Jubal Early and the Molding of Confederate Memory (Lecture)

Jubal Early and the Molding of Confederate Memory (Lecture)


Jubal Early and the Lost Cause believe this I forget what the official
title of this thing was in your brochures. I can’t remember so I just put
Profit of the Lost Cause. I thought some people might like the word profit over
there but basically what Jubal Early is going to do is he is going to be a key
player in the postwar years, meaning in memory. And that is a big thing among
academics. Memory. The word memory. They want to study how people remember things,
and how things are interpreted in and so forth and you’ve probably heard in the
Civil War jargon that the South may have lost the war but they definitely won the
history books or something along those lines. Well old Jube is one of
the big catalyst for that so we’re going to look into that and see why that is
and if you look in the Encyclopedia of the Confederacy, some of you may have
that four or five volumes, right there, if you look under the letter E the first entry that you will see in
the Encyclopedia of the Confederacy is Jubal Early and I always thought when I open
that up to get some biographical information I thought that was apropos, that he would be first. He really doesn’t need any introduction. All
of you Gettysburg buffs know him by name or by reputation which we’ll talk about
in a minute but Jubal Early was quote unquote Lee’s bad old man he was an
unreformed bachelor he was somebody that freely stated his
opinion sometimes when it was asked for and most of the time when it was not
right here and he was reportedly the only man that had the audacity to swear
in front of Robert E Lee you can imagine doing that and that is why he was
referred to by Lee as my bad old man right here Old Jube he’s quite a character often
thought you know when that when that generic question is posed if you had a
time machine who would you go back who would you go back and have dinner with
who he would be high on my list right you know that won’t be picked up
on camera its fantastic alright so to show you a little bit about his character
maybe not show you a little bit about his character Does anybody know before I tell you
where what this guy symbolizes to me does anybody know what usually is
underneath him the south will rise again or forget hell no that’s right when I
was a kid the church took us down I think we
went to Disney World or something don’t quote me that we were going down to
Florida and back in the seventies and I’ll never forget I could never get over
all the confederate stuff you want to call it that for sale in all these trinkets
stores along the way in Florida right there and I still have my sticker right
there but I didn’t have I didn’t have anything else to illustrate this point
right here so I thought he was apropos in 1890 remember this is way after the
war it was twenty-five years after the war toward his final days Early’s final days
General George Crook was more famous I think for Indian fighting than the Civil
War came to see Early in Lynchburg Virginia and Crook recorded
“while waiting we met General Early he has much stooped and feeble but as bitter
and violent as an adder he has no use for the government or the northern
people and boast of his being unreconstructed in that he won’t accept
a pardon for his rebellious offenses he is living entirely in the past” what does
that tell you it’s gonna be a theme here Jubal Early is going to be completely
living in the past and he will never forget the past now Jubal Early is
stands over six foot kind of a striking figure but despite his height he was
stooped by rheumatism during the war one sold remarked that Jubal Early would spend
all night the saddle quote “for he has the rheumatism so bad that if he once
gets out of the saddle he can’t get into it again” another soldier described him
as quote “one of the great curiosity curiosities of the war he is a man of
considerable corporacity” notice he didn’t say
glib “with a full face which has the appearance of a full moon when at its
height his voice sounds like a cracked Chinese fiddle and comes from
his mouth with a long drawl” good southern drawl “accompanied by the
inner loption of os- he is as brave as he is homely and is homely a
man as any man you ever saw” he’s born Old Jube is born on November 3rd 1816 at Rocky
Mount in Franklin County Virginia probably known more today from hit TV
series Moonshiners right there ok during the war i watch
it all the time during the war one soldier remarked that let me back up Early is gonna enter United States Military Academy West
Point in 1833 and he’s going to graduate four years later in 1837 his class
included Joe Hooker the Union General future Union General John C Pemberton
who is that? Vicksburg Its a quiz a lot of you came to that presentation
and Uncle John will be the Union General Sedgewick right there alright but not before he did not
graduate before Armistead and what did Armistead do to Early at West Point? that’s right he broke a plate over Jubal
Early’s head and for that Lewis Armistead of Gettysburg fame was expelled now
Early is going to resign his commission in 1838 but he is going to return to serve in the
Mexican War where he contracted the rheumatism I have talked about that would
plague him and instead after that and said he would resign again I suppose or
in civil life after that Early will become a lawyer so if you think about
Jubal Early and you wanna know where he’s coming up with his arguments or how he
makes it so well law is his background military and law what a
better fit could you have for somebody who needs to fight battles and then argue
about them afterwards so he’s a lawyer I once heard about a poor
lawyer did you ever hear about that it was a town that had a poor lawyer until
one day another lawyer moved to town then there were two rich lawyers
now in 1861 that will be edited out too in 1861 Franklin County elected him to
be one of the delegates to the secession convention that’s the document obviously
probably surprisingly to some of you will be a surprise to some of you that
Early was a staunch unionist very staunch unionist at the convention he earned the
nickname quote “the Terrapin from Franklin” for his slow evolution to the
southern side Early believed in the supremacy of the US Constitution and
it influences a large reason why Virginia remained in the Union as long
as it did you recall that Virginia did not secede until Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers That’s when Virginia left even after Fort Sumter though and
the call for the volunteers Jubal Early is still going to vote to remain in the
Union and you do not know how hard I worked on blowing this document up on
the left side you have the yeas on the right side you have the nays and you
will clearly see right here that there is a check mark on the final role for
secession with Jubal Early voting NO to leave the Union so but when Lincoln
