It turns out the famous Confederate spy had relatives living at Blount Mansion during the war. Pretty neat!
Category Archives: Civil War
I didn’t say it, folks. Gordon Rhea did.
Gordon brought up a popular view of Grant is that he was a slow-moving general who didn’t like to maneuver, would charge wildly and sacrifice huge numbers of men. He said that popular view reminded him of the view of dinosaurs when he was a kid, of a slow, lumbering brontosaurus.…Gordon said that after studying Grant during the Overland Campaign he’s come to think of Grant as the “Velociraptor of the Civil War.” He was a general who could maneuver, who tried to apply thoughtful measures of force and to maneuver to reach a successful conclusion.
The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum (ALLM) will host Lincoln scholars from around the country for the 2014 Lincoln Symposium April 4-5, 2014, in Harrogate, Tenn.
Entitled “Lincoln and the War,” the symposium will address issues facing Lincoln during his administration as a war president. Featured speakers include Warren Greer, director of Kentucky’s Lincoln Heritage Trail Alliance, Dr. Anne Marshall, professor of history at Mississippi State University; Dr. Brian McKnight, professor of history at University of Virginia at Wise; Dr. Daniel Stowell, director and editor of The Abraham Lincoln Papers; and Frank J. Williams, retired chief justice of Rhode Island Supreme Court.
The program will open with a banquet featuring McKnight as the keynote speaker on Friday evening. Saturday will open with a continental breakfast followed by the four remaining speakers and a panel discussion to close the symposium. Each speaker will discuss a different aspect of the Civil War and how Lincoln managed it.
Registration for the symposium is open. The cost to attend the entire program is $60, or $25 for the Friday banquet and $35 for the full-day session on Saturday. For more information or to register, contact Program and Tourism Director Carol Campbell at 423.869.6439.
The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum is located on the historic campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. Housing one of the top five Lincoln and Civil War private collections in the world, the Museum is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about this and other programs at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, call 423-869-6235.
Bowdoin College is Maine has received a $150,000 grant to digitize a collection of Oliver O. Howard’s papers. In addition to his military exploits and running the Freedmen’s Bureau, Howard founded a number of educational institutions, including my alma mater. In fact, our museum at LMU has quite a substantial collection of Howard material.
On March 2 at 2:00 P.M., the East Tennessee Historical Society will host a screening of the documentary Civil War: The Untold Story, followed by a discussion with the film’s director and NPS historian James Ogden. Admission is free.
If you can’t make the screening, the film will be airing on public television this year, so keep an eye on your local listings.
This story out of Connecticut is more than a little bizarre.
The state mental health commissioner is fighting efforts by freedom of information advocates to undo a law — which they say passed under last-minute, “murky circumstances” in 2011 — that blocks historians’ research into Civil War soldiers afflicted with what’s now called post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information, the state FOI Commission and the Connecticut State Library all gave legislative testimony this past week in favor of H.B. 5124, a bill that would change the law so that medical and mental-health records could be released 50 years after the death of the person involved.
History professor Matthew Warshauer of Central Connecticut State University also testified and said that the state’s position is frustrating valuable historical research into the treatment of veterans a century before the term PTSD was invented to describe the lingering results of wartime trauma.
Warshauer and his students have fought in recent years for access to state mental hospital records of Civil War veterans. They prevailed in a 2010 case at the FOI Commission, which ordered release of the records. But the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) fought back in a different way, persuading legislative leaders to tuck the current prohibition into a 98-section public health bill in the 2011 end-of-legislative-session rush.
Why the sensitivity about Civil War-era medical records, you ask?
Rehmer said in her testimony: “Though the individuals … are deceased, it is our firm belief that records of this nature are very sensitive and that family members of those who have been in state hospitals would not want that information disclosed.”
…Deron Drumm, executive director of Advocacy Unlimited Inc., said, “While historical accounts of what treatment entailed fifty years ago would be valuable to the public — releasing the names of individuals involved with psychiatric services will result in discrimination against their relatives.”
Historians shouldn’t be allowed to access the mental health records of Civil War soldiers because it will result in discrimination against their relatives? Can anybody out there actually imagine a scenario where that would be possible? Is somebody going to get turned down on a job application because his great-great-grandfather developed PTSD after the Overland Campaign?
Look, I think we can all agree that people’s health records should be kept private for a good, long while after their death. But in this case we’re talking about a span of multiple generations. Indeed, many Americans do not even know the names of their Civil War ancestors, let alone harbor any sensitivity over those ancestors’ mental state.
Is fifty years after someone’s death too soon to open their private records to the public? Maybe, maybe not. But I dare say that a century is quite enough water under the bridge. Amend the legislation accordingly and open those files.