In a previous post I wrote about the new project I instituted in my United States History classes which deals with the Confederate Battle Flag. In short, the goal of the activity is to have students reflect on how they view the flag and to evaluate that view as the school year progresses. You can read more about that here. I began the year long project by having students write down on index cards, in three words or less, what they thought when they saw a Confederate Flag. I clarified to students that I did not mean the Confederate Flag in a classroom or in a museum where there is context, but what they thought when the saw the flag in public, on an automobile, on a state house, or on the side of the highway. I also asked students to write down a couple of descriptive words to clarify what they thought. Student responses were then copied onto a spreadsheet so that I could compile data on how students viewed the CBF at the beginning of the school year. One hundred and fourteen students responded, and here are the results. Continue reading “Displaying and Teaching the Confederate Flag in the Classroom (Part 2)”
Update: Due to the agitating nature of some comments, further comments that are off topic or argumentative for the sake of arguing will not be approved. As always, if you have an argument to present and evidence to back it up, please post. I am looking for good resources to use in the classroom. Thanks
Today in class my students and I discussed the violent, and often genocidal, conflict between the Puritan settlers in New England and Native Americans. After a brief discussion and a short video on the Pequot War and King Philip’s War, I assigned a short essay. I asked students to analyze “Why do [they] believe [Americans] are so quick to forget this important part of the history of Puritan settlers and embrace the mythology that we learned in grade school of the peaceful and freedom seeking Pilgrims?” The answers I got were great, but one stuck out. To paraphrase, one of my students suggested that people prefer to concentrate on the positives of the past. Another student noted that not many people would not want to acknowledge that their grandfather carried the head of Chief Metacom to Plymouth. Collectively, the class seemed to agree that people gloss over the past in praise. I asked if they had any other examples of this “whitewashing” taking place. One student said, “The flag.” I asked, “which flag?” The student responded, “The Confederate Flag. People want to say it represents history or heritage…but not racism.” Continue reading “Displaying and Teaching the Confederate Flag in the Classroom (Part 1)”
Just a few things I’ve come across that I never got around to writing a full post about. Continue reading “From the Holler!”
“that when I shall have made up my mind to go to Hell, I will cut my throat and go direct, and not travel by way of the Southern Confederacy.” ~ Parson Brownlow, Knoxville Whig
I am reading my way through the late Durwood Dunn’s final book, The Civil War in Southern Appalachian Methodism. It took me one sitting to read through half of the book and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Dunn did an incredible job running down obscure sources in order to recreate the environment of the Holston Conference during the Civil War. He set forth a simple argument, that the Civil War unveiled an internal civil war within the conference that had been waged for five decades prior to the war (p. xi). In addition to this, Dunn made it obvious through primary source documentation that the central issue that tore the country (and denomination) apart prior to the war, also played a part in tearing the conference apart. Continue reading “Durwood Dunn’s “The Civil War in Southern Appalachian Methodism””
I came across this interesting article while looking into the history of slavery in Catoosa County. The passage, printed by the “Rome Weekly Courier” on December 21, 1860, lists the resolutions adopted by the county in response to the Georgia Secession Convention. I find it interesting that this small Appalachian county recognized the key issue that tore the country apart in 1860. In fact, slavery is the only issue listed by name; not taxes, not states’ rights, and not tyranny. I retyped the article below. Continue reading “Catoosa County Residents Meet About Secession”
The Confederate Battle Flag was lowered today at the South Carolina State House. The flag has been the center of much controversy for some time. South Carolina, in the wake of tragedy, is attempting to move forward toward an era of healing, where actions speak louder than the “Heritage not Hate” mantra. It is unfortunate that this era had to come in the wake of tragedy, but it did happen. Dylann Roof’s attempt at starting a race war failed, but it served to open the eyes of many Americans. In the video below, witness a multi-racial and bi-partisan crowd lowering the flag and ushering in a new era.
On July 4, 1863, John C. Pemberton formally surrendered his Confederate forces to General Ulysses S. Grant. Unlike his unconditional surrender policy at Fort Donelson, Grant offered parole to Confederate POWs. Grant made the decision not to attempt to feed or transport thirty thousand Confederate soldiers. Among those taken prisoner that day was one of my Confederate ancestors, Westley Avans. On July 9, Westley Avans of the 43rd Tennessee Infantry was formally paroled.
As mentioned before, I am undertaking a new project that involves the study of slavery in Catoosa County. In order to do so, I am building a sturdy base by examining historiography related to slavery in the ‘Deep South’ in comparison to slavery in Appalachia. Today I came across Wilma A. Dunaway’s Women, Work, and Family in the Antebellum Mountain South. Although slavery is not the main focus of the book, Dunaway does provide some keen insight into slavery in Appalachia as she explains its effect on women and the family. Take for example this passage: Continue reading “Slavery and Interstate Commerce in Appalachia”