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March of the (Trite, Predictable) Lincoln Empire Apologists

I completely forgot that the History Channel broadcast Sherman’s March this past Sunday evening (April 22). My students have since reminded me: a number of them stumbled into the broadcast and noted my talking head bits (along with those of John F. Marszalek, Steve Woodworth, and several others). So have a few email correspondents, including this gem from Tallapoosa, Georgia:

I caught your “act” on the History Channel last night reference your “Uncle Billy”. Very amusing. It would have been something to see your process of rationalization on display at Nuremberg. I suppose that the opinions of those four “Professors” from Southern Universities were intended to add some kind of legitimacy to the premise of the show for Southern viewers. You “Lincoln Empire” apologists are so predictable and trite.

For those in need of trite predictability, I offer the following times when the show is scheduled to be rerun:

Saturday, April 28 08:00 PM

Sunday, April 29 12:00 AM

Saturday, May 05 05:00 PM

Or if you need trite predictability on call at any time, just buy the DVD. (It makes a great mother’s day gift!)

UPDATE, April 27, 6:45 p.m. – As usual, I’m behind in my reading of Other People’s Blogs.  In this instance, I missed two good posts regarding Sherman’s March.  Both appear on Kevin Levin’s Civil War Memory.

The first is a guest post by Bill Oberst, Jr., a South Carolinian (!) who played Sherman; the other is Kevin’s favorable but characteristically thoughtful and nuanced review of the film.

Comments (10) to “March of the (Trite, Predictable) Lincoln Empire Apologists”

  1. Ha! That is hilarious. The pic that is, the commentary from the individual in Tallapoosa is just sad. But on an upnote, (being from Alabama) at least he didn’t hail from the “Heart of Dixie”. Though we have our share. I enjoyed the show and thanks for the rerun dates.

  2. I always love the notion inherent in messages about “Southern viewers.” Define “Southern viewers.”

    Then again, as someone who’s “biased” about Grant (meaning I don’t share Don Plezia’s prejudices about Grant and about me [which apparently have been formed without reading my work, as he himself admits]) and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Abraham Lincoln Association, we need to work on our conspiracy. :)

  3. Ah, Mr. Simpson, I don’t need to read your work since we have more or less discussed your prejudices on line for several years or more. Or is there another Simpson on board?


  4. Mr. Plezia, for you to comment on the work of any historian when you have openly admitted that you have not read the work(s) in question speaks for itself.

  5. Mark, you might want to check out today’s column on from Clyde Wilson. To put it mildly, he doesn’t think much of you or your work or your colleagues on the show!


  6. Sherman’s March
    by Clyde Wilson

    “The History Channel’s recent presentation of “Sherman’s March” has been rightly drawing a lot of criticism from those of us who care about such things. In theory, historical events should become clearer as time passes and the controversies they involved grow less heated. But that is not the case in regard to the War to Prevent Southern Independence – because the myth of a benevolent and righteous crusade against evil and its martyred saint is the essential base of American state worship. The myth also seems to be a deeply felt emotional necessity for the self-love of millions of Americans.
    This TV docudrama is very peculiar. A whole team of third-string, half-baked carpetbagger “historians” of the type that now staff all Southern universities are presented to make the best possible case for the glory, brilliance, justice, and benevolence of Sherman’s operations in Georgia and the Carolinas in the winter of 1864–65….”

  7. Steve and you should be pleased, Mark.

    FWIW, I believe Clyde’s daughter was a student at Wofford when I was there, and he may even have taken a class from me.

  8. Obviously, Brooks, he didn’t learn much from that class!

    BTW, I wonder if “Tom” would be so kind as to identify himself more fully?

  9. Brendan Behan said it best.

    “Fuck the begrudgers.”

  10. My typing erred. She (Clyde’s daughter) may have taken a class from me.