Short Takes

by Fred Ray on June 25, 2013 · 0 comments

Tony Horowitz (Confederates in the Attic) has an article on “150 Years of Misunderstanding the Civil War.” A better title would be “150 Years of Changing Interpretations of the Civil War.” Historians, as Lord Acton observed, are merely politicians looking backwards, and they have their own prejudices and points of view. As he notes most of the crop of senior historians were heavily influenced by the Black Civil Rights Movement of the 60s. The new crop is heavily influenced by academic ideas of postmodernism and muticulturalism. Quite often histories tell you more about the people who wrote them than what they’re ostensibly describing.

Still, a question worth asking is: why was the United States, with a political system famous for compromise, the only nation to actually go to war over abolition?

You can’t keep a good submarine down. Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley recently surfaced in New York and caused a major flap.

Was Abe Lincoln a math whiz? Honest Abe and his supporters made much of his homespun roots, but it looks like he had better schooling than he let on.

Slate magazine looks at Lew Wallace, “the scapegoat of Shiloh.” Some good details about the writing of his magnum opus, Ben-Hur, and quite a lot about his attempt to restore his name after the war for his role at Shiloh. A bit light on his role at Monocacy, which was his finest hour.

And in secession news, seen Colorado counties are considering seceding from the state. Good luck—the last successful secession was that of West Virginia in 1863.

And finally, a lost Lincoln document surfaces at Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA.


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