• Sara Rimer

    Senior Contributing Editor

    Sara Rimer

    Sara Rimer A journalist for more than three decades, Sara Rimer worked at the Miami Herald, Washington Post and, for 26 years, the New York Times, where she was the New England bureau chief, and a national reporter covering education, aging, immigration, and other social justice issues. Her stories on the death penalty’s inequities were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and cited in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision outlawing the execution of people with intellectual disabilities. Her journalism honors include Columbia University’s Meyer Berger award for in-depth human interest reporting. She holds a BA degree in American Studies from the University of Michigan. Profile

    She can be reached at srimer@bu.edu.

Comments & Discussion

Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English. Statistics or facts must include a citation or a link to the citation.

There are 3 comments on The Civil War History You Don’t Know

  1. “I saw that movie when I was a kid and I loved it, so I guess I bought into that narrative, too.

    Well, so did Boston University—why is our mascot named Rhett? They named the mascot not long after Gone with the Wind came out in 1939. It was building on the popularity of the movie.”

    We need a campaign to choose a new name for BU’s mascot.

  2. The Lost Cause is a dark chapter in the American experience as it led to post war slave codes and lynching in the Confederate States of America. Worse, the North came to believe that the South was right after all,leading to the 1919 Chicage race riots when whites killed a black youth for swimming on a whites only public beach. Now, the War Department, bought into the Lost Cause, and namef named our most important army bases after Confederate war criminals such as, Fort Bragg. Fort Hood, Fort Benning,Camp Lee, tto name a few.

  3. The Emancipation Proclamation didn’t free any slaves. It was a political move used by Lincoln to, among other things, curry favor with European countries like England, who supported Confederate independence but struggled with the morality of the South’s system of slavery. Yes, slaves in the Confederacy were ultimately freed when the Union forces swept through the South on a scorched earth campaign but, that was 2-3 years after the Proclamation was issued.

    The problem with articles like this is, they set up dichotomies (similar to today’s political climate) where one side was righteous (Union) and the other sinful (Confederacy). It wasn’t that simple. The irony is that this is exactly what this professor accuses Lost Cause proponents of doing.

    The truth is that the entire country was steeped in white supremacy at that time. Even Lincoln was a white supremacist. Most political leaders didn’t care about the welfare of the slaves, either before, and well after the war. Certainly most soldiers didn’t either and they clearly weren’t fighting to free slaves or end racism.

    Yes, the war was about slavery but, not because of its problematic morality. It was a conflict over the type of labor force, and therefore, economy, our country was going to have moving forward. Slavery was an anachronistic caste system that enriched the few and kept most citizens (and obviously slaves) in relative poverty. It wasn’t a healthy foundation to build a thriving economy that would compete on the world stage. It breeded aristocracy of the few fortunate legacy families who passionately held on the their way of life at the expense of the lower castes and the region as a whole. This is why Lincoln wanted to end slavery, not because he (or any Unionist) was so concerned about the morality of the institution.

Post a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *