Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yale's Confederates: A Biographical Dictionary

by Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes

From the publisher:
Though deeply embedded in abolitionist New England, Yale University had a surprisingly large number of its students and alumni join the cause of the Confederacy. These men were a diverse lot, coming not just from the South but from other corners of the country. And even more surprisingly, years after the secessionist conflict, Yale honored the wartime service of these Confederate “prodigals” in famed Memorial Hall alongside their many classmates who fought on the other side.

Yale's Confederates brings together short biographies of over five hundred Yale students and graduates who served in the Confederate army and government. It reveals where these men came from and the consequences of the choices they made. Drawing upon rarely used source material, Hughes introduces new faces and fresh stories to the annals of Civil War history. Included here are inventors and doctors, poets and theologians, educators and politicians. These men were idealistic, well traveled, curious, brave, and for the most part, patriotic. Many became key leaders in the Confederacy; their ranks included generals, a secretary of state, even a postmaster. Some paid dearly for their choices, either dying on the battlefield or losing considerable wealth and prestige. But many built successful careers after the fighting was over. One former Confederate restored an abandoned school for young women; another wrote an economic history of the United States; still others became lawyers and influential leaders in their communities.

Yale's Confederates tells the fascinating stories of their days at Yale and of their decision to fight for a cause in which they deeply believed. It reveals, ultimately, how important their legacy is to the history of the university and to our country as a whole.

Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes Jr. is the author of more than twenty books on the American Civil War, including The Life and Wars of Gideon J. Pillow, The Pride of the Confederate Artillery: The Washington Artillery in the Army of Tennessee, and Brigadier General Tyree H. Bell, C.S.A: Forrest's Fighting Lieutenant.