CIVIL WAR MEMORY
The Online Home of Kevin M. Levin
I invoke your name at the very end of my post yesterday:
Your toy soldier looks like he’s consumed too much Deep Spring Whiskey.
I knew this image looked familiar. My parents have this exact “Deep Spring Whiskey” sign (vintage, tin, great condition) displayed in their kitchen. Ironically, of course. I believe they also have coffee mugs in the shape of Lee’s head.
This must be where your interest in the Lost Cause stems from.
This image appears on the cover of Will Kaufman’s 2006 book, *The Civil War in American Culture*. Inside, Kaufman writes that “Deep Spring” was marketed between 1903 and 1915 by the J. W. Kelly Company of Chattanooga.
Hey Craig, — And that is just where I discovered it while working in Alderman Library.
This is something I’ve never quite understood. Supposedly, consuming too much alcohol was not becoming of a Confederate veteran since it didn’t portray a picture of the honorable Confederate. (I think this is probably true but blown a little out of proportion, not as big of a deal as we think.) Yet, I’m constantly seeing things like this.
In fact, next to the battle flag t-shirts depicting half-naked women and guns, the item I hate the most are the Confederate leader decanters. A friend was once accused of being “disrespectful” for switching the heads on Jackson, Lee, & Davis decanters. I’m sorry, but I consider it even more disrespectful to make a whiskey decanter in the likeness of someone who made it a point not to drink. Knowing what I know about Davis & Lee I don’t think they’d be too happy about it either, not so much because of the alcohol but just because of the general idea of it. I just don’t get it. One minute you’re hearing about how much of a Christian Jackson & Lee were and the next minute their images are promoting whiskey.
Maybe I need to check out a copy of that book.
I guess there is enough hypocrisy and ignorance to go around.
Given his reputation, wouldn’t Ulysses Grant be a better advert for a whiskey brand, North or South?
I can’t resist recollecting James Thurber’s vignette “If Grant had been drinking at Appomattox” where a badly hungover Grant hands a disapproving Lee his sword with the words “General, if I hadn’t been drinking, we’d have beaten you”.
Good point Toby, but also one that has been debated in recent years by historians. I would check Brooks Simpson’s biography of Grant for more on this.