Commentary

Echoes From the Past

A recent history column briefly described An Inch of Snow (1964), an out-of-print novel depicting a state legislative race in North Carolina.  It was more than entertainment depicting small-town North Carolina life. The novel’s fictitious speeches by Democratic and Republican candidates reflect the actual economic concerns of North Carolinians in the 1960s.  The arguments offered are often repeated nowadays in print and on air and behind debate podiums and at dinner tables across the state.

Entry

Kilpatrick, Hugh Judson (1836-1881)

Hugh Judson Kilpatrick was a Union cavalry general and the first regular Union officer injured in the Civil War. He was a headstrong and reckless leader who sought fame and often exaggerated the results of battles. He earned the nickname “Kill-cavalry” for his reckless use of his men during battle. Kilpatrick became the head of General Sherman’s cavalry and participated in the Atlanta Campaign, the March to the Sea, and the Carolinas Campaign. After the war Kilpatrick served as the US Minister to Chile, and he died in Santiago in 1881.

Commentary

North Carolina Ratification Conventions: Five Quotes You Need To Know

Many North Carolinians expressed Antifederalist sympathies and were skeptical of giving the national government more authority, especially without a Bill of Rights added to the Constitution. There might be problems with the Articles of Confederation, sure, but did Americans, many Tar Heels questioned, need to hurriedly give the national government more power?

Entry

Bennett's Place, Confederate Surrender at

The surrender at Bennett’s Place was the conclusion to General William T. Sherman’s successful Carolinas Campaign. Sherman’s forces took control of Raleigh and Sherman met with Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston at a farm called Bennett’s Place just outside of Durham’s Station, North Carolina, to discuss the surrender of all the forces under Johnston’s command. The initial talks occurred on April 17 and 18, 1865 but Secretary of War Edwin Stanton rejected the agreement and attacked Sherman in the press. Sherman and Johnston met again on April 26, 1865 and agreed to a surrender that was acceptable to Sherman’s superiors.

Commentary

Guy Owen's Fiction Trancends Its Rural North Carolina Settings

North Carolina native Guy Owen uses his personal experiences growing up to shape his fictional works. Owen’s work is particularly regional, and in many ways local to North Carolina. But in his fiction, he transcends the rural North Carolina setting and addresses broader and more universal themes. 

Commentary

Antifederalists Would Be Proud of Rand Paul’s Filibuster

When U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., filibustered in March, the old-fashioned way, talking for approximately 13 hours and questioning whether the president had the constitutional authority to use unmanned drones to kill American noncombatants on U.S. soil, he unnerved many politicians and talking heads.

Entry

Johnston, Joseph Eggleston (1807-1891)

Joseph Eggleston Johnston was one of the highest ranking Confederate generals and a member of “Old Virginia.” Before the Civil War, Johnston had a distinguished military career and was the first West Point graduate to achieve the rank of general. During the Civil War, Johnston became a general in the Confederate Army, defended Richmond in the Peninsula Campaign, and opposed General Sherman in the Atlanta Campaign. He took command of the Confederate Army in North Carolina on February 25, 1865 to oppose General Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign and fought at the Battle of Bentonville. Johnston officially surrendered the Confederate Army at Bennett’s Place outside Durham’s Station, North Carolina on April 26, 1865.

Entry

Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg is a United States Army base located west of Fayetteville, North Carolina and is the one of the largest military bases in the world. Covering 251 square miles in four different counties, Fort Bragg is home to the U.S. Army’s Airborne Forces and Special Forces and also houses U.S. Army Forces Command and U.S. Army Reserve Command.

Entry

Alston, Willis (1769-1837)

Born in an area that many of North Carolina’s early republic and antebellum statesmen called home—Warren, Halifax, and Edgecombe counties—Willis Alston entered into the political arena with established familial and political connections. He served as a state legislator and senator, and as a U.S. Congressman for 21 years.  Although he was Nathaniel Macon’s nephew, Willis Alston disagreed with his influential uncle on various political issues during Thomas Jefferson’s administration (1801-1809)