By Tony Horwitz
When prize-winning struggle correspondent Tony Horwitz leaves the battlefields of Bosnia and the center East for a calm nook of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he thinks he is placed struggle zones in the back of him. yet woke up one morning via the crackle of musket hearth, Horwitz begins submitting front-line dispatches back this time from a conflict with regards to domestic, and to his personal heart.
Propelled by means of his boyhood ardour for the Civil warfare, Horwitz embarks on a look for locations and folks nonetheless held in thrall by way of America's maximum clash. the result's an event into the soul of the unvanquished South, the place the ghosts of the misplaced reason are resurrected via ritual and remembrance.
In Virginia, Horwitz joins a band of 'hardcore' reenactors who crash-diet to accomplish the hollow-eyed glance of starved Confederates; in Kentucky, he witnesses Klan rallies and demands race warfare sparked by means of the killing of a white guy who brandishes a insurgent flag; at Andersonville, he unearths that the prison's commander, accomplished as a conflict felony, is now exalted as a martyr and hero; and within the book's climax, Horwitz takes a marathon trek from Antietam to Gettysburg to Appomattox within the corporation of Robert Lee Hodge, an eccentric pilgrim who dubs their odyssey the 'Civil Wargasm.'
Written with Horwitz's signature combination of humor, background, and hard-nosed journalism, Confederates within the Attic brings alive previous battlefields and new ones 'classrooms, courts, kingdom bars' the place the earlier and the current collide, usually in explosive methods. Poignant and picaresque, haunting and hilarious, it speaks to someone who has ever felt interested in the mythic South and to the darkish romance of the Civil struggle.
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Additional info for Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War
Cashire fought in 40 skirmishes and battles and have become lively in veterans’ affairs, marching in parades for many years after the conflict. Then, in 1911, whereas operating as a handyman in Illinois, Cashire was once hit via an car and brought to the health center with a leg damaged on the subject of the hip. The health professional who tested Cashire came across what the Illinois veteran had see you later hid; Cashire was once a lady, an Irish immigrant née Jennie Hodgers. Hodgers was once finally despatched to an insane asylum and compelled to put on women’s garments till her loss of life in 1915. “I left Cashier the fearless boy of 22 on the finish of the Vicksburg campaign,” one former comrade wrote after vacationing her on the asylum. “I came upon a frail girl of seventy, damaged, simply because on discovery she used to be pressured to place on skirts. They instructed me she used to be as awkward as will be in them. in the future she tripped and fell, hurting her hip. She by no means recovered. ” A former sergeant stated that Hodgers instructed him, “The state wanted me, and that i sought after pleasure. ” funds can have tempted her in addition; for a terrible Irish immigrant, the soldier’s pay of $13 a month represented a strong if modest source of revenue. Vicksburg’s battlefield museum displayed an image of Hodgers in uniform, a mannish determine with brief hair who stood conspicuously shorter than her comrades (she used to be slightly 5 ft tall). The museum additionally instructed of four hundred different girls who went to struggle disguised as males. One, Sarah Emma Edmonds, selected to bare her intercourse in 1884, whilst she seemed for a reunion of the second Michigan Infantry as a lady. Hodgers’s mystery, at the least, lived after her, together with her assumed identify etched at the Illinois monument at Vicksburg, and on a veterans’ gravestone the conflict division positioned by means of her grave. a long time later, one other stone was once extra that learn: ALBERT D. J. CASHIRE CO. G, ninety five in poor health INF CIVIL conflict BORN JENNIE HODGERS IN CLOGHER HEAD, eire 1843-1915 The Vicksburg siege produced different oddities. The Confederacy experimented with camels, and one colonel used a dromedary to hold his own baggage—until a Union sharpshooter killed the animal. there have been additionally Vicksburg’s famed caves, dug via civilians as safety opposed to the Union bombardment. a few of these burrows grew to become tricky affairs, supplied with carpets and beds and serviced via slaves. yet so much have been crude, crowded dugouts that one resident defined as “rat-holes. ” just like the infantrymen, civilians additionally observed nutrition provides dwindle to a meager day-by-day ration. while red meat ran out, they ate mule meat, frogs and rats. Flour used to be changed by means of a mix of corn-meal and flooring peas. “It made a nauseous composition, because the corn-meal cooked in part the time the pea-meal did, so these items used to be part raw,” one Southerner wrote. “It had the homes of india-rubber and was once worse than leather-based to digest. ” via early July, either squaddies and civilians have been near to hunger, and hand over grew to become inevitable. The accomplice commander, an émigré from Pennsylvania named John Pemberton, advised his officials: “I understand their strange weaknesses and their nationwide vainness.