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1 PERSONAL CONFEDERACIES: WAR AND PEACE IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH, 1840 1890 By JAMES J. BROOMALL A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGRE E OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011
2 2011 James J. Broomall
3 To Tish
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS In writing this acknowledgement, a highly personal endeavor, I see it as only fit to break orthodoxy in acknowledging those closest to me at the beginning rather than the end, for it is upon them I have leaned most heavily. My parents not only offered the emotional support to sustain a flagging spirit during the trials of graduate school but also generously sacrificed vacations, resources and time to join me on prolonged research trips, read untold papers, and patiently hear me out during my many diatribes. Their love and support provide a constant guide. During my first year in graduate school at the University of North Carolina, Greensb oro, while pursuing a degree in Museum Studies, I met Tish Wiggs. Several years and states later she remains my constant companion, my best friend, and now my beloved wife. I have dedicated this dissertation to her as reflection, however small, of my respe ct, admiration, and love. This work is as still be working on Chapter One. It is an unparalleled joy to have Tish in my life. Among my friends in North Carolina, Jeff C urry, Ernie Dollar, Chris Graham, Chris Meekins, and David Southern provided unwavering support whenever home and helped form many of the ideas underpinning this work during our long, meandering conversations. My in laws, Sefton and Cheryl, have always giv en me a warm home to visit. In Delaware and beyond, Rob Burdick, Matt Williamson, and Steve Wismer have remained the best of friends. I found a warm, welcoming, and sustaining home at the University of Florida. Among my peers I benefited from conversatio ns with and the comments of Joe Beatty, Joel Black, Clay Cooper, Jim Flook, Matt Hall, Allison Fredette, Jenn Lyon, Ben Miller, Chris Ruehlen, Dan Simone, Taylor Patterson, and Angie Zombek. In particular, coffees
5 with Angela Diaz, bike rides with Scott Hu ffard, local dinners with Heather Bryson, elaborate dinners with Jason Daniels, football games with Roger Smith, and beer with Brian Bredehoeft always provoked long, thoughtful conversations that directed this work and me in manifold ways. Thank you all so much for your friendship and your help. Among the faculty, Professor Steve Noll patiently guided me as a naive teaching assistant and then later as a teaching associate; I constantly strive to animate my classroom and my teaching as Dr. Noll does each day Professor Ben Wise offered numerous books, critical readings, and gentle advice that pushed my work in new and fruitful directions. Committee members Sean Adams, Matt Gallman, Jon Sensbach, and Sevan Terzian each carefully read this document, offered tre nchant comments, and provided outstanding examples of scholarly rigor. Professor Gallman, in particular, has been with this project and me since the beginning and always provided thoughtful s time, care, and untold generosity, charity, and goodwill. He has eagerly read every word I have written since I entered graduate school and always asked for more. Such dedication is more than I could have hoped for in a mentor and his example of scholarly productivity and rigor is more than I can ever hope to match. Through constant phone calls and emails, on racquetball courts and bike trails, at coffee shops and c onferences, Dr. Link served as an unwavering guide lifting me up when I needed help and pushing me harder when I became lazy. Working with Dr. Link and enjoying the company of his family has been and continues to be one of my great pleasures.
6 Beyond the protection of Keene Flint Hall I found a welcoming academic community that proved to be, truly, a community. During a one year teaching appointment at Virginia Tech, Mark Barrow, Joe Forte, Dennis Hidalgo, Marian Mollin, Matt Saionz, Dan Thorp, and Peter Wallenstein provided support and help when I truly needed it. Over the years, at sundry conferences, Paul Anderson, Bill Blair, David Brown, Paul Cimbala, Catherine Clinton, William Davis, Barb Gannon, Jeff McClurken, Andy Slap, and LeeAnn Whites provided formal and informal comments that greatly advanced my thinking. Aaron Sheehan Dean has generously given his time to my work; the clarity of his comments is unmatched and our conversations are always illuminating. Brian Luskey offered a very thoughtful read ing of material underpinning Chapters 3 and 4 during a critical period of methodological configuration. Finally, Peter Carmichael has been a trusted confident, good friend, and intellectual companion since we first met every email exchange and face to face meeting with Pete is pure joy. In researching this project and writing this work I benefitted greatly from generous outside support. I would like to formally acknowledge both these institutions and the awards they granted: the Louisiana History Research Fellowship awarded by Fellowship awarded by the Institute for Southern Studies, University of South Carolina; and the Archie K. Davis Fellowship awarded by the North C aroliniana Society, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Richard J. Milbauer Chair provided generous support for con ferences, research, and travel. All of t he mistakes and errors herein are the fault of the author solely.
7 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 9 CHAPTER 1 CONSTRUCTING SOUTHERN MEN ................................ ................................ ..... 11 2 BOOKS AND BEARS ................................ ................................ ............................. 26 Words ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 29 Actions ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 42 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 59 3 WORDS AND WAR ................................ ................................ ................................ 60 Education ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 62 On the Eve of Secession ................................ ................................ ........................ 73 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 84 4 INTO THE DARK FOREST OF DESPAIR ................................ .............................. 85 Leaving for War ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 88 Uniforming an Army ................................ ................................ ................................ 95 Camp and Field ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 106 Field of Battle ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 121 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 136 5 CIVIL W ARS CONTINUED ................................ ................................ ................... 139 Homeward Bound ................................ ................................ ................................ 141 Carnage and Chaos ................................ ................................ .............................. 145 Authority Restored ................................ ................................ ................................ 160 Civil War to Personal Peace ................................ ................................ ................. 1 68 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 183 6 PERSONAL RECONSTRUCTIONS ................................ ................................ ..... 185 Personal Transformations ................................ ................................ ..................... 189 Discontented Confederates ................................ ................................ .................. 203 Ignominious Oaths and Contested Citizenship ................................ ..................... 220 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 229
8 7 FALLEN CONFEDERACIES AND INVISIBLE EMPIRE S ................................ ..... 231 White Carolinians and Their Causes ................................ ................................ .... 234 Ghosts of the Confederacy ................................ ................................ ................... 252 Landscapes of Terror ................................ ................................ ............................ 263 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 274 8 PAPER SOLDIERS ................................ ................................ .............................. 276 War s Remembered ................................ ................................ ............................... 279 Confederacies Continued ................................ ................................ ..................... 296 Civil Wars Closed ................................ ................................ ................................ 303 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 312 9 RECONSTRUCTING SOUTHERN MEN ................................ .............................. 314 BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 318 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 342
9 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the D egree of Doctor of Philosophy PERSONAL CONFEDERACIES: WAR AND PEACE IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH, 1840 1890 By James J. Broomall December 2011 Chair: William A. Link Major: History This study explores the personal lives and cultural expressions of white Sou therners during the crucial period of 1840 to 1890 focusing specifically on men who became Confederate soldiers. Many previous work s have artificially divided southern history into prewar, wartime, or postwar periods, thereby missing rich opportunities to understand overlapping influences and to examine patterns of behavior over time. My project considers Southerners across this central epoch to descr ibe and understand the t houghts and emotions, which governed their lives. This work advances a new framework for examining some of the central issues and questions in nineteenth century southern history b y conjoining the typically bifurcated areas of m public lives. T his study seeks not only to understand Southern whites on their own terms but a lso to explain their actions within a cultural context. nature of personal and social relationships. This work argues that an honor based, antebellum culture created distances among men and required clenched emotional expression, at least publicly. Subordinates rarely questioned elite whites, men who
10 commanded themselves and their emotions with a firm hand. The exigencies of civil war forced the reconfiguration of these norms, as Sou therners were thrown together for prolonged periods of time under intense strains all the while being separated from suffering families. With military defeat white men questioned themselves as never before, sometimes suffering from terrible self doubt. The crisis of war necessitated new models of expression between veterans and among men and women; unharnessed feelings became a necessary mechanism to cope with the traumas of wartime experiences. So, too, did whites embrace a virulent, martial masculinity w hich they wielded during Reconstruction and beyond to suppress freedpeoples and restore white rule. Thus, in the wake of Civil War, contrasting models of private and public expression emerged, which were born from the exigencies of war and the crisis of de feat.
11 CHAPTER 1 CONSTRUCTING SOUTHER N MEN On May 20, 1861, brothers Levi and Henry Walker enlisted as privates in Company B, the Ranaleburg Riflemen, of the 13th North Carolina. Born in August 1841, Levi worked as a farmer and textile worker in Mecklenbu rg County, North Carolina. Henry, his senior by five years, taught school and lived in Mecklenburg. Confident in their cause and excited by the prospects of war, the two men visited a photographer. The Walker brothers were ushered into a room; two chairs s at near a wall. Maybe the photographer arranged the scene; perhaps the brothers came to the studio with an image in mind. Seconds later, a camera immortalized them. The two men were similarly dressed; both wore smartly tailored coats. Leaving their top but tons undone, the men back. Both men sat with their legs crossed. The newly minted soldie rs were preparing to leave for war. invaded the small Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. Levi remained a private but his brother Henry had been elevated to the rank of third lie utenant in May 1863. The day was warm and clear. 1 Despite hard marching and gunfire, the Tar Heels remained in high spirits as Confederate forces pressed Union lines back into town. The 13th North Carolina deployed for battle part of Maj. Gen. William D. P Seminary Ridge. The gray line surged forward. Four men had already fallen with the regimental colors, and Levi now proudly held the banner. Hot lead entered his left leg, 1 David G. Martin, Gettysburg, July 1 (Conshohocken, PA : Combined Books, 1996), 591.
12 dropping him instantly. Later, in a field hospital, surgeons remov ed the limb. On the fourth of July, the Confederate army retreated. Levi, along with thousands, was left behind. Just under two weeks later his brother Henry, fighting near Hagerstown, Maryland, caught a piece of lead. He, too, was hit in the left leg. The leg was taken off, just below the knee, just like Levi. 2 Levi was later confined to a federal prison hospital until released and exchanged only to be exchanged in the sp ring of 1864. The two brothers who had set off to war identically clad now shared the same battle scars. Years then decades passed. Around of gray, the two men wore dar k, tidy, civilian suits. Once youthful faces had taken on age; their faces were now covered with whiskers. War did not break the bonds of Awkwardly seated, legs open, two empty pant legs offered an outward sign of a long passed war that still held sway over, continued to shape, the lives of these two men. The lives of Levi and Henry Walker are etch recorded in scattered public records, and mentioned in a few histories. But unfortunately little else about them can be found. How they felt about each other as brothers over the course of their lives, or how the war changed the nature of their relationship, is forever lost. Yet, despite these limitations, the experiences of these two men, the physical 2 This biographical information is largely garnered from Greg Mast, State Troops and Volunteers: A (Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History, 1995), 183.
13 traumas they endured, and the bonds they publicly exhibited are telling and representative of the narrative arc of this work, Peace in the American South, 1840 nineteenth century. Student compacts, military alliances networks for mutual support, experiences. Between the years 1861 and 1865 three out of every four white Southern men of military age mobilized for civil war. One in five did not survive the conflict, and tens of thousands, like Levi and Henry Walker, were maimed horribly. 3 The legacy of 4 Understanding this history, its legaci es and its influences, requires a long view, for southern history did not stop or begin with the Civil War. Nor can we examines this long view through the writings and t he experiences of the people who lived it. In thinking about and writing about the Civil War something of the personal has been lost. By focusing on the men who became Confederate soldiers, this work motional expressions, social 3 Between 750, 000 and 850, 000 men served in the Confederacy, representing 75 to 85 percen t of its draft age white male population. The number of Confederate dead is contested. On the one hand, Gary Gallagher contends that one in three men died in the war, while Drew Gilpin Faust, on the other, offers the more conservative estimate of one in fi ve. Gary W. Gallagher, The Confederate War: How Popular Will, Nationalism, and Military Strategy Could Not Stave Off Defeat (Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 1997), 28 9 and Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering: Death and the Americ an Civil War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008), xi and 273 4, in fn. 2. See also, James Marten, Sing Not War: The Lives of Union & Confederate Veterans in Gilded Age America (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2011), 3 4 and 75 124. 4 C. Vann Woodward, The Burden of Southern History rev. ed. (1960; repr., Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1991), 187 91.
14 interactions, and models of gender identity. Charting these personal transformations demands a broad timeframe; describing southern culture and its changing expressions is no easy task. Therefore, to capture the tenor of antebe llum life, the profundity of civil war, and the trials of Reconstruction this work will consider the period spanning, roughly, 1840 to 1890. Many previous studies have artificially divided southern history into prewar, wartime, or postwar periods, thereby missing rich opportunities to understand overlapping influences and to examine patterns of behavior over time. 5 My study considers Southerners across this central epoch to describe and understand the personal th oughts and cultural expressions, which gover ned their lives. This work advances a new framework for examining some of the central issues and questions in nineteenth century southern history. By conjoining the typically bifurcated areas of understand Southern whites on their own terms but also to explain their actions within a cultural context. personal and social relationships. This work argues that an hono r based, antebellum culture created distances among men and required clenched emotional expression, at least publicly. Their subordinates rarely questioned men, and they commanded themselves and their emotions with a firm hand. The exigencies of war forced the reconfiguration of these norms, as Southerners were thrown together for prolonged periods of time under intense strains all the while being separated from suffering 5 Exceptions to this rule include especially Anne C. Rose, Victorian America and the Civil War (New York: Cambrid ge University Press, 1992; Bertram Wyatt Brown, The Shaping of Southern Culture: Honor, Grace, and War, 1760s 1890s (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001); and Peter S. Carmichael, The Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, a nd Reunion (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005).
15 families. With military defeat men questioned themselves as never before, sometimes su ffering from terrible self doubt. The crisis of war necessitated new models of expression between veterans and among men and women; unharnessed feelings became a necessary mechanism to cope with the traumas of wartime experiences. So, too, did whites embra ce a virulent, martial masculinity which they wielded during Reconstruction and beyond to suppress freedpeoples and restore white rule. Thus, in the wake of Civil War, contrasting models of private and public expression emerged, which were born from the e xigencies of war and the crisis of defeat. The chapters of this work examine a series of changing expressions and experiences. I review these shifts in a socio cultural context to understand how white Southerners were shaped by and responded to broader tra nsformations as witnessed especially in their emotional lives and gender identity. 6 tied to broader shifts in southern culture. My dissertation is organized into three parts, each reflecting an important moment in nineteent h century southern history. Part I begins by characterizing prewar life, focusing on how college life and personal diaries, hunting treks into field and forest, shaped conceptions of manhood and controlled the expression and release of emotions. The Civil War crisis forced a reconsideration of antebellum behavior, as men looked at each other and their families in new ways. The Social upheaval, strides toward the restoration of order, and personal transformations each reflected different responses to the forces of civil war and emancipation. Making 6 This approach is deeply influenced by Rhys Isaac, The Transformation of Virginia, 1740 1790 (1982; repr., Chapel Hill: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture by the University of North Carolina Press, 1999), 5 7 and 323 57.
16 sense of the war proved difficult, however, and whites turned variously to violence and to public record to renew old fights as c hronicled in Part III. This project initially intended to examine the postwar lives of Civil War veterans, black and white, living in the American South. As the research progress ed, particular questions reoccu rred, while specific sources came to dominate the answers. Choices were made, and some issues emerged. How, for instance, could I understand emotional expressions before the Civil War? In what terms did veterans understand and communicate their wartime experiences? Did they communicate these thoughts and feelings to others? What I found proved exciting and frustrating. Some sources would cal led post traumatic stress disorder; other materials said little and revealed even less. Therefore, I began concentrating on sources written by white men and women, most of who were well educated and therefore more prone to dedicate time and energy to writi ng. In addition, I widened my gaze to include the prewar and wartime South as a way to understand the complexities of the postwar era. The resulting study relies on a sampling of manuscript collections. Based on the papers of over eighty families, this wor k draws from the stories of men and women in order to reconstruct an otherwise fragmentary cultural history. This dissertation assumes the primacy of the individual and his or her experience, along with the personal and intellectual contours of southern c ulture. It seeks to humanize what could otherwise become a faceless story. The sampling is admittedly exclusive, reflecting men from similar backgrounds, and is based on a
17 7 Significantly, though, each of these men served the Confederacy in some direct capacity as an infantryman, as an officer, as a government official. Rather than a generational model, which imposes age restrictions, this method connects people experientially, but only with an examination of ho w age and experience shaped reactions and ideas in sometimes starkly different ways: the contrasting views of a veteran of both the Mexican American War and Civil War, versus a twenty two year old Confederate soldier. 8 Forged by the crucible of war, veter ans shared a set of experiences that forever framed the terms on which the war was cast and recast. 9 The lives and experiences of several men undergird each chapter to provide focus and allow for close readings that speak directly to a particular topic. For example, Josiah Gorgas a white Pennsylvanian who migrated south before the war and served as a Confederate officer illustrates both the chaos of 1865 and the increas the 1870s. Other figures include Edmund Kirby Smith (a white southerner who worked 7 So, for instance, every man or woman in this study lived in the South before the war. The overwhelming majority were southern by birth, but I also included emigrants as their loya lties and involvement in the war proved telling. Moreover, serving in Confederate armies wedded these men, in my thinking and in their writing, to a distinctly Southern identity. 8 Peter S. Carmichael compellingly discusses the significance of a generatio nal experience. I readily acknowledge the centrality of age as a unique historical context. However, I depart from this model because I am interested more in the experiences of veterans as a collective whole. That said, es scholars to take seriously the importance of age group when attempting to understand the material and political conditions of a particular period. Carmichael, The Last Generation see especially the Introduction to his work for an explanation of methodo logy. 9 disfranchisement should be viewed as the final public acts, the last bequests, of the Southern Civil War were strong enough according to Donald to directly shape the actions of white southerners some thirty five years after the conflict in very tangible ways. From the Old South to the New: Essays on the Tra nsitional South ed., Walter J. Fraser, Jr. and Winfred B. Moore, Jr. (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1981), 7.
18 actively in education), George A. Mercer (a wealthy Georgian from Savannah), William J. Clarke (a white lawyer from New Ber n, N.C.), and Henry Brown Richardson (a Maine native who settled in Louisiana just before the war). The manuscript collections of families and individuals remain essential to diary entries, le tters written to friends and loved ones, and public sentiments expressed in newsprint reveal how men both understood and gave meaning to the war and Reconstruction. As such, individuals are quoted often and freely throughout this work as their words, the n uance in their expressions sheds great light on broader patterns. As scholars such as Daniel Singal and Stephen Berry have demonstrated, close readings of Southern writers can reveal much about abstract thoughts, cultural forms, social conditions, and pers onal lives. 10 A letter from former Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, written to his wife Cassie in October of 1865, is particularly illuminating and demonstrates the potential of this approach: on of slavery. I took up arms through a sense of duty and in defense of principles whose complete triumph I shall live to see if not by force of arms, by the awakened sense of the people of the U.S. to their true interests and to wisdom. Our people should not leave [the South], instead of seeking asylums abroad, their own destines and the triumph of the principles which they fought are in their own hands, let them seek by every possible means the reestablishment of the state government in the natural course of events the 10 Daniel Joseph Singal, The War Within: From Victorian to Modernist Thought in the South, 1919 1945 (Chapel Hill: The University of North Car olina Press, 1982) and Berry, All That Makes a Man
19 11 In this brief passage Kirby Smith grapples ny. Thus, we gain a range civic life, and by what means did veterans mentally and emotionally close their civil wars? By weaving together such vivid portraits within a particular chapter we gain public lives. By considering public performances this study reaches beyond the behavior. Cultural performances compose one segment of this analysis. Unruly behavior or charivari, hunting, college experiences, soldier life, Klan violence, and public spectacle reveal not only civic strife or action, but served also as public representations of social thought. Just as important are the essential social and economic systems of the nineteenth century South, which will form the other prong of inquiry. Agricultural development, successful businesses, and the operation of school systems were each pursuits actively engaged in by Southerners, which fostered social and personal chan ge. Rather than attempting to include these sundry topics within each chapter, chapters are topically organized concentrating on particular subjects as understood by several representative men. 11 Edmund Kirby Smith to Wife [Cassie], 2 October 1865, Kirby Smith Papers, Southern Historical Collection, Louis R. Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; hereinafter cited as SHC.
20 The shift from civil war to civic peace was not only a nationa l transformation but also a personal process. The forces of war transformed and then underpinned mate stories. Rather than a series of composite biographies, however, this project inserts men and women into the culture which they continually shaped and reshaped to discern broader patterns. In his famous explication of Balinese cockfights, Clifford Ge ertz contended that by attending or participating in these events the Balinese ethos and his private sensibility look like when spelled out externally in a collecti ve 12 While historians do not have the benefits (and pitfalls) of direct observation, we al affected men and exposing how they thought and felt during the nineteenth century; mapping shifting discourses about race, manhood, and citizenship that were changed by experiences of Civil War and Recon struction. Jan Lewis demonstrates the importance perceptions, while Rhys Isaac uses broader patterns of social behavior to chart how 12 Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures (1973; repr., New York: Basic Books, 2000), 449.
21 changing cultural systems communicate meanin g. 13 These and other scholars have shown how culture creates and structures social relations. Building upon these approaches, this project primarily uses letters, diaries, memoirs, and public performances to illuminate how manliness and emotionalism pervade d the world of white Southerners. By connecting men from across southern states, this work ultimately seeks to explore the cultural and intellectual lives of Southern whites, their strides toward reconstruction, and the means by which they became invested, or divested, citizens, thus creating a complex portrait of the white Southerner and his public place. This work moves chronologically, charting men from specific areas of Virginia, North only at particular points as this work looks more toward individuals and their expressions. The American Civil War defined the South and its people. But only through the process of reconstruction could they make mean ing of their wartim e experience 14 Soldiers had watched as dear friends and foreign foes, alike, were cut down on fields of identities were gradually transformed in the postwar years most visibly demonstrated in public performances, cultural producti on, political behavior, and 13 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003) and Isaac, The T ransformation of Virginia. 14 Following the lead of scholars such as David Blight and Steven Hahn, I define reconstruction See David W. Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in Americ an Memory (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001) and Steven Hahn, A Nation under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003). Heather Cox Richards on and
22 intellectual life. We have come to better understand why soldiers fought, but must now fully realize the results of that decision. 15 transformational impact on the nature of ideas and self. For Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., 16 What else might be revealed during a period in sou thern history viewed by many this motivated Southerners to behave the way they did. 17 By examining the intersection of ideas and actions among Confederates, my questions are pivotal. How did the prewar era and wartime experiences affect the of his place in society, and in what ways did these forces direct change in a society transformed by emancipation and war? How, in turn, did veterans 15 The rationale for why men fought in the Civil War is highly debated. For the parameters for this debate, see especially Gerald F. Linderman, Embattled Courage: T he Experience of Combat in the American Civil War (New York: The Free Press, 1987), James M. McPherson, For Cause & Comrades: Why Men Fought in The Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), Stephen W. Berry II, All That Makes a Man: Love and Amb ition in the Civil War South (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), and Aaron Sheehan Dean, Why Confederates Fought: Family and Nation in Civil War Virginia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007). 16 Louis Menand, The Metaphysical Club : A Story of Ideas in America (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2001), quote on 61, but see especially Chapters One to Three. 17 Appomattox were an in Rethinking the South: Essays in Intellectual History (1988; repr., Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1993), 131. Stephen Berry influenced m y overal l thinking her e see especially Berry, All That Makes a Man 11.
23 envision their r elationship to state, region, and nation? And what ideas and emotions did veterans evoke to understand and communicate their wartime experiences? All That Makes A Man and Bertram Wyatt Southern Honor illustr ate, the emotional lives and gender roles of Southerners were critical to shifting patterns of thought and regional identity. Moreover, as Gail Bederman argues, manliness itself is a historical process that changes over es on how Souther ners felt, thought, and behaved and then contextualizes these inner experiences within broader discourses about gender, race, and citizenship. By focusing on the lives of individual men, this project accesses how people mentally, morally, and emotionally engaged with life, thereby explaining why certain acts were committed and how particular ideas were expressed. Ultimately, this dissertation constructs a different narrative of Civil War and Reconstruction heretofore often cast in political social, and economic terms by interrogating the contrasting ways in which war shaped the cultural lives of southern men, their strides toward citizenship and the shifting contours of manliness. 18 War destabilizes ideas about race, manhood, and identity Military defeat ca ncelled, or at least undermined underpinning antebellum white men honor, virtue, and sacrifice were gradually refashioned through the process of cultural negotiation for the reconstruction of their manhood. This work is concerned with both the personal and the public, as 18 n reference to symbolic systems. See, Raymond Williams, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society revised edition (1976; repr., New York: Oxford University Press, 1983), quote on 87, see also 87 92.
24 disentangling one from the other proves impossible. 19 While this dissertation is most definitely cultural history, it understands culture to be undergirded by politics and power processes Rather than a history of thought, an analysis of the discursive field seeks to, onditions of existence 20 While still engaging a wide body of scholarship this work remains distinct in four specific ways. First, I am shifting the locus of inquiry to understand better Southern whites. Through an e xamination of gender identity and emotional expression, I am writing a cultural history of Southern men that posits the primacy of the individual in the expansive public arena. By retrieving the stories of men this work broadens the terms in which Civil Wa r and Reconstruction are both understood and portrayed. As scholars, we must recognize the great importance of intellectual and cultural lives, for the manifestations of these inner worlds formed the fabric of the American South. Second, this project consi ders a largely under explored topic, at least among American historians: the soldier as citizen and vice versa. 21 Few studies have expansively 19 Rhys Isaac describes this as a circularity in whic statements unless they have some comprehension of the culture; but such grasp can only be effectively acquired by close attention to particular action The Transformation of Virg inia, 1740 1790 (1982; repr., Chapel Hill: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture by the University of North Carolina Press, 1999), 325. 20 Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language tr ans., A. M. Sheridan Smith (1969; repr. and trans., New York: Pantheon Books, 1972), 28. An excellent distillation of Manliness & Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United Sta tes, 1880 1917 (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1995), 24 6. 21 Robert A. Nye has written a brilliant historiography on civilian and military masculinities in the nineteenth and twentieth century, which focuses primarily on Europe, but acknowled ges what work has ability to manage this transition between civilian and military masculinities in ways that neither jeopardized the efficient conduct of w
25 examined how Southerners became soldiers and the processes by which veterans became citizens. It is vital to under stand how the forces of war and emancipation changed these men and their notions of self and place in society. Third, this study takes emotions history seriously and considers this lens as an invaluable mechanism for emselves and penetrating the nature of personal explanation for their public behaviors. Moreover, emotions history offers a lens into recover their living presence and a way to recapture how history felt. 22 within the framework of broader discourses, break down traditional periodization. Private letters and public act s construct a different portrait of men grappling with the war in varied ways to isolate its fundamental meanings to their lives. The American Historical Review vol. 112, no. 2 (April 2007): 417. Moreover, two recent studies take seriously the issue of how soldiers reintegrated themselves b ack into civilian life, see Jeffrey W. McClurken, Take Care of the Living: Reconstructing Confederate Veteran Families in Virginia (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009) and Marten, Sing Not War. 22 An Emotional History of the United States ed. Jan Lewis and Peter N. Stearns, (New York and London: New York University Press, 1998), 1.
26 CHAPTER 2 BOOKS AND BEARS Leonidas Lafayette Polk, born in Anson County, North Carolina in 1837, had lost his father and a mo ther by the age of fifteen. He inherited over 350 acres of land and graduate of Davidson College, Leonidas became a politician, a Confederate officer, an editor, and an agrar ian leader. Before his meteoric rise in public life, however, Leonidas pondered the responsibilities of manhood. Taking his lessons from others, Leonidas The poem stated tha t it was nei ther age n or family, not attire or wealth. Clothes, rings, pipes, and wines were but fleeting pleasures; titles and books meant nothing. All these mind a spirit firm, erect and free, that never busily bends a knee; that will not bear a speak to God from within and never make league with sin. He must be brave, and bow nowhere but at 1 lded the spiritual and the valiant, and required ethereal qualities and firm resolve. In constructing his own models of manhood Polk looked to the example of others. Denton, a professor 1 L. L. Polk, N/D [circa 1858], Box 1, Folder 1, Leonidas L. Polk Papers, SHC. Punctuation and capitalization have been altered for the format. This poem appeare d throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century in newspapers. For an early version, see William Denton, Poems for Reformers (Dayton, Ohio: William and Elizabeth M. F. Denton, 1856), 28 9. See also, William Denton, Radical Rhymes (1871; repr., We llesley, Mass.: Denton Publishing Company, 1881), 29 30.
27 and spiritual leader, offered guidance to the young Polk and his fluid masculinity. not social position or economic success, were the materials of manhood. Leonidas found value in these lines, for he included the transcription alongside co nsiderations of moral influence and charity toward others. How, though, were the characteristics of manhood created, learned, or impressed? What exactly made southern white men, men? A rich, if still burgeoning, body of literature has recently addressed Southern men and southern masculinities. This interpretive vision advances an understanding of manhood as a process, constructed and reconstructed by men and women. The powerful analytical framework of honor (a vision which dominated interpretation for the past three decades, though goes back much further) is now posited as an ethos central to manliness, but only part of masculinity. Instead, historians such as Stephen Berry, LeeAnn Whites, Lorri Glover, and Craig Thompson Friend have insisted on the primac y of gender analysis in understanding Southerners and their self identities. 2 This the lives of Southern white men through their words and their experiences in the forests and 2 Dominant works on southern honor include: Bertram Wyatt Brown, Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1982); Edward L. Ayers, Vengeance and Justice: Crime and Punishment in the 19th Century American South (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1984); and Kenneth S. Greenberg, Honor & Slavery: Lies, Duels, Noses, Masks, Dressing As a Woman, Gifts, Strangers, Humanitarianism, Death, Slave Rebellions, the Proslavery Argument, Baseball, Hunting, and Gambling in the Old South (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), 24 31. On manhood as a process, Gail Bederman, Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Rac e in the United States, 1880 1917 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995). Southern studies considering the gendered lives of men: LeeAnn Whites, The Civil War as a Crisis in Gender: Augusta, Georgia 1860 1890 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 199 5); Stephen W. Berry II, All That Makes A Man: Love and Ambition in the Civil War South (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2003); Southern Manhood: Perspectives on Masculinity in the Old South ed., Craig Thompson Friend and Lorri Glover (Athen s: University of Georgia Press, 2004); and Lorri Glover, Southern Sons: Becoming Men in the New Nation (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.
28 expressions during periods of both isolation and sociability. Moreover, quiet moments writing and the intensity of the hunt reveal two central problems guiding relationships and behavior: the exercise of passion and restraint. 3 Self examination, emotional release and control, and demonstrations of manliness became processes by which Southerners learned the contours of manhood and explored themselves and their pla ce in society. As elite white men were called to meet social expectations, life unfolded in particular patterns. The melding of the public with the private helps to understand antebellum men on their own terms, for these two areas of life and expression ar e often artificially separated in the scholarship, thereby creating partial portraits. Southerners embraced a white masculinity that permitted personal disclosures, but only to their most intimate associates. Public masks ensured absolute mastery; relatio nships with women, children, and slaves defined manhood. Patriarchy and paternalism depended upon personal conduct, and power was realized only through the successful governance of family and the continued maintenance of independent households. Men learned how to wield power and represent their manliness; furthermore, models of behavior were neither monolithic nor static. Privileged young men learned their duties and obligations both from their families and their peers. Men often made sense of their social roles, private thoughts, and personal feelings in letters and diaries. By learning how to command themselves and others with a firm hand 3 See, Dickson D. Bruce, Jr., Violence and Culture in the Antebellum South (Austin and London: Univ ersity of Texas Press, 1979) and Ted Ownby, Subduing Satan: Religion, Recreation, & Manhood in the Rural South, 1865 1920 (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1990).
29 witnessed especially in militia musters, hunting expeditions, horse races, and duels men overly demonstrated the public requirements of southern manhood. Words George Anderson Mercer, raised in wealth and privilege, recognized the responsibilities and obligations of southern manhood. Born in 1835, the Savannah a prominent cotton merchant. His father, Hugh Mercer, a successful banker and graduate of the United States Military Academy, held a prominent place in Savannah society; his great grandfather, General Hugh Mercer, had fallen at the Battle of Princeton duri ng the American Revolution. 4 Self conscious and introspective, Mercer maintained a diary that resulted in a remarkable five volume record of his life spanning the antebellum and postbellum eras. et their expression of thoughts and feelings were. 5 Nineteenth century men and women craved emotional expression, and diaries served as an important medium. A century earlier diarists revealed little about personal motivations and feelings, typically recor ding only events taste nor the skill for self 6 Only in the nineteenth century did journal 4 George Anderson Mercer Diary, 17 December 1865, Box 1, Volum e 5, George Anderson Mercer Papers, SHC and Robert Manson Myers, The Children of Pride: A True Story of Georgia and the Civil War (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1972), 1623. Johnny Mercer, the famed musician and composer, was grandson to Geo rge Anderson Mercer, thus extending the family successes into the twentieth century. 5 Lewis, The Pursuit of Happiness 209 16. 6 Lewis, The Pursuit of Happiness quote on 214, see 212 6. The best investigation of an eighteenth century diary of this ilk r emains, Laurel Thacher Ulrich, 1785 1812 (New York: Vintage, 1990). For a different model of analysis in a work of similar power, see Rhys Isaac, a Virginia Plantation (Oxford
30 writing become an important private ritual, a place to escape from the tedium of life. Diary pages were confessionals for the expression of inner thoughts, feelings, and concerns. Journals became a place to purge and ponder. 7 These records provide remarkable insights in how Southern men viewed themselves, their families, and their place in the world. Within the pages of their writing, Southerners expressed the ways they experienced life. The texts are performative an articulation and retelling of a lived reality. Such constructions fostered the development of both a publi c and private self. their lives. 8 Were these private records also spoken thoughts? It remains difficult to tell, though such intimate sentiments were reserved only for th e closest family and friends; southern culture demanded public veneers. Instead, these words, feelings, and thoughts were captured on paper, safely bottled up from the public but still shaping the 9 Diarists probab ly represented a minority in southern society, though we will never decided who would, or would not write. William J. Clarke, well educated like Mercer, found writing t edious. A graduate of the University of North Carolina and trained in law, and New York: Oxford University Press, 2004). On eighteenth century conceptions of self and identity, see Through a Glass Darkly: Reflections on Personal Identity in Early America, eds., Ronald Hoffman, Mechal Sobel, and Fredr ika J. Teute (Chapel Hill and London: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia, by the University of North Carolina Press, 1997). 7 Berry, All That Makes A Man 74. 8 Victor Turner, The Anthropology of Performance Through a Glass Darkly 157 62. 9 Michel Foucault cautions us not to define the thoughts, images, and preoccupations revealed in such records but rather the discourse itself, which forms Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge & The Discourse on Language trans. A. M. Sheridan Smith (New York: Pantheon Books, 1972), 106 17 and 135 40.
31 Clarke owned eight slaves, a house, and a mill, and he employed a white servant. 10 Yet he never became a planter and suffered financial difficulties. Clarke frequently wrote business letters and infrequently corresponded with family, except his wife and children, with whom he maintained regular correspondence when separated. In writing to 11 While a self proclaimed talker, William chose conversation rather than correspondence. Moreover, not all diarists so intensely interrogated them selves. Scores of record random thoughts. Nevertheless, diarists in particular, and their expression of feelings and thoughts more broadly, represent a significant thre ad in southern society deserving of sustained attention to reveal broader social and cultural processes. In these records we learn much about the inner lives of men. Southern whites constructed elaborate guards and public masks to maintain and reinforce 12 As which, in turn, created different documents. On the one hand, many authors created 10 1850 Census, Wake County, North Carolina, p. 57, and 1850 Census, Wake County Slave Schedule, North Carolina, p. 667. 11 William J. Clarke to Frances Miller, 24 February 1856, in Live Your Own Life: The Family Papers of Mary Bayard Clarke, 1854 1886 ed., Terrell Armistead Crow and Mary Moulton Barden (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2003), 43 5. 12 Drew Gilpin Faust, James Henry Hammond and the Old South: A Design for Mastery (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1982), 18 9 and Berry, All That Makes A Man 19 40.
32 instructional and reflexive journals intended for personal consumption only these admonishment to p while Martin Witherspoon Ga 13 Curious interlopers were probably unhindered by secure his innermos t thoughts and feelings. Keeping a private journal private is, of course, a timeless pursuit. But the tension between the public and private self in sentiments. Secret diar ies offered men a refuge; an unrestricted arena to explore themselves, their internal worlds and outer responsibilities. Here men could expose themselves rather than hide behind poses. But the domain had to be secured. On the other hand, some diarists wr ote for public revelation and for posterity. These journals were to be read and enjoyed by family and friends, perhaps even printed children, and the hope that his writi ngs would prove gratifying and instructional. 14 The content of such educational documents was often more controlled and directed, though 13 Mercer Diary, N/D (circ a January 1851), Box 1, Volume 1, Mercer Papers, SHC; John Burgwyn MacRae Diary, circa 1866, Series 3, Folder 14, John Burgwyn MacRae Papers, SHC; and Martin Witherspoon Gary, circa January 1851, MSS/Volumes, Martin Witherspoon Gary Papers, South Carolinia na Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC; hereinafter USC. 14 Josiah Gorgas, 1 January 1857, in The Journals of Josiah Gorgas ed., Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1995), 3.
33 interrogations of self, public diaries were more often interpretations of life, of events, and of people. indeed still are, living documents. Their survival into the present suggests the diary initially an instrument to document nature, became a tool to help him navigate life and its requirements. In each recording Mercer captured a particular moment in time, immortalizing the emotion, expe rience, or idea. In one of his first entries George wrote: f e and I ever reached the age of manhood, that I would read my little book, with the greatest pleasure, that would remind me of the happy days of childhood long pa ssed away, and as I intend, in this little volume, to describe some of the happy hours which I have passed, & which I hope to pass again in my sweet 15 Seldom commenting on national events or politics, at least before his post Civil War entries, Merce r envisioned his journal as a record of his maturation into manhood and means to capture an otherwise lost past. A particularly wistful passage written while he attended Princeton University encapsulates the broader tenor and purpose of much of the antebel lum writings. Looking at his postings, reviewing boyhood scenes, George when I first penned these simple, but heart felt words how many friends have bidden me God speed, and gone to their last long home. How the simple pleasures of my youth have given place to joys less lasting, and I fear less pure. I am at college, far away from 15 Mercer Diary, N/D [1848?], Box 1, Volume 1, Mercer Papers, SHC.
34 16 The prospect of manhood created excitement and nost algia, suggesting inner tensions part of the maturation process. Mercer turned to his diary to recount both his hopes and his fears. happily contented himself in writing, for th all the seeds of knowledge I can glean: for then, when I am declined into the vale of years, and am falling into the sere and yello w leaf, I can sit beneath the vine and fig tree which mine own hands have planted: the wilderness of age will blossom as the rose, and the vines I am training to clamber about my green stem, will sustain, refresh and crown me with flowers, when root and br anch of me are [strikethrough] withering 17 In his diary, then, George created a refuge and a record, a place to remember more clearly his own transformation into m anhood. envisioned aging as a departure from youthful innocence into the more pressing, less pure, demands of life. But for Mercer, the diary, its words and cherished memories, could b 18 George hoped that he could maintain his humanity, his humility, as he aged by always keeping close where he had been. This vision of manhood combined the past, present, and future, and was built with the hope 16 Mercer Diary, 29 April 1855, Box 1, Volume 1, Mercer Papers, SHC. 17 Mercer Diary, 7 August 1859, Box 1, Volume 2, Mercer Papers, SHC. 18 Mercer Diary, 10 March 1855, Box 1, Volume 2, Mercer Papers, SHC.
35 that the duti es and obligations of adult life could always be dulled by remembrances. In 19 Just like George Mercer, college caused Martin Witherspoon Gary pause. He marveled at the m ental and physical changes brought with time. Enrolled at South Carolina College from 1850 to 1852 (as a member of a widespread student revolt, Gary trained for their pu blic lives. While there he maintained a short lived diary. Keenly peers could have bee n spoken directly to Mercer, for he challenged what Mercer so cherished. Eventually becoming an ardent secessionist and prominent South Carolina politician, Gary was a man of action and grounded in the present. In college, he trusted, wary of those who might attack his character and soil his good name. 20 Yet, despite such cynicism, Gary, like Mercer, ultimately wanted to be understood. Instead of turning to the pages of a secret diary Gary reached out, seeking people with whom he could confide secrets, and unfold his thoughts without the fear of betrayal. 21 Ultimately, Gary 19 Thomas R. Flynn, Sartre, Foucault, and Historical Reason: Toward an Existentialist Theory of History 2 vols., vol. 1 (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1997), 10 6. 20 21 Gar
36 embraced a more robust, public masculinity remaining deeply concerned about status and symbol but also willi ng to divulge his more private self. For men such as Gary and Mercer, writing offered a space and a time to contemplate themselves and their place in southern society. Both men purged themselves of their fears and doubts as they spilled ink upon paper. I n their observations and writings, comments and commentaries, they were, however unconsciously, constructing their own models of manhood. While hundreds of actions, in hundreds of ways, profoundly shaped Southerners, self examination and observation served as key ingredients to their conceptions of manliness. Both men eventually assumed public roles Mercer, as a prominent Savannah lawyer, and Gary as a South Carolina politician but they differed in how they balanced their private and private lives. For Merc er, manhood and maturity were burdens and marked the loss of youthful innocence. Suffering from self doubt, wrought with anxiety, he navigated the social sphere with great difficulty often yearning for the domestic arena where he felt most secure. Gary, on the other hand, embraced the public arena and sought to lead men rather than to be led. Confident and determined, he commanded himself forsaking those who threatened his independence. These men reveal the different processes by which they navigated self d iscovery and emotional maturation. For all their differences in attitude and disposition, Mercer and Gary were conjoined by similar experience and were products of the same culture. Associations and exclusions, based on class structure and social practic es, defined Southern masculinity. Gender and race organized interactions, and as Mercer and Gary considered their maturation outside forces shaping their self identities. The genteel
37 background of these two men allowed for their entry into college and fost ered their writing practices. Moreover, the power and privilege they enjoyed, and would continue to enjoy, as white southern elites contributed to their constructions of masculinity as young men. t themselves. Social elites with an appetite for reading voraciously consumed classical literature and English novels, especially, but also enjoyed American authors. Those who wrote explications distilled personal inclinations and characteristics as they c onsidered the meanings of literary works. A unique opportunity for comparison between two men, and their ideals of manhood as articulated through writing, is found in reactions to Benjamin Autobiography Both Josiah Gorgas and George Mercer were most happily situated at home, among their books and papers. Both kept copious diaries, though, as Autobiography (Despite their similarities, the two men were separated in age by nearly twenty years, though their reactions are opposite of what one might expect given their point in life.) Franklin intended the work as a record of his life and accomplis hments, a tale of progress and parables. In his childhood Josiah Gorgas devoured the book, reading and rereading it with great pleasure. But in 1858 he reread the book with a mixed reaction. ess and material gains. restrained, persevering, able and patriotic
38 22 eorge Mercer reacted mor e positively. The elements that Gorgas found most distasteful were those which taken by the useful instructive necessary, he thought, to achieve an important end. 23 Why, though, the contrast? What were these men drawn to and repulsed by? Josiah Gorgas, born in Pennsylvania in 1818, married Amelia Gayle in 1853, the daughter of former Alabama governor John Gayle. A lthough a career soldier and forced enjoyed planting gardens and dreamed of owning slaves and a plantation. 24 And, while Gorgas, like Franklin, firmly believed that mastery an d self command served as avenues to success, his pursuit of manhood had become more romantic and more detached from his northern upbringing. 25 Material success was only one component in a grander and earned with more difficulty; he wanted his life to be brave and generous. By focusing on the economy of time and the counting of pennies, Gorgas felt Franklin had missed 22 Gorgas, 15 March , in The Journals of Josiah Gorgas 17. See also, Berry, All That Makes A Man 34 5. 23 Mercer Diary, 8 August 1858, Box 1, Volume 2, Mercer Papers, SHC. 24 For instance, Gorgas Diary, 28 January  and 3 June , in The Journals of Josiah Gorgas 5 Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market (Camb ridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999). 25 Berry, All That Makes A Man 34 5.
39 later in life 26 The South that Gorgas so eagerly chased after was often vexatious to M ercer who lived it. The bravery now gone, Mercer set about finding the best means to build his civilization. The self restraint, economy of time, and careful calculation of detail that propelled Franklin also drove Mercer. For these men, then, southern man hood and its requirements meant very different things. Both men wanted to make their mark on the world but traveled very different paths. Despite dramatically experiences, writing offered men a similar means of release. As Southerners poured over old jour nal entries they became lost in nostalgia not unlike someone looking through old pictures today. Diaries evoked memories both pleasurable and painful and were central to the emotional lives of writers. Past writings could bring a man to tears, or fill him with joyful remembrance. 27 Parents encouraged their sons publicly to stifle their emotions and exert self control. Diaries offered an emotional needs and expressio ns. 28 In writing and within the domestic sphere, feelings ran more freely, and private exposure was more expressive. This is perhaps reflected best as writers contemplated mortality. In dealing with death, writing offered solace. 26 Franklin, Autobiography and Other Writings ed., Ormond Seavey (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 90 2. 27 For instance, Mercer Diary, 12 September 1851 and 29 April 1855, Box 1, Volume 1, Mercer Papers, SHC. 28 5 and Berry, All That Makes a M an.
40 Mercer bid her farewell, recalled their joyful shared the sun shine into the shadow of life. We are all hastening towards the grave: what my 29 cen tury writers, especially in diaries and letters among family. Frequent deaths among friends and relatives surely shaped the perspectives of the living. Upon the birth of one of Josiah has been born to us. She is a nice plump looking little pet. Will she live to look over these pages which 30 Hopeful for the future, though very much aware of potential pain, Josiah deemed his da announced great joy at receiving a letter from his wife, Mary Bayard Clarke, though her trials. In a particularly melodramatic moment, he told Mary that he wished for death at the Battle at the National Bridge, the site of his wounding during the Mexican American 29 Mercer Diary, 29 April 1855, Box 1, Volume 1, Mercer Papers, SHC. 30 Gorgas, 13 December 1857, in The Journals of Josiah Gorgas 13.
41 Absolving himself, he trusted in fate to deliver them from their woes and looked forward to the day that God might present them pleasure, thereby allowing them to laugh at old troubles. 31 ts of white masculinity. Permitted few public disclosures and defined by guarded interactions, the feelings shaping men were expressed privately among family or within their writings. Diaries served as venues for the exploration of feelings and for the exp ression of fear and depression. Josiah Gorgas felt compelled to write in his one day future record that he felt very downcast, though for no good reason. 32 Perhaps Gorgas was offering an explanation, for many Southerners suffered from a tension between what was expected and what could be achieved. 33 re she 34 Bertram Wyatt expanding the work of Julian Pitt Rivers and Pierre Bourdieu found complex systems Wyatt suppression of self examination, which produced an array of emotional reactions 31 Live Your Own Life 43 5. 32 Josiah Gorgas, 26 Februar y 1858, in The Journals of Josiah Gorgas 16. 33 Berry, All That Makes A Man 44. 34 Mercer Diary, 29 April 1855, Box 1, Volume 1, Mercer Papers, SHC.
42 ranging from violence to depression. 35 As the accounts herein demonstrate, Southerners indeed suffered from depression and doubt but also engaged in self examination, however privately. Such men systemically considered paths to personal improvemen t. Their journals devices that required time, supplies, and solitude served as tools of introspection and self development. Diaries and writing thus fulfilled for Southern whites a private life that they guarded publicly. As they expressed themselves and examined themselves these men were exploring notions of manhood. Actions Avid sportsmen and South Ca rolina planter William Elliott sought to ensure his own immorality by publishing a collection of hunting and fishing stories aptly titled, Carolina Sports by Land and Water (1846). An absentee landlord, Elliott infrequently visited one of his outlying plan tations at Chee ha, a fertile swatch of land some forty miles southwest of Charleston. On a clear autumn day in October 1837, one of these visits occasioned a hunt with a group of fellow planters. 36 The party dispatched their drivers and dogs to flesh out g ame, and then waited. Elliott climbed the knoll of a pond enclosed by tree and brush. From a distance he could hear the dogs crying as they tramped along catching scents. A large dark object broke his solitude, followed by the appearance of another, smalle r one. To his great surprise they were bears. Rather than straight for me, however, until they had approached within twenty yards; when the 35 Wyatt Brown most clearly articulates his vision in Bertram Wyatt Brown, Hearts of Darkness: Wellsprings o f a Southern Literary Tradition (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2003), xiii xvi. 36 Carolina Sports by Land and Water; including Devil Fishing, Wild Cat, Deer, and Bear Hunting, etc. new introduction by Theodore Rosengarten (1846; repr., Columbia: University of South Carolina, 1994), ix xi.
