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The newest secession news is from Arizona, where a group of liberals in Tucson (apparently a protected area) want to form Baja Arizona.

This is ironic since Tucson was a stronghold of the Confederate State of Arizona (not the same as the US state) and if you check the Wikipedia article there is a photo of their flag being raised over the city.

Mark Moyar, who holds the Kim T. Adamson Chair of Insurgency and Terrorism at the U.S. Marine Corps University at Quantico, VA, outlines the controversies between the orthodox historians and the revisionists over the Vietnam War. I mention this because it’s true of many wars, including the Late Unpleasantness. In fact, the struggle for the historical narrative is often nearly as intense as the war itself, with rivers of ink (or now, electrons) substituting for blood. It often comes down to a few dominant narratives, such as the Lost Cause or now All About Slavery. As Moyer concludes, it’s often more about the historians than the history, and never have we had a more unbalanced, left-leaning academy. Too often historians use narratives as political cudgels to beat their opponents, and too often history as it is written says more about them than the events they write about.

General Lee’s French-made, ivory-hilted sword will be going to Appomattox for display. It is now on display at the Museum of the Confederacy. It’s the same one he carried at the surrender and contrary to popular belief he did not offer it to US Grant, nor did the latter refuse to take it.

The sword, scabbard and the Confederate gray uniform Lee wore to his fateful meeting with Grant are all destined to be displayed about 75 miles west of Richmond when the museum opens next spring. Until then, the sword will be on display at the Richmond location, starting today.

Senior curator Robert F. Hancock said the Lee sword remains one of the Confederacy museum’s biggest attractions.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind piece,” he said. “There’s really no replacement, so you can’t put a value on it. It’s like putting a value on the Mona Lisa. It can’t be done.”

NPR has a nice quick piece about three ways our brains betray us. Meaning we all like to think we’re objective, but we’re not. Simply put, it comes down to confirmation bias and failure to consider alternative explanations. This haunts the social sciences as well as the historical community. Want to prove that slavery was the cause of the Civil War? Easy—you can find plenty of evidence to confirm your belief. Ditto with states’ rights. How about a pattern that engagements were close and that Napoleonic warfare was still possible? That’s easy too.

UPDATE: Some have claimed that Abe Lincoln was gay, but a more likely candidate was his predecessor James Buchanan.

What we do know is that Mr. Buchanan never married, and that he had a very close personal friend, Alabama Sen. Rufus King, who lived with him for years. Andrew Jackson sometimes called Mr. King “Miss Nancy” and “Aunt Fancy,” while others referred to “Buchanan and his wife.”

Which suggests that Mr. Buchanan’s contemporaries wondered about him. In those days, homosexuality was considered a vile perversion instead of a normal condition for some people.


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