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Full-Text Articles in History

Complicating The Civil War Narrative: The Lincoln Lyceum Lecture, Savannah Labbe Oct 2018

Complicating The Civil War Narrative: The Lincoln Lyceum Lecture, Savannah Labbe

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

On October 3rd, the 2018 Lincoln Prize-winning author and historian, Edward Ayers, gave a talk on his most recent book, The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America. Ayers began the process of writing this book in 1991 while driving through the Shenandoah Valley and wondering how places so naturally beautiful could go to war with each other so quickly. In his book, he attempts to answer that question by looking at how the Civil War was experienced on the ground by normal, everyday people. He does this by following two communities from ...


Running Wires: Digital History In The Classroom And The Field, Ian A. Isherwood, Amy E. Lucadamo, R.C. Miessler Oct 2018

Running Wires: Digital History In The Classroom And The Field, Ian A. Isherwood, Amy E. Lucadamo, R.C. Miessler

Musselman Library Staff Publications

The First World War Letters of H.J.C. Peirs is a digital history project that publishes the letters of a British World War I officer 100 years to the day they were written. By telling the story of one person, we have aimed to humanize a dehumanizing war and supported the effort to commemorate the centennial of the conflict. While the project was conceived with pedagogy in mind, it has grown beyond the letters and crossed boundaries: from the analog to the digital, from the classroom to the public, and from the archives to the field.


To Liberty, Honor, And…Cufflinks?: The Grand Army Of The Republic, Savannah Labbe Oct 2018

To Liberty, Honor, And…Cufflinks?: The Grand Army Of The Republic, Savannah Labbe

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

Borne of the Civil War, one fraternal organization quickly assumed such great authority that it re-shaped cultural prescriptions of manhood, dictated the northern public’s memory of the war, and even influenced presidential elections. This organization, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), was formed in Illinois in 1866 by veteran Benjamin Franklin Stephenson and its number of posts in the United States quickly increased. In order to be a member, one simply had to be a Union veteran. By the 1890s, there were 7,000 GAR posts around the country; approximately 1.3 million men, half of all Union ...


Finding Meaning In The Flag: The Kkk Era, Olivia Ortman Sep 2018

Finding Meaning In The Flag: The Kkk Era, Olivia Ortman

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

In 1972, black Vietnam soldier, Frank J. Francis sat down for an interview with Forward, an African American newspaper in New Jersey. The purpose of the interview was for Francis to share his experiences with racism in the army. At one point, Francis began talking about the Confederate flag. He told his interviewer, “If anyone is familiar with the South, then one knows that throughout the South black people have been and are still being terrorized by such organizations as the KKK or the White Citizens’ Councils, extreme anti-black, racist organizations. These people use the Confederate flag as a symbol ...


Rewriting History: A Study Of How The History Of The Civil War Has Changed In Textbooks From 1876 To 2014, Skyler A. Campbell May 2018

Rewriting History: A Study Of How The History Of The Civil War Has Changed In Textbooks From 1876 To 2014, Skyler A. Campbell

The Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era

History textbooks provide an interesting perspective into the views and attitudes of their respective time period. The way textbooks portray certain events and groups of people has a profound impact on the way children learn to view those groups and events. That impact then has the potential to trickle down to future generations, fabricating a historical narrative that sometimes avoids telling the whole truth, or uses selective wording to sway opinions on certain topics. This paper analyzes the changes seen in how the Civil War is written about in twelve textbooks dated from 1876 to 2014. Notable topics of discussion ...


After Andersonville: Survivors, Memory And The Bloody Shirt, Kevin S. Nicholson May 2018

After Andersonville: Survivors, Memory And The Bloody Shirt, Kevin S. Nicholson

The Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era

This article details the experiences of survivors of the Andersonville prison camp after the Civil War. Feeling marginalized by the public after returning to the North, prisoners of war worked to demonstrate that their experiences were exceptional enough to merit the same kind of respect and adoration given to other war veterans. In particular survivors utilized the strategy of "waving the bloody shirt," describing purported Confederate atrocities at the camp to a Northern audience looking for figures to blame for the horrors of war. Through prison narratives, veteran organizations, the erection of memorials, and reunions years later, Andersonville survivors worked ...


Between The World And Them, Jeffrey L. Lauck May 2018

Between The World And Them, Jeffrey L. Lauck

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

The first time I learned the story of the Bryan family and their Gettysburg farm was when I read Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me. For Coates, there was something poetic about the fact that the climax of the Civil War’s bloodiest and most well-known battle—a moment forever enshrined in Confederate memory thanks to the likes of William Faulknerand Ted Turner—occurred on land owned by a free black man and his family. Pickett’s Charge—the greatest symbol of Confederate martial honor in the Civil War canon—had been repulsed on property that represented so ...


