Understanding Civil War magazine articles.

major bill

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#1
My summer 2019 issueof the Civil War Monitor arrived today. It has, as usual, some interesting articles. However, these articles often raise some questions in my mind. The number one question being why should I trust the view of the author of an article?

Often I have read other books or articles that do not entirely agree with what the author of the article concludes. Many times I am not familiar with a particular author and have no basis to judge their new article by.

I will use the article I just finished as an example. The newest Monitor has the article The Refuges by Amy Murrell Taylor which is about slave refuge's plight. It is not a bad article, however, who is Amy Murrell Taylor and why should I trust her research or conclusions?

I could probaby underline a dozen passages that are stated as fact, but for which are still open to discussion. She states abou Fort Pillow:" Forrest and his men had just turned a battle into a racial massacre, opening fire on the black Union soldiers who had already surrendered and killing nearly 200 if then." This is still being argued and the 200 massacred after surrendering is hard to pun down.
 

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#2
My summer 2019 issueof the Civil War Monitor arrived today. It has, as usual, some interesting articles. However, these articles often raise some questions in my mind. The number one question being why should I trust the view of the author of an article?

Often I have read other books or articles that do not entirely agree with what the author of the article concludes. Many times I am not familiar with a particular author and have no basis to judge their new article by.

I will use the article I just finished as an example. The newest Monitor has the article The Refuges by Amy Murrell Taylor which is about slave refuge's plight. It is not a bad article, however, who is Amy Murrell Taylor and why should I trust her research or conclusions?

I could probaby underline a dozen passages that are stated as fact, but for which are still open to discussion. She states abou Fort Pillow:" Forrest and his men had just turned a battle into a racial massacre, opening fire on the black Union soldiers who had already surrendered and killing nearly 200 if then." This is still being argued and the 200 massacred after surrendering is hard to pun down.
I have a thread here with an answer to some of your question on determining the authenticity of what you read. It covers the search for identity and background for each article for the first issue of Civil War Times Illustrated, 1962. Enjoy (I don't mean to blow my own trumpet. Excuse me for that.) https://civilwartalk.com/threads/a-...mes-illustrated-vol-1-no-1-april-1962.155362/

Lubliner.
 

Pat Young

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#3
My summer 2019 issueof the Civil War Monitor arrived today. It has, as usual, some interesting articles. However, these articles often raise some questions in my mind. The number one question being why should I trust the view of the author of an article?

Often I have read other books or articles that do not entirely agree with what the author of the article concludes. Many times I am not familiar with a particular author and have no basis to judge their new article by.

I will use the article I just finished as an example. The newest Monitor has the article The Refuges by Amy Murrell Taylor which is about slave refuge's plight. It is not a bad article, however, who is Amy Murrell Taylor
Oh man Major, I am glad I clicked your thread. I know who she is:


Amy Murrell Taylor is the recipient of the Tom Watson Brown Book Award for her 2018 book Embattled Freedom: Journeys Through the Civil War’s Slave Refugee Camps.

From the Announcement by The Society of Civil War Historians:

The Society of Civil War Historians and the Watson-Brown Foundation are proud to announce that Amy Murrell Taylor is the recipient of the Tom Watson Brown Book Award. Dr. Taylor, Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky, earned the award for Embattled Freedom: Journeys Through the Civil War’s Slave Refugee Camps which was published in 2018 by the University of North Carolina Press. The $50,000 award is funded by the Watson-Brown Foundation in honor of the broadcaster, philanthropist, and Civil War enthusiast Tom Watson Brown. In making its selection, the prize committee praised Taylor for her “original, nuanced view of slave refugee camps and the relationship of the US Army to the process of emancipation.” Offering a “detailed spatial analysis of the camps” along with compelling stories “about the fate of so-called contraband slaves”, Embattled Freedom, the prize committee explains, “is one of the very best books written in the field of Civil War studies in the last decade and perhaps longer than that.”

The Watson Brown Book Award jury consisted of Carole Emberton, Associate Professor, University at Buffalo; Ari Kelman, Chancellor’s Leadership Professor of History at the University of California at Davis; Joshua Rothman, Professor, University of Alabama; and Tad Brown, President of the Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc. Tad Brown will present the award to Dr. Taylor at the Tom Watson Brown Book Award dinner, which will be held on November 8 at the Southern Historical Association's annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.
 

major bill

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#4
I have a thread here with an answer to some of your question on determining the authenticity of what you read. It covers the search for identity and background for each article for the first issue of Civil War Times Illustrated, 1962. Enjoy (I don't mean to blow my own trumpet. Excuse me for that.) https://civilwartalk.com/threads/a-...mes-illustrated-vol-1-no-1-april-1962.155362/

Lubliner.
Interesting. I do think that Civil War magazine articles can be great reading, but wonder if the articles influence how people see the Civil War. Although influencing peoples thinking may well be the intent of the authors. The problem is that many of the magazine readers may not be familiar with the author of an article and have no way to judge the fairness of the author.

