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Civil War History: Archive

December 2023, Volume 69, No. 4

Oct 9th, 2023

Civil War History Vol. 69, No. 1


The “First” Emancipation Proclamation: Black Rebellion, Removal, and Freedom during the Seminole Wars
By Kristen T. Oertel

“Portraits Torn to Shreds”: Iconoclasm and the Destruction of Confederate Memory
By Matthew Fox-Amato

Novels as Archive: A Roundtable on Frances E. W. Harper’s 1892 Novel, Iola Leroy, about the Civil War and Reconstruction
Editor and Moderator: Jim Downs; Participants: Rhae Lynn Barnes, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Rashauna Johnson, and John Stauffer, with Faith Smith and Nii Ayikwei Parkes


MARLA ANZALONE is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at Duquesne University. Her dissertation examines how nurse, surgeon, and soldier writings shape the collective imagined experience of the Civil War, the wounded soldier, and the hospital space. She received the 2018–19 Duquesne University McAnulty College of Liberal Arts Dissertation Fellowship.

RHAE LYNN BARNES is assistant professor at Princeton University and Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University (2022–23). She is coeditor of After Life: A Collective History of Loss and Redemption in Pandemic America (2022) and author of the forthcoming Darkology: When the American Dream Wore Blackface (2024). She served as Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s executive advisor for the award-winning documentary series Reconstruction: America after the Civil War. Her research centers on the relationships among state power, popular culture, material culture, and the construction of public discourses about race, gender, and sexuality.

JIM DOWNS is the Gilder Lehrman-National Endowment for the Humanities Professor of Civil War Era Studies and History at Gettysburg College. He is the author of Maladies of Empire: How Colonialism, Slavery, and War Transformed Medicine (2021). His other books include Sick from Freedom: African American Sickness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction (2012) and Stand by Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation (2016).

MATTHEW FOX-AMATO is associate professor of history at the University of Idaho. He is the author of Exposing Slavery: Photography, Human Bondage, and the Birth of Modern Visual Politics in America (2019), runner-up for the Huntington Library’s 2021 Shapiro Book Prize and finalist for the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize and the Association of American Publishers PROSE Award. Fox-Amato is currently researching the memory of American slavery in visual culture as well as the history of presidential photography.

BARBARA A. GANNON is associate professor of history, University of Central Florida (UCF). She is the author of The Won Cause: Black and White Comradeship in the Grand Army of the Republic.

HENRY LOUIS GATES JR. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University. Emmy- and Peabody Award–winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder, Gates has published numerous books and produced and hosted an array of documentary films. The Black Church (PBS) and Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches (HBO), which he executive produced, have each received Emmy nominations. His latest history series for PBS is Making Black America: Through the Grapevine. Finding Your Roots, Gates’s groundbreaking genealogy and genetics series, is now in its ninth season on PBS.

RASHAUNA JOHNSON teaches history at the University of Chicago. Johnson is the author of Slavery’s Metropolis: Unfree Labor in New Orleans during the Age of Revolutions (2016), awarded the 2016 Williams Prize for the best book in Louisiana history and the 2018 H. L. Mitchell Award by the Southern Historical Association for the best book on the Southern working class. It was also named a finalist for the 2016 Berkshire Conference of Women’s Historians Book Prize and for the 2017 Frederick Douglass Book Prize and received honorable mention for the Urban History Association’s Kenneth Jackson Award. She is currently at work on her second book project, a history of family and region, slavery, and emancipation in rural Louisiana.

KRISTEN T. OERTEL is the Mary F. Barnard Professor of nineteenth-century American history at the University of Tulsa. She is the author of three books, Bleeding Borders: Race, Gender, and Violence in Pre–Civil War Kansas (2009), Frontier Feminist: Clarina Howard Nichols and the Politics of Motherhood (2010), and Harriet Tubman: Slavery, the Civil War, and Civil Rights in the Nineteenth Century (2016). Oertel is currently working on a monograph, “Seeking Freedom in Indian Country,” which explores slavery and Black resistance in Indian Territory from 1830 to 1861.

NII AYIKWEI PARKES is a Ghanaian writer, editor, and publisher, primarily known for the acclaimed hybrid novel Tail of the Blue Bird, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize, winner of France’s Prix Baudelaire, Prix Laure Bataillon, and named Lire magazine’s Best First Foreign Book of the Year. His work explores the settler colonialism survivals of African philosophy, skills, and ways of being in Africa and the African Diaspora. Nii Ayikwei’s works include The Makings of You (poetry), The Geez (poetry), and the recent Azúcar (novel). He is a nonresident fellow of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University.

ANGELA M. RIOTTO is assistant professor of military history at the US Army Command and General Staff College who specializes in the American Civil War era, prisoners of war, memory studies, and gender studies.

FAITH SMITH teaches in the English department at Brandeis University and chairs the Department of African and African American Studies. Her book Strolling in the Ruins: The Caribbean’s Non-Sovereign Modern in the Early Twentieth Century (2023) considers the fortunes of two British territories, Jamaica and Trinidad, in a period claimed for the Boer, Cuban Independence and Spanish-American wars; US imperialism and internal colonialism; and modernism. She is working on a project about new engagements with enslavement and indentureship in twenty-first-century Caribbean literary and visual culture.

JOHN STAUFFER is the Kates Professor of English and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. He is the author or editor of twenty books and more than a hundred articles, including The Black Hearts of Men: Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race (2001), cowinner of the Frederick Douglass Book Prize; Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln (2008); The Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Biography of the Song That Marches On (with Benjamin Soskis, 2013); and Picturing Frederick Douglass: An Illustrated Biography of the Nineteenth Century’s Most Photographed American (with Zoe Trodd and Celeste-Marie Bernier, 2018).

MICHAEL E. WOODS is associate professor of history and director of the Papers of Andrew Jackson project at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is the author of three books on the Civil War era, including, most recently, Arguing until Doomsday: Stephen Douglas, Jefferson Davis, and the Struggle for American Democracy (2020).


Book Reviews

Bloody Flag of Anarchy: Unionism in South Carolina during the Nullification Crisis, by Brian C. Neumann
Reviewed by Michael E. Woods

The Families’ Civil War: Black Soldiers and the Fight for Racial Justice, by Holly A. Pinheiro Jr.
Reviewed by Angela M. Riotto

Lost Causes: Confederate Demobilization and the Making of Veteran Identity, by Bradley R Clampitt
Reviewed by Barbara A. Gannon

The Left-Armed Corps: Writings by Amputee Civil War Veterans, by Allison M. Johnson
Reviewed by Marla Anzalone