Ghosts of the Confederacy: Defeat, the Lost Cause, and the Emergence of the New South, 1865-1913

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Oxford University Press, Nov 24, 1988 - History - 320 pages
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After Lee and Grant met at Appomatox Court House in 1865 to sign the document ending the long and bloody Civil War, the South at last had to face defeat as the dream of a Confederate nation melted into the Lost Cause. Through an examination of memoirs, personal papers, and postwar Confederate rituals such as memorial day observances, monument unveilings, and veterans' reunions, Ghosts of the Confederacy probes into how white southerners adjusted to and interpreted their defeat and explores the cultural implications of a central event in American history. Foster argues that, contrary to southern folklore, southerners actually accepted their loss, rapidly embraced both reunion and a New South, and helped to foster sectional reconciliation and an emerging social order. He traces southerners' fascination with the Lost Cause--showing that it was rooted as much in social tensions resulting from rapid change as it was in the legacy of defeat--and demonstrates that the public celebration of the war helped to make the South a deferential and conservative society. Although the ghosts of the Confederacy still haunted the New South, Foster concludes that they did little to shape behavior in it--white southerners, in celebrating the war, ultimately trivialized its memory, reduced its cultural power, and failed to derive any special wisdom from defeat.
  

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Ghosts of the confederacy: defeat, the lost cause, and the emergence of the new South, 1865 to 1913

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this original, absorbing book, Foster shows how the South overcame its defeat and adapted to the "New South'' by creating the Lost Cause myth. Postwar Confederate organizations shaped a Southern ... Read full review

Review: Ghosts of the Confederacy: Defeat, the Lost Cause, and the Emergence of the New South, 1865 to 1913

User Review  - Cherisse - Goodreads

Interesting and informative, this work says much about the shifting, decreasing, and resurging meanings of the Confederacy and the "Lost Cause" over time. Although Foster's work covers the years 1865 ... Read full review

Contents

After Appomattox The Trauma of Defeat
11
After Appomattox The Scars of Defeat
22
Ceremonial Bereavement Memorial Activities
36
Ghost Dance The Failed Revitalization Movement of the Virginians
47
Toward a Reunited Nation Signs of Reconciliation
63
Toward a New South Social Tensions
79
The Confederate Tradition in Transition Developments in the Eighties
88
The Confederate Celebration Its Organizational Structure
104
Changes in the Celebration The Declining Importance of the Confederate Tradition
163
Academic Missionaries The Challenge of the Professionals
180
Conclusion
193
Frequently Used Abbreviations
199
Notes
201
Confederate Monuments Erected in the South 18651912
273
Occupational Structure of Selected Groups of Veterans
274
Occupational Structure of Selected Groups of Sons of Confederate Veterans
275

The Confederate Celebration Its Interpretation of the War
115
The Confederate Celebration Its Ritual Activities
127
The South Vindicated The SpanishAmerican War and Its Aftermath
145

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About the author (1988)

Gaines M. Foster is at Louisiana State University.

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