Monthly Archives

November 2017


“No Other Gods Before Me.”

From its port side northern Kentucky’s foremost tourist attraction looks exactly like a real vessel, a big one, with a ramp fitted along it to take on animals and supplies.  From bow to stern it is 510 feet long, about as long as a modern missile frigate, and the designers have gone to great lengths to make the structure appear…
Jerry Salyer
November 30, 2017

Cane Fighting

For five days in May, 1856, Charles Sumner delivered a speech entitled The Crime Against Kansas. For those five days, he continuously slandered South Carolina and its senator, Pierce Butler. Regarding South Carolina, Sumner stated: “If we glance at special achievements, it will be difficult to find anything in the history of South Carolina which presents so much of heroic…
Michael Martin
November 29, 2017
Review Posts

Pickett’s Charge — The Last Attack at Gettysburg

A review of Pickett’s Charge – The Last Attack at Gettysburg by Earl J. Hess (UNC Press, 2001). When I was still on active duty with the U.S. Army, the true “Gettysburg” book was Professor Coddington’s The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command (1968). But his book was about the entire battle and command and not the attack. Hess mentions several others,…
John C. Whatley
November 28, 2017

Slavery and the War

The recent apoplexy over White House Chief-of-Staff John Kelly’s comments about Robert E. Lee and the Civil War have revealed on ongoing problem in the thinking of many Americans when it comes to history and politics in general – the inability to see any issue or event in anything but the most oversimplified terms.  In the particular context of the…
Michael Armstrong
November 27, 2017

Podcast Episode 98

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Nov 13-17, 2017. Topics: Political Correctness, Southern culture, Robert E. Lee, secession, John C. Calhoun, the Deep North
Brion McClanahan
November 18, 2017

Calhoun’s Meaning that “Slavery is a Positive Good”?

John C. Calhoun–valedictorian of his class at Yale, Vice President, Secretary of War, and Senator–was one of the greatest statesmen America has produced. Margaret Coit wrote a favorable biography of him in 1950 that won a Pulitzer Prize. In 1959, a Senate committee, headed by John Kennedy, ranked him among the five greatest senators in American history. Calhoun wrote one…
Donald Livingston
November 17, 2017

The Extreme Northern Position

If you listen to the modern historical profession, Southern secession in 1861 represented "treason." David Blight, Professor History at Yale University, has made this belief the part of the core of his attack on Confederate symbols. If we should not take them down because they represent "white supremacy," then they should be removed because Southerners were "traitors." Traitors to whom…
Brion McClanahan
November 16, 2017

Lee, Kelly, and the Marxists

You would think that David Duke had somehow been elected president. Or, maybe in this topsy-turvy, Alice-in-Wonderland period of history we are living through, that that reactionary “bad guy” Vladimir Putin had somehow actually taken over the White House. The editorial din, the screams of outrage seemed to drown out all other news. Surely, the very fate of the republic…
Boyd Cathey
November 15, 2017
Review Posts

James Madison: Son of Virginia

A Review  James Madison: A Son of Virginia and a Founder of the Nation by Jeff Broadwater (University of North Carolina Press, 2012). Speaking at the celebration of the completion of the restoration of Montpelier, Chief Justice John Roberts said, “Montpelier restored is certainly beautiful but is in no sense the most fitting memorial to James Madison. If you’re looking…
Joe Wolverton
November 14, 2017

Is the South Celtic?

There is a popular theme embraced by many that the uniqueness of Southern culture is explained by its “Celtic” origins in opposition to the “Anglo-Saxon” foundations of the North.  This thesis has been expressed strongly in such works as Grady McWhiney’s Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South, Jim Webb’s Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America, and James…
Clyde Wilson
November 13, 2017

Podcast Episode 97

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Nov 6-10 2017. Topics: Reconstruction, Jewish Confederates, Southern weather, Southern literature, Southern culture.
Brion McClanahan
November 11, 2017

A Little Change in the Weather

We hear endless accounts today concerning the dire effects of global climate change, as well as the horrific devastation caused by the recent hurricanes that have mainly struck the Southern states. However, if one studies the five billion years of Earth’s climatic history, it should soon become evident that climate change has been an ongoing cyclical occurrence during the latter…
John Marquardt
November 10, 2017

Jewish Confederates

The Jewish people have endured much throughout their long history, yet have always continued to hold on to their religious and cultural identity. Finding a safe harbor from persecution was perhaps the main justification for the formation of the State of Israel in 1948. Yet before this monumental event, amidst the often tumultuous sea of the diaspora, there did briefly…
Jonathan Harris
November 9, 2017

A Changing Reconstruction Narrative

  Those who have read his Count of Monte Cristo can readily appreciate the wisdom of Alexander Dumas who wrote, “The difference between treason and patriotism is a matter of dates.” Similarly, Civil War era historical interpretations are a matter of dates. Consider the example of President Ulysses Grant.  While the many corruption scandals during his presidency cannot be denied, modern biographers and…
Philip Leigh
November 8, 2017
Review Posts

Southern Tales of Glory and Woe

A review of A New England Romance: And Other Southern Stories by Randall Ivey (Shotwell Press, 2016). Randall Ivey’s book of Southern stories will make you laugh, cry and nod your head in recognition of delightful characters you feel you have known forever, or at least most of your life. This is especially true if you are lucky enough to…
Patricia Woods
November 7, 2017

An Expired Narrative

Portraying a furtive agenda as a benevolent endeavor has occurred frequently throughout our history. Unscrupulous politicians have been able to hoodwink the public because it takes a while for their fraudulence to be discovered; Sometimes decades. The Reconstruction of Southern states is a classic example of this phenomenon. There were rational, well-thought out strategies put forth for re-admitting Southern states…
Gail Jarvis
November 6, 2017

Podcast Episode 96

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, Oct 30 - Nov 3, 2017 Topics: Southern religion, Robert E. Lee, Political Correctness, Southern Humor, Southern Founding, Jefferson Davis, Abraham Lincoln
Brion McClanahan
November 4, 2017

A Note on Southern Humor

William Faulkner said much about Southern writing when he called Henry James "the nicest old lady lever met.” He indicated, of course, the sense of humor that the region has always had. And he indicated his disregard for the kind of psychological drama that identifies the target of his joke. If James liked to have a character weep seriously over…
Bill Koon
November 3, 2017

Citizen Lee

At the time of his death, was Robert E. Lee a man without a country? No, the Gray Fox of the Confederacy was not like the naval officer in Edward Everett Hale's novel who cursed his country. Lee’s country, before and after the War Between the States, was the United States of America, a republic he served with valor and…
William Freehoff
November 2, 2017

The Fighting Gamecock: Thomas Sumter

Thomas Sumter in his encounters with the Indian na­tions enters the pages of recorded history. He had prob­ably been present at the fall of Fort Duquesne and in the campaign across the Ohio River and had learned some­thing of the red man during this early service. In any case, he was chosen to accompany Lieutenant Henry Timberlake to treat with…
M.E. Bradford
November 1, 2017