Monday, September 28, 2020

Booknotes: Patriots Twice

New Arrival:
Patriots Twice: Former Confederates and the Building of America after the Civil War by Stephen M. Hood (Savas Beatie, 2020).

However much one believes that serving the Confederacy was life-defining, for most individuals that time represented a small (albeit momentous and fraught with controversy) fraction of a long life. Stephen Hood's Patriots Twice "identifies more than three hundred former Confederate soldiers, sailors, and government officials who reintegrated into American society and attained positions of authority and influence in the federal government, the United States military, academia, science, commerce, and industry. Their contributions had a long-lasting and positive influence on the country we have today."

Hood organizes his register into various categories. One of these highlights those who were appointed to high-level government service. "For example, ten postwar presidents appointed former Confederates to serve the reunited nation as Supreme Court justices, secretaries of the U.S. Navy, attorneys general, and a secretary of the interior. Dozens of former Southern soldiers were named U.S. ambassadors and consuls, and eight were appointed generals who commanded U.S. Army troops during the Spanish-American War."

Others were elected to lead cities, territories, and states. "Former Confederates were elected mayors of such unlikely cities as Los Angeles, CA, Minneapolis, MN, Ogden, UT, and Santa Fe, NM, and served as governors of the non-Confederate states and territories of Colorado, West Virginia, Missouri, Utah, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Alaska, and the Panama Canal Zone."

They were also leaders in professional spheres. "Ex-Southern soldiers became presidents of national professional societies including the American Bar Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society, to name only a few. Others paved the way in science and engineering by leading the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Geological Society of America. One former Confederate co-founded the environmental and preservation advocacy group Sierra Club, and another intellectual and scholar was president of the Society for Classical Studies."

In the world of higher education, ex-Confederates "founded or co-founded many of our nation’s colleges and universities—some exclusively for women and newly freed African-Americans. Other former Rebels served as presidents of prominent institutions, including the University of California, Berkeley, and taught at universities outside the South including Harvard, Yale, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Johns Hopkins, the University of San Francisco, and Amherst College. Several others served on the governing boards of the United States Military Academy at West Point and the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland."

Also included are military leaders, philanthropists, artists, and industrialists. The volume is meant to be used as a reference book, so many parts of its structured presentation, including its unusual index, are aimed toward that end. A "typical entry includes basic biographical detail, a short description of their wartime service, and their significant accomplishments after the war (and in many cases, how those accomplishments still redound to our benefit today)."

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Drew. We have a strong media push behind this and the interest is very solid nationally. Nearly sold out already and going back to press.


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