Week in Review: October 9th-16th
This Week in Civil War News…
The famous diary of Mary Chesnut has at long last been reunited with her collection of Civil War era photographs. The joint set will soon be together at the University of South Carolina and published in a two-volume set: 'Mary Chesnut's Diary from Dixie' and 'Mary Chesnut's Civil War Photograph Album. The Olde Towne Fenton (MO) Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) recently presented the Missouri Civil War Museum (MCWM) with its Historic Preservation Recognition Award.
Colgate University (formerly Madison University) will be inducting George Gavin Ritchie into the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum over a 150 years after he was expelled from the campus. The Unison Battlefield has become an official state historic district and should be a national historic battlefield district soon; the National Register of Historic Places is expected to confirm its nomination by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Frank E. White Jr. is pushing the Army Review board to award the Medal of Honor to his great-great-grandfather—Civil War Cpl. David D. White. And, Local officials are contemplating moving the Atlanta Civil War cyclorama to an alternative location.
A handful of academic historians published pieces in the news this week. In the Brown Alumni Magazine, Tony Horwitz discusses his new book Midnight Rising and retracing the steps of John Brown. And, Eric Foner published an article in The Nation entitled, “The Civil War in 'Postracial' America.”
Around the Blogosphere…
Most of the talk this past week has been about the rebroadcast of the “Antiques Roadshow” episode with the Andrew and Silas Chandler tintype and the corresponding “History Detectives” episode about the story behind the photograph and the allegations that Silas Chandler was a Confederate black soldier. Over at Civil War Memory, Kevin Levin has published several posts about the controversial Silas Chandler. According to Levin, “Yes, [History Detectives] put to rest the ridiculous claims about Silas serving as a soldier in the Confederate army, which as I suggested last night we already knew, but they completely went off the deep end once the show emerged from the Civil War. In fact, it’s not a stretch to suggest that HD offered a distorted picture of Reconstruction.” Andy Hall made two key observations about the broadcast: the self-awareness of Chandler Battaile, the great-great-grandson of Andrew Chandler and Mary Francis Berry’s statement that Mississippi law did not allow the manumission of slaves during the Civil War.
Over at Rantings of a Civil War Historian, Eric Wittenberg profiled a forgotten cavalryman named William L. “Mudwall” Jackson. At A House Divided, William Blair published a piece on war debt, the gold standard, and Union monetary policy. And, the authors of Emerging Civil War posted a 4-part retrospective on David Blight’s Race and Reunion.
In case you missed it…On the CivilWarMonitor.com
On Monday, we published our first Voice from the Past: An 1861 letter to the editor of the (Rochester, NY) Democrat and American about a “Plucky” Young Soldier. Andy Hall discussed D. W. Griffith’s Lincoln bio-pic while Craig Swain made his debut on The Front Line, commenting on the divide between the land and naval aspects in our collective memory of the Civil War. We also published two new book reviews on The Bookshelf: Stephanie McCurry’s Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South and James Marten’s Sing Not War: The Lives of Union and Confederate Veterans in Gilded Age America.
Those are the highlights for the week.
Laura June Davis, Blog & Social Media Editor