Guerilla Warfare

April 10th, 2013

I chose this website because I wanted to continue on the theme of Western United States conflicts during the Civil War.  Like I stated in a early blog post, it seems that many people forget about this bloody aspect of the Civil War.  The conflict between the Bushwhackers and Jayhawkers created a personal, deep-seeded hatred for one another.  This blog discusses the use of guerilla warfare tactics during the Civil War.  I enjoyed the article and hope you all do to.

courtesy of This image is a depiction of Quantrill’s infamous Raid of Lawrence, KS

Ride with the Devil

April 4th, 2013

Ang Lee’s 1999 film, “Ride with the Devil,” portrays the bitter Kansas-Missouri border war during the Civil War.  The film focuses on Jake Roedel, a southern-sympathizing militiaman, who joins a Missouri gang of guerilla warfare using marauders.  The film depicts the hatred between the pro-slavery, Bushwhackers, and anti-slavery, Jayhawkers, sides, the war’s dramatic escalation, and the onslaught between the warring states.  As the tension and hostility between the two reach an apex, the Bushwhackers strategy for retaliation against the hostile Jayhawkers is to raid Lawrence, Kansas, an anti-slavery headquarters.  The gang, led by William Quantrill, rides into Lawrence, killing many of the male citizens and burning much of the city down.  After the raid, the gang flees the annihilated city, attempting to escape the Union Army’s counterattack.  As the film progresses, Roedel is intentionally shot by a fellow gang member, who holds a grudge towards him due to the disapproval of his German heritage.  After Roedel’s recovery, he leaves the gang, is forced into marriage, and by the Civil War’s end, moves with his new wife to California.

This film relates to the themes of our class because it portrays the tension between the pro and anti slavery movements and the hostile escalation their causes ignited.  Constant armed clashes between Kansas Jayhawkers, and pro-slavery Bushwhackers were common.  The conflict intensified in 1861 when the Civil War began and Kansas was admitted into the Union as a free state.  The Lawrence massacre further split the nation from unification.  Quantrill and his gang of marauder’s premeditated invasion into Lawrence elevated the futile tension between Kansas and Missouri.  Their brutal assault against the city ignited the anti slavery’s deeper hatred towards the pro-slavery movement, advocating heightened military action against Missourians.  Lawrence was subjected to Quantrill and his gang’s ruthless guerrilla tactics, which led to the execution of 200 men and the city’s demise.  The attack was deliberate, brutal, and filled with hate.  After the onslaught, Lawrence became a symbol for each side, representing the cultural differences that initially separated the country, which led to the outbreak of the Civil War.  The north viewed the destruction of the city as an act of terrorism.  While the south saw the attack as a necessary act of war.  Violence became the primary method to end disputes between the border states.  The Border War in itself became a scaled-down Civil War due to the conflict stemming from the initial reason the Civil War began:  Slavery.  The deep tensions laid among Kansas and Missouri acted as a microcosm of the whole nation:  North vs. South.  It is interesting to view the film’s portrayal of the hatred between the states and the nation as a whole.  Although the depiction of Roedel puts a more sympathetic face to the pro slavery movement, it does little to illustrate other Bushwhackers in the same regard.  “Ride with the Devil” portrays the feud between Kansas and Missouri as a precautionary tale, advocating that the ideas of two rival movements, such as slavery, can lead to the death of many and destruction of cities.

Ride with the devil. DVD. Directed by Ang Lee. Universal City, CA: Universal, 2000.


Quantrill’s Raid

March 27th, 2013

For this blog post I wanted to present a different side to the Civil War, so I decided on Quantrill’s Raid (this link is a driving tour of the massacre).  Quick background of the event:  Quantrill and his gang of marauders — they were pro-slavery and were headquartered in Missouri — rode into Lawrence, an anti-slavery headquarters, executed every male resident and burned down the city.  This event today still dominates the heated rivalry between Kansas and Missouri.  It is especially infamous around Lawrence, Kansas since that’s where the massacre occurred, however, unfortunately it seems the event is widely unknown.  I am from Lawrence, Kansas and take a great amount of pride in the fact that Kansan’s opposed slavery and fought Missourians, pro-slavery, to abolish it.  I think the most interesting aspect of post-Quantrill’s Raid was the evolution of the Kansas and Missouri rivalry.  The feud between the states went from gunfire to sports.  I will be honest, I have been trained since 2nd grade history class to despise Missouri and I still do and alway will.  Rock Chalk!


March 13th, 2013

This commercial was in Kevin Wilmott’s 2004 film, CSA: The Confederate States of America.  Wilmott’s film describes what life would be like had the Confederacy won the Civil War.  Although the commercial is fake, its emphasis on southern heritage and the Confederacy’s legacy are blatant.  Wilmott, an African-American, is a film professor at the University of Kansas.  His work expresses the racist fervor of the south and their obvious disdain for blacks.  This film provides an interesting perspective into the idea of what if.  What if the south had won?  Who knows, but at least Wilmott’s film tries to frame an idea.



