A review of Cleburne: A Graphic Novel (Rampart Press, 2008) by Justin S. Murphy and others.

The graphic novel is a major feature of literature in these times.  Southerners can indeed be happy that the Confederacy has entered this field in grand style.  Murphy is a nationally notable animator, writer, publisher, composer, and prize-winning dramatist from Florida.  As a youth he created a comic book series “Southern Blood,” which ran for several years.

Confederate Major General Patrick Cleburne was the Irish-born Arkansan who was called “The Stonewall of the West” and who was killed in action at the Battle of Franklin. The book covers the last year of Cleburne’s life both in personal mattes and with the Army of Tennessee.  Cleburne is vividly and realistically pictured and is as historically sound as fiction gets. The same is true for many other Confederate characters and for the battles and army politics.

This substantial book has obviously been created with a large expenditure of skill, time, and sound knowledge.  In whole, the book is a tribute to Confederate heroism that is astounding for these times when the noblest part of American history is massively slandered.

The author also rightly tells the story of black Confederates and Cleburne’s sensible and viable program to recruit Southern black men in exchange for their freedom, something that was finally adopted, but too late.

Clyde Wilson

Clyde Wilson is a distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Carolina where he was the editor of the multivolume The Papers of John C. Calhoun. He is the M.E. Bradford Distinguished Chair at the Abbeville Institute. He is the author or editor of over thirty books and published over 600 articles, essays and reviews and is co-publisher of www.shotwellpublishing.com, a source  for unreconstructed Southern books.

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