Those who cannot do, teach

by Matt McKeon on September 15, 2007 · 0 comments

Each year I face a class of new students who don’t realize(until they meet me) that the American Civil War is a fascinating subject. When you rush at a student waving a yardstick in an reenactment of Preston Brooks’ attack on Charles Sumner, pass around a minie ball, have them copy down the definition of “popular sovereignty”(its on the test!) or describe the gleam of bayonets as Pickett’s men left the trees on the afternoon of July 3, you always have the comfort of knowing far more than the 14 year olds in your class, confident that they won’t contradict you on points of fact or intrepretation, no matter how utterly wrong you are. Its good to be a teacher.

On this blog, however, I’m in a community that is deeply interested in the war and has been for years, a community that has studied long and thought hard about the issues. The other authors include writers I have read and admired. Although I have read much, the only original research I’ve done has been on the African Americans troops in the Department of the South.

I can’t wait to get started.


Check out the Siege of Petersburg Online for daily posts on battle accounts in newspaper articles, diary entries, letters and more!

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