What Is the Future of Confederate History?

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Pat Young

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So, this program in Richmond is "sold out" but the question it addresses is one I thought that those of who can't get in could discuss here. Please confine your comments to the issue of the future of Confederate History. This is not about statues or flags, but about how serious students and scholars of history will, or should, approach this field. -Pat

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After Charleston and Charlottesville: The Future of Confederate History

Thursday, October 18, 2018 - SOLD OUT
7:30 pm
Ukrop Auditorium, Robins School of Business, on the University of Richmond campus
Free, reservations recommended.

How have - and how should - the national soul-searching about the Confederacy and its legacies affect the way students of Civil War history engage with their subject? What does the future hold for the study of Confederate history in the wake of Charleston and Charlottesville?

The 2018 Elizabeth Roller Bottimore lecture will address those and other questions in what promises to be a thoughtful and freewheeling discussion between two of America's most prominent scholars and Civil War public historians - Dr. Gary Gallagher and Dr. Edward Ayers.
 
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cash

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So, this program in Richmond is "sold out" but the question it addresses is one I thought that those of who can't get in could discuss here. Please confine your comments to the issue of the future of Confederate History. This is not about statues or flags, but about how serious students and scholars of history will, or should, approach this field. -Pat
I see the research on common soldiers continuing. Dr. Peter Carmichael has a new book coming out next month on common soldiers. I think there is still more work to be done on the common soldier of the confederacy. Ancillary to that would be understanding the confederate veterans and what they did during Reconstruction. There could also be some more updated research on the secession conventions and the delegates to those conventions.
 

bdtex

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I don't know what "the future of Confederate history" is but I do know there are authors and publishers still putting out good books and articles about the military history of the Civil War which of course includes both Confederate and Union history. I am thrilled at that because that's probably the first thing that is gonna be lost. We are already seeing that right here in CWT imo. May already be lost in the educational system for all I know. Hard to discuss without getting into modern politics,so I am gonna leave my comments at that.
 
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bdtex

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I see the research on common soldiers continuing. Dr. Peter Carmichael has a new book coming out next month on common soldiers.
He is speaking at the Houston Civil War Round Table next month.
 

leftyhunter

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I live in California so I won't be able to go. Hopefully both individuals will discuss the challenge of teaching Civil War history in a rapidly demographically changing South. That is increasingly many Southerners have no ancestral ties to the Civil War. Many Southerners have Confederate and African American ancestry.
Hopefully @cash can address this issue during his interview.
Leftyhunter
 
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cash

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I live in California so I won't be able to go. Hopefully both individuals will discuss the challenge of teaching Civil War history in a rapidly demographically changing South. That is increasingly many Southerners have no ancestral ties to the Civil War. Many Southerners have Confederate and African American ancestry.
Hopefully @cash can address this issue during his interview.
Leftyhunter
The interview is already done. I'm in the process of transcribing and putting in links.
 
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Drew

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I am enjoying right now a book that was recommended by @Eric Wittenberg, Rob Andrew Jr.'s Wade Hampton; Confederate Warrior to Southern Redeemer.

I admit to being slow in my reading, but Professor Andrew has described James Ewell Brown (J.E.B.) Stuart as, "one of the most colorful and romantic figures in American military history."

He's right, in my view, but Oh, wait, he was a Confederate.

Internet-based and other attempts to change this are not going to work, *edited*
 
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MattL

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Very fascinating. Personally I think the future of Confederate History is great. It's a fascinating subject on many levels. Even on just the Confederacy a Nation that popped up as a derivative of the US with it's own variations. How it formed into a government, military. The triumphs and tribulations. Also just as a key part of US history (despite the irony of that statement on a literal level).

I think the future of Confederate History is bright as it breaks more and more away from Heritage. Much like US Native American history. There was a time (and it's not all over unfortunately) where you didn't talk about the pains of Natives subjected to by the US. Manifest destiny still trumped such considerations of detailed and accurate history. There have been great progress in this area and more to come. This not only frees up history of things like Native Americans perspectives, but the actual history of the US side of it. Giving a more fair and detailed perspective to both rather than some romantic notion of cowboys and Indians that does a disservice to both.

Likewise I think Confederate history will just get better. More and more contemporary records will not only be re-discovered or re-focused, but more easily shared and with digitized records (like newspaper databases) more easily searchable and accessible. I think there are a lot of positive aspects of Confederate history that has been more or less lost, little triumphs and stories of heroes that are far more fascinating than the big romanticized ones.
 

Pat Young

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I am enjoying right now a book that was recommended by @Eric Wittenberg, Rob Andrew Jr.'s Wade Hampton; Confederate Warrior to Southern Redeemer.

I admit to being slow in my reading, but Professor Andrew has described James Ewell Brown (J.E.B.) Stuart as, "one of the most colorful and romantic figures in American military history."

He's right, in my view, but Oh, wait, he was a Confederate.

Internet-based and other attempts to change this are not going to work, *edited*
It’s an interesting book.
 
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cash

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Virginia, during the sesquicentennial, acquired over a hundred thousand pages of previously unknown and unpublished letters and diaries that people had in their attics and other parts of their homes. They all deal with Virginia soldiers, both Union and confederate, as well as soldiers who served in Virginia during the war. This document trove will remain a rich resource for years to come.
 

Drew

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It’s an interesting book.
It is. I really appreciated the author's preface, "Until at least the middle of he 20th century, biographies of Hampton were exercises in hero worship..."

"Later historians have avoided biographical portraits...and studied his political stances...especially as they dealt with race relations..."

In other words, modern scholars will measure Wade Hampton against the yardstick of their own choosing, to advance their own agendas. It's really refreshing to have someone try honestly to figure out what made him tick in his own time and place.

I hope with respect to the OP we don't try and twist history into something that satisfies our present needs. That would be a bloody shame.
 
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