The Cause Lost: Myths and Realities of the Confederacy
In these pages, Davis brings into sharp focus the facts and fictions of the South's victories and defeats, its tenacious struggle to legitimize its cause and defeat an overpowering enemy, and its ultimate loss of will. He debunks long-standing legends, offers irrefutable evidence explaining Confederate actions, and contemplates the idealism, naivete, folly, and courage of the military leadership and would-be founding fathers. Among the most misunderstood, Davis contends, was Jefferson Davis. Often branded as enigmatic and incompetent, the Confederate president was simply a decent and committed leader whose mistakes were magnified by the war's extraordinary demands. Davis scrutinizes Jefferson Davis' relationship with his generals - most of whom were unproved talents or cronies with proven deficiencies - and reveals why only Robert E. Lee succeeded in winning Davis' confidence through flattery, persuasion, and a sense of responsibility. He also examines the myths and memories of the nearly deifiedStonewall Jackson and of John C. Breckinridge, the only effective Confederate secretary of war. Davis also illustrates why the cause of the war - a subject of long-standing controversy - boils down to the single issue of slavery; why Southerners, 90 percent of whom didn't own slaves, were willing to join in the battle to defend their homeland; how the personalities, tactics, and styles of the armies in the turbulent West differed greatly from those in the East; what real or perceived turning points influenced Southern decision making; and how mythology and misinterpretations have been perpetuated through biography, history, literature, and film.
15 pages matching Army of Tennessee in this book
Results 1-3 of 15
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
This is a superb book. The mythology surrounding this war never made a great deal of sense to me, and this examines many issues, both broad and specific and creates a much clearer understanding. I recommend it to anyone seeking a greater understanding of the war. There is one argument that jarred me. Davis suggests in one of his pieces that the slaves can't have been too unhappy--they could have created a lot of problems for the Confederacy by resistance. According to Bitterly Divided, by David Williams, that is exactly what they did. He quotes Southern whites complaining that their slaves became harder to control and less industrious as the war went on. In his book Maryland, Carl Bode says, speaking of slaves: "By March 1862, Dr, John Bayne [of Maryland], could write Lincoln in outrage [...] 'Hundreds and I may say thousands have absconded and they meet with such ready ingress and protection within the lines of the Army that we shall soon be depopulated of slavery." We may not have opinion polls of slaves within the Confederacy, but we do know that so many thousands sought Federal lines that the army didn't know what to do with them.
Review: The Cause Lost: Myths and Realities of the ConfederacyUser Review - Goodreads
I have never been disappointed in a book by Mr. Davis. This is a compact analysis of the myths of the Confederacy; you can consider it a precursor to his great book, Look Away.
The Mystery of the Myth
Partnership for Success
The Siege of Charleston
7 other sections not shown
Singing the New Nation: How Music Shaped the Confederacy, 1861-1865
E. Lawrence Abel
No preview available - 2000