An Honorable Defeat: The Last Days of the Confederate Government
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
, May 7, 2002
- 496 pages
In February 1865, the end was clearly in sight for the Confederate government. An Honorable Defeat is the story of the four months that saw the surrender of the South and the assassination of Lincoln by Southern partisans. It is also the story of two men, antagonists yet political partners, who struggled to achieve their own differing visions for the South: Jefferson Davis, the autocratic president of the Confederate States, who vowed never to surrender whatever the cost; and the practical and warm General John C. Breckinridge, Secretary of War, who hoped pragmatism would save the shattered remnants of the land he loved so dearly.
Noted historian William C. Davis traces the astounding flight of these men, and the entire Confederate cabinet, from Richmond. Using original research, he narrates the futile quarrels of Davis and Breckinridge as they try to evade Northern pursuers and describes their eventual--and separate--captures. The result is a rich canvas of a time of despair and defeat, a charged tale full of physical adventure and political battle that sweeps from the marble halls of Richmond to a dingy room in a Havana hotel.