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From the category archives:

Civil War

Jefferson Davis' Speech at Macon, Georgia, September 23, 1864: Worst Speech Ever?

April 17, 2012

Jefferson Davis' speech of September 23, 1864, was so bad that Americans North and South speculated that it was a spoof or a satire – but it was real and sincere. In this speech Davis greatly discouraged his own troops and vastly raised morale in the North; unpersuasively justified his removal of a popular, effective […]

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Civil War (7): General Patrick R. Cleburne's Letter on Slavery

July 14, 2011

Pat Cleburne – the Irish-born Confederate general - is one of my favorite figures of the Civil War, emblematic of the highest qualities on both sides of that conflict.  He was heroic not only in battle but in his opposition to slavery, which he expressed in his letter of January 2, 1864.  The southern leadership's reaction to […]

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Civil War (4): Why the South Lost

April 25, 2011

In a word: slavery.

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Civil War (3): Ten Days in August, 1864 – Lincoln at a Crossroads

April 21, 2011

Between August 16 and August 25, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln had to face down his fears – his fear that he would not be reelected, his fear that the war would be lost, and his fear that slavery would not be abolished.  He chose to remain steadfast.

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The Civil War (2): Atlanta

April 18, 2011

Marc Wortman's book The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta (2009) is more than a story of the battle for that  city – it is a  morality tale and a microcosm of the Civil War.

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Civil War (1): Christian Slavery

April 11, 2011

Between now and 2015 during the sesquicentennial of the Civil War I will post essays calling attention to various aspects of the war and the thoughts of noted historians.  Today's selection is based on Eugene D. Genovese's 1998 book, "A Consuming Fire: The Fall of the Confederacy in the Mind of the White Christian South."  The […]

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