Quotes from Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War

Tony Horwitz ·  406 pages

Rating: (18K votes)


“There are people one knows and people one doesn't. One shouldn't cheapen the former by feigning intimacy with the latter.”
― Tony Horwitz, quote from Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War


“You asked how I'd define prejudice. That's it. Making assumptions about people you've never met.”
― Tony Horwitz, quote from Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War


“When Union litter-bearers climbed out of their trenches, four days after the assault, they found only two men still alive amongst the piles of stinking corpses. One burial party discovered a dead Yankee with a diary in his pocket, the last entry of which read: “June 3. Cold Harbor. I was killed.”
― Tony Horwitz, quote from Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War


“Everywhere, it seemed, I had to explore two pasts and two presents; one white, one black, separate and unreconcilable. The past had poisoned the present and the present, in turn, now poisoned remembrance of things past.”
― Tony Horwitz, quote from Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War


“Seven severely depressed prisoners were listed as having died of “nostalgia.”
― Tony Horwitz, quote from Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War



“I asked him if he thought “there” was better than “here.” “Not better,” he said. “I mean, my great-great-grandpap got his leg shot off. But I feel like it was bigger somehow.” Hawkins flipped through pages of Civil War pictures. “At work, I mix dyes and put them in a machine. I’m thirty-six and I’ve spent almost half my life in Dye House No. 1. I make eight dollars sixty-one cents an hour, which is okay, ’cept everyone says the plant will close and go to China.” He put the book back on the shelf. “I just feel like the South has been given a bum deal ever since that War.”
― Tony Horwitz, quote from Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War


“The scale of Monument Avenue also amplified the weirdness of the whole enterprise. After all, Davis and Lee and Jackson and Stuart weren't national heroes. In the view of many Americans, they were precisely the opposite; leaders of a rebellion against the nation - separatists at best, traitors at worst. None of those honored were native Richmonders. And their mission failed. They didn't call it the Lost Cause for nothing. I couldn't think of another city in the world that lined its streets with stone leviathans honoring failed rebels against the state.”
― Tony Horwitz, quote from Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War


“Like so much in Atlanta, Stone Mountain had become a bland and inoffensive consumable: the Confederacy as hood ornament. Not for the first time, though more deeply than ever before, I felt a twinge of affinity for the neo-Confederates I'd met in my travels. Better to remember Dixie and debate its philosophy than to have its largest shrine hijacked for Coca-Cola ads and MTV songs.”
― Tony Horwitz, quote from Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War


“Anything you got to do with your own kind in secret, something's wrong with it. You feel bad about it inside.”
― Tony Horwitz, quote from Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War


“The way I see it," King said, "your great-grandfather fought and died because he believed my great-grandfather should stay a slave. I'm supposed to feel all warm inside about that?”
― Tony Horwitz, quote from Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War



“For Robert Lee Hodge, it was also a way of life. As the Marlon Brando of battlefield bloating, he was often hired for Civil War movies.”
― Tony Horwitz, quote from Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War


“In principle, rememberance of the War could be a way to probe these scars, many of which trailed back to the 1860's. But reenactments did precisely the opposite, blandly reconciling North and South in s grand spectacle that glorified battlefield valor and the stoicism of civilians.”
― Tony Horwitz, quote from Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War


About the author

Tony Horwitz
Born place: Washington, DC, The United States
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