Author Archives: Al Mackey

Q&A with Ron Chernow

Brian Lamb of C-SPAN interviews biographer Ron Chernow on his new book, Grant. The interview focuses more on Grant’s writing his memoirs than most other parts of his life, though not exclusively. The video’s description reads, “Ron Chernow talked about his biography of Civil War General and former President Ulysses S. Grant, which focuses on his final […]

Honor and Compromise, and Getting History Right

I came across this article by Professor Allen C. Guelzo of Gettysburg College. After reviewing the whole John Kelly fiasco regarding the Civil War, Professor Guelzo tells us, “This touched off not only political fire—that Kelly would seem to be justifying the man who, especially since the August 12th riot in Charlottesville, has become a symbol […]

The 1860 Election Results by County

The Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania National Battlefield Park posted this on Twitter. It’s the first time I’ve seen such a map from the 1860 election:

Civil War Defenses Roundtable

Here’s a panel discussion from the 2017 Emerging Civil War Symposium. It’s a fairly good discussion. The video’s description reads, “Historians explored the idea of ‘Civil War defenses’ from a variety of angles. They talked about military defenses, generals who defended their reputations, and the inability of soldiers to defend themselves against germs and infections. This […]

Battle of South Mountain

Here’s Brian Matthew Jordan giving a presentation on the Battle of South Mountain at the 2017 Emerging Civil War Symposium. The video’s description reads, “Brian Matthew Jordan talked about the September 1862 Battle of South Mountain, fought during Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of the North and in the lead-up to the Battle of […]

The Generalship of Robert E. Lee, Part Three

I previously commented on Thomas Connelly’s article, “Robert E. Lee and the Western Confederacy,” which appeared in the journal Civil War History. This installment concerns historian Albert Castel’s response to that article, “The Historian and the General: Thomas L. Connelly versus Robert E. Lee,” was in the March, 1970 issue of Civil War History. I don’t have […]

More on Kelly’s Poor Historical Interpretation

Historians and others continue to respond to John Kelly’s historical illiteracy. Stephen Engle has this letter in the New York Times. He writes, “The facts reveal that much of our early federal history was about political conflict and compromise. The Civil War came about not for lack of an ability to compromise, but rather precisely because of compromise, […]