Monday, July 2, 2007

Judd: "The Bridge Burners"

Michael Hardy's ruminations (here and here) about the possible connection between the aftermath of the 1861 Unionist revolt in E. Tennessee and the formation of a North Carolina unit, the Mitchell Rangers, reminded me of a short history that I recently read.

Fiction writer Cameron Judd made a foray into non-fiction with The Bridge Burners: A True Adventure of East Tennessee's Underground Civil War (Overmountain Press, rev. 1996). It's a history of the November 8-9, 1861 East Tennessee Unionist citizen uprising that resulting in the burning of several bridges of the vital Virginia and Tennessee rail link. It certainly marked the end of the Confederate conciliatory policy in East Tennessee, exemplified previously by Gen. Felix Zollicoffer's military rule. Written in a stirring novelistic style, this is not a scholarly work. It lacks both a formal bibliography and notes, while drawing almost entirely from well known published sources. On the other hand, The Bridge Burners is an enjoyable read, and from what I can tell, it is reasonably accurate.

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