The Children of Pride A Story of Georgia and the Civil War
This intimate record of a Georgia plantation family brings to life a proud but flawed society from its halcyon antebellum days through the shattering climaxes of defeat and occupation. Nowhere has the impact of the Civil War upon the south been portrayed with more immediacy than in these 1200 letters by the family and friends of the Reverend Dr. Charles Colcock Jones of Liberty County, Georgia. Arranged by Robert Manson Myers into a chronological narrative of the crucial years between 1854 and 1868, they read like an epistolary novel. The routines of plantation life, as affectionately described in the letters, are punctuated by episodes of drama: triumphs - surviving a yellow fever epidemic and selling an old slave for more than he is worth; vexations - a cousin's degrading marriage and a Negro mother's murder of her newborn child; and genuine tragedies - an appalling train wreck and the infamy of Andersonville. These letters underscore a fascinating and troubling paradox in American history: they reveal men and women who were intelligent, warmhearted, perceptive, and god-fearing, yet dedicated to the principle of slavery. The writers were proud of the national Union, but when its interests conflicted with their cherished mode of existence, they unhesitatingly chose the latter and defended it bravely. Confronted with the anguish and nostalgia of the postwar letters, few readers will be immune to the poignancy of their defeat. The collapse of a civilization is a momentous thing. In THE CHILDREN OF PRIDE it pursues its inexorable course day by day, with the actors in the drama unaware of their destiny. Only the reader perceives the tragic ironies.