The Civil War was a long and bloody affair that claimed the life of some 750,000 men. When it ended, former opponents worked to rebuild their common country—America—and move into the future together. Most modern Americans might find that hard to believe, especially in an era witnessing the tearing down or movement of Confederate monuments and desecration of cemeteries. In the unique and timely Patriots Twice: Former Confederates and the Building of America after the Civil War, award-winning author Stephen M. Hood identifies more than 200 former Confederate soldiers, sailors, and government officials who reintegrated into American society and attained positions of authority and influence in the Federal government, United States military, academia, science, commerce, and industry. Their contributions had a long-lasting and positive influence on the country we have today.
Today’s United States benefited greatly from the post-Civil War reconciliation that accepted the contributions of former Confederates. The men who fought the South forgave them and moved on together. It’s an important lesson everyone today should learn.