[Publisher's Note, by Gene Kizer, Jr. : In the past few weeks, we have expanded our distribution network to include, not only Amazon, but the Ingram Book Company, the largest wholesale book distributor in the world. We'll be in select bookstores, libraries, universities (they NEED it!) and retail outlets - bricks and mortar, and online - worldwide. We are extremely proud to announce that historian Michael R. Bradley's outstanding new book, The Last Words, The Farewell Addresses of Union and Confederate Commanders to Their Men at the End of the War Between the States, is our first title on both Ingram and Amazon and is now also available here on our website as an ebook, softcover and hardback.
When Dr. Bradley first approached me with the idea for The Last Words, I immediately knew it would be an important book in this day and age of nauseating politicized historians and journalists whose idea of historical truth comes from the New York Times and Communist Manifesto.
Dr. Bradley had dug out the seventeen extant farewell addresses of commanders on both sides - eight Confederate and nine Union - so that readers can see and hear in their own minds the actual words of the men who fought the war. They knew exactly what they were fighting for and they said so.
Over the next few weeks, I will publish on the blog the Prologue, Epilogue and Appendices to The Last Words and many of the farewell addresses with Dr. Bradley's analysis.]
From the Introduction to The Last Words by the author:
Never mind that anyone touring a battlefield cannot find a single monument to Union soldiers which boasts that the men fought to end slavery. They all honor the bravery of those who fought and died, and speak of preserving the Union. Perhaps this emphasis on preserving the Union is why historians almost always call the United States forces the “Union Army” despite the fact that this name displaces slavery as the central factor supposedly causing the war.
From the Prologue by Gene Kizer, Jr. :
Dr. Michael R. Bradley has given us the words of some of the most important participants in the War Between the States at a critical point in American history, when the republic of the Founding Fathers died and the federal government became supreme over the states.
Lee had surrendered and the war was nearly over but units were still on battlefields and had not yet broken up. Not all commanders addressed their men. Many just broke up and started home as best they could.
The seventeen extant farewell addresses Bradley has dug out are an excellent representative for all the other soldiers in the war. They tell us exactly what men on both sides were feeling after all that death and destruction, and why they had fought.
The addresses also talk about the future in our reunited country.
As one might imagine there was jubilation on the Northern side at their victory, and deep disappointment on the Southern but not despair. There was a manly, dignified acceptance of the loss, and pride in their victories that were more impressive because Southerners were outnumbered four to one by a well-armed, well-fed, well-clothed invader whose army was 25% foreign born, while they, themselves, were often hungry and ragged.
Southerners were ecstatic to fight for their sacred cause of independence and die for it, and hundreds of thousands had.
Basil Gildersleeve, a Confederate soldier from Charleston, South Carolina, states well the feeling in the hearts of the Southerners. He wrote this in his book, The Creed of the Old South, published 27 years after the war:
All that I vouch for is the feeling; . . . there was no lurking suspicion of any moral weakness in our cause. Nothing could be holier than the cause, nothing more imperative than the duty of upholding it. There were those in the South who, when they saw the issue of the war, gave up their faith in God, but not their faith in the cause.
One of the best orations was given by perhaps the greatest soldier of the War Between the States on either side, Confederate Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who is often attacked by academia's jealous, politicized historians, but his address, like his deeds and life, is towering and speaks for itself.
One of the sweetest and saddest was from Confederate Major General Robert F. Hoke who writes that the Southern "star has set in blood, but yet in glory."
The address by the white officer, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Tyler Trowbridge of the United States Colored Troops, from Morris Island in Charleston where they were stationed, is fascinating. Bradley gives us much detail about the USCT. Black units were always commanded by white officers because blacks were not permitted to rise higher than sergeant. Often black troops and officers were looked down on by other Union soldiers. Nathan Bedford Forrest is often accused of atrocities at Fort Pillow but the USCT has a record of the same type atrocities during the attack on Petersburg, Virginia in 1864. Bradley points out that many of the Union's black troops were not volunteers but were rounded up and coerced, or a "loyal" (Union) slaveholder would enlist his slave and receive the enlistment bonus. Trowbridge, himself, was arrested and court-martialed for murder in Newberry, South Carolina but found "not guilty" by a friendly court, which brought a harsh rebuke from Major General Charles Devens who had brought the charges against him. Despite often poor officers, Bradley writes that the USCT "generally" fought well as noted by a Confederate officer paying his enemy a compliment at the Battle of Nashville.
Michael Bradley is a distinguished historian with an impressive educational background including an M.A. and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. See "About the Author" for a complete biography.
He is from the Tennessee-Alabama state line region near Fayetteville, Tennessee and his love of home and its history are obvious and a pleasure to read. One always writes best on what one loves most and is most fascinated by.
Many of his books are about the War Between the States in Tennessee, or Nathan Bedford Forrest and his men, but he has written on topics ranging from the Revolutionary War to death in the Great Smoky Mountains.
He taught United States History at Motlow College near Tullahoma, Tennessee for thirty-six years.
In 1994 he was awarded the Jefferson Davis Medal in Southern History, and in 2006 he was elected commander of the Tennessee Division, SCV. He was also appointed to Tennessee's Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.
Michael Bradley has given us biographical information on the seventeen commanders giving the farewell addresses, and exciting narrative history researched in minute detail on each unit and their battles. If you love history, it does not get better than this.
You will thoroughly enjoy this book and learn a great deal about why men on both sides fought in the War Between the States and what they planned to do afterward.
I am very proud to be Michael Bradley's publisher and friend.
Gene Kizer, Jr.
May 10, 2022
Please order The Last Words on www.CharlestonAthenaeumPress.com and take advantage of SPECIALS that include The Last Words with Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, The Irrefutable Argument. by Gene Kizer, Jr.
Another Special includes The Last Words, and Slavery Was Not the Cause of the War Between the States, The Irrefutable Argument., AND the two-DVD set on black Confederates, Mixed Up with All the Rebel Horde, Why Black Southerners Fought for the South in the War Between the States, featuring national authority on black Confederate soldiers, esteemed Professor Edward C. Smith.