Monthly Archives

October 2023


Postbellum Black Suffrage

Presently, the dominant Reconstruction Era narrative portrays the Republican Party’s support for black suffrage as a moral impulse. The likelihood that it would also increase the number of Republican-loyal voters is dismissed as a convenient by product of “doing the right thing.” Today’s experienced voters, however, realize that political parties seek to increase or maintain their political power by default.…
Philip Leigh
October 31, 2023

Swords Into Plowshares

Last week, activists destroyed the Charlottesville, Virginia Robert E. Lee monument in secret. They said it was to prevent violence, but not their own. The Washington Post attended the event and documented the final moments for Lee's face. The iconoclasts fashioned it into a "death mask" and then melted it down, creating a haunting image captured by the Post's photographer. You…
Brion McClanahan
October 30, 2023

What Led to Stonewall Jackson’s Unusual Quirks?

On a recent episode of the Flagrant podcast , comedian Shane Gillis went on a short rant about Stonewall Jackson. Gillis is a known history buff that frequently brings up history in his stand up comedy and talk show appearances. Even though this particular conversation covered various topics, the most interesting part was his take on Stonewall Jackson’s mental health:…
Michael Martin
October 26, 2023

Confederate Patton

A review of Confederate Patton: Richard Taylor and the Red River Campaign, 2nd (Expanded) Edition (Columbia, SC: Shotwell Publishing, 2023), by Dr. Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr. It is hard to imagine that there is a more thorough or exciting book out there on the Red River Campaign, a/k/a Red River Expedition, that took place March to May, 1864, in the…
Gene Kizer, Jr.
October 25, 2023

Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Attraction of Policial Decency

Scholars are wont to paint antipodally Jefferson and Madison. Most depictions show, in effect, that by psychological disposition, Madison was better suited to be a Hamiltonian Federalist than a Jeffersonian Republican. I offer a few illustrations. Merrill D. Peterson, in his Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation, states that Madison had a “more penetrating mind, sharp, probing, and persistent,” while…
M. Andrew Holowchak
October 24, 2023

The Passing of Zippy

When I first met Zippy he was a mature, chestnut-colored and very friendly male equine who had come to live with my neighbors. They had created an ample fenced-in, grassy pasture next to my property, plus a neat horse-shed where Zippy could both sleep or take safe refuge should the weather turn bad. Earlier this year Zippy reached the admirable…
Boyd Cathey
October 23, 2023

You Mean You Don’t Know?

Sunday afternoons were once meant for visiting all across The South. Sometimes family and sometimes friends, but the lazy Sunday afternoon visits, after church and then dinner, were a very important part of the connectedness that we all shared. And, by the way, dinner is the meal you ate at mid-day and supper the evening meal… just to set that…
Mike Stephens
October 20, 2023

Coffee, Waffles, and Gunsmoke

This morning I struck up a conversation with an old man over breakfast at the local Huddle House. He was sitting by himself drinking a cup of coffee. He wasn’t looking for company but I had ordered a big omelet and that’s the sort of thing worth making conversation over. “Look at the size of that thing,” I said. “It’s…
Brandon Meeks
October 19, 2023

The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down

Has Virgil Kane Been Reconstructed? In 1865 George Stoneman was a mediocre Union general leading cavalry behind Confederate lines in Virginia. 100 years later a Canadian rock band made him famous. It took Robbie Robertson more than six months to write the song. He spent time in libraries researching the end of the war. Many say it was an anti-war…
Garrick Sapp
October 18, 2023

Sayonara Aunt Jemima

Over the past several decades, anything connected with the Confederacy, as well as much of Southern culture and heritage, have all been transformed from objects of American pride into nothing more than racist pariahs that must be blown away by the winds of woke social change and cancel culture. A prime example of such objects is Georgia-born writer Margaret Mitchell’s…
John Marquardt
October 17, 2023

Secession: Where Does it Stop?

