“Lee Reconsidered” – My First History Conference

PAT Conference

Liz, myself, Chris, and Dr. Marsh following the 2010 Phi Alpha Theta Conference at Liberty University

On March 20, 2010, I traveled with Dr. Brandon Marsh and two other History and Political Science majors from Bridgewater College to Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia, to present a paper at the Phi Alpha Theta history conference.

Phi Alpha Theta is a history honor society, of sorts, for college students.  Each year, Virginia PAT hosts a conference somewhere in the State where students are invited to present an academic paper for review and criticism.  Last year, the PAT conference was held at Bridgewater College, and I attended as an “onlooker” to watch others present.  This year, I was asked to give a presentation myself.  Not having any recent work that I was particularly confident in presenting at such an event, I revived an old paper I wrote for a scholarship before I began my freshman year at Bridgewater.

The paper, entitled “Lee Reconsidered: A Second Look at the Accusations of Mr. Alan T. Nolan” is a response to a book, Lee Considered: General Robert E. Lee and Civil War History, written by Mr. Nolan, in which he suggests that Lee should have taken it upon himself to unilaterally surrender the entire Confederacy before the April 9th surrender of his Army at Appomattox Court House, or in the least to have encouraged the civilian authorities to bring an end to the conflict before Palm Sunday, 1865.  My paper offers an argument against the notion of a military authority seizing the reigns of power from superior civilian authorities, and also provides evidence that Lee did seek to encourage President Davis and the Confederate Congress to end the bloodletting before his Army was completely defeated.

Below are links to the paper and to an MP3 of my talk.

MP3 Audio of Talk “Lee Reconsidered”  –  PDF of “Lee Reconsidered” Paper

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I know this blog, over the last three posts, at least, has been a place of fairly “deep” theological thinking, and I’ll get back to that, but I want to post something rather casual here today.  I’ve written before about my dear friends, the Lansings.  One of the great things about knowing them is seeing them work towards self-sufficiency, or something I prefer to call “God-sufficiency.”  Essentially, it is the intention of keeping God’s consistent commandment throughout the Bible that man should work with his hands, and learning to make use of the resources God built into creation to sustain life.  The problem is that the world, in all its sin, has built cities and industry to exploit those resources, eventually resulting in a man who is more dependent on industrialism and the world than on God, seeking financial gain and millionaire status — the almighty “American dream” — instead of eternal riches in Heaven, “where neither the moth nor canker corrupteth, and where thieves neither dig through nor steal” (Matthew 6:20).

So my friends, the Lansings, in working towards this simple, God-sufficient life, have started selling natural products through their home business, Days of Old Herb Farm.  Emily Lansing makes soap, which I have been purchasing and using since last August.  Several weeks ago, I discovered that she also made shampoo.  My curiosity peaked, I bought a bar.  Yes, it comes in bar form! (more…)

About me

J. Adam Craig
Bridgewater, Virginia


Currently a junior at Bridgewater College, I am majoring in History & Political Science with a minor in Computer Information Systems. I also work part time, remotely and on-site, for Pamplin Historical Park as their Education and Information Technology Assistant.

My other activities include studying God's Word, listening to Southern Gospel music, playing the piano, studying history and politics, experimenting with technology, and of course, spending time with family and friends -- all to the glory of God! (more...)