Manual Military Reminiscences of the Civil War (Complete)

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  4. John Brown Gordon, Reminiscences of the Civil War

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Life of the Civil War Soldier in the Army

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Item location:. Sparks, Nevada, United States. Ships to:. This amount is subject to change until you make payment. Grant , recorded in moving detail by Chamberlain:. The momentous meaning of this occasion impressed me deeply.

I resolved to mark it by some token of recognition, which could be no other than a salute of arms. Well aware of the responsibility assumed, and of the criticisms that would follow, as the sequel proved, nothing of that kind could move me in the least. The act could be defended, if needful, by the suggestion that such a salute was not to the cause for which the flag of the Confederacy stood, but to its going down before the flag of the Union. My main reason, however, was one for which I sought no authority nor asked forgiveness.

Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood: men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness could bend from their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn, and famished, but erect, and with eyes looking level into ours, waking memories that bound us together as no other bond;—was not such manhood to be welcomed back into a Union so tested and assured? Instructions had been given; and when the head of each division column comes opposite our group, our bugle sounds the signal and instantly our whole line from right to left, regiment by regiment in succession, gives the soldier's salutation, from the "order arms" to the old "carry"—the marching salute.

Gordon at the head of the column, riding with heavy spirit and downcast face, catches the sound of shifting arms, looks up, and, taking the meaning, wheels superbly, making with himself and his horse one uplifted figure, with profound salutation as he drops the point of his sword to the boot toe; then facing to his own command, gives word for his successive brigades to pass us with the same position of the manual,—honor answering honor.

On our part not a sound of trumpet more, nor roll of drum; not a cheer, nor word nor whisper of vain-glorying, nor motion of man standing again at the order, but an awed stillness rather, and breath-holding, as if it were the passing of the dead! Though Gordon himself often claimed he was promoted to lieutenant general , there is no official record of this occurring. As the government of the State of Georgia was being reconstituted for readmission to the Union, Gordon ran as the Democratic candidate for governor in , but was defeated by Republican Rufus Bullock in a vote of 83, to 76, Gordon was thought to be the titular head of the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia, [9] but the organization was so secretive that his role was never proven conclusively.

During congressional testimony in , Gordon denied any involvement with the Klan, but did acknowledge he was associated with a secret "peace police" organization whose sole purpose was the "preservation of peace.

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Gordon was elected to the U. Senate in , and in became the first ex-Confederate to preside over the Senate. He was a strong supporter of the " New South " and industrialization. Gordon resigned as U. Word of his unexpected resignation had barely reached back to Georgia before Governor Alfred H. Colquitt had appointed Joseph E. Brown to succeed Gordon. Almost instantly, cries of corruption were heard when it was discovered Gordon resigned to promote a venture for the Georgia Pacific Railway. Gordon, Reminicences of the Civil War. He engaged in a series of popular speaking engagements throughout the country.

General Gordon was the first Commander-in-Chief of the United Confederate Veterans when the group was organized in and held this position until his death. Author Ralph Lowell Eckart among many others have concluded that Gordon was a member of the Ku Klux Klan based on evasive answers during an hearing. Gordon's detractors have perpetuated these theories without definitive proof of his involvement and the conclusion should be considered theoretical at best. In the midst of Reconstruction, a variety of organizations cropped up in the south, each dedicated to different causes. They range from groups that agreed to mobilize to quell uprisings or other disturbances of the peace to the more extreme, which existed to outright defy reconstruction i.

As many of these groups even the more peaceful ones feared reprisals for the simple act of organizing themselves while under occupation by Federal troops, they generally operated as secret organizations. While many make the assumption that Gordon was the head of the Ku Klux Klan, his postbellum conduct suggests otherwise. In , Gordon made substantial contributions in the form of money and materials to help build churches and schools for blacks in Brunswick, Georgia , and advised them to:.

With submission to the laws, industry and economy, with union among yourselves, and courtesy and confidence toward the whites, you will reach these ends, and constitute an important element in the community. These types of comments, coupled with the reconciliatory tone of his many lectures are in direct conflict with the activities of the Ku Klux Klan, which sought to maintain racial and regional animosities.

A product of his time and locale, Gordon, like most southern whites, believed in white superiority, but unlike many of his peers, seemed to have a more benevolent attitude toward recently freed slaves as indicated from public comments such as the one above.

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Gordon seems to have been most concerned with incidents such as black Federal troops mistreating white Georgians as well as unscrupulous members of the Union League and Freedmen's Bureau that were reported to have been inciting newly freed slaves to use violence. Our interests are identical. If the white man is oppressed, his colored neighbor must suffer with him. They are embarked together, the one cannot swim if the other sinks.

John Brown Gordon, Reminiscences of the Civil War

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Confederate army general. For other people named John Gordon, see John Gordon disambiguation. Gordon in uniform, ca. Chamberlain , The Passing of the Armies , pp. Postbellum engraving by Campbell Brothers , New York. It will be found, I trust, that no injustice has been done to either section, to any army, or to any of the great leaders, but that the substance and spirit of the following pages will tend rather to lift to a higher plane the estimate placed by victors and vanquished upon their countrymen of the opposing section, and thus strengthen the sentiment of intersectional fraternity which is essential to complete national unity.

It is exceedingly difficult to determine Gordon's exact role in the Klan, but given the nature of his testimony, his almost constant travel throughout Georgia and the South, and his desire to maintain peace, social order, and white supremacy, one can conclude with reasonable certainty that he was at least titular head of the Georgia Ku Klux Klan. Even so, he probably had little knowledge of and little control over the local klaverns, as this terrorist association was never fully organized.

Although it is remotely possible that Gordon was unaware of the threats and violence southern whites so often employed against southern blacks, it seems more plausible that Gordon simply "looked the other way" and countenanced such excesses as the price that had to be paid if social peace—a peace determined and defined exclusively by southern whites—was to be regained and preserved. Gordon may not have condoned the violence employed by Klan members, but he did not question or oppose it when he felt it was justified.

In this sense, Gordon typified the upper levels of Southern society: he would do what had to be done to assure a white-controlled social order, but he hoped it could be accomplished without violence.

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American Civil War portal Georgia U. State portal Biography portal. Chapter 4 in Bearss, Edward C. Retrieved on 6 March John B. Retrieved 3 June The Georgia Review. Medical Histories of Confederate Generals. Retrieved June 20, New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23 August Biographical sketches in the references by Deserino, Eicher, and Warner make no mention of Klan involvement. I naturally scanned them with some interest, and tried to make the most of the opportunity to become acquainted with them. General Benham I knew already, from his visit to me at Gauley Bridge in his capacity of engineer officer.

I had met Colonel Robert McCook at Camp Dennison, and now that it was intimated that he would be for some days under my command, I recalled a scene I had witnessed there which left many doubts in my mind whether he would prove an agreeable subordinate.