Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Plagiarism is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on July 1, 2012

A couple of years ago, I worked up a long comment over at Kevin’s place about the prevalence of slave-holding in the Confederate states. I later took that initial comment and expanded it into a longer piece that was published both on this blog and as a guest post on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ blog at The Atlantic.

Gary Adams (right), self-styled “Chief Executive Officer” of the SHPG, has repeatedly lifted large segments of my posts on that subject and posted them, without attribution, to that Facebook group. (I know Gary saw my original comment of at Kevin’s, because he posted his own long comment in the same thread.) He’s done this at least twice previously. Today, he’s put up a nearly 800-word Facebook posting that’s lifted verbatim from this blog.

There’s not a single original word in it. About half of it is a long excerpt from Joe Glatthaar’s magnificent General Lee’s Army: From Victory to Collapse, but neither of us is credited as the original authors. Indeed, Gary actually appended his own name at the bottom of the piece.

I realize that, in the grand scheme of the universe, this doesn’t matter for much of anything. And I’m glad Gary thinks enough of my work (and Glatthaar’s) to appropriate it and claim it as his own. But still, it grates, coming from someone who claims the role of “Chief Executive Officer” of a group that wraps itself in self-righteousness and uses words like “honor” and “truth” and “integrity” as cudgels against those with whom they disagree.

So what’s the correct response here, y’all?

Update, July 3: Gary responds with a heaping helping of word salad here. This is, if anything, even less comprehensible than his attempt at refuting Kevin’s published research on Silas Chandler. The main takeaways here seem to be that (1) neither Gary nor his friends are willing to acknowledge the original complaint, and (2) they really, really hate Corey Meyer.

Same as it ever was.

Image: “Me admiring Grant’s Bust” from Gary Adams’ Facebook page.

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11 Responses

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  1. theravenspoke said, on July 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Gary Adams must be a desperate man to pillage the writings of his opponents. your argument must have been very well-crafted as Adams was so mesmerized he stole it.

    At least you’re in good company.

    I wonder though if Gary ever read anything Glatthaar wrote, e,g, the deified Gen’l Lee actually being administratively and logistically inept, one of many reasons why the “cause” was lost at the outset.

    Does Facebook have a plagiarism policy?

    Glatthaar’s publisher would be pissed off to learn of Adams behavior (and they have lawyers).

    • Andy Hall said, on July 1, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      “Does Facebook have a plagiarism policy?”


  2. Jason Lefkowitz said, on July 1, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    The standard way to deal with something like this (when dealing with US-based companies, at least) is to file a DMCA complaint — a statement demonstrating which original works the offending content plagiarizes from, and affirming that you are the copyright holder of those works.

    The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1996 shields “online service providers” (companies that host content generated by third parties, like Facebook) from liability for hosting copyright-infringing content if they establish a process to accept infringement complaints and take down content demonstrated to be infringing in a timely fashion. Most big ISPs, web hosts and user-generated content sites have such processes, because setting one up is cheaper than accepting legal liability for the content themselves.

    The precise process for filing a DMCA complaint varies from company to company. For Facebook, it’s just a matter of filling out this web form. You may want to save a copy of the information you provide there, because if the content gets taken down by Facebook, the offender may just move it to another service; in that case, you can re-use the information when filing a complaint with that service, rather than having to re-write the whole thing from scratch.

  3. Cotton Boll Conspiracy said, on July 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    It’s telling that his page isn’t open to comments from non-members. If he really wanted open and free discussion, he’d open up the debate – never mind come up with his material.

  4. jfepperson said, on July 2, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Andy, can I put a link to one of these from my Causes website?

  5. Foxessa said, on July 2, 2012 at 11:01 am

    My contempt for those who post – publish other people’s work – text without attribution has no bounds.

  6. Neil Hamilton said, on July 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm


    In my view, a thief is a thief, no matter what he steals or how much.

    He should be treated as such.


  7. Corey Meyer said, on July 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    RE: Your July 3 Update…It is good to be loved so little by so many!

  8. Al Mackey said, on July 14, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Neoconfederates aren’t known for their honesty. This is one of a long string of dishonest actions by these people.

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