The Bishop of the Old South: The Ministry and Civil War Legacy of Leonidas Polk

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Mercer University Press, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 243 pages
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Leonidas Polk was one of the antebellum South's most significant religious leaders. The son of a wealthy, slaveholding veteran of the Revolutionary War, Polk graduated from West Point in 1827 and seemed destined for martial service. Instead he pursued a ministerial career and was the first Episcopal bishop of Louisiana. Polk attempted to cultivate a religious solidarity among white Southerners of all classes and to broaden the social and cultural appeal of Episcopalianism in the South. Ultimately, Polk's Lost Cause mythmakers developed a public memory of the bishop general that celebrated the virtue of the Christian gentleman who had waged war for Southern independence. A considerable amount of new information on Polk's family, time at West Point, ministry, life as a planter, role with Sewanee, and his place within the pantheon of Lost Cause icons has been brought to light. What emerges is a clearer portrait of the Bishop of the Old South.

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A Martial Heritage
Evangelical Origins
The Planter as Priest
The Emergence of a Southern Nationalist
The Bishop as General
Soldier of Stone

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Page 5 - Polk and Middleton, who commanded the state infantry, were no less conspicuous for their good conduct than their intrepidity; and the troops under their command gave a specimen of what may be expected from men, naturally brave, when improved by proper discipline.

About the author (2006)

GLENN ROBINS is an assistant professor of History and director of thehonors program at Georgia Southwestern State University. He has published several articles on the experiences of Civil War soldiers, the Lost Cause movement, and post-Cold War religious culture. He is currently editing the Civil War prisoner of war diary of Sgt. Lyle G. Adair, 111th United States Colored Infantry.

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