American Civil War in the News is a edited review of American Civil War related news and articles, providing collection of hand-picked 1861-1865 era history.

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Confederate - Confederacy - American Civil War

Latest hand-picked Civil War news and articles.

Poll: 38% of Southerners still side with the Confederacy
The American Civil War started 150 years ago, and the echoes are still being felt. A poll found that 38% said they sympathize with the Confederacy, which lost the fight that cost 600,000 American lives, and resulted in the bloodiest days on U.S. soil. Overall, 25% from all geographic areas said they still side with the South. 54% said they believe the war was over slavery, while 42% said slavery wasn't the main reason.

The California Confederates
California was far from the major actions of the American Civil War, but it was very important by both sides because of its riches and location near Mexico. While California treated its Native-American population very harshly it was an anti-slavery Union state. However, a number of California's cities were strongholds of pro-Southern sympathies. This was a major concern to Union commanders who moved troops from the West to strengthen garrisons in the Golden State. Union soldiers guarded wagon trains of California gold heading East. The problem for a California Confederate was how to get to the war.

Bitterly Divided: The South's Inner Civil War by David Williams
Generations of students have been taught that the South lost the Civil War because of the North's superior industry. A new civil war book suggests otherwise: Southerners were responsible for defeating the Confederacy. In "Bitterly Divided: The South`s Inner Civil War" historian David Williams lays out some tradition-upsetting arguments. To begin with: most Southerners didn't even want to leave the Union. In late 1860 and early 1861, there were a series of votes about the secession in all the slave states, and the crushing majority voted against it. The inner civil war ever resolved, and as a result 300,000 Southern whites served in the Union army.

Black Southerners in Confederate gray - Why haven't we heard more about them?
February marks the beginning of Black History Month. One area that has been over-looked was that of black Southerners who fought for the Confederacy. Ed Bearss, National Park Service Historian Emeritus, stated: "I don't want to call it a conspiracy to ignore the role of Blacks, both above and below the Mason-Dixon line, but it was definitely a tendency that began around 1910." Historian Erwin L. Jordan, Jr., calls it a cover-up which started in 1865: "During my research on pension applications, I came across instances where black men stated they were soldiers, but you can plainly see where ‘soldier` is crossed out and ‘body servant` or ‘teamster` inserted."

The Bloody Shirt: A Long Surrender: The Guerrilla War After the Civil War
"The Bloody Shirt" by Stephen Budiansky: The title refers to a small footnote to the war of violence that was waged in the American South after the Civil War. The terror started almost as soon as the Civil War ended in 1865; lasting until 1876, when the last of the governments of the Southern states freely elected through universal manhood suffrage was put down in a campaign of violence - thereby ending Reconstruction. --- March 9, 1871: a band of 120 men on horseback, heavily armed, encircled the house of one George R. Ross in Monroe County. Allen P. Huggins, a Northern man who had settled in Mississippi after the war, was staying the night there...

Marketing the South: Commercial mythmaking
The historical, competitive, and ideological factors that structure the patterns of commercial mythmaking remain mostly unexplored and undertheorized. Now, a study investigates these interrelationships by a comparative analysis of two prominent New South mythmakers: editors of magazines about the South (who are seeking to ideologically reconstruct the historical legacy of antebellum, confederate), and segregationist South in ways that serve commercial agendas. "A countervailing system of meanings has been culturally propagated through the ceaseless efforts ... to place a redeeming light on the region`s historical heritage," say Craig Thompson and Kelly Tian.

Book: Texas Terror: The Slave Insurrection Panic of 1860...
On July 8, 1860, flames raced through the village of Dallas, burning nearly all the settlement's stores. The flames then raced on to erupt American Civil War. Donald E. Reynolds covers the scary sequence in "Texas Terror: The Slave Insurrection Panic of 1860 and the Secession of the Lower South". Secessionist hotheads, fire-eaters, claimed that slaves and abolitionist arsonists set the Dallas fire and a number of smaller but very harmful ones in other towns. They wanted to scare the South out of the Union. Fire-eaters herded Texas and other slave states into a Confederacy the agitators envisioned as a safe haven for slavery.

