Donald Schaffer, on His Blog “Civil War Emncipation” Continues His Discussion on Robert Smalls, part 2
The “Disunion Blog” in the New York Times has an article today, by Glenn David Brasher, on the Peninsula Campaign, in particular on Hancock’s direction of his siege guns at Yorktown’s Confederate lines:
“By early May 1862, Union general George B. McClellan finally had his heaviest siege guns aimed at the Confederate lines at Yorktown. For a month, his attempt to take Richmond, Va., the rebel capital, by way of the Virginia Peninsula had been stalled — both by his overestimation of Confederate troop strength and by the South’s extensive fortifications. At long last, however, McClellan seemed ready to blast away at the rebels.“
Donald Shaffer, building on his recent posts about emancipation in D.C., has a new post discussing the consequences of emancipation in the District:
“By May 1862, the consequences of emancipation in Washington, D.C. were beginning to become clear. One early effect came from turning the District of Columbia into free territory. It created a potential refuge for slaves in Maryland, especially the counties near the federal capital, which were not accustomed to adjoining free soil. And not surprisingly, Maryland’s slaves, who generally were not subject to the provisions of the First Confiscation Act, hastened to take advantage. The New York Times reported on May 2, 1862″:
Kevin Levin, on his blog “Civil War Memory,” has a post about Southern Heritage promoter, Nathan Bedford Forrest fan, and “artist,” Jack Kershaw. “This is for those of you who are interested in the mind and imagination of Jack Kershaw, who is responsible for the Nathan Bedford Forrest equestrian memorial in Tennessee. This is commonly referred to as the ugliest Civil War monument ever erected. His interpretation of Forrest, which you can hear in the video, is is truly disturbing, but no doubt reflective of an older generation.
“This is for those of you who are interested in the mind and imagination of Jack Kershaw, who is responsible for the Nathan Bedford Forrest equestrian memorial in Tennessee. This is commonly referred to as the ugliest Civil War monument ever erected. His interpretation of Forrest, which you can hear in the video, is is truly disturbing, but no doubt reflective of an older generation.” Is Kershaw’s interpretation of Forrest reflective of an older generation? It sounds painfully similar to many things I hear today on internet discussion boards, so I suspect that his star is still quite bright among the current generation of Southern Heritage groups and supporters. I would challenge those who claim that the CBF is misunderstood to watch the documentary “Eyes on the Prize” and reflect on the context within which the CBF is carried and displayed:
For a long time, the general wisdom was that Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. In recent years the preferred thesis was “self emancipation.” Donald Shaffer on his blog “Civil War Emancipation,” makes a plea for “Multi-causality.” Rather than privileging one cause, though I think that Lincoln did more than any one person to further the cause of emancipation, and would refer readers to Manisha Sinha’s essay, “Allies for Emancipation?: Lincoln and Black Abolitionists,” in the collection _Our Lincoln_ Edited by Eric Foner. I would suggest that the advance of Union armies provides the context for understanding all of the other factors that led to emancipation during the war.