The Myth of the Lost Cause: Why the South Fought the Civil War and Why the North Won

The Myth of the Lost Cause: Why the South Fought the Civil War and Why the North Won

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 1621574547

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The former Confederate states have continually mythologized the South’s defeat to the North, depicting the Civil War as unnecessary, or as a fight over states’ Constitutional rights, or as a David v. Goliath struggle in which the North waged “total war” over an underdog South. In The Myth of the Lost Cause, historian Edward Bonekemper deconstructs this multi-faceted myth, revealing the truth about the war that nearly tore the nation apart 150 years ago.

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uses of the belligerent Government, and have helped to sustain it. Once for all, it may be said that this excuse excludes every sentiment of humanity in war, and may be logically carried to the last extremity of savage warfare.”18 Understatement was not a characteristic of Pollard’s work; overstatement became a basis for myths. Sherman’s and Sheridan’s destructive sweeps through the South occurred late in the conflict, when the North realized that it would have to wage “hard war” to win. Grant

Random House, 1997. Perry, Mark. Conceived in Liberty: Joshua Chamberlain, William Oates, and the American Civil War. New York: Viking, 1997. Pfanz, Donald C. Richard S. Ewell: A Soldier’s Life. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998. Pfanz, Harry W. Gettysburg—Culp’s Hill & Cemetery Hill. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993. ———. Gettysburg: The Second Day. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1987. Piston, William Garrett. Lee’s Tarnished

sovereignty usually masked other, more pragmatic, interests. Southerners embraced states’ rights when convenient but insisted that national authorities return fugitive slaves, overriding the states’ rights protest of Northern local officials.”19 The Democratic conventions of 1860 demonstrate Southerners’ interest in greater federal government protection of slavery. At two conventions (Charleston and Baltimore) in mid-1860 Southern Democrats bolted because of the majority’s unwillingness to

people.”69 McQueen’s racist comments were a fitting and typical conclusion to South Carolina’s lobbying of other early-seceding, Deep South states. Its commissioners attacked “Black Republicans” who supported racial equality and supposedly posed the immediate threat of abolition. ALABAMA’S OUTREACH TO OTHER DEEP SOUTH STATES Alabama was another early leader in interstate outreach to encourage secession. Its Governor Andrew B. Moore decided on his own to appoint a total of sixteen commissioners

journal: “What the movement means it is difficult to divine. I trust we are not to have the Maryland [Antietam] campaign over again.”86 After Winchester, Ewell, A. P. Hill, and Longstreet moved their respective corps, in that order, through Sharpsburg and Hagerstown, Maryland, and across the Mason-Dixon Line into the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania. Ewell moved his leading corps through Chambersburg and then eastward through the mountains to Gettysburg, York, and Carlisle. In the midst of this

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