‘Knowing He Was Not My Kind Yet I Followed’ by Barry Hannah


Knowing He Was Not My Kind Yet I Followed by Barry Hannah, 1975

The magic trick:

Finding a unique entry point into Civil War fiction

A story of the American Civil War unlike any other.

Masculinity, community, love, morals. These are the typical war-fiction themes, but the mechanism this story employs to consider these topics is anything but standard. I don’t want to ruin it. Sufficed to say, our protagonist’s admiration for Jeb Stuart is complicated. And that’s quite a trick on Hannah’s part.

The selection:

Gee, he can use the word, Jeb can. I was with him through the ostrich feathers in his hat and the early harassments, when we had nothing but shotguns and pretty horses. He was always a fool at running around his enemy. I was with him when we rode down a lane around a confused Yank picket, risking the Minies. But he’s a good family man too, they say.

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