Jubal Early the Unionist

Joined
Oct 9, 2017
Messages
496
Location
Southern Virginia
#1
Although I knew that Jubal Early was a delegate to the Virginia Secession Convention and that he voted against secession both before and after Ft. Sumter, I didn't realize until now how ardently pro-Union he had been. I just finished Gary Gallagher's essay on Early in his book Becoming Confederates and thought some here would appreciate, as I did, learning a little more about General Early before he was a die-hard Confederate.

Early not only voted NO in both secession votes, he was one of the few delegates who voted against joining the CSA even after secession had passed.

At the convention, Early ripped into those who were celebrating the attack on Ft. Sumter. After noting that Major Anderson's father had been a Virginian who served in the Continental Army he said, "It is a matter of regret to me that any Virginian should be found ready to rejoice to see the dishonor to our flag in the hands of a son of one of Virginia's revolutionary soldiers." Although "the flag of my country has been compelled to give way to the flag of another, I do not despair of the cause of liberty; I do not despair of the Union. I have an abiding confidence in the devotion of the people of Virginia to the Union of the country."

"Does all honor, all chivalry, consist of resisting the government instituted by our forefathers? Does all heroism consist in rebellion against the constituted authorities of the land?"

On the day before the vote for secession Early said, "I have sat in my seat all day and imagined that I could see a ball of flame hanging over this body." Secession, he said, was "a great crime against the cause of liberty and civilization." Remaining in the Union was "in the interest of my country, in the interest of my State, and in the interest of the cause of liberty itself." Leaving the Union would bring "such a war as this country has never seen."

Of course when the dust settled and Virginia's secession was an accomplished fact, Early took his side with Virginia. "I have opposed the act of secession at every step, yet as a Convention of my State has decided in favor of that act of secession, and as we are now engaged in this contest, all my wishes, all my desires and all my energies will be given to the cause of my State."

Before the convention he had said of Virginia, "I shall never desert her in her hour of prosperity, her hour of adversity, her hour of glory, or her hour of shame. She is my mother, and I will stand by her under all circumstances."

And he had nothing but contempt for those who didn't take the course he had taken. After the war Early said that Virginians who "took sides with our enemies, and aided in desolating and humiliating the land of their own birth, the graves of their own ancestors" deserve "deep and bitter execrations" and "the immortality of infamy."

But, at least on a couple of occasions during the war he was not above reminding secessionists of their mistake. During the retreat following the 3rd Battle of Winchester, General Early found himself riding alongside John C. Breckinridge. Early turned to him and said, "General Breckinridge, what do you think of the 'rights of the South in the Territories' now?" On another occasion he came upon an old political adversary who was looking out over his farm that about to be abandoned to the federal army, which would destroy it. Early rode up to the man and said, "Well, what do you think of the 'rights in the territories' this morning?"
 
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#6
Although I knew that Jubal Early was a delegate to the Virginia Secession Convention and that he voted against secession both before and after Ft. Sumter, I didn't realize until now how ardently pro-Union he had been. I just finished Gary Gallagher's essay on Early in his book Becoming Confederates and thought some here would appreciate, as I did, learning a little more about General Early before he was a die-hard Confederate.

Early not only voted NO in both secession votes, he was one of the few delegates who voted against joining the CSA even after secession had passed.

At the convention, Early ripped into those who were celebrating the attack on Ft. Sumter. After noting that Major Anderson's father had been a Virginian who served in the Continental Army he said, "It is a matter of regret to me that any Virginian should be found ready to rejoice to see the dishonor to our flag in the hands of a son of one of Virginia's revolutionary soldiers." Although "the flag of my country has been compelled to give way to the flag of another, I do not despair of the cause of liberty; I do not despair of the Union. I have an abiding confidence in the devotion of the people of Virginia to the Union of the country."

"Does all honor, all chivalry, consist of resisting the government instituted by our forefathers? Does all heroism consist in rebellion against the constituted authorities of the land?"

On the day before the vote for secession Early said, "I have sat in my seat all day and imagined that I could see a ball of flame hanging over this body." Secession, he said, was "a great crime against the cause of liberty and civilization." Remaining in the Union was "in the interest of my country, in the interest of my State, and in the interest of the cause of liberty itself." Leaving the Union would bring "such a war as this country has never seen."

Of course when the dust settled and Virginia's secession was an accomplished fact, Early took his side with Virginia. "I have opposed the act of secession at every step, yet as a Convention of my State has decided in favor of that act of secession, and as we are now engaged in this contest, all my wishes, all my desires and all my energies will be given to the cause of my State."

Before the convention he had said of Virginia, "I shall never desert her in her hour of prosperity, her hour of adversity, her hour of glory, or her hour of shame. She is my mother, and I will stand by her under all circumstances."

And he had nothing but contempt for those who didn't take the course he had taken. After the war Early said that Virginians who "took sides with our enemies, and aided in desolating and humiliating the land of their own birth, the graves of their own ancestors" deserve "deep and bitter execrations" and "the immortality of infamy."

