The Journal of the Civil War Era

The Journal of the Civil War Era publishes the most creative new work on the many issues raised by the sectional crisis, war, Reconstruction, and memory of the country’s signal conflict, while bringing fresh understanding to the struggles that defined the period, and by extension, the course of American history in the nineteenth century.

Articles from March

Books Received
Army, Thomas F., Jr. Engineering Victory: How Technology Won the Civil War. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016. Barr, Gene. A Civil War Captain and His Lady: Love, Courtship, and Combat from Fort Donelson through the Vicksburg Campaign....
Editor's Note
One hundred and fifty years since Reconstruction, we believe now is a propitious time to take stock of the scholarly literature and public memory that shape our collective understanding of that crucial era. Almost thirty years after the publication...
Reconstructing Memory: The Attempt to Designate Beaufort, South Carolina, the National Park Service's First Reconstruction Unit
A phone call in 2000 from Bruce Babbitt, then secretary of the interior, to Eric Foner, the nation's foremost scholar of Reconstruction, planted the seed for a National Park Service (NPS) site in Beaufort, South Carolina, to preserve and interpret...
Reconstruction in Public History and Memory Sesquicentennial
The public memory of Reconstruction has long been a complex and fraught subject in the United States. But where do we stand now, and what will Reconstruction's sesquicentennial entail? What issues confront scholars, civil rights advocates, public history...
Teaching Race and Reconstruction
W. E. B. Du Bois concludes his 1935 tome Black Reconstruction in America by describing the tragic end of this period as a "crash of hell" falling on African Americans in a "whirlwind" of postemancipation violence. He then depicts this whirlwind as...
The Future of Reconstruction Studies
Historians of Reconstruction are currently at a crossroads. Reconstruction remains one of the most controversial--and least understood--aspects of American history, and that controversy began in the era of the Civil War itself. The genealogy of historiographic...
The Future of Reconstruction Studies Reconstruction in the West
It is time to reconstruct our thinking about Reconstruction. Specifically, we need to reconceive the middle of the nineteenth century as a time when the United States was fundamentally changed by two events, the Civil War and our expansion to the Pacific...
The Unfinished Task of Grounding Reconstruction's Promise
Reconstruction's promise certainly exceeded its accomplishments. Yet so long as Reconstruction survived, so did the possibility of change.... Its legacy deserves to survive as an inspiration to those Americans, black and white alike, who insist that...
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