did call for those troops Early completely did a flip flop I don’t think
many people as an aside I think people sometimes fail to realize how that
galvanized a lot of moderates or or people that wanted to remain in the
Union when they heard that Lincoln was sending the troops and
that a lot of people going into the southern the Confederate Army Early felt that it was the right to prevent the
right of the states by the state authorities to repel any invasion any
doubts that Early had about secession quote “were soon dispelled by the
unconstitutional measures of the authorities of Washington and the frenzy
clamor of the people of the North for war upon their former brethren of the
south” as he put it in the postwar years Early would point to his pro-union stance and
would justify secession by comparison to the Revolutionary War Early claimed the
same right for the states as the colonies did against Great Britain
however Early believe the states have more right to secession Early believed the states had more right to secession then the colonies
ever did because the states were sovereign entities that it conceived quote
“the government of which they complained so he thought they were more on a
legal footing with the as far as secession in the colonies had been like my rights now this is you know Early threw himself
wholeheartedly into the war here’s a quick biography our point here today
is not really to study the words to study the aftermath so I’ll gloss over it
he earned his first star for his actions at Bull Run he was wounded at the Battle of
Williamsburg Virginia May of 62 and he”ll return for Malvern Hill, Cedar
Mountain, Second Manassas and Harpers Ferry Both Jackson and Lee praised his
leadership at the Battle Sharpsburg and at Fredericksburg now at Gettysburg Early
will always be united with Richard Ewell’s decision not
to try to take Cemetery Hill on the first day of the battle a lot of what we
know about the conversations that went on between the Confederate Chiefs as the
sun set on Gettysburg comes from Early the problem with that is that Early was
a lawyer ok so it depends you know and I say that and I shouldn’t pick on Early too
much but it’s really I’ve said this before it’s really a shame that how many
people had so much to tell us but yet they had an axe to grind in some way
form or the other Early will probably disagree with that statement he would
tell you he was telling the truth but that’s the way it goes right here
but Early is going to be one of the chief recorders of that now on July
2nd as you remember you Gettysburg buffs his division is going to attack East
what we call East Cemetery Hill right over here that’s going to be Hays and Avery
and he will not be supported on his right the Confederate right flank by
Robert Rhodes attacking from behind the McDonalds right back there alright and supposedly warm words were
passed between Early and Rhodes after the engagement that night on July 2nd at
least a newspaper reporter recorded that he didn’t say a Confederate officer
considered Early to be quote “one of the ablest and wittiest of our generals of
quaint dry humor grinning like a possum his voice an old woman’s thin high
tenor always joking someone and always the butt of a joke.” given temporary
commands of both Hill and Ewell’s corps separate times in the Overland
campaigns that’s 1864 Early took over the permanent commander of Richard Ewell’s
corps upon that commander being relieved by Lee in the summer of 64 he received an
independent command in the Shenandoah Valley Upon personally arriving in
Lynchburg right before the Union cavalry took the town itself remember that Early is going to save
Lynchburg Early raised himself in the saddle as he arrived upon the field and
hollered across quote “ain’t no buttermilk Rangers after you now you god
damn blue butts” I can’t do it as high pitched that’ll be edited out too John Paul Strain I believe painted that Now Early
found initial success in the in the valley even getting to the gates of
Washington before getting turned back that’s gonna be the Battle of Monocacy
and Phil Sheridan then took command of the Union forces and long story short
proceeded to kick Old Jube’s tail for the rest of 64 places like 3rd Winchester,
Fisher’s Hill, and Cedar Creek all defeats for Jubal Early many people blamed Early’s defeats
on his drinking which he was not a teetotaler but I think this is patently
false I think it’s lost on a lot of people though how and this is going to
blend into the post-war years so I want to make this point I’ll come back to
Early’s military wisdom in just a second but do not fail to recognize how loyal
Jubal Early was to Robert E Lee and I mean that even though I make a lot of
jokes and he’s a funny character sarcasm and so for Jubal Early loved Robert E Lee
and would do anything he could to please his commander if Lee wanted something to
do like he had just I’ll give you an example after 3rd Winchester Fisher’s Hill, he gets
thrown back across the valley don’t quote me think Lee sends in Wilcox’s
division or maybe its Kershaw’s division but anyway he said he sends him
some reinforcements and Lee writes to him he says this is all I can give you you must do
the most you can with the little that you have and that’s Cedar Creek if you
if you look up Cedar Creek you’ll see what Early did and that is all being by
Lee galvanizing Early’s action look at what Lee wants Lee can’t be everywhere
he’s got to have a commander that can think independently and Jubal Early despite a lot of flaws
can make a decision and is an aggressive commander so I think both men actually
appreciated each other Early recognized quote “that he was never what is called a
popular man” despite that Lee place the faith in Jubal and Jubal
reciprocated tenfold after a final defeat at the Battle Waynesboro on
March 2nd 1865 Robert E Lee is going to remove Early from command and out of all
the laurels that he gained in the war the one thing that Jubal like to show
visitors in the postwar years was the letter from Robert E Lee removing him
from command if you came to see Jubal Early that’s what you would see right
there alright and in this Robert E Lee if you
want to see how to paint it Jubal actually published it in his memoirs at the end
if you want to see how to write a letter letting somebody down Robert E Lee can
teach you how to do that I’ll read you a brief excerpt – “my telegram will inform
you that I deem a change of commanders in your department necessary ; but
it is due to your zealous and patriotic services that I should explain the
reasons that prompted my action.” Lee then goes on to say that the country
basically has lost faith in Jubal Early after all of his setbacks. “I have reluctantly arrived at the conclusion that you
cannot command the united willing cooperation which is so essential to
success while my own confidence in your ability zeal and devotion to the cause
