This is part two of a five-part interview series with historian Greg Biggs. See part one.
CWG: question 3 – What kind of role(s) have you had – or still have – as it relates to Civil War organizations?
I have started or helped to start three Civil War Roundtables – two in Ohio where I used to live, and the one in Clarksville, TN where I currently live. My silly members keep electing me president every year too for some reason! I am also a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
CWG: question 4 – How or why will this book be unique in the Civil War literature?
Well, believe it or not, there just aren’t that many Civil War flag books out there that are based on serious research. There’s a few that are not worth the paper they are printed on in that there is little scholarship behind them and most simply repeat mythology without challenges to that. These are a waste of time basically. are woefully under-represented as well for whatever reason.
The late Howard Madaus began the serious work of studying Civil War flags in the 1970’s and led the way for people like me to follow. He was certainly my mentor and taught me a great deal about flags.
So we aim to have this book fill in a much needed hole in the study of the Civil War’s material culture side, which seems to be neglected as well at times. For whatever reason, academia does not like to deal with artifacts like weapons and flags and prefers to stay with paper documents, which is fine, as I use those as well. But these artifacts they ignore also have great stories to tell and help us understand the war as a whole. The book will be the joining of serious scholarship and examination of the artifacts involved and we hope this will give the reader a better understanding of the era.
Part two of five: The Civil War Gazette interview with historian and author Greg Biggs
The following images are all courtesy of the Tennessee State Museum.