But, at least on a couple of occasions during the war he was not above reminding secessionists of their mistake. During the retreat following the 3rd Battle of Winchester, General Early found himself riding alongside John C. Breckinridge. Early turned to him and said, "General Breckinridge, what do you think of the 'rights of the South in the Territories' now?" On another occasion he came upon an old political adversary who was looking out over his farm that about to be abandoned to the federal army, which would destroy it. Early rode up to the man and said, "Well, what do you think of the 'rights in the territories' this morning?"
Ole Jube is one of my favorites, if not the most of all. Just as Forrest has a founded following, Jubal gets my vote every time. A most colorful character, known to be extremely cynical, and with a rather loose tongue utter perversities that could sour milk.
Back in my former years when I bivouacked and encamped for training and exercise maneuvers, I bought Allan Gurganus' book and was rather put off by his dark humor. At the time I was unfamiliar with major characters, so General Twiggs he alluded to at first went into the baffle box. Later about the empty upstairs and the mattress depression, another spell of allusion with a touch of chocolate mix that later I determined to be a 'slight' against General Early and his colored bed companion, once upon a time. The only real reward of ever reading the 100 pages or so of it was the comment he made about using the Holy Bible as a 'reference guide'. For that I am grateful, and to this day it is my primary source for substance, content, and knowledge.
Lubliner.
 

MattL

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 20, 2015
Messages
3,006
Location
SF Bay Area
#7
Although I knew that Jubal Early was a delegate to the Virginia Secession Convention and that he voted against secession both before and after Ft. Sumter, I didn't realize until now how ardently pro-Union he had been. I just finished Gary Gallagher's essay on Early in his book Becoming Confederates and thought some here would appreciate, as I did, learning a little more about General Early before he was a die-hard Confederate.

Early not only voted NO in both secession votes, he was one of the few delegates who voted against joining the CSA even after secession had passed.

At the convention, Early ripped into those who were celebrating the attack on Ft. Sumter. After noting that Major Anderson's father had been a Virginian who served in the Continental Army he said, "It is a matter of regret to me that any Virginian should be found ready to rejoice to see the dishonor to our flag in the hands of a son of one of Virginia's revolutionary soldiers." Although "the flag of my country has been compelled to give way to the flag of another, I do not despair of the cause of liberty; I do not despair of the Union. I have an abiding confidence in the devotion of the people of Virginia to the Union of the country."

"Does all honor, all chivalry, consist of resisting the government instituted by our forefathers? Does all heroism consist in rebellion against the constituted authorities of the land?"

On the day before the vote for secession Early said, "I have sat in my seat all day and imagined that I could see a ball of flame hanging over this body." Secession, he said, was "a great crime against the cause of liberty and civilization." Remaining in the Union was "in the interest of my country, in the interest of my State, and in the interest of the cause of liberty itself." Leaving the Union would bring "such a war as this country has never seen."

Of course when the dust settled and Virginia's secession was an accomplished fact, Early took his side with Virginia. "I have opposed the act of secession at every step, yet as a Convention of my State has decided in favor of that act of secession, and as we are now engaged in this contest, all my wishes, all my desires and all my energies will be given to the cause of my State."

Before the convention he had said of Virginia, "I shall never desert her in her hour of prosperity, her hour of adversity, her hour of glory, or her hour of shame. She is my mother, and I will stand by her under all circumstances."

And he had nothing but contempt for those who didn't take the course he had taken. After the war Early said that Virginians who "took sides with our enemies, and aided in desolating and humiliating the land of their own birth, the graves of their own ancestors" deserve "deep and bitter execrations" and "the immortality of infamy."

But, at least on a couple of occasions during the war he was not above reminding secessionists of their mistake. During the retreat following the 3rd Battle of Winchester, General Early found himself riding alongside John C. Breckinridge. Early turned to him and said, "General Breckinridge, what do you think of the 'rights of the South in the Territories' now?" On another occasion he came upon an old political adversary who was looking out over his farm that about to be abandoned to the federal army, which would destroy it. Early rode up to the man and said, "Well, what do you think of the 'rights in the territories' this morning?"
He was one of the rare few that was genuinely against secession and not just calling for more time to see how things fall before acting on secession.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2017
Messages
496
Location
Southern Virginia
#8
Ole Jube is one of my favorites, if not the most of all. Just as Forrest has a founded following, Jubal gets my vote every time. A most colorful character, known to be extremely cynical, and with a rather loose tongue utter perversities that could sour milk.
Back in my former years when I bivouacked and encamped for training and exercise maneuvers, I bought Allan Gurganus' book and was rather put off by his dark humor. At the time I was unfamiliar with major characters, so General Twiggs he alluded to at first went into the baffle box. Later about the empty upstairs and the mattress depression, another spell of allusion with a touch of chocolate mix that later I determined to be a 'slight' against General Early and his colored bed companion, once upon a time. The only real reward of ever reading the 100 pages or so of it was the comment he made about using the Holy Bible as a 'reference guide'. For that I am grateful, and to this day it is my primary source for substance, content, and knowledge.
Lubliner.
He was a (sometimes) delightfully profane man. You'll appreciate this from Gallagher's essay:

"In January 1865, the general and members of his staff attended a church service in Staunton, Virginia. Toward the end of the sermon, the clergyman closed his Bible, raised his right hand, and emphatically asked the congregation: 'Suppose, my Christian friends, that those who have laid for centuries in their graves should arise now and come forth from their quiet resting places; and marching in their white shrouds should pass before this congregation, by thousands and tens of thousands, what would be the result?" Early leaned over to a member of his staff and in a stage whisper answered, "Ah! I'd conscript every ****ed one of them."
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
820
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
#10
From what I understand, he was one of the generals that chose to abscond into Mexico, I guess with Shelby, and never surrendered. After returning some years later, he was known to sit in a public spot such as a store front, or the pot-belly stove and tell stories. Please correct if I erred in these facts. The truth ought to be told!
Lubliner.
 

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