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 Silent Cavalry, the latest book  by Howell Raines, is an astonishing addition to the Civil War story. This history of the largely ignored First Alabama Cavalry, U.S.A., is to be published on December 5th, 2023.  Until that date, it is available for pre-order from 


              Penguin Random House 


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.

        Reviews from Leading Historians and Writers

          "Following breadcrumbs from family lore, Howell Raines has uncovered the remarkable story of white men from Alabama's hill country who fought for the Union, and, equally importantly, the century long-effort by Confederate sympathizers to erase them from history. As an African American native of Alabama, I thought I knew all about Lost Cause perfidy, but Raines masterful detective work has dug up long buried deceit, duplicity, and manipulation, all in the service of racist propaganda as fact. This book is an invaluable addition to revisionist--as in, actual--history."


                                                                                                       Cynthia Tucker,

                                                          co-author of The Southernization of America 

                 Silent Cavalry marks another chapter in Raines’s storied career of giving voice to the voiceless by highlighting the men and women who, without proper credit, did their part to make America a better, more equitable place. He draws on his personal and family history, along with typically prodigious research, to show not only the importance of these oft-ignored Alabama Unionists but also to excoriate the scholars and writers who buried this history to propagate the infamous Lost Cause interpretation of the Civil War.”


                                                                                                      Henry Louis Gates Jr.,

                                                                            Director of the Hutchins center for African and African American Research At Harvard  University                                                                                                  


              “Howell Raines is a legendary writer, editor, and social critic. With Silent Cavalry he has yet again revealed that the history of the U.S. South is one of far greater complexity and depth than what is commonly ascribed to it, from both outside and inside the region. 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,

                                                                             Harvard University Professor and National Book Award Winning Author of South to America                                                                                                    

                   “As we endure the dispiriting retreat from history by reactionary politicians and unprincipled cultural warriors, Howell Raines’s Silent Cavalry is an astonishing act of historical recovery amidst our recent plague of historical amnesia. Raines’s thrilling narrative proves that it wasn’t just northern soldiers who vanquished the Confederacy, but a multiracial force of southern men divided by color but united by a noble cause: to save the Union and win freedom for the enslaved. Silent Cavalry is honest history and brilliant storytelling at its best.”


                                                                                                      Michael Eric Dyson,

                                                                                New York Times bestselling author and University Distinguished Professor, Vanderbilt                                                                                                            University

             "Remarkable. Not only does Howell Raines tell us something even die-hard Southerners didn't know about the Civil War--how a band of obstinate Alabamians had a hand in burning the South with Gen. Sherman-- he unveils the coverup. A massive story told in an intimate, personal way." 


                                                                                                         John Archibald,

                                        Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author of Shaking the Gates of Hell

              “No matter the fuss at so many recent school board meetings, history is not being rewritten. That happened a long time ago, especially in the South, where a network of professionals and amateurs buried the truth beneath fairy tales that turned villains into heroes and heroes into villains. What generations of Southerners have been taught in school has been a myth as worthless as Confederate currency. Silent Cavalry is a rescue mission. From behind the Lost Cause’s battle lines, it retrieves the stories of Southerners who looked at the Confederacy and then made a different choice. It restores those forgotten north Alabama contrarians where they always deserved to be, where they always were — on the right side of history.” 



                                                                                                           Kyle Whitmire,

                                                            Alabama Media Group, Pulitzer Prize winner 

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