Of the Army of Northern Virginia, Shaara writes:
They are rebels and volunteers. They are mostly unpaid and usually
self-equipped. ... It is Anglo-Saxon and Protestant. Though there are many
men who cannot read or write, they all speak English. They share common
customs and a common faith...
Of the Army of the Potomac:
It is a strange new kind of army, a polyglot mass of vastly dissimilar men,
fighting for union. There are strange accents and strange religions and
many who do not speak English at all. Nothing like this army has been seen
upon the planet. ... They are volunteers: last of the great volunteer armies,
for the draft is beginning that summer in the North.
Aside from beating these two descriptions up with big sticks of scholarship that, admittedly, have come largely since Shaara wrote, I have another important question. Would the modern neo-Confederate movement agree with this characterization of the Confederate Army anymore?
I pose this stemming from Jonathan Sarris' lovely characterization of the neo-Confederate movement's recent obsession with finding -- creating -- "Black Confederates" as an effort to find a "multicultural" Condfederacy and thereby counteract their well-deserved stigma of racism. Has the Anglo-Saxon Protestant A.N.V. been replaced by the equally mythological enlightened paradise of a rainbow coalition army fighting for libertarian values?
My my, What would the old boys think?