Category Basics

Reading Like a Historian

This is a terrific book by Sam Wineburg, Daisy Martin, and Chauncey Monte-Sano. It gives us strategies and examples for teaching history in middle school and high school. The book takes eight situations from American History, providing readings and comparing how high school students viewed the readings with how graduate students in history who were […]

Fateful Lightning

This is a one-volume history of the Civil War and Reconstruction era by Professor Allen C. Guelzo. It was published in 2012. With James McPherson’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom now almost 30 years old, it needs a successor. This volume is a worthy candidate. Professor Guelzo is an excellent writer, and the book makes for […]

The Intersections of the Past, History, and Memory

Dr. Lisa Gilbert is a social studies teacher at the Thomas Jefferson School in St. Louis, Missouri. She put together this map for her 8th Grade students to explain how academic and public history coincide and differ as well as explaining what history is and how it differs from memory and the past. This is […]

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. […]

An Industrialized Society?

Look at most histories of the Civil War era and you will probably see a claim that the North had an industrialized society whereas the South was primarily an agricultural society. How true is that? Here’s what the Census has to say about the South: Definitely a primarily agricultural reason, right? Now, let’s take a […]

Douglas Southall Freeman on Sources

Douglas Southall Freeman, the son of a confederate veteran, was a journalist and historian in Virginia. He wrote a 4-volume biography of Robert E. Lee that rightly won the Pulitzer Prize. He followed that with a 3-volume work titled Lee’s Lieutenants, which delved into a history of the Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee. Next […]

Civil War Infantry Tactics and Weapons Lecture

Here’s historian Earl Hess speaking on infantry weapons and tactics in the Civil War at the 2016 Pamplin Park Symposium. Dr. Hess is an outstanding historian and this is an excellent and informative lecture. The video’s description reads, “Earl Hess talked about the different infantry formations and maneuvers used during the Civil War and when […]