Confederates in the Attic
|March 3, 1998|
|Media type||Print (Hardback and Paperback)|
Confederates in the Attic (1998) is a work of non-fiction by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tony Horwitz. Horwitz explores his deep interest in the American Civil War and investigates the ties in the United States among citizens to a war that ended more than 130 years previously. He reports on attitudes on the Civil War and how it is discussed and taught, as well as attitudes about race.
Among the experiences Horwitz has in the book:
- Horwitz's first day with reenactors, led by Robert Lee Hodge, a particularly hardcore reenactor (who is featured in a photo on the cover of the book). He is a waiter.
- Lee-Jackson Day in North Carolina
- Touring Charleston, South Carolina, including Fort Sumter National Monument
- Studying a Union soldier on a monument celebrating Confederates in Kingstree, South Carolina
- The aftermath of the murder of Michael Westerman, a Todd County, Kentucky man murdered by a gunshot fired from a car containing black teenagers, for having a Confederate flag on the back of his pickup truck
- A reenactment of the Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia
- A visit with the historian and novelist Shelby Foote, author of The Civil War: A Narrative (1958, 1963, 1974). He had become more widely known after appearing in Ken Burns's Civil War documentary
- Visiting Shiloh National Military Park during the anniversary of the battle.
- Exploring the "truth" about Gone with the Wind
- Visiting Andersonville National Historic Site, where prisoners of war were held
- Visiting Fitzgerald, Georgia, a town founded by union veterans in Georgia which became notable for reconciliation between Union and Confederate veterans
- Touring Vicksburg, Mississippi
- Going on Robert Hodge's "Civil Wargasm", a week-long journey to various battle sites in Virginia and Maryland, remaining in authentic uniform and sleeping on the battlefields
- An off-and-on chat with Alberta Martin, believed at the time to be the last surviving widow of a Confederate soldier.
- Confederate heritage in Selma, Alabama
When published, Confederates in the Attic became a bestseller in the United States. The New York Times described it as intellectually honest and humorous, saying Horwitz seemed uncomfortable placed between two sides, seeking peace between the factions.
Toward the end of the chapter on Alberta Martin, Horwitz claims that Martin's Confederate husband was a deserter. In response, in 1998 the Southern Legal Resource Center sued Horwitz on Martin's behalf, with encouragement from the Sons of Confederate Veterans. It noted that two other William Martins were on the rolls of the same company as Alberta's husband. In addition, the SLRC claimed that Horwitz had ridiculed her in his book.
- "Confederates in the Attic". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- Carolina Summer Reading Program 2000
- Blount, Jr, Roy. "Trekkies of the Confederacy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- SLRC Update 27 June 2004 Archived 28 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Gumbel, Andrew (2004-06-02). "Confederates mourn the passing of the last of America's civil war widows". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- SLRC Update 1 August 2000 Archived 8 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine