General Grant and the Rewriting of History

Written on:November 22, 2013
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Layout 1This isn’t a full blown review of Dr. Frank P. Varney’s book, General Grant and the Rewriting of History, as I just started reading some of it yesterday. I’m jumping the gun here abit as after reading the Preface I could not put the book down.

I believe it was Machiavelli who declared that you should judge a leader by those he keeps around him; his lieutenants, ect., the quote goes something like, “there can be no better measure of a man than the company he keeps.”

Ulysses S. Grant to me has always been a bit of a mystery. Books have been written that proclaim him to be a great military leader; yet a poor president. The standard historical narrative on Grant is he was too nice a guy to see the true character of those he kept around him as president. I never understood this statement. A military leader has to be able to assess the worth and abilities of his subordinates in order to be effective. How Grant went from a good, perhaps great, leader to such a poor evaluator of people has never been fully explained as far as I am concerned; that is until now, perhaps!?

Mr. Varrney gets into the meat of the argument right away by admiting he too had the same reservations about the accepted historical narrative concerning Grant, and this propelled him to write his master’s thesis on Grant which led to the book.

Well the findings thus far are fascinating and once I am done reading the book I will provide a full review!

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The Keeping Room… Historical Revisionism?

Written on:November 14, 2013

There’s a new Civil War movie in post-production (meaning its already filmed) that reminds me of Cold Mountain based on its storyline, it’s called, The Keeping Room. It’s by first time writer Julia Hart. The movie stars Sam Worthington who I really liked in Avatar! Here’s the synopsis from the Internet Movie Database: Three Southern women – two sisters and one African American slave – left without men in the…


BOOK REVIEW: Faces of the Civil War: An Album of Union Soldiers and Their Stories

Written on:November 9, 2013

Faces of the Civil War: An Album of Union Soldiers and Their Stories BY: Ronald S. Coddington Hardcover: 280 pages, 77 halftones Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press (August 3, 2004) ISBN-10: 0801878764 ISBN-13: 978-0801878763 This book has obviously been out for a while now and how I came to possess it had nothing to do with the book other than it had a snippet on a soldier in the…


Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office

Written on:October 12, 2013

“What she did in nursing is incredibly important and we don’t want to diminish that at all. But to say that Clara Barton is a nurse is a gross understatement of her importance. The fact is that she was a relief organizer at a time when women didn’t do that. At a time when women found that they had to get men involved in order to be taken seriously, Clara…


Civil War Soldiers or Hipsters?

Written on:October 12, 2013

Recently stumbled upon this, very funny!


This is a Joke Right?

Written on:October 10, 2013

Nope! But our Government and leaders are! If you can make it out, it reads; “Because of the federal government shutdown, all national parks are closed and National Park Service webpages are not operating. For more information, go to”


Civil War in COLOR

Written on:October 7, 2013

This is pretty cool. Two professional colorists have combined their skills with photographs and fascination with the American Civil War to create a remarkable series of color photographs from the era. Read more:


Smithsonian Civil War Studies

Written on:September 14, 2013
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Been out of the loop for a month now with my teaching and coaching duties. My HS Football team in the last 3 weeks alone has traveled over 1600 miles to play teams around the state of Colorado. Anyway, I had an article, “Robbed of Glory, the Aftermath of Gettysburg and its impact on Soldiers and Civilians,” published via the Smithsonian last month. Thanks to the Smithsonian it was an…


A Mother’s Sympathy: Letter of Condolence

Written on:July 28, 2013

In August of 1862 Private Jonas Fuller of Bradford County enlisted  in Company A of the 141st Pennsylvania Infantry. His regiment spent time at Camp Prescott Smith in Arlington, VA., and on the march protecting Washington, D.C. The regiment was organized in August, 1862 and did not see significant action until December, 1862, at the Battle of Fredericksburg, after Jonas had passed away. Jonas wrote several letters home that have…