"New" Civil War blogs and what they mean

The pros get going

This is big news ... from January. Have been so wrapped up in my own affairs I failed to notice a group Civil War blog written by Mark Grimsley, Steven E. Woodworth, and Brooks Simpson.

With this particular roster of Civil War writers, "Civil Warriors" has the potential to become the diary of new thinking in Civil War history. Brooks Simpson, in fact, had been instrumental in recruiting Grimsley and Woodworth to write "new thinking" Civil War books for series he's edited since the late 1990s.

If the potential is great, there are some risks here. All three men are professors and may fall into shop talk occasionally. There's going to be collegial reticence displayed towards the work of hacks. Additionally, being authors, their interesting and valuable "lessons learned in publishing" posts may crowd out their more important historiographic insights - insights that will help get us off the Centennial carousel.

I have mentioned before that there are large, positive changes in Civil War history. This new blog is at the center of those changes. Expect much. Comment much.

As to the future of ACW publishing, takes us with you, gentlemen. Or rather "get us out of this hellhole."

The trainees are on their heels

It looks like a class of Massachusetts College students have put a group ACW blog together - not just for course credit, I assume. Head blogger Andy Etman seems to have a raft of contributors but wants more:

"Strike The Tent..." is soliciting historians and/or college professors to give their honest opinion about this blog. I am also looking for contributors to add stories, writings, opinions, and discussion to the blog. If you are interested. please email me at fifthnycav@yahoo.com.

Careful, my friends: focus. Free advice for what it's worth: (1) Any old piece of ACW info is not interesting (2) We have a nonfiction system in stasis and crisis at the same time - lots to think about and write about (3) As students, ask yourselves, "Is ACW history more or less defective than other fields of history taught at my college?"

Have you noticed?

American Civil War overwhelmingly dominates the blogroll under "Wars and Warriors" at HNN's Cliopatria. And this is a good group of bloggers on or off the roll, a good cohort.

What can it mean, just that we are more vocal? More concerned about the quality of reading? Can it be that the Civil War is more "with us" in daily life than other military history?