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  • Editor’s Note
  • William Blair

This issue introduces a new annual feature—publication of the Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture. Begun in 1962, the lecture series, run by the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College and conducted on the anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, has featured a veritable “Who’s Who” of the historical profession. Bruce Catton launched the event, followed by a parade of luminaries including David Herbert Donald, John Hope Franklin, Willie Lee Rose, C. Vann Woodward, Drew Gilpin Faust, Eugene Genovese, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, James M. McPherson, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Michael Holt, Gary W. Gallagher, Catherine Clinton, Edward Ayers, and many others. Although the lectures had been distributed in pamphlet form since 1982, this new arrangement will allow for easier access for the historical community, not only in printed form but also electronically through the journal’s presence on Project MUSE. The honor of delivering the fiftieth anniversary lecture, on November 19, 2011, fell to Joan Waugh of UCLA. We are privileged to run her insights about Ulysses S. Grant’s construction of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox. She argues that the supposed simplicity of his explanation for a lenient approach masks lessons learned in other surrenders throughout the conflict and in consultation with political authorities. We look forward to publishing the thoughts of future distinguished scholars.

The lecture assumes the space for the regular feature “Notes on the Profession,” which resumes in December; however, we still present the usual lineup of three strong research articles, a review essay, and book reviews. Each of the articles puts forth conceptual arguments that ask for a reconsideration of accepted wisdom. Patrick Kelly brings Mexico into the foreground of the Civil War, calling for a reorientation of the international dimension of the struggle from the usual east-west axis to a more hemispheric perspective. Next, Carole Emberton revisits the observation of W. E. B. Du Bois in Black Reconstruction in America that “only murder makes men,” as she explores how the capacity to kill an enemy supported black soldiers in their quest for citizenship as well as complicated white understanding of African American capacity for freedom. Rounding out the articles, Caroline E. Janney uses the dedication of the Chickamauga Battlefield Park in 1895 to challenge the dominant impression that these events contained only reconciliationist sentiments. Hard feelings remained on both sides. Finally, David Reynolds takes on a review of a handful of books—academic, nonacademic, and a primary source reader—issued as [End Page 305] part of the first year of the sesquicentennial. He makes interesting observations about the value of nonorganized history that allows for a “chaotic immediacy” and advocates the need to continue to feature the outliers of Civil War-era history. [End Page 306]

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Additional Information

ISSN
2159-9807
Print ISSN
2154-4727
Pages
pp. 305-306
Launched on MUSE
2012-08-29
Open Access
No
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