The Virginia Monument’S Meaning In Memory, Jonathan Tracey Apr 2018

The Virginia Monument’S Meaning In Memory, Jonathan Tracey

Student Publications

In the early 1900s, many people began to advocate for Confederate monuments on the battlefield at Gettysburg. However, different motivations were present. Many Northerners saw Confederate monuments as a way to further unity, while Southerners instead used the monuments to preserve a separate identity. The Virginia Memorial is a clear case of this.


Competing Memory Camp Colt’S Place In Gettysburg History, Anika N. Jensen Mar 2018

Competing Memory Camp Colt’S Place In Gettysburg History, Anika N. Jensen

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

I recently came face-to-face with the issue of relevance in my research on Camp Colt for a public history class, and in studying the tankers’ noble intentions—preserving democracy, stemming German militarization, progressing American innovation—on an equally noble battlefield, I came to an troubling impasse: should America’s first tank school, which operated on the same ground where men fell in droves during Pickett’s Charge roughly fifty years prior, be recognized to the same degree as the Battle of Gettysburg? Is there a way to justify discussing Eisenhower’s command over the fledgling tank corps, which never saw ...


Reviving The Past: The Battle Flag In The Confederate Memorial Period, Olivia Ortman Mar 2018

Reviving The Past: The Battle Flag In The Confederate Memorial Period, Olivia Ortman

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

In the years immediately following the Civil War, the Confederate battle flag mostly disappeared from public view. In their diaries, Southerners wrote about hiding flags and other Confederate symbols for fear of Union retaliation. In most cases, Southerners intuitively understood that these symbols were now taboo, but occasionally, they stated that Union troops explicitly forbade displays of the battle flag. Some Southerners did still flaunt the flag as a means of defiance against Union troops, as mentioned in my last post, but most people quietly tucked it away. A mere five years after the war ended, though, the flag began ...


Gettysburg College Journal Of The Civil War Era 2018 Jan 2018

Gettysburg College Journal Of The Civil War Era 2018

The Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era

No abstract provided.


The Things We Remember: Interpreting The Virginia Memorial, Olivia Ortman Nov 2017

The Things We Remember: Interpreting The Virginia Memorial, Olivia Ortman

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

When I was in high school, I read The Things They Carried for my English class. It is a fiction book about the Vietnam War written by a Vietnam veteran. The author, Tim O’Brien, had the life experiences to write an autobiography based on true events, but he chose fiction as his vehicle. He explains this choice in one of the chapters in his book. O’Brien stated that, in an ironic way, fiction allowed him to share more truth than reality. His made-up stories allowed him to create the feelings and meanings of the war that his real ...


Warriors Of Bronze: The Virginia Monument And Remembrance Day, Zachary A. Wesley Nov 2017

Warriors Of Bronze: The Virginia Monument And Remembrance Day, Zachary A. Wesley

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

Memory is a peculiar thing. To recall it is to remember, and there are two days dedicated to this activity in mid-November in Gettysburg. On November 18 and 19, reenactors and keynote speakers gather here to honor the sacrifices of millions of soldiers and sailors during the American Civil War. November 19 rings throughout the history of oration as the date of Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address, itself an exercise in remembrance. The recent Remembrance and Dedication Days have encouraged me to think of my work on the Virginia Monument Wayside Project in light of the celebrations. Just as much ...


Improving The Present By Studying The Past: Killed At Gettysburg Remembers O’Rorke And Phelps, Ryan D. Bilger Nov 2017

Improving The Present By Studying The Past: Killed At Gettysburg Remembers O’Rorke And Phelps, Ryan D. Bilger

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

This semester, I have had the honor of working on the Civil War Institute’s Killed at Gettysburg project, hosted at killedatgettysburg.org. The project seeks to document the lives and legacies of soldiers who died during the three days of fighting in July 1863. I am happy to be contributing to Killed at Gettysburg again, as I strongly connected with the project when I worked on it for Dr. Carmichael’s Gettysburg class last semester. [excerpt]


Remembrance Day: History, Memory And The 20th Maine, Savannah A. Labbe Nov 2017

Remembrance Day: History, Memory And The 20th Maine, Savannah A. Labbe

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

Every November, on the Saturday closest to the 19th, the town of Gettysburg celebrates Remembrance Day. This day is held in memory of those who fought and died at the Battle of Gettysburg and during the Civil War as a whole. On November 19th, crowds gather to celebrate Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and his dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery. These events pose a few very important questions: why do we still remember the Civil War in this manner? Why do we find it so important to have an entire day dedicated just to Civil War soldiers? Why does Civil ...