43 leading bear, a large one, stop ped and looked me full in the face. A yearling bear followed, and, as if prompted by curiosity, reared himself on his hind legs and looked 37 Elliott drew a bead on the large bear, took aim between his eyes, an d pulled one trigger on his double barrel shotgun. The large bear disappeared instantly, while the smaller bear, in its shadow, rolled away. Riding to the spot, Elliott found the large bear motionless, positioned in the same upright position he held before the shot; the animal was stone dead. 38 deeper and deeper into a swamp. Elliott sounded his horn, calling for his companions who failed to answer as they and the dogs were now pursing deer. Once his companions arrived they were 39 Planters such as Elliott, and their pri ckly dispositions, interpreted such questioning as an affront, perhaps even personal insult. Hunting was not only a contest between man and nature, but among hunters. Sportsmen pushed themselves, tried their skills, and demonstrated their mettle to their c immediately uplifted as the surprised party crowded the bear and offered their congratulations. To his further delight the horses showed uneasiness upon sight of the 37 William Elliott, Carolina Sports by Land and Water; including Devil Fishing, Wild Cat, Deer, and Bear Hunting, etc. (London: Richard Bentley, New Burlington Street, 1867), 216 7; hereinafter all citations are from the 1867 edition unless otherwise indicated. 38 Elliott, Carolina Sports by Land and Water 217. 39 Elliott, Carolina Sports by Land and Water cted a very real depletion of once abundant bear. Nicolas W. Proctor, Bathed in Blood: Hunting and Mastery in the Old South (Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 2002), 23.
44 these reactions only elevated confidence and satisfaction. Standing above hunting peer and animal companion, Elliott insisted that the party continue afte r the wounded bear. Once again 40 Pointing to the torn brush and the blood soaked ground he illustrated wh at they refused to believe. Elliott then called 41 The party closed in, hearts beating quickly and fingers resting on triggers. But was no room for chase, or fight the bear lay dead before us! A grand hurra burst from us! a grand flourish of horns! and my hunting cap was whirled aloft on the muzzle of my gun! I was delighted exalted overmuch, perhaps! but my pride was soon to hav 42 damper! to tell a man who was priding himself on having made a magnificent shot, 43 A game of oneupmanship ensued. Elliott recited a litany of his kills over the expedition, his sure aim, his deft reflexes and quick instincts. The man deferred. With his manly prowess now reasserted the party continued the hunt. 40 Elliott, Carolina Sports by Land and Water, 221. 41 Elliott, Carolina Sports by Land and Water, 221. 42 Elliott, Carolina Sports by Land and Water, 222. 43 Elliott, Carolina Sports by Land and Water, 222 3.
45 So, what does hunting have to do with southern culture and what can it tell us about Southern men? Hunting and its violence were expressive forms of culture through which men symbolically illustrated their assumptions about the world. 44 In the fields and on the hunt, men were removed from the trappings and traditions of ordinary society. By the mid nineteenth century, women, both in the United States and Eng land, were participating in fox hunts, a sport of the genteel and elite. Y et, many hunts remained an all male arena in which hunters constructed and enacted rituals and rites creating a uniquely homosocial culture. 45 Significant elements of male sensibility were derived from hunting excursions. Trips into the forest loosened cr uelty, hatred, violence, and death but also engendered admiration, passion, love, and respect. 46 internal contests between passion and restraint, piety and aggression. 47 Most explicitly, of course, hunting privileged and rewar ded aggression. In field and forest men channeled unrestrained passion and unchecked aggression into the pursuit of game; an activity socially sanctioned and approved. But the feelings unleashed on the hunt did not ebb quickly and may have even been augmen ted. The pursuit of wildlife instilled pugnacity and bloodlust, and in a culture arguably predisposed to violence, hunting only 44 Bruce, Violence and Culture in the Antebellum South, 196. 45 Ted Ownby, Subduing Satan: Religion, Recreation, & Manhood in the Rural South, 1865 1920 (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1990), 21 7. On women in hunting and sport, American Wome 33 and Cartriona M. Parratt, of Sport History vol. 16, no. 2 (Summer, 1989): 140 57. 46 This 21, especially. 47 Bruce, Jr., Violence and Culture in the Antebellum South, 233 and Ownby, Subduing Satan.
46 increased Southern militancy. 48 For all its brutality and violence, however, trips into the wonders, enjoy the conservation of close friends, and escape from the demands of daily life. During hunting trips, then, men explored masculine identities and ideals, which were then constructed and reconstructed, enacted and performed. The successful hun ter was rewarded not only by the conquest of his quarry but also by the congratulations of friends and family. Men derived great self confidence from these experiences expanding sometimes already overblown egos. 49 As chronicled the bear kills, men showcased their prowess and manliness to each other leading to conflict and admiration. On the hunt men confronted themselves, their limitations and possibilities, and each other, carefully measuring just what made a Southern man The S 50 Yet the panoply of flora and fauna were never distributed equally, or uniformly accessed by blacks and whites. Southern men of all classes and backgrounds went hunting and fishing with some frequency. Their motivations and models of behavior differed wildly, however. Poor whites, generally without their own pork, 48 Bertram Wyatt Brown, Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old S outh (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1982) and John Hope Franklin, The Militant South, 1800 1861 (1956; repr., American Historical Revie w 74 (February 1969): 906 25 and Edward L. Ayers, Vengeance and Justice: Crime and Punishment in the 19th Century American South (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1984). For excellent comparison between early twentieth century Northern and So uthern violence Twentieth Century Chicago and New The Journal of Southern History 74, no. 2 (May 2008): 297 324. 49 Elliott, Carolina Sports by Land and Water 181. 50 See, for inst ance, the early accounts of John Lawson, A New Voyage to Carolina ed., Hugh Talmage Lefler (1714; repr., Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1967) and Robert Beverley, The History and Present State of Virginia ed., Louis B. Wright (Chape l Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1947).
47 chickens, or cows, used hunting and fishing to supplement often meager, grain and corn based diets. 51 Enslaved a nd freed blacks, too, relied on game for protein. 52 Because of the expense of rifles and s hotguns and, for African Americans, restrictions on firearms, traps and dogs were commonly employed to capture game. 53 For white Southern planters hunting was a sport a n elite ritual that distinguished them from 54 These men used the hunt to evoke their connections, real and constructed, to the Old World aristocracy. 55 For hunters of every cla ss, though, gaming and its spoils reinforced practice. 56 bolstered social prestige and re ified class relations Vast personal kingdoms were created by i maginativ e and aggressive white planters These improved lands precluded access to anyone but landowners themselves and their elite guests. Such men of wealth defined their social standing thro ugh manners, dress, demeanor, conversational 51 Steven Hahn, The Roots of Southern Populism: Yeoman Farmers and the Transformation of the Georgia Upcountry, 1850 1890 (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), 58. 52 On slaves hunting a nd fishing, see Eugene D. Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World The Slaves Made (1972; repr., New York: Vintage Books, 1976), 62 3. On firearm ownership among free blacks hern Experiment in Black Freedom from the 1790s Through the Civil War (New York: Vintage Books, 2004), 181 2, especially. 53 Proctor, Bathed in Blood, 85. 54 Stephanie McCurry, Masters of Small Worlds: Yeoman Households, Gender Relations, & the Political Cu lture of the Antebellum South Carolina Low Country (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 15 and Daniel Robinson Hundley, Social Relations in Our Southern States (New York: Henry B. Price, Publisher, 1860), 37 8 and 343. 55 W. J. Cash, The Mi nd of the South, with a new introduction by Bertram Wyatt Brown (1941; repr., New York: Vintage Books, 1991), 30. 56 Proctor, Bathed in Blood, 1 and 12 3.
48 style, and, significantly, their hunting customs. Hunting clubs attended by enslaved blacks allowed fiercely independent men to demonstrate freedom from material want, servile subjection, and subordination. 57 Pla hunting as an elite ritual ignited conflict with those who claimed common rights to land and resources. (Planters often gifted the spoils of their hunt to signal authority and reinforce dependence. 58 ) As a result, in the early to mid nineteenth century wealthy whites engaged in court disputes and called for legal regulations to codify their position. 59 But, as historian Nicolas W. Proctor explains, the lack of meaningful enabling legislation resulted in the nullificati on of most hunting laws in the antebellum South. Only in the final years of the antebellum era were proponents of conservation minded hunting successful, though these actions were tinged by class biases. 60 Hunting, its customs and its character, thus reflec time, and conquest of nature. Young adults of all classes were welcomed into this fraternity of men through flask, and e xperienced the excitement, sweat, fear, and triumph of the hunt. While a deeply emotional experience, men learned mastery over self, society, and nature. 61 For the elite, hunting parties were supported by drivers, typically enslaved blacks, who beat 57 Isaac, The Transformation of Virginia, 131; Faust, James Henry Hammond and the Old South, 75, 104 5; Proctor, Bathed in Blood, 76 98 and 104 18. 58 Elliott, Carolina Sports by Land and Water, 191. 59 Stuart A. Marks, Southern Hunting in Black and White: Nature, History, and Ritual in a Carolina Community (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991), 28 37 ; Elliott, Carolina Sports by Land and Water, 254 8; and McCurry, Masters of Small Worlds, 7 16. 60 Proctor, Bathed in Blood, 13 and 34. 61 Wyatt Brown, Southern Honor, 195 6.
49 thicket s and tracked game with packs of seasoned dogs, often of English and Irish blood. 62 Mounted hunters traversed open terrain, patiently waiting until opportunity or chance allowed them a shot. For the majority of white Southerners, the hunt banded together me n of agreeable dispositions who wanted to enjoy the companionship of congenial neighbors, kin, or even strangers men who shared a similar image of masculinity. 63 explained how a sen not a typical practice but highly suggestive nonetheless. This blood symbolically joined the hunter to the hunted and a fellowship of sportsmen. 64 In upon h is face. 65 In this not so subtle vignette the hunter reached back to his ancient forebearers, becoming provider of food and conquerer of the forest. Hunting evoked The pu rsuit and conquest of game created a stage upon which hunters enacted their own masculine dramas, and explored their emotions and fears. In an explosive and dangerous atmosphere, men reveled in the passion and intensity engendered by the 62 Dickson D. Bruce, Jr., Violence and Culture in the Antebellum South (Austin and London: University of in Fighting for the Confederacy: The Personal Recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander ed., Gary W. Gallagher (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1989), 22. 63 Proctor, Bathed in Blood 99 100. 64 Elliott, Carolina Sports by Land and Water 173 4. See also, Ownby, Subduing Satan 24 and Proctor, Bathed in Blood 106 8. 65 Elliott, Carolina Sports b y Land and Water 174.
50 pursuit of game. W the direction of the cry, and thus the whole field got placed, and took a fair start with the here they go! Look! for the hedge! Rowser leads he leaps the hedge ha! he has overrun the track. Black has caught it up it is all right! There they go look at them! listen to them! Does it not make your pulse quicken. Is there not a thrill of pleasur e shooting through your frame? Can you tell your name? Have you a wife? a child? Have you a neck? 66 While written partly for effect, the thr aside, thereby only reinforcing how rigorously masculine hunting proved. Southerners showcased their rifles and shotguns, and presented deft displays of marksmanship. Huntin g was not simply a contest with nature but among men, and accruements were definitively masculine symbols par excellence. 67 Men formed close bonds with their rifles, some ev en naming them. George Mercer, who had named his gun was mine. It stands out brightly among the brightest scenes of my boyhood. I could 66 Elliott, Carolina Sports by Land and Water, 164. 67 21, especially.
51 not compute my happiness my 68 Edward Porter Alexander future Confederate general and expert artillerist wrote that during 69 Rates of gun ownership in the South was higher than in any ot her region of the country, and reinforced white supremacy and male pa triarchy. Planters regarded firearms as necessary components of the machinery of control. 70 unable to do much beside dream of past glories. 71 This particular quality spilled over into many aspects of southern life creating men with grand visions and lofty, self appointed pos itions. 72 In its extreme, hunting and its culture of violence schooled preparatory school for war; and the expert hunter will, I doubt not, show himself the superior in th e field to another, every other way his equal, yet wanting this 73 Moreover, horses, guns, a nd killing echoed the rigors of combat. 74 While not 68 Mercer Diary, 9 May 1855, Box 1, Volume 2, Mercer Papers, SHC. 69 Alexander, in Fighting for the Confederacy 3 and Proctor, Bathed in Blo od 44. 70 Franklin, The Militant South 69. 71 Meshach Browning, Forty Four Years of the Life of a Hunter; Being Reminiscences of Meshach Browning, a Maryland Hunter Revised and illustrated by E. Stabler (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1859), vi. 72 Berry, All That Makes A Man 21. 73 Elliott, Carolina Sports by Land and Water 282. 74 Proctor, Bathed in Blood 72 and Wyatt Brown, Southern Honor 191 and 196.
52 contributing directly to war, like slave patrols, dueling, excessive drinking, and contests of political honor, hunting increased southern militancy and violence. imes led to excessive, gratuitous killing. Meshach Browning, a poor white from Maryland, dedicated his life to hunting. His hunting career, which spanned over forty years, resulted in an astounding number of kills: between eighteen hundred to two thousand deer, three to four hundred bears, around fifty catamounts and panthers, and scores of wolves. 75 childhood hunting diary often included compilations of his spoils. On one long weekend near his Savannah home Mercer reckoned he had killed 11 d oves, 2 larks, 1 large fowl hawk, 1 partridge, 1 snipe, 2 squirrels, and some robins and black birds. He and his cousin had together shot and killed one large duck and a coot. This same cousin and an ns. 76 Immoderate killing was especially prevalent among young men who eventually learned moderation. Many hunters were concerned about the disappearance of game and called for conservation. Reformers such as William Elliott and Daniel Robinson Hundley admon ished those who engaged in the reckless destruction of forest, field, and game. 77 Yet, despite calls for restraint, the passions and excesses engendered by the hunt became part of some thern society even encouraged, these demonstrations. Such behavior did not accord with the 75 Browning, Forty Four Years of the Life of a Hunter, vi. 76 Mercer Diary, circa 1850, Box 1, Volume 1, Mercer Papers, SHC. 77 Hundley, Social Relations in Our Southern States, 168 9 and Elliott, Carolina Sports by Land and Water, 283.
53 principles of all, of course, but most hunters recognized excitement and pas sion as integral to the hunt. 78 prowess, manliness, and skill sets so openly displayed. Many o f the stories of William Elliott have a homoerotic subtext. 79 river. Elliott first implored Robin, an enslaved huntsmen, to fetch the deer. Robin you, you prince of fools! 80 He then began to unclothe to jump into the water himself wh en a fellow hunter, Loveleap, Loveleap offered to go in his stead. He began undressing, at first quickly, and then t the work was ended, and his moved too far making the swim too dangerous. 81 Love leap consoled his companion for the loss and promised a venison steak. The large, powerful body of Loveleap epitomized manliness and captivated Elliott. While he may indeed have had sexual longings for his companion, Elliott more 78 Proctor, Bathed in Blood 110 2. 79 McCurry, Masters of Small Worlds fn 26, 16. 80 Elliott, Carolina Sports by Lan d and Water 209. 81 Elliott, Carolina Sports by Land and Water 211.
54 likely coveted what Love leap represented. 82 Deprived of the climatic moment of the especially powerful if we juxtapose his admonishment and humiliation of Robin, the state. In the wood dance, without fear of offending some would be critic, who seems a stern, stiff, silly 83 It was perhaps the freedom of e informa lity the occasion afforded, which most pleased Elliott. Either reading only reinforces the intensely homosocial culture of the hunt, an arena that offered men an escape from rigid social conventions. Southerners hunted for pleasure, for exciteme nt, and for camaraderie, but they also resolutely believed that sport bolstered character and advanced personal development. Hunting instilled values and shaped men. Nineteenth century huntsmen productivity. Eighteenth century observers such as William Byrd II and J. Hector St. 84 Hunter 82 On the late Victorian ideal of the large, powerful man, see Bederman, Manliness & Civilization 7 10. 83 Mercer Diary, 23 May 1855, Box 1, Volume 2, Mercer Papers, SHC. 84 William Byrd, Histories of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia and North Carolina with introduction and notes by William K. Boyd (1728; New York: Dover Publishers, Inc., 1967), 285 6; J. Hector St. John de Letters From an American Farmer (1782; repr., New Y ork: Fox, Duffield & Company, 1904), 69 71; and Proctor, Bathed in Blood 37.
55 sought to instill larger social lessons. 85 paced narrative of his hunting and fishing expeditions also included a contemplative among the faculties and qualities continually called into pleasing exercise; and the man who habitually applies himself to this sport will become more considerate as well as more prompt, more full of resource, more resolute, than if he 86 These learned traits guided men not only in the fields but also at the hearth. The hunt schooled Southerners in manliness, mastery, and desire. With proper resolve and self control whites used these values to assert their authori ty over the environment and its inhabitants. 87 The results of hunting and sport, nineteenth century Southerners contended, became evident in how southern gentry surpassed their northern counterparts. 88 Consistent physical activity and fresh country air deve loped an acute but calm mind and fine physical development. 89 Just how Southern men attributed the improvement of mind and body to hunting 85 Bruce, Violence and Culture in the Antebellum South, 210 11. 86 Elliott, Carolina Sports by Land and Water, 282. For similar sentiments, see Hundley, Social Relations in Our Sou thern States, 39 40. 87 Berry, All That Makes A Man, 17 27. 88 On the more general literary trend to establish southern distinctiveness in the mid nineteenth century, James C. Cobb, Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 22 6. 89 Hundley, Social Relations in Our Southern States, 39 41.
56 the journal contains fine d rawings of rifles, powder horns, hunting bags, and vignettes from nature. In writing his text, Mercer constructed models of masculinity. The records of kills and accounts of hunts reflected a young man assuming manly roles. Such action statements demonstra te the processes by which Mercer formed a self identity as portrayed through acts he deemed culturally valued pugnacity, control, aggression, and reflection. 90 Appreciation for nature came through observation and possession. This relationship seems contradi ctory today. To nineteenth century Southerners, however, admiration and aggression became wedded in the hunt. 91 As Mercer penned in his 92 Merce hawks illuminates his sentiments. He killed the first bird, a sparrow hawk, at a long red by a mixture of brown and yellow ochre, George carefully denoted its markings and gorgeous tail. On the hunt he had to be very he lit on a large dead pine tree, and I got behind another one; it was a very long shot but I fired and fortunately broke his wing, for he was so large and tough that the shot would presumably one of the Mer cer family slaves, went to fetch the wounded bird. The hawk 90 On performative statements, see Isaac, The Transformation of Virginia 324 6. 91 notion to express, Violence and Culture in the Antebellum South 211. 92 Mercer Diary, 9 May 1855, Box 1, Volume 1, Mercer Papers, SHC.
57 93 defense, Mercer demon strated his admiration by assiduously recording the encounter, proudly recounting the kill. nature to elevate and improve themselves, at least according to their own standards. appreciation. During his long excursions into the woods George instructed himself about of p erception, learned how to capture what he desired, and mastered self control as George confronted nature he also confronted himself. His hunting sketches and descriptions of excursions into the woods offered amusement but more importantly a eeting moments, which, unless, thus employed, might have been lost forever, have been used with pleasure and advantage, and when tired of my books or my play, or otherwise disengaged, I have sat down to this little volume with a certain kind of quiet joy, 94 The timeless qualities of writing and recording are especially poignant when paired with his subject matter, conquest and killing. George attempted to manage time itself, and, as a hunter, take aw ay the very existence of other animals. acted as an amateur naturalist. He versed himself in Linnaean taxonomy, stuffed birds for display and observation, and constructed comp lex lists of fish and other wildlife 93 Mercer Diary, circa 1850, Box 1, Volume 1, Mercer Papers, SHC. 94 Mercer Diary, 12 September 1851, Box 1, Volume 1, Mercer Papers, SHC.
58 found near his Savannah home and observed in his travels north. 95 In the woods Mercer sought escape, a place to contemplate and wonder. On one page he wrote a line from George Blythe Shelley encapsulating his sentiments: 96 Some years later Mercer would describe nature as a Mother 97 natural world extended back to the seventeenth and e specially eighteenth century. natural scientists, the South and the Caribbean were ripe with specimens. 98 Efforts to ulminated most famously in Notes on the State of Virginia (1787), which included a section on minerals, vegetables, and animals. By observing and documenting the natural world, Southerners rationalized and systematized the untamed, there by making the unfamiliar familiar. game illuminates their innermost drives and desires, while the hunt itself, its rituals and rites, symbolically related social relationships and cultural assumptions. Mastery and manhoo d were displayed most prominently by hunters, but the hunt also taught self control and how to properly channel passion. The 95 Mercer Papers, SHC. 96 Mercer Diary, 24 September 1850, Box 1, Volume 1, Merc er Papers, SHC. 97 Mercer Diary, 9 May 1855, Box 1, Volume 1, Mercer Papers, SHC. 98 Susan Scott Parrish, American Curiosity: Cultures of Natural History in the Colonial British Atlantic World (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2006), 5 23 and 103 35. On the broader desire to classify knowledge, Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (1970; New York: Vintage Books, 1994), 125 62.
59 growth. Yet, antebellum Southern men also div orced this area from field and forest, where models of expression and modes of manhood were quite different. Conclusions This chapter offers a cultural reading of manhood and emotional expression. As demonstrated through behavior, experience, and writing, and their society as they negotiated masculinity and its requirements. Diaries, social these requirements by conforming to some and jettison ing others. Whites were expected to stifle outward displays of untamed passion a model of character carefully instilled by family and learned through schooling. Unruly adolescents sometimes pushed the boundaries of these requirements, confronting their eld ers until forced into submission. Young men acted in concert during such altercations, but still within the confines of a largely competitive environment in which men created distance between each other. Maturation caused many pause, and pursuits such as w riting or hunting became prominent avenues to vent particular types of feelings and negotiate different models of manhood. Ultimately, white antebellum Southern men embraced an aggressive model of masculinity defined by their worldly pursuits and dominance over women and slaves. But, inwardly and among family they considered the implications of their behavior and their writings reveal that these men remained contemplative and feeling.
60 CHAPTER 3 WORDS AND WAR In the middle years of the 1850s, George Anders on Mercer replaced the streets studiously recorded his youthful hunting expeditions so, too, did he recount his college ve potential, for as he attended f world 1 He experienced everything good and bad that came with college life. Mercer joined the ons and physical pain to behave like men. 2 Problems of restraint and passion defined southern masculinity, paramount in antebellum college life. 3 and learn restraint and release. The student bodies of the state universities in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina were drawn mainly from wealthy, slaveholding families. So, too, did Southern sons go north to elite institutions such as Yale and the 1 George Anderson Mercer Diary, 10 March 1855, Box 1, Volume 2, George Anderson Merc er Papers, SHC. 2 See, Mercer Diary, 10, 17, and 31 March 1855, and 4 and 14 April 1855, Box 1, Volume 2, Mercer Papers, SHC. 3 On a concise summation of these themes explored more broadly in southern culture, see Dickson D. Bruce, Jr., Violence and Cultur e in the Antebellum South (Austin and London: University of Texas Press, 1979), 233 40.
61 College of New Jersey. 4 Colleges served as a tr aining ground for these young men to become future republican leaders. Students such as George Mercer wrote about and recognized adolescence as a central period in their emotional and intellectual development. Young men underwent prolonged periods of confu sion, doubt, and restlessness but also experienced exultation, joy and happiness. 5 experiences in debate societies, among their peers, in the midst of unruly behavior, and during episodes of violence demonstrate the processes by which young South erners grappled with social, cultural, and gendered expectations. Their responses reflected perceptions of manhood. 6 More likely to be anxious and uncertain, students occupied the space between child and adult hood in which they learned social, cultural, and gendered expectations. Examining college life in the final decades of the antebellum era reveals the developing dispositions and shifting perceptions of these young men. Southern universities assembled sizable groups of adolescents from similar social backgrounds for prolonged periods. Their emotional and behavioral patterns disclose broader cultural truths. 7 Pugnacious and thoughtful, restrained and unruly, students embraced fluid models of masculinity during their college years, which would underpin their adult lives and anchor them during the trials of civil war. 4 For an excellent view of the University of North Carolina and its antebellum student body, see Tim Southern University, 1795 Ph.D. diss., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2010. 5 Steven Mintz, (Cambridge, Mass. and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004), 75 93. 6 Sou powerlessness, see Kenneth S. Greenberg, Honor & Slavery: Lies, Duels, Noses, Masks, Dressing As a Woman, Gifts, Strangers, Humanitarianism, Death, Slave Rebellions, the Pro slavery Argument, Baseball, Hunting, and Gambling in the Old South (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), 24 31. 7 Joanne B. Freeman, Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001), 290.
62 Education For elite white boys higher education represented a significant part of their public and private maturation. Away from home, among young men of similar standing, students elevate d their minds and formed lasting social connections. Parents expected their sons to learn restraint in both behavior and emotional expression. 8 Southerners attending school in the antebellum era underwent a very different experience than their forbearers, however. Since the Revolutionary War, Americans had placed greater value on education to ensure that a virtuous and independent citizenry supported the burgeoning republic. These values were instilled first in the home by Republican Mothers, and then in sc hools for those possessing the monetary means. 9 Educational reform, initiated in the early Republic, heightened during the 1830s and 1840s. As 10 Thus, reform minded educators at northern institutions such as Princeton, and southern ones such a s the University of North Carolina, designed a 11 8 35 and Faust, James Henry Hammond and the Old South 9 22. 9 Linda K. Kerber, Women of the Republic: Intellect & Ideology in Revolutionary America (Chapel Hill: Published for the Institute of Early Ameri can History and Culture by the University of North Carolina Press, 1980), 35 6, 189 90, and 200. 10 American Transcende ntal Quarterly vol. 17, issue 3 (September 2003): 163. See also, Bruce Kimball, Orators & Philosophers: A History of the Idea of Liberal Education (New York and London: Teachers College Press, 1986), 141 56. 11 In North Carolina, distinguished graduate of t he University of North Carolina and lawmaker Archibald D. Murphey initiated a series of state school reforms between 1812 1818.
63 curriculum of history, moral philosophy, noble ideas, and anc ient languages. Other subjects included chemistry, metaphysics, trigonometry, and rhetoric. 12 History, philoso phy, and languages their rise and their fall. 13 Southern boys attending college had alre ady mastered or would learn Latin and Greek. They read Cicero, Homer, Tacitus, and Xenophon, which were works to be recited and thoroughly understood. Martin Gary, for instance, included in his notebook from the South Carolina College small biographies of Homer and Dante; he also detailed the fall of Rome. Tales of moral progress and corruption emerged from this system of learning and caused men to consider how they might one day contribute to the South. Educators sought also to craft their young student s into respectable men of character. Pedagogy was coupled with personal development. William Hooper, a clergyman and an educator at the University of North Carolina, spoke before that So taken by education is, to develope, to cultivate, and to train towards perfection, all the useful and imbibe virtuous affections, and to fortify them by a course of virt uous habits -these are 12 Faust, James Henry Hammond and the Old South, 14. 13 Berry, All That Makes a Man, 26 7.
6 4 the most difficult and the most valuable attainments to which the morning of life can be 14 honed in college life. As young men navigated manhood, they le arned how to temper emotions and assume self control, necessary requirements for success in life. Idealized perceptions never matched lived realities, and young men could grow into irascible tyrants. Planters raped enslaved women, hot tempered politician s argued and fought with political rivals, and men of all classes followed a code of honor that might some day demand violent confrontation. The roots of misbehavior can be located in the trials of youth. Endless rules regulated school life and young men, away from home, tried their elders in countless ways. development. Leaving home was an experience common to young men of all social classes, though the reasons for departure vari ed. Those who were poor often sent children away out of necessity. For elite young men, the transition into academy or college life marked one part of a broader passage into manhood. 15 Edmund Ruffin, Jr., son of the famed Virginia agriculturist Edmund Ruffi n, traveled a typical path for southern planters. At age fourteen he left his home on the James River to attend a New England boarding school. His institution, the New Haven Gymnasium, included lessons in geography, arithmetic, modern and classical languag es, and rhetoric. The school also stressed exercise, including country walks, running, and fishing; students also learned 14 e Heart, To Be Connected with the Culture of the Mind; A Discourse on Education, Delivered to the Students of the College, at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, August and 22, respectively. 15 Joseph F. Kett, Rites of Passage: Adolescence in America 1790 to Present (New York: Basic Books, Inc., Publishers, 1977), 23 9 and 35.
65 self control, the importance of study, and the art of public speaking. The classes, according to Edmund, had three times as many boys from southern and border states as from the North. 16 attended the University in Charlottesville, graduating in 1834; he then managed the Like many wealthy sons, George Mercer l eft the South for a northern education, attending Princeton University. A full fifteen years after he had started the practice, be kept private. Recognizing the transfo scenes and The book was designed to entertai 17 With these ideas and goals George set a course for the literary and mental preservation of youth, while steeling himself against the difficulties of manhood. Though a frequent traveler in his youth, the challenges of and experiences at college produced profound internal changes heretofore man, and have, I trust, a better appreciation 18 In a sense, college represented life in a microcosm, thereby preparing students for their eventual social roles. Thomas W. Mason, a student at the University of North 16 E[dmund] Ruffin to Mother, 22 September 1828, and E[dmund] Ruffin to Father, 8 October , in North Carolina Historical Review vol. X, nos. 1 4, (January October 1933): 291 and 293 6, respectively. 17 Mercer Diary, 10 March 1855, Box 1, Volume 2, Mercer Papers, SHC. 18 Mercer Diar y, 15 August 1855, Box 1, Volume 2, Mercer Papers, SHC.
66 Carolina, offered the following observatio correspond to the characters of those out in world. That at college, as out in world, there are the idle who have no energy, the fickle minded and med d lesome who, for want of proper employment, are ever ready to jump into any kind of excitement, but best of all that there are those, ever ready to perform well the duties incumbent upon them. Thus may college in truth be called 19 Mason understood the evolving character. Concerned parents wanted their sons to realize personal potential, and not to succumb to vice or lethargy. As such, parents freely dispensed advance offering solace or counsel as the situation dem anded. Ruffin Thomson suffered from the being and future success, recommended that his son abstain from drink, tobacco, and coffee. Ruffin claimed abstinence, ha ving consumed less than six cups of 20 offset the potential were complaints of carousing, cheating, and corruption marred the character of many men. 21 19 "The Journal of a Day," Class Composition of Thomas W. Mason, , in Documenting the American South http://docsouth.unc.edu/ true/mss05 09/mss05 09.html [accessed 26 August 2010]. 20 Ruffin Thomson to Pa, [Feb. or March 1861], Box 1, Folder 3, Ruffin Thomson Papers, SHC. 21 See, for instance, Mercer Diary, 14 April 1855, Box 1, Volume 2, Mercer Papers, SHC.
67 at college. 22 And perhaps, some students fell too far to ever climb back up to young man is exposed during that part of his life which he passes in college, are 23 Nevertheless, it would be more accurate to assert that most men, despite some slides and missteps, live s a period of learning and growth, experimentation and experience. Progressive educators across the North and the South instilled students with a sense of judgment that allowed them to independently detect how natural and moral laws operated. These pedag ogical practices had the unintended consequence of equipping youth with conceptual tools that challenged authority. 24 These factors, atmospheres on college campuses, North an d South. Jeffrey A. Mullins documents numerous incidents of student violence at Northern colleges and academies (which included sizable numbers of southern students), while Lorri Glover finds similar displays of violence and unruly behavior at southern in stitutions. 25 Pride, independence, and qualities embraced by the southern gentry. 26 22 Mercer Diary, 31 M arch 1855, Box 1, Volume 2, Mercer Papers, SHC. 23 Bartholomew Fuller, "The Dangers of a College Life," Class Composition, , in Documenting the American South http://docsouth.unc.ed u/true/mss04 19/mss04 19.html [accessed, 27 August 2010]. 24 ity 12. 25 41, and Lorri Glover, Southern Sons: Becoming Men in the New Nation (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007), 69, 77. See also, Kett, Rites of Passage 26
68 experimentation, indulged in excessive drinking and spending, and ques tioned authority. Modern observers might mark such excesses as belying personal faults. For nineteenth century Southerners, however, self heir elevation over slaves, women, and children, while promoting personal independence. 27 In its extreme form, shows of autonomy produced raucous displays. Across campuses, unpopular faculty. These displays ranged from groups of drunken students making a commotion to organized, processional groups. In 1838, students at the University of and lu sty lungs to disturb the peace. Rather than simply making noise, this ritualistic disorder expressed hostility toward an individual or group. 28 While white adults certainly engaged in charivari, rough music, and other forms of ritualistic disorder, students inchoate displays were a means to learn self governance and also participate in, partially reinvent, long standing cultural traditions. Testing authority and pushing boundaries marked their departure from youth and their journey into manhood. Moreo ver, such events allowed youth to experiment in forms of emotional release. Engaging in rough music or charivaris mixed joy with hostility, the restrained with the uncontrolled. 29 27 28 For a broader discussion of unruly behavior, see E. P. Thompson, Customs in Common: Studies in Traditional Popular Culture (New York: The New Pr ess, 1991), 468 91. 29 Wyatt Brown, Southern Honor 445 6.
69 Rough music and charivari are best deemed restrained violence or, displaced violence. Yet, control was not always practiced. Students battered doors, made explosives, carried knives and pistols, and smashed windows. 30 Riots and violent protest occurred w ith some frequency; events that should be understood separate from charivari i n form but running parallel in purpose. Typically, these displays originated at a perceived slight, or were a gesture of defiance meant to establish or demonstrate mastery, th ough composed comportment among the student body remained paramount bodies, and students. Essentially, these disputes resulted in a contest of wills, with student expulsio n being a typical outcome in particularly egregious violations (such as cases involving firearms and violence). A series of events at the University of Virginia between 1836 and 1840 represents the spectrum of potential behaviors. The University of Virg inia, from its founding, required that all students during hours of recreation should be taught the manual of arms, military evolutions and maneuvers, under a standing military organization commanded by officers. This order was modified to include voluntee rs only. A student military company had formed by 1830. 31 The organization became a fixture at public celebrations, but its members often engaged in unruly behavior drawing faculty censure. In September 1836, the company 30 See, for instance, Philip Alexander Bruce, History of the University of Virginia, 1819 1919: The Lengthened Shadow of One Man 5 vols., vol. II (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1920), 266 71 and 291 2 and Kemp P. Battle, History of the University of North Carolina 2 vols., vol. I (Raleigh, N.C.: Edwards & Broughton Print. Co., 1907), 452 4. 31 Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 7 September 1814, in Early History of the University of Virginia, as Cont ained in the Letters of Thomas Jefferson and Joseph C. Cabell ed., Nathaniel Francis Cabell (Richmond, VA: J. W. Randolph, 1856), 388. See also, Bruce, History of the University of Virginia, 1819 1919 vol. II, 116 23.
70 formed as usual, though intentionall of such requirements eventually made in October, and the facul ty granted permission and renewed the traditional regulations that included no musket fire on the Lawn or in the Ranges; a uniform requirement; the handling of weapons during military exercises only; and the return of weapons to the Charlottesville armory. The company would be dissolved if these regulations were violated. In early November, the company informed the faculty chairman that they refused to accept the regulations. The company boldly claimed to exist as a state military bod y independent of the Un iversity 32 The war of words soon escalated. The first incident involved a series of unlawful musket volleys over a two hour period. The faculty then ruled that the entire company would be expelled for this act. The students met for Saturday drill, Novembe r 12th, and and stray gun shots. Crowds of students soon joined the company. One group marched ightfall, groups of students had joined the company creating a cacophony of noise. Large fled to the second stories of their homes, and students engaged in riotous behavior. On Tuesday morning, November 15th, two magistrates and a local sheriff were called to restore order. A grand jury convened on the 16th, and, three days later, handed out 32 Bruce, History of the University o f Virginia, 1819 1919, vol. II, 302 4.
71 indictments. Muskets were handed in, the company disbanded, and responsible students dismissed. 33 venom on objects, not individuals. The men demonstrated a manly prowess to faculty and students alike, thereby accomplishing their goal of establishing independence. 34 But University law resulted in severe and deserved censure. Nevertheless, i n understanding the development of Southern men this episode is highly illuminating. In negotiating their transformation into men, Southern students made their claim upon their immediate world. In their demonstration of freedom from perceived subjection, t he students desperately fought for their honor, dignity, and station. In doing so they communicated the importance of aggressive self assertion through displays of violence if necessary, and their determination not to defer to a law they deemed unjust. Thi s behavior translated to broader social values dearly held by the Southern gentry whose sons University students did not forget the short lived rebellion Each year on the anniversary of were ritualistically evoked, reenacted, and memorialized. Young masked men engaged in disruptive behavior, parading around the campus and creating a ruckus. These groups seized temporary landscape, the Lawn, inverting its form and function. Students released aggression, 33 Bruce, History of the University of Virginia, 1819 1919, vol. II, 304 8. 34 Thompson, Customs in Common, 478 91 and Wyatt Brown, Southern Honor, 437.
72 displayed manly prowess, and defused built up tensions. Events culminated on November 12, 1840, however, with the m urder of Professor James A. G. Davis. 35 That day, as usual, masked students remembered the rebellion through celebration and commotion. Davis, hearing great noise in front of his pavilion on the East Lawn, attempted to remove the mask from one of the young men. The man fired on and fatally wounded Davis. Joseph E. Semmes, a student from the Deep South, and William A. Kincaid of South Carolina, were held responsible. 36 The shooting, though an aberration, marked the events always high pitched emotional fervor a nd potential for catastrophic conclusion. 37 Furthermore, the incident resulted in the adoption of an honor code. Designed to build trust among students and faculty and strengthen the University of the cted a vision of how southern men were suppose to act. 38 essential to their maturation but not always socially accepted. The honor code served to guide adolescents toward a more restrained masculinit y. The student body, in first rebelling and then remembering, announced their 39 They consciously mocked the authority of both the University and its faculty in an effort to assert what they deemed to be their 35 Bruce, History of the University of Virginia, 1819 1919, vol. II 302 9. 36 Bruce, History of the University of Virginia, 1819 1919, vol. II, 309 11. 37 As Joseph Kett remarks, faculty abuse itself was not unusual at the University of Virginia, or other pically, faculty were accosted, mocked, even battered, but not shot at. Kett, Rites of Passage, 54. 38 http://www.virginia.edu/uvat ours/shorthistory/code.html [accessed 24 July 2011]. 39 Thompson, Customs in Common, 487.
73 learned boundaries, perhaps rethinking how better to control their feelings. These qualities, transcendent of pedagogical practices and course curriculum, were central to th e college experience for Southerners and how their envisioned their future role and place in society. For on college lawns, in university classrooms, and among their peers, Southern whites, poised between childhood and manhood, were introduced to the quali ties and characteristics of masculinity. College life created distances between men fostering competitions and encouraging manly displays but also fostered feelings of kinship. College students joined secret societies, fraternities, literary clubs, and d ebating groups that promoted friendships and contests. Parents encouraged their sons to form bonds with other students but asked that they choose their friends wisely. Colleges were the testing ground for future leaders, and friendships formed could underp in later economic, social, and political relationships. In school, men built reputations, gained independence, and wielded power in an environment devoid of women an d dependent upon enslaved labor On the Eve of Secession In the summer of 1859, Virginian John W. Daniel delivered an address entitled sword at this side, and his martial cloak ar Daniel evoked the fallen citizen soldier to stir his lived on, immortalized by his country and her citizenry. This powerful imagery
74 introduced and then underpinned the which looked to behold a dark abyss yawning to close inspire us to action, each sail may again be spread, and a prosperous breeze may bear 40 Such r omantic images of the illustrious war dead left white Southerners, paradoxically, prepared to mobilize in defense of home but wholly unprepared for the combined classical allusi ons with current political and sectional strife in his effort to propel young Southern men to action, even to arms. Himself still a young man, Daniel directed his words at the personality and psychology of his audience at Lynchburg College. Men who had str uctured lives of classroom recitation, intense study, and monotonous dormitory living were called to look beyond themselves to something ca maraderie, manliness, the citizen soldier, and emotional sensibility defined the dreams of young men. Heightened sectional tensions generation of young slaveholders (many of whom attended the University of Virginia) cautions against a one dimensional reading of Southern men as lazy, immoral, and 40 Papers of John W. Daniel and the Daniel Family, University of Virgi nia Library, Charlottesville, VA; hereinafter UVA.
75 gender identity within the context of the Sout 41 Yet, becoming a man in college served as an important transitional phrase, a period in which young men could be hotheaded and thoughtful, lazy and diligent. Male college students often behaved with complete disregard f or college faculty and officials. 42 Pride, idealized masculinity. 43 While the young wealthy scions attending college cannot stand as representative of the white South, they can illuminate a host of themes related to gender and emotions. In the final years of the antebellum era an emotional fervor gripped the United States, as young men were swept up by political strife and considered the prospects of war. 44 By 1860, college campu ses were governed by eager adolescents swayed by raw emotions and eager for armed conflict. Riots and flagrant displays of impudence the disorder witnessed throughout the first half of the nineteenth century, but heightened chaos also reflected sectional strife and increased passion. Furthermore, college 41 Peter S. Carmichael, The Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, and Reunion (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2009), 5 6. 42 Lorri Glover, Southern Sons: Becoming Men in the New Nation (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University po ssession, 10 12. 43 Southern Sons 2 3, 81; and Bertram Wyatt Brown, The Shaping of Southern Culture: Honor, Grace, and War, 1760s 1890s (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 2001), xi. 44 On sectional tensions before the Civil War see especially, Elizabeth R. Varon, Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789 1859 (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2008), 273 335 and Michael F. Holt, The Fate of Their Coun try: Politicians, Slavery Extension, and the Coming of the Civil War (New York: Hill and Wang, 2004), 109 27.
76 course. Eager to control their destinies, young Southern men bristled under overbearing peers or elders. Bertram Wyatt the primacy of honor, shame, and guilt in guiding behavior. Young men wielded self assertion like a cudgel to asser t mastery over their social inferiors. 45 temperament could be explosive as witnessed so famously and repeatedly in their adherence to the code duello. More recently, though, scholars have questioned the reliance on honor and mastery suggesting that th is framework reinforces the nineteenth century model of the planter cavalier. Instead, a range of masculinities shaped and defined Southerners 46 In examining white Southerners on the eve of secession a ra nge of personalities emerge, guided by varied principles. Young men underwent personal changes that were part of the maturation process but also exhibited different public personas. Paul B. Means, a graduate of the University of North Carolina, offered a n address to the Dialectic Society expressing timeless sentiments. Means cast college as here which has shielded and protected him from the snares and vicissitudes of other storms is almost invariably dissipated by the fierce blasts of temptation. Here for the first time he feels that, in the frail barque of existence, he is sent forth upon the ocean of 45 Wyatt Brown, Southern Honor 161 74, especially. 46 g Southern Southern Masculinities and LeeAnn Whites, Gender Matters: Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Making of the New South (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 4 6.
77 47 Many tempestuous storms. 48 For each camp the choice was theirs, each mistake and triumph of their own making. This process of maturation connected to southern manhood. The renowned journalist J. D. B. Debow considered the importance of education in an 1860 issue of his Review cation Manliness connected to emotional bearing. Schooling, Debow continued, taught men how to give proper vent to feelings. 49 As witnessed throughout the middle decades of the nineteenth century, then, Southern men learned from their families and were directed by their elders as to when and where they could show raw emotions, expose an unvarnished self. Their emerging character forged through adherence to social dictates co nstructed a clenched, closed version of southern manhood. Wealthy men negotiated the process of maturation among their peers and within Society an organization st arted in the eighteenth century for the promotion and discussion of ideas engaged in a debate on men of action versus men of thought. Replete with erudite references to classical and ancient civilizations, each student also recognized the great importance of the topic to their present day lives. For debater 47 Documenting the American South http://docsouth.unc.edu/true/mss06 19/mss06 19.html [accessed 13 May 2011]. 48 Kett, Rites of Passage 23 35. 49 (Dec. 1860), vol. 29, issue 6, 717.
78 is his animal strength, his erect posture, his nervous system, his noble impulses, patriotic feelings, his commanding voi ce, noble mein? and why is he capable of so much physical endurance? and why does this splendid machinery grow weak, decay, 50 The answer, of course, was that men were made for action. Suc h notions were not universally held, distinguishing feature of our race, its own earnest of i 51 Yet, men such as truth. 52 men of thought would carry the day as their deeds were debated most successfully. Beyond the buildings of college life, however, Southerners had to be men of action and thought. Even the debaters themselves demonstrated that. Both Brown and Coleman gradu ated from North Carolina to become successful lawyers they were men of calculation and deliberation. In 1861, however, both men were also compelled to action with military enlistment Brown would be killed in 1861, while Coleman would survive the conflict a nd eventually 50 Hugh T. Brown, "Have Men of Action Been More Beneficial to the World Than Men of Thought?" Debate Speech of Hugh T. Brown for the Dialectic Society, 2 June 1857, found in Documenting the American South http://docsouth.unc.edu/true/mss05 13/mss05 13.html [accessed 1 October 2010]. 51 William M. Coleman, "Have Men of Action Been More Bene ficial to the World Than Men of Thought?" Debate Speech of Hugh T. Brown for the Dialectic Society, 2 June 1857, found in Documenting the American South, http://docsouth.unc.edu/true/mss 05 16/mss05 16.html [accessed 8 May 2011]. 52 Brown, "Have Men of Action Been More Beneficial to the World Than Men of Thought?", 2 June 1857, found in Documenting the American South http ://docsouth.unc.edu/true/mss05 13/mss05 13.html [accessed 1 October 2010].
79 sons, thought and action were necessary parts of the ideal and vital to the successful navigation of the demands of their society, their family, and their personal destinies. Debate societies fostered a homosocial environment where young men could advance knowledge and interrogate a variety of intellectual issues. Charles Wilson eenth 53 Ultimately, the debate group gave many future leaders an early forum to rehearse their reactions to contemporary problems. Between 1850 and 1859, the Society considered, among other things, slavery, secession, westward expansion, party politics, and disunion the debates in the halls of Congress were echoed in the Dialectic Hall. 54 ppling 53 The Lives and Writings of Antebellum Students at the University of North Caroli na, found in Documenting the American South, http://docsouth.unc.edu/true/chapter/chp05 02/chp05 02.html [accessed, 12 May 2011]. 54 and Candid Compositions: The Lives and Writings of Antebellum Students at the University of North Carolina, found in Documenting the American South, http://docsouth.unc.edu/true/c hapter/chp05 02/chp05 02.html [accessed, 12 May 2011]. A full list of topics: 1850 Should slavery as it now exists in our country be justly considered a reproach? (negative); 1850 Should the United States stop diplomatic correspondence with Austria? (nega tive); 1851 Were the wars of Napoleon Bonaparte beneficial to Europe? (negative); 1851 Has a state the right to secede? (negative); 1851 Was the Mexican war justifiable? (negative); 1852 Would it be expedient for the legislature of North Carolina to pass t he Maine liquor law? (affirmative); 1852 Should the general government afford any assistance to the Colonization Society? (affirmative); 1853 Ought Judge Hall to have fined Gen. Jackson when New Orleans was under martial law? (negative); 1854 Are we progre ssing? (negative); 1854 Should any more foreigners be naturalized? (negative); 1854 Is extension of territory detrimental to the United States? (affirmative); 1854 Should Cuba be annexed to the United States? (affirmative); 1855 Is southern slavery justifi able? (affirmative); 1855 Does civilization increase happiness? (affirmative); 1856 Ought our government to favor the building of the Pacific Railroad? (negative); 1857 Should representatives be ruled by their constituents? (affirmative); 1857 Should the U nited States establish a national bank at the present financial crisis? (affirmative); 1858 Should the United States punish the Mormons as traitors? (affirmative); 1858 Should a college be located in a city or in the country? (decision not recorded); 1859 Ought the United States to extend her territory? (affirmative); 1859 Is the existence of two great political parties in the United States desirable? (affirmative); 1859 Ought the United States to aid in building a Pacific Railroad? (affirmative); 1859 Woul d disunion be profitable to the South? (negative).
80 with the threat of disunion they themselves experienced sectional discord. In one letter from different sections of the country between whom the most violent enm ity has sprung up which instead of subsiding has been steadily growing worse and worse for several years, until peaceable union is now no longer possible We therefore respectfully submit to the Executive Committee, whether unceasing hostility and bit ter hatred which defeat the most important end of a body constituted for mutual improvement, are 55 Their resolution reflected deliberation and forethought. But their inability to resolve matters within the membership ill ustrates powerful emotiona l sway and an unwillingness to compromise. Whereas some young scions were drawn to the revered Dialectic Society, others found voice through unruly behavior. In the heady days of 1858, amidst the angry passion of political strif onicler, Kemp Battle, wrote, that pledged to breach University rules and regulations. Members indulged in excessive violently and continually, and destroyed property. When the faculty tried to restore order, stones were hurled at the men. 56 Tumultuous behavior, contests among men, and displays of bravado were part of southern college life and essential ingredients in 55 Clement Dowd, William Bingham, and Stuart White, Letter from Dialectic Society Members to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, 18 April 1856, found in Documenting the American South http://docsouth.unc.edu/unc/unc06 128/unc06 128.html [accessed, 12 May 2011]. 56 Kemp P. Battle, History of the University of North Carolina 2 vols., vol I (Raleigh, N. C.: Edwards & Broughton Printing Company, 1907), 690 91.