is unimpaired” notice he said the cause – this is in 1865 – the cause – this is not something
invented the words are not something in the postwar years “while your devotion to
the cause is unimpaired I’ve never less felt that I could not oppose what seems
to be the current of opinion without injustice to your reputation in injury to the service I
therefore felt constrained to endeavor to find a commander who would be more
likely to develop the strengths and resources of the country and inspire the
soldiers with confidence and to accomplish this purpose I thought it
proper to yield to my own opinion and to defer to that of those to whom
alone we can look for support.” He goes on, “I am sure that you will understand and
appreciate my motives” Lee writes him, “and no one will be more ready than yourself
to acquiesce in any measures which the interest of the country may seem to
require regardless of all personal considerations thank you for the” – he
closes this way – ” thank you for the fidelity and energy with which you have
always supported my efforts and for the courage and devotion you have ever
manifested in the service of the country.” and that’s the way you fire somebody
at least that’s the way you get fired by Robert E Lee the remarkable thing about it is most of
time Robert E Lee didn’t write people you had to be up there you know he didn’t write
colonels when he relieved now after Lee surrendered Early didn’t wait around to
surrender himself but let out for Texas and reportedly Confederate forces were
still fighting there and Early was bound to join them finding Texas played out
though and the Confederacy at an end he decided quote “to get out from under
the rule of the infernal Yankees I cannot live under the same government
with our enemies I go there for a voluntary exile from the home and graves
of my ancestors to seek my fortunes anew in the new world Early therefore continued on to Mexico
where he hoped to find another war against the United States brewing remember
France was down there He just wants to fight more Yankees when that didn’t pan
out Early eventually took a steamer to Canada and settled across the water from
Niagara Falls while there he read about the policies being enacted against the
South and declared at one point quote “I got to the condition that I think I could
scalp a Yankee woman and child without winking my eyes in 1866 he wrote a memoir of the last
year of the war for independence which did not sell well as well as he hoped
but keep in mind 1866 he is one of the first Confederate
generals one of the chief lieutenants to get his story out there with President
Andrew Johnson’s Amnesty Proclamation I couldn’t find Early’ signature. why?
becuase he never signed one right there Early never less returned to Virginia in
1869 and settled into a law practice again Early never accepted a pardon. Oh no.
quote “ooking upon this proclamation is in the final acknowledgement by the
government of it’s inability to hold us responsible under the laws and
constitution as they stood for our resistance to their usurpations and
encroachments, I accepted in the in that light and not as a pardon for any
offence committed I think I can now return without any compromise of
principal and it is certainly a great deal better for me to do so then remain
a burden in the hands of friends who have to submit to the ills of a Yankee
rule in order to be able to furnish the means on which I live.” He is not bitter
here’s the thing but he needs a job he’s gonna get a job and who is the guy on the
right? in 1877 early took a position as a
commissioner with PGT Beauregard of Louisiana state lottery you wouldn’t take
the job? I’d probably take the job. I think he got an annual salary of $10,000 at
least at one point not too bad now the Louisiana Lottery how many you bought a
lottery ticket for tomorrow or tonight? it’s tonight isn’t it? well, you just wasted your
money because here’s the winner you gonna come back next time its gonna be
the Matt Atkinson Auditorium buffet, smorgasbord, white gloves. There you go. I was
sitting with this person other night we were sitting in Subway and she’s supposed to split it with me if she wins
I’m like we’re going over how we’re going to spend this money and she’s
gonna build a new church I said heck no we ain’t building no church we gonna get a limo. That didn’t work out either I guess it’s gonna be the Matt Atkinson church That will be something. Alright so anyway I’m digressing.
I probably have ADD but I don’t treat it because that’s
half the fun. The Louisiana Lottery was a lottery unlike
today’s lottery that it’s sort of the same I mean a lottery is a lottery but it
was it was a lot of back-door stuff going on I will not say that because
Jubal Early and I should say this for Beauregard and Early I wouldn’t say that the
lottery was dirty was playing dirty pool however the lottery had some
questionable practices such as the lottery sometimes will buy their own
tickets so when they won the prize they didn’t have to pay out you think about
that so what would happen is Jubal Early about once a month will board the train
from Lynchburg Virginia and he would ride down there and him and Beauregard
would get on the stage and they had a big wheel like like what you guys
cylinder yeah thats name for it and it had a door on so what they would do is
cranked it around had all the lottery tickets in their and Early would reach
inside the cylinder and retrieve the number he would say the number and then he
would hold it up to the crowd to ensure that there was no fraud going on they
would then they would draw like forty or fifty prizes and then after they had
done the numbers Beauregard would come up and they would have a separate cylinder
and Beauregard would reach into this cylinder and draw out the prize and some
of these prizes just like the lottery that’s going on tonight you know was
that seven or eight hundred million is being drawn tonight some of these you
know we’ll get up to $100,000 that is an astronomical amount of money for the time period but
nobody ever won it but they people did win I mean you know five ten thousand
something like that so anyway Early’s getting a piece of the pie because
he’s given it legitimacy right there what you need to know is far as the Lost
cause is what we’re about to go into is that the lottery salary the important
part for what we’re doing here today is the lottery salary allowed Jubal Early the
freedom to devote his time to writing and that’s how he’s going to because he
didn’t have to worry about making a living now getting into the subject
matter here what is the Lost Cause that’s the only slide that does that so
i cant I feel I can overemphasize that right there and they don’t know how I
did that what is the Lost Cause? well that’s a hard thing to answer a
lost cause I don’t know I mean how do you like shorten that answer the short answer might be is that the
Lost Cause is the postwar arguments of southerners and why they fought and that’s
