Monthly Archives: September 2015

Benjamin Butler Message to Robert Ould

Colonel Robert Ould was the confederate commissioner for prisoner exchanges. Major General Benjamin F. Butler performed that role for the United States Army. On August 27, 1864 Butler sent a message to Ould which contains the reason why exchanges were halted by the Federals, leading to the overcrowding of prison camps on both sides. In […]

Cohens v. Virginia

The citation for this case is 19 US [6 Wharton] 264. It was argued on February 13, 1821 and was unanimously decided on March 3, 1821. It’s one of the major pre-Civil War cases that undermines the delusion that unilateral state secession could possibly be legal. “Philip and Mendes Cohen sold lottery tickets in Virginia under […]

The Southern Address and Frederick Douglass’ Response

“The American Civil War” blog has collected some great primary source materials. Two recent ones are “The Southern Address,” from His Satanic Majesty, John C. Calhoun [read it here] followed by a response published by the abolitionist Frederick Douglass in his journal, “The North Star” [read it here]. I highly recommend both these posts to all […]

A Rebel Clerk’s War Diary, Volume Two

The concluding volume is just as useful as the first volume. You can download and read it for free here. Jones continues the many themes he had in Volume One. As we read along, we can see the increasing problem of desertion in the confederate army. “Gen. Lee writes that fifty men deserted from Scale’s […]

A Rebel Clerk’s War Diary, Volume One

This is the first volume of John Beauchamp Jones’ diary he kept during the Civil War as a clerk in the confederate War Department. We think of a clerk as being a minor functionary, but Jones was actually a senior member of the War Department, close to the various Secretaries of War, and also someone […]

The Entire Civil War Animated Map

The folks at the Civil War Trust have an excellent video overview of the Civil War. You can access it here. It’s pretty good.

The Constitution and Slavery

There’s been a minor academic dust-up over slavery and the US Constitution. Historian Sean Wilentz, a history professor at Princeton University and an advisor to Presidential Candidate Hillary R. Clinton, wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times this past Wednesday in which he claimed the US Constitution was not a proslavery document and therefore the […]