81 between youth and elders, but clas s rank also stratified student bodies. The University year students paid for watermelons. 57 The assigned day created a festival like atmosphere and promoted contests and competitio n. In 1860, Ruffin Thomson described the day. They had contracted for about eight hundred melons costing nearly one hundred and in which the University body turned ou numberless bruises & hurts, & 58 social hierarchies. Vigorous displays of bravado ensured personal victory and reward. Agitated spirits and demands fo r mastery animated students of the South Carolina College during the so not controlled by anyone but himself. 59 Charles F. McCay was an inept administer, thereby making his eighteen month tenure as South Carolin the words of one observer. 60 An unanimous student resolution on 15 January 1856 asked former President Francis Lieber, whom McCay replaced, to withdraw his resignation and renew his presidency. Several days later student s petitioned the board 57 William Sidney Mullins to P. Henry Winston, 23 September 1840, found in Documenting the American South http://docsouth.unc.edu/unc/unc06 51/unc06 51.ht ml [accessed 30 September 2010] and James L Dusenberry Diary, 7 August 1841, found in Documenting the American South http://docsouth.unc.edu/dusenbery/journal/#jld p087 [accessed 30 September 2010]. 58 Ruffin Thomson to William H. Thomson, Box 1, Folder 3, 6 August 1860, Thomson Papers, SHC. 59 60 Daniel Walker Hollis, University of South Carolina Volume I: South Carolina College (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1951), 194.
82 61 Words were bolstered by action. Students communicated their position through disorderly nightly displays that included the explosion of firecrackers and loud noise. McCay did little in retal iation. Events In early February, classes were suspended upon the death of Professor Robert Henry. Because of a delay in burial, classes were further postponed a restless student b ody grew unruly. Conditions were ripe as an old dispute between college students and between 17 18 February 1856. Events started as a group of intoxicated students passed b y the city guard house. One of the students, Edward Niles, caught sight of an a signal to rally the student body. John C. McClenaghan and John Taylor Rhett, among the crowd of students now gathered at the jail, planned to attack Marshal Burdell with clubs. Blows were exchanged between Burdell and the young men. President McCay pleaded moderatio n without success. The town mayor summoned the militia as students began arming themselves with weapons from the cadet arsenal. Events Some 200 armed citizens confronted m ore than 100 armed students. Former president Thornwell a highly respected figure among the students was called from the 61 Hollis, University of South Carolina, 196.
83 Seminary and quieted the students. 62 Forty students were either expelled, suspended, or simply did not return to school once it reopened after the incident. the usual college upheaval resulting in a tin pan serenade or intoxicated parade up the main street. Loss of life was barely avoided and the entire State 63 Newspaper editors looked not to the youth themselves for explanation but to southern by great men and editors, that it is not wonderful that boys shou ld have regarded it as 64 The young men at South Carolina College, like those at other universities, were preparing to be state and regional leaders. The Daily South Carolinian young men were simply fulfilling a prescribed social role. C ompelled to reshape their provoking both approbation and condemnation. Publicly self confident and exuding bravado men ran toward energy and clat. 65 While we can never be su actions had broader implication it is tempting to wonder: did the perceived infringement upon personal liberties implicitly mirror larger fears about northern aggression? Were the students acting out to publicly prove their worth as men ? 62 On the events, see Hollis, University of South Carolina, 197 202. 63 Hollis, University of South Carolina 199. 64 Daily South Carolinian quoted in Hollis, University of South Carolina 205. 65 Berry, All That Makes A Man 35.
84 Conclusions As masters of small worlds, southern youth took full advantage of their miniature stage. And this microcosm may be best understood as a glimpse into broader social e had significant bearing on their personal development and future public lives. We may draw similar age and background) often acted in concert. This is no small matte r, for few venues in antebellum life beyond irregular gatherings such as court day, militia musters, and church offered a consistent and continual homosocial environment. Many of these same men, bound together by fraternities, societies, and dorm living, w ould be swept together by the tides of war. For instance, a group of Louisiana men, home state to muster for military service they acted together in college as they w ould fight together in war. 66 Second, college life not only promoted intellectual competition and discourse but often provoked physical altercations and heated debates. If unwilling to bend before university administrators, how would these same men react to what emotional current thr only prepared them for their adult lives but also offered experiences that would influence their decisions during the secession crisis. In understanding these men, their experiences and their expectation, we must look also to their expression of feelings. 66 Resol ution, [January 1861], found at Doc South, http://docsouth.unc.edu/true/mss06 05/mss06 05.html [accessed 24 July 2011].
85 CHAPTER 4 INTO THE DARK FOREST OF DESPAIR In the fall of 1863, Marion Hill Fitz patick wrote to his wife Amanda while encamped above Culpeper Court House, Virginia. Having been wounded at the Battle of Glendale in June 1862 and at Fredericksburg on 13 December 1862, Hill was now a hardened veteran but also physically impaired. On 20 O ctober 1863, he and fellow members 45th Georgia Infantry had stopped for a rest after marching for almost a week and a half. A frustrated General Robert E. Lee had unsuccessfully pursued General instead conducted a series of tactical maneuvers. Men such as Hill Fitzpatrick were worn down by the marching, countermarching, and sudden commands to double quick (a fast paced as tired march orders came down suddenly to form into line of battle. Shells fell down among the men for a period but the expected federal attack never came. The next morni ng, enched description of the sufferings of the soldier. I will leave it for future historians to tell, but 1 1 M. Hill Fitzpatrick to Amanda, 20 October 1863, in Letters to Am anda: The Civil War Letters of Marion Hill Fitzpatrick, Army of Northern Virginia ed., Jeffrey C. Lowe and Sam Hodges (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1998), 94.
86 experiences were neither unusual nor was his reaction atypical. Instead, he represented one among tens of thousands of white Southerners engaged in a prolonged and bloody contest that would determine their personal fate and that of the Confederate nation. The physical and psychological trials he endured, the destruction he both witnessed and created, and the isolation he felt were emblematic of the shadow over southern cult ure. Between 1861 and 1865, these men and their families would be tried in a thousand ways. Steadfastness, manliness, and fierce independence were ideal characteristics of a man and a soldier. Some would meet these lofty standards, while still others would be pushed beyond their endurance. Those who adhered to cultural ideals and performed well in battle were initiated into an extended they came to depend so deeply. Yet the long gray lines of hardened veterans seared into the American psyche hardly resemble the volunteers who marched off to service in 1861. Rather, southern civilians became Confederate soldiers. The eager and independent green recruits of 1861, desper ate for a fight, would become obedient veterans, acting when ordered. As attack as the only hope of accomplishing anything, and had their commander insisted, in such a case upon obeying without him. In 1864, having become soldiers, they obeyed orders even at cost of failure. They had reduced themselves to the ranks that 2 Both personal and private forces drove this process, thereby vastly 2
87 complicating a neat narrat ive offered in hindsight. Indeed, as Edward Ayers astutely observes, twentieth every day on sports fields and in action films: good causes and bad, cowardice and bravery, sacrifice and glory, winners and losers, sudden victories and unexpected 3 But such understanding obscures more than it reveals. This chapter returns back to the contentious and uncertain days of 1860 and then moves forward into the years of civil war to recapture So transformed the antebellum civilian into the eager secessionist, the raw recruit into a military soldier, and the Co nfederate soldier into a hardened veteran. Yet these broad transitions are discussed only through the words and experiences of a fairly narrow section of men who composed the Confederate armies. Members of the officer class, slaveholders and their sons, un derpin much of the discussion that follows because of the frequency and depth of their correspondence. Moreover, how they perceived and encountered war links intimately with the models of behavior exhibited in the previous two chapters because of connectio ns across class. In these processes men confronted each other and their families on unfamiliar ground. Antebellum men who thrived on personal independence had to succumb to military command structures; families that normally guarded their public interact ions disclosed themselves in the exigencies of war; hot headed men prone to fight with each other had to eat with, sleep near, and depend upon one another while serving in the 3 Moral Problems in American Life: New Perspectives on Cultural History ed., Karen Halttunen and Lewis Perry (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1998), 157.
88 ranks. Each of these trials and thousands of others caused pause, which bore new models of manhood and emotional expression Leaving for War On 23 May 1861, William J. Clarke prepared to march off for war. The date to march for Mexico; today I p 4 Rather than a summer soldier, William knew all too well what may 5 Trusting in the spiritual, he turned woman, who wou ld rather wear weeds for a brave man than smile welcome to a craven and a coward, who loitered at home, in inglorious safety, while his brethen and countrymen were in the tented field. If I leave no other heritage to our noble boys this at least they shall 6 submission to military service. Con federate soldiers exemplified everything that made a 4 William J. Clarke to Mary Bayard Clarke, 23 May 1861, in Live Your Own Life 73. 5 William J. Clarke to Mary Bayard Clarke, 23 May 1861, in Live Your Own Life 74. 6 William J. Clarke to Mary Bayard Clarke, 23 May 1861, in Live Your Own Life 74.
89 man sacrificing self for family, home, and country. The revelation of fears was unbecoming and men were expected to embody the masculine ideal as they marched off to war in their military attire. Clark Mexican American War, set him apart from other Confederates. From Virginia to South Carolina to Louisiana and beyond, Southern whites prepared themselves for war but expected only a quick struggle, reflected in their short terms of enlistment. Men were swept up by the excitement of enlistment and the possibilities for glory. Clarke himself would go on to do his duty and receive military promotions. Even though Clarke acquitted himself well as a soldier, the conflict changed him and his relationship to his 7 The grim realities that dawned on many as the war entered its second year, were far from era, however. As recent scholarship has demonstrated, public and personal obligations their priv ate responsibilities to home and family as a way to show their investment in a nation state, a state that, in turn, protected their homes and made possible their private 8 This powerful argument goes a long way in explaining the mass 7 Reid Mitchell, Civil War Soldiers: Their Expectations and Their Experiences (New York and London: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1998), 56. 8 Nina Silber, Gender & the Sectional Conflict (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2008), 3. See also, Whites, The Civil War as a Crisis in Gender, 15 40; Aaron Sheehan Dean, Why Confederates Fo ught: Family & Nation in Civil War Virginia (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2007), 13 37. For broader treatments of why men fought, see especially James M. McPherson, For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997);
90 mobilization of so many white Southern men. Moreover, entwining the public with the personal advances an understanding for the mixed emotions and sentiments expressed on the eve of civil war. As soldiers embarked for the front and an unknown future, they a nd their families were filled with anxiety, excitement, and sadness. A narrative the more intimate and varied experiences of Southern whites. Great excitement gripped the South as men prepared for battle, but departures from family and home also provoked profound feelings of loss. No moment better Carolina, captured the moment before de how mournfully it sounded I never saw such a shaking of hands so many goodbyes & God bless you's to be said es of men and soldiers as well as from women and children as they waved their last adieus Isn't it sad to think 9 Such personal openness and emotional transparency had few parallels in an oft en closed antebellum southern culture. But the mobilization of men and the sundering of families did not allow for prolonged deliberation or reservation. Instead, the emergency of the moment commanded expressive outpourings, at least of a particular sort. Newly minted soldiers and their families realized that these fleeting moments might be their last earthly moments together and many loo ked toward a heavenly afterlife. Reid Mitchell, Civil War Soldiers: Their Expectations and Experiences New York: Touchstone, 1998) and The Vacant Chair: The Northern Soldier Leaves Home (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993). 9 Louis to Mame, 2 May 1861 Lenoir Family Papers, http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/lenoir/lenoir.html [accessed 28 July 2011].
91 Antebellum Southerners had developed strong emotional bonds with their families. 10 These connections first spurred secession and then maintained the struggle. Men such as William J. Clarke fashioned themselves as protectors of home. In 1860 and 1861, these abstractions were made tangible as uniformed legions left their homes and communities i n often elaborate departure ceremonies. The martial masculinity demanded in war was constructed from personal dreams, familial relationships, and state demands. expectations and e xperiences. For the youthful, especially, military life provided a source (at least initially) of constant excitement and an arena to prove their worth as men. 11 Ruffin Thomson was typical of many young enlistments. Although a solid student and a member of the Dialectic Society at the University of North Carolina, Ruffin was a restless young man. He had spent one year at the University of Mississippi before being expelled for repeatedly carrying a pistol and then discharging the weapon from a dorm room windo w. 12 Ruffin left North Carolina in 1861 to enlist in the Confederate army. He found service to be exhilarating and a far cry from stuffy recitation halls. Writing to his father in June from Manassas Junction, Virginia, Ruffin compared his new situation to t 10 Sheehan Dean, Why Confederates Fought, 27. 11 Berry, All That Makes A Man, 166 68. 12 J. M. P hipps [Corres. Sec.] to Sir [W. H. Thomson], 25 March 1859, Box 1, Folder 2, Thomson Papers, SHC.
92 life & the excitement of being so near the enemy fills up all that time which at College is 13 Ruffin was part of a wave of students leaving North Carolina 14 the moment when they could make their mark. Secession, like college and hunting, offered young men passage into manhood and for older men bolstered reputation. 15 Henry Brown Richar dson was by no means a typical Confederate recruit he was a native of Maine but his journey to war echoes throughout the South. Richardson had spent much his young adulthood traveling. Henry sent his parents numerous letters detailing his life. Irreverent and playful, introspective and meditative, the correspondence between Henry growing sectional tension. Looking toward the future, Henry lightheartedly asked his paren le my 16 By 1860, Henry was living in Tensas Parish, Louisiana. The move to southern convinced that Adam when driven out of Paradise was sent to Tensas Parish, skin may yet become a mear network, and that I shall perspire some of my vital organ 13 14 J. M. Gaines to Ruff, 6 May 1861, Box 1, Folder 3, Thomson Papers, SHC. 15 Berry, All That Ma kes A Man, 168. 16 Henry B. Richardson to parents, 1 November 1857, Box 1, Folder 5, Henry Brown Richardson and Family Papers, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library, Louisiana State University Librari es, Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University; hereinafter LSU.
93 17 found a new home in Tensas Parish. The tides of war quickly engulfed the Maine native. Disdainful of Lincoln and the Republican party, he sided with his new southern brethren. 18 Though claiming to not be and all the world before me to gain; and when I had conquered my physical fears I doubt not I could fight like a tiger. In view of these circumstances (and a unanimous election by its members) I have joined 19 Henry recognized the war a s a test of his manhood. The trials of young men, Henry bolstered his standing. Henry also reflected on how his allegiance to the Confederacy marked his maturity and loyalty. Y government (as I doubtless did) it was to that of the State of Louisiana, and that is far from being a matter of wonder or sorrow that I should have offered my feeble arms in defense of that state, it was not only natural, but a thing that I, and all who have any interest and sympathy for me, ought to be glad 20 yalty to Louisiana vexed his parents. In the ensuing years, Henry fought against the Union as he waged a paper 17 Henry B. Richardson to parents, 5 June 1860, Box 1, Folder 7, Richardson and Family Papers, LSU. 18 Henry to parents, 26 Sept 1860 and Henry to parents, 6 April 1861, Box 1, Folder 7, Richardso n and Family Papers, LSU. 19 Henry to parents, 6 April 1861, Box 1, Folder 7, Richardson and Family Papers, LSU. 20 Henry to parents, 8 March 1865, Box 1, Folder 8, Richardson and Family Papers, LSU.
94 yourselves) for which I care an object to whose def ence I am bound, alike by my convictions of its justness, my solemn oath, and what I believe to be the best, and most 21 Loyalty to state and local government, fidelity to comrades, and youthful enthusiasm contributed to an unwavering faith to t he Confederacy Moreover, military service marked a crucial part of southern manhood during the wartime era. For the slaveholders and their sons reared on works like Ivanhoe and its chivalric mythology, the business of war seeme d hardly more than an active service in the field that they began to suspect what the real work and the real 22 Thus, the volunteers of 1 861 were diving into unknown waters. Military service would eventually force psychological and emotional transformations recasting these men and their self identities. 23 But in the early days of the conflict Southern men remained tightly tethered to the civ ilian world. Confederate volunteers saw war as their chance to become men and fulfill the masculine, martial roles assigned to them, and embodied by them. The brief emotional disclosures, glimpsed at railroad depots, front gates, and home parlors demonstra te the beginnings of a broader transformation experienced between men and women. Yet, before such changes were fully realized, Southern civilians still had to become Confederate soldiers. 21 Henry to parents, 27 August 1863, Box 1, Folder 7, Richa rdson and Family Papers, LSU. 22 George Cary Eggleston, (1874; Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1959), 70. 23 Mitchell, Civil War Soldiers 56 7.
95 Uniforming a n Army Historian Bell Wiley memorably wrote that the 24 Each year the Army Regulations prescribed the same idealized uniform to be worn by men serving in southern forces. Commissioned officers were expe cted to wear a frock coat of gray fabric with a skirt extending halfway between the hip and the knee. The double breasted coat included specific buttons, button arrangements, and insignia to designate men of different ranks. Enlisted men, too, sported a lo ng double breasted frock coat of gray cloth. Trousers were sky blue, with the headpiece was modeled after the style of the French kepi. 25 The Confederate government constructed an elaborate vision of uniformity which encompassed how its enlisted men and the ir officers should appear in field and in battle. Uniforms suggested expertise, courage, and obedience. 26 unaltered prescriptions each year, there was considerable discrepa ncy between the clothing designated and the garment actually worn. 27 Initially the Confederate government could not marshal the resources to outfit the vast numbers of mobilized men. And then later, design could not meet demand. Thus emerged a motley assort ment of uniform types and materials that little resembled the standards established in the Army Regulations 24 Bell I. Wiley, The Life of Johnny Reb (New York: The Bobbs Merrill Company, 1943 ), 108. 25 Wiley The Life of Johnny Reb 108 and Confederate Army Regulations 188 90. 26 Paul Fussell, Uniforms: Why We Are What We Wear (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002), 3 4. 27 Wiley, The Life of Johnny Reb 108.
96 How, then, are we to understand government projections and uniform reception? How does clothing inform our understanding of white Southerners? Fi outward appearance most explicitly marked his station, thereby separating him from civilian populations. Military uniforms like all dress elicited aesthetic and emotional responses from observers. For much of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, clothing defined social status and life station; the cloth used for the construction of a garment readily distinguished an enslaved African American from a white planter. 28 Uniforms ted his masculinity and bellicosity. 29 clothing sent from home connected military men to their families Enslaved laborers of the rich transported a variety of items back and forth throughout the campaign season and during prolonged encampments, while men of more modest means employed th and civilian became a soldier. Military service drew together men from every state of the Confederacy and beyond. For the average soldier, the armies being assembled i n 1861 were nearly inconceivable in scope and scale, thereby making the experience incomparable. Even veterans of the Mexican American War had never served in an army larger than 10,000 28 Mary Ellen Roach and Joanne B. Eicher, The Visible Self (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1973); American Material Culture: The Shape of the Field ed., Ann Smart Martin and J. Ritchie Garrison (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Prees, 1997), 252 4; Isaac, The Transformation of Virginia 43 4. 29 Fussell, Uniforms 11.
97 men. 30 Summer soldiers and old veterans alike were swept up by the exci tement. West Point graduate and Chief of Confederate Ordnance Josiah Gorgas described 1861 as 31 Another graduate of the United States Military Academy, Edward Porter Alexander, captured a scene in arriving every day & resigned Southern officers out of the old army were coming in from every territory, & camps of instruction were formed near the city where r aw troops were drilled, loose companies organised into regts. & regiments into brigades, field & staff officers were appointed & assigned, arms & equipments were issued, & as fast as any body was organised & equipped it was sent forward to one of the above named 32 The hustle and bustle of men, the issuing of arms and equipment, and the organizing of companies into regiments tangibly portrayed the project of Confederate nationalism, and served to instill pride and esprit de corps in Southern whites. For raw recruits, soldiering at first did not come easily. While many sons of the South had militia experience, musters, parades, and tactical demonstrations hardly prepared them for prolonged campaigns and military combat. Virginia native Carlton McCart chiefly the evolution of military dress, an adjustment to the hardships of campaigning, and an understanding of what was a nd was not necessary to perform the tasks of a soldier. The volunteers of 1861, 30 Joseph T. Glatthaar, (2008; repr., New York and London: Free Press, 2009), 66. 31 Gorgas, 12 June 1862, i n The Journal of Josiah Gorgas 41. 32 Alexander, in Fighting for the Confederacy 37.
98 he wrote in only partially exaggerated tone, sported heavy boots, wore large, bulky double breasted coats, carried pistols and knives, wore large, heavy knapsacks, and lugged a impossible to have on too many or too heavy clothes, or to have too many conveniences, and each had an idea that to be a good soldier he must be provided against every possible 33 unwieldy appearance reflected his unrealistic expectations for a short war. Over time, long marches and experiences in the field produced a more streamlined appearance. As soldiers grappled with unfamiliar equipment and uniform parts, the Confederate government struggled to supply the armies. Provisions were quickly Confederate records, volunteers were to furnish thei r own clothes. These men would then be compensated for their expenses by the government. 34 This became known as the Commutation System, and $25 was alloted for six months time. This system was established so that the government did not have to build elabora te facilities for the production of cloth and clothing in case of a short war. Moreover, the civilian population had already sent most of its men off to war in the spring and summer of 1861 in garments stitched at home. 35 The Commutation System itself ended officially 8 October 1862, and most soldiers in the main armies were regularly receiving government 33 Carlton McCarthy, Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861 1865 introduction by Brian S. Wills (1882; repr., Lincoln and London: Univer sity of Nebraska Press, 1993), quotes on 16 and 17, respectively. 34 O.R. 35 The Milit ary Collector & Historian (Fall/Winter, 1989), online edition without pagination, http://www.military historians.org/company/journal/confederate/confederate 1. htm [accessed, 5 March 2011].
99 clothing by 1863. 36 Yet, networks between the home front and the front of war continued lived history. The sustained influx o f items manufactured at home and the varieties therein gave Confederate armies a specific appearance and character. George Cary Eggleston remembered later that the lack of an efficient quartermaster system initially left it up to 37 While certainly an exaggeration, Eggleston isolates the civilian features of early Confederate armies. Such connections home were augmented by So 38 Female members of the Lenoir family and other women from their North Carolina community busied themselves sewing d Lenoir, in writing to her grandmother, described the scope of their work. They had been working hard throughout the fall of 1861 surpassing their requests and asking for more. By November, members of the family were knitting socks and gloves, sewing overcoats those items sent for military service, women also began the home production of cloth. In the same letter Julia described s 39 This homespun 36 37 Eggleston, 75. 38 A Shattered N ation 53 64. 39 Julia to Grandma, 4 November 1861, Lenoir Family Papers, http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/lenoir/lenoir.html [28 July 2011].
100 revolution received the praise of civilians and soldiers alike. In 1863, Hill Fitzpatrick ts, though as Drew Faust notes, many men had when engaged in such work. 40 Furthermore, as Faust contends, postwar accounts xtent of their activities. Instead, 41 Piecemeal efforts and improvisations demons of their deprivations. The transfer of parcels and handwritten requests for specific items formed the threads of correspondence and exchange that wove together otherwise separated families. Hill and Amanda Fitzp atrick maintained an unusually extensive record of clothing requests and sewing accomplishments. What stands out especially in this correspondence is the importance of these material items as symbols of affection and remembrance. In one letter Hill describ more when I get them because you worked and made them for me, but really I did not intend to burden you with that task, but you say and I know it is so that it is a pleasure to 42 when an expected garment did not arrive. Dick and Tally Simpson came from a 40 Hill Fitzpatrick to Amanda, 15 September 1863, in Le tters to Amanda : The Civil War Letters of Marion Hill Fitzpatrick, Army of Northern Virginia ed., Jeffrey C. Lowe and Sam Hodges (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1998), 87 and Faust, Mothers of Invention 46 7. 41 Faust, Mothers of Invention 51. 42 M. Hill Fitzpatrick to Amanda, 10 September 1863, in Letters to Amanda 85
101 prominent, well heeled South Carolina fami as far as I know, such as woolen socks scarfs, under shirts, woolen shirts, drawers, &cc, but what have we got from home? I leave the question for home folks to 43 For those without the same means as the Simpson family, absent clothing reflected material want. Over time Hill Fitzpatri resources and tried to minimize his requests; furthermore, by 1863 he and other soldiers were drawing almost extensively from the government. Soldiers fussed over details, sometimes writing out elaborate instructions f or their garments based on extensive wear and field experience. These small details, however The experience of James A. Graham was typical. In one letter he described h is shirts as fitting very well and requested specific dimensions for future shirts detailing collar depth and wristband width. In another letter James asked for another pair of pants to be cut by measurements. 44 To have clothing preferences was (and still is) by no means unusual. But in these particular s as civilians became seasoned veterans adept at outdoor living and functioning like a military man. from the civilian world, at least materially. Fitzpatrick became quite adept at patching his 43 TNS to Mary Simpson, [1 November 1861], in Far, far from home ed., Everson and Simpson, Jr., 84. 44 James A. Graham to Mother, 8 May 1861 and James A. Graham to Mother, 16 July 1862 in The James A. Graham Papers, 1861 1884 ed. H. M. Wagstaff, The James Sprunt Historical Studies (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1928), 104 and 125.
102 garments, modifying his clothing, and even sewing for fellow soldiers. 45 Before the war and skills involved in the construction or modification of garments. Now, forced to take up the needle for repairs and other work, Hill approvingly wrote 46 what women had been doing so well for so many years. The crisis o f war disrupted gender relations forcing men into roles traditionally reserved for women and vice versa. Reduced to the minimum, the summertime soldier became a seasoned v eteran. A soft felt hat replaced the cap, the double breasted coat was exchanged for a short jacket, knapsacks were discarded for blanket rolls, and unnecessary items were discarded. uniform continued to instill pride and distinction. Cut differently than civilian garb, a and became, in a ate soldier, after 47 A hardened Hill ss a soldier is burdened with the 45 See, M. H. Fitzpatrick to Amanda, 5 March 1863, 8 March 1863, 27 September 1863, 24 February 1864, and 10 April 1864 in Letters to Amanda 56, 57, 91, 120, and 134 respectively. 46 M. H. Fitzpatrick to Amanda, 17 April 1863, in Letters to Amanda 62. 47 McCarthy, Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia 26. Cl othing reveals much about social values, individual/group psychologies, and cultural aesthetics. What people wear and how they wear it carries messages and meanings. On the broader significance of costuming, see Baumgarten, American Material Culture: The Shape of the Field 251 5.
103 48 Additional equipment and clothes offered luxury but were not further left the civilian world. North Carolini an James Graham told his mother about his ier and gentleman at the same time. In order to 49 season, inadequate supplies, and the monotony of war and military maneuvers, took dramatic physical tolls. Hill Fitzpatrick like many men often suffered from inadequate footwear. Though his battered feet had mended in one letter, his shoes were nearly of road 50 Tally Simpson, too, 51 Such trials tested men. Putting on a brave face to his wife, Hill not ed he tries and I find as much depends upon the energy and spirits of a man, as his 52 For men such as Hill Fitzpatrick, these experiences were transformative. 48 M. H. Fitzpatrick to Amanda, 10 September 1863, in Letters to Amanda 85. See also, Linderman, Embattled Courage 183 4. 49 James A. Graham to Mother, 19 March 1862, in The James A. Grah am Papers 119. 50 M. Hill Fitzpatrick to Amanda, 4 December 1862, in Letters to Amanda 33. 51 TNS to Mary Simpson, 24 April 1862, in Far, far from home 117. 52 M. Hill Fitzpatrick to Amanda, 5 December 1862, in Letters to Amanda 35.
104 53 relied almost enti rely upon the government for clothing and comfort. Museum professional Les Jensen, through examination of extant clothing and extensive among postwar apologists. He instead finds men well supplied, suffering only from the rigors of the campaign. 54 written since the war it seems to be considered the thing to represent the Confederate soldier as in a chronic state of sta rvation and nakedness. During the last year of the war this was partially true, but previous to that time it was not any more than falls to the lot 55 As one observer described the Confederate he soldiers of this division are a remarkably fine body of men, and look quite seasoned and ready for any work. Their clothing is serviceable, so also are their boots; but there is the usual utter absence of uniformity as to color and shape of their garmen ts and hats: gray of all shades, and brown clothing, with felt hats, 56 By mid war, then, Confederate soldiers wore serviceable but varied uniforms, which created a motley appearance. Army regulations remained a far cry from reality 53 M. Hill Fitzpatrick to Amanda, 20 June 1862, in Letters to Amanda 16. 54 edition without pagination, http://www.military historians.org/company/journal/confederate/confederate 1.htm [accessed, 6 May 2011]. 55 W. W. Blackford, War Years with Jeb Stuart 56 Two Witnesses at Gettysburg: The Pers onal Accounts of Whitelaw Reid and A. J. L. Fremantle ed. Gary W. Gallagher (St. James, NY: Brandywine Press, 1994), 88 9.
105 and while soldiers still instilled pride among the southern people, they did not resemble the tidy, uniformed ranks of their federal counterparts. Hard marches and the rigors of outdoor living reduced the men and their uniforms. In a letter to his sister, Dick Simps on 57 Similarly, Hill Fitzpatrick told Amanda, 58 James Graham described himself in one letter as 59 Large swarms of men in close and constant proximity to one could be covered with lice making life unbearable. 60 When soldiers re entered the civilian world their appearance sometimes created embarrassment. While on picket duty in Virginia Dick Simpson overheard a piano playing. He left his comrade at the post and visited the house requesting a performance went into the parlor and here she came. I pulled off my hat and made a bow, but forgot that I had not combed my hair that day, also that I was in embarrassed and the situation be came awkward. 61 rooted in material conditions. But the episode itself is illustrative of the broader sepa ration, even estrangement, which sometimes arose between soldiers and society. 62 57 RWS to Anna Tallulah Simpson, 13 June , in Far, far from home 13. 58 M. Hill Fitzpatrick to Amanda, 1 August 1862, in Letter s to Amanda 21. 59 James A. Graham to Mother, 15 March 1862, in The James A. Graham Papers 118. 60 William A. Fletcher, Rebel Private: Front and Rear, Memoirs of a Confederate Soldier (New York: Dutton Book, 1995), 19 20. 61 RWS to Caroline Virginia Taliafe rro Miller, 12 August 1861, in Far, far from home 56. 62 On this broader process see, Linderman, Embattled Courage Chapter 11.
106 Soldier s are most recognizably define d by their uniforms. The overburdened Southern combatants marching off to war in garments from home would barely resemble the stripped down, government clad veteran of 1863. Changing uniforms and shifting expectations composed a central part of Southern me from civilian to soldier. The matriel of war served as an outward sign and signal of this process. Uniforms even delineated a shape athletic, tightly focused, and obedient that reflected the ideal of a combatant. 63 The Confederac Camp and Field fire. 64 His nostalgic remembrance did not include the monotony, dangers, and privations of camp but did contain a core truth about the bonds formed among men. Soldiers formed bonds as intimate and as familiar as family. 65 e emotional community was formed and then fostered among his fellow soldiers in camp and field. Such affinity was partly a natural extension of prewar friendship and kinship networks. Men from the same communities who rallied to the Confederate cause toget her experienced life in Confederate armies. 66 The months and years spent soldiering forged these connections 63 Fussell, Uniforms 14. 64 McCarthy, Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia 194. 65 Reid Mitchell, Civil War Soldiers: Their Expectations and Their Experiences (New York and London: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1988), 17. On male intimacy among youth, see E. Anthony Rotundo, American Manhood: Transformations in Masculinity from the Revolution to the Modern E ra (New York: BasicBooks, 1993), 75 91. 66 Moreover, the volunteers of 1861 who would one day compose the ranks of the Army of Northern Virginia shared demographic characteristics. As Joseph T. Glatthaar demonstrates in his exhaustive and compelling study o five was the average age for volunteers in 1861 and
107 into indissoluble bonds. The feelings soldiers shared and expressed among each other were part of their struggle to understand and define the realit ies of military service, its dangers and their distances from home. Revealing these emotions and uncovering 67 While at Confederates would come to see each other as brothers with whom they endured one of the greatest trials of their lives. 68 Soldiers came to depend upon each other for their comfort, for their safety, and for their very survival. Home and family remained camp as their substitute home and their immediate comrades as a substitute family. 69 The transition into military life was anything but easy, however. Most recru its had been born and raised in the same state; many continued to live and work in a very circumscribed geographic area. 70 The sights, smells, and sounds of military camps (which were essentially small cities with all the accompanying benefits and troubles) proved disconcerting to the neophyte. 71 John Dooley related the unfamiliarity of his first camp. The strange faces and forms, the near and distant sounds of an army of m en almost three of every four were single. Glatthaar, 18, see also 17 28. See also, Linderman, Embattled Courage 26 7. 67 On method, Freeman, Affairs of Honor 289 93. 68 Berry, All That Makes a Man 181. 69 Mitchell, The Vacant Chair 158 9, McPherson, For Cause and Comrades 77 89, and Sheehan Dean, Why Confederates Fought 58 60. 70 According to Joseph T. Glatthaar, eighty percent of the men who entered service in 1861 and ultimately served in the Army of Northern Virginia were born and lived in the same state. Many of these men lived in the same community, an area of no more than a twenty mile radius. Glatthaar, 36. 71 Glatthaar, General Lee 66 77.
108 72 Excitement and confusion commingled for new recruits in the early days of military service. Raw recruits had to learn quickly the military routine and succumb to discipline. Although possess ing a deep determination, individual liberty, and manliness. Surrendering oneself to the army created turmoil. 73 One soldier, in the first year of the conflict, described the tension between indi vidualistic men and and come back and when the officers go to take them to the gard house they will curse them and then they get bucked and a bayonet tied in their mouth and stay double the 74 contributed to aggressive, self interested behavior. Military service demanded subordination and the sacrifice of self for the collective. Men resisted th is process certainly but also came to recognize, even embrace, its benefits. In creating soldiers the army had to first control men, their actions and their reactions. No small part of this transformation involved how men revealed and released personal e and very survival anxiety, and apprehension were natural reactions to the experience of combat. 75 Such feelin gs could never be wholly alleviated but taming their effects was crucial. Encamped soldiers drilled daily, formed for parades, inspections, and roll calls, and spent 72 John Dooley Confederate Soldier, ed. Durkin, 5. 73 5 and 42, 50 2. 74 75 Linderman and Dean, and McPherson, For Caus e and Comrades 30 45.
109 individualism and governing his life by routine and limitations, the military instilled discipline and created unit cohesion while never completely stifling individualism and self esteem. 76 The repetition of drill and the creation of unit identity aimed at regimenting s soldiers had to maintain composure. Effective fighters could not surrender themselves to feelings of nervousness and the impulse to run and hide. The forging process could be tiresome, work; and guard, guard, guard. Eat, e a 77 Similarly, John Dooley recognized gr eat bore 78 On one level, military life created barriers between men by stifling their models of behavior had to be regimented, uniform. But on a broader level the expe riences that performing the same tasks, the same maneuvers, forged disparate groups into a single whole. The sight of long gray lines acting in concert was inspiring and si gnaled the looked like war itself to see one thousand soldiers walk out in the field, formed in battle 76 battlefield experience and it created an lan within companies, regiments, and even brigades. Soldiers, who already identified wi th their companies from recruitment on the local level, began to see themselves as a group For all to achieve, each individual component must succeed, and each person must rely quote on 51, see also 76. See also, McPherson, For Cause and Comrades 46 61. 77 TNS to Mary Simpson, 18 June 1862, in Far, far from home ed., Everson and Simpson, Jr., 129. 78 John Dooley, in John Dooley Confederate Soldier ed. Durkin, 59 60.
110 array seeing the southern flag waving over our new country against the northing armies, 79 The his company letter and regimental designation. These outward marke rs instilled personal pride and upon successful performance in battle earned public approbation. iate sphere consisted of his messmates a squad of four to eight men with whom he cooked, ate, slept, lived, breathed, and fought. The mess forged comradeship, a rapport among men which combat cemented. 80 Squads composed a company, and ten companies one hund red men each formed a regiment. 81 South Carolinian Tally Simpson, who himself was surrounded by friends and family during early service, composition of his company. Disease, f urloughs, casualties, and the vicissitudes of war changed ideal arrangements over time, however. Tally himself lost many of his comrades because of external circumstances, which promoted hardships and dilemmas. As he considered the prospect for reenlistmen t in the winter of 1862, Tally feared the reorganization of his regiment and the accompanying loss of familiar faces such fears were rightly founded and many men declined to reenlist. By that fall the loss 79 Preston H. Sessoms to Penelope E. White, 27 September 1861, found in Documenting the American South http://docsouth.unc.edu/true/mss06 09/mss06 09.html [accessed, 8 March 2011]. 80 Linderman, Embat tled Courage 235. 81 W. J. Hardee, Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics; for the Exercise and Manoeuvres of Troops When Acting as Light Infantry or Riflemen (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1861), 5 6; Regulations for the Army of the Confederate States, 1863 http://www.nps.gov/archive/gett/getttour/armorg.htm [ accessed 26 December 2010].
111 of his original mess saddened Tally greatly. 82 Sold iers became deeply devoted to their company and the men therein. As James A. Graham contemplated his future assignment he was away from his company serving as an adjutant he told his father, ; for it is the best drilled company I ever saw and one of the best companies I ever saw in every 83 After returning from a prolonged illness an elated Hill Fitzpatrick told his des in arms. 84 Such reactions suggest the broader emotional bonds formed among Confederate soldiers. These men realized quickly that the war would be anything but short and their comfort and safety demanded mutual dependence. The homosocial world of the mi litary camp and the ersatz family of the regimental company could never replace home and family. But soldiers with protracted service experienced a complex change in attitude in how they related to toward family, community, and other soldiers. As Gerald Li understand the experience through which they were passing, and they resented, with 85 Tally Simpson, for instance, complained of a leaking tent, wet bed clothes, and drenched shoes in a letter home. In 82 TNS to Anna Tallulah Simpson, 15 January 1862 and 27 July 1862; TNS to Mary Simpson, 12 October 1862, in Far, far from home 105, 139 and 153, respectively. See also, McCarthy, Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life 38. 83 James A Graham to Father, 7 March 1862, in The James A. Graham Papers 116. 84 M. H. Fitzpatrick to Amanda, 5 January 1863, in Letters to Amanda 49. 85 Linderman, Embattled Courage 216.
112 e of affairs is, do so. If you 86 situation only other soldiers could truly empathize with his plight. Soldiers suffered from privation and were exposed to severe dangers wh ile in camp. Henry Brown Richardson remarked to his parents that after enlistment in the spring of 1861, he and years of hard service and a 87 Messmates endured the hardships of outdoor living, which required sharing and encouraged intimacy. Soldier contact. 88 Inadequate clothing, meager blankets, and exposure drew men together at night, especially during the cold months even when encamped in winter quarters (men typically constructed small huts co mplete with fireplaces during winter encampments). Modern sensibilities eroticize bed sharing, however, nineteenth century men commonly bedded together out of necessity and for comfort. 89 Dick Simpson, for instance, related without embarrassment to his cous 86 TNS to Mary Simpson, 1 August 1861, in Far, far from home 38. 87 Henry B rown Richardson to parents, 8 March 1865, Box 1, Folder 8, Henry Brown Richardson and Family Papers, LSU. On the dangers of camp life, Glatthaar, 67 77. 88 An excellent discussion of this process among men from another army is found in B rian Joseph Martin, Napoleonic Friendship: Military Fraternity, Intimacy & Sexuality in Nineteenth century France (Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 2011), 75 9, especially. 89 Jonathan Ned Katz, Love Stories: Sex between Men before Homos exuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003), 6. As Katz also relates, the nineteenth century sleeping habits between some men developed into more, intimate sexual relationships. It is difficult to document such encounters among Civil War soldiers though the possibilities are extremely intriguing.
113 very much with cold, but by crowding together and keeping close we managed to keep 90 Similarly, James A. Graham related to his mother that, after arriving at Fort Macon, North Carolina, he slept with Tom Whitted. 91 Shared bedding ensured warmth. John Dooley explained the arrangement fully and its accompanying benefits and pitfalls. He and his comrades had but four blankets among them. So, he explained, e adopt is for all three to sleep together, position, the arrangement was ideal. But if someone moved the blankets shifted and one man would go uncovered. Thus, the men positioned themselves together closely, announced his intention and the men shifted accordingly. 92 Night after night, throughout Confederate camps, small groups of men arranged th eir bedding, pooled their resources, and huddled for warmth. bonds thus forging strong emotional connections between men. In a moving letter to the parents of deceased Confederat e James Hay Knighton, who died of disease (a very long period as a messmate aforded me ample means to know him as he was 93 90 RWS to Caroline Virginia Taliaferro Miller, 17 August 1861, in Far, far from home 61. See also, RWS to Caroline Virginia Taliaferro Miller, 3 February 1862, in Far, far from home 108 9. 91 James A. G raham to Mother, 22 April 1861, in The James A. Graham Papers 103. 92 Dooley, in John Dooley Confederate Soldier 70 1. See also, RWS to Caroline Virginia Taliaferro Miller, 17 August 1861, in Far, far from home 61. See also, RWS to Caroline Virginia Tal iaferro Miller, 3 February 1862, in Far, far from home 108 9. 93 J. M. Doyle to Dear Sir [Josiah Knighton], 24 May 1862, Box 1, Folder 3, Josiah Knighton and Family Papers, LSU.
114 words indicated an intimacy acquired thr ough their companionship as messmates. Long hours spent by the fireside fostered deep, personal knowledge revealing a more authentic, inner self otherwise missed by others. Moreover, as Carlton McCarthy fondly, mate, with whom he slept, walked, talked, and divided hardship or comfort as they came 94 marriage between man and wife. Here, then, were circumstances induced by wartime hardships that altered the shape of an otherwise commonplace nineteenth century occurrence (that is, occasional bed sharing among me n or the sharing of resources) to 95 Thus messmates and nd as we shall see in later chapters of this work, formed unions that remained unbroken, in many cases for decades. 96 knit communities starkly reflected racial hierarchies. d enslaved African his blanket rolls close to the fire, with his feet in the ashe s and often missing but by little 94 McCarthy, Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life 89. 95 Herman Melville, Moby Dic k ed. Tony Tanner (1851; repr., Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 54. 96 McCarthy, Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life 89.
115 97 Military service coupled with whiteness forged the bonds of brotherhood among Southern men; moreover, they together waged a war of independence to continue enslaving others. Race afforded privilege i n the South and Confederate soldiers derived power and self identity through the dominance of African Americans. Whites violently resisted black equality and consciously reconstructed social hierarchies in their camps to ensure their own superiority. 98 Soc ial divisions, too, arose in camp. Contrasting views on religion, temperance, and vice created tensions within camps as large groups of men, bounded by confined areas, had to interact with each other daily. An otherwise cheerful and social Tally Simpson es others cooking, and many otherwise occupied. I however am differently inclined this afternoo n and feel a short confab with the darling ones at home sweet home will afford me ten thousand times more pleasure than the participation in any little scenes enacted 99 cherishe mother, sister, father, or wife could instantly transport him back to hearth and home. 100 Settled cam ps and strong communication lines allowed families to exchange regular 97 Dooley, in John Dooley Confederate Soldier, 72. 98 Fredrickson, Racism, 81. 99 TNS to Anna Tallulah Simpson, 24 Sep tember 1862, in Far, far from home, ed., Everson and Simpson, Jr., 146. 100 McClurken, Take Care of the Living 20 1 and 34 40, and Sheehan Dean, Why Confederates Fought 103 5. See also, Reid Mitchell, The Vacant Chair: The Northern Soldiers Leaves Home (Ne w York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993).
116 his life wh ich is transcendently sweet, rendered still sweeter the more seldom it appears, and that is the moment he is made the recipient of a precious letter from 101 Exultations quickly became condemnations when mail was not seen. During a particularly long sp ell of silence (not attributable to inconsistence mail service in this getting scarce and dear, or are you all getting too lazy to postpone doing nothing to write m e a few lines saying that all are well and expressing some affection for your 102 Letters certainly relieved the monotony of camp life and kept families connected but also ensured that soldiers were not forgotten while away at the fron t. Moreover, communication with home remained an essential component of great happiness, whereas silence soured even the brightest countenance. Families provided soldier s a bulwark against the trials of war and the results of military service. In their letters home, men described battles and soldier life, they spoke of their trials and their personal changes. 103 They discussed, in other words, a world in motion. Their corr espondence home searched for consistency and familiarity. Soldiers drew comfort from domestic scenes around table and hearth, and hoped, ultimately, that 101 TNS to Mary Simpson, 2 December 1862, in Far, far from home 160. 102 Far, far from home ed., Everson and Simpson, Jr., 171. 103 See especially TNS to Caroline Virg inia Taliaferro Miller, 14 July 1862 and TNS to Mary Simpson, 2 December 1862, in Far, far from home 135 6 and 163 4, respectively.
117 their place would remain unfilled. 104 Soldiers expressed their fears obliquely. For instance, remarks ab out changed appearances was one manifestation of inner worries. recognize him at te n step 105 The words of Tally and Hill, probably more hyperbole than reality, suggest that soldiering had transformed these men in fundamental ways that proved disconcerting. Holidays seemed especially trying for soldiers. An imprisoned John Dooley nking of the loved ones at home, and the brighter the 106 Tally Simpson wished his folks well during the yuletide hoping that they were enjoying merriment. 107 He and several friends, making the best of their oth erwise bad situation, continued holiday traditions. The men prepared a big eggnog, and Tally promised that the first cup would be raised ning a hangover. 108 James Graham, too, 104 Glatthaar, 292 95. 105 See, respectively, M. H. Fitzpatrick to Amanda, 1 August 1862, in Letters to Ama nda ed., Lowe and Hodges, 21 and TNS to Sister, 2 December 1862, in Far, far from home ed., Everson and Simpson, Jr., 163. 106 John Dooley Confederate Soldier ed. Durkin, 153. 107 TNS to Anna Tallulah Simpson, 21 December 1861, in Far, far from home ed., E verson and Simpson, Jr., 102. 108 TNS to Anna Tallulah Simpson, 20 December 1861 and 21 December 1861, in Far, far from home ed., Everson and Simpson, Jr., 101 2.
118 letter home on the thirty first of December 1863. The following year James requested a box in preparation for the holidays to include sugar, a few eggs, and two or three bottles of bandy, as I want to have a regular good 109 Such elaboration celebrations were not necessarily common, however, as both the Graham and Simpson families had considerable wealth and were slaveholders. One soldier writing in early January 1863 noted that the holidays came and passed quickly, bringing little merrime nt. 110 As the con flict progressed and the pace of campaigning quickened, distance Many intimate discussions wit h comrades exposed feelings and fears, but only conversations with the home folks survive. Brig. Gen.Thomas Lafayette Rosser wrote -sometimes I think that if the war does not soon end, tha t I will leave this country in order that I may enjoy 111 Such sentiments are especially pointed coming from a high 109 James A. Graham to Mother, 31 December 1863, James A. Graham to Mother, 3 December 1864, an d James A. Graham to Mother, 30 December 1864 in The James A. Graham Papers, 1861 1884 175, 200, and 204 respectively. 110 Letter from TIVOLI, 9 January 1863, in Writing & Fighting from the Army of Northern Virginia ed., William B. Styple (Kearny, NJ: Bel le Grove Publishing Co., 2003), 180. 111 Thomas Lafayette Rosser to Wife, 7 July 1863, Box 1, Folder 1860 1873, Thomas Lafayette Rosser Papers, UVA.
119 who tried to prolong the conflict. 112 Rosser tried to close the distance between battlefield and homefront in his letters as he struggled to improve himself as a man and as a must not entertain any fears conc erning my behavior in your absence. As God lives my dear Wife I promise most solemnly 113 Rosser desperately sought to reshape himself since marriage, and hoped his love would overcome the temptations of camp. Rosser recognized t Confederate armies, soldiers abstractly protected hearth and home; but by serving in Confederate armies families were left without the protection men typically afforded. A scared Sarah C. Goodwyn related to he r husband Artemus, for instance, that she felt 114 Women were certainly not helpless and more than met the trials of war, but the disruption of the traditional antebellum family unit offered unforeseen hardships for men and w omen. Despite distances between the homefront and battlefield, letters back and forth created important arteries of communication and support. Soldiers worried about their families and families expressed concern for their soldiers. Emotions changed, gend er relations shifted. South Carolinian James Sloan worried about his duties to his family and the maintenance of his farm. Like Thomas Rosser or the Goodwyn family witnessed s of 112 VA, 12 April 1865 and Thos. L. Rosser, Lieut General, Head Quarters A. N. Va., 28 April 1865, General Orders, No. 4, Box 2, [Wartime] Scrapbook, Thomas Lafayette Rosser Papers, UVA. 113 Thomas Lafayette Rosser to Wife, 7 July 1863 and 24 December 1863, respectivel y, Folder 1860 1873, Box 1, Rosser Papers, UVA. 114 S. C. Goodwyn to dearest Husband, 23 Dec 1864, Box 1, Folder 2, Artemus Darby Goodwyn Papers, USC.
