Page 161. " Jem would struggle the rest of an evening through the speeches of Henry W Grady. "

 Henry Woodfin Grady was a 19th century journalist and orator (public speaker) who helped reintegrate the Confederate states into the Union after the American Civil War. He was a moral man who invented the "New South" of America, advocating equality and a renewal of the South's economy.

The South has nothing for which to apologize. She believes that the late struggle between the States was war and not rebellion, revolution and not conspiracy...

"The New South" speech, 22 December 1886 

 

Page 161. " Ku Klux got after some Catholics one time "
KKK parade in Virginia
Public DomainKKK parade in Virginia

 The Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated to KKK, is the name of a far-right racist hate group in the United States. They attacked and murdered African-Americans, Jews and other minorities, and also intimidated and opposed Roman Catholics and labor unions.

"The Klan" originated in the Southern states, where it has continued to operate, on and off, to this day. It was first founded in 1865 by Tennessee veterans of the Confederate Army. Klan groups then spread throughout the South. Its purpose was to restore white supremacy in the aftermath of the American Civil War. They wore iconic white costumes consisting of a robe, a mask, and a conical hat.

At its peak in the mid-1920s, the organization comprised about 15% of America's population (approximately 4–5 million men); but the Klan's popularity fell during the Great Depression and World War II.  Today, researchers estimate that there may be around 5,000 to 8,000 Klan members.

Page 172. " christened Braxton Bragg, a name Mr Underwood had done his best to live down. "
braxton bragg
GNU Free Documentation Licensebraxton bragg - Credit: civilwararchive

Braxton Bragg was a United States Army officer who became a General in the Confederate States Army, and then a principal commander in the Western Theatre of the American Civil War in the 19th century.

Bragg was known for his strict disciplinarian ways. It is said that he quarrelled with every army officer who served alongside him; it is also alleged that some of his troops attempted to assassinate him on two occasions in August and September 1847. He survived uninjured.