This week past, we told you about what has been found at the archaeological dig of a POW camp, Fort Lawton, near Millen, Ga., how a long-lost letter written by President Lincoln was returned to the National Archives and the curious story of how a firehouse bell taken from Harpers Ferry at the time of the John Brown raid ended up in a Massachusetts town that doesn’t want to give it back. Then we had a story about the generosity of another Massachusetts town that willingly loaned three Confederate flags and a ship’s bell from their collection to two North Carolina museums that wanted to display them for the sesquicentennial.

Did you hear ...

* Maryland seeks to buy 14 acres of land near South Mountain Civil War battlefield for $55,600

Planning ahead: On Sept. 6 and 7, a free "Civil War in the Borderland" conference at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville that will include a keynote address by historian and author Gary Gallagher, musical performances and living history demonstrations. Local resident and country music artist Kix Brooks in also on the schedule. It is sponsored by the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission among others.

After the jump, must-reads from other publications, including Ta-Nehisi Coates on James McPherson and slavery’s role in the war.

Other publications:

In The Atlantic magazine, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes about James McPherson's book, "A Mighty Scourge," in particular his first essay on slavery as the cause of the war and not states rights as the revisionists have written. “Slavery was the real thing. All else is garnish,” is Coates’ conclusion.

In the New York Times Disunion series, Adam Goodheart writes about the need for President Obama to make Fort Monroe a national monument. It was at Fort Monroe that three enslaved Americans were first treated as “contraband of war” and thus saved from a forced return to their owners.

Also in the New York Times Disunion series, Meridith Hindley explores John C. Breckinridge's belief in a peaceful resolution of issues at the beginning of the war to his decision to flee his native state of Kentucky and join the Southern cause as a Confederate officer.