120 stay in the servis and you have evey thing to do for you are not able to do every thing that is to do there, for it will take a man person with you to take care of & keep the place up and it would not do to get strangers, write to me if you are willing for me to leave the 115 Subsequent letters show the balance Sloan was able to strike: continued service with significant stints home for farming. 116 Hill Fitz men, infrequently went home because of the difficulty in getting furloughs. Hill sympathized with his wife Amanda, her trials and her difficulties, and wrote constantly about his desire to come home. In one letter, though, he of fered a realistic assessment everything of that sort. You must be the man and woman both now you know, and get corn to keep your other hogs from Ma, so you can maybe have enough of your own 117 Military service forced resolve but demanded flexibility. Southerners endured innumerable hardships in camp and at home. Men responded to each other in ways that promoted intimacy and mutual dependence. The y assumed new roles, as did their families, which altered prescribed gender roles with women performing the tasks of men and men conducting work reserved for women. me, and the bonds forged among men, lives. Rather than adhering to a rigid type of masculinity, Southerners came to embrace 115 116 See for ins Ballenger, [furlough notice], 6 August 1864, Box 1, Folder 23, Sloan Papers, USC. 117 M. H. Fitzpatrick to Amanda, 16 December 1863, in Letters to Amanda ed., Lowe and Hodges, 104.
121 a more flexible, pliable model of manhood. 118 War demanded the rethinking of old assumptions and creative responses to new situations. Older ideals, emphasizing discipline, duty, and moral purity, were combined with current norms demanding aggressiveness, violence, and bravado to create new modes of manhood forged by war. Military service also recast in the pointed words of Dick Simpson, Confederates came to rely upon each for physical comfort, protection, and psychic ease. 119 Long fireside chats, shared rations, and commu duration and promoted, after the conflict, friendships lasting decade s. That said, s oldiers were not only responding to the necessities of their immediate realities but also waging a conflict to preserve rac ial slavery. Field of Battle At the beginning of 1863, Robert Wallace Shand took stock. He offered his musings in a small diary, a present from his friend John R. Osment, who had taken it during the Battle of Fredericksburg and still included the former an artilleryman from Pennsylvania. Shand soon expected peace, but he was sorrowfully e let this but remind 120 Civil War combat altered the expectations, 118 Several recent scholars have developed complex portraits of southern masculinity. See in particular, Carmichael, The Last Generation ; Berry, All That Makes A Man ; Sheehan Dean, Why Confederates Fought ; and McClurken, To Take Care of the Livi ng 119 RWS to Caroline Virginia Taliaferro Miller, 4 July 1861, in Far, far from home ed. Everson and Simpson, 24 5. 120 Robert Wallace Shand Diary, 1 January 1863, Robert Wallace Shand Papers, USC.
122 outlooks, and dispositions of Confederate soldiers such as Robert Shand. On the eams of a Confe derate victory would never come all too clearly that that year might be his last. The American Civil War heightened, if not associated sufferings provoked prolonged meditation and deliberation, changing self perceptions and self conceptions. Ironically, though, the trials of battle left men profoundly altered but also unable t o adequately describe the forces precipitating such 121 Many civilians were left with more questions than answers as to why the men they knew before the conflict were changing so much. A s Gerald F. Linderman maintains, the prewar expectations of soldiers could never be fully reconciled with their wartime experiences, for the shock and terror of the battle those at home did not understand the experience through which they were passing, and they resented that civilian incompr 122 Aaron Sheehan study of s. H e writes, 121 Walter Clark to Mother, 26 September 1862, in The Papers of Walter Clark Vol., One, 1857 1901, ed. Aubrey Lee Brooks and Hugh Talmage Lefler, (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1948), 80. 122 Linderman, Embattled Courage 216.
123 as the violence of the war alienated them 123 time in battle (though this did vary by year and location ), the effects of their time under fire proved profound and enduring. While scholars have taken divergent views on James M. McPherson argues that the stress of battle broke above the suffering around them by relying on courage, comradeship, and ideology as combatants ultimately suffered a crippling disillusionment arising 124 Recent scholarship why some survived the conflict and others perished altered mental and moral universes. Louis Menand suggests that the war gave rise to new ideas about ideas. Pragmatism and compromise emerged as important concepts that made it more difficult for people to be driven to violence by their beliefs. 125 This Republic of Suffering sees the 123 Aaron Sheehan Dean, Why Confederates Fought: Family & Nation in Civil War Virginia (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2007), 2. 124 Linderman, Embattled Courage quote on 240, see 216 65 on the broader process. 125 Menand, The Metaphysical Club 440.
124 126 the battlefield and beyond to recount how soldiers perceived and experienced combat. The ordeal of battle its hardships and its traumas di rectly contributed to how Southern men came to conceive of themselves as men, how they interacted with friends and family, and why the war cast such a long shadow over their lives. Before the thunder of battle men bore the burden of long marches. Ninetee nth century armies generally traveled and maneuvered without the benefit of boat or train, both of which were typically reserved for extremely long distances or special circumstances. These marches were exhausting and caked the men in dirt and grim. John D unrecognizable on account of the thick coverings of dust which settle upon the hair, eye 127 Consumed by dirt and grim, soldiers surrendered their personal comfort and cleanliness while on campaign. Marches to an unknown destination only heightened this sense of surrender. Rumors certainly traveled up and down the ranks as to where they were heading and why, but ulti 126 Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering: Deat h and the American Civil War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008), 268. 127 John Dooley Confederate Soldier, ed. Durkin, 8 9.
125 Discipline, prolonged marches, and military maneuvers demanded the rhythms of nature and the cycles of the land. Moreover, whi te men were reared in a culture celebrating personal independence. Men who valued their autonomy went to war to preserve it; yet, military service demanded the surrender of certain liberties. 128 To endure these hardships became a point of pride. Yet, even th e most phlegmatic men were also consumed by anxiety and doubt because of the uncertainties they were but not to question why. South Carolinian Tally Simpson complain while in the advance is such that when we go to bed at night we know not when we will be called up [and] when we eat one meal we know not when or where we will eat 129 ure of manhood. On the one hand, patriotic men ready for a fight were excited by the anticipation of battle. Marching broke up the monotony of camp life, and military action fostered a offensive strikes into Maryland and Pennsylvania in 1862 63. On the other hand, enlisted men and low ranking officers were subsumed by the command structure. They acted only when directed. Men who were rarely questioned in the antebellum era now questioned themselves and their circumstances, forced to surrender themselves to military command. 128 Mitchell, Civil War Soldiers, 57. 129 RWS to Anna Tallulah Simpson, 22 August 1861, in Far, far from home, ed., Everson and Simpson, J r., 63.
126 sounds, and smells were unfamiliar, even otherworldly. Before seeing actual combat many soldiers experienced the morbid results of conflict. John Dooley left a vivid account of his first encounter with a battlefield. Upon reaching camp he noticed the as anything but encouraging to a heart which naturally shrank from deeds of blood and scenes of death to behold these mangled heroes dropped carelessly in to the graves prepared, and the cold earth flung by colder hands upon their mutilated forms. I turned half sick from the ghastly spectacle and thought that I, too, before another day passed by, might be numbered with the dead and rudely thrust beneath dear Mother 130 Dooley confronted his own mortality in looking at the earthen mounds. He was now on borrowed time. Fully buried bodies offered the dead dignity at the very least, whereas others suffered a more ignominious fate. Half burials or temporary graves putrefied bodies creating awful smells, smells that were never known before. 131 To add to the hor ror, bodies that were temporarily covered by brush only or not all left exposed parts (fingers, eyes, toes) to be picked at by roaming hogs. These scenes offered a emotion al sensibility. At such moments control over feelings could become impossible as men literally stared death in the eye realizing that they faced the potential indignity of being ravaged by hogs or dying without ever giving their loved ones proper closure. 130 John Dooley Confederate Soldier, ed. Durkin, 3. 131 Dick to Anna, 8 August 1861, in Far, far from home, 49.
127 immediate reality. spective, self consciousness, and reticent of men could be absorbed by morbid curiosity. An otherwise sensitive Dick Simpson apologized to his sister Anna for not having an reque sted. 132 Similarly, a young Thomas L. Wragg wrote to his father after visiting the field the other day and wanted to get a Yankee skull (which were scattered over the ground) to send to you, but having no way to do so I did not take them, there was one very large one with a 133 Neither soldier, at least as recorded in their letters, collected any bones. Perhaps the act of collecting human remains, once put into moti on, proved too troubling, or simply too impractical. Or, maybe an empty offer was made only to satisfy what they perceived as the curiosity of those at home. But the desire to discuss such details or even collect the material records of battle suggests the strange culture and curiosities that war created. Most men had never before confronted death on such scale and under such circumstances. To come through experience unchanged usually proved impossible. Bleached bones, rows of graves, and the smell of rot ting flesh may have grounded soldiers in the earthly realities of war but often induced men to turn above 132 RWS to Anna Tallulah Simpson, 22 August 1861, in Far, far from home ed., Everson and Simpson, Jr., 64. On the process more broadly, Mitch ell, The Vacant Chair 3 11. 133 Thomas L. Wragg to Papa, 25 August 1861, in A Confederate Chronicle: The Life of a Civil War Survivor Pamela Chase Hain (Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 2005), 46.
128 looking to higher powers. On campaign in the spring of 1862, James Knighton assured his family that he trusted in God completely. His faith allowed hi m to look to higher powers for protection and assurance of his safe return. 134 off the microbes that consumed so many unfortunately. He perished in a hospital, a o our sensitive decrees of him above, remembering at all times, that we may be soon called upon the surely welcomed words to a grieving but still deeply religious father. 135 Religious fervor offered men a concrete avenue of expression, a long courage as Drew Gilpin Faust and Samuel J. Waton have argued. 136 Moreover, faith in Confederate revivals of 1862 and 1864, religion provided a bulwark against the uncertainties of war and a framework for understanding. What they could not understand or comp rehend mattered deeply, of course, but was part of a larger plan over which they had no control. Once called to action, orders came quickly. Rations were cooked and men prepared for marching. Soldiers probably experienced a vast array of emotions after h earing such news. Most expected the battle to come but could not predict exactly when 134 See, for instance, James H Knighton to Father, 20 April 1862 and Jimmy H Knighton to Sister Maggie, 25 April 1862, Box 1, Folder 3, Josiah Knighton and Family Papers, LSU. 135 J. M. Doyle to Dear Sir [Josiah Knighton], 24 May 1862, Box 1, Folder 3, Josiah Knighton and Family Papers, LSU. 136 Drew The Journal of Southern History vol. 53, no. 1 (Feb., 1987): 86 Journal of Military History vol. 58, no. 1 (Jan., 1994): 40.
129 or where. 137 Many engaged in rituals before moving to the front. Some had no stomach to eat before an anticipated engagement with the enemy too consumed by anxiety, whereas others dedicated their final moments in writing home or thinking of loved ones. 138 Once engaged, an array of personal proclivities, social forces, and external fight o nly after spending prolonged periods with their comrades in arms. For the soldier 139 These informal support networks signif icantly underpinned why men chose to stay and fight, or flee from the field. Furthermore, Southern whites were raised in a culture that promoted masculinity and honor, forces which demanded resolve and action. Men of the officer class, in particular, knew all too well that the eyes of their comrades and community were constantly watching. Their behavior and displays of bravado were not only emblematic of larger social ideals but also gave credence to prewar social hierarchies. 140 While there were exceptions, most Confederate officers met and exceeded expectations. 137 TNS to Mary Simpson, 9 November 1862, in Far, far from home ed., Everson and Simpson, Jr., 158 and Marion Hill Fitzpatrick to Amanda, 15 September 1863, in Letters to Amanda ed., Lowe and Hodges, 86 7. 138 On pre battle anxiety, see TNS to Caroline Virginia Taliaferro Miller, 22 January 1863, in Far, far from home ed., Everson and Simpson, Jr., 176. On pre battle letter writing, see J. H. Knighton to Uncle Josiah, 6 April 1862, Box 1, Folder 3, Josiah Knighton an d Family Papers, LSU. 139 Glatthaar, 316. 140 On the important wartime role of Confederate officers, see Carmichael, The Last Generation 149 77. For Cause and Comrades 54 61 and Glatthaar, Gener Army 197 99.
130 141 Similarly, over ninety soldiers signed a petition to Confederate President Jef ferson Davis advancing the case for the promotion of Colonel William J. Clarke of the 24th North Carolina. Clarke had accorded himself well in battle had resulted in a severe wound, a credit to his fighting acumen. 142 143 Ancient codes, entrenched resolve, and peer pressure could move soldiers into action but could not prepare the individual for what he confronted. As many former combatants have related, recreating the sights and sounds of the battlefield is an impossible, or uneven unde sirable, endeavor. Fragmentary views and incomplete pictures are the best an historian can capture. John Dooley through a combination of diary entries and edited materials tried to convey the confluence of emotions, sights, and sounds during his first enga gement, the Battle of Groveton (a preliminary action in power and unique on the deployed in line of battle; about a ha posted looking for some antagonist, and our brigade is told to advance towards this terrible looking affair and afterwards to march by the right flank into some woods near go right at them (as it were), they see us, and here come the shells crashing through the 141 R. Y. Dwight to Ellison [Capers], 26 June 1862, Folder 1 (1861 1871) Ellison Capers Papers, USC. 142 143 Glatthaar, 198.
131 into the men and artiller how scared I felt! If I could only stay out of that fight with honor how gladly would I have men then deployed into line of battle, marching at the double quick. Federal guns to steady dress to the right give way on the left shouted. Suddenly, a shell burst near Dooley knocking down the two men beside him. The line came to a halt near a fence, everyone was to lie down and await further orders. along an extended front Dooley and his regiment were ordered to withdraw, only to see further action the following day. 144 the combat experience. First, th were rote, requiring no thought; the long hours spent drilling ensured proper responses. On the battlefield this was a necessity, for soldiers felt fear, as Dooley so vividly and repeatedly related. Seco nd, combat heightened senses and accentuated an array of sights, smells, and sounds. The extent creating simultaneously enhanced awareness and dulled incomprehension. Third, e motions ran freely and fiercely, but could also be controlled and tempered. Dooley 144 John Dooley Confederate Soldier, ed. Durkin, 18 9.
132 done so. Powerful social forces compelled him forward for he fought on that day not only for himself but also for his comrades, his family, and for a cause. and external forces pulling men forward. Dooley, like most survivors, would continue to face battle. These prolonged trials would test men but also change them and their reactions. Artillerist E. Porter Alexander noted the idiosyncrasies, which men exhibited compara grab it promptly with a full strong grip but picks it up & drops it for a time or two, till he gets the measure of the heat & sees whether he can stand it. Well it was in very muc h that way that officers & men took hold of fighting at first. The men were strongly disposed after firing a volley to fall back a little to load, & officers getting a fair amount of 145 This proc ess bolstered no single model of behavior, reflective of masculine ideals, can a dequately explain demanded steadfastness, but Confederates also allowed men to grow accustomed to battle, if that was ever fully possible. The sight of federal forces, the a where men once stood. Soldiers who just moments before were whole men were 145 Fighting for the Confederacy, ed. Gallagher, 43.
133 undone by iron and lead. One soldiers narr ated a particularly horrifying, but still down, wandering anywhere his cracked brain directs him. Just on top of his head and penetrating to his brain is a large opening made by a shell in which I might insert my 146 witnessed friends receive grievous, life altering wounds. During periods of intense campaigning men began to doubt their return home. In writin g to his wife, Hill Fitzpatrick 147 prescient hese fears were especially commonplace during the rigorous and prolonged campaigns of 1864 and 1865, as Lee and Grant waged ruthless war. Thinning ranks signaled the loss of friends and family. In a letter to his mother, James A. Graham methodically reco unted the wounds sustained by his comrades. A severely in right side, Myself slightly in right knee, Lt. Patterson severely in groin Mowatt bruised by shell slight, Nelso These records extolled the physical cost of combat and began to penetrate the human face of war. But this letter could hardly communicate the prolonged suffering these men would now endure and continue to endu re. Graham concluded in another letter sent 148 For 146 John Dooley Confederate Soldier, ed. Durkin, 112. 147 M. H. Fitzpatrick to Amanda, 26 May 1864, in Letters to Amanda, ed., Lowe and Hodges, 150. 148 James A. Graham to Mother, 17 October and 24 October 1863, 157 and 160.
134 the men who composed regimental companies, formed messes together, and came to rely upon one another, thinned ranks hit hard. The absent soldier and missing face wrote C. W. Avery wrote to the father of Johnny Caldwell, when his friend did not reform with the Regiment having been killed on the fie ld of battle. 149 South Carolina politician 150 In the numbers of dead and wounded, Southern men were forced, howeve r unconsciously, to confront the impact of their national project and to see the results of their decision to secede. Here men surely began to doubt themselves and question the certainty with which they had lived their lives for so long. S queamishness over the dead dissipated a s time wo Such distancing allowed soldiers to cope with the incomprehensible, to continue fighting when quitting seemed justifiable. Certainly, these actions are laudable for the resolve and bravery dem onstrated, but also questionable for continued fighting meant continued cruelties. Confederate wrote. 151 Hill Fitzpatrick related to his wife that he had changed much in his fee 152 These words confirm Gerald 149 C. W. Avery to Dear Sir [T. R. Caldwell], 18 July 1863, Box 1, Folder 6, SHC. 150 B. F. Perry to Liz, 5 December 1862, Box 3, Folder 86, Benjamin Franklin Perry Papers, USC. 151 Fletche r, Rebel Private, 49. 152 M. Hill Fitzpatrick to Amanda, 2 September 1862, in Letters to Amanda 26.
135 yet, it is easy t o exaggerate these sentiments. 153 John Dooley, for instance, confessed less fear in the second battle of Manassas than at South Mountain or even at Fredericksburg; a nd I believe that soldiers generally do not fear death less because of 154 A hardened veteran remained a feeling man, eventual emotiona l toll of combat. Civil War combat changed the self identities and emotional dispositions of over even the most resolute soldiers. The effects could be crippling. After t he Battle of Fredericksburg (a resounding Confederate victory), a dispirited Tally Simpson wrote that 155 A frustrated and disheartened Thomas La fayette Rosser wrote to his wife in moving terms. Though he himself had escaped wounds, the men under his command had suffered, and many had been killed. He mourned their loss but found it impossible to write an account of affairs. He could only turn to hi s wife. Isolated, just God to whom I constantly pray for protection and deliverance[.] Oh! my darling wife 156 Such inclinatio ns led men to desperately 153 Linderman, Embattled Courage 216 65. 154 John Dooley Confederate Soldier ed. Durkin, 99. 155 TNS to Caroline Virginia Taliaferro Miller, 18 December 1862, in Far, far from home ed., Everson and Simpson, Jr., 167. 156 73, Thomas Lafayette Rosser Papers, UVA.
136 ake peace and go home 157 remained haunted by the ghosts of the past four years scenes etched in their minds that they surely wished could be erased. John Do oley tried to exorcise some of these arms and legs, and the human form mangled in every conceivable and inconceivable 158 Such scenes were scarring. Old assumptio ns were undermined, while new, unfamiliar feelings arose to comprehend changing perceptions. How survivors met Conclusions As the Battle of Chickamauga raged into i ts second day on 20 September 1863, stationed on a knoll near Snodgrass farm. Members of t he 3rd South Carolina surged 157 James A. Graham to Mother, 6 February 1865, in The James A. Graham Papers, 1 861 1884 (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1928), 209. 158 John Dooley Confederate Soldier ed. Durkin, 23.
137 riddled with grape and canister shot. As they soldiered together, so they slept together. Tally was buried next to Captain Williams, a family friend. 159 In the last winter of his life, Tally had come to recognize the brutality and costs of a war that now disgusted him. On Christmas day ad could be heaped in one pile and all the wounded be gathered together in one group, the pale faces of the dead and the groans of the wounded would send such a thrill of horror through the hearts of the originators of this war that their very souls would rack with such pain that they would prefer being dead and in torment than to stand before God 160 Gone were the epic pledges to honor the southern cause instead replaced by sick ened hearts and hard ened minds. Soldiers struggled to create emotional stability without the presence of their families. Occasional furloughs, visits from home, and regular correspondence when mail service allowed maintained webs of infrequent contact; yet, longings for home produced an emotional void. Confederates found solace in their comrade in arms, using camp life to recreate, however unevenly, a sense of home and a foundation for support. 161 In the nineteenth century home individual wills were suppressed to promote the ce ntral values of harmony, self control, and moderation. 162 These same values were demanded in camp. But Confederate soldiers also had to demonstrate toughness, aggression, and 159 Rev. John M. Carlisle to Richard Franklin Simpson, 22 September 1863, in Far, far from home ed., Everson and Simpson, Jr., 28 4. 160 TNS to Anna Talullah Simpson, 25 December 1862, in Far, far from home ed., Everson and Simpson, Jr., 168. 161 Sheehan Dean, Why Confederates Fought 58. 162 Ted Ownby, Subduing Satan: Religion, Recreation, & Manhood in the Rural South, 1865 1920 (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1990), 12.
138 ambition in battle. 163 Southern whites embraced a flexible model of masculinity that not only ensured the successful navigation of their various roles but also offered a modicum of personal and psychological happiness. In understanding Southern men we must understand the changes they experienced during the Civil War years, for the models o f manhood embraced and the types of emotions expressed were firmly grounded in the trials of their wartime experiences. 163 Sheehan Dean, Why Confederates Fought 58.
139 CHAPTER 5 CIVIL WARS CONTINUED ended on 10 May 1865 in sout hern Georgia. Members of the Fourth Michigan Cavalry surrounding woods and swamps. Most likely wea ring a shawl or a cloak (common apparel for nineteenth century men), Davi 1 when he saw the Yankees come, To hand him if they coul d, He jumped into a petticoat, 2 Thoroughly emasculated and completely defeated, the and the humiliation of Southern men as men. This chapter su heretofore often cast in political, economic, or military terms by examining the emotional and intellectual contours of veterans during the crucial year of 1865. Just how white Southerners interpre ted their wartime experiences directly impacted their position rom soldier to citizen, and fluctuating notions of manliness. I posit 1 Anne Sarah Rubin, A Shattered Nation: The Rise and Fall of the Confederacy, 1861 1868 (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Caro lina Press, 2005), 136 7. See also John Taylor Wood Journal, 10 May 1865, Volume 3, John Taylor Wood Papers, SHC. 2 Manhood in America: A Cultural History (New York and London: The Free Press, 1996), 77. On t his episode see also, Rubin, A Shattered Nation 135 8 and Nancy D. Bercaw, Gendered Freedom: Race, Rights, and the Politics of Household in the Delta, 1861 1875 (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2003), 76.
140 that with war came a series of unintended outcomes, which unsettled veterans and left them grappling with themselves, their government, and their society for years to come. White Souther n men invested themselves completely in the cause of war but remained wholly unprepared for its consequences. In reconstructing themselves as men, Southerners created distinct narratives of the conflict that shaped their understandings of postbellum cultur e and their engagement with society. The transition from civil war to civic peace was not only a national transformation but also a profoundly personal experience. Southern men publicly defined by postures, poses, and codes of honor now experienced doubt and began in the spring, summer, and fall of 1865 to reconstruct ideas of manliness in order to make sense of and lend meaning to their military lives. 3 This reading of Southerners modifies more orthodox accounts of Confederate soldiers, which tend towar ds teleology and bounded categories unreconstructed rebel or resigned veteran, for instance that do not capture fully the transformation that Confederate veterans negotiated to become Southern civilians. 4 The tidy groupings of soldier, veteran, and civilia n often collapsed 3 Stephen W. Berry contends that scholar s have unconsciously misread white Southern men concentrating more on their public face than their private dreams and doubts. I wholly agree with this Southerners to face doubt, in particular, as never before. Stephen W. Berry II, All That Makes A Man: Love and Ambition in the Civil War South (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 10 1, especially. For insights on the intellectual dimensio ns of the shift from civil war to civic peace see Leslie Reconstructions: New Perspectives on the Postbellum United States (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006). 4 M ost scholars, though notable exceptions exist, can be divided into two camps: those who posit that the war was remembered but its pains and consequences were eventually forgotten, and those who charge that the conflict did not decisively change white South readjustment to emancipation. These studies, otherwise extremely careful and sensitive treatments, tend self. On this first point see especially Paul M. Gaston, The New South Creed: A Study of Southern Mythmaking (1970; reprint, Montgomery, AL: NewSouth Books, 2002), Prologue and Chapter One and Gaines M. Foster, Ghosts of the Confederacy: Defeat, The Lost Cause, and The Emergence of the New South, 1865 to 1913 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 15 35, specifically. James L. Roark, Masters Without Slaves: Southern Planters in the Civil War and Reconstruction (New York: W. W. Norton
141 Personal conflict, anger, and violence proved as important as ideology in shap ing Homeward Bound Thousands of men, footsore and threadbare, choked the dirt roads leading from 5 According to the terms of surrender, Confederate veter ans were permitted to pass through federal lines unmolested. For most, that is exactly what happened. One soldier encountered a squad of Union cavalry who quietly passed his party without a word spoken. 6 Another Confederate, Thomas Devereux, ran across a g allowed them to pass. 7 Even if such encounters p assed without incident, tensions Federal troops attempted to lighten the atmosphere by emphasizing the importance of reconciliation. Confederate artillerist E. Porter Alexander maintained & Company, Inc.), Chapter Four and Peter S. Carmichael, The Last Generation: Young Virginia in Peace, War, and Reunion (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2005), Chapter Eight are each particularly representative of the second camp. 5 9 April 1865 marked the date official paroles still, scores departed immediately. Jay Winik offers a narrative acc ount of the exchanges between, and then meeting of, Grant and Lee. See, Jay Winik, April 1865: The Month That Saved America (New York: Harper Perennial, 2001), 173 199. For a more straightforward reading, if still highly useful, see, Frank P. Cauble, The S urrender Proceedings, April 9 th 1865 Appomattox Court House (Lynchburg, VA: H. E. Howard, Inc., 1987). 6 J. E. Whitehorne Diary, 14 April 1865, J. E. Whitehorne Papers, SHC. 7 s, SHC.
142 somewhat nostalgically in his postwar memoir that Union General Ulysses S. Grant had 8 Moreover, the federal soldiers ei ghtened feelings of amicability. veterans did not always separate their wartime experiences from their postwar lives. wrote Virginian John 9 The extinguished. One week after Appomattox, on his return home, Sergeant J E. 10 Emasculated by defeat and wanting to lessen the pain of surrender Whitehorne took solace in his family and looked forward to putting in a crop. The familiar domestic sphere, however, was now melded into his former military life. In his not end 11 8 Edward Porter Alexander, Fighting for the Confederacy, The Personal Recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander ed. by Gary W. Gallagher (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1989), 544. William B. Holberton describes a pe rvasive feeling of good cheer among Northern and Southern soldiers. See, Holberton, Homeward Bound 90 2. 9 John Hampden Chamberlayne to Sally Grattan, 1 August 1865, in John Hampden Chamberlayne, Ham Chamberlayne Virginian: Letters and Papers of an Artil lery Officer in the War for Southern Independence, 1861 1865 ed. C. G. Chamberlayne (Richmond, VA: Press of the Dietz Printing Co., Pub., 1932), 333. 10 Whitehorne, 16 April 1865, Whitehorne Papers, SHC. 11 Whitehorne, 16 April and 22 April 1865, respectiv ely, Whitehorne Papers, SHC.
143 transition reassert a patriarchal vision of the household, though one fundamentally altered by the war as he would come to realize. 12 But his personal requirements had changed. As Whitehorne settled into old patterns of domestic life he also looked toward his wartime comrades as his postwar friends with eyes filtered by the fallen Confederacy. Most support As men had marched together in war so they trod home together. During this crucial period of readjustment, during a time when soldiers would confront for the first time scenes of the ruined South, they would do so among their wartime comrades. Maintain ing military discipline and keeping, as long as possible, unit cohesion, Confederates controlled the terms of military collapse. 13 These measures, however would begin to recons truct manhood. Second Lieutenant Kena King Chapman arrived in Richmond, Virginia, in the late morning hours of April 18, 1865. He and his men were exhausted, their uniforms soiled and frayed by rain, mud, and hard marching. Having traveled over a hundred miles of 14 The physical exhaustion that pained them was quickly subsumed by an emotional collapse as the party gazed over the blackened cityscape. By the twenti eth, 12 On changes in the household, see Whites, The Civil War as a Crisis in Gender and McClurken, Take Care of the Living 13 Marten, Sing Not War 40 2. 14 Kena King Chapman, 17 April 1865, Chapman Papers, SHC.
144 Chapman and his men had exchanged the darkened streets of Richmond for the blue waters of the James River. The steamer Red Jacket plodded down the meandering river toward Smithfield, Virginia. The journey must have been hard, a painful close to a diff icult war. While resigned, Chapman was not defeated. With an almost nave for the present hoping 15 Three days later Chapman was home, phy 16 Chapman and Whitehorne each demonstrate how despair conflicted with the desire for regeneration. Military service and the Confederate cause forever altered their self perceptions and redefined their understanding of civilian life. By returning home, however, these men made a decision for moderation which represented an impulse typical of Southern whites, who supported the restoration of civic order and belie ved that defeat was providential. 17 By unifying martial and civil spheres within the domestic realm Confederate veterans who returned home pronounced the importance of a end, though, many maintained their allegiance to the Confederate cause albeit in different form contributing to the rise of the Lost Cause. Thus, the men who returned home in the d, however unhappily, defeat. 15 Chapman, 20 April 1865, Chapman Papers, SHC. 16 Chapman, 23 April 1865, Chapman Papers, SHC. 17 Marten, Sing Not War 61 4 and Jason Phillips, Diehard Rebels: The Confederate Culture of Invincibility (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2007), 182.
145 Many would turn to other former soldiers for solace and support, for these men, in fundamental ways, were the only ones able to understand fully the thoughts and feelings gripping ex 18 The mix of sentiments and emotions gripping h omebound men is best captured 19 Ca rnage and Chaos clash between radically different understandings of, and reactions to, civilian and military masculinities. 20 lingered identification. 21 Yet, this terrain proved unfamiliar to men who began to question themselves and the cause for which they fought. The majority of soldiers, on the on e hand, desirous of reunion and pressed by the necessity of want, peacefully returned home, started working, and attempted to restore order. On the other hand, some battle hardened veterans emboldened by defeat provided the catalyst for violence in an 18 The impulse to see k out other veterans among nineteenth century French soldiers is described in great terms in, Brian Joseph Martin, Napoleonic Friendships: Military Fraternity, Intimacy & Sexuality in Nineteenth Century France (Hanover and London: University Press of New E ngland, 2011), 148 70, especially. 19 Rufus Barringer Diary, 8 August 1865, Box 1, Folder 3, Rufus Barringer Papers, SHC. 20 22. This interpretation relies heavily upon hi storical, ideological process Gail Bederman, Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880 1917 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 5 10 especially. See also Kimmel, Manhood in America 21 This artic le heeds the call of Rogers Brubaker and Frederick Cooper to eschew the use of the term Theory and Society vol. 29, no. 1 (Feb., 2000) : 1 47.
146 expl osive postwar atmosphere shaped by rage, hatred, and vengeance. 22 The resulting tension produced social upheaval that presaged Reconstruction era violence, and autho rity. 23 oppositional behavior overturns any notion of a unified response to the Civil War and deconstructs Lost Cause mythology, which sought to portray an image so powerful that it has even varied, the sting of defeat too strong, and the forces of emancipation too monumental. personal reconstructions. 22 T. J. Stiles has argued that Civil War soldiers experienced a process of violentization, in which an individual passes through a series of stages before finally equating violence with power and self is surely an extreme version of this process the paradigm itself offers vast insights into explaining post war violence. T. J. Stiles, Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War (New York: Vintage Books, 2003), 161 5. Carter notes that the war itself exagge rated the When the War Was Over 19 23 When the War Was Over: The Failure of Self Reconstruction in the South, 1865 1867 (Baton R ouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1985), begins at the end, and uses Appomattox as a point of departure to examine Southern self postwar South, of Carolina, and follows the journeys of several Army of Tennesse e soldiers. Mark L. Bradley, This Astounding Close: The Road to Bennett Place (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2000) and Mark L. Bradley, Bluecoats & Tar Heels: Soldiers and Civilians in Reconstruction North Carolina (Lexington: The Un examination of post attox: Federal Military Occupation of Appomattox County May Civil War History 31, no. 1 (March 1985): 5 23. As with Carter, Bertram Wyatt Brown delivers a powerful reading of the South that includes a h. Bertram Wyatt Brown, The Shaping of Southern Culture: Honor, Grace, and War, 1760s 1880s (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001). The mechanics of military demobilization are thoroughly ex plored in William B. Holberton, Homeward Bound: The Demobilization of the Union and Confederate Armies, 1865 1866 (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2001). The best overall work on 1865 remains Stephen V. Ash, A Year in the South: Four Lives in 1865 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002).
147 appeared imminent. Men who had largely defined themselves in relation to the ar my profound loss. 24 The conflicting emotions propelled soldiers to take individual action to sustain the Confederate cause. These responses privileged the ideals of a m ilitant masculinity. Virginian Ham Chamberlayne, for instance, refused to participate in the south. 25 Lieutenant Colonel David G. McIntosh, joined by Chamberlayne, went into North Carolina. McIntosh found Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston and offered 26 For officers especially, the Confederate cause burned d eeply, and they were determined to prolong the fight. John Dooley, a recently paroled 27 For these recalcit rant rebels the Confederate cause died hard and, their martial lives and aggressive impulses held sway over the terms of surrender agreed upon at Appomattox. 24 For feelings of loss and liberation post defeat, see Hans Marionettes, and Men with Bitter Knowledge: On the New Formulation of Masculinity in the Literature of Conceptions of Postwar German Masculinity (Albany: State University of New York Press), 194 5 especially. On military unit cohesion, see McPherson, For Cause and Comrades 85 92. 25 John Hampden Chamberlayne to Edward Pye Ch amberlayne and Lucy Parke (Chamberlayne) Bagby, 12 April 1865, in Chamberlayne, Ham Chamberlayne Virginian 320. For an excellent discussion of Chamberlayne in the postwar years, see Carmichael, The Last Generation, Chapter Eight. 26 Joseph E. Johnston quo ted in Lynda L. Crist, Barbara J. Rozek, and Kenneth H. Williams, eds., The Papers of Jefferson Davis vol. II (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2003), 548. 27 Joseph T. Durkin, ed., John Dooley, Confederate Soldier and His War Journal (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1963), 177.
148 Rather than joining Confederate armies elsewhere, others demobilized at Appomattox considered ra dical alternatives. For many, vengeance and hatred of the North served as a motivating force that sustained their morale. Although exact numbers are unknown, it is likely that throughout the spring of 1865 hundreds of soldiers set out to fight in the hills and countryside of North Carolina, the trans Mississippi, and beyond. In the hours and days before surrender, hushed discussions turned to the realm of alternatives for those who deemed capitulation unthinkable. E. Porter Alexander a trusted Confederate o fficer to both Jefferson Davis and Lee suggested continued resistance in correspondence with Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet, and William any hope for the Confederacy it is in delay, stated. The Army of Northern V Carolina, Alexander urged, or take to the hills and become guerilla fighters. 28 Lee rejected this course as dishonorable, and perhaps even disastrous; many Confederate officers agreed. Still others, such as Co nfederate President Jefferson Davis, offered support through word and deed. 29 Indeed, small pockets throughout the South became 28 Alexander, Fighting for the Confederacy 531 532. An interesting discussion of guerrilla warfare is found in Winik, April 1865 144 163. 29 On 4 April 1865, Jefferson Davis issued a decree that argued the war had assumed a new phase, and falter The Papers of Jefferson Davis vol. II, 502. This proclamation appeared in northern newspapers as well. The Philadelphia Inquirer for instance, printed the document on A pril 17. The Philadelphia Inquirer a brief historiographical discussion of its interpretation by scholars. Feis argues that Davis was not encourag Simpson, ed., The Collapse of the Confederacy (Lincoln: Univer sity of Nebraska Press, 2001). Michael B. guerrilla A Long Shadow: J efferson Davis and the Final Days of the Confederacy (Jackson, Miss.: University Press of establishment of Confederate capitals, and his unwillingness to see Con federate field commanders surrender, suggest
149 hotbeds of violence as desperate bands composed of soldiers and civilians alike harassed black and white Southerners. 30 Yet the q compelled to continue fighting after Appomattox? The majority of Confederate soldiers also created a divi sive atmosphere and internal conflict. Men such as Dooley, Chamberlayne, and McIntosh were suspended at the threshold; they were detached from the army but still wanted to serve as soldiers. These men followed an internal sense of duty that allowed them to disregard the terms of formal surrender. Moreover, their allegiance to the Confederate cause, broadly defined, demanded that they resist federal armies until the bitter end. Historian Jason Phillips argues that such men were ed an ethos of Confederate invincibility that outlasted the Civil War. 31 refused to return home. Still g rappling with the prospects of defeat, these men chased the dream of succession into the spring and summer of 1865. In the end, efforts to continue fighting in other theaters of the war and proposals for guerrilla warfare proved untenable. Instead of the widespread destruction associated with a guerrilla struggle, the South erupted into a series of small conflicts initiated by that he desired to prolong the struggle indefinitely. The actual terms of the engagement are debatable; however, the open discussion of guerilla warfare among Confederate officers indicates Davis had, at the ver y least, considered the option even if his prose in the public decree of 4 April did not directly indicate the idea. See also, Gary W. Gallagher, The Confederate War (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1997), 140 153 and Rubin, A Shattered Nation 130 4. 30 Such bands impeded some soldiers progress home, see Marten, Sing Not War 42 4. 31 Phillips, Diehard Rebels see Chapter Five and Conclusion for his rich description of this ethos in the
150 men often driven not by ideological commitment but raw emotion. The main thoroughfares and Southern railways stretching across Virg inia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia, especially, became lightning rods, charged by throngs of soldiers beginning in early April and continuing well into the summer. Hungry and tired veterans swelled the populations of dozens of Southern communities which had already weakened infrastructures because of the strains of war. Contests over resources, displays of violence, and outright conflict ensued. For Confederate veterans, these quarrels were part of a broader struggle that tested the boundaries of their manhood. As Robert A. Nye has recently observed, much in modern history has depended on the nation ways that neither jeopardized the efficient conduct of warfare nor troubled ci vic 32 White Southerners negotiated this unfamiliar terrain as the station of citizen gradually subsumed the role of warrior. As the Confederate government became increasingly ineffectual and still active Southern armies faced numerous military setb acks, civil authority faltered in communities such as Danville, Virginia; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Augusta, Georgia. Such civil instability augmented social ferment as demobilized soldiers and civilian refugees were drawn to these major rail centers which held supplies stores. 33 32 33 Scott Nelson describes the rail lines linking Richmond, Danville, Greensboro, and Charlotte as in sad repair, though recently constructed. These thoroughfares were epicenters of activity and violence in the beyond the post war years because of the profound socio economic changes enacted by the railroads. Scott Nelson, Iron Confederacies: Southern Railways, Klan Violence, and Reconstruction (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999).
151 Contests of power ensued. 34 Subsequently, black and white Southerners had to often fend for themselves as federal authorities and local vigilante groups vied for supremacy. 35 For many, the Confederate cause no longer resonated as their concerns centered on the necessities of life food and clothing in particular. One defiant soldier saw nothing wrong with taking blankets & such from the commissa 36 Such reactions became widespread as soldiers grasped for meaning once their cause was lost. men after their paroles were issued in mid April. Arteries leading into the V irginia community swelled with straggling soldiers, overloaded wagons, and wandering civilians. 37 Admiral Raphael Semmes, who had burned most of the Confederate navy and outfitted his men as infantry in early April, took note of the scene and described a 38 The 34 power of the rebellion fell the civil government, which had been carried on in the interest of the rebellion, H. Merrill, The Campaigns of the First Maine and First District of Columbia Cavalry (Portland: Bailey & Noyes, 1866), 374 5. 35 Edwar d L. Ayers, Vengeance and Justice: Crime and Punishment in the 19 th Century American South (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), 142. 36 Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel n.d., quoted in Houston Tri Weekly Telegraph 15 June 1865, found in Car ter, When the War Was Over 12. 37 The disorder within the town spilled into the countryside throughout April. Union troops from the 24 th Corps who were garrisoned in the surrounding area found considerable robbing and pillaging by paroled prisoners. Chris M. Calkins, The Final Bivouac: The Surrender Parade at Appomattox and the Disbanding of the Armies, April 10 May 20, 1865 (Lynchburg, Virginia: H. E. Howard, Inc., 1988), 150. 38 Semmes, Memoirs of Service Afloat During the War Between the States 819.
152 D 39 Without purpose or a point of destination, the crowds grew restless. 40 vio lent acts against people and the destruction of Confederate property. 41 Others, demoralized by the Co 42 Plundering followed. Dooley captured other items that could be moved quickly were either stolen from or dispensed by the 43 Released from military service and internally conflicted, these veterans lashed out at the institutional features of the nation that they had once sought to defend. In the m idst of the confusion, the sound of an explosion rocked the town and scattered the crowd. Confederate ordnance stored near the warehouses had ignited. Burning debris and pieces of shell rained from the sky, killing at least fourteen people, including a num ber of surrendered Confederate soldiers. 44 A South Carolinian 39 Durkin, ed., John Dooley, Confederate Soldier and His War Journal 181. 40 Bertram Wyatt also, Whitelaw Reid, After the War: A Tour of the Southern States, 1865 1866 ed., C. Vann Woodward (1866. Reprinted, New York: Harper & Row, Inc., 1965), especially Chapter 34. 41 Durkin, ed., John Dooley, Confederate Soldier and Hi s War Journal 180. 42 Ballard, A Long Shadow 69. 43 Durkin, ed., John Dooley, Confederate Soldier and His War Journal 180. 44 Noah Andre Trudeau, Out of the Storm: The End of the Civil War, April June 1865 (Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 1994), 390 391 a nd Marten, Sing Not War 33.
153 45 Farther nort h in Lynchbu rg a community that was severely taxed during the war paroled soldiers and white civilians looted Confederate supply stores that held shoes, clothing, and assorted valuables. As the last chapter described, even though the government adequately supplied Con federate soldiers Southern families often did without. Understanding the intentions of a large unruly crowd is difficult, though one wonders if these groups were lashing out at the symbols which had deprived them for so long or were simply taking for them selves that which they did not before have. Civil authorities quickly lost control, and were forced to close businesses and suspend city services. 46 Fearful of riots and pressed by plundering, community leaders agreed that federal troops must fill the vacuu appealing alternative to civil strife. Union General John W. Turner, the ranking officer, white populations. On April 16, t he federal troops left, thereby initiating a period of uncertainty until the establishment of the Military District of Lynchburg on 24 May 1865, which solidified federal control in Lynchburg and the surrounding counties. 47 self reflection leaving some veterans to conclude, at least temporarily, that their cause had been pointless. The shock of surrender produced immediate rage, but these feelings of anger abated for most and transformed 45 Spotsylvania National Military Park, Fredericksburg, Virginia, Bound Volume 425. Hereinafter cited as FSNMP. 46 Steven E. Tripp, Yankee Town, Southern City: R ace and Class Relations in Civil War Lynchburg (New York: New York University Press, 1999), 160 47
154 into an emotional depletion. 48 One form er soldier maintained that he had lost the best embittered, distracted, ruined, & no pr 49 Surely these sentiments swirled in the minds of many after they were released from military service. Widespread disillusionment with a cause lost coupled with want partially explains why demobilized soldiers attacked symbols of Confederate authority. And, still of their defeat. Disbelief and bewilderment seized the members of the Army of Tennessee, though they continued to function as a viable, if shaken, fighting force. 50 enough, members of the defunct army plundered the s till active Army of Tennessee 51 As with Danville, Virginia, the vast supply stores and rail lines of Greensboro, count from 1866 recalling events from the previous spring. 52 As the local home guard evaporated and anti Confederate sentiment grew rampant, authority within the community faltered, 48 Wyatt Brown, The Shaping of Southern Culture 254. 49 Author unknown, letter f ragment ca. 1865, Series I., Folder 60, Walton Glenny Family Papers, The Historic New Orleans Collection, The Williams Research Center, New Orleans, Louisiana; hereinafter, NOC. 50 Bradley, This Astounding Close 150 3. 51 Carter, When the War Was Over 1 2. 52 Greensboro Patriot 23 March 1866.
155 army and local civilians targeted the military warehouses located on East Market Street. According to the Greensboro Patriot Master stores were thrown open and the contents to the amount of millions of dollar s deprived of in war. 53 Confusion followed as active Confederate units were called to the scene resulting in a terrible instance of carnage and commotion. Lt. Col. A. C. McAl thereafter another crowd appeared mostly Kentuckians and Tennesseans from 54 McAlister ordered these men to dispers e. Perhaps drunk from looted liquor, the soldiers continued to One man fell dead; three others wounded. 55 Whatever bonds shared by these Southerners had clearly dissolved in the slow close to a costly struggle. Violence and collapsed authority gradually transformed the Southern landscape guage. 56 emotions ebbed and flowed between deep depression and nearly maniacal joy as they confronted disheartening news of military setbacks and hopeful rumors of foreign 53 Greensboro Patriot 23 March 1866. See also, John G. Barrett, The Civil War in North Carolina (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1963), 387. 54 Br adley, This Astounding Close 153. 55 Bradley, This Astounding Close 153 154. 56 Wolfgang Schivelbusch, The Culture of Defeat: On National Trauma, Mourning, and Recovery trans., Jefferson Chase (New York: Metropolitan, 2003), 10 9.
156 intervention. 57 But even the wildest dreams could not stop the pres sing realities of defeat, as still active Confederate armies fell one by one. 58 The demobilization of Confederate soldiers paroled and otherwise initiated successive waves of disorder. With each surrender Southern whites experienced similar feelings of ange r, disbelief, and humiliation. 59 same civil strife witnessed in the immediate wake of Appomattox. A war torn l andscape without authority became overwhelmed quickly by the disbursement of thousands of battle hardened men. In late April and early May, paroled soldiers and Confederate deserters flooded the North Carolina landscape, crowded towns, and precipitated lawlessness. Concerned citizens asked Union occupiers for protection from marauders. 60 Scarce resources provoked desperate struggles between civilians and Confederate soldiers. Union ing through the countryside and committing numerous depredations. In Roxboro, North Carolina, Confederate veterans and white citizens held a meeting. Things went poorly 57 Phillips, Diehard Rebels 176 81. 58 of Trans surrendered in the Indian Territory on June 23. Bradley examines in great detail the prolonged This Astounding Close 157 222. For the Department of the Trans Mississippi, see Robert L. Kerby, The Trans Mississippi South, 1863 1865 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1972), 424 7. On the Confederate Cherokees and the war in the West see W. Craig Gaines, Regiment of Mounted Rifles (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989). 59 Phillips, Diehard Rebels 173. 60 Bradley, Bluecoats & Tar Heels 30 1.
