The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (190721).
VOLUME XVI. Early National Literature, Part II; Later National Literature, Part I.
IV. The New South: Lanier.
§ 6. Vance; Hill.
|Strange to say, the breath of the new era first faintly stirred those who had been in the thick of the fight. It was, perhaps, not so strange that men like Zebulon Baird Vance (183094) and Benjamin Harvey Hill (182382) should be reconciled to the outcome. Vance was not only a strong Union man but he opposed secession with all the fire of his oratory until the moment that he heard of the attack on Sumter. It seems natural, then, that after the war he should sing again the glories of the Union, one and indivisible. His Sketches of North Carolina, however, which had appeared serially in The Norfolk Landmark, show much the same fond longing for the past which charms in Johnston and Bagby. Hill in Georgia fought for the preservation of national unity even in the secession convention, yet, once in the war, he was as fervent in the support of the Confederacy. This fervour was intensified by the Reconstruction policy of the National Government. His Notes on the Situation in 1869 were vitriolic in their denunciation. Much of this belligerent attitude appears in his speeches in Congress. They have a narrative quality which, though less lofty, is more telling than the ringing rhetoric of some of his peers.