The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989 Page: 209
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
negro seemed to feel that they were in a separate and higher class than
the common people" (p. 2o). An upper-class respondent seemingly con-
firmed this by stating: "We were as good as anybody and had carte blanc
in [the] best society famed for its high standard of morals, culture, edu-
cation and wealth. We had some snobs [and] idle rich" (p. 31).
The same sentiments manifested themselves in comments regarding
physical labor. A planter's son wrote: "My father had no time nor ne-
cessity for physical labor but was . .. a very humane master and exem-
plary christian" (p. 31). Contrasted with this was the response of a non-
slaveholding yeoman's son: "My father was a man of all work . . . he
done his own carpenter work, [constructed] his own plows, made all the
family shoes, .. . made his own grain cradles and made the first Buggy
he ever owned" (p. 26). A member of the poorest class noted succinctly:
"All my people have been very poor folk, [we] lived any where [sic] that
we could get work" (p. 25).
Despite these class divisions most Tennessee Civil War veterans held
a common opinion of the military leadership of the Army of Ten-
nessee: Joseph. E. Johnston and Nathan Bedford Forrest were beloved
while Braxton Bragg and John B. Hood (identified as "the Texas aristo-
crat" on page 93) were despised. Bragg was dismissed by one veteran
with the comment: "Of course Bragg lost. Nothing more could be
expected of Mr. Know all" (p. 92). Hood earned even harsher criti-
cism: "Jeff Davis acted the fool and removed Joseph E. Johnston and
put Gen. Hood in com[m]and, which quickly demoralized the whole
Army . .. All the men... Hood failed to see Slaughtered at the Battle
of Atlanta on the 22nd of July 1864 he got rid of at the Battle of Frank-
lin Tenn in his.., attempt to immortalize himself" (p. 93). Joe John-
ston, on the other hand, received accolades: "We had the utmost con-
fiedence [sec] in him" and "we knew we had a Gen that would take care
of his men" (p. 91). Another veteran said of Johnston: "we would have
gone into hell if he had said the word go" (p. 91). Nathan B. Forrest
received praise bordering on worship. One semiliterate veteran wrote:
"my commander war [was] jeneral N.B. forist one of the gratest men
the Sun ever Shined upon[.] he never war the man to fall back and Say
go ahead men[.] it war follow me Boys" (pp. 91-92).
Bailey's book is a fascinating study of class consciousness among the
Confederate portion of Tennessee's Civil War generation. Two ques-
tions, however, might be asked about the nature of the evidence in this
volume. First, can one make generalizations about a state's entire gen-
eration based on 1,250 questionnaires written over fifty years after the
event? Bailey argues that one can. Second, how accurate are the recol-
lections of events half a century after they occurred? The author might
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989, periodical, 1989; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/m1/236/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.