Finding Meaning In The Flag: Furl That Banner, Olivia Ortman Oct 2017

Finding Meaning In The Flag: Furl That Banner, Olivia Ortman

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

Hello again, readers. I hope you enjoyed the summer and are now as eager as I am to jump back into our conversation about the Confederate flag. Although I spent the summer at Minute Man NHP, the Civil War was never far from my mind. Even in a northern park dedicated to the American Revolution, I still heard a lot about the Confederate monument debates, and as I spoke with visitors who were following this topic in the news, I was reminded of a similar debate several years ago concerning the Confederate flag. [excerpt]


Bearing The Battle, Binding The Wounds, Kaylyn L. Sawyer May 2017

Bearing The Battle, Binding The Wounds, Kaylyn L. Sawyer

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

When I arrived at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park for my summer 2016 internship orientation, I introduced myself as being from Yorktown, VA. The ranger quipped “you must have a thing for surrender towns.” I hadn’t really thought about it, but I suppose I do. I’ve lived in and around historic towns my entire life. I was born in Richmond, graduated high school in Yorktown, attended college in Gettysburg, and completed internships in New Market, Appomattox, and in the Hampton Roads area. I never seem to be far from a battlefield or a battle town, physically or ...


Fredericksburg’S Gray Angel: Truth Or Utility?, Jonathan G. Danchik May 2017

Fredericksburg’S Gray Angel: Truth Or Utility?, Jonathan G. Danchik

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

As with other battles, the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862 yielded shocking results. Homes were destroyed, thousands died, and military doctrine was challenged and changed. One particular story, however, has emerged from Fredericksburg to represent a different narrative, one of compassion. The actions of a 20-year-old Confederate sergeant named Richard Rowland Kirkland are enshrined in stone at the end of Fredericksburg’s infamous “Sunken Road.”


Confederate Memory, Olivia Ortman May 2017

Confederate Memory, Olivia Ortman

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

This year as a CWI Fellow, I’ve been doing a lot of research and thinking on Civil War memory, specifically that of Confederate memory. When doing this work, the question at the back of my mind is always: How should monuments, symbols, and other examples of Confederate memory be handled? This is a very difficult question, so up until now, I’ve left it alone, knowing that there would come a time in the future that I would sit down and wrestle with my conflicting opinions on the matter. A couple days ago, the Civil War Era Studies Department ...


The Conflicting Conflict: Memorialization And Memory Of The Great War, Danielle E. Jones Apr 2017

The Conflicting Conflict: Memorialization And Memory Of The Great War, Danielle E. Jones

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

July 1st through 3rd, 2013 marked the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. There were an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 visitors to the national park, including as many as 10,000 reenactors. The Civil War sesquicentennial was commemorated from the very beginning, and ended with a reenactment in Appomattox that saw over 6,000 people visit to re-live the end of the American Civil War. On April 9th, bells across the nation, including at Gettysburg College, tolled for 4 minutes to honor the four years the war raged on. Plans were started for the anniversary almost a ...


Appomattox: 152 Years Later, Jonathan Tracey Apr 2017

Appomattox: 152 Years Later, Jonathan Tracey

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

Just over a week ago was the 152nd anniversary of General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House. Although that number may not be as big a deal as the 150th anniversary a few years ago, there was something else special about this year. For only the seventh time since 1865, April 9th fell on Palm Sunday, just as it did on the day that Grant and Lee met in the McLean House. Not only was I lucky enough to attend this commemoration, but I was able to revisit the job I held over the summer by volunteering that weekend ...


Finding Meaning In The Flag: Ex-Slaves And Newsies, Olivia Ortman Apr 2017

Finding Meaning In The Flag: Ex-Slaves And Newsies, Olivia Ortman

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

Thus far we’ve talked about predominately white Union and Confederate views of the Confederate flag, so for my last piece on perspectives during the war I want to talk about the views of African Americans. For African Americans, especially, the Civil War was tightly intertwined with the matter of slavery. They realized that the outcome of the war would be instrumental in determining the fate of slavery as an institution and believed that a Confederate victory would be detrimental to the prospects of their freedom. If Southerners had their way, slavery would likely never die.


