Sunday, May 3, 2009


“The Last Confederate General: John C. Vaughn and his East Tennessee Cavalry” by Larry Gordon

This was a very unique read from several angles and the ways it hits you, from first impression to the final page it is also unique. First I was drawn to the book by its simple and elegant cover, but upon opening it up for a glance the small type, a lot of pages and maps, it made me wonder what I was getting into.

I started the book and was surprised that I was engrossed enough not to have noticed three hours had elapse. I for one want and like stories that flow and while I am a historian, in my pleasure reading I do not want a ton of statistics thrown at me. It is supposed to be fun right?

Larry Gordon seemed to have nailed both recreational reading and historically accurate statistics in one read. For me the story flowed well and I found I could keep the story and go back later to get the statistics. It was written so that the main story was not broken or bogged down with the later. It was very simple to navigate and with the titles and topics clearly defined it was unbelievably easy to go back and study the material from an educational stand point.

The book drew me in because not only was it a fascinating story of courage, determination and self worth, but it spoke of dignity , sacrifice, love and hope as well. It tells the personal story of someone who we all aspire to be in terms of standing for what we believe and have the convictions to carry on even when it is not the popular choice.

From John C. Vaughn’s ideas of adventure when young, to his actual adventures in Mexico and California the story does not disappoint. You can see the transformation yourself in this story as the youth turns to adulthood and a very hard and rough time during combat and banishment in the later years.

Truly the Forest Gump of the Civil War John C. Vaughn was indeed everywhere and had a hand it seems in almost everything. “The Last Confederate General: John C. Vaughn and his East Tennessee Cavalry” is a fine read for anyone: Action, adventure, love, drama, war and perseverance. What more can you ask for in a book. Five stars for Larry Gordon for a job well done.

Craig Anderson
Our History Project

To hear an interview with Larry Gordon on “The Last Confederate General: John C. Vaughn and his East Tennessee Cavalry” please go to . The book interview is on the end of show #1 The Kenan Research Library at the Atlanta History Center. It can also be found on any popular pod-hosting sites such as iTunes, Zune Marketplace, Twitter, Podbean and more.

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