The Week in Review: January 9th-13th
Civil War in the News…
The big news this week was the unveiling of the full and unobstructed Confederate Civil War vessel H.L. Hunley after a decade of careful preservation. Most of the other news stories this week have been about Civil War commemoration, sesquicentennial events, and preservation. For example, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library recently reopened its “Illinois Answers the Call: Boys in Blue” exhibit with all new images and artifacts while the state of North Carolina announced that 2012 marks the 150th anniversary of when the Civil War came home to North Carolina. As such, they will be hosting sesquicentennial events throughout the state, marking key battles at Roanoke Island, New Bern, Fort Macon, and more. In Florida, state officials have proposed making the shipwreck of the USS Narcissus an underwater archaeological preserve. That designation would put this Civil War site on the underwater map as divers and anglers could visit the wreckage. Meanwhile, the Civil War Trust just announced a campaign to save 121 acres at Perryville battlefield.
In other news, Leading Abraham Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer believes that the 16th President, actually spoke in a 'shrill and high' voice—a stark contrast to the rich bass tones of Gregory Peck who has portrayed Lincoln in film. On Monday, Alabama buried the state’s last known real daughter of Confederacy, Norma Vivian Smith. Smith, 89, was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson Denney, a soldier who fought in the Civil War as part of Company H in the 31st Alabama Infantry regiment.
Around the Blogosphere…
The Civil War Bookshelf published a three-part series on the madness of Union Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton. Over at Emerging Civil War, guest blogger Jim Sundman discussed “Disease: A Tale of Two Regiments.” The Front Line blogger swain detailed how wild hogs are infesting Vicksburg on his blog, To the Sound of Guns. And, the New York Times blog Disunion posted two stories about unconventional Civil War history: Jon Grinspan’s “Laugh During Wartime” and Adam Arenson’s “Anna and the Librarian.”
In case you missed it…
Last week, The Front Line featured a New Years’ inspired series “From the Archives,” Andy Hall’s “The Angry Politics of Confederate Heritage”—a commentary on the correlation between Civil War history and modern politics—and Jim Schmidt’s “A Soldier's Forty Winks” which examines the impact that lack of sleep had on Civil War soldiers such as Stonewall Jackson. This week, The Front Line featured “2011: A Year in Review” and Craig Swain’s piece “Looking Back...Just Fifty Years,” a retrospective on Life magazine’s depiction of the Civil War centennial.
The Bookshelf has been very busy lately. Last week, renowned blogger Kevin Levin reviewed The Last Battle of the Civil War: United States Versus Lee, 1861-1883 by Anthony J. Gaughan, stating that “Gaughan does an admirable job of steering the reader through some complex legalese that helps to keep the narrative flowing.” This week, The Bookshelf featured four new reviews: Mark A. Lause reviewed The Enemy Within: Fears of Corruption in the Civil War North by Michael Thomas Smith, Charles B. Dew reviewed Confederate Invention: The Story of the Confederate States Patent Office and Its Inventors by H. Jackson Knight, Abigail Cooper reviewed God's Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War by George C. Rable, and Brian Allen Drake reviewed Michigan and the Civil War: A Great and Bloody Sacrifice by Jack Dempsey.
Don’t forget, Saturday through Monday, all National Park sites are offering Free Entrance Days for the holiday weekend. Take some time to visit a Civil War battlefield. And, while you are in the car, we recommend you pick up The 1861 Project's newest cd From Farmers To Foot Soldiers to listen to along the way!
Have a great weekend!
Laura June Davis, Blog and Social Media Editor.
Image Credit: Reuters.