Confederate Soldiers Spread Lies to Keep Spirits Up
Rumors were spread among Confederate soldiers to keep morale high when the Civil War wasn't going their way, book "Diehard Rebels: The Confederate Culture of Invincibility" suggests. Circulation of the optimistic "news" - such as false reports of Union General Ulysses S. Grant's death - kept up throughout the war and became more outlandish as the Confederate South lost ground. "Even towards the end of the war, most of their rumors were positive and false - weird stuff like talk of a world war in which England and France would join alongside the Confederates," said historian Jason Phillips.

State paying $737,000 to repair Confederate White House
The state is paying $737,000 to renovate the First White House of the Confederacy, a state-owned historical site that has been closed since repair work began in July. Officials with the White House Association of Alabama expect it to reopen for the February observance of Jefferson Davis' inauguration as president of the Confederacy. The house, which Davis used while Montgomery was the capital of the Confederacy in 1861, is having its heating and air conditioning system replaced. The house, built 1832-1835, was moved at its current site in 1921. "It was a huge event in the whole South. There were thousands of people here."

Book: A South Divided: Portraits of Dissent in the Confederacy
David C. Downing has written a book that is an overview of Southern dissidents in the Civil War. What emerges in "A South Divided: Portraits of Dissent in the Confederacy" is a complex pattern of dissent involving every state of the Confederacy and every year of the war. His book is an account of Southern dissidents who were labeled as traitors, deserters, or mossbacks during the war, but called "Lincoln`s loyalists" by one Northern historian after the war. All these people had their part to play in the drama that sapped the strength of the Confederacy from within. They were rebels again the rebellion.

The 10 Causes Of The War Between The States
Historians have long debated the causes of the war and the Southern perspective differs from the Northern one. Based upon the study of original documents of the War Between The States (Civil War) era and facts published by Confederate Veterans and Southern Historians before, during, and after the war, I present the opinions and conclusions stated in the this article. Technically the 10 causes listed are reasons for Southern secession. The only cause of the war was that the South was invaded and responded to Northern aggression. I disagree with those who claim that the War Between the States was fought over the abolition of slavery.

South's efforts to attract 'desirable' immigrants after Civil War   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Have attitudes changed since the Civil War? It's a question raised by a book two professors have written about proposed immigration to the South during Reconstruction. The book, "Immigration in the American South" documents unsuccessful efforts to draw the most "desirable" immigrants flooding the U.S. southward 1864-1895. After the Civil War, the South was defining itself. Prospects raised questions of "Who are we?" and "What kind of South do we build?" With the loss of about 3.5 million slave laborers, first thoughts were of drawing immigrant agricultural workers.

Understanding The Confederate Soldier - Born Fighting   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The War was not a contest of equals. The Union outnumbered the Confederacy in all "war fighting" categories. But the South was superior in the intensity of its warrior ethic. Not only the Revolutionary War spirit drove Confederate soldiers. The Confederate Army rose like a sudden wind out of the little towns... the Great Captains called, and the able-bodied men were quick to answer. 90% of its adult population served and 70% of those became casualties. The men of the Confederate Army gave every ounce of courage to a leadership they respected, then laid down their arms in an instant when that leadership said enough was enough.

Confederacy`s States Back Into the Union
When Grant and Lee sat down together in Appomattox in April 1865, they sealed the Confederacy`s doom, but the fate of its states hung in the air. After Fort Donelson and Nashville fell to the Union in February 1862, General Ulysses S. Grant declared martial law over western Tennessee and President Abraham Lincoln appointed as military governor the Tennessean whose refusal to leave the US Senate in 1861 had made him the paragon of Southern Unionism: Andrew Johnson. Confederates who swore allegiance to the Union would be granted pardon and restitution of property (except slaves). Once 10% of a state had taken the oath, the state could be readmitted to the Union.

Confederate Civil War defeat blamed on self-interest
In 1862 two congressmen of the Confederate blocked a bill that would have connected two railroads critical to Confederacy armies, because they thought that Virginia should have the power to decide what to do. That is just one of many revealing vignettes contained in Dixie Betrayed: How the South Really Lost the Civil War. Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens spent much of the war sick in his bed, conspiring against Jefferson Davis. The book, with its behind-the-scenes look at the infighting that took place in the Confederate war machine, reveals how amazing it was that the rebellion managed to survive four years.

