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The Civil War… August 31, 1861…

Beginning this week we begin a new format for our reflection 150 years ago on events of the Civil War through the eyes of the original readers of the Harper’s Weekly issue printed for August 31, 1861 [1]. Dr. James Robertson did a weekly review for the reprint edition of the “Harper’s Weekly [2]” which provides much insight into the events of the day and scholarly commentary on both the illustrations and reporting in the newspaper.

The Virginia Tech website provides the credentials of Dr. James Roberson:

“One of the most distinguished names in Civil War history, Dr. Robertson was Executive Director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission and worked with Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson in marking the war’s 100th anniversary.  Today his Civil War Era course at Virginia Tech, which attracts 300 students per semester, is the largest of its kind in the nation.
The Danville, Va., native is the author or editor of more than 20 books that include such award-winning studies as “Civil War! America Becomes One Nation”, “General A.P. Hill”, and “Soldiers Blue and Gray”. His massive biography of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson won eight national awards and was used as the base for the Ted Turner/Warner Bros. mega-movie, “Gods and Generals”. Robertson was chief historical consultant for the film.”

Dr. James Roberson’s commentary: [3]