Presidential Proclamation

April 13th, 2011

This is the link to President Obama’s proclamation to kick off the sesquicentennial. Obviously, it avoids all sensitive issues and essentially just says that everyone who fought in the war was a hero and we are all free now so that is what is important. It also kind of makes it sound like one day the war ended and everything was immediately better and happy. Sort of strange. Anyways, I thought it was interesting because the other day we were discussing the question of would it just be better to sort of gloss over the war and not talk about the issues (NO!) but this definitely does that.

Weekly Resource

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This is a link to one of the sesquicentennial events posted on the Virginia Civil War website. It reminded of our discussion on Tuesday about people who want the Civil War experience but are not willing to give up personal luxuries or accommodations for it. In this particular event, a B&B is offering an exceptional “Civil War experience” while staying in luxury with fine dining. I don’t really understand how someone can expect to get a real experience while not doing anything even close to being real for the time period, but it seems to work since they get lots of reservations.

What ever happened to Scarlett?

March 30th, 2011

This is the link to the first segment of the made for television movie Scarlett, the sequel to Gone With The Wind that we mentioned in class. This miniseries even won an Emmy.. for best hairstyling in a miniseries! The movie was produced in 1994 but I think it is hard to really analyze it along with other Civil War films/books being produced during that time because the producers are trying really really hard to make it like Gone With The Wind. In the end, it really just shows how important that film is still today. YouTube has almost the entire series if you have a strong desire to watch it, but I’m sure that just watching this clip will be enough to persuade you that the rest of Scarlett O’Hara’s story should have been left to the imagination.

Mosby’s Marauders

March 29th, 2011

Mosby’s Marauders is a fictional film that came out in 1966 and was originally titled Willie and the Yank. The film is about a young member of Col. John S. Mosby’s men in northern Virginia who befriends a Union soldier that is stationed across the river from him. Throughout the film, the two help each other when one or the other gets in trouble. The film focuses on Mosby and his men planning and conducting a raid on thousands of northern troops in order to capture their general. They only have about 30 men but are still successful at sneaking in. During this raid, Willie’s Union friend sees them so Willie “takes him prisoner” but really just takes him to his nearby home where he falls in love with Willie’s cousin. The Union troops find out about the wedding planned between Willie’s cousin and his Union friend and decide to sneak in on it and capture all the Mosby men that are attending. Mosby is one step ahead, though, and captures them instead. He doesn’t capture Willie’s friend, though, and allows him to stay and get married.

While this film might be a bit over-dramatic, it offers great insight into perception of the Civil War in the 1960s. Unlike what we have discussed in class, African Americans are not portrayed differently in this film than they were before the Civil Rights movement. In fact, they aren’t portrayed at all. Perhaps this is Disney’s way of ignoring the issue. The movie is not really Lost Cause either, because Mosby’s men never really discuss the causes of the war or their reasons for fighting it. The North is not portrayed as being bad or cruel, just a little slow. Mosby is always portrayed as being more intelligent and cunning than them. In the end, this film actually resembles more of a Western than a Civil War movie but I think this also is telling of the period. In the 1960s, the Lost Cause narrative was fading in film and people were becoming more interested in the battle and individual soldiers. This film is definitely more oriented toward soldiers, and shows friendships between all different kinds, including across sides.

Week 9 Resource – Style Weekly Article

March 16th, 2011

This a link to the article from one of Richmond’s weekly newspapers “Style”. It is basically discussing how Richmond is trying really hard to get a lot of visitors for the sesquicentennial and how they are in competition with every other Civil War museum or memorial site. I find it intriguing that it seems like in every single way the Civil War is brought up, there is some sort of battle involved. Whether a battle over the causes, a battle over the memory, or even over who has the BEST memory, in the end, its always a battle.

Week 8 Resource

March 9th, 2011

This is a link to a newspaper article on the Washington Post’s website about a bus driver in Oregon who was fired because he had a Confederate battle flag bumper sticker on his truck that was parked on school property while he was working. This story is interesting because it is an excellent example that these kinds of issues are definitely still occurring and in places that are as far away as you can possibly get from the South within the United States. It is definitely a nationwide issue. Also, the legal group that is going to represent the bus driver is the Charlottesville, VA based Rutherford Institute, which is the same institute that represented some kids in the book for this week who were fighting to wear the battle flag to school. They must feel extra strong that the battle flag should be represented.

Week 7 Resource – “Say No To Abe Petition”

February 23rd, 2011

This is a link to a petition created by Ron Holland, the editor of the Dixie Daily News. There are two things I found intriguing about this petition: 1) It actually got about 3700 signatures which seems impressive to me. It just goes to show how many people STILL felt incredibly strong about the “invasion of Virginia” in 2003. 2) Holland actually compared the statue to Hitler. He writes, “A statue to this politician is no more appropriate in Richmond than one celebrating Sherman who burned Atlanta to the ground or one glorifying the evil Third Reich to Hitler in Tel Aviv.” Seriously, you guys weren’t kidding when you said that the Nazis can be worked into any conversation.

Week 6 Resource

February 16th, 2011

This is a clip from an episode of The Gray Ghost that aired in the late 1950s. It tells the adventures (true or false) of Confederate John Mosby and his men. It is actually really funny to watch because of the acting, but it is also interesting because it depicts Mosby in a good light, being clever and talented. It also makes you want to root for him to win because it makes him seem like the good guy. This episode also represents the strong loyalties Southerners felt for the South, even in the mid 20th century.

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Week 5 Resource – Mosby Memoirs

February 9th, 2011

This is a link to the memoirs of John Singleton Mosby. It was edited and published in 1917 by Charles Wells Russell. I haven’t read all the way through them, but being from Fauquier County where the Mosby Museum resides, I had already learned a lot about him. I thought about him after our discussion on Tuesday because we talked a lot about Southerners and how they kept coming up with ways to keep their ideals and culture alive. Mosby was a famous Confederate corporal, but after the war, he voted Republican because he thought that was what was best for the South. I think Mosby and his memoirs provide an interesting alternative to the stereotypical Confederate veteran.

Paper Topic

January 26th, 2011

Topic: Richmond Daughters of the Confederacy and their affect on Civil War memory in Richmond.


Blight, David W. Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001.

Cox, Karen L. Dixie’s Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2003.

Foster, Gaines M. Ghosts of the Confederacy: Defeat, the Lost Cause, and the Emergence of the New South. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

Graham, Sarah B, Alice W. Jones and Essie W. B. Smith. History of the Virginia Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy, 1895-1967. United Daughters of the Confederacy, 1968.

Janney, Caroline. Burying the Dead but not the Past: Ladies’ Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008.

Kinney, Martha E. “If Vanquished I Am Still Victorious”: Religious and Cultural Symbolism in Virginia’s Confederate Memorial Day Celebrations, 1866-1930.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 106, no. 3 (Summer 1998): pp. 237-266

Parrott, Angie. “‘Love Makes Memory Eternal’: The United Daughters of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia, 1897–1920,” in Edward Ayers and John C. Willis, eds. The Edge of the South: Life in Nineteenth-Century Virginia. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1991, 219–38.

Wilson, Charles Reagan. “The Religion of the Lost Cause: Ritual and Organization of the Southern Civil Religion, 1865-1920.” The Journal of Southern History 46, no. 2 (May 1980)