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Silent cavalry : how Union soldiers from Alabama helped Sherman burn Atlanta--and then got written out of history / Howell Raines.

Raines, Howell, (author.).

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist reveals the little-known story of the Union soldiers from Alabama who played a decisive role in the Civil War, and how they were scrubbed from the history books. We all know how the Civil War was won: by courageous Yankees who triumphed over the South. But as veteran journalist Howell Raines shows, it was not only soldiers from Northern states who helped General William Tecumseh Sherman burn Atlanta to the ground, but also an unsung regiment of 2,066 Alabamian yeoman farmers-- including at least one member of Raines's own family. Called the First Alabama Cavalry, USA, these 'Mountain Unionists' were the point of the spear that Sherman drove through the heart of the Confederacy. The famed general hailed their skills and courage. So why don't we know anything about them? Silent Cavalry is one part epic American history, one part family saga, and one part scholarly detective story. Drawing on the lore of his native Alabama, and investigative skills honed by six decades in journalism, Raines brings to light a conspiracy that sought to undermine the accomplishments of these renegade Southerners-- part of the 'Lost Cause' effort to restore glory to white Southerners after the war, no matter the facts. Raines exposes this tangled web, implicating everyone from a former Confederate general, a gaggle of Lost Cause historians in the Ivy League, and a sanctimonious former keeper of the Alabama State Archives. By reversing the erasure of the First Alabama, Silent Cavalry is a testament to the immense power of historians to destroy, as well as to redeem.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780593137758 (hardcover)
  • ISBN: 0593137752 (hardcover)
  • Physical Description: xxii, 541 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Crown, [2023]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 479-517) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Cast of characters -- Introduction -- Maps -- Part I: Varieties of racial education. What happened to me at Ma 'n' Ada's ; The centrality of Gradystein Williams Hutchinson ; Saved by Uncle Sim ; Reading the stars ; My Rosetta Stone ; Chris Sheats: Phantom of the hills ; A discovery in Atlanta -- Part II: Connecting the dots. How the first Alabama almost saved Atlanta from burning ; Quoth the general ; Open season in the Hill country ; A revolving spy ; The tattler of the hills ; In the Unionist pod -- Part III: Marching to Savannah. Cotton thieves and draft dodgers ; The slaver owners' friend ; Chris Sheats in the wilderness ; A murderous conspiracy in the Whirling Hills ; Natural-born spies of the first Alabama ; The first fights of the fighting first ; Partners: a meeting of the minds ; In praise of amateur historians ; Dr. Kaeiser versus the feudists ; Meanwhile, back at the war ; Paths of glory and obscurity ; Uncle Billy and his boys ; Skedaddling home -- Part IV: Hiding the evidence. Viral Tuscaloosa and the aristocratic fallacy ; Bad boys of Richmond ; Lee's bad old man ; Hail Columbia ; Tom and Marie ; Smoking letters ; A scholarly lynching ; Birmingham money: the houses of Chisholm and Percy ; Three kingdoms ; The mountain king ; Last answer, last question ; The cutting room floor ; Forgotten, but not gone.
Subject: United States. Army. Alabama Cavalry Regiment, 1st (1862-1865)
United States. Army > Southern unionists.
Lost Cause mythology.
Alabama > History > Civil War, 1861-1865 > Regimental histories.
United States > History > Civil War, 1861-1865 > Regimental histories.

Available copies

  • 0 of 2 copies available at Lehigh Valley Library System.


  • 0 current holds with 2 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Bethlehem Main Library 973.746 (Text) 33062009836496 New Adult Nonfiction Checked Out 03/06/2024
Easton Main Library 973.746 R155s (Text) 31901004759785 New Adult Nonfiction Checked Out 03/08/2024

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