The Lost Cause: The Confederate Exodus to Mexico

Front Cover
University of Oklahoma Press, 1992 - History - 248 pages

In the midst of the heartbreak, confusion, and rumors that followed Appomattox, some Southerners resolved to emigrate rather than surrender, and emigrate they did-to South America, Europe, Canada, and Mexico.

Mexico's Emperor Maximilian, trying to secure his shaky throne against Juarez' opposition, encouraged these recalcitrant Confederates to settle in Mexico. But, doomed to defeat by the internal crisis in Mexico and by the Southerners' failure to face reality, the Confederate colonies were established and destroyed within two years' time. Later, many of the colonists who survived the ordeal tried to forget that they had ever gone into exile.

Among the emigrants were many prominent Southern leaders, barred from holding public office and, in some cases, facing possible arrest: General Jo Shelby, the hero of the Confederacy, who later became so reconciled to the victory of the North that he voted for a Republican; Commodore Matthew Maury, internationally recognized oceanographer and naval astronomer, who was welcomed to Mexico by Maximilian himself; Henry Watkins Allen, "the single great administrator produced by the Confederacy," who founded the English language Mexican Times; and Thomas Caute Reynolds, former lieutenant governor of Missouri, who encouraged Maximilian to stay in Mexico but who himself left. In all there may have been between eight and ten thousand Confederates in Mexico.

The exodus, exile, and repatriation of the Confederates constitute a hitherto incompletely known incident in American history. In this fully documented account, Andrew F. Rolle reveals the hope, humor, disappointment, and defeat of Americans who believed that the only way to save their way of life was to leave their homeland.

 

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Contents

Scorning Defeat
3
The General Who Never Surrendered
11
North versus South in Mexico
21
Waiting for Mr Davis
38
The Troubled Border
50
Shelby Moves South
57
La Ciudad
72
The Hotspurs Forgather
79
The Colonies Falter
114
News from the States
125
Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury
131
Governor Reynolds Dissenter
145
Henry Watkins Allen and the Mexican Times
155
Uprooted
174
After Surrender
187
Appendices
213

Carlota Queen of the Confederate Colonies
92
Sterling Price Model Citizen of Carlota
100
The Other Colonies
108
Bibliography
231
Index
245
Copyright

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About the author (1992)

Andrew F. Rolle has written four books on various aspects of California history and is the editor of The Road to Virginia City: The Diary of lames Knox Polk Miller (Norman, 1960). He is currently professor of history in Occidental College, Los Angeles.

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