Blight Lecture Series

February 20th, 2013

As I was aimlessly searching the internet, I just so happen to stumble upon David Blight’s lecture series on Youtube.  On one of his many lectures posted, he discusses the legacy of the Civil War.  It is interesting and insightful.  I would recommend watching the video, or any of his other lectures posted on Youtube.

Stonewall Jackson Annotated Bibliography

February 20th, 2013

Primary Sources:
“Charles T. Haigh Diary.” Virginia Military Institute. (accessed January 29, 2013).

The “Charles T. Haigh Diary” provides insight into the mind of a Confederate Soldier following the death of General Jackson.  In the diary, Haigh describes his bereavement about General Jackson and his weariness about the continuation of the Confederate’s Cause without him.  Throughout the diary entry are relevant examples of General Jackson’s importance to Southern memory and show evidence of his eventual deification throughout the South.

The Daily Dispatch. “Death of General Thomas J. Jackson.” The Daily Dispatch (Richmond), May 11, 1863.;c=dsm;c=vsc;g=ddrgroup;xc=1;xg=1;q1=stonewall%20jackson;rgn=div3;view=text;idno=ddr0781.0024.112;cc=ddr;node=ddr0781.0024.112%3A5.1.1 (accessed February 12, 2013).

The newspaper article gives the Southern view and reaction the day following General Jackson’s death.  The article includes an extensive summary of General Jackson’s military success and personal life.  This article provides insight into the Southerner’s vision of General Jackson and his eventual idolization.

“Death of Stonewall Jackson. Abram Fulkerson Letter, May 18, 1863..” Virginia Military Institute. (accessed January 29, 2013).

The Fulkerson letter, much like the Haigh diary entry, discuss the South’s sadness of General Jackson’s death.  In Fulkerson’s letter, he describes the death of General Jackson as a “national calamity.”   The letter illustrates a fellow Confederate soldier’s emotions following General Jackson’s death and his importance to the preservation of the Southern Cause.  The Fulkerson Letter includes details regarding General Jackson as more than just a Confederate officer, but also as a man and patriot.

“General Stonewall Jackson.” Harper’s Weekly, May 30, 1863. (accessed February 12, 2013).

The Harper’s Weekly article provides a unique examination of General Jackson within the Northern United States, where he was the enemy.  The sources used in the research solely focus on the Southern view of General Jackson, however, using this article the Northern view of his death is accounted for.  Throughout the article, General Jackson’s actions are chronicled and summarized and depict his military career, successes during the Civil War, and his death.

McGuire , Dr. Hunter. “Death of Stonewall Jackson.” Southern Historical Society Papers XIV (1886). (accessed February 12, 2013).

In Dr. McGuire’s article, he chronicles the events before and after General Jackson’s

death.  The article provides extensive insight into the last moments of General Jackson’s life and the events that unfolded directly following his death.  The article also includes relevant information regarding the Confederate military’s reaction to his wound and eventual death.

Palmer, John Williamson. “Stonewall Jackson’s Way.” Encyclopedia Virginia.  (accessed February 12, 2013).
Palmer’s poem depicts the military greatness of General Jackson before his death.  The poem also showcases General Jackson’s popularity and preserved memory among Southerners.

Statue of General “Stonewall” Jackson The Art Journal (1875-1887), New Series, Vol. 3, (1877), p. 25.

The statue of General Jackson shows his lasting memory throughout the South.  In this article, General Jackson’s statue is one of great importance and necessity, according to former Confederate soldiers and sympathizers.  Southern memory perceives him as a war hero and great man, who fought off Northern aggression until his untimely death following the Battle of Chancellorsville.  The statue examines the South’s appreciation of General Jackson and his mythological standing throughout  memory.

“Stonewall Jackson Funeral, Lexington, Virginia. Newspaper Account, May 1863.” Virginia Military Institute. (accessed January 29, 2013).

The Lexington, Virginia newspaper article depicting General Jackson’s funeral describes, much like the rest of the primary sources, a man incredibly important to the Southern Cause.  This article provides an examination of Southern reaction and memory, directly following General Jackson’s death.  This insight allows for the belief that General Jackson was eventually going to be deified in Southern memory, due to its significant fondness of his accomplishments and his efforts to preserve the Southern way of life.

“Stonewall Jackson Relic.” Encyclopedia Virginia. (accessed February 12, 2013).

The relic illustrates General Jackson’s legacy in Southern memory.  Although it is short, the relic provides a romanticized and idealized vision of General Jackson, the military genius and Southern Christian patriot.
“Stonewall Jackson Shrine – Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park.” U.S.

National Park Service – Experience Your America. (accessed February 12, 2013).

The National Park Service’s enshrinement of General Jackson showcases his importance, not only in Southern memory, but also American memory.  The shrine examines his continued lasting legacy throughout American memory.  Despite fighting for the Confederacy, the United States Government run monument, showcases General Jackson’s prominence in American military memory.

Wood, James. The War; “Stonewall” Jackson, His Campaigns, and Battles, The Regiment As I Saw Them. 1910. Reprint. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1996. Print.