157 be longing to a Confederate wagon train. 61 While this incident passed without violence, others were not so fortunate. Elizabeth Collier, a refugee of war living near Hillsborough, North Carolina, recounted how a group of men burst into her home, and commenced 62 Southerners were deeply frightened by t he atmosphere created by the collapse of Confederate armi es Prominent Chapel Hill resident and southern sympathizer Cornelia Phillips Spenc loaded with 63 ous in fact, given the tone of her other writing she was probably referring to federal troops the collapse of the Confederate government and Governor Jonathan Worth compla 64 For the next several months lawlessness and disorder defined the entire state. 65 William 61 J. Kilpatrick to Lieut. Col. J. A. Campbell, 30 April 1865, in OR 47 (3), 354. 62 Elizabeth Collier, [Spring 1865], Collier Papers, SHC. There is so th th fell on a Monday in 1865, which may suggest she was recalling an event from the past month. Collier Papers, SHC. 63 Cornelia Phillips S pencer, 4 May 1865, Diary, Cornelia Phillips Spencer Papers, Spencer Volume 3, SHC. For a general account of disorder in North Carolina after the war see Nicholas W. Schenck Diary, [Spring 1865], pp. 41 3. A transcribed copy of this diary is available thro ugh the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. http://library.uncwil.edu/web/collections/Schenck/schenck full.html [accessed 5 April 2009]. 64 Jonathan Worth to Addison [Worth], 22 April 1865, Box 1, Folder 7, Worth Papers, SHC. 65 Martin Crawford, As (Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 2001), 153. For a compellingly deep analysis of violence in Western North Carolina see Phillip Shaw Paludan, Victims: A True St ory of the Civil War
158 McKee Evans succinctly capt governments disappeared, when institutions vanished, and when the loyalties of men 66 Following the rail lines through South Carolina and into Georgia, Confederate veterans descended u pon Atlanta, Augusta, and Macon. One newspaper story reported that Atlanta a city devastated in 1864 67 The attackers professed to be soldiers from the armies of Lee and Johnston, though their exact identities remai ned unknown. The distinction between paroled soldier and marauding deserter blurred. The list of abuses included the theft of supplies, horses, and mules from state and Confederate stores and private homes. 68 Other veterans passed through on their way home desperate for temporary shelter and food, which Georgians provided for as effectively and efficiently as possible given the circumstances. Chief of Confederate Ordnance Josiah Gorgas who had fled south from Richmond, Virginia, in early April described Aug Once all the public stores and many private ones had been raided, the crowds turned to 69 Fear see William McKee Evans, Ballots & Fence Rails: Reconstruction on the Lower Cape Fear (1966; reprint, Athens: University of Georg ia Press, 1995). 66 Evans, Ballots & Fence Rails 41. 67 The Macon Daily Telegraph 68 The Macon Daily Telegraph 69 Gorgas, 3 May 1865, The Journals of Josiah Gorgas Post Civil War Georgia Historical Quarterly vol. 90, issue 2 (Summer 2009): 196 213. In late May, the Macon Daily Telegraph complained of a large number of guns and pistols that were fired daily, day and night, in defiance o f city ordnance that prohibited the use of firearms within three hundred The Macon Daily Telegraph
159 The Confederate armies mustered out of service in 1865 only further fractured the shatte red white South. Veterans, fresh from the battlefields of Virginia, North Carolina, and beyond could both help promote a return to normalcy (as witnessed particularly in those who peacefully returned home) and create profound disruptions (as seen in unruly crowds and marauding raiders). How these men affected southern society is difficult to quantify, but a qualified statement is appropriate. The presence of demoralized soldiers, discussions of military defeats, and overt attacks on symbols of Confederate a Southerners. 70 As soldiers responded to the crises of defeat, shifting emotions and changing gender expectations guided behavior. In the unsettled period between the spring and fall of 1865, whi te men would continue to publicly shape the postwar South as they privately confronted the demons of war. 71 The violent reactions of some veterans reflected men desperate to gain a sense of control during a period of uncertainty. 70 William M. Reddy, The Navigation of Feeling: A Framework for the History of Emotions (Cambridge U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 52 3 and Social Suffering ed., Arthur Kleinman, Veena Das, and Margaret Lock (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997). For a broader reading on the long term consequences of defeat, see Jackson Lears, Reb irth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877 1920 (New York: Harper Collins, 2009), 12 50, especially. 71 roles of former Confederate soldiers, w hich thrust Southern women to the fore. Instituted memorial customs, in particular, functioned as public expressions of Confederate sentiments. Scholars such as Gaines Foster have viewed Memorial Days as significant acts of commemoration that furthered the process of reunion. William Blair rightly modifies this assessment contending that these acts also were forms of resistance that perpetuated Confederate identity. Women proved central to the construction of Confederate identity, as David Blight has demons trated so admirably. Blair complicates this familiar story recounting that while federal authorities circumscribed the roles of former Confederate soldiers, thereby allowing women to dominate public spaces, Cities of the Dead continued to provide a means f or rebel women made important decisions concerning the content and form of celebrations while always maintaining an eye toward normative gender roles. Once postwar Confederate identity became linked with cemeteries, Blair posits, it assumed a less threatening role that made reunion easier. William Blair, Cities of the Dead: Contesting the Memory of the Civil War in the South, 1865 1914 (Chapel Hill and Londo n: The University of North Carolina Press, 2004), 77 97. See also, Blight, Race and Reunion and Foster, Ghosts of the Confederacy
160 Authority Restored Change s came rapidly in the spring 1865, and nothing, by any measure, was inevitable. As the scenes from Danville, Greensboro, Atlanta, and Augusta demonstrate, the wave of military surrenders coupled with the collapse of governing authority produced an ideologi cal collapse among many white Southerners that manifested itself in feelings of animosity and hatred. For these men, the transition into civilian life proved unleashed their a some cases, black and white civilian populations. Military surrender and desertion paralyzed former Confederates creating feelings of uselessness and emasculation. These psychological wound s became physically manifest most immediately and 72 White men were unmoored and manliness culture and evangelical culture explored so r evealingly by Ted Ownby competed, resulting in emotionally charged behavior among men. 73 Yet, for every act of violence committed, there were countless instances of restraint and even reconstruction. While violence continued throughout the rest of 1865, lo cal patrols and federal authorities gradually restored order in most communities. 74 Ironically, the same military training that may have heightened chaos in many areas also facilitated the restoration of order. 72 The prolonged affects of war are compelling explored by Dean, Shook Over Hell 73 Ted Ownby, Subduing Satan: Religion, Rec reation, & Manhood in the Rural South, 1865 1920 (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1990), see especially the Introduction for the clearest articulation of his argument. 74 For an account of continued violence in South Carolin a see Charles M. McGee, Jr. and Ernest M. Lander, Jr., eds., A Rebel Came Home: The Diary and Letters of Floride Clemson, 1863 1866 (1961; revised edition, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1989), 94.
16 1 If the years of Congressional Reconstruction were marked by episodes of extreme violence in the South, the roots of this insurgency can be traced to the immediate postwar period. And, Southern men, even if immersed in an antebellum culture of violence, assumed a cloak of increasingly aggressive manl iness. 75 George C. Rable, Richard Zuczek, and James K. Hogue, in particular, have argued that Reconstruction era violence demonstrates continuity with the Civil War, even if the means and intensity changed over time. 76 Crucial to white Southerners campaigns of political and social control were locally sanctioned, armed bodies of men that attacked white Republicans, African Americans, and the socially marginalized without remorse. The organizational efforts of Confederate veterans in 1865 adumbrated these late r the resurrection of slave patrols. 77 Richard Zuczek goes so far as to argue that the ant ebellum system of slave patrols had fully reappeared in South Carolina by the late 75 The Militant South r emains the most important statement of antebellum Southern militancy. John Hope Franklin, The Militant South, 1800 1861 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1956). See also, Edward Baptist, Creating an Old South 76 Richard Zuczek, State of Rebellion: Re construction in South Carolina (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996) and James K. Hogue, Uncivil War: Five New Orleans Street Battles and the Rise and Fall of Radical Reconstruction (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006). The classic statement on Reconstruction era violence remains, George C. Rable, But There Was No Peace: The Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1984). See also, Nicholas Lemann, Redemption: The Last Battl e of the Civil War (New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2006). 77 Sally E. Hadden, Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001), Chapter 6 and Epilogue. Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet 27 0. See also, Nicholas Lemann, Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006) and William McKee Evans, To Die Game: The Story of the Lowry Band, Indian Guerrillas of Reconstruction (1971; reprint, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1995), 60 1.
162 summer of 1865. 78 Confederate veterans actively sought to establish order and reform t hemselves into the restoration of their communities, thereby defining the terms on responses of ex Confederates, and that their oppositional behavior exemplifies the divided white Southern mind that was further fractured by surrender. For Southern whites, the prospects of peace offered for a time the hopeful return of a familiar social order. While defeated as soldiers, Confederate veterans could assert manliness and authority within their respective communities by assuming subordination of others, especially African Americans. Newly freed blacks became targets of white anger. The development personas and created a powerful mechanism for the restoration of a white social order. During the same period white Southern women through memorial associations and similar organizations became the public guardians o f Confederate memory, which created a potent political dimension to burgeoning Lost Cause mythology. 79 Southerners masked their militancy through the prose of remembrance and celebration. North Carolinian and former soldier Randolph A. Shotwell, for instanc e, captured the change strides toward reintegration into civic life and the transformation of war materials into 78 Richard Zuczek, State of Rebellion: Reconstruction in South Carolina (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996), 18. 79 On these processes among Southern women between 1865 and 1866, see Caroline Janney, Burying t (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2008), Chapters 1 and 2.
163 was steadily resolving itself into shattered spear readily became the crook of the pruning hook. The blood stained army ambulance relapsed into its olden service as a ma rket 80 Veterans were exorcising the demons of war, and many became dedicated to the reestablishment of white control. Moreover, by propounding a vision of peace Southerners could, at least publicly, suppress the still raw visions of war. From late spring and into early summer 1865 white men organized themselves into armed bodies. Most often, these groups were sanctioned by the then governing authority be it Confederate or federal. Lawlessness drew the ire of North Carolina governor Zebulon B. Vance, who issued a proclamation in late April exclaiming that the countryside was filled with bands of soldiers and citizens disposed to commit violence against people and property. Vance asked for restraint, and pleaded for all North Carolina soldiers to retur 81 Once rest or slay any bodies of lawless and unauthorized men who may 82 Ex Confederates and Union forces then acted on such ideas. As Assistant Adjutant General J. A. Campbell explai 80 J. G. De Roulhac Hamilton, ed., The Papers of Randolph Abbott Shotwell vol. II (Raleigh: The North Carolina Historical Commission, 1931), 215. 81 Zebulon B. Vance, 28 April 1865, quoted in James W. Albright, Greensboro, 1808 1904 (Greensboro: Jos. J. Stone & Company, 1904), 77. 82 Vance, quoted in Albright, Greensboro, 1808 1904 77.
164 Southerners were armed, given ammunition, and began patrolling the countryside. 83 Federal authorities were quite w illing to employ former Confederates in the peacekeeping mission. North Carolina lawyer and Rebel sympathizer David Schenck Lincolnton put down through confrontation an d arrests. 84 Gen. John McAllister Schofield, commander of the Department of North Carolina, organized Confederate veterans and members of the Home Guard into county militia companies. 85 Veterans turned police under federal military control battled with lawle ss groups of former Confederates to determine who controlled the countryside. Such bands of white soldiers often commanded by their former officers were found throughout the state. While they suppressed outbursts of violence, they also harassed former slav es. 86 These draconian measures enacted over the course of late April and early May proved successful in restoring order in central and eastern North Carolina. To the north, in the Virginia countryside, scenes of unrest reminiscent of the problems in North Carolina provoked Confederate veterans to take action in the Atlantic Monthly Confederate soldiers durin g the spring and summer of 1865. Nearly a decade after the 83 J. A. Campbell General Orders No. 35, 4 May 1865, OR 47 (3), 396. 84 David Schenck Diary, [n/d, Spring 1865], Folder 6, Volume 5, Box 2, David Schenck Papers, SHC. 85 Schenck, [n/d, Spring 1865] and 24 July 1865, Schenck Diary, SHC. On the military occupation, Bradley, 246 7. 86 Evans, Ballots & Fence Rails 68 73 and Evans, To Die Game 61 2.
165 fact, he had great difficulty expressing and describing the great uncertainty of this period and its lasting impact on mind sets and emotions. Southern men went to war in 1861 with steadfast confid ence, he contended, but this conviction eroded into doubt, subtly repercussions as former end came technically at Appomattox Court House, Eggleston wrote, the real difficulties had not started as the South became engulfed in disorder and its population gripped by suffering. 87 Lawl essness in the Virginia countryside provoked Confederate veterans to take action; even if defeated in war, Southern men refused to lose control of their who harassed black and white Southerners alike because of the absence of constituted authority. Former Confederates, longing for the comforts of home and a return to stability, instead confronted a dangerous, unpredictable soldiers returned to their homes, Eggleston wrote to police force patrolled th e countryside, disarmed suspicious persons, and arrested individuals and dispatched them to the provost marshal. The soldiers turned police 87 The Atlantic Monthly 34, issue 206 (December 1874): 663 and 667.
166 remained active until relieved by the establishment of a Union military post. 88 Historian Mark Greenough documented s imilar activities in Appomattox County. He describes an initial period of confusion following surrender that was replaced by greater tranquility during federal military occupation. 89 In some cases, Southern police groups quickly exceeded their authority, a nd committed flagrant abuses which drew federal ire. In Virginia, for instance, Appomattox County Sheriff William D. Hix, originally granted authority by the Chief Quartermaster of Fourth Corps to distribute abandoned Confederate pr operty to the destitute, began stealing. According to the report of a federal officer, Hix, with an armed force of civilians and paroled Confederate soldiers, was taking horses from turn, were organizing and arming themselves for their mutual protection. Before the class based civic strife exploded into civil conflict, federal authorities stepped in to disarm Hix and his men. 90 South Carolinians adhered to the routes pursued by Virginians and North the federal military 88 George Clay Eggleston, (Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 1959), 181 183. 89 90 S. B. M. Young to H. W. Halleck, 15 May 1865, OR Series 1, 46, part 3, 1157. See also, Mark K.
167 premacy became clear as well, 91 Armed bodies remained in tact throughout the summer of 1865 and well into the fall. In one com munity, a group of citizens wrote to Perry requesting the organization of local police forces an extension of the ad hoc such a company to act strictly as a police force t o preserve the peace and order & summon parties before the Provost Court to be guard duty or any other service outside of the great object we have in view, the suppression of crime & the preservation of 92 Such organizations set a deadly precedent later signaled in the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, which gained widespread membership in South Carolina especially. The wave of postwar militarization presaged the later, and w idespread, rise of vigilante groups, as domination, resistance, and violence continued to shape postbellum Southern culture. The emotional turmoil of war and the desire to restore white authority compelled many Confederate veterans to join the ranks of the Ku Klux Klan. 93 While the militancy is critical in understanding Confederate veterans transformation from soldier to 91 Benjamin Franklin Perry, Provisional Governorship of South Carolina Papers, Box 1, Folder 21, SCL. 92 W. L. T. Prince, W. Allen Benton, and F. Lynch to Benjamin Franklin Perry, 30 Oct 1865, Benjamin Franklin Perry Papers, Box 1, Folder 8, SHC. 93 On Confederate veterans involvement in the Klan see Nelson, Iron Confederacies 109 10, and Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet Jacob Alson Long Recollections [typed copy], Jacob Alson Long Papers, SHC. On the alienating affects of war more broadly, Stiles, Jesse James 161.
168 and middle to upper Georgia, was largely quelled by the late summer of 1865, mostly through the efforts of armed white Southerners and federal soldiers. The Southern landscape remained unpredictable and dangerous, however, during the ensuing years. conclusion, the consequences of military defeat held sway over the emotions and politics of Southern whites. The federal former Confederate soldiers set a dangerous pr ecedent that partially precipitated the continued militarization of conservative ideology. From 1865 and beyond, white vigilantes vied with federal authorities and African Americans for social and political control. 94 Civil War to Personal Peace Defeated i n battle and uncertain of the future, Southern whites were driven by and private conflict shaped this divisive atmosphere. Ex Confederates struggled to reenter an already shattered South, as they replaced the qualities of a warrior with a 94 For continued discord and a turn to racial violence in North Carolina, Bradley, Bluecoats & Tar Heels Chapters 4, 8, and 9 and Paludan, Victims 99 133. For Sout h Carolina, Zuczek, State of Rebellion 47 108, especially; Poole, Never Surrender 7. For the broad view, Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet Chap ter 6; Foner, Reconstruction 342 45 and 425 59, especially; and Rable, But There Was No Peace.
169 their place in it. 95 Yet, despite scholars its emotional and intellectual impact on Southern whites. Military surrender did not separate war and peace. Rather, defeat was an evolving process, not an event. Slowly, 96 As James Marten has recently written, defeat and failure had multiple meanings for Confederate veterans. Efforts 97 unsettled emotional states and fostered their personal reconstructions. protection of themselves, friends, and family. 98 During this critical period in Conf ederate a space in which they negotiated the transition between military and civilian masculinities. 99 The ambiguities of derstand clearly such momentous shifts, though in hindsight the transformative nature of this 95 Louis Menand, The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2001), quote on 61, but see especially Chapters One t o Three. 96 Antoine Prost offers a compelling reading of this process among French veterans of World War I. Antoine Prost, 1939 trans. Helen McPhail (Providence and Oxford: Berg Publish ers Limited, 1992), 11 24. 97 Marten, Sing Not War 41. 98 Foster, Ghosts of the Confederacy 12 3. 99 For the historical importance of this transformation among western cultures see, Robert A. Nye, American Histor ical Review 112, no. 2 (April 2007): 417 22, especially.
170 period became apparent. Recalling his experiences in the spring and summer of 1865, as a a prescient remark indeed. 100 In these short sentences the Virginian expressed two problems plaguing ex Confederates: How would they transition back into civilian life, and by what means could they close their civil wars? By confronting these issues soldiers began their transformations. Yet, more than broader project of national reconstruction, for the actions and emotions of Confederates not only determined on what terms the Civil War closed but also shaped the contours of white Southern culture during the postbellum era. 101 The vast majority of men looked forward to getting back home and beginning life again, though few envisioned what personal struggles awaited them. Stripped of the traditional trappings of a ntebellum authority, white men became unmasked. And, as Nancy D. Bercaw has insightfully 102 The recognition of such ruptures created consternat ion, confusion, and emotional outpourings. Capturing the forms in which these thoughts 100 Carlton McCarthy, Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia (1882, repr., Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993), all quotes on 192 3. 101 For the historical importanc e of this transformation among western cultures see, Robert A. Nye, American Historical Review 112, no. 2 (April 2007): 417 22, especially. 102 Bercaw, Gendered Freedoms 80.
171 were expressed offers deeper understandings into how white men negotiated the transition between civil war and civic peace. Henry Brown Richardson and James Burdge Walto n, two of the figures underpinning this section, left rich records of their thoughts and feelings while poised at this crucial period. The traumas, triumphs, and setbacks experienced by Henry and James, while certainly not universal or even necessarily rep resentative, shed much light on how Confederate soldiers made sense 103 Grievously wounded and captured at the battle of Gettysburg, Henry finished his 5, he arrived in Richmond, Virginia, where he was granted a leave of absence for thirty days unless exchanged sooner. He Confederacy 104 Part of a group aptly describe 105 As we shall see, this ethos provided fleeting but from the spring until the fall of 1865, nd his reaction to its defeat shaped him as a man, a veteran, and a citizen. Conversely, as an enfeebled Richardson recuperated in the Old Dominion waiting for his chance to fight again, fellow Louisianian James Burdge end. Formerly of the Washington Artillery and a veteran of the Mexican 103 l the limits of the biographical approach, it remains indispensable for uncovering the individual choices that transform historical processes into concrete (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 217. 104 105 Rubin, A Shattered Nation 112 3.
172 years and had a wife and children waiting for him in Louisiana. Juxtaposing these two men, their experiences and their feelin gs, reveals a spectrum of divergent reactions to responses of ex Confederates, and indicate divided white Southern mindsets. The thoughts and experiences of Walton and Richardson offer a revealing picture of how In a revealing series of let ters composed between the winter and spring of 1865, Walton expressed many of the emotions privately consuming his comrades in gray. His fears and doubts starkly contrast the public hopes of those Confederates who continued vivability. 106 perceptions, feelings, and modes of thinking. And from his words we can draw larger closing months. Attachments to fam ily and home, visceral responses to the changing Confederacy. Through these lenses men found faith to continue fighting but were consumed by desires to return home. During the darkest period of the war Southerners were forced to examine themselves, their beliefs and value systems, to locate ion in attempting to universalize the experiences of whites, for while many of his sentiments echoed across 106 A Shattered Nation 123 6.
173 the South, his words also suggest a diversity of opinion. Rather than a point of distraction this is instead an important point in interpreting Conf ederate veterans for no one experience is representative of a collective whole. Ensconced in Richmond, Virginia, in February 1865, James projected a bleak were this day a demands uncondit would thus continue until the South was exhausted and subjugated, or the North was ontinued participation. 107 Walton feared the humiliation of final months many soldiers, such as Henry Brown Richardson, had lost touch with the bleak realities undermining t he Confederate cause instead projecting wildly optimistic prognostications for the future success of their cause. 108 While engaged in a very real war, Ja mes understood and reconstructed the contest through his letters home, his public musings, and his private feelings. Enduring the conflict required close connections to his family and friends in Louisiana. To them he 107 [James] Burd ge [Walton] to M. A. Walton [Amelia], 6 February 1865, Series I., Folder 56, Walton Glenny Family Papers, The Historic New Orleans Collection, The Williams Research Center, New Orleans, LA; hereinafter HNOC. 108 Carmichael, The Last Generation 207; Rubin, A Shattered Nation, 123 6; and Phillips, Diehard Rebels
174 expressed a range of sentiments, expres sing his manhood but also exposing fears. On the one hand, he projected a stoic exterior and continued to define himself as a provider comrades maintained, to protect and defend family and home. 109 Though the cause was separation & exile from all I hold most d 110 Their continued comfort ensured his own persistence in the army. On the other hand, Walton also turned to his family to express his innermost fears. Such emotional revelations, which portrayed vulnerabilities and doubts, modify histori domesticity and authority at the expense of personal exposure. Instead, Walton willingly wrote home expressing his intense longings, which were severe and disarming. Such 111 Only in the divine could Walton find relief, and only through reflection and writing could he ease his troubled mind. His revel ation of personal feelings suggest s the dynamic interpersonal relationships and deep levels of trust shared among members of his family. Such personal commitments and longing desires, however sustaining to Walton himself, increasingly eroded his faith in t he war and the Confederacy. 109 Whites, The Civil War as a Crisis in Gender, 30 and Carmichael, The Last Generation 208 9. 110 Burdge to M. A. Walton, 6 February 1865, Series I., Folder 56, Walton Glenny Family Papers, HNOC. 111 Burd ge to M. A. Walton, 6 February 1865, Series I., Folder 56, Walton Glenny Family Papers, The Historic New Orleans Collection, The Williams Research Center, New Orleans, LA; hereinafter HNOC.
175 When will the straining of the heart strings cease, when again shall we be united never more to be separated. How I long for that day of suprem e happiness which when it is realized will compensate for all the past privation & suffering. I am hopeful ever and believe now there are long days of happiness in store for all of us. Keep up your 112 Gripped by feelings of p owerlessness, Walton continually returned to thoughts of hearth and home. Only in reunification with family Walton dull his painful miseries. For only in family and at home could Walton make sense of the war he had experienced. the cause remained unshaken, though his long tenure in prison and youthful exuberance may very well have emboldened him to renew fighting. Richardson left Virginia in April to seek a new theater of war. Federal soldiers took him prisoner in Tennessee, quickly ending his personal crusade. Imprisoned, the rebels were administered the oath of allegiance in groups of fifty or more men. Henry and two other for one man parents he detailed the ordeal. Asserting that he ha 113 Feelings that a voluntary oath had been coerced angered him most. 112 B. to [Family], 3 April 1865, Series I., Folder 57, Walton Glen ny Family Papers, HNOC. 113
176 Emasculated and pained, Henry felt frustration and anger. Yet, de spite his extreme he endured. Henry felt the need to explain to his parents his new obligations. He intended to keep the oath faithfully while in the United States. No c ause could justify public honor did not govern his personal feelings. His fidelity to the United States could 114 Th directed feelings of self worth, thereby suggesting a need for outside validation. At the eginning men such Richardson understood their commitment to community and citizenship to be central to the rationale for enlistment. These same forces drove Henry to dedicate himself to the Union. Public actions do not always reveal private feelings, howev moved him. Intense devotions and demonstrative reactions directed the course of his actions. He understood well the dictates of honor and loyalty, but maintained an internal balance between what society asked of him and what he intensely felt. By considering his public actions only, much of the motivation behind these acts is lost producing more misunderstanding, than understanding. Even after Henry became a United States ci tizenship again, he remained emotionally committed to the Confederacy and racked by the pains of defeat. These 114 Henry to parents, 21 June 1865, Box 1, Folder 7, Richardson and Family Papers, LSU. See also Anne ath. Rubin, A Shattered Nation 164 5.
177 letter of cheer. Solace could be found, she contended, in his meritorious service. She could not comprehend what he almost laid down your life for the Confederacy, and it does se em to me, my dear son that after should spare himself any reproaches for taking the oath. 115 e homes of friends in Louisiana, Henry lived an unsettled existence and found the inactivity tiresome. But he was without dead and bemoaned the condition of African slavery people could see the condition of the negroes in this country now and compare it with what it was before the war. Talk in it was in putting the negroes in their 116 A nonslaveholder himself, Henry struck out at Northerners, at abolitionists, at African Americans. Embittered, lonely, and despairing, he remained without purpo se. In striking contrast, James Burdge Walton found calmness amidst the calamity of the spring and summer of 1865. By May, U. S. soldiers garrisoned his temporary home of Augusta, Georgia, and the stars and stripes flew over prominent buildings. For mysel 115 Eunice Thurston Richardson to Henry Brown Richardson, 15 July 1865, Box 1, Folder 3, Richardson and Family Papers, LSU. 116 Henry Brown Richardson to parents, 21 June 1865, Box 1, Folder 7, Richardson and Family Paper s, LSU.
178 117 We been intended to sooth a worried family. After all, they, not he, had fully felt the economic ruin and personal privations of civil war at the home front. Yet, he seemed possessed by a very real presence of mind, thereby suggesting genuine sentiments. He h ad done his duty and felt himself glad to have neither brought on war nor helped foster its disastrous close. With these ideas, especially, Walton joined a chorus of Southern whites who refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing in bringing about the conflict. 118 With the war over, he wrote, embrace the future. 119 More importantly, though, Walton gladly turned to his family, people for whom he felt great pride. 120 nclusions, James turned to South victory, God would have spared Generals Stonew all Jackson and Jeb Stuart. have always been a believer in the efficacy of prayer this end makes me almost a 121 With these powerful words Walton questioned the ef fectiveness of prayer, 117 [James] B. [Walton] to Amelia [M. A. Walton], 6 May 1865, Series I., Folder 58, Walton Glenny Family Papers, HNOC. 118 Barney, The Making of a Confederate 11. 119 B. to Amelia [M. A. Walton], 6 May 1865, Series I., Folder 58, Walton Glenny Family Pa pers, HNOC. 120 The Civil War as a Crisis in Gender 142 4. 121 B. to Amelia [M. A. Walton], 6 May 1865, Series I., Folder 58, Walton Glenny Family Papers, HNOC. For similar sentiments among southern men, Whites, The Civil War as a Crisis in Gender 140 41.
179 Confederate cause. But these questions had only shaken, not destroyed, his faith. a man desperate to distance himself from a cause he increasingly doubted. His winter letters referenced destructive course. Personal absolution may have been necessary f or psychological the sale of cotton. 122 Walton once again balanced the two faces of his manhood. In the same letter that questioned the very foundation of the Christian tradition, Walton also expressed his being. Only by expressi ng his public role and exposing his personal self did Walton realize himself fully. Yet, the continued absence caused him consternation and necessitated explanation. The experiences of the past war suggested continued patience. He wrote to his wife Ameli 123 With these material comforts he hoped to rebuild his family and offered his wife optimistic promises for the fut all desponding and feel I shall be very happy. May I hope that your own, always brave heart, responds to this temper. We may have more to bear up against than we now 122 James [B. Walton] to Amelia [M. A. Walton], 10 June 1865, Series I., Folder 59, Walton Glenny Family Papers, HNOC. 123 James [B. Walton] to Amelia [M. A. Walton], 10 June 1865, Series I., Folder 59, Walton Glenny Fa mily Papers, HNOC.
180 disco ver but I do not believe it, at all events, I am not going to give up. Be assured I 124 His life spared and now having passed through the horrific trials of war, Walton hoped to be born anew, to become a changed man. His j oyous outpouring to his wife reflected a man who hoped to embrace life with renewed vigor and filter his experiences through the lens of a newfound happiness. Whether or not Walton and his family achieved and maintained the happiness they so desired remai ns unknown, for their private lives were replaced instead by public records. Like scores of Confederate soldiers, the final return home concluded the extended correspondence of many men. Perhaps the very silence suggests success. s picked up with renewed vigor. Henry slowly conquered the great depression that consumed him for months after the war. By the fall of 1865 he worked as an engineer, maintaining levees in Tensas Parish. Monetary reward and ste ady work paled in comparison to his newfound joy. In passing the happiest Christmas of my whole life. And I want to tell you what makes me so happy. It is because I am with M iss Nannie Farrar, whom I love more than anybody 125 live for, and as if I never cou man happier, and I hope better than I ever was before. Indeed it seems to me almost as if I had never lived at all before, and as for the Confederacy, though my views and 124 James [B. Walton] to Amelia [M. A. Walton], 10 June 1865, Series I., Folder 59, Walton Glenny Family Papers, HNOC. 125 Henry Brown Richardson to Mother, 26 December 1865, Box 1, Folder 7, Richardson and Family Papers, LSU.
181 feelings as to the right an d justice of the matter are unchanged, I can smile to think how small and insignificant a matter it was to set my heart on, when there is still left such a 126 Having once lived for the Confederacy, Henry was ready now to die for Nan nie. Deciphering this transformation is difficult. In the midst of an untamed bliss s life and while he would forever remain a veteran of the conflict (and in later years often discuss his wartime service), his future role as a husband, perhaps even a fath er, took precedent. Marriage completed Henry as a man in a way that war never could. Devotion to his wife and his job as an engineer fulfilled him. In a devoted relationship, Henry found an array of new obligations and joys. He happily finished one letter for Nannie finish her letter while she attends to sundry household matters; and like an obedient and 127 Obedience to her wishes gave Henry great pleasure. In her he could lose himself. Yet, Henry also recognized his new position as a household fact is that since I have become the head of a family, wit h authority and dominion over the other members thereof, I have delegated to her [Nannie] she being a weaker vessel, a number of my former occupations and duties; among which are patching and 126 Henry Brown Richardson to Mother, 26 December 1865, Box 1, Folder 7, Richardson and Family Papers, LSU. 127 Henry to parents, 31 January [1868?], Box 1, Folder 9, Richardson and Family Papers, LSU.
182 darning, sewing on buttons and writing letters, and the general supervision, direction 128 Unable to control the Confederacy or refuse the oath of allegiance, Henry now found himself in charge of a household and delegated tasks to its members with g lee. For within the household, among its members, Henry finally realized his role and place as a man. These narratives suggest something about experiences and feelings at the Civil collapse shaped the personal paths of these two men as they began the processes of personal reconstructions. James Burdge Walton, ensconced in the trenches of Richmond, feared an interminable conflict that would keep him away from family and home His duties as a man demanded faithful service but his feelings as a father, a this period his loyalty to the Confederacy waned and he began questioning the conflict tha t had removed him from those he loved. 129 Feelings and longings, then, not excitement in what was to come. Ultimately, he distanced himself from the conflict, War now suggested nothing but pain and agony, whereas as family could bring 128 Henry to Parents, 30 November 1868, Box 1, Folder 9, Richardson and Fa mily Papers, LSU. 129 men had a loss of purpose. J. Trac y Power, the Wilderness to Appomattox (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1998), 234. See also, Chapters 8 and 9. For a counter argument about the persistence of Confederate loy alty, Jason Phillips, Diehard Rebels: The Confederate Culture of Invincibility (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2007),
183 happiness and joy. He worrie d less about the future, for anything was better than what he had experienced. Henry Brown Richardson reached a strikingly similar conclusion, but only after a Richardson had no family attachments in the state of Louisiana. These factors surely and partially explains the divergent reactions by these two Louisianians. And yet the public postures fanatical commitment to his fallen nation. Inactivity and the humiliation of taking an oath of allegiance drove him to despair. But during this darkest period he became incredibly uplifted by the promise of love. As the pains of war dulled with time Henry found unimaginable happi ness with his wife and their burgeoning family. Understanding both men, then, requires a consideration of their emotional lives in conjunction with material realities, a recognition of family with their place as citizens. Through the filter of these ideas and feelings they sifted the uncertainties of the future and carved out their roles as civilians. Conclusions Through the words, actions, and emotions of veterans, this chapter demonstrates that Southern white men were forced to confront military defeat an d then negotiate a difficult transition between military and civilian masculinities. Some terrorized Southern whites and freed people, others ravaged Confederate property, many collaborated with their former enemies to bring law and order, and still others succumbed to
184 despondency. Sharp divisions between war and peace do not accurately reflect the ambiguities of this period or the experiences of its participants. Instead, Southern whites experienced a sense of aimlessness and profound confusion, which sugg est that the wounds of war were not easily fixed. These men employed different means to grapple with both their inner struggles and outer turmoil, resulting in personal and physical landscapes fraught by disorder. While the spring and summer chaos of 1865 eventually 130 Furthermore, Southern men each sought different paths toward their personal reconstructions. These journeys sought to mend the wounds of war and reaffirm veter the stories of these men remained unsettled as they tried to reconstitute themselves and their society. For sons of the South the transition into civilian life proved haltin g, but the atmosphere and direction of postwar life in many Southern communities their memories of the war and their struggles to find peace contributed to the tumult of the Reconstruction era. Though these pains, indeed, lessened over time, the consequences of this period echoed for decades. 131 130 study, Never Surrender while focused on the South Carolina Upcountry, suggests that scholars should reexamine continued resistance and the Lost Cause through cultural forms has influenced my thinking. Poole, Never Surrender 131 and disfranchisement should be viewed as the final public acts, the last bequests, of the Southern Ci vil reaching than what I hope to argue, suggest how d eds., The Civil War Veteran: A Historical Reader (New York: New York University Press, 2007), 334; se e also 334 40.
185 CHAPTER 6 PERSONAL RECONSTRUCT IONS On 2 May 1865, the tired remnants of the Army of Tennessee, encamped in Greensboro, North Carol ina, gathered to hear Confederate General Joseph E. 1 discriminate between field and home, and many white Southerners could not separate the trauma of battle from the tran qu ility of the hearth. An often strong public face Poised at the edge of war and peace, the actions and emotions of Confederate veterans not only determined on what terms the Civil War closed but also shaped the contours of white Southern culture during the postbellum era. As former Confederates confronted their future lives as United States citizens, most attempted also to maintain allegiance to their military service. The sacrifices of war and the outpouring of blood were i mpossible to forget, and Southern men could not separate these wartime experiences from their postwar lives. Recovering such visceral reactions is essential in pure sentiments uncluttered by bold proclama tions of continued defiance or burgeoning Lost Cause mythology. In this too momentous and the events afterward too injurious for Confederates to often 1 J. E. Johnston, General Orders, No. 22, in U. S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies Series 1, 47, part 1 (Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 189 5), 1061; hereinafter, OR
186 comprehend their worlds in the wake of defeat. Negotiating these private landscapes, veterans tried to comprehend what the Civil War meant and how it changed them as men. Between the years 1865 and 1868, especially, a palpable sense of defeat and loss gripped the South a region that suffered social and economic devastation. This chapter explores how Confederate veterans reacted to war and defeat with the wider aim of illuminating links between gender and emotions. How white Southern men balanced pain and hatred with a des ire to reestablish self reassert manliness and authority in a shattered South shaped the atmosphere and direction of Reconstruction. New forms and models of emotional expression and experience emerged during this process. Understanding these responses and for understanding the South itself. 2 Confederate soldiers were traveling unfamiliar ground as they began the process of becoming veterans. James Marten nicely states oldiers for a year or two or three but would be veterans for the rest of their lives. And the process of becoming a veteran, of being a civilian again, lasted longer and was much harder for many of them than 3 Southern men suffe red irreparable, internal traumas from the Civil War. Soldiers themselves grappled with these inner demons leaving only emotions, revealing their continued troubles, is diffic ult. It seems certain, though, that white Southern men assumed new identities in the wake of war. 2 The American Historical Review vol. 90, no. 4 (Oct., 1985): 813 36. 3 Marten, Sing Not War 49.
187 few have ventured into the emotional and mental universe created by this confli ct. Using lives a period when dispirited, anxious, and confused Southerners reentered civic life and became civilians once more. In the broadest form, Confederates pass ed through, or each of these phases is represented by a chapter section. These periods were both competing and overlapping, and involved different men driven by divergent interests or gripped by contrasting troubles. First, after military surrender Confederate soldiers grappled with crucial moment in ex s of transitioning from soldiers to veterans. Once reestablished at home many became consumed by depression, were gripped by terror, and encountered dulling numbness. The emotional range that paralyzed men and created domestic tensions composes the second prong of analysis. 4 And finally, how whites envisioned their place in the reforged country and on what terms they understood citizenship and commitments to state and nation underpins the final section. transformative effects upon whites and Southern society, but have reached no consensus as to the degree or extent of change. On the one hand, historians have charged that the war was remembered but its pains and consequences were eventually forgotten. By e xtension, the conflict did not 4 The best tre atments on postwar depression and post traumatic stress are Eric T. Dean, Jr., Shook Over Hell: Post Traumatic Stress, Vietnam, and the Civil War (Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 1997); Wyatt The Shaping of Sout hern Culture ; and Jeffery Journal of Social History 36, issue 2 (Winter 2002): 268.
188 readjustment to emancipation. 5 On the other hand, cultural and intellectual historians, in particular, have stressed that the forces of Civil War and emancipation forever shifted years of Reconstruction and beyond. 6 The latter camp is foundational to my examination of Confederate veterans. By considering the interplay betw inner responses to war and the tumultuous, prolonged transition to peace. Defeated in battle and uncertain of the future, Southern men were driven by emotions of hatred, humiliation, and hubris. Whites grappled with a sense of self at the same time that they were struggling to reimpose a public self, especially vis vis freedpeople. Men responded to their internal crises in ways ranging from bewilderment to dep ression to numbness to rage. Military surrender temporarily paralyzed veterans, creating feelings of uselessness and emasculation. These psychological wounds became physically unmo ored and manliness unrestrained. In the end, depression and anger shaped Reconstruction as much as political commitments and ideological expressions. 5 On the first two points see esp ecially Paul M. Gaston, The New South Creed: A Study of Southern Mythmaking (1970; repr., Montgomery, AL: NewSouth Books, 2002), Prologue and Chapter One and Gaines M. Foster, Ghosts of the Confederacy: Defeat, The Lost Cause, and The Emergence of the New South, 1865 to 1913 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 15 35, specifically. James L. Roark, Masters Without Slaves: Southern Planters in the Civil War and Reconstruction (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1978), Chapter Four and Peter S. Carm ichael, The Last Generation: Young Virginia in Peace, War, and Reunion (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2005), Chapter Eight each posit continuity in Southern mind sets. 6 Jack P. Maddex, The Reconstruction of Edward A. Pollard: A Rebe Unionism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1974); Anne C. Rose, Victorian America and the Civil War (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992); Stephen Kantrowitz, Ben Tillman & the Reconstruction of White Sup remacy (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2000); and Poole, Never Surrender
189 Personal Transformations ner experiences. In the wake of Appomattox rapid movements, scarce supplies, and unreliable mail service contribute to a gap in the historical record. Nevertheless, it is possible to bridge this divide. 7 Three rather extended accounts from late 1865 and in to 1866 survive, thereby providing an invaluable, if skewed, glimpse into the shifting mindsets of Southern whites and how these men reshaped ideas of manliness. Confederate Commander of the Trans Mississippi Department Edmund Kirby Smith, Chief of Confede rate Ordnance Josiah Gorgas, and George Anderson Mercer, an officer and Savannah lawyer, while not representative of the Confederate rank and file wealth and rank eschew such an interpretation do offer a range of reactions to eaning and their place within the South, and the United entirely for a period, part of a larger exodus; Gorgas relocated in an attempt to begin life anew; and Mercer returned to his prewar home of Savannah. Grappling with a profound series of changes, men responded to these internal crises in varied ways ranging from bewilderment to depress ion to numbness. As Confederate veterans confronted their future lives as United States citizens, most attempted also to maintain allegiance to their wartime service. The conflicting personal emotions of anger, pain, and confusion shaped the contours of ci vilian life just as much as any ideological commitment to either the Confederacy or the United States. These 7 For similar problems in documenting the spring and summer of 1865, see Phillips, Diehard Rebels, 5.
190 ideas and sentiments swirled together as veterans confronted reconstruction. Rather than adhering to an overarching ethos, white Southerners gradua lly reordered new and old cultural materials that both reacted to the new order and reinforced older values they attempted to regain mastery over both self and society by reordering their worlds. 8 As Anne Rubin argues, former Confederates worked to create a new identity for themselves as Southerners who remained culturally distinctive from Northern society. 9 would not be accurate to contend that all or even most former so ldiers suffered from depression in the years after the war. It is notable, however, that these feelings surface cause had been just, their defeat brutal. And with their defeat had come the destruction 10 After the excitement and confusion of April and May 1865, v eterans confronted how defeat shaped them as men and how they would reconstitute themselves within society and 8 standing historiographical debate. For brevity, I will discuss only two of the most relevant works. Foster suggests that white Southerners used the Lost Cause as a mechanism to overcome the anxieties brought with military defeat and New South social and economic ch issues, and instead formed an understanding of the past forged by ceremonial activities and rituals. Foster, Ghosts of the Confederacy Introduction. More recently W. Scott Poole has argued that upcountry value f Never Surrender: Confederate Memory and Conservatism in the South Carolina Upcountry (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2004), 3. 9 Rubin, A Shattered Nation 190. 10 Eli zabeth Fox Southern Cultures (1993): 77.
191 among family. But such a process proved halting and difficult, for Southerners had to first make sense of their failures. Comprehending the tria ls they had just endured proved difficult for many calamity which has fallen upon us in the total destruction of our government is of a character so overwhelming that I a m as yet unable to comprehend it. I am as one 11 George Anderson Mercer, too, expressed similar disbelief and wonderment. He recorded in his diary that he was unable to recover from grief caused by the sudden prostration of our cause. The noble structure we had reared 12 Engulfed by defeat, these men were forced, in the words of Bertram Wyatt 13 The foundations that defined Southern men and manliness had been shaken by war, and and recover from a stunning shock. Sout herners had to confront the history they created. 14 a fact Official military parole meant lit tle in the hands of men such as Gorgas and Mercer, who found no honor or place in the newly reformed country but instead 11 Josiah Gorgas, 4 May 1865, [typed copy of journal], Josiah Gorgas Papers, SHC. 12 George Anderson Mercer, 11 June 1865, Personal Diary George Anderson Mercer Papers, SHC. 13 Wyatt Brown, The Shaping of Southern Culture 256. 14 Insights on the relationship between the individual and the social were gained in Thomas R. Flynn, Sartre, Foucault, and Histo rical Reason: Toward an Existentialist Theory of History vol. I (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1997), 19 22, especially.
192 uncomfortably resettled into postwar life gradually adjusting to momentous changes. The inability to secure steady income and interacti on with federal soldiers, in particular, left Southern manliness embattled, and forced the construction and reconstruction of new social and ideological expressions. Confused and deeply unsettled, Gorgas decided to travel to Alabama. Here, in his adopted s tate, he would wait before again coming under the authority of the United States government. 15 Though he remained silent on the subject, Gorgas was perhaps drawn to a familiar place to anchor him during a period of uncertainty. One of his first interactions with federal soldiers produced a variety of personal reactions. Feeling amicable enough, he took tea with a group of federal officers. A novel sensation, he wrote, but one to which he had to adjust, as white 16 By invoking the word unfathomable gestures only weeks before as he, like many soldiers, pledged to continue the war at all costs. The specter of defeat was now a tangible reality in the form of occupying federal soldiers. Moreover, Gorgas recognized his ambiguous place in a social structure leveled by war. Federal soldiers and the results of emancipation dispossessed Southern whites of the mastery they masters of their destiny or agents of power. Usurpations provoked depression, and though his military service was over, continued. Without an occupation and in Alabama, far away from 15 Gorgas, 4 May 1865, The Journals of Josiah Gorgas, 167. 16 Gorgas, 26 May 1865, Gorgas Papers, SHC.
193 his family in Virginia, he became consumed by depression. 17 proved fleeting. 18 Men such as Gorgas struggled in the postwar South, often unable especially in 1865 66 to reach any real sense of settlement or finality. For these veterans the past and present mixed together as they grappled with self definition. During this period of t ransition veterans expressed feelings of compromise and recalcitrance. George Mercer captured the stormy sentiments of many when he wrote, slavery as the result of the war ; they are in good faith willing to maintain union under the 19 reconstructions during the postwa r era and, once considered in conjunction with racism, help explain their reactionary stand against the forces of federal control and the advancement of African Americans. changes and instead left the region entirely. Between the years 1865 and 1867, especially, Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada, and Central and South America appealed to diehard rebels as last refuges from Northern rule. Ultimately, according to scholars, some eight to ten thousand Southerners fled the United States rather than face defeat 17 Gorgas 31 August 1865, The Journals of Josiah Gorgas, 186. 18 Gorgas, 2 June 1865, The Journals of Josiah Gorgas, 175. 19 Mercer Diary, 17 December 1865, Box 1, Volume 5, Mercer Papers, SHC.
194 and emancipation, though exponentially more dreamed of leaving. 20 Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith a Floridian by birth and career United States Army officer before the war joine d these emigrants as he tried to redefine what freedom meant to a defeated Confederate officer. In late May 1865, Kirby Smith angrily stood by as the surviving remnants of his Trans Mississippi army were formally surrendered. 21 The cause, he realized, was all but private citizens, Robert Rose, to convey his regards to the Emperor of Mexico and to make certain that the Emperor understood that the services of Confederate troops 22 Whatever preparations were made for this plan collapsed in mid to late May as the armies of the Trans Mississippi evaporated and honorab a Genera l without troops. You have made yr. choice. It was unwise & unpatriotic. But it is 20 Foster, Ghosts of the Confederacy, 15 7; Rubin, A Shattered Nation, 173; Phillips, Diehard Rebels, 181 2; Andrew F. Rolle, The Lost Cause: The Confederate Exodus to Mexico (1965, reprint; Norman: Journal of Southern Histor y 11 no. 1 (February 1945): 33 53; and Donald E. Sutherland, Civil War Confederate Exodus in Persp History 31 (September 1985): 237 56. 21 Andrew F. Rolle, The Lost Cause: The Confederate Exodus to Mexico (1965, reprint; Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992), 50 and Kerby, 424. 22 Edmund Kirby Smith to Robert Rose, 2 May 1865, quoted in Kerby, 415.
195 23 in total control of his own destiny and determined in his resolve. And, indeed, by late June Kirby Smith traveled through Texas and crossed into Mexico. On June 26, 1865, a beleaguered band of Confederate soldiers buried their warm murky waters, and then crossed into Mexico. Edmund Kirby Smith led the party. The once dashing leader was now in shirtsleeves with a silk handkerchief around his neck, a revolver to his side, and a shotgun across his lap. Traveling by mule, Kirby Smith fled the South having left behind everything except, he later explained to his wife, 24 Though assured of his that awaited him could no only for his own actions. 25 Unburdened by the responsibilities of command Kirby Smith seized his newly ga ined freedom as essential in his quest to close his civil war ephemeral feelings he would realize only later. others established the 23 Proclamation Draft [26 May 1865], Edmund Kirby Smith to the Trans Mississippi Department, Kirby Smith Papers, SHC. 24 N/D Papers, [Edmund Kirby Smith to Cassie Selden Kirby Smith, June July 1865], Kirby Smith Papers, SHC. See also, Robert L. Kerby, Mississippi South, 1863 1865 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1972), 428 9. 25 N/D Papers, [Edmund Kirby Smith to Cassie Selden Kirby Smith, Jun e July 1865], Kirby Smith Papers, SHC.
196 short lived Confederate colony of Carlota. 26 Even those Southerners who had traveled instead incorporated these experiences into their Southern self i dentification. 27 Thomas while in Mexico. He hoped to return there one day and wi restore the South to equality and power 28 Perhaps unknown to Reynolds and other exiles, the presence of Confederate tr oops on the Texas border and dispatch Phil Sheridan and an entire army corps to the Ro Grande to patrol the border. 29 Defiant under defeat but still desperately yearning for home while exiled, these Southerners maintained a position precariously balanced between two lands. Many historians have rightly portrayed the exodus of white Southerners in the immediate postwar period as the defiant stand of so 30 It is 26 The Journal of Southern History 11 no. 1 (February 1945): 33 50. 27 onfederates felt bitter 28 Reynolds quoted in Rolle, The Lost Cause 128. 29 Rolle, The Lost Cause 54 5. 30 Matthew Pratt Guterl, American Mediterranea n: Southern Slaveholders in the Age of Emancipation (Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 2008), 91.
197 important not to diminish this image, but the public posturing of exiled Southerners their future standing as United States citizens, many white Southerners fled the country out of fear. High rank ing Confederate naval officer John Taylor Wood, for instance, noted that once in Cuba he was anxious to reach Canada as soon as possible, but was om the United States, he continued, was anything but pleasant. 31 Exiled soldiers remained tenuously suspended between military and civilian masculinities not yet residing fully in either station. Southerners abroad embodied several vying personas: Confedera te soldier, exiled citizen, and, in many cases, devoted husband and father. Southern whites had to move this cultural material from one order of significance to another to carve out a new position. 32 Negotiating these private landscapes, veterans tried to c omprehend what the Civil War meant and how it changed them as men. Once in Mexico, Kirby Smith cast his fortunes elsewhere and traveled to Cuba, and the federal govern ment. 33 deeper reality of personal conflict dreams and doubts that formed his inner experiences and outer persona. 34 31 John Taylor Wood, 19 June 1865, Personal Diary, Volume 3, John Taylor Wood Papers, SHC. 32 mulation of movement and culture. See, Robert Cantwell, Ethnomimesis: Folklife and the Representation of Culture (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1993), Introduction, especially. 33 [Edmund Kirby Smith] [June July 1865] N/D Papers, Kirb y Smith Papers, SHC. 34 Stephen Berry deeply influenced this methodology. See, Berry, All That Makes a Man especially 11.