I am sure many of the people who purchase Civil War magazines are real students of the Civil War and would not be greatly Influenced by a couple of magazine articles. However, other people who purchase the magazine may not be as knowledgeable on a specific subject and could be Influenced.

I have read articles on Civil War subjects out of my normal area of interest and wonder if I am overly trusting the views of the author. This is particularly true on subjects of which I have very little prior knowledge.
 
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#5
To a degree I believe that authors of all ilks somewhat believe that the phrase Never let the facts get in the way of a good story has it's place in their story and if an article/book interests me enough to read it over again, then it's worth reading other matter on the subject(s) to see where they agree or disagree, then it's up to me to decide which one/both/a combination or neither to go with. And to be clear, this is only my opinion and opinions are like noses, everyone has one.
 

DixieRifles

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#7
I could probaby underline a dozen passages that are stated as fact, but for which are still open to discussion. She states abou Fort Pillow:" Forrest and his men had just turned a battle into a racial massacre, opening fire on the black Union soldiers who had already surrendered and killing nearly 200 if then." This is still being argued and the 200 massacred after surrendering is hard to pun down.
Thank you.
 
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#8
My summer 2019 issueof the Civil War Monitor arrived today. It has, as usual, some interesting articles. However, these articles often raise some questions in my mind. The number one question being why should I trust the view of the author of an article?

Often I have read other books or articles that do not entirely agree with what the author of the article concludes. Many times I am not familiar with a particular author and have no basis to judge their new article by.

I will use the article I just finished as an example. The newest Monitor has the article The Refuges by Amy Murrell Taylor which is about slave refuge's plight. It is not a bad article, however, who is Amy Murrell Taylor and why should I trust her research or conclusions?

I could probaby underline a dozen passages that are stated as fact, but for which are still open to discussion. She states abou Fort Pillow:" Forrest and his men had just turned a battle into a racial massacre, opening fire on the black Union soldiers who had already surrendered and killing nearly 200 if then." This is still being argued and the 200 massacred after surrendering is hard to pun down.
You pose an interesting question. I suppose that we all are influenced by what we read and/or hear from others when it concerns history and even current events when we are not present to witness events ourselves. But those who write about their interpretation of history also are influenced by what they read or can piece together and interpret from archeological resources. I suspect, but don't really know, that Dr. Taylor, while perhaps being an expert on the subject of refugee slaves, is probably not an expert on the Battle of Ft. Pillow and what she says regarding what happened there follows on the knowledge and/or opinions expressed by others. So, while the Battle of Ft. Pillow is still being debated, she has already made up her mind. Nothing wrong with that. If she and others think there was an unjust and illegal massacre of already surrendered men she is certainly entitled to her opinion. But whether she is correct or incorrect does not impugn the validity of what else she may say. I am curious though as to what the connection is between Black refugee camps and the Battle of Ft. Pillow. I don't subscribe to that mag. Does she make such a connection in her article?
 

major bill

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#9
The only real link I seen was that Ft. Pillow caused the blacks in the refugee camps to fear Forrest and other Confederate armies. This appears especially true after Forrest burned Tunnel Hill refugee camp.
 
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#10
Interesting. I do think that Civil War magazine articles can be great reading, but wonder if the articles influence how people see the Civil War. Although influencing peoples thinking may well be the intent of the authors. The problem is that many of the magazine readers may not be familiar with the author of an article and have no way to judge the fairness of the author.

I am sure many of the people who purchase Civil War magazines are real students of the Civil War and would not be greatly Influenced by a couple of magazine articles. However, other people who purchase the magazine may not be as knowledgeable on a specific subject and could be Influenced.

I have read articles on Civil War subjects out of my normal area of interest and wonder if I am overly trusting the views of the author. This is particularly true on subjects of which I have very little prior knowledge.
If you go to a major bookseller and sit near the magazine racks, you can see the approach of aspiring teens and adults, most being guided by shiny cars, hot rods, or army men on the front cover. All writers have a purpose, whether it is just a hobby, or an actual profession. They claim a per cent of inspiration and the rest sweat. The market is competitive, and the publications are tuned to feeding the public what sells best at the time. At the moment, Blacks and Slavery in the Civil War are highly 'infectious' to the public mind, and anything made to look new under the sun. Civil War magazines offer up delights for High School students, children, and scholars. And these are never as involved as photography, radio, and scientific research; all a more specialized class of study. Thanks, it is the editor you should question. [Letters to the Editor].
Lubliner.
 

Dusty

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#11
Thank you very much. Which publication of a Civil War magazine, in your opinion, would make the best subscription? I don’t think there are but two or three available? Or, anyone can give an opinion.
 



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