Unnamed Confederate Generals

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Unnamed Confederate Generals
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Unnamed Confederate Generals
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Several real Confederate officers are mentioned by name in Absalom!. They have their own entries. This entry represents the larger, anonymous group of men who lead the Confederate Army through the Civil War. Like so many other characters in the novel, they are seen differently from different points of view. In Chapter 1, to Rosa Coldfield, who writes "poems, ode eulogy and epitaph" to many of them, they are "a few figures with the shapes of men but with the names and statures of heroes" (13). In Chapter 7, Wash Jones thinks of these men who "set the order and the rule of living" as both "symbol of admiration and hope" and "instruments of despair and grief" (232). And in Chapter 8 they are summed up (by someone, though it's not clear if it's the 3rd-person narrator or Quentin or Shreve or Quentin-and-Shreve) as "generals who should not have been generals," men whose rank was "conferred on them by an absolute caste system" rather than any fitness for leadership (276).