Chickamauga- Plenty of Blame to Share

William S. Rosecrans fought  nearly perfect campaign  forcing his Confederate opponent out of Tennessee.  When the newly reinforced Confederates finally turned to fight Southeast of Chattanooga, he and his subordinates were unprepared for the strategic implications.  George H. Thomas, “The Rock of Chickamauga,”  is justly praised for his dogged defense of Horseshoe Ridge on SeptemberContinue reading “Chickamauga- Plenty of Blame to Share”

Lincoln’s Duty

In his first inaugural address, Lincoln was prophetic. He told the nation that a civil war would only be started by their “dissatisfied fellow countrymen” actively looking to destroy the Constitution. Lincoln did not recognize secession, and rightfully so. The rebels started the war, so he now had to defend that government. Secession was notContinue reading “Lincoln’s Duty”

Slavery Caused Secession

Neo-secessionists and revisionists struggle uselessly to blame the Civil War… on Federal overreach, inequitable tariffs, and outmoded economic theory- they fail to see the forest for the trees.  The historical record settles matters plainly and without ambiguity. Future Confederate Vice-President Alexander Stephens delivered the clearest, most definitive explanation… for secession and the existence of aContinue reading “Slavery Caused Secession”

A New Look at Grant

Frank P. Varney, General Grant and the Rewriting of History, California, Savas and Beatty, 2013 A critical examination of Grant’s memoirs and their effects on the historical record.    Professor Frank Varney’s first book is a bold effort to right historical wrongs…. and the wrongs were perpetrated by none other than US Grant.   Varney proposesContinue reading “A New Look at Grant”

Confederacy and Freedom

For too long defenders of Confederate heritage… have associated it with freedom and individual rights for all whites. The specter of the conquering Yankee invading the homeland to oppress the yeoman and steal his acre was the rallying cry.  Policy makers in the Confederacy used this propaganda to dupe poor whites  to defend the landedContinue reading “Confederacy and Freedom”

Nullification Lingers

The Doctrine of Nullification lost in the court of history… as a nation state and as a people we rejected it, outright.  Our Constitution created a hierarchy of law to bring order to the muddled system of 13 competing legal systems.  Madison, describing government as an unruly beast defended the Supremacy Clause: “it would haveContinue reading “Nullification Lingers”

History Wishes for the New Year

For History’s sake, I’d like to see… The Thomas Jefferson Foundation focus on Jefferson scholarship and curatorial work, rather than Hemings family research A national movement to protect historical monuments and memorials from vandals who would erase our past to suit their present The New Eisenhower memorial generate an appreciation of his governing and militaryContinue reading “History Wishes for the New Year”

Facts in Five

The Young Napoleon Edition   George McClellan’s father was a renowned physician and founder of the Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia McClellan graduated West Point ranked second in the vaunted class of 1846- his classmates included Thomas J. Jackson, Jesse Reno, Cadmus Wilcox, AP Hill, and George Pickett Jefferson Davis was an influential mentorContinue reading “Facts in Five”

Memorials to War Dead

Virginia’s Governor, his past indiscretions aside, celebrated the triumph of his party in the State legislative election by promising more iconoclasm in the Old Dominion.       There are over 660 Confederate monuments across the United States.  A scholarly study conducted in 1982 found that nearly half of these are specifically memorializing Confederate war dead.  AnotherContinue reading “Memorials to War Dead”

Confederate Monument Dilemma

Practically Historical Offers the Following Solutions The Confederate flag should never be flown over government buildings or property The Confederate flag should not be banned Monuments to Confederate leaders, political or military, should not be kept on government or public property Monuments dedicated to unnamed soldiers who fought for the Confederacy should be allowed onContinue reading “Confederate Monument Dilemma”