Gods and Generals - Preface

Gods and Generals (Illustration) Nonfiction Works Biographies Film Nineteenth Century Life American Presidents African American History Civil Wars Famous Historical Events Famous People Geography Social Studies American History

Photograph of the "Stonewall" Jackson statue taken by MamaGeek on February 17, 2009, Manassas National Battlefield Park.  Image online courtesy Wikimedia Commons.  License: CC-BY-SA-3.0.  The words on the monument quote Barnard Bee, from the First Battle of Manassas (or, First Bull Run):  "There stands Jackson like a stone wall!  Rally behind the Virginians!"  


It must have been from such a scene
that men in ancient times
rose to the dignity of gods.


Confederate staff officer 
Observing the troops' adulation of
Robert E. Lee

Battle of Chancellorsville 
May, 1863

On April 14, 1861, men of the 18th South Carolina regiment replaced the United States flag that flew at Ft. Sumter with a Palmetto flag.  An unwanted war between the states, feared as a potential, had become reality.

The next day, Abraham Lincoln (inaugurated as America’s 16th president the prior month), called on the Union to send 75,000 “militia of the several States of the Union” who could fight in the coming land battles. The number of men required per state was determined by quota.

Governors of states like Kentucky (the place of Lincoln’s birth) and Tennessee refused. Beriah Magoffin, of Kentucky, sent the War Department a pointed reply:

Your dispatch [ordering Kentucky to send 3,123 men] is received. In answer I say emphatically Kentucky will furnish no troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister Southern States.

Tennessee was even more blunt in rejecting the President’s order. Isham Harris (scroll to the bottom of this page of the official record) wrote:

Tennessee will not furnish a single man for purpose of coercion, but 50,000, if necessary, for the defense of our rights and those of our Southern brethren.

Shortly after Harris replied, Tennessee joined the Confederate States of America (CSA).

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 01, 2003

Updated Last Revision: May 01, 2019

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