Tuesday, September 21, 2010

History Stuff

Maj Gen Jubal A. Early, CSA
Sorry I've been erratic of late getting posts up here. It's because I'm in the grip of the history demon. Trying like hell to get an overdue essay completed before taking off for Ireland. Time is running short, and when the words are flowing as they are now, you don't want to impede them. I had been stuck for a couple of days at a place where I was lucky to squeeze out a couple hundred words. But now things are moving right along again.

The guy to the right is Jubal Early, the subject of my work this time. He was a Virginian, opponent of secession, atheist, and father of four illegitimate children by a woman he lived with for 20 years without benefit of clergy. He eventually rose to the rank of corps commander in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Led a famous campaign down the Shenandoah Valley in the summer of 1864 that brought about 14,000 Confederate troops to the outskirts of Washington, DC. On top of everything else, he was one mean son of bitch. Apparently he was most renowned cusser in the army, which when you think about it is quite a distinction.

But the paper is not about all that. It's about Early after the war. He was not a bad general, a pretty good one, in fact, but his real claim to fame came after the war. He is probably the main driving force in the inauguration and perpetuation of the so-called Lost Cause myth. Which, in very short, was a bevy of justifications for the Confederacy and explanations as to why the South lost the war. Early devoted himself tirelessly to this virtually until his death in 1894.

So there's your history lesson for the day.

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