Paintings Of War, Museums Of Memory, Laura G. Waters Apr 2017

Paintings Of War, Museums Of Memory, Laura G. Waters

Student Publications

This paper examines the artists sent to the Western Front under Britain’s official war artists initiative. The government sought to utilize artwork for propagandistic purposes, and to foster emotional connection between civilian and soldier. However, the growth of the initiative to include some ninety artists complicated this. The experiences of the artists and the truths revealed to them by the conflict were vastly different, and examination of them as a whole does little to elucidate the character of the war itself. What this paper seeks to do, therefore, is examine three artists - Sir William Orpen, Lieutenant Paul Nash, and ...


The Centennial Of The Great War, Thomas J. Crafa Apr 2017

The Centennial Of The Great War, Thomas J. Crafa

Student Publications

A personal reflection on the centennial of America's entry into The Great War.


Interpreting A Commemorative Landscape: The Eleventh Corps And Cemetery Hill, Bradley J. Klustner Apr 2017

Interpreting A Commemorative Landscape: The Eleventh Corps And Cemetery Hill, Bradley J. Klustner

Student Publications

An analysis of the memorialization of the land on and around Cemetery Hill on the Gettysburg battlefield as it pertained to the Union Eleventh Corps.


Guilt, Shame, And The Family Narrative: The Communicative Memory From Families Of Nazi Perpetrators And Its Impact On The Social Collective, Megan E. Heyer Apr 2017

Guilt, Shame, And The Family Narrative: The Communicative Memory From Families Of Nazi Perpetrators And Its Impact On The Social Collective, Megan E. Heyer

Student Publications

This work examines the generational relationships of the families of Nazi perpetrators and how the experiences of these Nazi perpetrators have been altered through the generations, and the impact of these alterations on one's understanding of the history of World War II.


The Legacy Of “Old Osawatomie”: John Brown In Art And Memory, Ryan Bilger Mar 2017

The Legacy Of “Old Osawatomie”: John Brown In Art And Memory, Ryan Bilger

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

This, of course, is no deity, but rather John Brown, a man who received many appellations both during and after his lifetime. Abolitionist. Murderer. Freedom fighter. Terrorist. And this picture is known as Tragic Prelude, painted by the American regionalist artist John Steuart Curry. A native of Kansas, Curry received a commission from Governor Walter Huxman in the late 1930s to paint a series of murals depicting the state’s history for the Kansas State Capitol Building. Other scenes in the mural cycle included depictions of the explorer Francisco Coronado and Padre Padilla, but the most recent scene, as well ...


Bringing The Past Into The Present: Joshua Chamberlain’S Legacy In Maine, Savannah Labbe Mar 2017

Bringing The Past Into The Present: Joshua Chamberlain’S Legacy In Maine, Savannah Labbe

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

In recent years Maine’s role in the Civil War—especially in the Battle of Gettysburg—has gained increased renown due in part to movies and books such as Gettysburg and Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels. Maine’s fame has grown mostly due to one famous figure: Joshua Chamberlain. Chamberlain has become almost a legend in Maine, a historical figure that most Mainers are familiar with and are proud of. His legacy can still be felt in the state today and provides a way for people from Maine to connect with the past. History is often the cause of ...


Remembering The Great War: Writing And Publishing The Experiences Of Wwi, Ian A. Isherwood Feb 2017

Remembering The Great War: Writing And Publishing The Experiences Of Wwi, Ian A. Isherwood

Gettysburg College Faculty Books

The horrors and tragedies of the First World War produced some of the finest literature of the century: including Memoirs of an Infantry Officer; Goodbye to All That; the poetry of Wilfred Owen and Edward Thomas; and the novels of Ford Madox Ford. Collectively detailing every campaign and action, together with the emotions and motives of the men on the ground, these 'war books' are the most important set of sources on the Great War that we have. Through looking at the war poems, memoirs and accounts published after the First World War, Ian Andrew Isherwood addresses the key issues ...


A Time To Remember U.S. Rise As A World Power, Ian A. Isherwood Jul 2014

A Time To Remember U.S. Rise As A World Power, Ian A. Isherwood

Civil War Institute Faculty Publications

This summer marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. In the United States, the war has been long eclipsed by the other great conflicts straddling it - the Civil War and Second World War - and as a result has been unfairly pushed to the margins in our national memory.

My hope is that the First World War's centennial, starting this summer and ending in 2018, will be an opportunity for Americans to break out of our intellectual isolationism and discover again a conflict that not only transformed world history, but also America's place within it ...