From Pine View Farm

“The Lost Cause” 2

One more time, when you hear persons romanticize “the Lost Cause,” be sure to ask them to explain clearly just exactly what cause was lost.



  1. George Smith

    November 29, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    I don’t have it handy but Sherman issued a famous rant to a southern “colleague” just before the war broke out telling that person just what was going to happen. According to the long history I’ve read, Shelby Foote’s collection on the war, his motivation in the sack of Atlanta and the march to the sea was exactly as described in that post. The civilians in Dixie were accurately appraised as dead-enders who needed a demonstration of ruin so they knew exactly what war cost them. When he wound up in Savannah and was planning his march north, he remarked that the civilians of Georgia who had contact with his troops were appropriately intimidated and suppressed, asking that the Union troops administer the same fate to others. Which he did, in South Carolina, which he felt entirely deserved whatever worst would come to it. Good link. I’d skipped reading the Times piece on that for just the reason stated at Balloon Juice. Many still never wanted to give up. Jefferson Davis, the ultimate dead-end leader, was still fleeing after Lee’s surrender when finally caught, still hoping to fight on in Texas. And Lee himself could have surrendered well before it was forced upon him. After the war he got off well, considering what he’d been responsible for. If Lincoln had not been assassinated, the US might not still be so horribly crippled by the toxin DNA of the Confederacy.

  2. Frank

    November 29, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    I agree that Lincoln’s assassination did long-term damage to the polity. On some podcast I listen to–I forget which one, probably Professional Left or Historical Blackness–one of the participants pointed out that Jefferson Davis’s “farewell” address has proven prophetic. The dead-enders did fight on and are fighting on still.

    I wonder sometimes whether we would be better off today had Sherman been willing to, if nominated, run and, if elected, serve.