198 dissolved as he penned loving words to h is wife, sentiments deeply burdened by his troubles. Once settled in Cuba in the late summer of 1865, Edmund anxiously related to I shall adopt a new country, see a new home or return to my own people, share their fate and recommence the battle of life amongst those we have long known and loved 35 Conflicted, he continued his public stand agai nst the federal government, though in his private correspondence this decision weighed heavily. Kirby Smith wanted to both return to his as he made strides toward th e construction of manhood. His place as a general demanded resolve and defiance, but his role as a husband required love and a commitment to home. had, after all, failed in their attempt to construct a new nation. 36 Many Southern women, as LeeAnn Whites and other have argued, reassured weary veterans that the values underpinning antebellum Southern manliness honor, virtue, and sacrifice had been preserved. 37 These beliefs would now serve as the building blocks for the reconstruction 38 Throughout the late summer of 1865 Edmund and Cassie exchanged letters that attempted to resolve the 35 [Edmund Kirby Smith to Cassie Selden Kirby Smith], 21 August 1865, SHC. 36 Carmichael, The Last Generation 216. 37 See especially LeeAnn Whites, Gender Matters: Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Making of the New South (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), Chapter 5. 38 Bederman, Manliness & Civilization 7.
199 exile: a resolution that could bring them together while will not in honor 39 Edmund preferred to return to the United and most importantly, did not want to lose face. To Cassie, though, he also admitted as perhaps unwise but refused to ever acknowledge his course as wrong. 40 doubt and internal turmoil wind through his letters, but, a strong external demeanor and a determined course of action counterbalanced those sentiments. By late summer the couple determined a return, while Edmund would write General Uly sses S. Grant, his friend from the Mexican American War, about his status. 41 Once assured that he could return to the United States without penalty or imprisonment, Kirby Smith set sail. 42 Now, steeled by his family and assured of his honor, Kirby Smith cast his lot with the Southern people seeking asylums abroad, their own destines and the triumph of the principles for which they fought are in their own hands, let them s eek by every possible means the 39 [Cassie Selden Kirby Smith to Edmund Kirby Smith], 15 August 1865, Kirby Smith Papers, SHC. 40 [Edmund Kirby Smith to Cassie Selden Kirby Smith], 21 August 1865, Kirby Smith Papers, SHC. 41 [Cassie Selden Kirby Smith to Edmund Kirby Smith], 15 August 1865 and [Edmund Kirby Smith to Cassie Selden Kirby Smith, 2 October 1865], Ki rby Smith Papers, SHC. 42 U. S. Grant to E. Kirby Smith, 16 October 1865, Kirby Smith Papers, SHC.
200 reestablishment of the state government in the natural course of events the military 43 Kirby Smith thus resurrected his earlier stand against the federal government, perhaps more vested in the South after his experiences abroad and more assured of his manliness by rejoining his family. many Southern whites who, once recovered from the terrible blow of defeat, beg an to interrogate both self and society. 44 at the prospects of being defined as United States citizens, while their future status as Southern civilians remained unformed. George Mercer reflected on his pl ace as an American and a Southerner after having read an excerpt of William Makepeace Vanity Fair in which an English traveler to foreign lands rejoiced after ther e was no national song capable of producing similar emotions in me that I could enjoy none of those grand public feelings that the citizens of a noble and free Government so constantly experience. Alas, I must confess, all my national feeling is buri ed with the overthrown Confederacy, and there is nothing in the attitude of the 45 While attempting to parse out his 46 This reflex echoed his rationale for keeping a diary when hunting as a child and attending college as a young man, periods crucial to his passage into manhood. Aided 43 [Edmund Kirby Smith to Cassie Selden Kirby Smith, 2 October 1865], Kirby Smith Papers, SHC. 44 Schivelbusch, The Culture of Defeat 69 73. 45 Mercer, 22 June 1866, Personal Diary, Mercer Papers, SHC. 46 Mercer, 10 June 1866, Personal Diary, Mercer Papers, SHC.
201 by this device he tried to dissect his intellectual contours, reestablish his elevated pre war social position, and create a proper place in the postwar South. He sought, in a sense, to reconstruction himself as a man and as a Southern citizen. most restless discontente provoked considerable reflection and consternation. As with Gorgas and Kirby Smith, conception remained deeply invested in a sense of place. Beginnin g in the fall of 1866, Mercer renewed annual trips that he had taken before the war to New York City and Saratoga Springs. Once in these cities the crowded streets the gay equipage and ha ndsome buildings and the beauty of the women one 47 Mercer justified his northern excursions with his wartime experiences reinforcing the proposition tha t both war and peace now formed equal parts of his self he had been deprived. Moreov profession. 48 neither completely resigned to his new station in Savannah nor willing to resettle in the North, he constructed an unc omfortable middle ground during the Reconstruction era. Mercer would never fully escape the South that he both loved and loathed or his former 47 Mercer, 11 November 1866, Personal Diary, Mercer Papers, SHC. 48 Mercer, 11 November 1866, Personal Diary, Mercer Papers, SHC.
202 travails as a soldier, for these mixed emotions were foundational to his new sense of self. Whatever financial gain Mercer enjoyed proved unattainable to Josiah Gorgas, who drifted from job to job in Alabama his destination in the spring of 1865. In the final months of 1866 and into the winter of 1867 Gorgas complained of severe depression caused, he perversely hop real explanation. 49 On January 6, Gorgas entered a troubled passage into his diary. For life a burden. He despe would I live this life over again annihilation must be the only thing left. Nothing is so 50 Nearly paralyzed by depression Gorgas struggled in the years after the war to resettle, to reestablishment himself, in an increasingly foreign South. Republic from antiquity and their position to that of tormented victim. John Dooley wrote that, if o desp 51 With Southern social systems unsettled and the hopes of an independent nation dispelled, white Southerner men turned within feeling wretched and hopeless. Failures both personal and political undermined southern m anhood. In responding to these trials many succumbed to depression, for 49 Gorgas, 15 October 1866, The Journals of Josiah Gorgas 201. 50 Gorgas, 15 October 1866, The Journals of Josiah Gorgas 203. 51 Dooley, John Dooley, Confederate Soldier Durkin, ed., 204.
203 their prewar world was now lost and the foundations for their self identities crumbled. No where is this more apparent than among those who lost the most members of the slaveholding cl ass who underpin this study. Discontented Confederates On June 25, 1865, John Calhoun Clemson arrived home in Pendleton, South Carolina. The grandson of famed South Carolinian John C. Calhoun, Clemson was known by his family as Calhoun. Having served in the Confederate army for 4 years, twenty Calhoun came home a changed man. On the one hand, his sister Floride wrote, id reader. Friends Standing 6 feet 4 inches tall, Calhoun was well proportioned. He now wo re a bushy, long beard and his wavy bright brown hair was set off, despite being only twenty three on was perhaps most startling to his sister: he appeared to be much graver, his language more profane, and his everyday manners were rough. 52 Hungry in prison and often suffering from a loss of hope, the Civil War changed John Calhoun Clemson and forever sh ifted his place in society and his relationship to his family. An altered physical appearance and 52 Charles M. McGee, Jr. and Ernest M. Lander, Jr., eds., A Rebel Came Home: The Diary a nd Letters of Floride Clemson, 1863 1866 (1961; revised edition, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1989), quotes on respectively, 28 May 1865 and 26 June 1865, 88 and 89, see 87 90.
204 Prickly mannerisms and a somber disposition deeper, more troubling signal s altered. However elusive these more abstract ideas and emotions were to even other whi te Southerners comprehended and perceived their worlds is essential to understanding how they thought about, and represented, the war and Reconstruction. 53 emotion as they ref lected upon the war and its consequences. Men who had once largely defined their lives around an ancient code of honor and mobilized into armies believing in the righteous of their cause were now exposed to self doubt, shame, and submission. 54 These emotion s were transformative. Arguably, as never before, Southern men exposed themselves and their most inner feelings in written word. emotional lives in the antebellum period, but few schol ars have followed his lead into often rooted in limitations within source materials. For, as he writes, nineteenth century d stifle their doubts, to so carefully groom 53 Sensibilities? On Cultural Histories, Old and American Historical Review (June 2007): 674 5. 54 The classic statement on Southern honor remains Bertram Wyatt Brown, Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South (New York: Oxford University Pr ess, 1982). See also Kenneth S. Greenberg, Honor and Slavery: Lies, Duels, Noses, Masks, Dressing as a Woman, Gifts, Strangers, Humanitarianism, Death, Slave Rebellions, the Proslavery Argument, Baseball, Hunting, and Gambling in the Old South (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996); Edward E. Baptist, Creating an Old South: (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 2002); and Edward E. Baptist, Stephen Berry, Orville Vernon Burton, Kenneth S. Southern Honor : A Historically Speaking: The Bulletin of the Historical Society vol. IX, no. 6 (July/August 2008), 13 8.
205 55 But, the self doubt provoked by the prostration of the Confederate cause unmoored Southern men, leaving them to grapple with ideas of self and identity. Accessing the inte rnal gymnastics these men performed is quite difficult but the inner thoughts of some whites illuminates a broader world. worlds to gain mastery over both self and society. Forme r Confederates worked to create a new identity for themselves as Southerners who remained culturally distinctive from Northern society. 56 internal struggles as their emotional lives deeply influ enced the atmosphere and shape of Southern society. 57 Men watched as unbounded possibilities and bright prospects corroded into dark horizons clouded by uncertainty. The emotional consequences proved devastating. White men, especially those of pre war promi nence, took solace in the present but only reluctantly planned for the future. War disrupted their public and private lives; the disaster of defeat only heightened this interruption. An overwhelming sense of apprehension that deeply affected mental states and social standings filtered ran counter to public accounts that typically emphasized the importance of rebuilding 55 Berry, All That Makes A Man 11. 56 Rubin, A Shattered Nation. 57 For the emotional consequences of defeat see Wyatt shaped postwar life despite a pu blic optimism, which he partially roots in the presence of Civil War veterans. T. J. Jackson Lears, No Place of Grace: Antimodernism and the Transformation of American Culture, 1880 1920 (New York: Pantheon, 1981). In a later work Lears describes this as t 1920 (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2009).
206 region. 58 Destruction and reconstruction co existed in their worldviews, for these men did think in simple dichotomies. Rather, men who were internally plagued managed also to maintain a strong facade and emphasized the importance of re growth. nths, even years, after Appomattox. 59 Scarce resources, prolonged movements, and poor mail contributed to this vacuum. But men were also gripped by listlessness and apathy during this period, often unable or unwilling to record their thoughts. Former Confed erate William Alexander Hoke, for instance, found himself penniless and stranded in Texas after the war, yearning for his North Carolina home. In a July 9th could not wr one [as I] felt so badly about out national affairs[.] The result of the hard contest left resigned, n 60 poignantly reveal the psychological distress whites sometimes exhibited after the Civil had given s o much. The trauma of defeat wounded these veterans and only after time did their scars become visible. 61 Individualism, self restraint, and sobriety defined the 58 For the public face of white Southerners efforts at rebuilding see, Rubin, A Shattered Nation, 172 90 especially. 59 For similar difficulties in locating sources materials in this and earlier periods see, Carmichael, The Last Generation 207 and Phillips, Diehard Rebels 5. 60 W. L. Alexander to Mother, 9 July 1865, William Alexander Hoke Papers, Series 1.2, Box 2, Folder 12, SHC. For similar reactions see McClurken, Take Care of the Living 66. 61 Ghosts of the Confederacy 22 6 and McClurken, Take Care of the Living 65 70.
207 Christian gentleman of the antebellum era. Few men, of course, met all of these expectations bu t the values shaped southern manhood. 62 While such ideals continued into the postbellum era, economic hardships and intemperate behavior led many men to stray from the righteous path. order but also profoundly affected family life. John Smith Watson, father of famed agrarian leader Tom Watson, returned from war twice wounded, his Confederate money 63 Steeling himself against the chang es brought by defeat and emancipation, John constructed a mansion in front of and fluted columns stood as a symbolic rejection of the new older and harkened back to an ide alized Old South. By 1868, the house was sold, greatly under value, and John drink, Watson became financially ruined by gambling. 64 Tom later remembered being 65 So, too, however, did families offer solace for veterans. For those soldiers who were married, families be came closer, the bonds of affection grew deeper. One Virginia soldier, in the height of war, regretted his earlier conduct. Thomas L. Rosser suffered in 62 Karen Taylor, Southern Masculinity 2 and Carmichael, The Last Generation 23 4. 63 C. Vann Woodward, Tom Watson: Agrarian Rebel (1938; repr., New York: Oxford University Press, 1963), 12 3. 64 Woodward, To m Watson, 13 4. See also, Wyatt 3. 65 Tom Watson quoted in Wyatt
208 would leave the co untry entirely to enjoy her company undisturbed. Most importantly, to whom I constantly pray for protection and deliverance[.] Oh! my darling wife if I could only be with y 66 Such heartfelt sentiments were offered throughout spent here in the companionship of my little family, my books and my thoughts, when I had no money, was thankful that I could even life live, and, putting aside the 67 For men who had lost everything family became a sustaining source of pride and support. Doctor Joseph Jones, like Mercer, bemoane d his financial losses but happily turned toward his family for comfort. After having devoted himself entirely to the Confederate cause he found himself with 68 It is tempting to wonder, though dif ficult to gauge, how these men interacted with the families they so cherished. John Calhoun Clemson and John Watson suggest men a new openness and a new awareness provoked consequences. Conceptions of manhood varied between men and interactions between the sexes adjusted accordingly. Robert Crooke Wood Confederate veteran and New Orleans businessman maintained extended correspondence with hi s newly wedded 66 1873 Correspondence, Thomas Lafayette Rosser Papers, UVA. 67 Mercer Di ary, 10 June 1866, Box 1, Volume 5, Mercer Papers, SHC. 68 Joseph Jones to Doctor [Paul Eve], 20 July 1866, Special Collections, Howard Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University.
209 wife during his frequent and prolonged business trips after the war. Of course, these emotional bonds during a period of great hardship. Instead of folding wit hin himself Rob conceal anything from you. I know I can rely upon your sympathy & l should have suffered. In all the long future I will do all I can to make you happy & 69 Looking toward familial reconstruction, the Crookes wo uld negotiate the trials to political and economic Reconstruction together. Economic burdens often created psychological distress among veterans. Scores of white Southerners suffered from debt and had difficulties securing employment in the years after t he war. 70 71 George Mercer whose family enjoyed great prewar prominence and f inancial security was set financially adrift after the war. One anxious I have announced my resumption of legal practice in the daily papers, but as yet it 69 Rob [Robert Crooke Wood] to wife, 1 June 1867, Series 1.2, Folder 5, Tris t Wood Papers, SHC. 70 Southerners dislocation and economic troubles after the war are discussed in Wyatt Brown, The Shaping of Southern Culture chapter 11 and James L. Roark, Masters Without Slaves: Southern Planters in the Civil War and Reconstruction ( New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1977), chapter 5. 71 Cited in Wyatt Brown, The Shaping of Southern Culture 268.
210 72 Economic hardships induced much of the personal anxieties the financial devastation of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, where household incomes pl household was worth $6,522, and by 1870 had declined by nearly 75 percent to $1,673. 73 For white Southern patriarchs, whose social positions rested on wealth and political prestige, economic collapse proved crippling and families devised numerous strategies for psychological survival. The restoration of domestic order and the reunification of families served as powerful means of stabilizing the South. The domestic arena of fered veterans relief and comfort. 74 As LeeAnn Whites, Laura Edwards, and Jeffrey McClurken have argued so powerfully, family and household became the foundation for the political and economic ability obscure the shattered lives of many men and their continued sufferings, however. The troubles of disaffected veterans were brought on by an array of causes. Idiosyncratic behavior, lingering traumas from war, crippling financial burdens, or continu ations of pre war behavior are within the spectrum of likely explanations. In many instances it is difficult to assess direct causalities. But how veterans managed such stresses directly impacted family life and necessitated the reevaluation of southern ma nhood. White men 72 George Anderson Mercer, 18 June 1865, George Anderson Mercer Diary, Box 1, Volume 5, George Anderson Merc er Papers, SHC. 73 McClurken, Take Care of the Living 48. See also, Marten, Sing Not War 61 4. 74 Whites, The Civil War as a Crisis in Gender 141 42.
211 reconfigured their behavior to reclaim the mastery and honor lost in, or at least questioned by, war and emancipation. 75 Outward signs of st ability were often chimerical. William J. Clarke served with distinction in the two major conflicts of his generation, but war had hardened him. As a captain in the Mexican American War, Clarke was severely wounded at the Battle of National Bridge and promoted to major for gallantry. A faithful soldier, Clarke gained the admiration of fellow Confederate s while shell fragment shattered his shoulder. 76 While convalescing over ninety men signed a 77 Yet, Clarke could be quarrelsome and often argued with his commander General Robert Ransom. He never achieved further promotion. Returning to service in January 1865, federal troops captured Clarke at Dinwiddie Courthouse, Virginia; he remained imprison ed at Fort Delaware for the duration of the conflict. After the war Clarke could recount proudly his admirable service record and 78 unacknowledged, however. Physicall y scarred and battered, Clarke felt great pain from 75 Divided Houses ???; Whites, The Civil War as a Crisi s in Gender in Southern Masculinity vii ix. 76 Statement of Edward Warren and R B Haywood, N/D , Folder 8, Box 1, William J. Clarke Papers, SHC. 77 severe wound and mentions several earlier Civil War battles, thereby sug gesting the 1864 date. 78 William J. Clarke to Mary Bayard Clarke, 23 May 1861, in Live Your Own Life 74 and William J. Clarke to Mary Bayard Clarke, 27 January 1863, in Live Your Own Life 137.
212 his wounds. Bedridden from time to time, he struggled. 79 Few sources denote what must have been his daily trials, but a small diary maintained during the year 1868 is probably a representative slice of dec ades of suffering. Records of his pain were considerable anguish. 80 Physical pains were matched by powerful memories, for Clarke recorded the anniversaries of the battles in Mexico and Virginia in which he was wounded. 81 He remained fortunate in that his profession, law, allowed him to continue working despite these disabilities. 82 But the phy sical scars of war left an indelible impression that affected his work and family. Financial distress, physical pain, and an uncertain future left Clarke short tempered, depressed, peevish, and prone to excessive drinking. Such feelings and behavior quick ly disrupted hopes for a seamless family reunion. His wife Mary, in son Frank, she asserted that William had not been himself since the war and imprisonment. She felt hi 79 6, 7, 9, and 26 March, and 24 April 1868, Clarke Diary, SH C. 80 6, 7, and 9 March 1868, Clarke Diary, SHC. 81 The best reference to this pain is found in his personal diary from 1868. See, for instance, 6 and 7 Mex Clarke Papers, SHC. 82 Jeffrey W. McClurken powerfully recounts how disabled veterans, unable to work, turned to the state for aid. McClurken, Taking Care of the Living Chapter 6.
213 83 Mary wanted to hide from the upholding an antebellum ideal. In a postwar South destabilized by emancipation and war, the household served as a central avenue to rebuild shaken social hierarchies. 84 were unmanly. Exposing these failures to the outside world would undo Clarke and his family. On the other hand, because control over the household and the family power which war had initially afforded her. 85 k other opportunities if available even if they went 86 therefore, extended beyond the war and continued to shape her identity as a woman and a wife. ed or purposeful) to articulate their inner feelings only heightened feelings of isolation. Southern culture controlled by public faces and masks permitted little public disclosure of mental or emotional breakdowns. These trying conditions were perceived a 83 Mary Bayard Clarke to Frank Clarke, 20 Nov. , Box 2, Undated Papers Folder 29, Clarke Papers, SHC. 84 On this point see, Edwards, Gendered Strife and Confusion 110. 85 A Shattered Nation 208 9, especially; Faust, Mothers of Inv ention 248 54; and Whites, The Civil War as a Crisis in Gender 86 Mary Bayard Clarke to Frank Clarke, 20 Nov. , Box 2, Undated Papers, Folder 29, Clarke Papers, SHC.
214 image. 87 public and private lives, and demonstrate the great difficulties Southerners experienced in their strides toward reconst ruction. Mary Bayard Clarke understood all too well the strong disapproval of her writing, Mary wrote under pseudonyms, such as Tenella, for much of her career, as she published poems, columns, and stories in southern newspapers, periodicals, and books. During the postwar years she once again had to While most Southern families dealt with emotionally scar red or mentally ill veterans within the family home, some Southern men spent time, typically short stints, 88 Such men suffered from chronic conditions and often exhibited violent behav ior that endangered illness, especially if a breakdown occurred during service, or the afflicted suffered from either wounds or severe illness. 89 Fragmentary records and th e lack of a pension system that recognized service related mental problems create great difficulty in studying the psychologically disturbed and institutionalized Confederate veteran. 90 Nonetheless, some anecdotal evidence is suggestive. According to the 18 66 records of 87 Wyatt Brown, The Shaping of Southern Culture, 259. 88 Dean, Shook Over Hell 143; Wyatt Take Care of the Living: Reconstructing Confederate Veteran Families in Virginia (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009), 118. 89 Dean, Shook Ov er Hell 111 and McClurken, Take Care of the Living 119. 90 Dean, Shook Over Hell 234.
215 the two hundred and eighty after less than one year of confinement. 91 Such vague diagnoses were not uncommon, however, Lunatic Asylum in his sample of veterans. 92 um reveals a range of reactions to combat. One veteran, from the Sixty third Georgia, came home from war chagrined and depressed, which resulted in alcoholism according to asylum authorities. Another man, James Taylor, had suffered from shell shock during the war concussed from a bursting shell which may have contributed to his 1872 93 The stories of most institutionalized veterans will remain muted, but scattered evidence demonstrates that uncontrolled mania and unrestra ined addiction could reach crisis proportions, which forced Southern families to institutionalize some Confederate veterans. 94 The very same forces that created breakdowns also forged bonds among Southern whites. The extraordinary experiences of war create d a brotherhood of veterans men who were willing to share their thoughts and feelings with former comrades. 95 91 Report of the Physician and Superintendent of the Insane Asylum of North Carolina, for the Year Ending November 1, 1866 (Raleigh: Wm. E. Pell, State Printer, 1866), 24 and chart insert. 92 McClurken, Take Care of the Living 125. 93 60. 94 Dean, Shook Over Hell, 137 8. 95 On wartime comradeship and its consequences, James M. McPherson, For Cau se and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998). On the postwar Union veteran experience see, Stuart McConnell, Glorious Contentment: The Grand Army of the Republic, 1865 1900 (Chapel Hill and London: T he University of North Carolina Press, 1992), passim
216 rs to the sad Battlefield lying down in the line & thin as a chip, half frightened out of my wits, 96 Wartime experiences and battlefield horrors left Smith exposed and frightened emotions he shared with friends who had experienced similar ordeals. He now took great solace in sharing these feelings through 97 William Henry Tripp commanding officer of Company B, 40th North Carolina Infantry received numerous letters from former soldiers looking to discuss their old comrades nting the 98 Clearly, the forbidding veneer a closed Southern culture had been partially shattered by war, and Southern men, forever changed by that conflict, sought out ways to express and examine their new emotions. Emerging from war defeated and reentering a shatte red society, veterans turned to each other for support and for understanding. In exchanging letters and exposing concerns men created informal networks and extended communities. Questions and uncertainty defined their manhood as much now as 96 Job B Smith to Wad [Cadwallader Jones], 11 February 1866, Folder 5, Box 1, Cadwallader Jones Papers, SHC. 97 Smith to Wad, 11 February 1866, Folder 5, Box 1, Jones Papers, SHC. 98 Araminta Guilford Tripp Papers, SHC.
217 ambition and ri valry once had. Such social expressions were filtered through personal experiences. James B. Mitchell, from Glenville, Alabama, returned to the University of North Carolina in 1866 after having discontinued his studies in 1861 to join the Confederate arm y. In a revealing letter to his friend Ruffin H. Thomson also a student from North Carolina who left in 1861 for military service Mitchell laid bare his raw emotions. He helpl h who believed that happiness could only be found in those who contented themselves with 99 asic necessities while in the army, Southern men enjoyed niceties but were now constantly reminded of just how fleeting such luxuries could be. By instilling deeper meaning into what was once meaningless, life appeared more enjoyable. Mitchell composed his letter comfortably seated by a warm fire. Outside, the ground was covered in sleet and snow. 99 J. B. Mitchell to Ruffin H. Thomson, 20 December 1866, Box 1, Folder 10, Ruffin Thomson Papers, Essay on Man I x (1733). This particular letter is American South. http: //docsouth.unc.edu/true/mss06 16/mss06 16.html [accessed, 6 July 2009].
218 Taking stopped here. 100 darkness further. The future of the South is to me a mysterious horror and I de cline to contemplate it. My imagination has not even yet shaped my own future but awaits the 101 In strikingly similar tone, another Confederate veteran h winter. 102 Taking solace but always reminded of the past, former Confederates navigated an unsure future as they confronted Reconstruction. Louis Menand so compellingly demonstr ates in his study of the lives and writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and John Dewey, 103 Pragmatism and compromise emerged as important concepts that made it more difficult for people to be driven to violence by their beliefs. 104 While these ideas were most clearly articulated by elite Northern intellectuals, the princ iples themselves had wider resonance. South 100 Essay on Man I x (1733). 101 J. B. Mitchell to Ruffin H. Thomson, 20 December 1866, Ruffin Thomson Papers, Folder 10, Box 1, SHC. For another reference to past milit ary privations shaping present points of view, see C. Woodward Howard Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. 102 C. Woodward Hutson to Mother, 31 March 1869, Box 1, Loose Papers, Hutson Family Papers, Special Collections, Howard Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. 103 Menand, The Metaphysical Club quote on 440 but see also ix xi. 104 Menand, The Metaphysical Club 440.
219 hopes and bounding hearts who picture of their minds the glorious rewards of great achievements should blind their eyes to the h orrors and injustice of the cause they 105 Expectations never quite reached fulfillment and made facing reality all the more difficult. hatred cannot be divorced from being and action. 106 Men came to both embrace and disdain postbellum home life as Hopelessness and shame consumed many as unrelen ting humiliation led many Southern whites to psychological ruin. 107 Nothing in antebellum culture had prepared whites for the shock of defeat and its lasting social and emotional consequences. Despondency and depression, while familiar emotions, are rooted i n specific historical experiences. 108 The humiliation of defeat, the lingering terrors from war, and economic troubles shaped the emotional lives of Southern men. How these men felt not only directed their private and public perceptions but also influenced t heir actions in the 105 E. B. Richardson to Ben, 10 July 1867, Box 1, Folder 1860 1869, Benjamin S. Williams Papers, Perkins Library, DU. 106 American Historical Review 112, no. 3 (J psychological consequences among veterans of the First World War is found in Antoine Prost, In The Wake of War: Les Anciens Combattants and French society (Providence: Berg, 1992), 3 24, especi ally. 107 Wyatt The Shaping of Southern Culture 256. 108 On the historicization of emotions, An Emotional History of the United States eds., Peter N. Stearns and Jan Lewis (New York and London: New York University Press, 1998), 1 12 and Rosenwein,
220 emotional landscape and compelled veterans to actively strive to reorder a world undone by war. Most turned within talking only to family or other veterans ab out their experiences. But emotions of depression also generated anger, for many Southerners connected their despondency to the advancement of African Americans and the federal government. The prospects of United States citizenship, then, became the final barrier Confederate veterans negotiated as they reestablished themselves and attempted to make sense of the war. Ignominious Oaths and Contested Citizenship Twenty three year old John Warwick Daniel returned to the University of Virginia in the fall of 1 865. Grievously wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness, he now hobbled. supporter of home rule. 109 In June, Daniel delivered an address before the members of the Jefferson Lit erary Society. He referred to the men as veterans, not students, and 110 The men before Daniel were survivors. Thousands of their comrades now forward, Daniel stressed th aye, that every home 109 Carmichael, The Last Generation 218. 110 Society, of the University of Virginia, in the Public Hall, J of John W. Daniel and the Daniel Family, UVA. See also, Carmichael, The Last Generation 218.
221 citizenship and support 111 As Daniel and the members of the Jefferson Literary Society anticipated the future of the postwar South, they had to balance their obligations to the present and memories o f the past. Devotion to duty and strict discipline traits learned as soldiers 112 On this new campaign they the 113 These men were part of what Peter Carmichael with slavery, came of age during the political and sectional crises of the late 1850s and early 1860s. 114 Now, after the carnage of war, they sought to rebuild the South. This the citizenship, comparing and contrasting the experiences of veterans across the re gion. 115 111 University Daniel and the Daniel Family, UVA. 112 Carmichael, The Last Generation 218. 113 ociety, of the Daniel and the Daniel Family, UVA. See also, Carmichael, The Last Generation 218. 114 Carmichael, The Last Generation 6 7. 115 For my purpos es, citizenship is being defined expansively, to encompass political, social, and cultural relational in the sense that it locates identities in connections among individuals and groups rather than in th cultural historical to the path y, Citizenship, Identity and Social History (Repr. ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 5.
222 The languages of citizenship, imagined and recorded, may be rooted in relation to the process of political definition and redefinition in American culture and society. 116 The oath of allegiance and the contours of citizenship, as historian Anne Rubi n argues, were understood by white Southern men through gendered terms. Honor and manliness were linked to loyalty. 117 Outward commitments to southern masculinity often masked entrenched emotions, however. Southerners had to parse out these feelings as they looked forward to United States citizenship and backward to a Confederate past. By swearing an oath, Southern men obligated themselves to maintain a strict promise of loyalty. How they emotionally dealt with the repercussions of this decision largely dire Collectively, soldiers and civilians, suffered from a culture of defeat. 118 Trauma and mourning produced doubt and confusion. Southern whites could not easily address or 116 This correlation suggests that symbolic aspects of social life are deeply entwine d with material instituted as works of ar Thus, the symbolic and the material are combined. Pierre Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature trans., Randal Johnson (1993; repr. and trans. Colum bia University Press, 1993), 37. Imagination, while an abstract concept, has great consequences when involved with power as Elliott West has charged. It was during the Reconstruction years that the United States imagined itself whole. See Elliott We st, The Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers, and the Rush to Colorado (Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1998), Introduction and 336 37. Perhaps the most reatment, Imagined Communities will never know most of their fellow members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism (1983; repr., London: Verso, 2002), 6. 117 Rubin, A Shattered Nation 164 71. 118 Wolfgang Schivelbusch, The Culture of Defeat: On National Trauma, Mourning, and R ecovery trans. Jefferson Chase (New York: Metropolitan, 2003), 10 19.
223 reverse the se processes as many were left paralyzed and emotive. As Cornelia Phillips 119 By swearing allegiance to the United States, Southerners publicly repudiated the Confederacy and declare d their personal political identity. 120 One man dissected the that hated government, or passing by an armed force and garrison maintained everywhere at the expense of th 121 Anxiety over the future and strong devotion to the Confederacy produced varied reactions to United States citizenship and compelled many veterans to prolong the decision. Josiah Gorgas day taken the oath of amnesty before a pardon pardon for having done my duty in a cause I deemed the best on earth! But the conquerors have a right to dictate terms and ours have not been magnanimous 122 In a similar vein Sidney Andrews observed that former soldiers continued to mourn their defeat but also determined to do their duty as orderly citizens. 123 One northern newspaper agreed with 119 Cornelia Phillips Spencer Diary, 30 April 1865, Spencer Volumes, Box 14, Volume 2, Cornelia Phillips Spencer Papers, SHC. 120 Rubin, A Shattered Nation 164 71. 121 Anonymous, letter frag ment, 18 April , [Loose Papers], Box 1, Hutson Family Papers, Special Collections, Howard Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. 122 Josiah Gorgas, 22 August , in The Journals of Josiah Gorgas, 1857 1878 ed., Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins, 186. 123 Sidney Andrews, The South Since the War, as Shown by Fourteen Weeks of Travel and Observation in Georgia and the Carolinas (1866; repr., Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1971), 319.
224 124 On the other hand, many soldiers made brief notation only of their oath. South Carolina cavalrymen Munson Monroe Buford quickly noted in his pocket diary on 27 July 1865: records suggest prolonged attachment to the Confederate ca use. In an August entry he th S.C. Cav Logans Brigade ou see remember me though far away from thee or layed under the Clay I may be very respectfully Munson 125 As soldiers reluctantly confronted the realities of defeat they were thrown into personal Reconstruction well past the initial traumas of defeat. Taking these feelings and response s seriously broadens our understanding of men who did not easily close their civil wars but were instead shaped by the conflict and its consequences for decades. 126 Suspended between realms, personal and political identities became bifurcated. As 124 Milwaukee Daily Sentinel ess of Paroling Sentiment of the Rebel logical extension to Sheehan war account of southern sentiment across class lines. Aaron Sheehan Civil War History vol. L, no. 1 (2004): 11. 125 Muson Monr oe Buford Diary, 27 July 1865, August 1865, and November 1865, respectively, Box 1, Folder 1, Munson Monroe Buford Papers, SHC. 126 Michael Keith Harris, Old Soldier, New South: Confederate Veterans in a Reconciled Nation MA, thesis, University of Virginia Logue and Michael Barton, eds., The Civil War Veteran: A Historical Reader (New York: New York University Press, 2007), 334 40; and Barney, The Making of a Confederate 3 13 and 141 6 5.
225 men travers ed this terrain their future obligations to and roles in society became apparent. Rather than easily embracing the momentous changes before them they are overcome, and to yield, as gracefully as possible, obedience to a Government sufficiently powerful to enforce 127 Veterans were honor victors, but honor also directed continued fidelity to the Confederacy. Torn between two worlds, Southerners attempted to strike a painful balance. Former Confederate Brig. Gen. Martin Witherspoon Gary felt isolation and estrangement. He bemoaned his lmost driven to despair. I have laid aside a sword, that 128 Veterans such as Mercer and Gary devoted themselves completely to the South and to the Confederacy. Military surrender and federal occupation had, in essence, killed the nation as though it was once living and breathing. A profound emotional void followed. How they filled this void shaped their own reconstructions, while also influencing the given up their patriarchal system of African slavery as the result of the war; they are in 127 George Anderson Mercer, 24 June 1865, George Anderson Mercer Diary, Box 1, Volume 5, George Anderson Mercer Papers, SHC. 128 M W Gary to Miss Nannie, 12 Sept. 1866, Martin Witherspoon Gary Papers, MSS, Box 1, Folder 3 [16 Feb 20 Nov 1866], South Carolin iana Library, Columbia, SC.
226 129 The pillars of manhood and independence, so vital to antebellum whites, would now serve and support them during a period of profound distress. Military defeat compromised masculinity. The values underpinning a ntebellum men honor, virtue, and sacrifice had to be reconsidered and then resurrected to now serve as the building blocks for the reconstruction of manhood and facilitate the s 130 captured a wider belief that justified the southern cause and attempted to uphold Confed identities during the Reconstruction era and, once considered in conjunction with racism, help explain their reactionary stand against t he forces of federal control and the advancement of African Americans. Moreover, Confederate memory remained a physical and political presence throughout the South due to the efforts of white women as Caroline Janney as argued. Confederate nationalism had profound implications in the reconstruction of southern self identity in the postwar period because of public celebrations, the creation of Confederate cemeteries, and Memorial Days. 131 129 Mercer Diary, 17 December 1865, Box 1, Volume 5, Mercer Papers, SHC. 130 Cornelia Phillips Spencer, 17 April 1865, quoted in Hope Summerell Chamberlain, Old Days in Chapel Hill: Being the Life and Letters of Cornelia Phillips Sp encer (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1926), 87. 131 Janney, Burying the Dead but not the Past 50 67. See also, Blair, Cities of the Dead Chapters 3 and 4.
227 f this period echoed for decades. These men simply could not return to prewar society. The ions toward their place as citizens the simultaneous traumas of defeat and emancipation shaped their emotional reactions to African Americans. David H. Donald deems these Conf viewed as the final public acts, the last bequests, of the Southern Civil War 132 In adjusting to postwar life southern whites freighted citizenship with whiteness. S outhern men and women began to create an evolving discourse that consciously propounded their own righteousness and attempted to order society according to a patriarchal ethos. 133 Whites juxtaposed their honor with the shamelessness and shiftlessness of subo rdinated blacks. 134 Thus feelings of hatred and tried to reinvigorate ideas about race, manhood, and society that the war destabilized. Through these processes the South was re imagined as a new community and its polity 132 Michael Barton, eds., The Civil War Veteran: A Historical Reader (New York: New York University Press, 2007), 334; see also 334 40. 133 W. Scott Poole, Never Surrender: Confederate Memory and Conservatism in the South Carolina Upcountry (Athens: The Univers ity of Georgia Press, 2004), 1 5. 134 Wyatt Brown, The Shaping of Southern Culture 233.
228 135 itriolic 136 ctice and held eight slaves. 137 Now, he and scores of southern men toiled in a countryside 138 The miseries of war and famine o 139 Southern identity thus faced a double onslaught from both within and without. 140 ere could not be carried to completion because it exceeded the capacity of white Americans 141 In the South, whites violently resisted black equality, and consciously constructed new hierarchies to ensure their superiority. Taking 135 Benedict Anderson has offered the most compelling discussion of imagined communities to date. most of their fellow members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Orig ins and Spread of Nationalism (1983; repr., London: Verso, 2002), 6. 136 Schenck, [Spring 1865], Schenck Diary, SHC. 137 Escott, Many Excellent People 42 and Schenck, [Spring 1865], Schenck Diary, SHC. 138 Catherine Ann Battle Lewis to Emma Speight, 5 May 1865 Lewis Papers, SHC. 139 Schenck, 14 June 1865, Schenck Diary, SHC. 140 especially Bederman, Manliness & Civilization 12 4. 141 Fredrickson, Racism 81.
229 the oath of allegiance forced Southerners into submission, an unmanly gesture. In refashioning their lost cause as ultimately right, whites ensured the ir honor, which was critical to their manhood. Moreover, by publicly and privately striving to reorder society men assumed positions of prominence and reasserted mastery. Conclusions ulated the primacy of mastery and white civilization. In the antebellum era slavery bolstered 142 Now, the framework of south ern society had collapsed and the possibility of a multi racial society emerged. Facing economic ruin, black emancipation, and federal occupation, Southerners had to reconstruct order mentally and physically. White men regained control of their manliness a nd attempted to release their emotional burdens even while often serving in dependent roles by racializing African Americans as lazy non contributors. If economic independence proved unattainable, recasting social hierarchies was possible. The southern de bate over black suffrage and property rights assumed national import in the spring and summer of 1867. For many black southerners their struggles were partly resolved with the implementation of the Military Reconstruction Acts. The federal government, Stev reorganize the ex Confederate South politically, imposed political disabilities on leaders of the rebellion, and, most stunning of all, extended the elective franchise to southern hisement of whites and the simultaneous enfranchisement of 142 Lacy K. Building in the Journal of the Early Republic vol. 19, no. 4 (Winter 1999): 713 737, quote on 715.
230 As the next chapter details, Southern whites attempted to dismantle a federally ordered postwar state throug h varied measures with violence and terror serving as particularly effective tools.
231 CHAPTER 7 FALLEN CONFEDERACIES AND INVISIBLE EMPIRE S A cold, bitter drizzle fell through the long February night and into the next morning. Wyatt Outlaw and his family we re safely ensconced at home a building which president of the local Union League, and Graham town councilman, Outlaw was the most prominent African American in Alamance Piedmont. The attack came quickly. Klansmen stormed into the shop and took Outlaw from his bedroom. As he was dragged away, half dressed, one of his children 1 The town square filled quickl y with members of the White Brotherhood 2 bound and Klansmen bludgeoned him down the street. The mob stopped at an elm tree. Picking a limb that pointed to the Court House, which stood some thir ty yards away, the men hanged Wyatt Outlaw. 3 The lifeless body suspended from the branch until eleven when Sheriff Murray removed it 4 1 North Carolina Historical Review vol. LXXVII, no. 4 (October 2000): 404. 2 Guard and the Invisible Empire, see Allen W. Trelease, White Terror: The Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy and Southern Reconstruction (New York, Evanston, and London: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1971), 68 and Steven Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in t he Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003), 267. 3 Details for the above scene are drawn from the Testimony of James E. Boyd, 31 August , Box 1, Folder Jan Aug. 1870, Ku Klux Klan Papers, Special Collections Department, Duke University Library, 32; Scott Reynolds Nelson, Iron Confederacies: Southern Railways, Klan Violence, and Reconstruc tion (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999), 100 2, 112 3; and Allen W. Trelease, White Terror: The Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy and Southern Reconstruction (New York, Evanston, and London: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1971), 205. 4 Horace W. Raper, (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1985), 164.
232 Similar scenes of brutality were witnessed across the South between the years 1865 and 187 Reconstruction as one of the most violent periods in American history. The Ku Klux Klan exemplified this violence spectacularly. 5 The themes of extralegal violence, ritual, war memories and emotions guide this chapter, which examines the hooded white men who terrorized the South between 1867 and 1872. 6 I seek to understand what the Klan and its acts reveal about the gender identities and emotional lives of Southern white men. Actions ar e statements, which are patterned by culture. 7 drew from the past and present in the ghoulish construction of their hate based order. Understanding this bricolage reveals much about the reconstruction of white Southern men, for as the Ku Klux Klan remade the Reconstruction era South so, too, were its members being remade. 8 Vigilante violence was part of a transitional masculinity in establishment of this new white manhood, which operated through savagery. This mode 5 Trelease, White Terror xxxiv. 6 e Carolinas and the federal White Terror 68 70. By emotionalism, I am refe rring to the study and historicization of feelings. As Jan Lewis and Peter N. often creates explanations of knowledge and its production rooted in und erlying assumptions that, in turn, lead to assumptions about the ways in which people behave. Jan Lewis and Peter N. Stearns, An Emotional History of the United States eds., Peter N. Stearns and Jan Lewis (New York and London: New York University Press, 1998). 7 Isaac, The Transformation of Virginia 324 5 and 339. 8 Claude Levi Strauss, The Savage Mind (1962; Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1967), 16 33 and Bercaw, Gendered Freedoms 87.
233 shared similar feelings of rage, anger, and fear rooted in the p ast and the present 9 The men under stud y hooded midnight raiders who terrorized white Unionists, African Americans, and the socially marginalized depended on anonymity. Their acts, while condoned by many whites, were legally condemned. This chapter unmasks these midnight raiders to reveal how K lan membership, especially the involvement of understanding of, the process of Reconstruction. The reclamation of white southern manhood was central to Reconstruction. 10 As men strove to regain mastery over both self and society, they had also to confront the emotional and psychological consequences of civil war. 11 How men publicly and personally negotiated and responded to these forces shaped the reconstruction of manhood a proc ess that was neither uniform nor universal and influenced their emotional lives. This chapter considers the Ku Klux Klan as one model of an outwardly aggressive, unrestrained 9 communities i.e., families or neighborhoods. The researcher is searching for systems of feelings and ut The American Historical Review vol. 107, no. 3 (June 2002): quote on 837; on 3. 10 Michael Kimmel, Manhood in America: A Cultural History (New York: Free Press, 1996), 95 and 124 5; Bertram Wyatt Brown, The Shaping of Southern Culture: Honor, Grace, and War, 1760s 1880s (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001), Chapters 8 and 9; LeeAnn Whites, The Civil War as a Crisis in Gender: Augusta, Georgia, 1860 1890 (Athens and London : The University of Georgia Press, 1995), 132 59; and Nancy D. Bercaw, Gendered Freedoms: Race, Rights, and the Politics of Household in the Delta, 1861 1875 (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2003), Chapter 3. 11 Jeffrey W. McClurken, Take Care of the Living: Reconstructing Confederate Veteran Families in Virginia (Charlottesville and London: University of Virginia Press, 2009), 1 2 and 65 71, especially, and Bercaw, Gendered Freedoms Chapter 3.
234 warrior ed, unravel black political gains, and restore authority. 12 White Carolinians and Their Causes The Carolinas witnessed severe, and extensive, Klan based violence throughout the late 1860s and early 1870s. This region experienced massive political and econ omic change, which destabilized social relations. Violence ensued. Armed conflict between the Ku Klux Klan and state and federal governments in both North and South Carolina R 13 This region serves as an this di scussion, examples from the other southern states will be used to collaborate particular points and bolster specific claims. A long history of works both scholarly and popular Sympathetic histories written in the nineteenth ce ntury produced an interpretative oppression. 14 Scholars gradually revised such orthodoxy, resulting in two prominent 12 As Gail Bederman has argued, manhood is a fluid Manliness & Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880 1917 (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1995), quote on 5, see 5 10. On contrasting models of white masculinity during the Reconstruction Southern Masculinity: Perspectives on Manhood in the So uth Since Reconstruction ed. Craig Thompson Friend (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2009). 13 Nelson, Iron Confederacies 98. 14 on the Tennessee Ku K Civil War History vol. LI, no. 1 (2005): 29 34. Earliest works include J. C. Lester and D. L. Wilson, Ku Klux Klan: Its Origin, Growth and Disbandment with Introduction and Notes
235 arguments. First, there are those historians who conc racism appealed to Southern whites. 15 Second, scholars have contended that Klan 16 Scott hat a potent mix of racism and politics drove whites into the ranks of the Ku Klux. 17 Recent scholarship, especially that grounded in cultural history and gender studies, has broadened our understanding of the meaning behind the Ku Klux Klan, their purpos e and their precedent. These historians have demonstrated that racism and political ideology alone do not adequately explain why the Klan targeted particular individuals (especially women and children), engaged in certain behavior (simulated sex acts), ref erenced and used popular cultural forms (carnival, costuming, ritual), or created a sense of corporate identity rooted in the ideology of the Lost Cause. 18 As and so explic itly targeted for political ends that it is difficult to resist reducing its meaning by Walter L. Fleming (1884; New York and Washington: The Neale Publish Century 28 (July 1884). 15 See especially Allen W. Trelease, White Terror: The Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy and Southern Reconstruction (New York and London: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1971) and George C. R able, But There Was No Peace: The Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction (1984; reprint, Athens and London: The University of Georgia Press, 2007). 16 On this tradition see especially, Paul D. Escott, Many Excellent People: Power and Privilege i n North Carolina, 1850 1900 (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1985) and Nicholas Lemann, Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006). 17 Scott Reynolds Nelson, Iron Confederacies: S outhern Railways, Klan Violence, and Reconstruction (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999), 97 9. 18 W. Scott Poole, Never Surrender: Confederate Memory and Conservatism in the South Carolina Upcountry (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2004), 78 Rangers: Costume and Performance in the Reconstruction The Journal of American History (December 2005): 811 36; and Hannah Rosen, Terror in the Heart of Freedom: Ci tizenship, Sexual Violence, and the Meaning of Race in the Postemancipation South (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2009), Chapters 5 and 6.
236 entirely to its apparent function. Yet this violence also took striking forms seemingly unrelated to function that were consistent across a wide region and over several ye 19 Scholars must therefore consider gender in conjunction with race and cultural forms as underpinning political practices. This chapter, building on recent scholarship, argues that the reestablishment of white manhood and a potent constellation of em indeed Reconstruction, as much as political commitments and entrenched racism. In understanding the Klan, it is crucial to understand how this organization, built upon foundations of extralegal violence, was used to re surrect positions of white mastery. A period of social and political crisis for Southern whites fostered the growth of an aggressive manliness rooted in violent reaction to perceived wrongs. The gendered emotions of Klan members anger, excitement, loss, an d despair reflect a system of feelings which propelled white men as they employed terrorism to advance political, social, and sexual aims. 20 Positing these assertions does not undermine or diminish the effects of meta forces such as race and politics and th eir horrific consequences. Rather, it widens the range of personal feelings, cultural mores, behavioral patterns, and 21 Thus, by revealing how Southern men thought and felt during this appalling period, we wit ness how people mentally, morally, 19 Rosen, Terror in the Heart of Freedom, 181. 20 Cultures, 448 53 and Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), 128 35. 21 bility seeks, in which those sources stand: the emotional, intellectual, aesthetic, and moral dispositions of the persons
237 function. models for extralegal violence and the regulation of bla ck life were grounded in the antebellum and Civil War eras. 22 movements that sought to maintain social order or protect political rights. 23 Nineteenth century Regulators, while sometimes behaving like their eighteenth century counterparts, were influenced by, and reactive to, wartime conditions. During the Civil War and in its immediate aftermath, Regulators, often composed of army deserters and demobilized soldiers, formed bands that terrorized civilians, st ole property, and tried to impose order through force. On the other hand, the Reconstruction era Klan represented the resurrection of slave patrols, especially to African Americans. 24 In the antebellum era, bodies of men, often conscripted by state governme nts, were used to police and regulate black life. These bodies physically harmed blacks and intruded into 22 Postbellum extralegal violence is fruitfully connected to the antebellum era in Rosen, Terror in the Heart of Freedom, 183 94 and Mark L. Bradley, Bluecoats & Tar Heels: Soldiers and Civilians in Reconstruction North Carolina (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2009), 100 2. 23 century English roots. According to the Oxford English Dicti North Carolina hosted widespread regulator movements in the eighteenth century that attempted to alleviate government corruption. At least one Klansmen, Nor th Carolinian Jacob Long, directly connected both, in his view, reactions to intolerable oppression. Jacob Alson Long, N/D, Folder 1 of 1, Jacob Alson Long Recollections, Southern Historic al Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; hereinafter SHC. For the North Carolina Regulator movement, Marjoleine Kars, Breaking Loose Together: The Regulator Rebellion in Pre Revolutionary North Carolina (Chapel Hill and L ondon: The University of North Carolina Press, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963) and Rachel N. Klein, Unification of a Slave State: The Rise of the Plante r Class in the South Carolina Backcountry, 1760 1808 (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1990). On unrest in popular culture more generally, E. P. Thompson, Customs in Common: Studies in Traditional Popular Culture (New York: T he New Press, 1991). 24 Sally E. Hadden, Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001), Chapter 6 and Epilogue. Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet, 270. See also, Lemann, Redemption and William M cKee Evans, To Die Game: The Story of the Lowry Band, Indian Guerrillas of Reconstruction (1971; repr., Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1995), 60 1.