a very broad brush I’m painting right there today’s debate about the Lost Cause is over whether those arguments were true or not the name the Lost Cause
comes from the ever popular book The Lost Cause this a standard southern
history of the war of the Confederacy was published in 1866 and this espoused the southern point of view what is already showed you and Robert E Lee’s
letter to Early firing him the the Lost Cause was not something that was
invented by Pollard it was just you know most famous book to come out opponents of the Lost Cause lists a
number of different grievances against the southern arguments and it’s hard to
jail all the opponents arguments together so I decided to do the best I
could and what I went out to do is I sat down and I had all these people that
all these historians that attack the Lost Cause and arguments and everything that
came up with it and so I sat there at my desk and I said who is the person who
hates the Confederacy the most is that would give me credibility because I’m
from the south so you can’t blame me I’m quoting the guy so the guy I came up with and he actually
does makes a susinct argument is a gentleman named Alan T. Nolan
and he wrote an essay it went to Gary Gallagher’s essay books about the Lost
Cause and so I took his views on it and put those up here now I come from a
different mindset than some people I’m not saying all people are like this etc. I’m going to give you the
arguments this is going to be a radical new old idea for you you’re going to
have to make up your own mind whether you agree with them or not remember when
you used to have independent thinking right here my gosh yeah somebody asked me
says neither here nor there not about this but they asked me why do you
think that way I said was what my eyes told me so anyway tenets of the Lost Cause right here now I
tried I could not find anybody on the staff that could make the bullet points
slide in so you’re not getting that ok first one slavery was not the sectional
issue the war wasn’t over slavery according to the tenets of the southern historians
of the Lost Cause the war was over state’s rights alright so you already know see Early
was successful the abolitionist as provocateurs northern abolitionists
manufactured a disagreement between the sections in other words the abolitionists
were the ones that stirred up all the trouble they were minority in the north
and yet they managed to get the north to go to war the nature of slaves Pollard
in the book the Lost Cause says quote “the occasion of that conflict was what
the Yankees called by one of their convenient libels in political
nomenclature slavery but what was in fact nothing more than a system of Negro
servitude in the South one of the mildest in most beneficent system of servitude in the world.” nobody’s going to touch that one but what do the southerners argue they actually argued that slavery was a
benefit I don’t know how anybody would agree with it but that is one of the arguments
the nationalistic cultural difference this is the Cavaliers and nights of old
view of the Civil War in 1860 the Southern Literary Messenger is before
the Civil War in the Southern Literary Messenger described northerners is being
descended from anglo-saxons the anglo-saxons were conquered by William the Conqueror
and the Normans the Southern Literary Messenger claim that southerners to be
descended from Normans all right now there are cultural
differences ok there are you can like go through their I invite you to like to
spend an hour or two volunteering for me at the front door and you will see
cultural differences ok I see it every day welcome up to the front desk and
sometimes my fellow Americans my fellow Northerners I walk away from the
front desk from an from talking to you all and I think to myself my gosh I know
why the war began now military loss “the Confederates had
not really been defeated they had instead been overwhelmed by massive
northern manpower and material” well the idealized home front everybody
pulled toward the same goal and all supported the Confederacy wholeheartedly
the biggest monument in the state of Mississippi easily to the Confederacy is
the statue on the capitol grounds in Mississippi and it is actually
dedications monument is actually dedicated to the women of the
Confederacy and the sacrifices so the idealized homefront next one is the
idealized Confederate soldier “heroic indefatigable gallant and
law-abiding” “in many ways he was the principal victim of the Lost Cause myth”
Nolan surprisingly adds I like this by him I’ll say it again in many
ways he was the principal victim of the Lost Cause Myth “nor do I contend” Nolan
says “that the majority of Confederate soldiers believed they were fighting to
preserve slavery in fact they were but many of them thought in terms of
defending their homeland and families and resisting what their leaders had
told them was northern aggression so he’s making the argument the
government may have supported slavery but probably the average southern
soldiers did not directly the lawfulness of secession
saints go marching in which we’re going to touch on a minute which involves the
beatification big word for you beatification of Lee, Jackson, and the
others is there anybody else besides Lee and Jackson now what do you think so what do you think of that that’s a
lot of points you know and I’m not looking for a roundtable discussion I’m
just looking to give Caitlin a hard time filming me right now so I just keep pacing
all the way over here to the corner so what do you
think those are arguments that are summed up by the southerners now you
probably don’t agree with them all but do you agree with some of them and would
you say what some of them are probably lies or bending the truth I guess to a
certain extent but would you say that the majority of them are untrue or are
we simply saying that the southerners are emphasizing something one point of
the war over another point of the war I don’t tell you what’s
right or wrong answer here right here but as you know it has become very hot
the subject of the Confederacy lately and especially anything related to the
Confederacy now Early getting back to him is going to be one of the top defenders
of what is called the Lost Cause with the war over in the south in shambles
Early would write “the true and brave soldier who suffers
defeat while fighting for a just cause at the hands of a vindictive
enemy and therefore suffers the agonies of a thousand deaths indeed a
real death too many would be preferable think about that Jubal
Early’s gonna be emphasizing different points but what did Jubal Early’s eyes tell him during the war what did Jubal Early see during the
war I mean for instance do any of yall recall what was called this will test you
Civil War knowledge to recall what was called the the
burning in the Shenandoah Valley in 64 Early arrives in Lynchburg around that
time I believe David Hunter is involved in that Union General side and basically long
