Civil War Era Studies
Why trust a bunch of dead guys? I know it sounds trite, but it's very important when we begin approaching how we talk about Civil War sites (or any historic site). Oftentimes, the folks who voted the site into existence and decided its primary reason for being are dead and gone. The world has changed radically since they were here. The pieces of legislation they created (at the federal level they're typically called "enabling legislation," at lower levels they have varied other names) were distinct products of their times. The themes and significances they outline are likewise products of their times. [excerpt]
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Rudy, John M., "Holy Writ: Thinking Beyond Enabling Legislation to Modern Relevance" (2011). Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public. 180.