Saturday, April 14, 2007

What I Last Read

Disloyalty in the Confederacy

ISBN: 978-0803294417

If you have an honest interest in getting the full story of the Confederacy during the Civil War, then Disloyalty in the Confederacy is a must-have book. Written by Georgia Lee Tatum in the 1930's, she looks into the various Unionist movements and anti-Confederate sentiment that was prevalent in the Confederacy from the beginning to the end of the Civil War.

I'm sure that many Confederate-leaning reenactors and amateur historians will dismiss this book based on its age and dated research, but I say they're ignoring an important part to the story of the South that is all too willingly overruled via Southern myth or willfull ignorance to look at the full facts. As a matter of fact, this book does stand the test of time and is still relevant. As anyone who has done any real research knows, the Confederacy was a tumultuous place, filled with broken promises and heartbreak. It's far from the fantasy one sees painted of Generals Lee and Jackson. It also includes men who became disillusioned of the war, who never turned their backs on the Union, or realized the war was truly a lost cause.

Ms Tatum did a great job of bringing these stories to the surface and organizing them by the states of the Confederacy. You get a better feel for the overall situation within the Confederacy at the time. Be sure though, this book doesn't take sides, and if you read this book, make sure you read the Forward, because it explains Ms Tatum's train of thought while writing the book (or actually, doctoral dissertation).

This is a recommended read at any level.

3 comments:

Blue Bellied Yank said...

I'll put your suggestion on my book list. Recently I happened to find a copy of Confederates in the Attic (Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War)at a Good Will Store and picked it up for a quarter. Little did I know that the book had been on the Bestsellers list. After reading it I can understand why it remained a bestseller for so long. Very interesting!

mntineer said...

Confederates in the Attic is one of those reads you really need to be careful with. I found it humourous, but it was kinda a modern-day poke at Southerners and reenactors using unusual examples. I haven't seen too many reenactors doing the "bloat", but I thought that was funny. But urinating on your buttons? Never heard of doing this!

You'll have to do some digging to find the types of people that Horowitz writes about in his book, so please don't take it has a casual survey! :-)

Blue Bellied Yank said...

I see your point.
My boss who happens to be black wanted me to throw the book away!
In the end... Tony Horowitz sides with the North more often then not which is a tad misleading considering the title of the book. I do feel that it shined an unflattering light on the South.