The Guerilla: A Confederate Occupation Newspaper

The Guerilla: A Confederate Occupation Newspaper

In September, 1862, the Confederacy invaded the Kanawha Valley of western Virginia. The Confederate army of some 5,000—including many Virginians who hailed from the western region of their state—fought a series of engagements with their Union foes, culminating in the capture of Charleston.

The fall of Charleston provided an opportunity for pro-Confederate sentiments to reemerge in the public sphere. Within two weeks of the Rebel army’s appearance, the pro-Confederate newspaper The Guerilla began circulating the streets of the town. Published daily by “Associate Printers” for the duration of the short-lived Confederate occupation, the two extant copies of the Guerilla shed light on the nature of the Civil War in West Virginia and the short-lived Confederate occupation of the Kanawha River Valley…

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Constitutions of the United States and Confederate States: A Comparison

Constitutions of the United States and Confederate States: A Comparison

When the new Confederate States came together to form a constitution, they based it on the U.S. Constitution with some revisions it to account for amendments, legislation, and events that had happened since the first document was written. They also added sections and language that specifically protected the institution of slavery.

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Review: The Calculus of Violence: How Americans Fought the Civil War by Aaron Sheehan-Dean

Review: The Calculus of Violence: How Americans Fought the Civil War by Aaron Sheehan-Dean

By opening up the study of violence in the Civil War to non-traditional warfare and making comparisons to international events, The Calculus of Violence argues that the American Civil War was violent or restrained at different times and places during the war, that violence occurred along a spectrum over the course of the conflict but did not move in any linear progression. Sheehan-Dean also demonstrates that the Civil War, considered devastating to the United States at the time, did not compare to other uprisings and conflicts around the world that were far deadlier.

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Editorial: Nathan Bedford Forrest Day: A Failure of Morality, History, and Politics

Editorial: Nathan Bedford Forrest Day: A Failure of Morality, History, and Politics

Today is Nathan Bedford Forrest Day in Tennessee.

Like many Southern commanders, he enjoys a prominent place in Civil War memory. And however regrettable, the celebration and veneration of Confederate commanders isn’t particularly unusual even today, circa 2019. After all, Tennessee also recognizes Robert E. Lee Day and Confederate Decoration Day.

Yet we cannot divorce military commanders or their abilities from the causes for which they fought, at least not when it comes to deciding who gets a pedestal and who gets a proclamation. Confederate generals chose to renounce their allegiance to the United States to join in a rebellion whose raison d’etre was slavery. They fought for an immoral, terrible cause, the world is a better place because they lost, and they are not worthy of veneration. Why are we still celebrating them?

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The Civil War's Bloodiest Battles West of the Mississippi River

The Civil War's Bloodiest Battles West of the Mississippi River

What were the bloodiest battles of the Civil War west of the Mississippi River? The largest? Who took the tactical offensive more often in the Trans-Mississippi Theater? By cobbling together an array of data, these questions and more are answered, shedding light on the Civil War from Texas to New Mexico and Louisiana to Missouri…

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"The Printing Press Cannot Remain Idle": The Ohio Twenty-Second, A Civil War Soldier Newspaper

"The Printing Press Cannot Remain Idle": The Ohio Twenty-Second, A Civil War Soldier Newspaper

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.

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“Where were they not on that gory field?”: The Chesapeake Artillery and the Battle of Sharpsburg

“Where were they not on that gory field?”: The Chesapeake Artillery and the Battle of Sharpsburg

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.

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Review: The Lost Indictment of Robert E. Lee: The Forgotten Case Against an American Icon by John Reeves

Review: The Lost Indictment of Robert E. Lee: The Forgotten Case Against an American Icon by John Reeves

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.

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Reporting from the SHA: Northern Civilians and the Occupied Wartime Confederacy

Reporting from the SHA: Northern Civilians and the Occupied Wartime Confederacy

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).

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Reporting from the SHA: Defining Defeat—Three Approaches to Making Sense of Loss and the Confederate Experience

Reporting from the SHA: Defining Defeat—Three Approaches to Making Sense of Loss and the Confederate Experience

Historians had long analyzed the context of Confederate defeat during Reconstruction and the creation of the Lost Cause in the years after Reconstruction ended. This panel at the 2018 Southern Historical Association demonstrated that there are more avenues for historians to unpack the meanings of Confederate defeat and the building of the Lost Cause. The panelists were Amy L. Fluker (University of Mississippi), Ann L. Tucker (University of North Georgia), and Sarah K. Bowman (Columbus State University).

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Reporting from the SHA: Animal Studies in the Civil War Era

Reporting from the SHA: Animal Studies in the Civil War Era

As moderator Megan Kate Nelson (Writer) suggested, there are many ways to utilize animal studies to further the study of the Civil War Era, including as means of transportation, food, and on the battlefields of the war. In fact, any historians that starts to look at the logistics of the conflict automatically needs to be interested in animals. This session was set up as a roundtable with Joan E. Cashin (Ohio State University), Kenneth Noe (Auburn University), and Paula Tarankow (Indiana University) as panelists.

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The 14th Amendment to Black New Orleans

The 14th Amendment to Black New Orleans

The 14th Amendment was a part of Reconstruction history, but its effects and interpretations are still being debated. It was meant to engage the four million formerly enslaved people with its prevailing morality – the language of equal justice after the Civil War. This was quite meaningful to the people of New Orleans who brought some of the first suits in the nation to uphold the rights of African descendants.

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Civil War Censorship: The Arrest & Imprisonment of Wheeling's Democratic Editors

Civil War Censorship: The Arrest & Imprisonment of Wheeling's Democratic Editors

On Saturday, July 9th, 1864, Captain Ewald Over of the 6th West Virginia Infantry received an order originating from Major General David Hunter. The order directed Capt. Ewald—the military commander of Wheeling, West Virginia—to arrest the editors of the Wheeling Daily Register and shut the newspaper’s offices down. At three o’clock in the afternoon, Captain Ewald and a small cadre of soldiers entered the offices of the Wheeling Daily Register and placed editors Lewis Baker and O.S. Long under arrest. A soldier was posted outside the Register’s office, and the two prisoners were escorted to Athenaeum on the corner of 16th and Market Streets. A small military prison that housed upwards of one hundred Confederate prisoners, the Athenaeum (christened “Lincoln’s Bastille” by the locals) now confined two United States citizens as well…

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Thoughts on a Year of Adjunct Teaching

Thoughts on a Year of Adjunct Teaching

Historians have held many conversations over the past months about the state of the profession, particularly in academia, as scholars wrestle with an increasingly difficult job market and a prominent role in public debates about the place of history in our modern world. In addition, conversations about the role of adjuncts in academia are happening in the larger university setting, whether over the job market, the transition of colleges using adjuncts rather than full time faculty, or the situation of adjuncts lacking proper pay and benefits.

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