An Interview with Brian Matthew Jordan, author of Unholy Sabbath: The History of South Mountain in Memory and History, September 14, 1862
Unholy Sabbath is the first, complete, full-length published study on the South Mountain battle (September 14, 1862). Brian Jordan recently discussed his book with Lindy Gervin of Savas Beatie LLC.
LG: The Confederates remembered the battle differently, didn’t they?
BMJ: Yes they did. The real meaning and import of the fighting suffered from the active postwar revisionism of its Rebel participants. Confederates had little desire to remember a battle in which the Federals wrestled away the higher, better ground from an army that had never been driven from the field, and in doing so, score an unprecedented victory that changed the course of the entire campaign by disrupting General Lee’s plans completely. There was much more romance in the story of an exhausted, barefoot army boldly striking north across the Potomac River, fighting it out against a larger and better equipped Army of the Potomac at Sharpsburg, standing on the field all the following day, and then making an organized (but not demoralized) retreat back to Virginia. South Mountain was a problem for the Confederates to overcome historically speaking, but the remedy was ready-made in the Lost Cause mythology, which I explain in the last chapter of Unholy Sabbath.
CWL: The entire interview is found at Libri Novus, the newsletter of Savas Beattie Publishing.