Books NF Patriots Twice: Former Confederates and the Building of America after the Civil War

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Patriots Twice:
Former Confederates and the Building of America after the Civil War

by Stephen M. Hood


The long and bloody American Civil War claimed the lives of more than 700,000 men. When it ended, former opponents worked to rebuild their reunified nation and moved into the future together. Many people will find that hard to believe—especially in an era witnessing the destruction or removal of Confederate monuments and the desecration of Confederate cemeteries.

In the unique and timely Patriots Twice: Former Confederates and the Building of America after the Civil War, award-winning author Stephen M. Hood identifies more than three hundred former Confederate soldiers, sailors, and government officials who reintegrated into American society and attained positions of authority and influence in the federal government, the United States military, academia, science, commerce, and industry. Their contributions had a long-lasting and positive influence on the country we have today.

Many of the facts in Patriots Twice will surprise modern Americans. For example, ten postwar presidents appointed former Confederates to serve the reunited nation as Supreme Court justices, secretaries of the U.S. Navy, attorneys general, and a secretary of the interior. Dozens of former Southern soldiers were named U.S. ambassadors and consuls, and eight were appointed generals who commanded U.S. Army troops during the Spanish-American War.

Former Confederates were elected mayors of such unlikely cities as Los Angeles, CA, Minneapolis, MN, Ogden, UT, and Santa Fe, NM, and served as governors of the non-Confederate states and territories of Colorado, West Virginia, Missouri, Utah, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Alaska, and the Panama Canal Zone.

Ex-Southern soldiers became presidents of national professional societies including the American Bar Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society, to name only a few. Others paved the way in science and engineering by leading the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Geological Society of America. One former Confederate co-founded the environmental and preservation advocacy group Sierra Club, and another intellectual and scholar was president of the Society for Classical Studies.

Former soldiers in gray founded or co-founded many of our nation’s colleges and universities—some exclusively for women and newly freed African-Americans. Other former Rebels served as presidents of prominent institutions, including the University of California, Berkeley, and taught at universities outside the South including Harvard, Yale, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Johns Hopkins, the University of San Francisco, and Amherst College. Several others served on the governing boards of the United States Military Academy at West Point and the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.

Every reader of Patriots Twice has benefited from the post-Civil War reconciliation when former combatants put down their swords, picked up their plowshares, and accepted the invaluable contributions of these (and thousands of other) former Confederates. The men who carried the bayonets found common cause and moved on together. This is an important concept everyone should—no, must—embrace to keep American united, strong, and free.

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