Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

37th Texas Cavalry Capitulates to Yankee Revisionism

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on July 28, 2011

I kid, I kid.

But I noticed recently a rather stark change that’s come over 37thTexas.org, which is (or perhaps was) the website of the reenactors of the 37th Texas (Terrell’s) Cavalry. It wasn’t exactly a favorite website of mine, but I found it extremely useful, collecting as it did in one place all sorts of cliched tropes and bad history. You can view the old website through the Internet Wayback Machine, but it has imbedded music so you may want to turn your speakers down. It was full of all sorts of useful stuff for a cynical blogger like me, with multiple sections on black Confederates, the Chandler Boys, Nathan Bedford Forrest at Fort Pillow, and that wicked old racist, Abraham Lincoln. That website was like an old friend — a drunk, belligerent, slightly-insane old friend.

So it came as a bit of a shock to see that the old website was gone, replaced by one (below) that’s infinitely tidier, easier to navigate, easier to read — and deadly dull. There’s hardly a controversial statement in the whole thing.

I don’t know what to make of this development. The new website is completely disorienting. Instead of a screed about Lincoln’s racism called, sarcastically, “The Great Emancipator,” there’s now a page of the same name describing the end of slavery without a trace of snark. Where there were once multiple pages about the supposed service of African Americans as soldiers in the Confederate Army, there’s now a page called “Blacks in the Civil War,” that describes the contribution of African Americans to the Union Army and Navy. And where there was once a long, tortured exoneration of Forrest’s actions at Fort Pillow, now there’s this:

General Forrest is largely known as a self-educated individual and a creative cavalry leader during the war and as a leading southern advocate after the war. He is foremost known as the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, an organization with a secret character that launched a reign of terrorism against carpetbaggers, scalawags, Republicans and Afro-Americans.

Oh, my.

To be sure, there are a lot of small problems with the new content. The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect at the beginning of 1863, not 1963. Henry “Box” Brown, who famously escaped slavery in 1849 by having himself shipped north in a large crate, had no connection to the NAACP. And while I both (1) find figs to be “very delicious,” and (2) see the study of the war as a wide-ranging interdisciplinary effort, I have no idea what they have to do with the 37th Texas Cavalry.

I think I liked the old website better.
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13 Responses

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  1. Kevin said, on July 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    The site was down for some time so I wonder if has a new owner?

    • Andy Hall said, on July 28, 2011 at 7:46 pm

      That seems likely. I checked the domain registry, but I couldn’t make sense of it — looks like ownership is shielded info. I do note that the last page talks about a Texas Civil War Museum, so that may be the new owner. But why buy that domain name?

    • Tex said, on August 16, 2011 at 9:49 am

      I wonder what happens to the site of 37th Texas Cavalry … I joined ‘em
      but never ever had a response.

    • Tex said, on August 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm

      I miss this side badly … and noboby there to tell me why this side is not available anymore …
      How sad …
      Tex

  2. Kevin said, on July 29, 2011 at 5:26 am

    Perhaps the site received enough hits that it was thought to be a solid investment. I also miss the old site. I wanted to use it as part of my workshop on digital media literacy, but as you point out the old site can still be accessed.

  3. marcferguson said, on July 29, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Cheer up, Andy, you still have Dixie Outfitters!

  4. Major (Ret) Robert Hood said, on August 25, 2011 at 9:42 am

    I think Michael Kelly, who originated the site, is deceased. Long before the website disappeared it had an abandoned feel to it. I had purchased Music of the 37th CD, so I had his address. I googled it and found the house was up for sale. I emailed the realestate agent asking for info on Col Kelly, but received no reply. Nor did I receive replies from other 37th members listed on the website, most bounced back, but a few did not. Retired now, I had thought about joining, but I think the re-enactor group is also defunct.

  5. Bob Harrison said, on April 17, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    The 37th Texas is still alive and well though Michael Kelly has been hti with a lot of personal problems such as his parents passing away and takign care of their estate. In the very near future the site should be up and running with new information. Robert Harrison, 1st Sergeant Company B, 37th Texas Cavalry

    • Andy Hall said, on April 17, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      Thanks for the update.

      So if I may ask, why did the site change so dramatically from the content it had before? Is that going back online?

      • Bob Harrison said, on April 18, 2012 at 5:52 am

        The site will be back up and running as soom as possible. sadly, everything is so controlled by the Almighty dollar it is scary. It used to cost about $50 to keep the domain registered. Now it is over $200 annually to keep it running.


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