Howell Raines

Author of Silent Cavalry: How Union Soldiers from Alabama Helped Sherman Burn Atlanta—and Then Got Written out of History

Author Talk
Sunday, Apr 14 @ 2pm

Bundle Tickets

–Not Yet Members: $35 (includes general admission ticket + book at 30% discount!)
–Members: $30 (includes discounted general admission ticket + book at 30% discount!)
–Insiders: $25 (includes free general admission ticket + book at 30% discount!)

General Admission Tickets (book not included)

–Not Yet Members: $10
–Members: $5
–Insiders: Free

Online ticket sales will close at 12pm on the day of the event; however, tickets can still be purchased at the door via credit or debit card only.

Woodruff Auditorium is located inside McElreath Hall.


A Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist reveals the little-known story of the Union soldiers from Alabama who played a decisive role in the Civil War, and how they were scrubbed from the history books.

“It is my sincere hope that this compelling and submerged history is integrated into our understanding of our nation, and allows us to embrace new heroes of the past.”—Imani Perry, professor, Harvard University, and National Book Award–winning author of South to America

We all know how the Civil War was won: Courageous Yankees triumphed over the South. But is there more to the story?

As Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Howell Raines shows, it was not only soldiers from northern states who helped General William Tecumseh Sherman burn Atlanta to the ground but also an unsung regiment of 2,066 Alabamian yeoman farmers—including at least one member of Raines’s own family.

Called the First Alabama Cavalry, U.S.A., this regiment of mountain Unionists, which included sixteen formerly enslaved Black men, was the point of the spear that Sherman drove through the heart of the Confederacy. The famed general hailed their skills and courage. So why don’t we know anything about them?

Silent Cavalry is part epic American history, part family saga, and part scholarly detective story. Drawing on the lore of his native Alabama and investigative skills honed by six decades in journalism, Raines brings to light a conspiracy that sought to undermine the accomplishments of these renegade southerners—a key component of the Lost Cause effort to restore glory to white southerners after the war, even at the cost of the truth.

In this important new contribution to our understanding of the Civil War and its legacy, Raines tells the thrilling tale of the formation of the First Alabama while exposing the tangled web of how its wartime accomplishments were silenced, implicating everyone from a former Confederate general to a gaggle of Lost Cause historians in the Ivy League and a sanctimonious former keeper of the Alabama state archives. By reversing the erasure of the First Alabama, Silent Cavalry is a testament to the immense power of historians to destroy as well as to redeem.

Cover of A Right Worthy Woman

About the Author

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Howell Raines’ distinguished career in journalism includes serving as executive editor of the New York Times. His political commentary, reviews, and essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, among other publications. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, he has received the Clarence Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing and the National Press Foundation Award.

Raines has also been a writer of fiction, nonfiction, and memoir. His novels include Whiskey Man, Fly Fishing Through the Midlife Crisis, The One That Got Away and “My  Soul Is Rested: Movement Days in the Deep South Remembered”, an acclaimed oral history of the civil rights movement. Raines was awarded a Pulitzer in Feature Writing for “Grady’s Gift,” a personal reflection published in the New York Times Magazine, describing his deep friendship with Grady Hutchinson, a Black housekeeper who worked for his family during the era of segregation. Raines and his wife, Krystyna Stachowiak Raines, reside in Pennsylvania.

Promotional language provided by publisher.

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