238 slave cabins. Richard Zuczek suggests that the antebellum system of slave patrols had fully reappeared in South Carolina by the late summer of 1865; M ark Bradley offers similar findings for sections of post war North Carolina. The men who composed these organizations drew upon antebellum practices of discipline and control that shaped their self conceptualization. 25 nce can be located in different types of organizations Regulators, police forces, militias, Home Guards formed between communicated private authority by public displays o f power a language that proved central in the formation and spread of the Ku Klux Klan. 26 measures were a critical part of a longer campaign in the public reestablishment of manhood and control. Traditions of extralegal violenc e reveal cultural forms that appealed to Southern whites. These performances engaged broader discourses about race, gender, and civilization, which invested the Klan with deeper meaning and fostered its growth. 27 How an individual comprehends and then const ructs an understanding of a particular event, ritual, or custom is connected directly to his or her background and previous experience. 28 Regulators, guerrilla bands, and militias contributed to postwar tumult. The d of intense disorder. Many southern 25 Zuczek, State of Rebellion, 18 and Bradley, Bluecoats & Tar Heels, 79. See also Rosen, Terror in the Heart of Freedom, 183 4. 26 Rosen, Terror in the Heart of Freedom; Edwards, Gendered Strife and Confusion; and Kantrowitz, Ben Tillman and the Reconstruction of White Supremacy. 27 3. 28 Cultures, ed. Clifford Geertz (1973; reprint, New York: Basic Books, 2000), 9 11.
239 communities, temporarily devoid of government, plunged into chaos as both city and countryside were overrun by paroled veterans. 29 often rooted in lingering traumas from war and defeat fed direct ly into violent encounters. 30 In the years following the Civil War the federal government and vigilante organizations vied for power as each sought to impose contrasting visions of justice. 31 White Southerners aftershock of war. Public action on the ground, while certainly in response to very real discord, was also a symbolic act. By visibly organizing themselves into armed bodies Southern men established imagined commu nities that privileged pugnacity and strength. 32 Moreover, the establishment of these groups in 1865 set a precedent for 29 The most thorough treatments of violence in the spring of 1865 include: Carter, When the War Was Over, 6 County May 23; Mark L. Bradley, This Astounding Close: The Road to Bennett Place (Chapel Hill: The Unive rsity of North Carolina Press, 2000), passim; and Bertram Wyatt Honor, Grace, and War, 1760s 1880s (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001), 230 46. The mechanics of militar y demobilization are thoroughly explored in William B. Holberton, Homeward Bound: The Demobilization of the Union and Confederate Armies, 1865 1866 (Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2001). The best overall work on 1865 remains Stephen V. Ash, A Year in the South: Four Lives in 1865 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002). 30 Journal of Social History, vol. 36, issue 2 (Winter 2002): 268. 31 Edward L. Ayers, Veng eance and Justice: Crime and Punishment in the 19th Century American South (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), 151, especially, but for the broader discussion, 151 84. Historians have argued that post Civil War violence represents the con tinuation of a longer statement of antebellum Southern militancy. John Hope Franklin, The Militant South, 1800 1861 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 19 56). See also, Edward Baptist, Creating an Old South. 32 Rosen, Terror in the Heart of Freedom, 183. Perhaps the most effective, if contested, use of communiti their fellow members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their ns on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism (1983; repr., London: Verso, 2002), 6.
240 traditional interpretations that trace a group of young Confederate veterans organized themselves into a secret society. The men hungering for amusement after the excitement of war had been replaced by the monotony of small town life banded together intending to play pranks for personal amusement. 33 something more sinister. Edward John Harcourt and Hannah Rose n have recently 34 By doing so these scholars have rightfully asserted that violence, not amusement, defined the Klan and its origins. 35 The emasculating effects of military defeat all but destroyed the political life of white Southern men. By joining armed bodies intended to assert positions of public authority that contributed to the reassertion of a powerful identity. 36 33 Lester and Wilson, Ku Klux Klan Trelease, White Terror 3 4; Eric Foner, s Unfinished Revolution, 1863 1877 (New York: Harper & Row), 342; and David Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001), 112. 34 34 and Rosen, Terror in the Heart of Freedom Chapter 5. The prominent historian John Hope Franklin questioned this narrative tradition in his definitive account of Reconstruction. John Hope Franklin, Reconstruction After the Civil War (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1961) 154. See also, Rable, But There Was No Peace 92 3. 35 Gladys Marie Fry argues that the Klan, especially when posing as ghosts, was part of a broader tradition in which whites harassed African Americans through trickery and reference to the supernatural. Marie Fry, Night Riders in Black History (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1975), 110 4, especially. 36 On whites gendered reaction to defe at, Whites, The Civil War as a Crisis in Gender 133 37 and 142 3; Anne Sarah Rubin, A Shattered Nation: The Rise and Fall of the Confederacy, 1861 1868 (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 2005), 135 and 141 47; Bertram Wyatt B rown, The Shaping of Southern Culture: Honor, Grace, and War, 1760s 1880s (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001), 230 46.
241 The bodies of men organized in Virginia, North and South Carolina, typically operated within the boundaries of law to reassert white control within local communities. These groups had a salutary effect in many areas bu t also set a threatening precedent. The wave of postwar militarization presaged the later, and widespread, rise of vigilante groups as domination, resistance, and violence continued to shape postbellum militarism provided a basis for group cohesion, a means of conducting politics, and a possible foundation for a 37 Thus, the postwar rise of Regulators fostered the growth of a militant masculinity, which privileged violence. The tenaciously clung to their manhood in the postwar period, reasserting their masculinity especially in the protection, or so they charged, of their families. 38 White Southerners used traditions of police or military action to mask and legitimize their illegal behavior, and then connected their practices to the Sout 39 But, ultimately, these acts represented an unwavering devotion to white supremacy and all its ugly trappings. Rituals 37 Mitchell Snay, Fenians, Freedmen, and Southern Whites: Race and Nationality in the Era of Reconstruction (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2007), 64. See also, Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet Civil War History 42 (March 1996) : 18 31. 38 Sheehan Dean, Why Confederates Fought 192 5 and Marten, Sing Not War 64 72. 39 Bercaw, Gendered Freedoms 87.
242 Most orders of the Ku Klux Klan had elaborate initiation rituals, though the form was different over time and place. These rites instilled the order with secrecy and monitored membership. 40 So, too, were initiations intended to evoke emotional reactions. Orchestrated performances created confusion, promoted fear, and elicited revulsion symbolic communication that t went through direct rituals of initiation, those who did were admitted by standing distressed members, and ensure law and order ( read: white social order). Failure to do so would result in death, or so many oaths decreed. Thus, the Ku Klux Klan was composed of oath bound men who joined the order to become part of a self protective brotherhood that defined itself against the revoluti ons of emancipation and war. 41 As whites banded together they engaged in models of behavior exhibited during the antebel lum and Civil War eras. Tightly knit homosocial communities fostered the growth of a corporate identity and contributed to the embrace o f specific models of masculinity. Like student riots or military units, Klansmen wielded power and acted aggressively to achieve positions of mastery. Rather than a centralized organization, every state of the former Confederacy hosted dozens of unconnec 40 For earliest initiations in Tennessee, Trelease, White Terror 15 9; more general information, 59 60. Formalized Ku Klux oaths, con stitutions, and structure are detailed in Lester and Wilson, Ku Klux Klan, 135 186. 41 On secrecy and brotherhood see, Lester and Wilson, Ku Klux Klan, 147, 170 73 and Randolph in Shotwell Scrapbook, Box 4, Folder 29, Shotwell Family Papers, SHC. On how these whites defined themselves against Reconstruction, Trelease, White Terror Chapter 3 and Stephen Kantrowitz, Ben Tillman & the Reconstruction of White Supremacy (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 2000), 1 9. On self defense and protection: Testimony of Albertus Hope, 12 December 1871, Klan Trials, SC 172. More Documentation here.
243 and organizational lines are confused and difficult to track. Reports of Klan activity in one geographic area often inspired the formation of new organizations. North Carolina featured the White Bro therhood, the Constitutional Union Guard, and the Invisible Empire, an order that appeared also in South Carolina in addition to the Chester Conservative Clan and others. 42 Klan membership was diverse and included white men from every rank and class. 43 These men shared a generational legacy of military defeat and the Ku Klux Kl an, however loosely constituted en forced domination 44 Historian Mark Carnes posits that fraternal orders and the rituals practiced therein offered young Victorian men solace and psych ological guidance during their difficult passage into manhood. 45 Conspiracies of worldwide Masonic domination notwithstanding, fraternal orders were generally benign, while the Ku Klux Klan was cultural function prove useful when considering how Southern whites sought to regain manhood derivations, the 42 Trelease, White Terror Klux Ch 43 Trelease, White Terror 51; Rable, But There Was No Peace 94 x 4, Folder 29, Shotwell Papers, SHC. Through a study of manuscript census records in Alamance County, North other into the Klan, and family relations were a Many Excellent People 158. 44 Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet The Civil War Veteran: A Historical Reader ed. Larry M. Logue and Michael Barton (New York: New York University Press, 2007). 45 Carnes, Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America 55. Link ages between ritual and manhood are explored in Mark C. Carnes, Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America 36.
244 corruption of the Greek word kuklos meaning circle or band, is among the most convincing root explanations. Following this logic and several accounts of initiation rituals, Allen Trelease describes the Tennessee Klan as being similar to a college fraternity in initiation and structure. 46 North Carolinian Randolph Shotwell maintained 47 By joining the Klan whi tes entered a deeply protective, highly secretive venue that fostered social cohesion similar to that shared by soldiers during war. Many of the cultural and social mechanisms that bound together antebellum men were also employed after the war to establish a sense of corporate identity among whites. While initiation rites were performed unevenly and in different ways throughout the South, a number of similar features emerge. 48 Rituals left new members exposed emotionally, physically, and mentally only to be reborn into the order. Moreover, initiation procedures were symbolic performances composed of distinct phases that the novice had to successfully negotiate for final passage into the order. Randolph used in North Carolina, illustrates the components of these ornate performances. A man seeking to join the Klan was given instructions to meet at a specific, remote location deep into the night an 46 Trelease, White Terror 4 6 and Lester and Wilson, Ku Klux Klan 55 and 60. 47 Scrapbook, Box 4, Folder 29, Shotwell Family Papers, SHC. William R. Tickel when questioned about his connection to the Klan, confessed to giving Jacob A. Long a Klan chief in Alamance a sign. After like hierarchies and levels of organization. Testimony of William R. Tickel, 2 September 1870, Box 1, Folder Sept. Dec. 1870, Klan Papers, DU. 48 Testimony of William R. Tickel, 2 S eptember 1870, Klan Papers, DU.
245 49 U disguised men descended from the woods. A series of signs and countersigns were offered before the man was guided forward. Now blindfolded, the inductee and his guides were asked a formalized series of questions before gaining entry i nto the outer hole s bound in at the breast as he took the oath. 50 Upon taking the oath men emerg ed from trees in all pistols at the breast of the startled neophyte! Then, forming a circle, still with pistols presented they pronounced in low tones: DEATH!!! We have heard; and we will remember! 51 Fellow North Carolinian James E. Boyd described admitted by only one member demonstrating great discrepancy in practice. Ac cording to Boyd, the inductee was placed in a large ring composed of disguised men. The man that these acts were intended to frighten the neophyte as much as possible before the 49 Shotwell, Papers 372. 50 Shotwell, Papers 373. 51 Shotwell, Papers 374. Italics in original quote.
246 death. 52 Other documented rites in North Carolina symbolically communicated death through the use of a rope. A new member would have a rope tied around his neck, which was tightened until the inductee was asphyxiated slightly a procedure loosely reminiscent of a Masonic ritual. 53 Klan rituals were intended to evoke emotional and behav ioral reactions, thus serving a larger cultural function. As in fraternal societies, Klan rituals were both concealing and revealing. 54 Initiations marked the passage from one social status to another. New members moved through formalized spaces and underwe nt personal trials before gaining final acceptance. 55 inductee probably felt great anxiety and curiosity as he was brought before the order. Once unmasked, the man did not meet known faces but rather disguised me n further obfuscation. Many Klansmen wore elaborate masks that recombined familiar elements tongues, horns, eyes into grotesque forms thus rendering the natural, unnatural. 56 Depending on the specific ritual the inductee was either ritualistically attacked by the crowd before taking an oath; or took an oath before the symbolic assault. The attack signaled the display of a rugged, competitive masculinity. 57 The 52 Testimony of James E. Boyd, 31 August , Box 1, Folder Jan Aug. 1870, Klan Papers, DU. 53 Nelson, Iron Confederaci es 111 and Malcolm C. Duncan, Guide to the Three Symbolic Degrees of the Ancient York Rite and to the Degrees of Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and the Royal Arch (New York: Crown Publishers, N/D), 28. 54 Carnes, Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America 34 6. 55 Victor Turner, Process, Performance and Pilgrimage (New Delhi: Concept, 1979), 17 8. 56 Turner, Process, Performance and Pilgrimage 20. 57 The Ku Klux Klan represents a specific, and flee ting, venue in which white Southern men displayed a rugged masculinity. For a broader discussion of male aggressiveness, Ted Ownby, Subduing Satan: Religion, Recreation, & Manhood in the Rural South, 1865 1920 (Chapel Hill and London: The University of Nor th Carolina Press, 1990).
247 inductee surely felt fear as the large, disguised crowd came upon him brandishing weapons, making st range noises, and assaulting his person. But, the neophyte had to withstand this attack, publicly displaying his manliness. With the successful navigation of these trials an experience shared, presumably, by most standing members the inductee now had acces s to the secrets, passwords, and protection of the Ku Klux Klan. Threats of death, the presence of weapons, ghastly figures, and the use of skulls and skeletons (real or depicted) made death an important feature in rites of initiation. Violence and death became normative through ritualistic devices and physical actions. control established their willingness to embrace a savage, but directed, masculinity. Representations of death reminded members of the consequences of betrayal but also emblematically communicated their rebirth into a secret order. 58 The feelings conjured during the initiation process fear, anxiety, confusion, anger were the same emotions felt by Southern white men during the personal and political crises of Reco nstruction. Moreover, the presence of weapons, the use of bleached bones, and the threat of attack were features experienced repeatedly on Civil War battlefields, at least among those Klansmen who were also veterans. The order offered not only an avenue to express these feelings, however unconsciously, but also presented a powerful vehicle for the reestablishment of a familiar social order. 59 58 Carnes, Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America 54 63. As anthropologists have argued, symbolic meaning is connected to cultu ral context. If we follow the logic of Clifford Geertz, cultural form can be treated as text. Excitement, despair, loss, and risk are not only the emotional results of Klan ceremonies but are also reflective of feelings which that particular society valued The Interpretation of Cultures 448 53. See also, Turner, Process, Performance and Pilgrimage 59 Balin Iron Confederacies
248 Oath bound men, bonded through rite and ritual, operated in concert within the 60 A are one of our number. You now belo 61 Speaking of the function, former Confederate General J organization, a brotherhood of the property holders, the peaceable, law abiding citizens of the State, for self protection, he maintained, guided the members who icularly in those neighborhoods where the 62 language of white supremacy, a worldview shared by the members of the Ku Klux. Southern white men steeled themselves against the revolut ionary consequences of civil war by joining extended networks invisible empires that directly confronted 60 Testimony of James E. Boyd, 31 August , Klan Papers, DUL. Mitchell Snay explores the brotherhood of the Klan through comparative perspect ive with Union Leagues and Fenians, arguing that the Civil War era was a period of intense nationalism. He includes an excellent description of the military characteristics and means of bonding of each order. Snay, Fenians, Freedmen, and Southern Whites C hapter 2. 61 62 John B. Gordon, quoted in Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin, The Making of a Southerner (1946; reprint with a forward by Darlene Clark Hine, Athens: Brown Thrashe r Book by the University of Georgia Press, 1991), 89.
249 challenges to white authority. The Ku Klux Klan functioned as a powerful vehicle to build solidarity and enforce white social hierarchies through extra legal violence. 63 While politics is largely absent from my discussion of the Klan because of the extensive efforts undertaken by other scholars in that area, it remains essential to nhood and politics. 64 The performative elements of the Klan created avenues for the construction and dissemination of a particular brand of political ideology that supported the Democratic party and white supremacist doctrine. 65 Klan dens provided a venue fo r the articulation of these ideas among like minded men, thus fostering the growth of a masculinity predicated upon violence for political advancement. 66 White southern manhood remained in flux during the Reconstruction era. Klansmen used ritual and decre e to communicate their liminal position but also to reify whiteness and manhood. Two documents from South Carolina demonstrate the gendered dimensions of Klan politics. The first is an anonymous initiation ritual from 1870 that, while not definitively attr ibuted to the Klan, contains many features of other Ku Klux materials. 67 63 emerged piecemeal between 1868 and 1876 as elite white men pursued mutually supporting strategies to re Ben Tillman and the Reconstruction of White Supremacy 53. 64 On the Klan and politics see especially, Rable, But There Was No Peace ; Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet 265 313; Foner, Reconstruction 425 44; Kantrowitz, Ben Tillman a nd the Reconstruction of White Supremacy 65 Foner, Reconstruction 425 6. 66 Rable, But There Was No Peace 94 5. The purpose of the Ku Klux Klan has been heavily contested by Zuczek, State of Rebellion 55 61, especially. 67 This first document is rather curious and could be from any number of fraternal orders. But, its explicitly political message and its timeframe of circa 1870 are suggestive that this is a document from an or der of
250 mastery over the public and private spheres. The revolutions of Reconstruction undercut white authority and challenged the construction of coalitions. 68 Secret orders in the initiation rite, a ranked officer would present this narrative to a new member. The rant depraved men adventurers whose aim is plunder, fanatics whose influence over the ignorant masses is exerted to carry out their nefarious designs are illegally and unjustly forced upon a people as rulers it is the duty of the people thus oppresse must know that there now exists a necessity for organization to prevent the evils threatened [.] Having co nfidence on you we have invited you to meet us and now ask one gloved hand tied behind his back as he took an oath very similar to those administered by Klansmen in Tenne ssee and North Carolina. His passive position 69 Ritualistic submission made tangible whit Ku Klux Klan See Wilson and Lester, Ku Klux Klan 147. The document itself is found in the Artemus Darby Goodwyn Papers, Folder 8, Box 1, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC; hereinafter SCL. 68 8 and Kantrowitz, Ben Tillman and the Reconstruction of White Supremacy 5 0 Origins of Southern Radicalism: The South Carolina Upcountry, 1800 1860 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988) and Stephanie McCurry, Masters of Small Worlds: Yeoman Households, Gender R elations, and the Political Culture of the Antebellum South Carolina Low Country (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). 69 Anonymous/ND document, Goodwyn Papers, SCL. For other references to kneeling during initiation see, Testimony of Kirkland L. Gunn 12 December 1871, Klan Trials, SC, 174 and Testimony of Sam Ferguson, 13 December 1871, Klan Trials SC, 271.
251 concerted action, they had recourse to rectify perceived wrongs. Through decree and ritual this South Carolina secret society articulated the politics of white manhood. The second document, an order strength wielded power most effectively. 70 may be necessary to act, let us do it deliber ately, firmly, with concentrated power and strength, demoralizing our opponents by the overwhelming display of our strength and was upheld through surgical attacks, the men (unless in very urgent cases not admitting of delay) will undertake to redress grievances of a general character or act in any ma nner calculated to produce a breach of the peace 71 This call, while not always heeded, was essential for upholding the moral high ground according to Southern whites. Representations of legitimate authority became key in S 72 channeled aggression. Of course, as Stephen Kantrowitz remarks, this spurious orward but constitutionally 73 70 Oct 1868, Oversized Folder (1868 1913), I redell Jones Papers, SCL. 71 72 73
252 The elaborate rites and rituals of the Ku Klux Klan, while drawn from the practices of antebellum fraternal orders, symbolically reflected So liminal position in the postwar era. The dichotomies in normative society between the sacred and the profane, the living and the dead, were temporarily suspended during ritualistic initiations. These rites turned the social world upside down thus symbolically communicating to inductees and standing members their current social position. By constructing this emblematic dream world men not only exorcised the legacy of military defeat but shaped a path for resolution. With their rebirth into the Ku Klux Klan men could indulge in sexual and violent behavior typically deemed inappropriate. 74 Thus, performance, symbol, and ritual within the Klan defamiliarized the familiar but did so to teach about the value of being disorderly. While the model o f manhood crafted through 75 Ghosts of the Confederacy Thus far this chapter has largely consi dered the antebellum origins of the Ku Klux memories of, the Civil War contributed to the character, organization, and symbolism of the Klan. By linking the Confederac resurrected their failed nationalist project and ensured that its warriors did not die in 74 75 This i nterpretation relied heavily upon anthropological reading of rituals. See, Turner, Process, Performance and Pilgrimage The Transformation of Virginia, 1740 1790 (1982; repr., Chapel Hil l: Published for the Omohundro Institute of
253 social order, for these men had give n their lives for its preservation. 76 The Ku Klux Klan living and transform the unrelenting humiliation that came with military defeat into revenge, hatred, and anger. 77 In the early years of violence especially (1867 9), Klansmen would often claim to their victims that they were ghosts of Confederate soldiers. 78 Historians have nearly schola rs have considered why the Klan chose to invoke Confederate ghosts or how this related to their broader campaigns of terror. Spectral disguises may have been used to intimidate supposedly superstitious African Americans, but they also reflected white South 79 The ghosts, rather than deified heroes, were restless spirits from hell who wrought havoc among the living. By invoking the Confederate dead and inverting the land of the living, the Ku Klux Klan these terror 76 Gender Matters 92. 77 Wyatt 8. 78 Confederate ghosts were just one of several identities used by the Klan. Raiders also pretended to be foreigners from other countries, from the moon, or acted to mimic animals. 79 On antebellum tactics, Fry, Night Riders in Black Folk History 66 Charles Reagan Wilson argues counter to my assertion and proposes that the Ku Klux Klan had direct Confederate connections that made it part of the religion of the Lost Cause. Charles Reagan Wilson, Baptized in Blood : The Religion of the Lost Cause, 1865 1920 (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1980), 112 diers as an act of pious Never Surrender 111. On the other hand, Gaines Foster contends that the Klan did very little to shape the postwar Confederate tradition. Gaines M. Foster, Ghosts of the Confederacy: Defeat, the Lost Cause, and the Emergence of the New South, 1865 to 1913 (1985; repr., New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), 48.
254 defeat. Vengeful Confederate soldiers, once thwarted in war, now sought the reclamation of th 80 But these ends were achieved through actions neither honorable nor gentlemanly. 81 Thus, the resurrection of the dead specifically became a me chanism to both inextricably link the Klan to the Confederacy and distance the order from the chivalrou s ideals of southern gentlemen. Beyond the In a compelling case s tudy of Alamance County, North Carolina, Scott Reynolds Nelson found that former Confederates in Companies F and K of the Sixth North Carolina were 82 Chiefs chose victims to be tortured and issued privates orders to be followed. 83 The foot soldiers of the Confederacy became the shock troops of the Ku Klux. 84 Prominent Confederate officers once again led southern men. Nathan Bedford Forrest the tenacious wartime cavalryman served as the first and only Grand Wizard, w hile famed general John B. Gordan acted as Grand 80 Poole, Never Surrender in Gender Matters: Civil War, Reconstruc tion, and the Making of the New South ed. LeeAnn Whites (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 92 4. 81 82 Nelson, Iron Confederacies 109 Reconstruct ion and Redemption in the South ed. Otto H. Olsen (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1980), 179. 83 Nelson, Iron Confederacies 111. The elaborate hierarchy envisioned by the Klan, if never fully realized, is detailed in Lester and Wilson, Ku Klux Klan 155 70. A version of the Constitution and By laws, likewise detailing structures of command, is found in Ku Klux Trials SC, presented during the Testimony of Kirkland L. Gunn, 12 December 1871, 175 8. 84 Testimony of Charles W. Foster, 12 Decemb er 1871, Klan Trials SC, 207. See also, Wilson, Baptized in Blood 112.
255 Dragon of the Georgia Klan. Confederate links thus became central to the organization of the Ku Klux Klan. 85 Sentinels guarded secluded me etings and required signs and countersigns for entry. 86 Raids were often conducted in military like fashion. Whistles were used to coordinate movements, convey messages, and foster anonymity. 87 Disguised men were often assigned numbers and referenced only by that conferred identity. 88 Rally cries and distress 89 These measures not s but also reaffirmed the martial identity of its members. Quasi military campaigns regenerated white manhood and attempted to resurrect antebellum racial hierarchies. 90 The starched white robes emblazoned with an encircled cross, seared into public consci motley assortment of costumes and regalia worn in the Reconstruction era. Long robes of red, yellow, black, brown, and white were seen in together in some orders, while 85 Wilson, Baptized in Blood 112. See also, Fry, Night Riders in Black Folk History 145 7. 86 Testimony of James E. Boyd, 31 August , Klan Papers, DU. 87 Testimony of Kirkland L. Gunn, 12 December 1871, Klan Trials SC, 181; Lester and Wilson, Ku Klux Klan 59; and Nelson, Iron Confederacies 110. 88 Testimony of Kirkland L. Gunn, 12 December 1871, Klan Trials SC, 182 and Testimony of Gadsden Steel, 12 December 1871, Klan Trials SC, 233. 89 Testimony of James E. Boyd, 31 August , Klan Papers, DU. See also, Testimony of William Tickel, 1 April 1870, Klan Papers, DU. 90 Battle Scars: Gender and Sexuality in the America n Civil War eds., Catherine Clinton and Nina Silber (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 153 4.
256 other s were barely costumed. Some orders wore elaborately constructed headpieces, which included beards, horns, and exaggerated tongues, while others wore crudely constructed hoods. 91 White North Carolina conservative David Schenck commented that the Ku Klux dre ssed in white, moved noiselessly at night, and carried skulls and 92 Costuming, masks and hoods in particular, concealed one identity and constructed another. 93 Disguised men indulged in inappropr iate behavior. 94 In a fascinating reading of the Thomas Dixon trilogy, literary scholar Judith Jackson Fossett questions the performative function of authenticity of white ma le privilege. If authentic whiteness can be derived only from the wearing of white cloth, does that cloth in fact cover or rather hide a real, but ultimately 95 their qu est for social control. Yet, southern men used masking as an essential element in the construction of their worldview. Figurative and literal masks conferred power. Only by unmasking these men would they lose power. 96 The Ku Klux Klan used a variety of tac tics to announce their arrival either within a community or at a specific household. References to the military and the supernatural 91 Trelease, White Terror dwell, 13 December 1871, Ku Klux Trials SC, 246. 92 David Schenck Diary, 12 April 1868, Box 2, Folder 7, Volume 6, Schenck Papers, SHC. 93 Carnes, Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America 34. 94 95 96 Kenneth S. Greenberg, Honor & Slavery: Lies, Duels, Noses, Masks, Dressing As a Woman, Gifts, Strangers, Humanitarianism, Death, Slave Rebellions, the Proslavery Argument, Baseball, Hunting, and Gambling in the Old South ( Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), 24 31.
257 abound. The broadest campaigns involved the sudden appearance of written notices or public parades, not the burning crosses emblematic of the twentieth century K.K.K. 97 Yorkville Enquirer printed this notice, similar to ones issued throughout the South: REMEMBER the hour appointed by our Most Excellent Grand Captain General. The dismal hour draws nigh for the meeting of our mystic Circle. The Shrouded Knight will come with pick and spade; the Grand Chaplain will come with the ritual of the dead. The grave yawneth, the lightnings flash athwart the heavens, the thunders roll, but the Past Grand Knigh t o f the Sepulcher will recoil not 98 A combination of the nonsensical and the fantastic, such advertisements were intended to instill fear in local blacks and rally white supporters. 99 phrasing also had another function. By claiming to be ghosts, acting during the night only, and weaving mystery through printed materials, the Ku Klux were attempting to fictionalize themselves and their order. It was essential to popular representations that indeed, the effectiveness of such tactics existence. 100 97 Schenck Diary, 12 April 1868, Folder 7, Volume 6, Box 2, David Schenck Papers, SHC; J. P. Green, Recollections of the Inhabitants... 139 40; Trelease, White Terror 54 5; and Fry, Night Riders i n Black Folk History 145. 98 Yorkville Enquirer 2 April 1868. See also Trelease, White Terror 71. Similar advertisements were reprinted in Lester and Wilson, Ku Klux Klan 189 96. 99 On the broadest processes of early Klan mobilization see, Trelease, Whit e Terror 49 56. 100 An extensive collection of newspaper clippings from 1867 Reconstruction interesting but the stories may an inv aluable marker for Klan deception. Reconstruction era Scrapbook, 1867 76, Ellison Summerfield Keitt Papers, SCL, USC. On Klan rumors and mystery, Schenck Diary, 18 night
258 Paper propaganda often worked in conjunction with parades. These performances presented the Klan as a spectacle to be witness ed, and served as overt demonstrations of power. 101 J. C. Lester and D. L. Wilson recorded in their sympathetic history of the Klan that Tennessee whites agreed to stage a series of parades on the night of July 4, 1867. Drawing from events in Pulaski the aut That morning, papers announcing the parade were spread throughout town. By sed each other on marching and countermarching the Klan created an appearance of vast numbers. 102 Witnesses in Alabama (who at first mistook the men as the advance for a circu s company) and Mississippi spoke of similar events, whereas Randolph Shotwell self styled nineteenth century historian of the Klan Klux colors to mystify the public, and marched into villages in masked pro cessions, with stuffed elephants and other grotesque animals. Even circuses burlesqued Ku 103 These tactics awed and intimidated audiences before the use of coercive force. Ultimately, though, orders of the Klan were t oo fragmented, hierarchies too dispersed, to arrange parades with any 101 8 and Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance, 85 90. 102 Lester and Wilson, Ku Klux Klan 93. 103 Testimony of John H. Wager, 14 October 1871, Klan Reports AL, vol. II, 933; Testimony of Austin Pol lard, 16 November 1871, Klan Reports 8. Mark L. Bradley documents the successful intervention of a before elections. Bradley, Bluecoats & Tar Heels 183.
259 frequency. Instead, the vast majority of African Americans and whites encountered the Klan intimately, under the cloak of darkness. The dirt roadways of the South, once under cover of d arkness, became deadly arteries canvassed by hooded men searching out African Americans and white radicals announced their presence through loud commotion, house attacks, and demands of entry. Often the attackers proclaimed themselves Confederate dead from hell. we come 104 Dick Wilson testif ied nce 105 Sometimes the Klan would pose one of their members as a fallen hero one of y 106 These elaborate performances and assigned identities resurrected the Confede racy and restored, if temporarily, an antebellum social order dominated by southern whites. 104 Testimony of Andy Tims, 12 December 1871, Klan T rials SC, 222. 105 Testimony of Dick Wilson, 13 December 1871, Klan Trails SC, 283. 106 Testimony of Simpson Bobo, 13 July 1871, Klan Reports SC, vol II, 803.
260 Elaborate tricks were practiced to advance ghastly identities further. Quite often, as Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin a writer and sociologist reared in the Lost Cause disguised men would ride to the home of an African American who had either voted appro ached, the hooded crowd talked of former exploits during the Civil War. One might were quickly consumed, or so it appeared through trickery, until the man supposedly trembled in fear at the supernatural occurrence. 107 So, too, would Klansmen use constructed devices to augment height, sometimes appearing to be over twelve feet tall. Or, ot hers developed internal framework beneath their costuming that supported a false head or a fake arm, which could be removed in the presence of an African American. 108 mystifie d the Ku Klux Klan. recognized their deliberate subterfuge. 109 Many blacks, rather than scared into believing that they were among ghosts, tried to uncover the curious specters befor e them. One 107 Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin, The Making of a Southerner (1946; reprint with a forward by Darlene C lark Hine, Athens: Brown Thrasher Book by the University of Georgia Press, 1991), 91. See also, J. E. Robuck, My Own Personal Experience and Observation as a Soldier in the Confederate Army During the Civil War, 1861 1865 also During the Period of Reconstr uction (Memphis: Burke's Book Store, [1978?]), 91 and 126; Trelease, White Terror 58 108 Trelease, White Terror 56. 109 Terror in the Heart of Freedom 188 9. See also, Piersen, Black Legacy 142 4.
261 Klux; they said that they could not be hit; that if they were, the ball would bounce back and kill you. I thought though that I would try it, and see if my 110 Another man, well versed in Klan appearances, actively interrogated the situation upon they said they had risen from the dead; I wanted to see what sort of men they was; I went a purpose to see who they were; whether they were spirits, or whether they were human; but when I came to find out, they was men like 111 By unmasking the Klan and questioning their tactics, African Americans an J. P. Green, 112 The question remains, however: Why did the Klan pose as Confederate dead? Early histories of the order commonly asserted that whites used ghost disguises to t rick and scare blacks who t hey disparagingly described as naive and overly superstitious. 113 Recent scholarship has revised the jaundiced perspective of these historians by locating 114 Indeed, as many of the above accounts relate, armed Africa n Americans were more than willing to test the mettle of the undead. 110 Testimony of Essic Harris, 1 July 1871, Condition of Affairs in the Southern States, North Carolina, p. 89 90. 111 Testimony of Dick Wilson, 13 December 1871, Ku Klux Trials 287. 112 J. P. Green, Recollections of the In habitants... 136. 113 Publishing House: Cleveland, [1914. ]), 21 4; Walter Lynwood Fleming, The Sequel of Appomattox: A Chronicle of the Reunion of the States (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1919), 252 3; Susan L. Davis, Authentic History Ku Klux Klan, 1865 1877 (New York: American Library Service, 1924), 8; L ester and Wilson, Ku Klux Klan 98; and Stanley F. Horn, Invisible Empire: The Story of the Ku Klux Klan, 1866 1871 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1939), 18 9. For the historical perspective on white attitudes toward op Jordon, 187 90. 114 Klux Negro History Bulletin 14 (Feb., 1951): 109 12; Trelease, White Terror 56 8; Fry, Night Riders in Black Folk History 69 80; William D Piersen, (Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1993), 142
262 Moreover, to suggest that blacks were frightened by grotesque disguises proves nothing. Fear and caution are sensible attitudes for anyone confronting gangs of armed, masked men arriving in the dead of night and behaving in a curious manner. 115 This all than literal. As Elaine Parsons has so convincingly argued, the Ku Klux Klan must be located within the cont ext of minstrel traditions, carnival, Mardi Gras, and other inversion performances. 116 So, too, however, did the ghosts of the Confederacy recall By acting as ghosts Kl ansmen were engaged in symbolic performance. On the one hand, disguises and assumed personas created purposeful theatrics that attempted an idealized portrait of the S minds, of politicized African Americans and white radicals. Moreover, such deception attempted to conceal wh while bolstering their strides at social control. 117 On the other hand, by portraying the dead among the living whites conveyed, however unconsciously, their ambiguous position. Such figures, suspe nded between realms, wanted revenge to redeem a lost 115 Piersen, Black Legacy 142. 116 117 James C. Scott, Domination and the Arts o f Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1990), 50.
263 alive to the asocial world. 118 Klan warnings often describe the passage of ghosts from one realm to another. 119 The Confeder ate dead, once among the living, could seek revenge. 120 both recall and help create a heroic, ideali zed vision of southern manhood. 121 Landscapes of Terror Violence and resistance shaped antebellum southern culture. Whites believed that a combination of moderation, domination, and outright threat sustained the plantation complex and maintained their power forces which African Americans actively resisted. 122 Many historians have argued that Reconstructi on era tumult demonstrates continuity with the Civil War, even if the means and intensity changed over time. 123 But it can also 118 Turner, Process, Performance and Pilgrimage, 19. 119 Lester and Wilson, Ku Klux Klan 190. 120 Lester and Wilson, Ku Klux Klan 190. 121 d Wilson, Ku Klux Klan 192. On southern manhood, Zuczek, State of Rebellion 56 7 and Nelson, Iron Confederacies 111. 122 On slavery and violence, Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market (Cambridge and London: Harvard Universi ty Press, 1999), 22 3. The violence of the plantation South is powerfully articulated by Thavolia Glymph, Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household irectly establish a racial order a permanent group hierarchy that is believed to reflect the laws of nature or the ckson, Racism: A Short History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002), 6. On nineteenth century Southern violence more broadly, Edward L. Ayers, Vengeance and Justice: Crime and Punishment in the 19th Century American South (New York and Oxford: Oxf ord University Press, 1984), Chapter One. 123 Richard Zuczek, State of Rebellion: Reconstruction in South Carolina (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996) and James K. Hogue, Uncivil War: Five New Orleans Street Battles and the Rise and Fall of Radical Reconstruction (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006). The classic statement on Reconstruction era violence remains, George C. Rable, But There Was No Peace: The
264 fully realized in the Ku Klux Klan were of a character more gruesome, more systematic, and more public than armed bodies of organized ex Confederates acted out their perverse desires quickly resorting to violence. 124 White vigilantes became, in Edwa 125 lens of emotionalism, seeking to interrogate the interaction between emotional styles and contests for power. 126 Specifically, I am interested in intimate personal attacks, for this violence, while often directed toward political or social ends, evoked immediate strong emotional reactions. A deadly combination of unc ontrolled anger, personal loss, and intense hatred became physically manifest in violent actions, which created paigns of terror. 127 But the Klan Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction (Athens: The Univer sity of Georgia Press, 1984). See also, Nicholas Lemann, Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War (New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2006). 124 cult Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War (New York: Vintage Books, 2003), 161. 125 Ayers, Vengeance and Justice 142. 126 he Clash between Passionate and An Emotional History of the United States eds. Peter N. Stearns and Jan Lewis (New York and London: New York University Press, 1998), 126. 127
265 confusion. 128 J. C. Lester, a member of the Pulaski, Tennessee, Klan, maintained that onditions, in part of their own creation, may be carried away from their moorings and drifted along in a course 129 a man seeking to be remembered kindly despite his reprehen sible actions, his words also illuminate how a particular set of feelings propelled these men into action emotions that must be historicized. Ultimately, African American resistance and the cities destroyed the holding Southern white men accountable for their actions and forcing them to define and assess their emotional reactions, however grudgingly. Reconst ruction era violence elicited shock and revulsion. Strong reactions evoked memories of and comparisons to the war. Long time Georgia resident and former United States Atto rney General Amos T. Akerman, after reading Ambrose A Narrative of Andersonville, 130 anger, and monstrosity governed southern white men and resulted in barbarous acts. 128 Ayers, Vengeance and Justice 159. For the emotional consequences of Confederate defeat see Wyatt The Shaping of Southern Culture Jackson Lears isolates a pervasive sense of doubt th at shaped postwar life despite a public optimism, which he partially roots in the presence of Civil War veterans. T. J. Jackson Lears, No Place of Grace: Antimodernism and the Transformation of American Culture, 1880 1920 (New York: Pantheon, 1981). In a l Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877 1920 (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2009). 129 Lester and Wilson, Ku Klux Klan 49. 130 n. , Letterbook 1871 76, Amos Akerman Papers, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia; hereinafter UVA.
266 Reverdy Johnson, engaged by the government during the prosecution of the Ku Klux Klan trials in South Carolina, found the testimony stupefying. At one point he intervened listened with unmixed horror to some of the testimony which has been brought before you. The outrages proved are shocking to humanity; they admit of neither excuse nor justification; they violate every obligation which law and nature impose upon men: they show that the parties engaged were 131 The words of Akerman and Johnson reflect the stinging visceral reactions produced by Klan violence. The cruelty displayed in such inhumanity connected to t he temperament and disposition of prewar lives. 132 Few Klansmen themselves refl ected on their actions in any meaningful way. Explanations for Ku Kluxery were often only generalized expressions of disgust over the politics of Reconstruction and fear over freed blacks. Jacob A. Long a Chief in North offered rare insights into why men behaved as they did. 133 Th created, at least to Long, a worldview tainted by blood. His explanation should not be 131 132 Albion Winegar Tourge, The I nvisible Empire introduction and notes by Otto H. Olsen (Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1989), 141. 133 Jacob Alson Long Recollections [typed copy], Jacob Alson Long Papers, SHC.
267 words to understand the complex range of emotions and experiences that contributed to the brutality unleashed by the Ku Klux Klan. The deep revolutions wrought by war and emancipation created an explosive postwar atmosphere propelled by hatred, political alienation, and fear. 134 Survivors of the Civil War swayed by strong feelings and memories had to now make meaning of the conflict. For many southern whites the and a reassertion of Confederate identity 135 Masculinity was central to Reconstruction era conflict. White men, in trying to manhood. While circumstantial, Essic Harris related the story of Anthony Davis, a 136 Davis had heard stories of the abuse of 137 J. B. Eaves related that Aaron Biggerstaff was beaten for, 138 Southern whites hoped to assuage their humiliation, alle viate the pains of defeat, and channel their emotional tumult by reconstructing the post war South in their own vision and by so doing reconstruct their own manhood. 134 d Stiles, Jesse James 161. 135 Faust, This Republic of Suffering 266 71. 136 Testimony of Essic Harris, 1 July 1871, Condition of Affairs in the Southern States, North Carolina, 95. 137 Testimony of Essic Harris, 1 July 1871, Condition of Affairs in the South ern States, North Carolina, 95. 138 Testimony of J. B. Eaves, 12 July 1871, Condition of Affairs in the Southern States, North Carolina 170.
268 Southerners employed an array of political strategies to undone northern rule but tactics of terrorism proved the most effective, and became the most infamous. Violence and restraint were the two faces of the nineteenth century Southern master class. 139 The Ku Klux Klan governed through violence only, which shaped the construction of an aggress ively outward masculinity swayed more by emotion than self control. A frightening constellation of racism and hatred aligned as the Klan devised strategies of governance. North Carolina conservative and sometime Klansmen David Schenck articulated the thoug 140 These beliefs created larger s ystems of behavior that attempted to manipulate the feelings of African Americans. Ultimately, whites use of fear contributed to the moral and cultural superiority. 141 Bound by blood oath, the Ku Klux Klan projected outward their feelings of hatred and desires for control making public displays of power. Establishing a strong visual des 139 Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmin gton Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy eds. David S. Cecelski and Timothy B. Tyson (Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1998), 96. 140 Schenck Diary, [N/D, Winter 1868 9], Folder 7, Volume 6, Box 2, David Schenck Papers, SHC 141 Tru dier Harris, Exorcising Blackness: Historical and Literary Lynching and Burning Rituals (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984), 18 9.
269 142 rides through the countryside. Roaming bodies of costumed men created an atmosphere of unc ertainty for southern blacks and white radicals. Whites hoped such anxiety kept the socially verboten fearful. 143 During active periods in Klan violence whites nightly tortured black bodies. 144 Attacks were intended to inflict physical and psychological harm but also leave outward this way: They jabbed him with the muzzle of a double barreled gun, and his breast ly bruised. 145 As during the antebellum era, whites deemed scarred black bodies as signifiers of 146 African Americans who embraced radicalism, voted Republican, or conducted themselves in any way that Southern whites fou nd disagreeable were terrorized. 147 By so doing whites reinvented antebellum 142 James B. Mason to William W. Holden, 22 September 1869, quoted in Trelease, 196. 143 Fry, Night Riders in Black Fol k History 86 9. 144 White Terror Chapter 12. 145 Testimony of James M. Justice, 3 July 1871, Condition of Affairs in the Southern States, North Carolina, 1 03. 146 Johnson, Soul by Soul 145 147 See, for instance, Testimony of Charles W. Foster, 12 December 1871, Ku Klux Trials SC, 204 5 and Argument of Attorney General D. H. Chamberlain, 22 December 1871, 5 93 4. Expand citations here.
270 techniques of control and punishment efforts aimed at the maintenance of white male supremacy that also reflected their fears over political and social displacement. Whippings wer e a common occurrence. J. P. Green described the bull whip and raw 148 African American farmer Essic Harris of Chatham County, NC, recalled that at the height of Kla n violence, blacks were whipped weekly. Deep, agonizing pain many that they have whipped a heap of them 149 Night raids inflicted terror and were aimed a t controlling behavior. James Boyd related that the Klan would election they would meet them on the way. It was understood that on the night before election the KuKluks wo uld turn out enmasse and visit the houses of the colored 150 These tactics constructed a rhetoric of power and symbolically enacted social and racial norms. 151 The Klan intended to remake the South by constructing landscapes controlled by fear and gov erned by hate. Brutal lashings were dispensed to men, women, and children of all ages, and intended to shame victims into submission. 152 153 Often, 148 149 Testimony of Essic Harris, 1 July 1871, Condition of Affairs in the Southern States, North Carolina, 98 9. See also, Schenck Diary, 20 March 1870 and 10 June 1870, Folder 7, Volume 6, Box 2, Dav id Schenck Papers, SHC 150 Testimony of James E. Boyd, 31 August , Klan Papers, DU. 151 Rosen, Terror in the Heart of Freedom 181. 152 5. 153 Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance 37.
271 attackers would represent their violence as retributi in the Union League, military service, and economic success, for instance, were considered flagrant violations. 154 olitical advancements. Of course, 155 Attacks came quickly, under the cloak of darkness. James M. Justice testified night, between midnight and 156 Hidden by night skies and arrayed in ghoulish disguises, Ku Kluxers inflicted mental and physical terror upon their victims. Black North Carolinian Daniel Jordan experienced what might be considered a typical raid. A party of some nine or ten disguised men formed and went to home of Daniel Jordan, a man accused of stealing. rawers and a shirt, they led him outside. Jordan escaped once but was returned. The men took turns hitting him, sometimes striking two or three times. Greatly frightened, Jordan was hit some 157 Such a ttacks sought to reaffirm white manhood at the expense of black southerners. Often the Klan tried to cow their victims by aggressive behavior. Disguised men led Gadsden Steel into his yard where they locked arms with him, grabbed his collar, and put a gun against him marching to 154 Rosen, Terror in the Heart of Freedom 189. 155 Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985), 27 8. 156 Testimony of James M. Justice, 3 July 1871, 103, Klan Trials. 157 For the incident se e, Testimony of William Tickel, 1 September 1870, Folder Sept. Dec. 1870, Box Klan Papers, and Testimony of Daniel Whitesell, N/D, Box 1, Klan Papers, DU.
272 meet on the disguised men, referred to as number 6. Sitting upon a horse, 6 bowed his horns I jumped back from him, and they punched me, and sa G d d 158 Humiliation often came with physical abuse, thereby contributing further to 159 One woman from North Carolina, after being strippe d, was whipped with a board. The men then burned the hair around her genitals and cut her with a knife. 160 Such brutality was not atypical. After whipping Nathan Trollinger, his attackers made him take out his penis and stabbed it with a knife. 161 Acts of sexu al terror had no overtly political purpose. Instead, these actions reflected the sadistic desires and uncontrolled emotions of the Ku Klux Klan. 162 Such unleashed fury had horrendous consequences. Aaron Biggerstaff, taken from his home around midnight, was w next day, his back, from his shoulders down, was almost raw; you could hardly lay your 163 Historian Lisa Cardyn has argued that the 158 Testimony of Gadsden Steel, 12 December 1871, Ku Klux Trials SC, 233. 159 Testimony of J. B. Eaves 12 July 1871, Condition of Affairs in the Southern States, North Carolina 167. 160 Testimony of A. Webster Shaffer, 15 June 1871, Condition of Affairs in the Southern States, North Carolina 36 7. 161 Testimony of John W. Long, Klan Papers, DU. 162 Battle Scars eds. Clinton and Silber, 150 51. 163 Testimony of J. B. Eaves, 12 July 1871, Condition of Affairs in the Southern States, North Carolina 170.
