It turns out the famous Confederate spy had relatives living at Blount Mansion during the war. Pretty neat!
Tag Archives: Confederacy
Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site, which preserves and interprets the location of the Confederate president’s capture in 1865, was in serious danger of closing because the State of Georgia pulled its funding. Some folks have thankfully stepped in to keep it open, with the SCV pledging up to $25,000 annually. We historical bloggers are seldom reluctant to criticize the Sons of Confederate Veterans when they do wrong, so it’s only fair that we commend them when they do right.
When asked which side they would’ve taken in the Civil War, only 10% of Americans responding to a new poll picked the Confederacy. That’s less than the number of respondents who said they would’ve tried to be neutral. Republicans were more likely to say they would have supported the South, but would-be Confederates still made up a mere 20% of GOP respondents. I don’t know about you folks, but I would’ve expected the percentages to be higher, especially among those on the Right.
WaPo examines the different ways libertarians interpret the Civil War, from those who embrace neo-Confederate ideology to those who are embarrassed by it.
My main complaint with neo-Confederate libertarians who vent their rage on the Lincoln administration is their failure to follow through on their arguments. Sure, the Union government became more centralized and invasive in order to fight the war, but so did the Confederate government. Governments usually become more centralized and invasive in wartime as a matter of course, simply because a war requires nations to marshal their resources and suppress dissent more effectively than in peacetime. That was the case for the Union, and it was certainly the case for the Confederacy.
And if you’ve got philosophical problems with the Union’s attempt to block secession, shouldn’t you support independence for Unionist majorities in East Tennessee who tried to stay out of the Confederacy?
I’m uncomfortable with any attempts to moralize history by trying to identify who was on its right side and wrong side, but if you’re going to go down that road, at least be consistent about it.
In case you were wondering what might have befallen us if the Confederacy had gotten its hands on the Super-Soldier Serum, here it is. I’m guessing the next installment will have Horace Hunley as Tony Stark and Belle Boyd as Black Widow.
If even half of her controversial autobiography is true, then Loreta Janeta Velázquez led one of the most fascinating lives of the nineteenth century. She’s the subject of Rebel, a new documentary airing Friday, May 24 to open this season of Voces on PBS.
According to her 1876 book The Woman in Battle, Loreta was born in Cuba in 1842 to a prominent Spanish official. Sent to New Orleans as a young girl, she displayed a rebellious personality from a young age, dressing in boys’ clothes and eloping with an army officer at the age of fourteen. Deciding to see something of combat, she was one of hundreds of women who disguised themselves as men and fought in the Civil War. Calling herself Harry T. Buford, she experienced some of the war’s most famous battles, including 1st Bull Run, Fort Donelson, and Shiloh. After her exploits as a soldier, she took up spying, enjoying a remarkable career as a double agent.
That, at least, is the story she told in her memoir. How much of it is true has been a subject of debate ever since its publication. Jubal Early, who met her in Virginia after the book’s publication, denounced her as a fraud. Some historians have likewise found her claims hard to swallow, although researchers have found enough documentation to verify a few parts of her story.
Rebel doesn’t spend much time separating fact from fiction. Instead, it focuses on the outline of her story as she told it herself, using it to examine the role of Hispanics in Civil War America, gender in the nineteenth century, and contested historical memories. The concern here isn’t really whether her account is true, but why its accuracy was a matter of such concern to her contemporaries. The program suggests that her autobiography offered a challenge to the society in which she lived, not only because she stretched the truth but also because of who she was—a Hispanic woman involved in the business of war and espionage who was determined to go public with her exploits. It’s a fascinating story, and I enjoyed watching it.
…by seceding from their SCV camp.
It seems some members of Florida’s General Jubal A. Early Camp No. 556 (of ginormous Confederate flag fame) wanted to devote more of their efforts to historic preservation and education. Their compatriots preferred to focus on charitable work and PR, so twelve of the historically minded gents accordingly took their leave and formed a new camp, named for Judah P. Benjamin.
When members of a Civil War heritage group can’t persuade fellow members to engage in Civil War heritage activities, I think you’ve got a case for secession that even the most radical of nineteenth-century Republicans would support.