Woods’ book chronicles General Jackson’s military career during the Civil War.  Woods illustrates General Jackson’s leadership, bravery, and military genius.  The book examines how Confederate soldiers viewed General Jackson during war and provide extensive insight to why he evolved into the idealized military figure in Southern memory.

Secondary Sources:

Armstrong, Elizabeth A. and Suzanna M Crage. “Movements and Memory: The Making of the Stonewall Myth” American Sociological Review, Vol. 71, No. 5 (Oct., 2006), pp. 724-751.

Armstrong and Crage’s article examines the roots that caused General Jackson’s deification throughout the South.  This article examines why and how General Jackson became an idealized military leader in the South and how the South’s memory of him turned him into a mythological figure.

Cheeks, Robert C. “Fifty Years After Stonewall Jackson’s Death, His Beloved Cadet Battery Fired Its Final Volley On..” America’s Civil War 10, no. 1 (March 1997): 24.

Cheeks’ article describe the everlasting memory of General Jackson, despite how long ago his death was.  This article illustrates the Southerner’s idealized memory of Jackson and his efforts during the Civil War.  It also showcases his continued importance in military ritual.

Gallagher, Gary W. “Perfect Southern Soldier.” Civil War Times 51, no. 6 (December 2012): 18-20.

Gallagher’s article depicts the characteristics that made General Jackson the idealized soldier.  In this article he is the ideal soldier;  he is intelligent, brave, fearless, and a true leader.  This article provides an examination to why General Jackson is the idealized soldier, why he was so important to the Southern Cause, and why he was viewed as such an idolized figure in the South.

Hettle, Wallace. “A Romantic’s Civil War: John Esten Cooke, Stonewall Jackson, and the Ideal of Individual “Genius”.” Historian 67, no. 3 (Fall 2005): 434-453.

Wallace’s article romanticizes General Jackson and his military career and showcases the idealized vision of him in Southern memory.  The article provides insight to the South’s perception of Jackson’s military genius and success.

Hettle, Wallace. Inventing Stonewall Jackson a Civil War Hero In History and Memory. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2011.

Wallace’s book provides insight to the deification of General Jackson before and after his death.  In this book, General Jackson is viewed as the idealized soldier, leader, and man.  Due to his importance, he developed into an idealized figure in Southern memory.  This book examines Jackson’ importance and popularity before and after his death throughout the South.

Reichhardt, Tony. “The Death and Life of Stonewall Jackson.” Historic Traveler 3, no. 3 (March 1997): 46.

Similarly to other sources, Reichhardt’s article illustrates General Jackson’s importance to the Southern Cause and his eventual deification in Southern memory.  This article provides a relevant examination on General Jackson’s leadership and military excellence, which directly result in his preservation in Southern memory.

A Slave No More

February 13th, 2013

The New York Times article “Freedom Just Ahead: The War Within the Civil War” reviews David Blight’s 2007 book A Slave No More. Blight’s book chronicles the lives of two former slaves — John Washington and Wallace Turnage — and their journey to freedom through their narratives. I read Blight’s book several years ago and I thought it was a fascinating read. I posted the book review for anyone interested in the subject and wanted a background on the book before reading. I will also post the online book here.The New York Times article “Freedom Just Ahead: The War Within the Civil War” reviews David Blight’s 2007 book A Slave No More. Blight’s book chronicles the lives of two former slaves — John Washington and Wallace Turnage — and their journey to freedom through their narratives. I read Blight’s book several years ago and I thought it was a fascinating read. I posted the book review for anyone interested in the subject and wanted a background on the book before reading. I will also post the online book here.

NPR – African American Portraits

February 6th, 2013

As I was searching the internet for Civil War archives, I stumbled on NPR’s “African-American Faces of the Civil War.”  The series of Civil War era portraits show African American soldiers decorated in their Union Army uniforms.  The site provides many portraits of these black soldiers.   Although NPR is not a historical society or does not have an extensive archive, it provides an excellent source of African American soldier portraits during the Civil War.

Civil War Clips

January 30th, 2013

Ken Burns’ documentary “The Civil War” is an impressive and extensive examination of the War:  Prior, during, and post conflict.  I am sure everyone has seen or at least heard of the documentary.  Burns — a premiere documentarian — provides diary entries, letters, speeches, etc. from the era throughout the documentary.  The link above only provides clips from episodes of “The Civil War” and does not show the full episode, however, these clips showcase the quality of research and historical importance.

By the way if you have Netflix or Hulu Plus you can fully access all the “The Civil War” episodes.

Civil War Archive

January 23rd, 2013

The Virginia Military Institute has an extensive collection of Civil War letters, diaries, and manuscripts including Stonewall Jackson’s personal papers.  This archive provides insight into both Federal and Confederate soldier’s lives and their experiences during and after the Civil War.  Much of the collection is of digitized images of the original letters, diaries, and manuscripts.  This archive is valuable source for primary documents discussing the lives of soldiers and their memories of the Civil War