The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990

Book Reviews
The Confederate Carpetbaggers. By Daniel E. Sutherland. (Baton Rouge:
Louisiana State University Press, 1988. Pp. xv+36o. Acknowledg-
ments, prologue, illustrations, notes, epilogue, appendix, biblio-
graphical note, index. $40.00, cloth; $16.95, paper.)
Now, even before the sequel to Gone With the Wind, we know what
would have happened to Ashley Wilkes had he been able to resist Scar-
lett's charms and her money. According to Daniel E. Sutherland's origi-
nal new work, The Confederate Carpetbaggers, he would have become a
New York banker, joining hundreds seeking to escape the poverty,
complex race relations, and boll weevil that plagued the defeated South.
After the war, southerners also picked up their carpetbags and went in
search of a new life. Some of the most hard-bitten rebels headed to
South and Central America. "Texas Fever" (p. 10) seized Confederates
returning home to border states dominated by vindictive Unionists;
Texas was the only southern state to register a net population gain dur-
ing these years. For their part, native Texans, fearing reprisals or
simply unable to tolerate life under the Republican regime that re-
mained in power until 1873, most frequently slipped away to Cuba,
Mexico, or Europe. Daniel E. Sutherland's detailed and richly human
study of Confederate emigres, focuses on those who went North from
1865 to 1880, to New York City mostly, to invent new lives in a commer-
cial culture.
"Confederate Carpetbaggers," as described by Sutherland, were
southerners driven away from their homes by economic or social neces-
sity, but whose hearts and loyalties remained in Dixie. Loyalty took
many forms. While some penned sentimental paeans to the Lost Cause
(though not to slavery), others directed millions of dollars into the van-
quished region through their work with railroads, banks, and cot-
ton exchanges in major northern cities. There was no typical experi-
ence for the emigres. A few, well connected and hard working, such as

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 25, 2015.