Joe Shekoski

  • “He braved, when necessary, the Argus eyes of the whole herd of United States detectives…moving through the Provinces without disguise, wherever his scheme demanded his presence.” This passage can be found on […]



    I personally feel as though Beall had been framed primarily based on the fact that, aside from Burley, the names of those affiliated with the capture of the two steamboats have not been identified […]

  • As someone who has extensively studied slave life for my senior thesis, I completely agree when you say the culture of slaves is unbelievable endurance. I believe that the life of a slave is one of insurmountable resilience. I suggest you look into a novel called Slavery By Another Name by Douglas Blackmon for a potential conclusion to depict how…[Read more]

  • I find this to be quite a fitting option for the times. In a world of industrial innovation and evolution on the rise, I think that this is quite a fantastic research topic. It’s astonishing to hear how easily engineers were replaced and I would like to hear a little bit more about the qualifications.

  • Joe Shekoski commented on the post, Assignment 5 10 months ago


    What an interesting research topic! Very unorthodox and attention-grabbing, which is exactly up my alley! You have done quite a lot of research on the topic and it is astonishing looking at exactly how abundant disease was in the war. If you have the ability to find such information, I would be interested to see if the use of “chemical…[Read more]

  • Joe Shekoski commented on the post, Assignment Five 10 months ago


    I would certainly agree with your statement that Lincoln’s main focus was to keep the Union from collapsing. I never saw Lincoln as having a very strong moral ideology regarding whether or not slavery was acceptable, but I believe that – through his speeches – it is highly apparent that Lincoln’s main goal was to assure the security of…[Read more]

  • My paper looks to explore the formation of Confederate Nationalism through the preservation of personal journalism; The Charlotte Mercury being my main object of observation. In other words, the South was aware […]

    • You pointed out that the confederacy boasted about victories when before they had been defeats. I think a similar thing happened in the union. In a letter of a union soldier he described a battle as a complete rout while a newspaper described it as a controlled retreat. The newspapers didn’t want the public to feel like the war was going badly so they modified the stories to seem more like victories and less like defeats.

  • I fully agree with your historical statement. With differing narratives within various infantries and maps not always following a single narrative as well, it is difficult to determine exactly what the “right answer” may be. This is why I find history to be more subjective rather than objective due to the fact that there are so many resources that…[Read more]

  • I agree that cross-referencing can be a difficult aspect of analysis when approaching primary sources. The positionality changes with each individual and – with each – the bias of the author can bring forth a different approach. It is up to historians to take the resources handed to them and determine the accepted narrative based on the most…[Read more]

  • The word I find difficult with your commentary is “written.” Within recent years, the definition of literacy has been broadened and maps would be considered a form of literacy, making maps a written form of communication. I believe that it is understandable to have a difficult time following maps for the smaller commanders in the army, but -…[Read more]

  • In regards to bias’s, I am not particularly sure that I see that in the reports, but I see some of that in the maps. For example, the report given by Braxton Bragg was very humbled and slightly over-exaggerated casualties to show the severity of the en devour. As for one of the primary maps, however, I saw someone put far more Confederate troops…[Read more]

  • For my assignment, I chose to follow Gen. Braxton Bragg, Commander of the Second Army Corps. of the C.S. Army, and his movements during the Battle of Shiloh. His report arrived to Confederate headquarters July […]

    • I had a similar problem with Knox’s map. Based on my commander’s account, McPherson’s map seemed to be the most accurate. Knox’s maps told an entirely different story, and made me second guess whether or not I was doing a decent job of retelling the movements of my chosen unit. Maybe Knox had a difficult time because he put the maps together in the immediate aftermath of the battle, and didn’t have sufficient time to parse out the different accounts he was receiving?

    • Hi Joe!

      Wow! Your account was super detailed especially in terms of directions. My account lacked a lot of direction and I had to search for my Brigade on the interactive map. That must have been really helpful for following on both types of maps. On another student’s feed, she commented on the hardship she had following on the secondary maps because of the lack of the compass. Did you have this problem, as well?

    • Like you I found McPherson’s map to be the most accurate. The one shortcoming that it and all of the other maps had is that they were limited in what they could show. In reading my battle report I found that the troops moved around far more than what could be depicted.

    • I find it interesting that you picked a confederate officer for this assignment. Most of the blog posts I’ve seen, and myself, choose to read about a U.S. officer. I assume this is because of my northern bias but it is definitely important to see others views about what happened in the war. Seeing how they believe the tide of the battle shifted by a new fresh army arriving is interesting to see.

  • It truly is astonishing to think that the CSA once had a culture all its own. When you look at the American Civil War in a secondary ed course or even lower-level U.S. History courses, you just think of the Confederacy as a military opposition, but it stretches out further than that. It was an identity for people in the Confederacy and it came…[Read more]

  • The object I have for this particular assignment is very broad, but will assist me in the grand scheme of things to answer my larger questions regarding the culture of the Confederacy. I present a print of The […]

    • I didn’t even think to look at newspapers for a topic, but this CSA newspaper is really interesting. I think I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that the seceded states acted as a separate nation for the duration of the civil war.

      • It truly is astonishing to think that the CSA once had a culture all its own. When you look at the American Civil War in a secondary ed course or even lower-level U.S. History courses, you just think of the Confederacy as a military opposition, but it stretches out further than that. It was an identity for people in the Confederacy and it came with its own culture and intricacies and I’m looking to discover exactly what that culture may be and how it sees itself. I like to think of learning about C.S.A. culture as learning about the society of the Galactic Empire in Star Wars. We only imagine the members as antagonistic military forces, but what was life like for those outside of the military?

  • I think a universality between everyone’s findings regarding slavery is that the slave experience is not a singular narrative, but one that varies from person to person. Plantation to plantation. To read the narratives, however, isn’t always quite getting the facts. Do bear in mind that many stories, detailed as they are, are recollections…[Read more]

  • Although I concur that slaves were treated inhumanely, this notion that slaves’ best interest was to maintain a positive relationship with their masters is questionable. You state that it is to avoid conflict and potential beatings, however – in some circumstances – beatings were a given, so what is the positive repercussion of treating these…[Read more]

  • This goes to show how severely slavery can range OR its extent of cruelty. When you say he was treated humanely, you note that the person at hand had not been whipped. Is that the extent of humanity? Because he wasn’t whipped and missed his master was he treated humanely OR was he just treated less inhumanely?

  • Although I believe slavery is found primarily south of the Mason-Dixon line, there are exceptions to this circumstance. Although far earlier than the period of the Civil War, the American Aristocracy, […]

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