Monthly Archives: May 2017

Who Do You Think You Are? – Liv Tyler

Actress Liv Tyler was featured on an episode of TLC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” with Gettysburg College historian and Director of the Civil War Institute Pete Carmichael assisting her in learning what her ancestor did during the Battle of Gettysburg. It’s a pretty good episode, and you can access it here.

The Generalship of Robert E. Lee Part Two

In this installment we’ll consider the image of Lee that’s come down to us. I’ll use another article by the late historian Thomas Connelly. This one is “The Image and the General: Robert E. Lee in American Historiography” in Civil War History, Vol. XIX, No. 1, March, 1973, pages 50-64. Connelly starts by telling us, “In […]

State of Mississippi v. Johnson

The citation for this case is 71 US 475. In reaction to the Reconstruction Acts, the State of Mississippi brought suit to keep Andrew Johnson and the US Government from enforcing those laws. As the introduction to the case tells us, “This was a motion made by Messrs. Sharkey and R. J. Walker, on behalf […]

Act of Justice

This short but excellent book by Burruss Carnahan of the George Washington University Law School is a wonderful exploration of how the Emancipation Proclamation fits into the law of armed conflict as it existed in the middle of the 19th Century. Carnahan also explains why Lincoln relied on the law of war for the proclamation. […]

People and Ideas That Shaped Lincoln

This is a panel from the 2016 Lincoln Forum Symposium featuring Sidney Blumenthal, Richard Brookhiser, and Ronald C. White on who and what shaped Abraham Lincoln’s philosophy. The video’s description reads, “Panelists talked about the people and ideas that shaped Abraham Lincoln’s political persona. Panelists included Harold Holzer, Ronald White, Richard Brookhiser, and Sidney Blumenthal.” […]

Ex Parte Garland

The citation for this case is 71 US (4 Wall.) 333. Augustus Garland of Little Rock, Arkansas, was an attorney admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States in December of 1860. In May of 1861, Arkansas claimed to have seceded from the United States and joined the confederacy. Garland became a […]

The Controversial Court Martial of Fitz John Porter

Here’s the always excellent and always entertaining Ranger Matt Atkinson giving a lecture on Fitz-John Porter’s court-martial as part of the 2017 Gettysburg National Military Park Winter Lecture Series. This is a terrific presentation. The video’s description reads, “After the Battle of Second Manassas, Porter garnered much of the blame for the defeat. He was […]

The Generalship of Robert E. Lee, Part One

This is another long series of occasional posts considering an aspect of Civil War history. In this series, I’m considering Robert E. Lee as a general. The impetus for this is an article in the Sunday, May 21, 2017 issue of the Washington Post criticizing Lee’s generalship with the headline, “The Truth About Robert E. Lee: […]

Abraham Lincoln’s Life, Career, and Legacy

Here’s a panel of historians at the close of the 2017 Ford’s Theatre Abraham Lincoln Symposium discussing Abraham Lincoln and their perspectives on him, answering questions from the audience. The video’s description reads, “Historians talked about Abraham Lincoln’s life, career, and legacy. Speakers include Daniel Crofts, author of Lincoln and the Politics of Slavery; Stephen […]

Abraham Lincoln and William Herndon

Here’s Douglas L. Wilson of Knox College speaking at the 2017 Ford’s Theatre Abraham Lincoln Symposium on letters William Herndon wrote regarding Abraham Lincoln and Herndon’s relationship with Lincoln. The video’s description reads, “Douglas Wilson, co-editor of Herndon on Lincoln: Letters, talked about the writings of William H. Herndon, Abraham Lincoln’s biographer and law partner. […]