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859 hits since 1 Feb 2023
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Comments or corrections?

Brechtel19801 Feb 2023 3:13 a.m. PST

Has anyone read his eight-volume history of the period?

doc mcb01 Feb 2023 5:05 a.m. PST

Some of it. He's good. Been around a long time; I would have read it maybe 50 years ago.

Grattan54 Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2023 10:24 a.m. PST

I read several many, many years ago.
They were good. Especially liked his coverage
of 1861 and various preparations for creating
armies ect.

rmaker01 Feb 2023 11:32 a.m. PST

I've read some of it, more the early, lead-in stuff. His chapter on the pre-War discontents of the South should be required reading for those who insist that the War was only about slavery.

doc mcb01 Feb 2023 12:23 p.m. PST

rmaker, yes. The conflict between a staple-crop economy and a commercial/industrial economy that "milked it" via protective tariffs was very real, and would have existed regardless of what labor system the south had been using. And the roots of New England (Roundheads and Puritans) and the south (Cavaliers) resulted in profoundly different cultures in spite of their shared status as English colonists. I mis-remember where I read it, but someone did a detailed look at what "liberty" meant to each section, and they were different almost to the point of incompatibility. So even when the two sections "agreed" they were often thinking differently even while using the same words. The whole "code of honor" thing was another huge difference. So yes, slavery, but also a bunch of other stuff.

Brechtel19801 Feb 2023 2:13 p.m. PST

The 'bunch of other stuff' revolved around the cause of the war-slavery.

Old Contemptible01 Feb 2023 4:55 p.m. PST

The cause of the war was slavery. Any other issues could have been resolved short of war. Everything else is "Lost Cause" rhetoric.

doc mcb01 Feb 2023 4:58 p.m. PST

No, not so, no matter how many times you have been told that.

doc mcb01 Feb 2023 5:00 p.m. PST

And that "Lost Cause" bit is getting old and wearisome. Not even sure what it includes. Maybe GWTW? It's just a phrase to avoid thought.

Brechtel19802 Feb 2023 3:35 a.m. PST

And that "Lost Cause" bit is getting old and wearisome. Not even sure what it includes. Maybe GWTW? It's just a phrase to avoid thought.

The 'Lost Cause' is myth and legend, and it was created by the southerners who lost the war and has been used and referred to ever since. In short, it's an excuse for slavery and for the rebellious states who were never a nation and were never recognized as such by any other nation.

That is in contrast to the new United States during the Revolution which was recognized by France in 1778. Remember the 'First Salute'? John Paul Jones' ship Ranger flying the American colors was saluted by the French navy as she sailed into port.

For the 'Lost Cause' and its effect in distorting history and defending slavery, see The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History edited by Gary Gallagher and Alan Nolan, both noted Civil War historians.

Further, The Myth of the Lost Cause by Edward Bonekemper is an interesting volume which gives valuable insights into the Lost Cause and who was responsible for the distortions of Civil War history that are still being used by some authors and apologists for the Confederacy.

It's just a 'little' more than just a 'phrase.'

Brechtel19802 Feb 2023 4:01 a.m. PST

No, not so, no matter how many times you have been told that.

Yes, quite so, and it has been demonstrated, and sourced, as such on this forum more than once.

doc mcb02 Feb 2023 5:41 a.m. PST

It was necessary, vital even, that the defeated southerners be allowed their pride so that they could be reintegrated into a national society. The veneration of RE Lee was one way that was accomplished. That did NOT involve any defense of slavery. It was merely (but importantly) a recognition of gallantry in a losing war and a losing cause.

Brechtel19802 Feb 2023 6:25 a.m. PST

That did NOT involve any defense of slavery.

It most certainly did involve a defense of slavery. Again, see the two volumes referenced.

The defeated South needed to defend slavery. '…even before the abolitionist attack from the North, Southerners began the defense of slavery as a social system that provided unique benefits, both for the slaves whom it placed under the fatherly care of a superior race and for the master who was given the freedom from toil necessary to the creation of a superior culture.' 'Anatomy of a Myth by Alan Nolan, in The Myth of the Lost Cause by Gary Gallagher and Alan Nolan, 14.