story short that’s going to allow Early to march all the way into that. Indirectly
the burnings in the Shenandoah Valley are going to be gin up the
retaliation which is going to take place by the Confederates right beside us in
Chambersburg in 1864. The Confederates will burn that town in retaliation for the
things that have been done in the Shenandoah Valley Early is
seeing this and he’s seen a lot of smaller stuff on a daily basis I mean
this is what his eyes are telling him now the Southern Historical Society papers was
organized in New Orleans in 1869 the Southern Historical Society paper sought
to preserve “the true history of the Civil War one that emphasize that
honor and nobility of the Confederate cause.” initially the society did not
garner more than a hundred members so to jump-start membership the group met at
White Sulphur Springs in today’s West Virginia in 1873 Jubal Early was elected
President. If I say SHSP you know Southern Historic Society Papers. The SHSP
starts publishing in 1876 ironic though I found this interesting
that the peak circulation there was only around 1,500 members I thought there’d
be a lot more but despite setting up auxiliary chapters in other Southern
states too in 1885 publication went from monthly to annually so it was never really
that big as far as it’s circulation but the papers helped develop and present
southern veterans points of view an advertisement in the SHSP asserted “our papers interesting to all lovers of historic truth and simply INVALUABLE to those who desire to see
vindicated the name and fame of those who made our great struggle for
constitutional freedom.” not a bias publication at all as you can see
articles primarily concentrated on three things on the greatness
of Lee, the fight against overwhelming northern resources in men, and in the
early days of the publication the tardiness of James Longstreet at Gettysburg. more about all that later after 1910 volumes only appeared
sporadically Douglas Southall Freeman took over as editor in 1926 and published
the proceedings of the Confederate Congress the last volume from the SHSP
came out in 1952 and with Freeman’s death in 1953 the SHSP archives was donated to
the Virginia Historical Society backing up a little bit as SHSP will become the
organ for Early’s voice. in a prior letter to Robert E Lee in 1866 Early
said “the most that has left us is the history of our struggle and I think
that ought to be accurately written we lost nearly everything but honor and
that should be religiously guarded and harking back to my earlier points about
what Confederate veterans in the postwar years when Early became
president of the SHSP in 1873 the publication
would start really popunding in those three main things I said earlier Robert
E Lee, northern resources, and James Longstreet. let’s look at the first thing
Confederate soldiers being far superior to their opponents this idea you know how hard I had work to find that picture type in confederates
superior to northern and see what you come up with the idea that Early would
put forth is that southerners came from a superior race and that northerners were
descended from an inferior perhaps akin to Mongral race of “Yankees, negroes,
germans, and Irish.” think about covered everybody and this argument was
juxtaposed with the greater population numbers of the north and then and their
industrial might and this lent itself to the argument
“might does not make right” and the Confederates could still claim the moral
high ground the South “have been gradually worn down by the
combined agencies of numbers, steam power, railroads, mechanisms, and all the
resources of physical science ” All this “finally produced
that exhaustion of our army and resources and that accumulation of
numbers on the other side that Roth the final disaster.” Early took personal
exception when northern writers who portrayed the two armies is numerically
close and reviewing the war Early mocked Union General George McClellan’s
tendency to overestimate Lee’s numerical strength saying “I might
multiply the instances of the attempts of our enemies to falsify the
truth of history in order to excuse their manifold failures, and to
conceal the inferiority of their troops and all the elements of manhood, but I will become too tedious.” you know
the one thing I like about the show is I get to read
these nice quotes to you when Adam Badeau Grant’s military secretary in the
late war period wrote the London Standard newspaper that U.S. Grant’s Army
at the start of 1864 spring campaign was 98,000 and Robert E Lee had 72,000
Early had a conniption Early retorted it was more like a 141,000 to 50,000 thousand the actual numbers were probably closer 220,000
60,000 Early proclaimed that the southern
people “were overpowering crushed in a struggle for their rights” and he
wrote the newspaper that they had only history to appeal for for vindication now Grant of
course cannot be the equal of Lee. Early held Grant up to be the ultimate symbol
of northern supremacy a man that had no strategy at all only brute force behind him
all things being equal Lee would have bested Grant on any field according to Early
Early gested the Grant’s title for a book on strategy should be
“The Lincoln Grant” or “Pegging Hammer Art of War.” speaking of Lee now I put in I put in Google
Robert E Lee saint and then I didn’t get anything I put in deity and I didn’t get anything so so I was surprised and
so the only thing I could come up with is this is the cross picture what’s so funny about that? That wasn’t no joke
great program that brings us to our second theme the
beatification of Lee from Alan T. Nolan’s list Early and numerous southern
writers sought to elevate Lee to a Christ-like status the anointing
came in the form of a speech Early made at Washington and Lee University on the
anniversary of Lee’s birthday in 1872 Early took a chronological look at the
campaigns Lee had fought each opponent took a each opponent he faced was given short
shrift from McClellan to Pope to Hooker the man who did defeat him Grant was a
sale with the argument already illustrated of superior numbers and
resources bracing for this word even the mag magnanimity of Grant at Appomattox
garnered no praise from Early Appomattox only demonstrated Lee’s
“superiority over his antagonist and all the qualities of a great captain of the
Confederate soldier over the northern. General Lee had not been conquered in
battle but surrendered because he had no longer an army with which to give battle.”
but Lee was defeated by U. S. Grant so you got something you need to explain right
there so how do you explain it who ultimately led to Robert E Lee being
defeated? Longstreet now Longstreet is going to be
attacked on three fronts first he should have attacked earlier on July 2nd here at Gettysburg that’s the sunrise order we
discount that today but do not discount how big a deal that was in the 1870 and 1880s I mean it that that sunrise order argument or
