Confederacy of Dunces


Approached by sea, Fort Sumter is an unimpressive structure. Nearby Isle of Palms has larger houses. When Major Anderson withdrew his undermanned United States Army garrison to this structure in 1861, they found it alarmingly substandard and spent the next several weeks improving it. Their work was rushed at first, until they realized that South […]

John Brown’s Pikes


“Private Martin.” “Yes, sir.” He did not swallow or make any other sign of fear. His face was a study in youth exposed to battle. Even delivery of bad news to a flag officer was insufficient to shake the private’s confidence. Colonel Cypherus Wheeler had seen his own expression in the parlor mirror of Cypress Manor earlier, […]

Memorial Day Blog

Hamilton, Alabama, has the state’s lone historical marker to General Sherman’s honor guard. The land in this corner of Alabama didn’t support plantation farming; the people were Jacksonian Democrats who wanted no part of the oligarchy’s war. But the state of Alabama would not leave them alone, and so they answered the call: The secessionists, […]

Civil War Revisions No. 1: Ron Paul

I’m looking for the most ridiculous, idiotic, and unhistorical statements about the Civil War by right wing politicos. We’ll start with the revanchist granddaddy of paleoconservativism, who has some remarkably asinine things to say about casualty figures, the slave trade, and the magic wand Lincoln presumably should have used instead:

The Strange Story of Guy Hunt

Former Alabama governor Guy Hunt died yesterday. He was 75. In an odd convergence of history, his passing comes less than a day after Rod Blagojevich was impeached 59-0 by the Illinois Senate. For while countless press reports have mentioned the name Evan Mecham of Arizona as the last American governor to be impeached in […]