'Assertion by the Lost Cause spokesmen of the insignificance of slavery in the sectional conflict seems outrageous and disingenuous in the light of nineteenth-century American political history…'-Nolan, 19.

'Jefferson Davis had frequently spoken to the United States Senate about the significance of slavery to the South and had threatened secession if what he perceived as Northern threats to the insitution continued.'-Nolan, 20.

'In 1861, Confederate Vice President Stephens in his famous Charleston speech characterized the 'great truth' of slavery as the 'foundation' and 'cornerstone' of the Confederacy.'-Nolan 20.

Apparently then, slavery was the cause of the war, and the South was definitely not moving away from slavery, but maintaining and defending it. In point of fact, slavery was being made 'harsher and more inplacable' as time went on. 'There is simply no evidence tending to show that the South would have voluntarily abandoned slavery.'-Nolan, 21.

It appears that Nolan, Gallagher and McPherson, along with other credible historians, have come to the same conclusion that slavery was the cause of the Civil War.

doc mcb02 Feb 2023 9:02 a.m. PST

Are they credible because they agree with you? And you have changed the argument. The question is whether the Lost Cause narrative (to the extent it existed) was a defense of slavery. No, that was AFTER the war and emancipation, so slavery was no longer at issue; that's the "lost" part. The LC narrative was that the south had fought bravely and honorably for things in which they believed, including slavery but also independence, and just defense of home against alien invasion ("Because you are here.) By the 1880s most of the south (now industrializing) would have shared the relief felt by, e.g., the Chesnuts, that they were finally free of the slavery trap. NO ONE was interested in restoring slavery after 1865. Nor even much in defending it.

Brechtel19802 Feb 2023 9:28 a.m. PST

Those historians are credible because they have done the work and have sourced their work thoroughly.

Have you read the two sources on the Lost Cause? It came about after the war and the defense of slavery was an issue before and after the war.

The Yankees weren't 'alien' but fellow Americans. And the defense of slavery continues to this day.

In short, the Lost Cause narrative is not history, but myth and legend created as an excuse and defense of the war, slavery, etc.

And you have not offered any credible source material to defend what you are posting. Why is that?

Grattan54 Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2023 9:43 a.m. PST

+1 Brechtel,

All the evidence shows slavery as the cause for the war. Would the South have seceded if they didn't have slaves? No. Thus, slavery is the cause. Every event between the North and South between 1848-1860 dealt in some way with slavery. All the primary documents, diaries, letters of those living at the time in the South and voted for secession talk about defending slavery. The secession documents that list the reasons why the various southern states are seceding, written by the men at the time of secession, state it was issuing dealing with slavery. The VP pf the Confederacy said slavery was the cornerstone of the Confederacy. Show me anyone who opposed that in the South? Show me any other primary records that state other major reasons for secession. They don't exist. Yet, it is like spitting into the wind getting hard core Lost Causers to believe any of this.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2023 10:19 a.m. PST

Have I been incited?

doc mcb02 Feb 2023 10:43 a.m. PST

The defense of slavery was NOT made after the war. All of your examples are pre-war. The emphasis after was on the military struggle. By the 1880s the OFFICIAL RECORDS were being published, and CENTURY magazine was publishing what became the BATTLES AND LEADERS collection of reminiscences, and dozens of participants were publishing memoirs (and fighting blame-games with each other).

I'm not citing sources because I actually know a lot on my own and need not depend on experts to tell me what to think.

Grattan, you are missing the point. That is not we are arguing about.

doc mcb02 Feb 2023 10:44 a.m. PST

And the defense of slavery continues to this day.

Bleeped text

By whom? where? Nonsense.

doc mcb02 Feb 2023 11:17 a.m. PST


Don Oja Dunaway

Well now I am just a simple man.
I go no command of the written word.
I can only try to tell y'all
About the things that I've seen and heard.
Won't you listen to this picture
Forever etched upon my mind.
The day that hell broke loose just north of Marietta all along the Kennesaw line.
The day that hell broke loose just north of Marietta all along the Kennesaw line.