273 and racial subordination. 164 The Ku Klux Klan did not typically ambush victims in roadways or meet out punishment publicly in villages. Instead, intimate attacks occurred in domestic spaces. Essic Harris, an African American farmer from Chatham County, recounted a visit from the Klan during the Christmas season of 1870 in which his gun, shot, and powder were seized. Sometime later perhaps a week or two he recollected Harris and his wife were awoken in the nigh door only to see a yard full of men. He quickly closed and fastened the door, douched and shots poured i nto the room. The white man for whom Harris worked, Ned Finch, 165 Despite the continued pleas of Finch and his sister Sally, the Klan c ontinued shooting with bullets coming down like rain. Harris 166 Harris shot and wounded two men, which lead to the pa his wife and children survived unharmed, though perhaps his inability to protect his family 164 in Battle Scars eds. Clinton and Silber, 142. 165 Testimony of Essic Harris, 1 July 1871, Klan Trails, 88. 166 Harris, 90.
274 was more harmful than his physical wounds. 167 Several Klansmen were arrested for this incident, but were d ischarged after providing alibis. 168 Emotions and their expression are constructed by the social setting in which they operate. 169 The Ku Klux Klan represented a distinct, and short lived, emotional community of terror, fear, and anger. The emotive forces beh the feelings produced by their acts are central to the broader narrative of Reconstruction. Visceral reactions, lingering traumas, and burning hostility fed directly into the hundreds of violent encounters that reshaped the postw ar South. 170 Not all whites engaged in this behavior or condoned such practices. Moreover, the feelings expressed and the actions exhibited by disguised men under the mask of darkness were but one part of a broader range of emotions. 171 It is essential, howeve r, not to undermine or diminish these monstrous displays and their very real consequences. The what shape the changing South should take. Emotional reactions and poten t feelings were used to achieve these ends. Conclusions Whites cobbled together elements of their past traditions of extralegal violence and ritual life with their more immediate experiences the memories and consequences of civil war in the ghoulish cons truction of the Ku Klux Klan. These 167 Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance, 37. 168 Trelease, 386. 169 he American Historical Review, vol. 3. 170 171
275 cultural materials proved so effective because they were so familiar to southern white men. Ultimately, then, this chapter is a cultural reading of the Ku Klux Klan. A quest to reestablish white manhood and a potent emot broader transformation. During this period, anger, excitement, loss, and despair propelled southerners as they employed terrorism to ad vance political, social, and sexual aims. 172 As demonstrated through behavior and experience, the Klan starkly defeat. Instead of dwelling on feelings of loss, however, w hites actively manipulated the past to recreate the present. 172 Cultures, 448 53 and Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), 128 35.
276 CHAPTER 8 PAPER SOLDIERS In 1882, former Virginia artillerist Carlton McCarthy published Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861 1865 an account which first ap Southern Historical Society Papers between 1876 and 1879. 1 awareness of the deeds and names of great generals, but stated concern over the general ignoranc correct this lacuna by both recounting and heralding the average Confederate foot soldier. 2 Above all e lse, McCarthy sought remembrance of a war that he feared was being forgotten. During a period of national reunion and reconciliation he telling wrote: we do not bury th erein many noble deeds, some tender memories, some grand 3 presentation and remembrance of veterans and their cause. In doi ng so he, like scores 4 As McCarthy recorded these 1 McCarthy, Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861 1865 (1882; repr., Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1993), xii. 2 McCarthy, Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861 1865 1. 3 McCarthy, Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861 1865 9. 4 McCarthy, Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia 193.
277 words, however, he was giving the war as much personal as public meaning. The memoir he produced, its narrative and its stories, marked a crucial component of his personal reconstruction. Most memoirs, recorded years after the confl ict from memory and scattered notes, ordered past events to create meaningful accounts for present day 5 Perhaps no society was m ore desperate for a story of rebirth than the defeated South. How veterans recorded their memoirs and continued to discuss the Confederacy reflected how they came to conceive of the Civil War and their role in it. Furthermore, their reconstructions of the war marked the In the postbellum era Civil War soldiers, North and South, turned to paper to recount t he triumphs and tribulations of their youth. It was not until around the year 1880, Gerald Linderman contends, that Americans revived their interest in martial matters. 6 5 1880) as too schematic. 7 Blight instead finds soldiers groped for ways to express the trauma of their personal experience as well as its larger l 5 Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory (1974; repr., New York a nd London: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 2009), 140. 6 Linderman, Embattled Courage 275, see 266 97. 7 David W. Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Cambridge and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2001), 149 50
278 had already started making its way into the books. 8 legacies to advance the cause of national reconciliation but in doing so over whelmed i ssues of race and emancipation. the 1880s by positioning both public and private records into a broader c ontinuum of expression. By the late 1870s and early 1880s, Confederates had turned to private writings and to public record to recount their civil wars. Extralegal violence and political compromise between North and South solidified white Southern home rul e by the late 1870s. 9 and reshaped southern society along racial divides. White political resolution during the Reconstruction era did not give all veterans a sense of closure, thoug h. The same impulse for written expression exhibited in the antebellum and Civil War eras drove men to recapture and close their civil wars. Thus, as the nation moved toward reunion Memoirs, letters between veterans, and discussions with family members formed prominent veins of expression that undergirded an evolving public discourse. Published books and articles, acts of celebration and commemoration marked dramatic departures in reconciliation. Strides toward stability, shared social suffering, and individual heroism masked any references to fragile minds and unsettled lives. In recollecting the war, 8 Blight, Race and Reunion 170. 9 For an explanation of this political process, see C. Vann Woodward, Origins of the New South: 1877 1913 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1951), 29 65. For the narrative of extralegal violence, see George C. Rable, But There Was No Peace: The Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1984).
279 personal written materials moved from the immediacy of the daily diary or letter to something more figurative and fictional. 10 But to suggest that these public accounts thoughts and feelings. The public accounts and private letters of the postbellum era its emotional toll. Once proud men became paper soldiers. The sanitized version of the war so often present in published accounts masked the lingering traumas and uncertaintie s first experienced in war; but the process of writing reopened these old per sonal revelation, thus creating a more varied landscape of words and memories. The old veterans living in the postbellum era watched as a new generation defined the 11 As the multitudes of this generation began diminishing in numbers, an incr easing number turned to public venues and to their families to reveal their civil wars. Time, distance from actual events, and age significantly altered content, and old soldiers never fully released their inner demons. But examining ex conti nued correspondence, published accounts, and postwar memoirs offers an reconstruction. Wars Remembered In the fall of 1887, Hillsborough, North Carolina resident Anna Al exander Cameron wrote to her cousin Alfred Moore Waddell a Confederate veteran and state 10 Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory 299. 11 See especially Paul M. Gaston, The New South Creed: A Study of Souther n Mythmaking (1970; repr., Montgomery, AL: NewSouth Books, 2002) and Edward Ayers, The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).
280 political figure congratulating his recent address to the veterans of the Army of to say so. If they speak at all it is in carefully turned sentences, that cannot possibly offend the north. The South has been making apologies to the north for tw enty two rest apology & who never did, who is as true & brave today as he was during the war & has no 12 provide a among veterans, men subdued in voice but still quietly dedicated to, or at least defined by, a cause long lost. Suggesting that white Southerners either embraced reunion or remained recalcitrant misses the complexities of postwar self identities. The pains of battle dimmed over time, but emotional traumas were not easily forgotten. Nor were sectional animosities buried completely. 13 Instead, veterans maintained antebellum beliefs, adapted to the postwar social order, and embraced economic modernity to varying degrees. Postwar southern masculinity demanded flexibility and fl uidity, as men continued to honor the Confederate tradition but also participate in the New South. North Carolinian Robert Philip Howell demonstrates the spectrum of beliefs held by one 12 Anna Alexander Cameron to [A M W], 5 Nov 1887, Box 1, Folder 1, Alfred Moore Waddell Papers, SHC. 13 public portrait of reunio n is an incomplete picture, see Foster, Ghosts of the Confederacy 70 1, 89.
281 man, though representative of many. Recalling the road to war, Howell was a States rights pro slavery and secession Democrat and fully believed then, as I do now, that he justly merited the death he died [John Brown]. I have never been able to understand why the Northern people should canonize the old scoun drel and I can never We should have given Lincoln a loyal support. He would have proven a friend, I verily 14 To forsake the Confederacy entirely or to suggest that the South was wrong home veterans fulfilled prescribed social roles, which emp hasized manliness and mastery. To now renounce the war and its causes would, in essence, negate the foundations that made Southern men. How the war was remembered and by whom powerfully shaped its presentation. A rich body of literature details the activi ties of men and women in preserving Confederate memory. Commemorations were the most public and overt displays of remembrance and celebration. As scholars such as Caroline Janney, LeeAnn Whites, and William Blair have shown, the celebrations of the 1880s w ere built on the rich and continuing into the twentieth century, middle and upper class women, especially, shaped the public rites of Confederate memory. 15 The Confederac y thus continued in 14 Robert Philip Howell Memoir, [N/D], Robert Philip Howell Memoirs, SHC. 15 Caroline E. Janney, Burying the Dead but Not the Past: Ladies' Memorial Associations and the Lost Caus e (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2007); William A. Blair, Cities of the Dead: Contesting the Memory of the Civil War in the South, 1865 1914 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004) Chapter 4; and Whites, Civil War as a Crisis in Gender 160 98.
282 masculinities. Yet these carefully articulated performances formed only one component of a broader, more intimate discussion of the war. As evidence d earlier in this work, many veterans remained mute to friends and family about their wartime experiences. Some chose to never recall the war again, the fear of disappointin g families, the pain of recalling the past, and divisions between the past and the present. Henry Theodore Bahnson, for instance, recorded his begged me [talking to hi s family] to tell you about the war, and doubtless you have wondered why I nearly always refused. The truth is, I have tried for nearly thirty years to 16 Former artillerist E. Port er Alexander put pen to paper only at the urging of his children but must have reveled in writing given his levels of productivity. 17 Others recorded their recollections for personal enjoyment. Julius Lineback made no apologies for idiosyncrasies and an imp principally for my own pleasure, and not with the expectation that they would be read by any one save those few persons directly interested in the parties concerned in the 18 While Linebac k derived pleasure from his writing Robert Philip Howell was 16 17 Fighting for the Confederacy xv. 18 The 26 th Regimental Ba nd. Being a History of Life in Military Band Attached to the 26 th Virginia. 1862 1865 A, Julius A. Lineback Papers, SHC.
283 not been killed in the war. After a lapse of thirty five years it wrings my heart to write 19 about the war from his younger brother. Cad had remained silent on the subject for decades, have gotten me to write them [the letters referencing the war]. I have lived a life time, withou t writing any to you, and now that the end is so fast approaching, I feel most near to you, and am induced to try to make up so much lost time, while a few years is left to 20 Like many veterans, Cad had little inclination to relive his wartime experie nces in any explicit way with family. But as he considered his own death, a desire for immorality compelled him to write to the person with whom he felt the closest. Private recollections and unpublished memoirs were stories about past deeds filtered thr ough the lens of the present. Cad offered a rich series of letters to his brother, discussed the story of his wounding, the action in and around Petersburg, Virginia, and the ferocious fighting at Spotsylvania. 21 By serving in the army ably and taming his fears, Jones had embodied, or at least later reconstructed, a vision of heroic, martial 19 Howell Memoirs, [N/D], SHC. Howell may not have been unusual among veterans, for, as Barbara Gannon charges, many postwar accounts by Union soldiers included traumatic memories, see Barbara A. Gannon, The Won Cause: Black and White Comradeship in th e Grand Army of the Republic (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2011), 123 30. 20 Genl Jones [Cad Jones] to Brother, 20 September 1922, Box 1, Folder 6, Cadwallader Jones Papers, SHC. 21 See, Genl Jones [Cad Jones] to Brother, 20 September 3 October, and 11 October 1922, Box 1, Folder 6, Jones Papers, SHC.
284 manhood. During the war, his young brother Allen eventually joined the Confederate rank tually 22 After achieving mastery over himself on the battlefield, Jones sought also to fulfill his role as assured Cad absolutely vital for the self worth of white Southern men during a period of political emasculation in the wake of military defeat. So, too, though had war expos ed Southern men evoking a range of painful feelings remembered years after the contest. Henry Theodore Bahnson who, it may be his encounter with federal troops in April 1865. Strange thought processes and conflicted emotions must have surely gripped the minds and hearts of soldiers who, having engaged in civil strife, now looked upon each other as civic neighbors. Years range of feelings overwhelmed him. 23 In one of the final conflicts of the war Bahnson 22 Genl Jones [Cad Jones] to Brother, 20 September 1922, Box 1, Folder 6, Jones Papers, SHC. 23 st be he recounts, for example, that his federal gu ards were from the 5 th Corps, federal men who occupied Appomattox County and were involved in the surrender ceremonies.
285 did I hate and in hatred, kill a fellow being when I had never seen, and who had never 24 Later, as a surrend ered Confederate soldier under Federal American soldier who, lack man fell in blood at the hands of a fellow federal soldier in the defense of a former rebel. And from this episode 25 d two images the tender human face of an African American foe and the jeering taunts of an armed wondered how he struck down another person in battle. These philosophical musings were triggered by a shared sense of humanity he felt toward others and the many years he had to ponder his youthful battles. On the other hand, Bahnson took a dim view toward an armed African American soldier and quickly fell back on racism to expl ain away a complex episode of miscommunication that ended in an explosive act of violence. With just a few strokes of the pen, Bahnson conveyed, perhaps 24 25 this manuscript exist. This particular episode was deleted from the final version. Chandra Manning has an excellent discussion of Confederate attitudes toward black soldiers, especially in 1864. See Manning, 169 70. Manning also recounts the brutal slayin g of African American prisoners of war in April 1864, at the hands of Confederate soldiers. Manning, What This Cruel War Was Over 175 6.
286 unconsciously, the myriad complexities of racial attitudes and race relations in the wake of Appomattox Unsettling questions about race would largely shape the direction of postwar life ambiguity. masculinity, and reme mbrance solidified reputation. In the twilight years of his life, a 26 He indicated in his 1893 voluntee 27 Mercer recognized the great importance of military service, which directed outside perceptions. As he and other veterans recalled their service they co ntinued to construct a strong vision of southern masculinity. In discussing the creation of military parks and battlefield monuments, James Marten and in the records of the commissions charged with approving monuments in debates 26 Mercer Diary, 17 December 1865, Box 1, Volume 5, Mercer Papers, SHC and Robert Manson Myers, The Children of Pride: A True Story of Georgia and the Civil War (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1972), 1623. 27 Mercer Papers, SHC.
287 spot on which a gener 28 service shaped his postwar int eractions and public portrayal. For instance, the prominent South Carolinian Martin Witherspoon Gary was heralded in 1878 through two and sagacity. He is as honest, b old and uncompromising in his political views as he was brave and daring in battle, and to no one are we more indebted for success in the last 29 the North. I was in favor of throwing off the authority of the government of the United States, and I desir ed to accomplish it by revolution. I drew my sword not to maintain the right of secession; not to defend or perpetuate African slavery in the South; but to defend and preserve the greatest blessing yet given to man 30 In fundamental the gains of Civil War and offered former Confederates a chance to claim victory over a cause once lost. Veterans recalled the glories of their wartime service in their political fights of the 1870s and 1880s. In recalling the Civil War, Southerners were validating the trials of their youth and 28 Marten, Sing Not War 137. 29 Marion Sta r 23 January 1878, clipping in Box 1, Folder 35, Martin Witherspoon Gary Papers, USC. 30 Edgefield Advertiser 19 October 1876, Box 1, Folder 34, Gary Papers, USC.
288 by different men. The flinty Martin Witherspoon Gary continu ed to embrace a vision of aggressive, martial manhood, never backing down from a fight as was true of his participation in student rebellions during his youth. His Civil War continued during South men with complicated views, and one model of manhood was not embraced universally. David French Boyd the first head of the modern day Louisiana State University rushed to secession in 1861 and served in both the eastern and western theaters of war. Before the conflict he was great professor of Latin and English; he continued a correspondence with the Union general deep into the postbellum era. Boyd still embraced the cause of his youth but recalled the war in different terms. He called for the old flags to be furled at reunions; events display of Confederate banners. Boyd instead combined t he old with the new was a Confederate, is beneath our contempt. His heart was never right, nor his head ever com prehend the spirit of the struggle We were but doing our duty as we saw it. We were instruments and remembered but not refought, for the struggle had ended with de feat. Boyd feeling now in the Confederate breast than there is fire and heat in a burnt out volcano. And now to wear
28 9 s_ empty, 31 University his project, which became, in many ways, another lost cause. Struggling against a devastating fire, overwhelming poverty, and growi ng hostility he managed to keep the institution afloat. 32 In these struggles we learn much about why Boyd buried remembrance was thus deeply shaped by the demands of the present. I n the immediate postwar years, LSU, like many southern schools, was populated by former Confederates soldiers or their sons made up the student body, four former Confederate majors were on the academic staff, and Raphael Semmes, former naval officer, taugh t moral philosophy. Radical newspapers saw the institution as a veritable 33 connected to his worl dview. Clearly imbibing the broader southern ethos of honor, Boyd 31 David F. Boyd, Untitled manuscript [N/D], Box 12, Folder 208, David F. Boyd Letters, LSU. 32 Germaine M. Reed, David French Boyd: Founder of Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge: Springfield Republican 20 August 1877, Box 4, Folder 57, Boyd Letters, LSU. 33 Reed, David French Boyd 62 represented an effort to secure financial autonomy for a region that had once been pegged as a commercial center. The rumblings of sectional hostility resonating from the core of so called reconciliationist groups may have been more significant than previously considered. Many UCV members who pushed for national reconciliation may have cared less about embracing former enemies, regardless of the mystical celebration of argument does advance an understanding of seemingly contradictory impulses. Michael Keith Harris, Old Soldier, New South: Confederate Veterans in a Reconciled Nation MA thesis University of Virginia, 2004.
290 dishonorable act, an d the finger of scorn will be pointed at him, his companions, who 34 This great fear of dishonor, then, models of manhood. To di savow the Confederate cause for which so many had fought and died was beneath contempt. But to continue fighting for a cause lost was empty and idle, an unmanly gesture. For Boyd, then, the southern man had to defend the actions of his youth but also bend to the demands of the present. The careful mingling of the present with the past was no small matter. Uniquely, it defined the self identities of former Confederates in the postwar South. Southerners were a conquered people and forced to confront the bi tterness of defeat, which made them unique among Americans. 35 Societies of the University of Virginia, he prefaced his remarks by speaking to his and to the rising generation of a people, who have known the bitterness of the conquered; who have seen their riches take wings and fly away; their beloved slain in battle; and the principles 36 Wanting to universalize history. So, too, did Daniel posit the benefits of defeat charging 34 David F. Boyd, Misc. Writing [1873 and N/D], Box 11, Folder 189, Boyd Letters, LSU. 35 Woodward, The Burden of Southern History 36 the University of Virginia in the Public Hall, 27 June 1877, in Speeches and Orations of John Warwick Daniel ed., Edward M. Daniel (Lynchburg, VA: J. P. Bell Company, Inc., Printers, 1911), 106.
291 37 With these admirable characteristics Daniel hoped that his audience might look toward the tion. A heroic reinterpretation of the Confederacy without a consideration of the future would be disastrous in his estimation the southern cause was lost. 38 But Daniel still clearly struggled with defeat and Northern conquest. In magnanimity Southerners mu st forgive, but let no American forget the doer, or fail to execrate or denounce the unjust 39 Daniel called for an embrace of the present but insisted on a remembrance of the past. The complex interplay between causes lost remembered, and fought reveals contrasting interpretations of the war. Gaines Foster maintains that, by the 1880s, emerging new themes in the Confederate tradition. 40 And, i ndeed, men like Daniel helped shape, and then embraced, this tradition. But he also still felt anger over the the spectrum of recalcitrant rebels, though, Daniel was a moderate. Former Confederate Jefferson Davis congratulated Daniel on his speech, asserting that the two Cause as irretrievably 37 Speeches and Orations of J ohn Warwick Daniel 147. 38 The Last Generation 220 1. 39 Speeches and Orations of John Warwick Daniel 143. 40 Foster, Ghosts of the Confederacy 88 9. See also, Whites Civil War as a Crisis in Gender 162 4.
292 41 Davis Still recalcitrant over ten years after the Confeder demonstrate the lingering hated of some, especially those so thoroughly emasculated and defeated in war. Prominent Confederate figures such as Jefferson Davis spent much of their postwar careers defending their warti me actions. E. Porter Alexander contended that all wars were fought for two prizes: political principle and military reputation. White second prize by courage & constancy which could only be fully brought out & 42 In boosting his own reputation through postwar accounts, though, Alexander dampened the remembrance of others, or so charged James B. Walton, former colonel of the Washington Artill ery and a veteran of the Mexican had held him in great esteem, but Robert E. Lee questioned his abilities charging that his knowledge of artillery science was limited and his grasp o f topography defective. 43 Although both Walton and Alexander served throughout the war, Gettysburg became an important point of remembrance because of their involvement in the massive artillery 41 Jefferson Davis to John W. Daniel, 19 July 1877, Box 3, Folder 1872 77, Papers of John W. Daniel and the Daniel Family, UVA. 42 Alexander, Fighting for the Confederacy ,434. 43 Glatthaar, 345 6.
293 Walton and Alexander soldiered together during the war as both men were high appointed corps artillery chief at the rank of brigadier general. 44 But Alexander, a battalion co artillery bombardment on 3 July. The two men had been friendly before Gettysburg, at least according to Alexander, though inflated egos created tensions. 45 During the Gettysburg Campaign line of march, though custom dictated that different commands took the lead on 46 As these small worth was largely defined by chains of command and perceived slights. Events culminated during what some consider the most important day in southern history, July 3, 1863. 47 tysburg, which appeared in on the field, for the attack . But he told me to leave the Washington Arty. in bivouac d the importance of this decision 44 Glatthaar, 345 6. 45 Alexander, Fighting for the Confederacy 224. 46 Alexander, Fighting for the Confederacy 224. 47 William Faulkner famously recounted this day and its lingering impact in Intruder in the Dust (1948). As or every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet two oclock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the wood s and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it's all in the balance, i t hasn't happened yet, it hasn't even begun yet, it not only hasn't begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armstead and Wilcox look grave yet it's going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn't need even a fourteen year old boy to think this time. Maybe this
294 accounts. 48 Longstreet, too, offered accounts of the campaign and in an article for the Philadelphia Weekly Times imprecisely worded the command structure on the battlefield Recalling the Gettysburg campaign in 1877, Walton returned t o those days in early July and t well disposed to be plac ambiguous as his Chief of Artillery for the Action was your Chief of A rtillery and Commdg the Artillery of the First Corps and I certainly was before the battle, on the march, during the during the engagement and long after Gettysburg as may be abundantly shown by original documents and orders in my possession, how can i t be stated by any one that I was retired and that one of my subordinates, a Commander of a Battalion of my Reserves, was placed in command on 49 Longstreet may we ll have expected such a reaction for he had written ambiguous remarks about our Artillery officers I beg leave to assure you that the idea of interfering with your prerogatives or authority or fitness for position did not enter 50 Of course, Walton felt that his actions had indeed been misrepresented by 48 Alexander, Fighting for the Confederacy, 235. 49 J. B. Walton to James Longstre et, 23 November 1877, Series I., Folder 62, Walton Glenny Family Papers, HNO. 50 James Longstreet to Col. J. B. Walton, 6 November 1877, Series I., Folder 62, Walton Glenny Family Papers, HNO.
295 would be much better tha every have been held between us that I think you owe it to me and to my character as your officer so long in your service & confidence, to vindicate me from the reflection, which in the minds of many men would seem to convey the idea or the fact of my being incompetent and hence I was superseded and my subordinate placed in command even although I wa 51 Personal reputation, past performance in bedrock of his masculinity. By being subordinated in the accounts of Longstreet and Alexander, Walt the day and a proper ordering of the command structure. Only then, with a public explanation from old commanding officer, would his manhood and memory be restored. A myriad of memories u ttered by scores of Southern men and women invigorated women contributed to the memory of lost causes, and weary veterans were reduced to tears by the deeds of their youth As white Southern men exchanged letters, published accounts, and gave speeches they continued on the personal journeys initiated with the call to arms in 1861. For some, remembrance offered closure. Others awoke old ghosts as they recounted a past that t hey had hoped to forget. For all men, their roles in the Civil War continued to shape and reshape their self identities and personal expressions. 51 J. B. Walton to James Longstreet, 23 November 1877, Series I. Folder 62, Walton Glenny Family Papers, HNO.
296 Confederacies Continued In late March 1885, South Carolinian Munson Monroe Buford wrote to famed wartime gen eral and now prominent political figure Wade Hampton. Buford had served Deputy Collector from t behalf. 52 (Munson only later would hold public office as sheriff of Newberry County, a post which he held from 1896 levels. First, some twe wartime service granted certain privileges, allowed for particular compensations. Muson served with Hampton both during the war and after in the Redemption campaign, but it was his military se rvice with which he started his letter, for it served as an enduring connection between the two men. Second, wartime connections and friendships could be deployed in the postbellum era to advance social, political, and economic ends. Soldiers relied on bot h informal and formalized networks of support. Finally, a long passed struggle continued to be discussed, recounted, and remembered for the the war and its legacy cast a long shadow over its survivors. As Confederate veter ans grew into old men they continued to affiliate with, write served as prominent venues for public association or celebration as scholars have so 52 M. M. Buford to Gen Wade Hampton, 28 March 1885, Box 2, Folder 7, Munson Monroe Buford Papers, SHC.
297 ably documented. 53 Yet, a rich and thriving private discourse undergirded these more public interactions. Some men would encounter each other years after the conflict as long lost friends, whereas others were thrown together because of unresolved issues from the past or the demands of the present. Most veterans embraced each other either physically or through letters as intimate comrades in arms, though this was not always the case. Two illustrative examples illuminate the range of encounters and demonstrate the many ways in which t he Civil War continued to shape Southern men. A desperate W. C. Fraley looked to his old commanding general Bryan Grimes in an 1880 letter recalling an incident from the war in which Fraley charged Grimes with taking a was now writing to the general some fifteen plus think nothing more than right you aught to eather send me the pin or pay me for it for i stuck to you 4 long years threw think & thin from Gariesburg till we had to Surrender at 54 Thus, an impoverished soldier turned to his old officer to rectify a wrong and receive some relief. Conversely, J. B. Lindsey read with great Three Years in Battles And Three in Federal Prisons Himself a prisoner of war at Fort Delaware like Shotwell, Lindsey felt connected to the writer because of the experience he endured and because he, too, was a chronicler of the wa r. 55 Thus, on different terms for different reasons were these 53 See most notably, R. B. Rosenburg, South (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993); Foster, Ghosts of the Confederacy 104 8 and 112 4. 54 W. C. Fraley to General Grimes, 9 February 1880, Correspondence, 1880 1921, Grimes Bryan Papers, East Carolina University, J. Y. Joyner Library, Greenvi lle, North Carolina; hereinafter ECU. 55 J. B. Lindsey to R. A. Shotwell, 13 May 1880, Box 4, Folder 27, Shotwell Family Papers, SHC.
298 men reconnected in the postbellum years. Such interactions were fleeting, while others proved more enduring; regardless, comradeship and the Confederacy connected these lose. By the end of the nineteenth century some 350,000 Confederates still survived; even the most youthful soldiers were now wizened. 56 Some of these men remained vivacious and engaged, whereas others, suffering from age and infirmities, were reduced to poverty. Many veterans, concerned for the welfare of their old comrades, agitated on their behalf. Of course, scores of Southerners received the continued support of family and community. 57 But others required institutional assistance, facilities in desper ate need of money. 58 North Carolinian Julian Shakespeare Carr president of Bla and active in veteran affairs expressed the sentiments of many in a letter to the News and Observer Discussing pension laws and veteran relief, Ca friends who had been president of the Confederate Veterans Association of North Carolina, was proud to see 56 Logue, To Appomattox and Beyond, 129. 57 McClurken, Take Care of the Living. 58 omes remains, Rosenburg, Living Monuments. See also, Rusty Williams, My Old Confederate Home: A Respectable Place for Civil War Veterans (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2010).
299 59 Similar ly, in one of a series of letters to the South Carolina legislature, eighty fourth bi followed Lee, Beauregard, and Hampton, and was with Johnston at Durham North Carolina, when he surrende comrades 60 relief because they cared deeply for these men and the cause for wh ich they fought. To see men fall into poverty was dishonorable not only to the Cause but to its inheritors. In petitioning for old comrades, veterans reinforced the brotherhood of soldiers while performing the manly duty of supporting others. Wartime com radeships and the Confederacy continued to define veterans such as Munson Buford who was described by one twentieth century observer as the 61 Enlisting in the South Carolina cavalry at the age of sixteen in 1862, Buford served in the Department of SC, GA and FL before being transferred to Virginia in 1864. In Virginia the troopers saw action, notably, at the Wilderness and Cold Harbor. Later, during the Carolinas campaign, Buford accompanied Col. J. Rawlins Lowndes, Hamp ton's Chief of Staff, when he delivered the 59 Julian Shakespeare Carr to Editor News and Observer, Sept 1902, Box 1, Folder 2, 1901 07, Julian Shakespeare Carr Papers, SHC. 60 M. M. Buford to the Members of the Legislature [N/D], Box 2, Folder 7, Buford Papers, SHC. 61 P. D. Johnson to John G. Barrett, 3 October 1957, Box 2, Folder 7, Buford Papers, SHC.
300 last dispatches, which made the arrangements for the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston to Union forces. After the war Munson continued to fight for the principles which drove him to the front in 1862. He co mmanded a company of Red Shirts, was a member of the Ku Klux Klan (becoming the only man who was ever brought to trial for it from Newberry County, South Carolina in a U. S. Court), and late in life joined the United Confederate Veterans. Munson, in the co mpany of other townspeople from Cromer, went so far as to advance the case for the erection of a monument to Dick us years of Reconstruction he remained true to the people among whom he was born and with whom he was 62 Muson defined himself against the revolutions of war and emancipation by positing an antebellum social order based on racial hierarchy; those w ho adhered to this order were rewarded. suggest a man unwilling to relinquish the principles of his youth, albeit under different circumstances. His political beliefs shaped his soc ial activities. Maintaining diaries between 1865 and his death, Munson left an extensive rendering of his social calendar between 1877 and 1881. During this period he attended Masonic meetings, participated in activities related to the Grange, and actively served in a militia. 63 Although few specific names are mentioned in these diaries, we may presume (given the extent of southern wartime mobilization) that scores of his postwar associates had participated in 62 63 Locate significance and context of all these historical events.
301 the Confederate cause in some capacity. More exp licit, are his references to veteran and war related activities and celebrations. For instance, on 4 September 1879 he the monument in honor of the dead 64 Surrounding himself among former Confederates and recounting the deeds of the Civil War, the conflict and its participants held sway over Mu nson. A host of masculine activities militia musters, Masonic rituals, and Grange meetings Many of the men upon whom veterans relied during the war provided support afterward. Reunio ns, musters, and meetings bolstered a sense of belonging and reinforced a broader corporate identity. 65 These gatherings also served as opportunities to reinforce Confederate for courage, for patient endurance of hardships and effectiveness in the face of 66 Similarly, fell ow North Carolinian Henry T. Bahnson offered approbation for the private soldier, without whom wars could not be fought. Understated and unheralded, Bahnson maintained that privates were given short shrift by officers and non participants whose 64 Munson Monroe Buford Diary, 4 September 1879 and 30 June 1880 respectively, Box 1, Folder 3, Buford Papers, SH C. 65 Logue, To Appomattox and Beyond 122. 66 8 August 1912, Winston Salem, NC, found in Box 1, Volume 2, Folder 2 P, Julius A. Lineback Papers, SHC.
302 67 identity that was then suffused to outside aud iences. 68 endurance not only reinforced the bonds among men of the rank and file but also continued to create and bolster a strong vision of white southern masculinity. onceptions of the war were continually shaped and reshaped by their associations with other old soldiers. Carlton McCarthy recounted that attachments, when formed, were si ncere and durable, and he learned what constitutes 69 Having passed through the trial of war together many of these men continued their friendships well past military service. Munson Monroe Buford was greatly excit ed, for instance, to receive a letter from William 70 Julius A. Lineback a former North Carolina regimental musician Crouse, a member of his regiment. 71 On the one hand, soldiers engaged each other 67 Durham, at the Annual Picnic of the Confederate 8 August 1912, Winston Salem, NC, found in Box 1, Volume 2, Folder 2 P, Lineback Papers, SHC. 68 The Name of War offers a thoughtful examination o f the origins of American identity as formed through the cultivation of words and language and influenced this thinking, see Jill Lepore, The (New York: Vintage Books, 1999). 69 McCarthy, Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life 209. 70 M. M. Buford to Trick [Wm G. Austin], 22 Nov 1896, Box 2, Folder 7, Buford Papers, SHC. 71 Julius A. Lineback Diary, 27 Feb 1904, Box 1, Volume 2, Folder 2 A, Julius A. Lineback Papers, SHC.
303 because of prolonged familiarity. Having lived together in war, many continued to enjoy geographic proximity in the postbellum era More deeply, only another soldier could applicable, the physical pain from old wounds. On the other hand, though, veterans sought each other out because white Sout hern men continued to struggle over their identities, both personal and public. Performative statements, comforting words, and public rituals explained, indeed constructed, a particular reality that heralded the Civil War and its lasting legacy. 72 This look backward was especially vital during a period when many veterans had become infirm, were suffering from poverty, or were no longer in positions of power. 73 Although veterans had relied upon their army veterans throughout the 1860s, corporate identity becam e increasingly urgent in the late 1870s and beyond as comrades and confederacies became prominent vehicles to personal reconstructions. Civil Wars Closed McCarthy described the vet a prescient remark indeed. 74 As this work has earlier recounted, 72 Pierre Bourdieu, Lang uage & Symbolic Power trans., Gino Raymond and Matthew Adamson (1982; repr., Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003), 223 6. 73 Logue, To Appomattox and Beyond 121 9. 74 McCarthy, Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia all quotes on 192 3.
304 easily nor quickly. Instead, veterans struggled with themselves and their families as they attempted to carve out a role in how soldiers were transformed into citizens once more. Veterans reexamined this crucial period again in the 1870s and beyond as they concluded their recollections and memoirs of the conflict. How th e war was now closed reflected men seeking mastery over a period of confusion and remembrance for their role in helping to restore the white blic strides toward inner order. Writing offered men the control and release of the once uncontrollable and chaotic. Powerful statements of sustained white masculinity emerge from these portraits of a time when military defeat, political collapse, and econ omic ruin had once proven so emasculating. The men who mobilized into action in the spring and summer of 1865 organized themselves into bands of regulators or vigilantes (some government sanctioned, others not). Although the vast majority of Civil War me moirs end with Confederate military surrender, a smattering of widely circulated and now quite famous volumes continue into the beginnings of the postbellum era. Yet, the chaotic close to the Civil War, replete with violence and destruction, seldom appears Instead, veterans articulated a vision of their reconstructed manhood during a period of impotency a vision which posited their when he, 75 Blackford described two episodes in which his action achieved, in his eyes, law and order. Most 75 Blackford, War Years with Jeb Stuart, 301 2.
305 ntry going down 76 These parties, he claimed, were disturbing the peace and ederate magistrate and organized a party of men to chase down the African Americans. Blackford assumed command in military fashion, tracked down the party, and charged his 77 With these words Blackford closed his memoir with an idealized social order resurrected by the men just defeated in war. likely grounded in some reality conflates his military persona with his postwar life. Clad in Confederate uniform, ordering his men to charge military life into a heroic martial masculinity. A model of manhood that would ensure the protection of white Southerners, the suppression of African Americans, and the control over a world thrust into chaos. Of course, he c onfronted an uncertain landscape Southern whites. But Blackford filtered these experiences producing a triumphal narrative of southern redemption from the hands of freed people emboldened by Union 76 Blackford, War Years with Jeb Stuart, 303. 77 Blackford, War Years with Jeb Stuart, 304 5.
306 assertion of white supremacy and an affirmation of the justness of southern society. 78 immensely popular 79 narrated his encounters with postwar lawlessness. The overall accou nt was written with careful design to both explain the South to outside audiences and contribute to the spirit he emphasized cooperation between ex Confederates and Fe deral forces during the uniform disposition shown by such Federal officers as I came in contact with at this time, to protect all quiet citizens, to restore order, a nd to forward the interests of the 80 The widespread publication of such an account from Southern eyes advanced the cause of reunion and eased the lingering onor bound self defense and shared wartime suffering asked for readers sympathy. But his account ultimately insisted on reconciliation on Southern ideological terms. 81 This is evinced especially in starkly paternalist and condescending terms. depicts loyal 78 Although Blackford concedes that his children were better without slaves, he also charges before were labor and capital brought together under circumstances more advantageous to the War Years with Jeb Stuart 12. 79 10. On th is account, see also Blight, Race and Reunion 160 1. 80 Eggleston, 182. 81 Blight, Race and Reunion 161.
307 slaves remaining faithful after freedom and freedpeople remaining on the plantations on which they were born. 82 Both Blackford and Eggleston gene rated accounts of southern redemption in the time, however, and the South of the 1880s little resembled that of the 1850s and 1860s. 83 Looking back toward these lost years ve timeless qualities of endurance and manliness. Furthermore, through the very act of conceptions of the past, while providing for themse lves a mechanism for control and closure. Yet, so too did wartime account reignite old wounds. Carlton McCarthy painfully for the past, which seemed to be forever lost and present humiliation, could not long 84 Gradually, whites mentally reordered their worlds to gain mastery over both self and society. But how these processes were then reconstructed reinvested the meaning. In the years after Appomattox, whites envisioned an idealized civilization that 85 The abstract belief 82 Eggleston, 186 7. 83 hat had existed in the The New South Creed: A Study of Southern Mythmaking (1970; repr., Montgomery, AL: NewSouth Books, 2002), 25. 84 McCarthy, Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia 159. 85 the statement in the exact speci least its limits, establish its correlations with other statements that may be connected with it, and show
308 honor based system became concrete through the sacrifice of war something saved earned them acceptance as men. Whites created an evolving discourse that consciously propounded southern righteousness and attempted to orde r society according to a patriarchal ethos. 86 As Bertram Wyatt Brown argues, white honor and shiftlessness assigned to the 87 Southerners, therefore, start ed to reinvigorate ideas about race, manhood, and society that the war destabilized. Through these processes the South was re imagined as a new community and its polity he 88 The fundamental components of prewar manhood individual autonomy and white liberty were now but distant memories. Many men, once independent farmers or self sufficient wage earners, experienced profound reversals with the fortunes of war. Republican independence, the height of antebellum southern mastery, proved difficult to The Arc haeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language trans., A. M. Sheridan Smith (1969; repr. and trans., New York: Pantheon Books, 1972), 28; see also 32 5 and 130 found in Gail Bederman, Manliness & Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880 1917 (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1995), 24 6. 86 W. Scott Poole, Never Surrender: Confederate Memory and Conservatism in the South Carolina Upcountry (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2004), 1 5. 87 Wyatt Brown, The Shaping of Southern Culture 233. 88 Benedict Anderson has offered the most compelling discussion of imagined communities to date. most of their fellow members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image Imagined Communities: Ref lections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism (1983; repr., London: Verso, 2002), 6.
309 sustain in the postwar period. 89 recounted, described the great difficulty sol diers confronted in finding employment. A self described town man, McCarthy lacked employment for months following the war. Eventually finding a job as a farm laborer outside of Richmond, Virginia, his work was red in the fields on he wrote derisively in black dialect 90 Laborers such as McCarthy consciously constructed their self image by redefining themselves, even as dependent workers, 91 H is own transformation was not complete until he returned to the city, took his oath, and resumed a more familiar model of life. In recounting this tumultuous and painful period at the end of Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virgi nia McCarthy closed his account of the war by starkly demonstrating a world undone by emancipation and federal occupation. Steeling themselves against these forces, white Southern men forged ahead working for themselves and no longer dependent upon the la bor of those they once enslaved. Describing blacks as shiftless laborers or unruly vagabonds allowed mastery over what was once uncontrolled. Memoirs served as powerful vehicles for veterans to rectify past 89 Laura Edwards, Gendered Strife and Confusion: The Political Culture of Reconstruction (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997), 68 79. 90 Carlton McCarthy, Detai led Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861 1865 (1882, repr., Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993), 178. 91 McCarthy, Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia 192.
310 shaped their wartime accounts. J. E. formation of the Ku Klux Klan. Robuck wounded at Chickamauga and experiencing economic hardships in the twentieth century fought again st the leveling processes of emancipation and federal control by joining extralegal organizations, the subject with continued loyalty, but maintained that many had become 92 The equilibrium of the antebellum era, Robuck charged, was profoundly disrupted 93 Robuck composed his recollections in the first decade of the twentieth century, deep into the era of the New South during a period of experienced unprecedented economic growth and industrialization. 94 Robuck filtered these changes through his converted into building lots. Tall factories now smoke where once a holocaust flamed. And where the can 95 With 92 J. E. Robuck, My Own Personal E xperience and Observation as a Soldier in the Confederate Army During the Civil War, 1861 1865, Also During the Period of Reconstruction (1911; repr., Memphis, TN: 6. 93 Robuck, My Own Personal Experience and Observ ation as a Soldier in the Confederate Army During the Civil War, 1861 1865, 95 6. 94 Edward L. Ayers, The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 102 23. 95 Robuck, My Own Personal Experience and Observa tion as a Soldier in the Confederate Army During the Civil War, 1861 1865, 97.
311 96 Still seeking vindication for the cause of his youth, Robuck took solace in the present. He had joined As Confederate veterans re corded their recollections of the Civil War they were offered both time and perspective for reflection. How they closed their works lasting perceptions of the conflict. For many, writing awoke old ghosts. As Sam Watkins 97 Watkins had fought and lost the great contest of his generation but now, through his writing, Watkins returne 98 never fully rectify wro ngs, retrieve those lost in battle, or win a cause lost. Instead, memoirs and recollections offered white Southerners a powerful vehicle to shape the personal struggles. M any of the aforementioned accounts close not with military surrender but look instead to the beginnings of the postwar South, especially that 96 Robuck, My Own Personal Experience and Observation as a Soldier in the Confederate Army During the Civil War, 1861 1865, 97. 97 of the Civil War by a Confederate Soldier (New York: Collier Books, 1962), 242. 98
312 learly illuminates the social dynamics of the postwar South. 99 power after a devastating war. To regain mastery, to secure hold of the uncontrolled, white Southerners i n a period of economic crisis used racial stereotypes such as inborn hierarchies to a theoret ically equal populace, Southerners quickly reorganized the 100 The racial boundaries and social institutions that reconstructed in 101 Conclusions veterans shift their self perceptions; for the discourse of citizenship revolved around the notions of race, manhood identity, and politics. Scholars such as David Blight and Gaines Foster have admirably shown that a sanitized version of the war emerged in the 1880s. As former Virginia soldier Robert Taylor Scott told a northern veteran at ens, co 102 And, indeed, this rhetoric shaped the terms of the public discourse in the last two decades of 99 Jacobson, Whiteness of a Different Color, 9. 100 al moments of American history, thereby suggesting the supreme importance of race and class. Jacobson, Whiteness of a Different Color 20 1. 101 John Hope Franklin, Reconstruction after the Civil War 2 nd ed. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1994), Chapter 1. 102 Robert Taylor Scott, Address at the Unveiling of the Monument, quoted in Carmichael, The Last Generation, 231.
313 the nineteenth century as white southerners achieved full citizenship. Yet, a more varied private discourse unde rgirded such public discussions. Indeed, historians Charles J. Holden and W. Scott Poole have argued for the persistence of southern conservatism, thereby suggesting a national reunion on vastly more complicated than previously portrayed. 103 ality of personal reconstructions serves as an important lens to better understand the terms of this discourse and how it operated in different forms both publicly and privately. 103 Charles J. Holden, In the Great Maelstrom: Conservatives in Post Civil War South Carolina (Columbia: University of South Carolin a Press, 2002) and Poole, Never Surrender
314 CHAPTER 9 RECONSTRUCTING SOUTH ERN MEN In June of 1885, George Anderson Merc turned to his diary. As he grew older, after scores of careful entries since boyhood, Mercer wrote less frequently. This traumatic event, though, drew him back to the pages where he had made sense out of life. Deeply written with the lacerated and bleeding edges of my heart. At ten minutes past seven th inst., my darling wife passed peacefully re, he sat with his wife as she lay dying. With Mercer to the limits of his endurance. hard enough to live through such an ordeal, but great grief stuns and stupefies rather than destroys. The bruises sooner or later disappear from the surface, where they are seen, and sink into the soul, wher 1 As a broken man no longer with the women he loved, Mercer drifted until meeting his own end in 1907. Civil War veterans remained a living presence until the 1950s. In that decade, as the last of them passed away, an epoch ended. But th eir influence had been waning expressed reverence for the civilization that had existed in the South, but conceded that it had passed irrevocably 1 Mercer Diary, 21 June 1885, Vol. 5, Mercer Papers, SHC.
315 2 As nineteenth century Americans moved toward the cause of national reunion in the 1870s and beyond, vigorous public celebrations and a rich body of literature created a portrait of the Civil War in which romance and sentimental remembrance triumphed over reality. 3 varied meanings and lingering traumas for the causes of reconciliation, reunion, and white supremacy. 4 of the former Confederates who had fought and lost the great contest of their generation. George Anderson Mercer expressed on paper his poignant emotions, but the personal contours of his private life, like those of most white Southerners, received little public disclosure. These contrasts were compounded by the unique positi on Confederate veterans came to occupy in the years after the Civil War. Southerners 5 The image of honorable, unsullied heroes overshadowed the personal pains and struggle s that gripped so many men. In the immediate postwar period few soldiers 2 Paul M. Gaston, The New South Creed: A Study of Southern Mythmaking (Montgomery, AL: NewSouth Books, 2002), 25. 3 David Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap antebellum social order; yet, instead of abandoning old values New South advocates emphasized the The New South Creed: A Study of Southern Mythmaking (1972; repr., Montgomery, AL: NewSouth Books, 2002), 25 7 and 168 9. On the creation of collective or historica l memory, see W. Fitzhugh Brundage, The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005) and Bruce E. Baker, What Reconstruction Meant: Historical Memory in the American South (Charlottesvill e: University of Virginia Press, 2007). 4 Edward Blum, Reforging the White Republic: Race, Religion, and American Nationalism, 1865 1898 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2007) and Blight, Race and Reunion 5 Marten, Sing Not War 203.
316 readily wrote about the conflicted feelings affecting so many, publicly at least. 6 Failure and defeat emasculated Southern whites. The psychological strains produced by these forces r endered men incapable of action and unable to communicate. Confederate private expressions that organized their lives and reconstructed their manhood, while also undergir ding an evolving public discourse. Public portraits that emphasized strides toward stability, shared social suffering, and individual heroism masked the aimlessness, confusion, and sadness that privately consumed many men. The disassociation between public order and private disorder suggests a more complicated narrative of reconstruction and reunion. Many veterans turned inward, communicating to family or other former soldiers about their experiences and creating a disjuncture in our understanding of Southe peace do not accurately reflect the personal ambiguities of this period or the experiences of its participants. exper iences, as revealed in the intersection of gender identity and emotional which required competitive displays of manliness. But, whites embraced a fluid masculinity that a lso demonstrated tenderness and affection as reflected in diary entries that discouraged public disclosure. In the postwar era, these white men embraced the 6 It was not until around the year 1880, Gerald Linderman contends, that Americans revived their interest in martial matters, see Gerald Linderman, Embattled Courage: The Experience of Combat in the American Civil War (New York: Free Press, 1989), 275, see 266 97. David Blight rightly questions 1880) as too schematic and suggests instead a more fluid periodization, see Blight, Race and Reunion 142, 149 50, 170.
317 exhibition and exchange of emotions. These connections facilitated the transitions between civilian and military masculinities; the transformation from soldier to citizen became a prolonged, difficult process. 7 Extralegal violence and reactionary political stands agains t the federal government and African Americans demonstrated just how tumultuous these shifts proved. Charting such momentous personal changes requires a broadened view of southern history. Although Civil War and Reconstruction redefined the American South, the extent and scope of these changes can only be understood forces. 7 Robert A. Nye has written a brilliant historiography on civilian and military masculinities in the nineteenth and twentieth century, which focuses primarily on Europe, but acknowledges what work has ability to manage this transition between civilian and military masculinities in ways that neither Masculinities in War and Peac The American Historical Review vol. 112, no. 2 (April 2007): 417. Moreover, two recent studies take seriously the issue of how soldiers reintegrated themselves back into civilian life, see Jeffrey W. McClurken, Take Care of the Living: Reconstructing Confederate Veteran Families in Virginia (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009) and Marten, Sing Not War.
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342 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH James Joseph Broomall was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and lived in Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Maryland before his family settled in Newark, Delaware. Attending the University of Delaware, James received a Bachelor of Arts in h istory wi th a concentration in American H istory. After working at public history sites and in the film industry, he attended the University of North Carolina, Greensboro where he received a Master of Arts in history with a concentration in Museum Studies. James then pursued a Doctor of Philosop hy at the University of Florida working under the direction of the Richard J. Milbaeur Chair, Professor William A. Link. James has taught at the University of Florida, Virginia Tech, and the University of North Florida. This dissertation is the realization of his deep passion for southern history and the American Civil War.