Wallace A. Hettle
Originally published 05/06/2013
1864 portrait of Stonewall Jackson by D.W. King.Dear Stonewall,I still think of you fondly sometimes. I cared enough about you to spend eight years of my life researching and writing about you and your friends. In my opinion, I wrote a pretty good book: Inventing Stonewall Jackson: A Civil War Hero in History and Memory. I examined the assumptions that shaped your historical image, and the ways that image morphed into popular cultural in the twentieth century. In this way, I raised some questions about you, and forced me to think hard about how biography works as a genre, often coming perilously close to historical fiction.
Originally published 07/05/2011
Next week will mark the 150th anniversary of First Bull Run, the initial major battle of the Civil War. The combat that day remains memorable for several reasons, including the importance of the telegraph and the use of trains to transport troops. Few images in Civil War history are more compelling and tragic than the panic of green Union soldiers running away from the field.
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