I’ve been interested in the Civil War for much of my life. I grew up in
Chattanooga, Tennessee, and names like Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, and Orchard Knob represent familiar landmarks of my youth.
After receiving an engineering degree from the University of Tennessee, I became an electrical engineer and manager for high-tech companies such as IBM and EDS. I went on to graduate from Denver Seminary, and now am the pastor of Covenant Community Church in Harrisburg, PA.
I started this blog to express what I believe is a unique perspective on the Civil War.
It’s unique, first of all, simply because it’s mine. So I’ll be talking about my personal reaction to various events and people that marked that era.
But I also think my perspective is unique because of my background. This blog is Civil War BSC: Perspectives of a Black, Southern, Christian. That background gives me a perspective that is, to say the least, underrepresented in the Civil War community.
Having grown up in Tennessee in the 1950s contributes to that perspective. One of my vivid childhood memories is of peeking through the window of our car as my mom quickly drove us past a group of men being harangued as they stood around a fire dressed in white bedsheets and pointy hoods. The first non-segregated school I ever attended was the University of Tennessee. So my outlook has definitely been shaped in significant part by my personal experience with the legacy of the war in the South.
I also look at the Civil War from the standpoint of a committed Christian. I struggle to understand how the South, which considered itself the part of the nation that was most Christian in outlook, could seek to perpetuate a system of human bondage that, to my mind, was violently at odds with everything Jesus stands for.
My interest in the Civil War is not so much in the details of battles and campaigns, as in people and how they thought. When I do consider battles, it will most likely be from the standpoint of the individuals who led or fought in them. Actually, as I continue to dig into the history of the Civil War era, I’ll write about whatever catches my attention.
I’ve written a number of online articles on Civil War themes. Here are a few:
What Confederates Said Caused the Civil War Today there are endless arguments about what brought on the Civil War. Was it states rights? Slavery? Tariffs? Here’s how the Confederates themselves answered that question.
Robert Smalls: A Civil War Hero’s Fight for Racial Equality Robert Smalls became a hero by capturing a Confederate ship and sailing 16 slaves to freedom. After the war, he had to deal with even more dangerous enemies as a 5-term South Carolina Congressman.
1863 Confederate Civil War Newspaper Prediction: The US In 1963 The Richmond Dispatch assured readers that European nations would step in on the side of the South to prevent a reunited U. S. from becoming the greatest power in the world.
How African Americans Lost Their Gettysburg Address Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia kidnapped black Pennsylvanians and shipped them south into slavery.
General George G. Meade: Hero Of Gettysburg or Goat? Did Meade miss a golden opportunity to end the Civil War two years early by not cutting off Lee’s retreat at Gettysburg?
Samuel Upham: The Counterfeiter Who Helped Win The Civil War Upham built a very profitable, and completely legal business counterfeiting Confederate notes.
You’ll find a more complete list on the Publications page of this blog.