Short Takes

Real world has been intruding again, leaving little time for blogging. Nevertheless…

A group of academics, some of them historians, urged President Obama not to lay a wreath at the Confederate memorial in Arlington on Memorial Day. One of them was James McPherson. Now my opinion of McP has been declining for a while, as he seems to be just coasting along on his reputation, but it hit rock bottom when he signed this, joining such luminaries as domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. Blogger John Rosenberg likens it to “waving the bloody shirt” and I agree. Rum, Romanism and Rebellion anyone?

I’m happy to say that the nation’s first black president did the right thing and sent it anyway, along with another one honoring black CW soldiers. Then again, Barack Obama is not a descendant of slaves, and indeed his ancestors may have owned a few themselves.

In less divisive news, the Civil War coin market has been active. Collectors stood in line for a new Lincoln penny:

Amid rain, traffic and music, more than 2,500 people showed up for the official launch of the “Indiana” Lincoln penny, depicting (on the “tails side”) a teenage Abe sitting on a log reading while taking a break from rail splitting.

The US Mint is also offering a limited edition of a Lincoln silver dollar, which you can buy for an introductory price of $37.95.  I’ll sign up when they make one of Jeff Davis.

And, a Gettysburg commemorative coin is under consideration.

NPR has a lengthy article on CW soldier Jennie Wade/Albert Cashier, who although considered a curiosity in her time is now considered a feminist icon, and may well have been the first woman to vote (as a man, of course).

And finally, if you’re a Dakota Indian, you can legally go back to Minnesota. Abe Lincoln banished the tribe in 1863 after some unpleasant events, and the law remains on the books.


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