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Long Gray Lines

The Southern Military School Tradition, 1839-1915

By Rod Andrew Jr.

184 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 15 illus., appends., notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5541-6
    Published: February 2004
  • eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-7534-6
    Published: January 2003

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Military training was a prominent feature of higher education across the nineteenth-century South. Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel, as well as land-grant schools such as Texas A&M, Auburn, and Clemson, organized themselves on a military basis, requiring their male students to wear uniforms, join a corps of cadets, and subject themselves to constant military discipline. Several southern black colleges also adopted a military approach.

Challenging assumptions about a distinctive "southern military tradition," Rod Andrew demonstrates that southern military schools were less concerned with preparing young men for actual combat than with instilling in their students broader values of honor, patriotism, civic duty, and virtue. Southerners had a remarkable tendency to reconcile militarism with republicanism, Andrew says, and following the Civil War, the Lost Cause legend further strengthened the link in southerners' minds between military and civic virtue.

Though traditionally black colleges faced struggles that white schools did not, notes Andrew, they were motivated by the same conviction that powered white military schools--the belief that a good soldier was by definition a good citizen.

About the Author

Rod Andrew Jr. formerly taught history at The Citadel and is now assistant professor of history at Clemson University. He has served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and is currently a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve.

For more information about Rod Andrew Jr., visit the Author Page.


"Andrew's brief study of the southern military school tradition is a valuable resource. It is well researched, well argued and thought provoking. . . . A useful work with important insights into a significant southern tradition."--Civil War Book Review

"Using a combination of the published and unpublished records of the southern military schools, newspapers, government records, and a wide-ranging secondary literature, the book makes an important . . . contribution."--Choice

"The book's brevity and innovative interpretations combine to make it a suitable addition to any college level course with a focus on the nineteenth-century South."--Florida Historical Quarterly

"Andrew's book is a stimulating study of the southern military school tradition and a welcomed addition to any library, especially for those students interested in the development of New South schools and the traditions of the Lost Cause."--Gulf South Historical Journal

"A significant contribution to the ongoing historical debate over the existence of a unique southern military tradition. . . . It is well-researched and well-written, and it offers a solid discussion of the historiography while making a significant contribution to it."--Journal of the Early Republic

"A pithy, detailed study. . . . demonstrat[ing] the strength of the southern military tradition."--Virginia Magazine of History and Biography