myth whatever you wanna call it got so big that Jefferson Davis and is in his
two volumes Rise and Fall of the Confederacy he referred to when he got to Gettysburg he referred to the SHSP because there was nothing else to say
about the argument. the sunrise order it was just the gospel truth is second thing Longstreet
was attacked on which he criticized Robert E Lee while defending his actions
third Longstreet on a personal note had committed an apostasy by becoming a
catholic and joining the republican party what is the South democrat while
relating his narrative about the war when the subject of Gettysburg came up
Early stated that during the Battle Lee wished for longstreet “to begin the
attack at dawn the next morning” of course you can guess the next argument
if Longstreet would have attacked iat dawn so says Early Little Round Top
would have been undefended Early also made the assertion that during Pickett’s
Charge the Confederate assault was not properly supported now here do we have a
lecture on the second wave believe we do the second charge obviously Robert E Lee did not make any dawn attack order and even
some of Lee staff officers Charles Venable and Charles Marshall repudiated it
in 1872 but the next year 1873 William Pendleton Lee’s chief of artillery here
made the same assertion during the birthday speech at W&L University
again and that’s how the legend in the dawn attack really began to take hold
the ensuing controversy unfolded over the next several years and Early upped the
ante for years later in 1877 in the pages of the SHSP “we unequivocally
stated the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg was Longstreet’s fault. not
Stuart, Ewell or even himself it was James Longstreet. Fitz Lee, William Allen, Walter
Taylor ,then followed with other articles reinforcing Early’s accusations
Longstreet did not stand idle he would write an article to the Philadelphia
weekly towns in 1877 entitled Lee in Pennsylvania in this he accused Lee
“losing the matchless equipos that usually characterized him that whatever
mistakes were made were not so much matters of delivered judgment as the
impulses of a great mind disturbed by unparallel conditions.” Longstreet further stated that Lee’s remark
the end of Pickett’s Charge that “it has been all my fault” was said in the
context that he should have never left the tactical defensive policy agreed
with with Longstreet before the campaign now you think about that the paragraph I
just read do you think about how that hit the southern veterans right here Longstreet is missing a huge point and
that point is despite being a wounded Confederate veteran owned and Lee’s
chief lieutenant in the only one still living by the way Longstreet failed to see how firmly the
memory of Lee had become unassailable these things get it he also made the
cardinal sin of making himself Robert E Lee’s equal on the field of battle in
strategy etc wrong time in the wrong place When Longstreet published those articles surprisingly JuablEarly had the whole article
reprinted in the SHSP in this magnanimous act Early let Longstreet
damn himself as own words and Longstreet was not finished though he promptly
wrote another article for the Philadelphia Times in March of 1878 whoring Early’s quote ill natured and
splenetic attacks everybody listening this on youtube that
their computer splenetic I’ll go down the water cooler be like you’re so splenetic well guess what JuablEarly had that article promptly reprinted in SHSP and ripped that to shreds to an 1880s Longstreet wrote for
articles for the Century Magazine that were later reprinted in Battles and
Leaders although invited by the editors Early did not respond to these The SHSP
test period done its job and Longstreet’s reputation lay in tatters Longstreet’s death in 1904 less than 5%
of the United Confederate Veteran chapters approve resolutions of tribute
to James Longstreet that’s how thorough Jubal Early destroyed him now a lot of you
Gettysburg buffs that have been interested in this battlefield along time
can remember when they were raising funds for the erection of a monument to
James Longstreet what year was it 92 93 here and ride out here and what
was their campaign slogan it’s time it’s about time ok where is that go back to that my name
it never gets corrected because it didn’t have any support while the
Confederate Veterans were alive and that is a large part due to do Jubal Early that
coincides with the rise of Robert E Lee in the fall of James Longstreet speaking of that ladies and gentlemen
as I include here it’s hard to think that one man can have that much
influence own one thing like southern history or you know the the way that
we remember and so forth but Jubal Early is going to be that man it unto
himself I urge you if you have a chance I don’t know if you watch for you or you
I guess I consume information like I read information for instance I got
kicked out of the best office in the whole bill they kick me down the
basement in the library yeah so anyway I’m down in the basement
and I’m surrounded by buy books which is that you know make lemonade out of
lemons and I’ve got nine thousand volumes each one of them is slightly
different if I pull out those books and I have a book if I’m preparing a program
I’ll unfold three or four books and each one of them have all opened it once and
each one will be slightly different and then I have to make a judgment which one
i think is correct and then since I’ve been doing that so long since I’ve been doing that so long I translate that into
my personal life people tell me stories automatically thinking wow how could
that be true you know or sit down I watch the news and I think what does
this person bias right here so I urge you going back to the original point
when somebody tells you something when you’re studying the American Civil War
and you take something for granted because you’ve heard it so many times
why don’t you take a fresh look at it why don’t you make up your own mind you
but Early would not like that well depends on how you made up your
mind right there ok but I hate that I feel that you know
along with the new getting off on a tangent here but the news and so forth
you know whatever happened to neutral neutrality alright you think I wanted to
read Alan T. Nolan to you you really think I name my kid after Robert E Lee but I did it because that’s the fair
thing to do they give you both sides of the coin right there and everything that
early said was not true but everything that Jubal Early said was not untrue
either and that is what I leave for you to ponder here today what is true and
what is untrue an unreconstructed rebel to the in Jubal Early would die on March
2nd 1894 southern veteran Robert Stiles wrote that “no man ever took up his
pen to write a line about the great conflict without the fear of Jubal Early
before his eyes.” ladies and gentlemen Jubal Early thank
you very much