A review of  The Free State of Jones: Mississippi's Longest Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2001) by Victoria E. Bynum The film loosely derived from this book has already been reviewed here by historian Ryan Walters – ably so, since he grew up in Jones County, the “free state” in that title. But the key question raised by…
Terry Hulsey
October 16, 2023
BlogReview Posts

Thomas Jefferson, Architect

A review of Thomas Jefferson, Architect: Palladian Models, Democratic Principles, and the Conflict of Ideals (Yale, 2019) by Lloyd Dewitt, ed. Excluding the foreword and introduction, there are seven essays on Jefferson qua architect and a large number of plates at the book’s end. The book begins with Howard Burns’ “Thomas Jefferson, the Making of an Architect.” Burns aims at…
M. Andrew Holowchak
October 13, 2023

The Man Who Was George Washington

There is nothing more scholastically problematic than attempts to draw comparisons between and/or among the figures of history. Such an effort can be considered even vaguely accurate only if and when the people being juxtaposed are of the same time period. In that case, at least, the circumstances surrounding them may be fairly equitable! But even that is not always…
Valerie Protopapas
October 12, 2023

Donald Davidson and the Tennessean’s Book Page

“I can claim no ultimate wisdom in the matter. I can only say that I reviewed books in Tennessee for seven years, and during the same period persuaded a great many people to do likewise. The book page that I edited had a very modest beginning in 1924 in the Nashville Tennessean.” - Donald Davidson 1924 unfurled. The weather, customary…
Chase Steely
October 11, 2023

Southern Memories

Much of my time growing up in the 60s South was spent with my paternal grandparents. These were some of the best times and are some of my fondest memories. My pawpaw was a mountain of a man standing nearly 6 foot 3 and weighing close to 230 pounds. He had a grip like an iron vise and with his…
Keith Redmon
October 10, 2023

Immigration and Naturalization: Are They the Same Thing?

On September 9th a federal court ordered Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to remove a 1,000-foot line of buoys from the Rio Grande. The buoys are part of Operation Lone Star—a Texas initiative to secure the state’s southern border, stop the smuggling of drugs and contraband, and interdict transnational criminal activity. Although the judge’s opinion was based on the obscure Rivers…
William J. Watkins
October 9, 2023

Ep. 6: The Meaning of Confederate Monuments

Why were Confederate monuments built? If you listen to modern establishment historians, the answer would be racism and to perpetuate the "myth of the Lost Cause." But is this true? Not if you actually read what these people said.
Brion McClanahan
October 8, 2023

Farmers and Families and Football and Fools

I watched, sparingly (I was mostly playing chess against the computer) two football games recently (9-30-23) Ole Miss vs. L.S.U. and Miss State vs Alabama. The won-lost column for my Mississippi roots (which run deep and proud) was 1-1. Miss Southern lost to Texas State but they were not on the single channel that I, again sparingly, watched. I keep…
Paul H. Yarbrough
October 6, 2023

The Ride

In 1989, Papaw bought a brand new Ford pickup, white with a blue stripe. This was a gift to himself for surviving life for eighty years I suppose. That truck was the first new vehicle he had ever owned, his first ride being a two-horsepower convertible wagon with a split-rail oak seat. After leaving Murphy’s Ford dealership, his first stop…
Brandon Meeks
October 5, 2023

Armageddon or Separation?

Increasingly it has become evident that the American nation, founded with such high hopes and aspirations in 1787, is expiring, dying a prolonged, painful but also virulently infectious death. Those words are very difficult to write, especially for someone whose American ancestry goes back to Virginia in 1646, and whose ancestors helped settle other Southern states, who served honorably in…
Boyd Cathey
October 4, 2023

The Night of Replaced Glass

This week, new stained-glass windows at the National Cathedral of the United States were unveiled. Were these new windows a testament to the saving power of Jesus Christ? Did these windows proclaim peace? Did they show Elijah carried into the clouds, or John the Baptist in the river? Not at all. These four new windows proudly proclaim NO and FOUL…
Sara Sass
October 3, 2023

Maxcy Gregg, Scientist, Sportsman, Soldier

We survivors sometimes forget the human cost of our failed War of Southern Independence.  The casualty rate for Confederate officers was about 25%.  For Union officers it was 10 percent, easily replaced by incoming foreigners. The loss of talented men---future outstanding leaders, writers, scientists, artists, scholars, builders, clergy, entrepreneurs--- was very near catastrophic for the future of the South.  The…
Clyde Wilson
October 2, 2023