Archive for the ‘CWMemory 2011’ Category

Week 13 Resource

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

I actually found this video on one of the blogs I looked at (Civil Warriors).  It is a clip from the Daily Show about the 150th. The guest addresses how the South tries to avoid or deny that slavery was the reason for the war.  It’s pretty hysterical.

Week 12 Resource

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

For this week I’m including two sources.  The first is the Virginia website listing of scheduled reenactments in Virginia. I love how it comes up as “Virginia Battle Reenactments- Virginia is for lovers.”

The next source is a documentary short about civil war reenacting. I think it’s quite awful, but apparently it’s “award-winning.”

Week 11 Resource

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

This article discusses Ken Burn’s The Civil War, which will be reissued next month for the 150th anniversary of the war.  The special anniversary edition will include interviews and never before seen footage.  The article itself reveals some interesting things about the filming process and why Burn’s decided to shoot this series.

Band of Angels

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Raoul Walsh’s 1957 drama “Band of Angels” revolves around the stories of three characters as they deal with the issues that arise with the outbreak of the Civil War.  At the funeral of her father, Amantha Starr, played by Yvonne De Carlo, discovers that her mother had been one of her father’s former slaves.  Slave traders take her into custody and auction her off in New Orleans.  The confident and wealthy Hamish Bond (Clark Gable) arrives at the auction and buys Amantha for 5000 dollars.  Amantha, used to a luxurious and privileged life, mistrusts the intentions of Hamish, and awaits for him to treat her as an average slave.  She quickly realizes that Hamish’s slaves are not treated as average slaves.  Rau-Ru (Sidney Poitier), Hamish’s “claw,” is an educated, refined slave, who initially attempts to keep Amantha in line.

Amantha makes several desperate attempts to escape her “horrid” enslavement, but soon begins to accept Hamish’s friendly gestures.  When Hamish finally offers her freedom, she turns it down, preferring to become his mistress on one of his many plantations.  While at the plantation, Rau-Ru’s attitude towards her alters, and he reveals his intense hatred for Hamish.  Rau-Ru goes on several tangents throughout the movie in which he insists that slavery is a despicable establishment, whether under a kind owner or a brutal one.  Rau-Ru reprimands Amantha for refusing to acknowledge her true identity and continuing to live a “white lie.”

As the war breaks out, the three main characters are torn apart when secret pasts and murderous passions emerge.  Rau-Ru kills a white man and has to flee to the North.  He joins the Union army and returns to New Orleans for the sole purpose of tracking down Hamish and killing him.  As Hamish and Amantha’s relationship heats up, he reveals to her his past as an illegal slave trader in Africa.  Amantha is unable to forgive Hamish for his dark past, and leaves him with documents that make her a freewoman.  She remains in New Orleans where she encounters several Union soldiers that attempt to take advantage of her and label her for her “drop of black.”  Hamish’s fate is the worst of all three.  By burning down his crops, Hamish defies the local Union laws and becomes a fugitive.  Before beginning his life on the run, he frees all his slaves in an attempt to make up for his mistakes of the past.

Amantha and Rau-Ru have a heated run-in in New Orleans in which Amantha finally admits her love of Hamish to Rau-Ru.  As Rau-Ru locates and corners Hamish, Hamish explains that he had rescued Rau-Ru from execution as an infant in an African village.  Rau-Ru is finally able to embrace his freedom by assisting Hamish in gaining his own freedom.  Amantha, now accepting of her identity, reunites with Hamish and the two flee the city.

The complexities of identity are portrayed well in this movie.  Amantha’s struggle illustrates the difficulty in identifying oneself as either black or white during the Civil War; especially with the issue of mixing.  However, the movie supports a more “white” choice for her, even after acknowledging her background.  It is also interesting to see characters who initially trumpeted their abolitionist views end up behaving hypocritically and those that had been supporters of slavery amend their ways.  This movie clearly wants to demonstrate the complexities of ideologies and their implementation during this chaotic time in history.

week 9 resource

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

This website provides a collection of documents relating to Andersonville and the Wirz trial.  My paper is on Andersonville, so this site is quite useful.

week 8 resource

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

I actually found several interesting sites and articles I wanted to share (all having to do with the confederate flag).

This first link is to an article about Kid Rock, who is set to receive an award from the NAACP.  However, the organization is now objecting to his frequent use of the battle flag at concerts.  In the article, he claims that for him personally, the flag is a symbol of southern rock music and “just looks cool.”

This next site is the official site of the Anti-Defamation League and is a database of what they consider to be “extremist symbols, logos, and tattoos.”  The link is to their listing of the confederate flag and their evaluation of its meaning.

This last link is to the resolution passed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans against the use of the Confederate flag by hate groups.

new movie about lincoln assassination

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Week 7 resource

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

This website is connected with the University of Illinois and provides a well-organized and useful collection of primary sources on Abraham Lincoln.  It also lists other databases to assist in obtaining Lincoln primary material.

Week 6 post

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

This University of St. Thomas website has a useful bibliography on archibishop John Ireland.  It discusses his small part in the Civil War, and more importantly his involvement with the republican party.

week 5 resource

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

In McPherson’s article, he discussed the Children of the Confederacy. I had never heard of this organization and sure enough, it’s still kicking. Here’s the link showing the newest president of the group:

note: check out the picture of the 56th annual general convention at the bottom of the page.