82 thoughts on “Jubal Early and the Molding of Confederate Memory (Lecture)

  1. Matt's lectures and battlefield tour speaking programs just rock. He makes learning historical facts about Gettysburg and the civil war in general fun, by NOT boring visitors or "YouTube" viewers to tears.

  2. Jubal Early molded the memories of the entire confederacy? Wow, did he have super powers like Houdini or did he just creep into every confederates mind at night while they were sleeping? If so, when did he have time to be a general? Was it like Santa Claus visiting the entire world in one night? My those Confederate generals were good.

  3. "Scalp a Yankee woman and child without winking an eye"? How funny would this park ranger feel this comment was if the quotation came from US Grant, or another Union general?

  4. This conspiracy theory has been debunked decades ago.

    The simple truth is that State's Rights has always been an issue since the beginning. Davis and Judah P. Benjamin and others spoke of it in the 1850's. Calhoun championed the cause against Henry Clay in the 1830's. Jefferson championed the cause against Hamilton in the 1800's. Hell, the Kentucky Resolution (which begins "Resolved, That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government") was written in 1798.

    The Confederate Constitution eliminated the "promote the general welfare" phrase, allowed states to impeach federal officials, and set several restrictions on lawmaking for the feds.

    Yes, states' rights was always a thing.

    Amusingly, it's the "noble crusade to end slavery" that was made up after the war.

    Grant's quotes, for example, during the war said "If it cannot be whipped any other way than through a war against slavery, let it come to to that legitimately." and "The North do not want, nor will they want, to interfere with the institution. But they will refuse for all time to give it protection unless the South shall return soon to their allegiance." Clearly–like his boss Lincoln, who tried to enshrine slavery permanently in the Constitution as a bribe, the issue of slavery was completely "on the table," something that could be granted or witheld based completely on who it could influence.

    LATER, he told us that he was inflamed with sympathy for the slave: "We felt that it was a stain to the Union that men should be bought and sold like cattle," he told Otto von Bismark, and in 1885 he wrote "The cause of the great War of the Rebellion against the United States will have to be attributed to slavery."

    It was the myth of the civil war as a crusade to end slavery that was created after the war, not the "Lost Cause."

  5. Is it me, or as the program goes on, does he seem to get annoyed with the audience? I wouldn't blame him, they seemed to act rude and uninterested. He appears to have done a great job, but they didn't really help much.

  6. If you tell a lie loud enough and long enough, some will believe. Thus we get the Confederate Myth, Adolph Hitler, and Donald Trump.

  7. I think this guy just wants to keep his job when he talks about the reasons for the war, it didnt become about slavery until Lincoln was losing support and needed the abolitionists on his side, Early didn't write the only accounts and wasn't the only person who thought Lincolns actions were unlawful and therefore the entire war was not as cut and dried as we are led to believe

  8. Very informative, Longstreet protected Lee with Judicious wording. Lee had serious dysentery as symptom of Angina, heart attack. He was getting standard medical treatment. Longstreet and staff kept it quite but Lee was buzzing from laudanum. Longstreet was torn between relieving him or obeying orders. Other Generals didn't see it. So their disagreement is understandable. Early showed class by printing Longstreet's complete works.

  9. The tragedy is the South should have won this war by right…..so as the North won it by wrong….no good thing to come of this…as today we see a land out of control….a 250 year old republic selfdestructing

  10. Pretty rich that Longstreet was largely blamed for Gettysburg defeat by Early – every Confederate General made critical mistakes there. The more points of view you get from Gettysburg, the more interesting it gets – a very human story.

  11. By suggesting that people ought to "make up their own mind", rather than coming down on a firm conclusion, it appears the presenter is trying to avoid offending his audience. The answers to these questions aren't nearly as ambiguous as some would have us believe, it's just that the idea that generations of white southerners believe a lie meant to protect their conscience from their history, is simply too explosive to entertain.

  12. When I read General Early's memoirs I expected his story would be told from his perspective and it was. Allowing for that I thought it was pretty straightforward and honest.

  13. Ed Bonekemper's (2015) book, The Myth of the Lost Cause, succinctly and thoroughly evaluates each of the Myths. Long over due. As then VA Gov. Jim Kemper stated shortly after the war, it's too early to attempt an accurate history of the war, you'll have to wait 100 years. Well it's been 150+ years and we still don't have it. However, we do now have an accurate evaluation of the tenants of the Myths.

  14. There is no lost cause! The Confederacy yet is Seceded, as no Quorum was reached in congress. Read the law on this

  15. the War was no "Lost Cause" as the principles of true freedom from tyranny and despotism are never ever lost! – Or lost causes ~ Remember this when you are forced to pay your income tax, enforced by DC District of Criminals. War Criminals who must be hanged for War Crimes that yet go on.

  16. I know this lecturer for about ten years and have had many long talks and fact checks and comparing of info and facts on several of the articles and both my books (I'm NOT advertising, u ain't read it anyway) and I would like to say… What a two faced cad he is, not once ONCE in ten years has he spoken or referred to or even hinted this blatant disrespectful disregard when speaking of Robert Lee.. and to think I was referred to him by a notable historian and professor. Not once in ten years! Sad….

  17. cant get into or out the saddle has no credibility. everybody has to take care of bodily functions and that cannot be done on a horse period.

  18. Jubal Early is an interesting person. I didn't realize he had THAT much influence on the "history" of the South in that conflict. One historian called Dick Ewell Early's "wife" as he had so much input an influence on Ewell's actions at Gettysburg and beyond. I don't think it's unfair to say that Ewell's decision not to attack Cemetery Hill on 7/1 was as much Early's decision as his own.

  19. Early was a lying piece of shit and shouldn't be defended by an NPS historian just because he worships Robert E. Lee and likes some Lost Cause myths.

  20. Less people forget..The Confederates took up arms against the Republic and therefore traitors nothing less. That is treason by any definition…not deserving of adoration!.. shame yes

  21. Now a days they say ' the war was about….the tariff, taxes, theft " blah blah. No amount of facts, ( with links and quotes added ) seem to matter. Show them a George C. Wallace documentary and they'd still say ' Lincoln and Bush / and or Trump are Republicans and that Democrats keep blacks enslaved with welfare and are racist. If a educator says A B and C, these people say ' fake news " or bring higher education into doubt by attacking the messenger, or name a outliar historian found on FAR right web sights! They say ' who wins writes the story"! Never mind it was the Confederate Apologists and now the Neo Confederates that are writing the story. I believe this has profound effects on our Country, our economy, and our views on equality before the law. ( all negative from the view point of Liberty for All ) More and more what is preached ( on line ) is ( renewed hostilities ) especially concerning economy and 2nd amendment. This seems true at all economic levels but Not Found ( by me ) in educated circles or where someone who seems to be in the authority position says things they disagree with ( Oh…Irony ) Thank you @GettysburgNPS for teaching me a few new things….which I am now going to attempt to check for myself. 🙂

  22. Brilliant, just brilliant. High school teachers could take lessons from this guy and more young people would be interested in the importance of history in our lives. Matt, I’m looking for more of your videos! Thanks so much.

