Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog


Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on June 8, 2019

It’s been a while since the last update, so here are a few quick stories that might be worth your attention.

  • Nautical archaeologists in Alabama have confirmed a find first tentatively reported last year, the wreck of Clotilda, the last slave ship known to have landed its cargo in the United States.
  • Cooper Wingert had a nice piece on the dilemma facing African Americans attached to the Confederate Army as they marched north into Pennsylvania in the Gettysburg Campaign in 1863 in the most recent issue of Civil War Times. You can read it here.
  • The City of Dallas sold the Robert E. Lee equestrian statue removed in 2017. The city had set a reserve price of $450K, to recoup its expenses in removing the sculpture; it apparently sold for more than three times that amount. I’ll be curious to see where it goes.
  • Bestselling author Tony Horwitz passed away suddenly in Washington, DC, while on a tour for his most recent book. Horwitz is probably best known for his 1998 work, Confederates in the Attic. Chris Mackowski from Emerging Civil War contacted Rob Hodge, the Civil War reenactor who played such a prominent role in that book, for his thoughts on Horwitz’s passing.
  • The State of Maine recently adopted “The Ballad of the 20th Maine” as its official State Ballad. Although the legislation passed without opposition, there was (of course) still some whinging that the lyrics “may be unfair to the South.” I’d bet my lunch money these folks were probably just fine with the lyrics of “Maryland, My Maryland.” Such dainty, precious snowflakes.
  • From the “Heritage, Not Hate” files, two people were charged with defacing a monument and art exhibit at the University of North Carolina back in March. Both are (or were) members of “Heirs to the Confederacy,” an activist group that has staged many protests over the university’s handling of the “Silent Sam” monument. Although the university said early on that they had suspects they were investigating, it probably helped that the two were photographed the day after the vandalism at another rally displaying a custom-made UNC flag matching the one stolen from campus on the same night as the vandalism (above, photo by Tony Crider).
  • The American Civil War Museum opened in Richmond last month to good reviews, merging the collections and roles of American Civil War Center and the Museum of the Confederacy. It’s an entirely different sort of museum. Here is Glenn Brasher’s review.

Got any more stories that I missed? Put ‘em in the comments below.


4 Responses

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  1. kew100 said, on June 10, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Fort Negley in Nashville has been named a UNESCO ‘Site of Memory’ as part of UNESCO’s Slave Route Project.

  2. J.B. Richman said, on June 10, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    I have in my library, two books on ballads from Maine. The first is “British Ballads from Maine” by Barry, Eckstorm and Smyth, published in 1929 by the Yale University Press. The second is “Minstrelsy of Maine” by Eckstorm and Smyth published in1927 by Houghton Mifflin Company. The first book includes music for some tunes, while the latter has unfortunately only the lyrics. Of course the “ballad” they picked isn’t in these volumes. There are some old British ballads that are often associated with the Southern Mountains that were also sung in the backwoods of Maine (e.g. Gypysy Davy and Pretty Nancy aka Pretty Polly). But also ballads of lumberman and sailors that aren’t associated with the South. Like a shanty my Mother knew called “Whiskey Johnny”.

    My guess is that “The Ballad of the 20th Maine” is a recently written song, and not a part of Maine’s fine old ballad tradition.

    • Andy Hall said, on June 11, 2019 at 8:36 am

      I believe it’s new.

      • J.B. Richman said, on June 12, 2019 at 10:11 pm

        It’s tough to write songs about past times that ring true. The two songwriters I like who could do that are Ian Tyson and the late Stan Rogers, both Canadians.

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