The Talbot Boys Conversation: A History Lesson with Russell Dashiell


While Russell Dashiell has made his living for more than 30 years as a successful attorney in Salisbury, he does have a competing lifelong passion that predates his law practice – a love for Eastern Shore history before, during, and after the Civil War.

What started as a childhood fascination with the war between the states, fueled by its centennial in 1965, Dashiell has become one of a handful of “go-to” history buffs who have studied the Shore’s erratic, almost schizophrenic march to war.

And Russell’s interest goes well beyond his ongoing research. For years, he has participated in civil war reenactments as a C.S.A. officer (in honor of his family ancestors) and has worked closely with the National Park Service on projects throughout Maryland and Virginia. And off the field of battle, Dashiell has served for years as a board trustee of the Maryland Historical Society.

In his Spy interview, Russell talks about the complexity of the Eastern Shore’s participation in the Civil War, the families and regional divisions as highlighted by local newspapers at the time, and how the institution of slavery had very little impact on the Delmarva’s young men to enlist.

This video is approximately ten minutes in length


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Letters to Editor

  1. Carol Voyles says:

    I do appreciate all that Mr. Dashiell has to say, especially regarding how our loyalties are so understandably influenced by our heritage, family, and friends, as well as our nation’s schizophrenic tolerance of slavery – that almost irresistible economic advantage that persisted and divided us.

    This flag is not only the symbol of the Confederate states, however. Since favored by racist organizations, lynch mobs, and even mass murderers, it’s heritage has been cemented. While we may have empathy for those who fought against our Union, the flag is a painful symbol of racism and human bondage, and as such has no place on our courthouse grounds.

    • Dick Deerin says:

      I agree. A symbol of racism, honoring those who believed in holding holding their fellow human being in bondage belongs in a museum, not on the grounds of a public building, especially one where all people come to seek justice.


  1. […] us often that with the Civil War very few things were black or white or blue or gray. As our interview with local historian Russell Dashiell last week highlighted, there was perhaps no other region in […]

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