"The trouble with Jeff is that he lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech."

Category Archives: Postbellum America

American Horrors, Part II: No Justice for Them Here

Note: This is the second part in a series of vignettes about the roots of post-Civil War institutionalized racism in the United States, focusing on the lives of two participants– Ida B. Wells in defense of African-American lives and rights, and ‘Pitchfork’ Ben Tillman, one of the architects of Jim Crow. Part I: Roots of […]

American Horrors: Roots of Oppression, Racism, and Black Resistance, Part I

Preface: On NPR this morning, I heard a news story about one of the many series of protests of the police killings of black men across the United States, two just this week alone. Increasingly, and indeed in one of the sound clips NPR played, these killings of unarmed black men are increasingly portrayed as […]

Massachusetts Civil War Monuments Project

In the interest of blatant self-promotion, I wanted to share widely and boost the signal of an informal project that I’m very happy to have become involved with. A little earlier this year on Memorial Day Weekend, long-time friend and historian Patrick Browne (he of the Historical Digression blog, which you really need to follow […]

“One Woman in a Thousand Years”

(Editor’s Note: The is the fourth in an ongoing grouping of posts dealing with my research on 22nd MVI veteran, draftee and Springfield resident Orrin Cook. See the series of posts under the “Orrin Cook” category here.) Orrin Cook, late of the 22nd Massachusetts, was a well-lettered man. His war diary belies his literacy and […]

The Common Soldier

Yesterday at the living history at Cambridge, one of the selections read in the poetry program was one I discovered in a period book– Anecdotes, Poetry and Incidents of the War, North and South 1861-1865, edited by Frank Moore in 1882. So many stories told of this war– and of all wars– deal with the […]