Blogging The Civil War

Over the next five years, America will be marking in different ways the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War and, in honor of that, The American Interest has created The Long Recall.

Which they describe as follows:

At The American Interest, we have decided to use the opportunity of the Civil War Sesquicentennial to reflect on the war and its consequences. Over the next few years both our online and print editions will feature articles about this defining conflict. To kick off this venture we are publishing The Long Recall: An Aggregator of the Civil War. We are not sure yet how our commemoration will evolve; for now we will present a daily digest of the news and commentary that an intelligent American might have had accessible 150 years ago.

We will use a modern form to present the daily news: our Civil War aggregator that combines a short daily summary of the news along with links to articles that a well-informed Civil War-era reader would have wanted to read. Our goal is to allow readers today to get a feel for what it was like to experience the conflict in real time, to hear the many voices trying to make sense of the conflict, and to sift through sometimes confused and misleading news accounts to try to discern what was actually taking place.

Yesterday’s entry, for example, deals with the South Carolina Secession Convention which was going on during this week in 1860, and which would lead on December 20th, with the secession of South Carolina from the Union.

This should be a very interesting project to follow.

H/T: Andrew Sullivan

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. sam says:

    Let me take this opportunity to once again recommend to all Prof. David Blight’s Yale course,
    The Civil War and Reconstruction, one of the Open Yale series. Absolutely first rate…and free. Worth your time to learn about or refresh your memory of the most devastating and creative event in our history.

  2. sam says:

    And let me also recommend James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom, the best one-volume history of the Civil War and the social and political background of the war.

  3. tom p says:

    and let me recommend the “Disunion ” series at the NYT.

    It is actually very good.

  4. John Burgess says:

    Also from the NY Times, it’s original reporting of Civil War events, starting with Lincoln’s election in Nov. 1860. There’re a few contemporaneous illustrations included.