Well, folks, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is, we’ve got a winner for the Bunker Hill book giveaway. The winning number was 674, by the way, which was also the lowest number of all the entries submitted.
Here’s the bad news. When I contacted the winner to get a shipping address, he let me know that he’s been having trouble getting the comment function here on the blog to work. ”Whenever I try,” he said, “it won’t let me enter anything into the box called ‘Leave a reply.’ The phrase already in the box, ‘Enter your comment here…’ simply stays there and doesn’t disappear when I try to type over it.” If anybody else out there has been having this problem, let me know by sending me an e-mail at the address on the “About the Blog” page and I’ll let the folks at WordPress know.
Anyway, let me thank everybody who entered the book giveaway. We might do more of these in the future.
The dreams of historical figures, mind you, not dreaming about history in the present day. The essay is based on his forthcoming book, which looks pretty interesting.
Here’s some interesting news out of Georgia for all of us Rev War aficionados.
Oh, and speaking of Rev War buffs, don’t forget about the Bunker Hill book giveaway. Just pick a number between 1 and 1,775 and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by 10:00 P.M. on May 5. I won’t use your e-mail address for any purpose other than contacting the winner to get shipping info for the prize, so don’t be shy. Entries have been coming in since the first day, but the more the merrier.
Check out this article on the history of Civil War battlefield preservation at The Washington Post:
Despite admirable efforts to connect battlefields to the larger history of the Civil War, the one thing that battlefields can teach very well is the history of what happened in a particular place. If the goal is simply to inspire thoughts about the larger social history of the Civil War, one battlefield is pretty much the same as the next — and it becomes difficult to explain why we need to preserve so many of them, and with so much land taken off the tax rolls. If the goal is to make people passionate about battlefields and their preservation, visitors need to engage with the actual place to understand its strategic importance and the tactical back-and-forth.
I would argue that visitors need to get the strategic importance and tactical back-and-forth because they have intrinsic importance, not just because they inspire respect for preservation.
I seem to run across more discussions about how to effectively integrate non-military subjects into battlefield interpretation than about how to effectively interpret the battlefield itself. Don’t get me wrong—I’m glad that battlefield interpretation is more well-rounded and contextualized than it used to be. We rightly emphasize the fact that the battles didn’t happen in a vacuum, but that insight cuts both ways.
Just as the war’s larger issues determined the conflict, the “tactical back-and-forth” determined the resolution of those larger issues. Emancipation, Union, and all the rest of it ultimately hinged on the stuff of old-fashioned military history: maneuver, terrain, firepower, etc. We preserve these places not only because people suffered and died there, but also because what happened there mattered. It mattered that such-and-such a colonel held a particular position, that such-and-such a general flanked an enemy. Determining the outcome of larger questions, after all, is why battles tend to be fought.
What’s lower than swiping artifacts? Desecrating graves in order to get them.
Two Waynesboro, Ga., men were charged Monday in a Burke County grave robbery in which the remains of an infant casket and the corpses of five Confederate and Revolutionary War soldiers were dug up.
Jerry Atkinson, 39, and Ralph Hillis Jr. could face up to five years in prison if convicted of the seldom-used felony charge of malicious removal of the dead from a grave. The charges were filed by the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.
Hillis, who goes by the nickname “Bubba,” was in custody in Richmond County on Monday night, but Atkinson remained at large, said Burke County Sheriff Greg Coursey.
These guys are also facing meth-related charges. More on this awful story here and here.
This isn’t really a major news item, but it hits pretty close to home for me. Somebody apparently tried to steal the state historical marker for Harrow School in Cumberland Gap. Rev. A.A. Myers founded the school as one of the Appalachian missionary efforts that sprang up throughout the region in the late nineteenth century. Harrow eventually expanded to become Lincoln Memorial University.
Nathaniel Philbrick’s Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution hits bookstores in a week. Thanks to the fine folks at Viking Press, one lucky reader of this blog will win a free copy.
Pay attention, kids. Here’s how this works.
- If you want to enter, pick a number between 1 and 1,775. Then e-mail it to me (email@example.com) no later than 10:00 P.M. EST on May 5. Use “Bunker Hill Giveaway” as the subject line.
- When the deadline passes, I’ll use Random.org to generate a completely random number. The reader whose number comes closest to the one selected by the website wins the book. If two or more readers pick the same winning number, I’ll have them each select new numbers, and the website will then generate another figure for the tie-breaker.
- Only one entry per person, please. Last thing I want is my inbox getting swamped by a zillion e-mails from the same person.
- Once a winner is selected, I’ll contact him or her via e-mail to get a shipping address so the publisher can send the book.
That’s it. Good luck, folks. You may submit your entries startiiiiiiinnnnnggggg…now.