Sunday, June 30, 2013

Historical Truth 101

A couple of years ago, my publisher asked me to become a board member for Historical Truth 101. It is a society organized to collect, edit, publish, and distribute non-renewable historical resources. Basically, they collect many first hand accounts from war veterans their stories to preserve them for the future. Yet the society goes deeper than that as you can tell by their name.
The reason I joined is because I have certain goals as a Civil War historian to erase many falsehoods being taught incorrectly today about that war. Not just the causes of the war, but also many myths are repeated as facts today about incidents in the war itself.
I’ll give you a minor example. Colonel Opdycke at the Battle of Franklin stood behind his men with his pistol drawn. He held the revolver by the barrel and anytime one of his men became scared and broke for the rear, he would strike the man on the head. This resulted in the handles being broken and destroyed. It was a noble and brave thing as he could have been killed so close to the action, yet years after the war he seemed to forget that he’d written this in his official report. He began to write about how his had broken his pistol over the heads of Confederate soldiers instead. In an attempt to paint himself a bigger hero, he distorted the truth. Today, there is a famous author who painted a picture of Colonel Opdycke attacking Confederate soldiers and this myth is believed by many historians.
That is one reason I accepted a position as a board member of Historical Truth 101. The site contains many interesting articles about different parts of history and from time to time you will come across some of mine. There is a free membership and you will receive a newsletter monthly via email. In the future I’m planning to correct a few myths of the war and have them posted on the website. Below is a link to the site and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in history.