  23. The war was over tariffs on cotton and raising them on the southern states remember cotton was used for sails for ships and clothing, and cotton only grows in the south and there was nothing civil about that war, Jefferson Davis in his days in the US Senate tried to avoid the war and in the end resigned as they disagreed, they wanted war and he Jefferson Davis went back to his home

  24. And speaking of Gen Lee they are using his and TJJacksons battle tactics in our military to this day, you do know that don't you?

  25. A few points..
    *The lack of printing capacity in the South impeded any efforts to counter balance the printed word avalanche from the Northern printing presses. Those Northern presses were busy recasting much of the reality. Perhaps Early engaged in such, but his degree and quantity pales in comparison to the amount published in the North.

    *The Deep South did secede over slavery, and mentioned so in their secession documents. This is quickly pointed out by those who wish to emphasize and paint the war as a one issue event. However, VA NC AR and TN, states that were solidly anti secession did not secede until troops were required to make war on the Deep South as well as blockade. These were seen as Constitutional issues, and THEY WERE!

    *Much of what has been portrayed as the Lost Cause and presented as post war "myth" were in fact ARTICULATED by Jefferson Davis in February of 1861, prior to any shots fired. I guess it was a pre war myth too, according to some. His inauguration is readily available to read, and the point proven.
    Additionally, despite the one famous quote of Stevens in his "Cornerstone" speech, the other 23 paragraphs also articulate the Southern positions, again pre war, not post war. Much of what is held as "post war myth" is actually readily disproved by reading some pre war speeches.

  26. If Lee was such a great General why did the South lose? The answer is that Jeff Davis, Robert E. Lee and their generals were inept at strategy and tactics.
    The fact is, the Southern leadership was composed of drunks, ignorant racists, immoral rapists, and murderers.
    The whole bunch should have been hung or shot after the butt whipping administered by the Union.
    Jubal Early was just one more idiot who repeatedly lied about the causes of the Civil War.

  27. If the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg was all Longstreet's fault; why did Lee continue to utilize Longstreet as his chief Lieutenant?
    Why did Lee send a letter to Jeff Davis offering his resignation? Why didn't Lee recommend to Jeff Davis that Longstreet be relieved of his position?
    ANSWER:
    Jubal Early was a lying loser. A simple minded mendicant who helped lose the critical battles of the Civil War. Incompetent and inept in war and in peace. The same goes for Robert E. Lee.

  28. Not surprising that Early and Beauregard teamed up to run a lottery that stole from the lottery players. Early and Beauregard figured that anyone stupid enough to fight to maintain slavery would be sucker enough to play a rigged lottery.
    Why is it that we always see confederate troops bare assed and shoeless but their leaders are always finely accuted; shoes and boots shined, shirts pressed, and uniforms resplendent with gold braid and insignia of rank?

  29. Jubal Early was a genetically inferior semblance of a humanoid. Just look at the shape of the head and the chronically stooped posture. Consider also the muddled, illogical "thinking". A real knuckle dragger.
    Early was an illogical, ignorant, and inept loser.No wonder Early still had a sychophantic child like devotion to Lee; even after Lee fired him.

  30. There is an definition of "buttermilk rangers" readily available on the internet for those who may not understand the derisive term.

  31. After Vietnam, these Viet Cong start writing and explaining their mission was to stop an American invasion of their home land and not to spread communism. We should call them the Lost Cong. Ha.Ha.

  32. In my estimation Academics are not interested in anyone's "memories" unless the particular person's memory suited the academic's own socio-political bias. The truth of the War is found in the words of those who participated. Read them, and you'll notice a world of difference between them and the half-truths and outright lies of today. Yes, Virginia left only after Lincoln called for the invasion. In fact, that call for mobilization actually created the Confederacy, nearly doubling its size from 7 to 12 states. It was a legal issue —- the central government has absolutely no authority or power under the Constitution to declare war on a sovereign State.

    And, it's coming again. Won't be a North v. South issue this time, but many diversities warring against each other.

  33. He finds it apropos. That jubal early is first under the e. Section of the civil war encyclopedia. How many of you bush trump voting yankee morons don t understand how alphabetical order works. At least when the pre americans. The germans. thought THEY were the master race. They could READ and WRITE their own language unlike you yankee untermenschen. your future is charleton heston cursing you on the planet of the yanks

  34. "Overwhelmed by massive Northern manpower and matériel."  General Early never lived to see the Vietnam War.

  35. The numbers have a bit of an impact on the argument.
    "2,776,000 men served in the Union military while about 750,000 served in the Confederate military"
    Roughly 4 to 1 odds, or 3.5 to one odds.
    It is difficult to refute the argument about numerical supremacy.

  36. People laughing at and pettying a heroic man who only ever spoke the truth and didn't compromise his honour, as if you know better than him… all you really know are the lies you were trained in.
    Everything he said about slavery, politics and justice was entirely accurate.
    And yes, America lost the final war for independence and was supplanted by something very ugly.

  37. 31:00
    ''nobody's gonna touch that one''
    …….everyone with a functioning brain and a pair of balls: ''It's obviously true''

  38. Jubal Early nearly took Washington D.C. in 1864, some people believed he would have if his men had not found a barrel of whisky in Silver Spring the night before.

  39. I’ve listened to this lecture several times. It’s well written and delivered with information and a touch of humor. Ranger Atkinson is unique. All the NPR rangers are excellent in their presentations. Their knowledge makes both battlefield tours it lectures worthwhile.

  40. Didn't realise how completely Longstreet was vilified. What a fascinating figure he was. Historical figures who grow, transform and evolve fascinate me.

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