Reading Guide for Confederates in the Attic

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APUSH Extra Credit Q2

Reading Guide for 
Confederates in the Attic

Directions: Below, you will find questions for each chapter that will help you think about the messages within Confederates in the Attic that will help you better understand the causes and long-term consequences of the Civil War, as the way the Civil War is remembered in some segments of contemporary Southern society. Submit the answers to all of the questions through by January 6th at 11:59 PM. No late assignments, plagiarized assignments, or incomplete assignments will be considered. Based on the validity of the answers given, students can earn up to 3 points on their average.

map of major civil war battles
Chapter 1:

  1. Who are the "Hardcores" and why does Horwitz refer to their beliefs as "fundamentalism?" Who are the "farbs" and why are the "Hardcores" critical of them?

  2. Who is Robert Lee Hodge and what did you learn about the Civil War through his eyes?

  3. What were the "border states" during the Civil War? Explain their significance.

Chapter 2:

  1. Why do you think the Confederate prisoner of war (POW) camps like Salisbury were so awful?

  2. Horowitz asks Tarlton why he thinks his Southern ancestors fought in the Civil War. What was his answer and why is his answer so important to understanding both the Civil War and this book?

  3. Describe your reaction to the "truths" taught to the Children of the Confederacy in their "Catechism."

  4. What is the Mason-Dixon Line? Why is it important?

Chapter 3:

  1. What did you learn in Chapter 3 about life in and around Charleston for whites and slaves before the Civil War?

  2. In this chapter, you first learn about the Neo-Confederates. What are their views about the Civil War? Below is some general information about the Neo-Confederates, BUT this question focuses upon what you specifically learned in this chapter about the movement.

Neo-Confederate Movement - Neo-Confederates believe that with the Civil War, Lincoln was able to expand the power of the federal government beyond constitutional limits, and that with the defeat of the Confederacy the ideals of states' rights were defeated. They believe that the 14th Amendment was illegally adopted. To them this has resulted in the growth of federal government into a Leviathan, a very large monstrous beast in the bible.  The neo-Confederate historical worldview encompasses all of American history, not just the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the South. The American Revolution in particular has a prominent place. Neo-Confederate writings on the subject work to define original intentions to justify both current political beliefs and the actions of their historical heroes, such as secession. M.E. Bradford wrote several books on the American Revolution. In this historical view big government, integration and Brown vs. Brown, gay rights, civil rights, feminism, minorities, taxes, FDR, and other issues can be viewed as the result of the American Republic jumping the tracks during the Civil War and being out of control. The neo-Confederates seek to capitalize on discontent with these issues.  For an outstanding, contemporary understanding of the movement, see the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report, "Rebels with a Cause," at

Chapter 4:picture of confederate flag

  1. What did you learn in this chapter about the current controversies surrounding flying the Confederate flag a public places?

  2. What did you learn about current racial issues in South Carolina in this chapter? How do you think these contemporary issues are related to the causes and consequences of the Civil War?

  3. What do you think is the Confederate flag really about - "heritage" or hate?

Chapter 5:

  1. What does "The Rebels" school mascot controversy tell you about the Southerns and the Civil War?

  2. Why do you think the Ku Klux Klan is still popular in Todd County, Tennessee?

  3. What does the story about Michael Westerman before, during, and after his shooting tell you about the effects of the Civil War on contemporary society?

Chapter 6:

  1. Why do you think there are less Yankee/Northern Civil War reenactors than there are Confederate/Southern reenactors?

Chapter 7:

  1. Who is Shelby Foote and why did Horwitz want to interview him?

  2. Who does Shelby Foote blame for the racial problems that arose in the South after Reconstruction?

  3. Horwitz mentions the "Lost Cause." After reading the chapter and the explanation below, explain the Lost Cause Myth in your own words. And what it is motivated by,

Chapter 8:

  1. Horwitz learns that "Shiloh had two pasts: the actual battle, and its remembrance by those who fought there." What do you think this means?

  2. What sort of revisionist interpretations of the Civil War does Horwitz learn about in this chapter?

Chapter 9:photograph of richmond\'s monument avenue

  1. In this chapter, what did you find to be the most interesting topic related to the Civil War about Vicksburg, Mississippi?

Chapter 10:

  1. Horwitz describes the First and Second Manassas battles as well as a later contemporary battle. What was that battle and what does it tell you about America's memories of the Civil War?

  2. What did Horwitz learn about the Civil War during his "wargasm" with Robert Lee Hodge?

  3. What was the contemporary controversy around Richmond’s Monument Avenue (see link for help:

  4. How does Byrd define a "Confederate-American?" Do you agree that the Confederates only wanted to be left alone - that their decision to leave the Union was not about slavery? Explain your answer.

Chapter 11:

  1. What new information did you learn about the Neo-Confederates in this chapter?

Chapter 12:

  1. Horwitz wonders why many of the women he met in his travels "were so obsessed with the war's prisoners" - an obsession generally not shared by men. What did he learn?

  2. Why did the North stop prisoner exchanges with the South during the middle of the Civil War?

  3. What did you learn about Andersonville in this chapter?

Chapter 13: no questions

Chapter 14:

  1. After reading so far, do you agree with Roxie's statement to Horwtiz that in Southern society in general, "...we teach that slavery wasn't that big a deal in terms of causing the war."

  2. Did you find anything surprising about the classroom conversation between Horwitz, Rose Sanders, and her students during Horwitz's visit to Selma? How did that classroom experience compare and contrast with his experience with students in Greenville?

Chapter 15 and general concluding questions

  1. Horwitz writes that everywhere he went in his journey, "People spoke of family and fortunes lost in the War; of their nostalgia for a time when the South seemed a cohesive region upholding Christian values and agrarian ways." Provide examples throughout the book to support this finding.

  2. Horwitz writes "For many southerners I'd met, remembrances of the War had become a talisman against modernity, an emotional lever for their reactionary politics." Do you think he proves this point in his book? Provide specific examples of how he does or does not.

  3. Do you agree with the reenactors Horwitz meets throughout the book that they are "living historians?" Provide evidence from the book to support your answer.

  4. Using evidence from the book, why do you think the Civil War is still so alive and well in the South?

  5. Horwitz remarks in Chapter 10 "As so often on my journey, I was reminded that what I thought I knew about the War was based more on romance than fact." Explain why this is true with specific examples from the book.

  6. What does Horwitz means when he writes, "I'd...seen how poisonous and polarized memory of the past had become" during the course of his journey throughout the south?

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