So sad to hear off Dr. Steve Ash's passing. He was an invaluable mentor to me along the way while in grad school. He was one of the finest historians of Civil War Tennessee and just a wonderful all-around human being.
To do him justice, I'll post a link to each of his books. As you can see, he was a prolific scholar. But more than that, he was a really skilled writer. His prose was quite lyrical at times, even when discussing corn and hogs in 1850s Rutherford County.…
His thoughtful discussion of Union occupation of Confederate territory and the challenge of civilians and soldiers navigating uncertain zones of control.…
A four-way lens into American life in 1865, Ash's finest work, in my opinion.…
Much needed study of the 1866 racial massacre in Memphis. Ash once again portrayed four different worlds colliding in post-war Memphis - "Yankee", "Rebel", "Irish" and "Black" Memphis - exploding in murderous rampage in May 1866.…
The First South Carolina Infantry (USA), led by Thomas Wentworth Higginson, is the subject of Ash's "Firebrand of Liberty"…
A concise but ever-insightful synthesis (for Praeger) on the black Civil War experience.…
Most recently, his book on Civil War Richmond is a splendid and comprehensive study of the Confederacy's capital city.…
The common thread in all of his books is the tone of humanity and humility. Ash effortlessly weaves together multiple strands of Civil War-era society and reconstructs the worlds, hopes and fears of different peoples. He was so unpretentious as a writer and as a person.

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More from @AstorAaron

12 Oct
Well, a shoulder MRI is not exactly a pleasant experience. 25 minutes of loud pulsing like the keyboards in The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" (less melodic, though with random Kelly Clarkson playing through the earmuff), and you can't sit up inside the tube. Good times...
I'm not normally claustrophobic. But years of CBT training for anxiety disorders definitely came in handy.
It's for a rotator cuff tear, BTW. MRI to determine extent of tear before likely surgery. But really, the hardest part was how long it took. I thought it'd be over in about 10 or 12 minutes. But then we had to do 5 minutes extra at the end, so it was 25 minutes total.
Read 4 tweets
12 Oct
Summary thread of what I think about covid:
1) Zero covid ain't happening. It will be endemic.
2) Patterns of endemic SARS-CoV-2 infection and covid severity will depend on seasonality and population immunity.
3) Population immunity means vax and/or prior infection.
4) Mandated NPIs (masks/distancing) should be avoided except in absolute emergency situations (hospitals overwhelmed).
5) Boosters will be a fact of life for people aged 65+ (and possibly 50+); maybe semi-annual, maybe not. But age is still the biggest factor in covid outcomes.
6) Where I differ from US policy - Young people age 12-21 (especially male) should be given either a lower vax dose, single dose, or the dose spread out.
7) School kids 5-11 should not be mandated vax. But given lower dose level for under 12s, I will get for my kids.
Read 6 tweets
9 Oct
Neither the Giants nor Dodgers were in the original National League, founded 1876. Only two of those teams - Chicago White Stockings (later Cubs) & Boston Red Stockings (later Braves) still exist. The Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Athletics & STL Browns disbanded and reappeared. Image
The New York Giants began as the New York Gothams in 1883, changing their name to Giants in 1885. Image
The Dodgers began as the Brooklyn Atlantics in the American Association in 1883. Interestingly, the Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Alleghenies (later Pirates) and St. Louis Browns (now Cardinals) from the American Association also still exist today in their NL form. Image
Read 4 tweets
8 Oct
Richie Havens kicked things off here in the afternoon of August 15, 1969. Image
View from the stage. ImageImage
My wife and daughters walking across the field. Image
Read 4 tweets
8 Oct
I'm writing a draft historiographic essay on the Civil War in Appalachia and am reminded that much of the "conventional" Civil War was fought along the edges of Appalachia. The two biggest battles/campaigns - Gettysburg & Chickamauga - directly affected by the mountain topography
So when we speak of the "Civil War in Appalachia," we are dealing with cultural/geographic framing of "Appalachia" that appears in decades following the Civil War. Divided loyalties, guerrilla war, environmental devastation, etc. noted in 1861-65, but termed "Appalachian" later.
A trope developed over the years that antebellum Appalachia was 100% Unionist because it was universally opposed to the planter class. But that was obviously wrong, so historians started unpacking who were Unionists and Confederates (or neither).
Read 6 tweets
19 Sep
Have watched with curious interest the ongoing debate over the American Revolution and Dunmore and one thing has struck me: There were likely a lot of people who supported ending slavery (thru gradual PA/1780-style laws) AND vehemently opposed the Dunmore proclamation.
My lens into this is the debate during the Civil War, so I want to be cautious about reading similar debates backward to the 1770s. But the *means* of emancipation mattered enormously to whites generally in favor of emancipation.
If emancipation were viewed as a product of "treachery" or "insurrection" of some kind (as Dunmore surely was perceived), support for emancipation among moderately anti-slavery elites would dissipate...but not necessarily disappear.
Read 14 tweets

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