Monday, November 2, 2015

Southern Honor?, or What the Heck Was That?

Southern honor is a subject I find fascinating. The extreme desire to protect one's name and reputation by going to dire lengths is something quite foreign to us. However, I feel like I have a good grasp on why a person might fight a duel or take out an advertisement calling out one's social rival or enemy.

But the above advertisement is beyond my comprehension. It was published in the February 28, 1865, issue of the Richmond Daily Dispatch and placed by John W. Talley of the Third Virginia Cavalry. In it Talley felt the need to publicly call out an anonymous person who wrote Talley a letter accusing the cavalryman of using disrespectful language in a Valentine.

Unless the anonymous person shared Talley's alleged letter with others, what was the purpose of Talley printing such a personal advertisement as this? Why did Talley feel the need to air this seemingly non-public affront? After all, Talley had no idea who even sent the letter claiming the cavalryman's alleged disrespectful language?

Does anyone have any perspective that I am perhaps missing?

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