At its core, Civil Discourse offers fresh and thought-provoking content via our blog, which delves into one of the richest and most significant eras in American history: the 19th-century.
Examining the era via a range of perspectives and lenses (political, cultural, social, gender, and military, among others), Civil Discourse invites you to read our thoughts and share your own.
While we at Civil Discourse strive to present a wide variety of topics and viewpoints, our content is ultimately a product of our own experiences. Learn more about Civil Discourse by checking out our mission statement and authors' bios.
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Our most popular posts from 2018 were the Secession Document series. Useful for teaching secession or learning more about why the Civil War occurred, check out the series here.
In their inaugural and only issue, dated July 12, 1861, the erstwhile printers of The Ohio Twenty-Second made their purpose and politics clear. “Our motto is: ‘Death to traitors and protection to all loyal citizens.’ It has been well said that ‘the pen is mightier than the sword.’ While we find the latter indispensable in these perilous times, we will unite with it the power of the former, and go forth to battle for ‘the Constitution, the Union, and the Enforcement of the Laws.”
For the men of the Twenty-Second Ohio Infantry, and indeed for many Union soldiers throughout the Civil War, the war could be waged by musket and pen alike, and soldier newspapers offered an avenue for Union soldiers to keep abreast with the wider war effort, opine on national politics, interact with the local civilian population, document their war deeds, and foster a sense of community and esprit among their ranks. The Ohio Twenty-Second offers a brief window into the patriotism, politics, and daily life of Union soldier in the opening months of the Civil War.
Many accounts by Civil War veterans, both postwar and contemporary, contain errors, omissions, and outright fabrications driven by dynamics that range from simple memory lapses to protecting or enlarging reputations. One such case involves the participation of the Chesapeake Artillery (4th Maryland Light Artillery, CSA) in the battle of Sharpsburg, called Antietam by the Federals. Numerous postwar and even contemporary accounts, including the battery’s most oft-cited contemporary unit history as well as that of at least one modern historian, place the Chesapeake on the field during the battle of September 17, 1862. However, a careful examination of the contemporary historical record clearly indicates that the company was miles away from the fighting that day.
“Besides commemorating the events of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham and the lives lost there, the installations at Kelly Ingram Park bring the visitor into the events. They make the viewer part of the action, a reminder of the intense human emotion and struggle that marked the movement.”
An interview wit John Reeves, author of The Lost Indictment of Robert E. Lee.
Katie Thompson reviews John Reeves’ new work The Lost Indictment of Robert E Lee, a reevaluation of Lee, President Johnson, and Reconstruction through the lens of the legal case brought against the former Confederate General in the aftermath of the Civil War.
If your New Year’s Resolution is to read more, check out some of these works that came out in 2018!
Counting down the top ten posts of 2018! Here is our #1 post for the year!
Counting down the top ten posts of 2018!
Counting down the top ten posts of 2018!
In this panel presented at the 2018 Southern Historical Association meeting in Birmingham, AL the panelists focused on the experiences of northern civilians who traveled south into the Confederacy during the Civil War. The panelists were Paul E. Teed (Saginaw Valley State University) and Frank J. Cirillo (New-York Historical Society) with Caroline E. Janney (University of Virginia) presiding. Comments were provided by Michael T. Bernath (University of Miami) ad Paul A. Cimbala (Fordham University).