Henry A. Allen Letters - A Summer, 2019 Update

Some time ago, I transcribed all the letters - written from August 1863 to June 1865 - with the intention of publishing an edited and annotated volumes sometime in the future. What I wound up doing, something quite innovative I must say…

Read More
I Don't Think He Was Joking...Review of The Million Dollar Man Who Helped Kill a President

I read this book straight through with increased interest at every turn of the page…and I don’t want to spoil the intricacies of the ending. Let’s just say that Gayle used the “I was just kidding” defense and well…he was not among those on the gallows when justice was finally served...so go figure.

Read More
Hillside Homes of Happiness

In the midst of all the much-derided construction and the ever-changing landscape of our great city there is plenty of history that remains intact…or just beneath the surface…or in this case, rusted and overgrown with chaparral.

Read More
Chillin' with the Tattooed Historian

I recently had the distinct pleasure to appear on John Heckman’s podcast: The Tattooed Historian Show. We had a great talk about traditional v. non-traditional paths in academia, Twitter and other social media platforms, living history, and ways to reach more people who love the discipline

Read More
A Comprehensive Curriculum Guide for The War Outside My Window

The questions and other activities in this comprehensive guide are challenging to be sure, but what better way is there to teach the Civil War than by challenging students to think about perspective and to negotiate some of the more uncomfortable issues with primary sources?

Read More
Kevin Levin Challenges a Persistent Myth

Levin traces the history of the black Confederate myth that winds down a Lost Cause path to the late-19th century and the faithful slave narrative. Monuments to faithful “servants” (a popular euphemism for slave) and black Confederate “mascots” in Rebel gray at reunions populate the early story - and Levin deftly explains their presence and usefulness to the postwar construction of the Lost Cause myth.

Read More
What's New for the Henry A. Allen Letters...

What I find particularly unique here in the world of edited collections of Civil War letter (there are tons available) is that since this is a digital project, I can add new information when it becomes available, provide recommended readings for all the latest studies as they are published, and revise when necessary.

Read More
The Human Experience on the Battlefield

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 175,000 men fought at Gettysburg. We got to know 24. I had them write reflections on their experiences when we returned to the classroom - and they unanimously agreed that these personal connections helped them engage the history in ways that they had never considered…beyond the books - beyond the maps.

Read More