The Confederate War: How Popular Will, Nationalism, and Military Strategy Could Not Stave off Defeat / Edition 1

The Confederate War: How Popular Will, Nationalism, and Military Strategy Could Not Stave off Defeat / Edition 1

by Gary W. Gallagher
ISBN-10:
0674160568
ISBN-13:
9780674160569
Pub. Date:
03/28/1999
Publisher:
Harvard
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Overview

The Confederate War: How Popular Will, Nationalism, and Military Strategy Could Not Stave off Defeat / Edition 1

If one is to believe contemporary historians, the South never had a chance. Many allege that the Confederacy lost the Civil War because of internal division or civilian disaffection; others point to flawed military strategy or ambivalence over slavery. But, argues distinguished historian Gary Gallagher, we should not ask why the Confederacy collapsed so soon but rather how it lasted so long. In The Confederate War he reexamines the Confederate experience through the actions and words of the people who lived it to show how the home front responded to the war, endured great hardships, and assembled armies that fought with tremendous spirit and determination.
Gallagher’s portrait highlights a powerful sense of Confederate patriotism and unity in the face of a determined adversary. Drawing on letters, diaries, and newspapers of the day, he shows that Southerners held not only an unflagging belief in their way of life, which sustained them to the bitter end, but also a widespread expectation of victory and a strong popular will closely attuned to military events. In fact, the army’s “offensive-defensive” strategy came remarkably close to triumph, claims Gallagher—in contrast to the many historians who believe that a more purely defensive strategy or a guerrilla resistance could have won the war for the South. To understand why the South lost, Gallagher says we need look no further than the war itself: after a long struggle that brought enormous loss of life and property, Southerners finally realized that they had been beaten on the battlefield.
Gallagher’s interpretation of the Confederates and their cause boldly challenges current historical thinking and invites readers to reconsider their own conceptions of the American Civil War.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674160569
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 03/28/1999
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 517,542
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 18 Years

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: The Challenge of the Confederate Experience
  • 1. Popular Will: “Many years yet I fear, we are to endure these severe trials”

    • [Photographs and Illustrations] A People’s Will


  • 2. Nationalism: “The Army of Northern Virginia alone, as the last hope of the South, will win the Independence of the Confederacy”

    • [Photographs and Illustrations] Bonds of Nationhood


  • 3. Military Strategy: “The Southern populace clamoured for bloody battles”

    • [Photographs and Illustrations] A People Defeated


  • 4. Defeat: “What else could we do but give up?”
  • Notes
  • Index

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