Not any major Civil War battles but birthplace of Confederacy   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Alabama may not have been the site of any major Civil War battles, but its place in history is secured as the birthplace of the Confederacy. The spot where Jefferson Davis was sworn in as the first and only president of the Confederate States of America is one of many important locations in a new brochure. Other attractions in the brochure include the Alabama Department of Archives and History and the Tallassee Confederate Armory and many other sites. There were 170 military engagements in the state during the Civil War and the brochure outlines several of them.

Cold Harbor: Forgotten Civil War battle near Confederate capital
On May 31, 1864, an encounter between Union Gen. William Sheridan's cavalry and Confederate units near a five-road junction less than 10 miles from the Confederate capital Richmond, provided the general-in-chief of the Union Army, Ulysses S. Grant, an opportunity to outflank Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Realizing the threat, Lee did the same. By the next day the Battle of Cold Harbor was in full swing, lasting 12 days, causing casualties of 15,500. Yet it does not invoke the sense of reverence associated with battlefields such as Gettysburg. One reason for this may be that Cold Harbor was only one battle in a much larger campaign.

Confederate Memorial Day - Five things to know   (Article no longer available from the original source)
What it is: A day observed in Southern states to commemorate the Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War, from 1861 to 1865. National Memorial Day and Confederate Memorial Day evolved from Decoration Day, a time set aside in the South and North to honor the Confederate and Union dead after the Civil War. When it is observed: May 10 in South Carolina and North Carolina; other Southern states observe the day on various dates from April to June. How many soldiers died in the Civil War: 364,500; 134,000 Confederates; 21,500 South Carolinians.

Civil War group battles over legacy - "true Confederacy"   (Article no longer available from the original source)
About 90,000 Texans served for the Confederate States of America. They stand a bit taller in during Confederate History and Heritage month in honor of their kinfolk. The Sons of Confederate Veterans is the oldest and largest Civil War heritage organization. The group, which is undergoing a divisive shift in leadership, is open to all male descendants of any veteran who served in the Confederate armed forces. Why do these men feel so passionate about a defeated government more than 140 years after its fall? Bill Morris pointed to his forearm. "See these veins? The blood of our ancestors courses in these veins. We love our heritage. We're the last remnants of the true Confederacy."

Confederate Memorial Day - How about an alternative?
As a small child I would sit on my grandfather`s knee, just as he did as a child on the knee of his grandfather, to listen to stories about the Civil War. His grandfather fought for the South from the beginning of the war to the end. He was captured by Union troops and traded back again. He saw Gen. Stonewall Jackson`s wounding. He was among the troops Gen. Robert E. Lee took over after Jackson died and was there when Lee bid farewell to his soldiers after the surrender. There were stories from the homefront, too, like the great-great-grandmother who begged Union soldiers taking everything of value from her place to leave the milk cow. So they did, after shooting it through the head.

Dixie Betrayed: How the South Really Lost the Civil War [book review]
David Eicher argues that many forces that defeated the Confederacy were internal. (Q) You call Jefferson Davis' meddling in the Confederate War Department "legendary." (A) Jefferson Davis was an expert. He had been secretary of war. He micromanaged everything. By contrast, Lincoln began with almost no war experience, having been a soldier in the Black Hawk War. He knew nothing about military tactics or strategy, but Lincoln learned. He maneuvered the right people into control with a different system that included such innovations as a War Board of hand-picked people he trusted. He went through generals in chief until he got to one he trusted, U.S. Grant.

The Cause Lost - Myths and Realities of the Confederacy
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 legends and courage of the leadership and would-be founding fathers. Among the most misunderstood was Jefferson Davis. Often branded as incompetent, the Confederate president was simply a committed leader whose mistakes were magnified. He reveals why only Robert E. Lee succeeded in winning Davis' confidence through flattery and persuasion. He examines the myths of the nearly deified Stonewall Jackson and of John C. Breckinridge, the only effective Confederate secretary of war.