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WWII

Why South lost Civil War - Confederacy Myths


Latest hand-picked Civil War news and articles.

The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War by Donald Stoker (book review)
Neither the U.S. government nor the Confederate states had nothing like the modern general staff system for efficient strategic planning. The Confederacy never had a consistent strategy to win the war at any point, while Union strategy grew from Winfield Scott's 1861 coordination of superior forces along multiple axes during the invasion(s) of Virginia.
(cwba.blogspot.com)

"Blue and Gray Diplomacy" traces Europe's lack of role in American Civil War
The true lost cause of the American Civil War might have been any effort by Confederate diplomats to secure sovereign recognition by European powers, writes history professor Howard Jones in "Blue and Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations". The American Civil War so puzzled Europeans that they - in the end -stayed out of it, letting the Americans kill one another in what many on the old continent considered a senseless war. The Confederate States of America's failure to win recognition did not determine the outcome of the war by itself, but it surely contributed to its defeat.
(tuscaloosanews.com)

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.
(ajc.com)

It was not Union Army that beat the Confederacy - 164,000 died of disease
It was not Lincoln's Union Army that dealt the Confederacy its biggest blow. Only 94,000 Southerners died in battle, 164,000 died of disease. Much was due to a declining supply of medicine - because of the blockade. When enemy camps were overrun, the medical stores were seized and resold at 50 times their value. General Lee called upon the secretary of war to put an end to the practice. In 1863 Surgeon Major Francis Perye Porcher wrote a manual on indigenous botanical substitutes: "Resources of the Southern Fields and Forests, Medical, Economic and Agricultural." Some argue it helped Confederates to hold off the Union Army for 2 additional years.
(lvrj)

We do know what kind of historian she is, and safe is not the word
18 years ago, at a conference at the University of California, Drew Gilpin Faust, respected professor of Southern history, caused an uproar that some of her peers still talk about. Among historians of the South and the Civil War, there is no larger question than why the Confederacy lost its bid for independence. Explanations range from battlefield tactics to the North's industrial superiority. In San Diego that day she offered her explanation that managed to rub everyone the wrong way. The South lost, she argued, because of the part played by rich white women, the very figures that had been held up as Dixie's staunchest supporters.
(boston)

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.
(dispatch)

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.
(curledup.com)

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.
(kansaspress)