted permission for his Bull Runnings blog to post First Bull Run related material from their collections. (Keep checking back for more!) And, Andy Hall recently shared a recommended reading list about Blockade Runners.
In case you missed it…
We recently added a new Photo Essay to The Civil War Monitor. “Life Studies” is a companion piece to our Issue Three Article “Sketches of War” and includes samples from Edwin Forbes' series depicting life in the Army of the Potomac. On The Front Line, things have gotten more introspective. Guest blogger Cole Grinnell explained how he “tried and failed to escape the Civil War” while I recounted my experiences at the 10th Annual Battle of Hampton Roads Weekend in “The Monitor, The Merrimack, and Me.”
Over on The Bookshelf, we have published several great reviews from top scholars. John Inscoe reviewed Joe B. Fulton’s The Reconstruction of Mark Twain: How a Confederate Bushwhacker Became the Lincoln of Our Literature, which explores Twain’s serious commitment to slavery and the Confederacy. Lorien Foote assessed Donald Stroker’s The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War, which seeks to answer the question did the leaders on either side of the Civil War develop and implement an effective military strategy to achieve their respective political objectives? Amy Murrell Taylor considered J. Matthew Gallman’s edited collection, A Tour of Reconstruction: Travel Letters of 1875. And George C. Rable reviewed William C. Harris’s Lincoln and the Border States: Preserving the Union, which he claims is the first serious, comprehensive look at the President's policies in the slaveholding states that remained in the Union. Meanwhile, Keith Muchowski reviewed The Civil War in Georgia: A New Georgia Encyclopedia Companion edited by John C. Inscoe and Brian Dirck reviewed Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason by David Hirsch & Dan Van Haften. Most recently, Sean Vanatta reviewed Thomas P. Lowry’s Irish and German Whiskey and Beer: Drinking Patterns in the Civil War, which explores the Civil War soldier’s everyday experience as evidenced through alcohol consumption.
And, back in March The Front Line published a tribute series to Civil War Women in honor ofWomen’s History Month. It included Julia Mildred’s poem "Song of the Southern Women,” a tribute to Mary Touvestre (the former slave who shared intelligence on the CSS Virginia’s construction), General Benjamin Butler's Infamous General Orders No. 28, a short biography of the famed Confederate spy Rose O'Neal Greenhow, a reprinting of the song "Southern Prisoner. Gives His Thanks to the Baltimore Ladies" and a discussion of famed diarist Mary Boykin Chesnut. Images included one of women "Filling Cartridges at the United States Arsenal at Watertown, Massachusetts," a Harper’s Weekly image of a "Female Rebel in Baltimore," Frank Leslie’s "Women in Mourning, Cemetery in New Orleans." and a patriotic envelope depicting the hardships of women during war.