Confederates in the Attic

By Tony Horwitz

Confederates in the Attic - Tony Horwitz
  • Release Date: 1998-03-03
  • Genre: United States
Score: 4.5
From 82 Ratings


National Bestseller 

For all who remain intrigued by the legacy of the Civil War -- reenactors, battlefield visitors, Confederate descendants and other Southerners, history fans, students of current racial conflicts, and more -- this ten-state adventure is part travelogue, part social commentary and always good-humored. 
When prize-winning war correspondent Tony Horwitz leaves the battlefields of Bosnia and the Middle East for a peaceful corner of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he thinks he's put war zones behind him. But awakened one morning by the crackle of musket fire, Horwitz starts filing front-line dispatches again this time from a war close to home, and to his own heart.

Propelled by his boyhood passion for the Civil War, Horwitz embarks on a search for places and people still held in thrall by America's greatest conflict. The result is an adventure into the soul of the unvanquished South, where the ghosts of the Lost Cause are resurrected through ritual and remembrance.

In Virginia, Horwitz joins a band of 'hardcore' reenactors who crash-diet to achieve the hollow-eyed look of starved Confederates; in Kentucky, he witnesses Klan rallies and calls for race war sparked by the killing of a white man who brandishes a rebel flag; at Andersonville, he finds that the prison's commander, executed as a war criminal, is now exalted as a martyr and hero; and in the book's climax, Horwitz takes a marathon trek from Antietam to Gettysburg to Appomattox in the company of Robert Lee Hodge, an eccentric pilgrim who dubs their odyssey the 'Civil Wargasm.'

Written with Horwitz's signature blend of humor, history, and hard-nosed journalism, Confederates in the Attic brings alive old battlefields and new ones 'classrooms, courts, country bars' where the past and the present collide, often in explosive ways. Poignant and picaresque, haunting and hilarious, it speaks to anyone who has ever felt drawn to the mythic South and to the dark romance of the Civil War.

Tony Horwitz’s new book, Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide, is available now.


  • Confedrates in the attic

    By Dreamtime
    I greatly enjoyed this book and it made me fan of Tony Horwitz. He is able to combine humor with factual history in a very readable manor.
  • Great read!

    By Timinfenton
    Loved it. My only complaint is that Tony Horwitz successfully raised more questions and personal awareness that he answered or enlightened.
  • Must read!

    By UpstateNYMommy
    I read this book a few years ago during a road trip to the south and it was so good that I have thought of it many time since. Gives insight and information without being boring or 'teachy'. Very entertaining read
  • Captivating, and humorous, a new perspective on the war!

    By Plowden J
    I am a USC history major and had to read This book for class and am so glad I did! This book is a refreshing new perspective of the war and it's heritage and the battle that still rages on! A must read