Tomorrow at Antietam, the park Visitor Center will be hosting a day long symposium on African American history, titled, "The Dignity of Freedom: Pathways Through the Civil War and Beyond". Far too often we think of Antietam solely in terms of brigades and regiments; we must remember that what happened at Antietam affected millions across the world, and their stories are very important to tell along with those of the soldiers who fought during the battle.
One of the speakers for tomorrow's events will be Professor Mark Neely, Jr., a leading expert on the constitutional thought and statesmanship of Abraham Lincoln. I have had the fortune to chat with Professor Neely on several occasions, and I can say that is not only a great historian, but also a very nice man. Below is a video clip of Neely discussing Lincoln's constitutionalism. It is worth a watch. Mark Neely is one of my favorite historians; his Pulitzer prize winning work on Lincoln and civil liberties, The Fate of Liberty, is one of the most important books ever written on our 16th president. I haven't had a chance to pick up his latest work, Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation, which discusses nationalism and constitutionalism in the Civil War, but I am sure it will be worth the read when I finally get a chance to pick it up. Tomorrow, Professor Neely will be speaking on reconstruction and constitutional changes in post-war racism. Not your usual Antietam topic, which is why I am quite interested to hear him speak. Hope you can make it out to the battlefield tomorrow!