Author Archives: Al Mackey

Historians Provide Context for Confederate Monuments

Historians have been busy. My friend and fellow blogger, Megan Kate Nelson, put together a group of links to historians commenting on the confederate monument issue here. Noted Lincoln author Harold Holzer has a piece in the New York Daily News. He writes, “There’s nothing wrong with removing truly offensive statues that elevate traitors in public space. […]

The Latest on the Confederate Monument Front

The University of Texas removed its confederate statues overnight. In this story we learn four statues were removed, three of them being confederates and one being the son of a confederate. “The president of the University of Texas at Austin has ordered the immediate removal of statues of Robert E. Lee and three other Confederate-era […]

What Is History and How Do We Do It?

Recent events convinced me it’s necessary to provide some history basics. A lot of people are confused about what history is. They confuse the past, artifacts, and heritage with history. It’s useful to define our terms so we know what we’re talking about when we discuss history. First, the past. The past is what happened. […]

Does Taking Down Monuments Erase History?

We hear this a lot. Taking down confederate monuments is “erasing history,” or “sanitizing history,” or “destroying history.” Let’s put that phony claim where it belongs–in the trash. We’ve previously addressed this when talking about monuments [see here], but some additional voices have made themselves heard. Sal Mercogliano, associate history professor at Campbell University, says in […]

A Monumental Purpose

So what was the purpose of these confederate monuments? Certainly one purpose is to simply commemorate sacrifices made by soldiers from a local community. But many of them have an ulterior purpose. This story talks about one case. “The vast majority of Confederate monuments were erected after the turn of the twentieth century. In addition […]

Lee and the Founders, and a Message

More folks have weighed in on Trump’s fallacious comparison of Robert E. Lee with the Founding Fathers. Historian Glenn David Brasher parallels what I wrote regarding this phony comparison: [begin quote]Make no mistake: This is a proverbial red-herring that gets repeated over and over again by those who oppose the removal, or even the contextualization, […]

A Letter From Stonewall Jackson’s Great Great Grandsons

This letter was published by Slate: Dear Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and members of the Monument Avenue Commission, We are native Richmonders and also the great, great grandsons of Stonewall Jackson. As two of the closest living relatives to Stonewall, we are writing today to ask for the removal of his statue, as well as the […]