"Look, men, there is Jackson standing like a stone wall! Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer! Follow me!"
—General Bernard E. Bee, C.F.A., shortly before falling,
mortally wounded, in First Manassas
The era of the War for Southern Independence illuminates the present time for what it is, and is not. As J.O. Tate has said, "Everything in American history went into the Civil War, and everything since has come out of it." Americans who agree with a well-known American magazine editor, now retired, that the crucial event in the national history is as irrelevant as the Wars of the Roses, probably ought not to be permitted to vote. It is just possible, however, that of those Americans who know that a war was fought at all, or when it was fought, a majority considers it worth knowing about. The publishers' catalogues for the past several seasons list a substantial number of big books (Mr. Robertson's included) about the Civil War, and Shelby Foote's three-volume masterpiece, completed almost a quarter-century ago, is prominently displayed in most bookstores. Interest in the Late Unpleasantness shows no sign of diminishing; indeed it may well be increasing. It is tempting to speculate on the reasons for this. Surely the Second Reconstruction that leftists waged against the South in the 1950's...