The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Saturday, December 20, 2014


150 years after the last fusillade, scholars look at Civil War anew during anniversary
Grave stones for soldiers killed in action or after the Civil War are seen at Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, N.Y. Nearly 150 years after the last fusillade of the Civil War, historians, authors and museum curators are still finding new topics to explore as the nation commemorates the sesquicentennial of America’s bloodiest conflict. Even the long-accepted death toll of 620,000, cited by historians since 1900, is being reconsidered. In a study published late last year in Civil War History, Binghamton University history demographics professor J. David Hacker said the toll is actually closer to 750,000. AP Photo/Mike Groll.

By: Chris Carola, Associated Press

ALBANY (AP).- Nearly 150 years after the last fusillade of the Civil War, historians, authors and museum curators are still finding new topics to explore as the nation commemorates the sesquicentennial of America's bloodiest conflict.

Even the long-accepted death toll of 620,000, cited by historians since 1900, is being reconsidered. In a study published late last year in Civil War History, Binghamton University history demographics professor J. David Hacker said the toll is actually closer to 750,000.

"That number just sat there — 620,000 — for a century," said Lesley Gordon, a professor at the University of Akron and editor of the journal, a 57-year-old publication considered the pre-eminent publication in its field.

Now, that figure "doesn't feel right anymore," said Gordon.

The buzz Hacker's new estimate has created among academic circles comes in the second year of the nation's Civil War sesquicentennial, a five-year period during which new ways to educate and inform America about its most devastating war are being presented in various forms, including fresh exhibits and living history events that highlight the role Hispanics, blacks and American Indians played in the war.

Among the published material are articles and books that look at guerrilla warfare in the border states, an overlooked battleground where civilian populations often fell victim to the fighting. Such work represents "the new direction" some are taking in an effort to offer fresh Civil War topics for Americans to examine, Gordon said.

"They think about Lincoln, they think about Gettysburg, they think about Robert E. Lee," Gordon said. "They don't think about this often brutal warfare going on in peoples' backyards."

The National Parks Service is featuring some of the lesser-known stories of the Civil War in its commemoration plans. The parks agency has published a 41-page booklet on the role of the nation's Latino communities in the war, with another planned from the Native American perspective.

These stories, and those of escaped slaves and free-born blacks who fought for the Union, are an important part of the nation's history, according to Bob Sutton, chief historian for the National Parks Service.

He pointed to the recent 150th commemoration of the heroics of Robert Smalls, who commandeered a Confederate ammunition steamboat along with several other fellow slaves, picked up their families, sailed out of Charleston's harbor and surrendered the ship to the Union fleet blockading the South Carolina coast.

"The impact of this one incident went well beyond the incident itself," said Sutton. "It was a major catalyst for the Union to recognize the value to starting to raise black troops. Even that story was downplayed until relatively recently. The impact of 200,000 black soldiers and sailors in the Union war effort was a critical boost."

As for the death toll, many historians have fully embraced Hacker's higher number, among them James McPherson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Battle Cry of Freedom."

"It drives home even more forcefully the human cost of the Civil War, which was enormous," said McPherson, professor emeritus in Princeton University's history department. "And it makes it more understandable why it took the South so long to recover."

Hacker, an expert in 19th-century demographics, said he was studying the steady decline in United States birthrates when he kept bumping into the Civil War and its impact on the nation's population growth in the 1800s. He decided to recalculate the war's mortality rate for males, using recently digitized Census results from the two national population counts before the war and the two after.

"If there's one figure you could use to measure the war's cost, this is the one statistic," said Hacker, an associate professor in the university's history department. "It's the death toll. Hey, let's get that one right."

Hacker didn't try to differentiate each side's total deaths, and he doesn't know how many of the additional 130,000 fatalities were Union and how many were Confederate. His new estimate includes men who died of disease in the years immediately after the war, and men who died of war wounds before the 1870 census. It also includes thousands of civilian men and irregulars who were casualties of widespread guerrilla warfare in Missouri, Kansas and other border states.

Hacker's work, unlike some other Civil War topics, is being hailed both in the North and in the South.

"It finally gives substance, with some really fine research, to what some people have been saying for years, that (620,000) was an undercount," John Coski, historian at The Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va.

Hacker's new estimate has its share of critics who question some of his methodology, but there's been no groundswell of opposition from fellow historians, Gordon said.

"I haven't heard anybody say we want that (620,000) number back," she said.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.





Today's News

May 29, 2012

Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova's "Still Life (Bluebells)" sells for $4,637,488 at Sotheby's

The Royal Academy celebrates the Queen's Diamond Jubilee with several displays

Christie's to present a selection of important works by two of the greatest British painters

Art historian cleans Mona Lisa: Interactive iBook uncovers art's dirtiest secret

Christie's announces an exhibition from the Collection of Sir Timothy Rice to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee

Jan David Winitz talks about the Art of Collecting Antique Oriental Carpets

Centuries after it disappeared from the Middle East, attempts to revive language spoken in Jesus' time

150 years after the last fusillade, scholars look at Civil War anew during anniversary

Christie's London Sale of Important Jewels comprises 368 lots, including royal and aristocratic jewels

Bonhams Hong Kong celebrates its 5th anniversary with quarter-billion Hong Kong dollar auction

First solo exhibition in Germany by the British artist Haroon Mirza opens at Schering Stiftung

Anticipation building for RM Auction's Dingman Collection 2012 Sale to be held in New Hampshire

From Morocco to Indonesia: Beirut Art Fair to showcase more than 40 international galleries

First retrospective in a German museum of photographer Lewis Baltz on view at Kunstmuseum Bonn

Marjorie Schiele Prize Award winner announced

Crowds gather for Golden Gate Bridge celebration

Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia showcases artist Kevin COle

Elvis Presley crypt up for auction this month

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt

2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner

3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction

4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million

5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson

6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery

7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum

8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation

9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard

10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site