Confederate Leaders in the New South

By William B. Hesseltine | Go to book overview

II.
Clashing Counselors in Church
and School

THE PROBLEMS and confusions of the postwar leaders of the defunct Confederacy, the dichotomy of ideology between those who would preserve the Old South and those who would put hands to the plow of the New South without a backward glance, the tuggings of nostalgia and the urgings of hope were nowhere better illustrated than in the careers of those Confederate leaders who preached in the pulpits or taught in the schools. Religious and educational institutions had furnished a fair quota of leaders to the Confederacy; they received more than a fair proportion of the leaders after the war. Perhaps it was economic pressure and the availability of jobs in the schools that led many Southern leaders to turn to education; perhaps it was a sense of responsibility for the youth whom they had led in battle that caused generals to change from plumed hats to mortarboards. Whatever the motive, many a leader of the Confederacy assumed the role of priest or pedagogue—and sometimes both—in the days after Appomattox.

-[42]-

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