Well the sun rose high above us that morning
On a clear and cloudless day
A peckerwood, he tapped on a tree
That would soon be shot away
The heat blistered down through the leaves on the trees
The air seemed hot enough to catch fire
Heaven seemed to be made of brass
The sun rose higher and higher

And then everything got real still and quiet.
My old mess mate, Walter Hood
Said, "Them boys down there they're up to something
I know it ain't no damn good"
Well it was then the storm broke, swept down on us
Rumbling through the hills
Walter sighed and he dropped his rifle
I heard him say something 'bout whippoorwills

He said, "Sammy, can't you hear 'em singing
Singing for you and me
Yes, and all the Maury Grays, Lord
Carry me back to Tennessee
God bless the First and the Twenty-seventh
The Grand Rock City Guard
Sammy, nobody every told me
That dying would be so hard"

Sammy, I think I'm hurt real bad.
Ain't this a hell of a day.
You'd best go and leave me now.
I think I need time to pray.
You know how bad I been wantin' to go home,
But I couldn't see rightly how.
Colonel Field ain't gonna have a choice this time.
Guess I'm gonna get my furlough now.

He said, "Sammy, can't you hear 'em singing
Singing for you and me
Yes, and all the Maury Grays, Lord
Carry me back to Tennessee
God bless the cowards and the brave alike
Who died where the seeds of death are sewn
And I pity those poor Yankee bastards
Who died so far from home.

Repeat First Verse, repeating last line 3 times

Note: "Marietta" is pronounced "Mayretta" by many people who live
there or nearby.

doc mcb02 Feb 2023 11:21 a.m. PST

Perhaps you have read COMPANY AITCH by Sam Watkins. Published in the 1880s. One of the best memoirs by a private soldier, and his account of the Dead Angle at Kennesaw must be among the most gripping accounts of close combat. And he says, at one point, that he and his friends fought as though the whole cause of southern independence depended on them. There's almost no mention of slavery.

doc mcb02 Feb 2023 11:32 a.m. PST

Reader mine, I fear that I have wearied you with too long a description of the battle of "Dead Angle," if so, please pardon me, as this is but a sample of the others which will now follow each other in rapid succession. And, furthermore, in stating the above facts, the half has not been told, but it will give you a faint idea of the hard battles and privations and hardships of the soldiers in that stormy epoch–who died, grandly, gloriously, nobly; dyeing the soil of old mother earth, and enriching the same with their crimson life's blood, while doing what? Only trying to protect their homes and families, their property, their constitution and their laws, that had been guaranteed to them as a heritage forever by their forefathers. They died for the faith that each state was a separate sovereign government, as laid down by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of our fathers.

doc mcb02 Feb 2023 11:33 a.m. PST

But what would Sam Watkins know about what the war was about? All he knew was what he was fighting for.

Brechtel19804 Feb 2023 8:03 a.m. PST

By whom? where? Nonsense.

The Lost Cause narrative which was begun after the war and still has its adherents.

'It is remarkable that even 150 years after the Civil War's guns fell silent so many still believe and are influenced by the ideas of the Lost Cause-the most egregious of which is that slavery had absolutely nothing to do with the conflict.'-Jonathan Noyalas.

'Winners do not always write the history books. For generations, legions of writers and historians perpetuated the myth of the Lost Cause-contending that the Civil War was not a struggle over slavery, but rather the hopeless effort of herioc leaders who defended local, home rule.'-Brian Matthew Jordan.

Brechtel19804 Feb 2023 8:05 a.m. PST

All of your examples are pre-war.

No. The Lost Cause myth began after the war as an excuse of why the Confederacy lost and collapsed.

Brechtel19804 Feb 2023 8:06 a.m. PST

I'm not citing sources because I actually know a lot on my own and need not depend on experts to tell me what to think.

With all the sources I have read and use, none of them 'told me what to think.'

Sources are used to assemble facts, and those facts are used to come to a logical conclusion. That process is called historical inquiry.

Brechtel19805 Feb 2023 7:25 a.m. PST

slavery was no longer at issue…

Apparently, based on some threads on this forum, it still is…

Brechtel19805 Feb 2023 7:26 a.m. PST

And that "Lost Cause" bit is getting old and wearisome. Not even sure what it includes. Maybe GWTW? It's just a phrase to avoid thought.

Have you read or looked at the two sources on the myth of the Lost Cause that I posted?

Both go into some detail as to who began it and what it includes. It isn't 'just a phrase…'

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