Tag Archives: Civil War

It Was Slavery, Stupid

You know…it’s 2017 – and people still think that the southern states seceded in 1860-61 to protect some vague notion of state rights. If you encounter some of these people, talk about what you learn in the video below…and if necessary, you can further consult these primary documents:

Carry on –

Keith

Please Help Us, Zombie Andrew Jackson

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 5.30.28 PMHelp us Zombie Andrew Jackson. Please.

In case you did not yet get the news on the other side, here’s what the man who currently holds your old gig had to say:

“I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later, you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. And he was really angry that he saw what was happening, with regard to the Civil War. He said, there’s no reason for this. People don’t realize, the Civil War — you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question. But why was there a Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”

Is this for real? Was this an episode of Drunk History? I mean…honestly. Let me quote that one more time…just let it sink in.

“People don’t ask that question. But why was there a Civil War?”

Ummm….

IT WAS SLAVERY, STUPID!

So,  Mr. President…no, not you Easy D, but Zombie Andrew Jackson. Can you please arise from the dead and help rid us of our pestilence…that plague of imbecility that has descended upon our nation’s most hallowed office…before another epic conflagration erupts? We need your help. I will put aside the fact that while you were alive, you were an Indian-murdering slave-owning sociopath. Because apparently, you are the right man for the job.

With compliments,
Keith

Cemetery Finds

2-screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-2-20-58-pmI spend a lot of time in my local cemetery – Hollywood Forever. The cemetery,  among the most interesting in Los Angeles, is the final resting place for all kinds of Hollywood celebrities – from Cecil B. DeMille to Rudolph Valentino to Dee Dee Ramone. But nearly every time I visit, I find the grave of someone who strikes a historical chord – often having some Civil War connection. Just the other day, I encountered this rather dignified looking fellow: one Cornelius Cole. Cole served a single term in the House of Representatives representing the Republican Party from California from 1863 to 1865, and then in the Senate from 1867 to 1873.

After the war he practicscreen-shot-2016-10-18-at-2-38-46-pmed law in San Francisco and then Los Angeles where he purchased one of the original Spanish landgrants – he called it Colegrove.

Well…Colegrove is now Hollywood. But at least they named a street after him. So if you are in town and find yourself on Cole Street – you’ll know where it got its name.

With compliments,

Keith

 

Confederate “Missteps” at Gettysburg

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 9.39.52 AMGreetings all!

I get a question from my Civil War students all the time. It goes something like this: what mistake cost the Confederates the battle at Gettysburg? There are plenty of contenders. Richard S. Ewell failing to take Cemetery Hill on July 1, James Longstreet sulking around and not launching his flank attack against Little Round Top until late in the day on July 2, and Robert E. Lee himself – ordering a perilous frontal assault against well-fortified Yankees on Cemetery Ridge on July 3. Cavalry wiz-kid JEB Stuart comes up too. He had been more or less MIA for the whole campaign – denying the Army of Northern Virginia valuable intelligence they most certainly would have used to their advantage.

What I find most interesting about the question is that is presumes a foreordained Confederate victory that only fell short due to a misstep by a single individual. The question fails to address whether or not Union commanders (Meade, Hancock, Warren, etc) made some really good calls and outfought the Rebels. This, I think, is worth considering. After all, after the war, when someone asked former Confederate George Pickett why his army failed to secure a victory at Gettysburg he responded, “I think the Union army had something to do with it.”

So here’s your chance to weigh in. And for my money, though I do not necessarily think this was the determining factor to the outcome of the battle, JEB Stuart blew it wholesale and really let his army down. I mean…come on dude. You had ONE JOB.

With compliments,

Keith

 

American Civil War Web-Course

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 8.04.38 PMGreetings all! I have been posting updates on Twitter of late chronicling the progress of my next web-course: The American Civil War. I am very pleased to announce that the launch date is May 14, 2016. The course includes nearly forty video lectures and other projects covering military, social, political, and economic aspects of the conflict.

I am most excited to offer this course to my founding web-students for a 50% discount off the already reasonable price. You won’t find this deal anywhere but through this site – and the offer goes away on launch day. So you had better get on the stick. Here’s what you need to do:

ONE – be a current student or enroll now in either my Gettysburg or Reconstruction Era web-course for the regular discounted price available only from Keith Harris History.

TWO – sign up to be part of the Keith Harris History CREW so I can be sure to get you the info you need.

Get that all squared away and on launch day you will receive your discount code via email. And that’s it. Easy right?

With compliments,

Keith