Myth of the Lost Cause: Why the Confederate Loss Was Not Inevitable

968 Words Jun 20th, 2018 4 Pages
For over a century, many writers and historians theorized that the Confederate loss during the Civil War was, in fact, inevitable, and that they were only fighting a losing war against an overwhelming invading force. This idea shows the southern gentleman, in his honor, taking up arms against what was obviously a superior foe in order to preserve their state’s rights, their families, and their homes, with no hope of coming out the victor in the contest. This is a romantic notion of a time forgotten where gentlemen fought a barbaric would-be conquering force in order that their economic tyranny be forced upon the southern gentleman. This can be countered by the fact that they were only looking for a way to soothe their own defeat, that …show more content…
Lee and Confederate President Jefferson Davis, though they differed, had strategies for winning the war. That they both had ideas on how to overcome the might of the United States is reason enough to dismiss the idea of a lost cause (Farwell, B.). General Lee preferred an offensive strategy that saw him marching his Army of Northern Virginia toward the enemy and facing him on their own ground if he could. Jefferson, however, sought a defensive war, having the Union smash against fortified southern forces again and again (Farwell, B.). According to both of these tactics, winning was possible, thus negating the myth. They hoped that the north would eventually tire of the fight and seek an end to hostilities, thus granting Confederate independence. Like their fathers and grandfathers before them, they sought to overthrow a more powerful foe and secure freedom. These men in their roles of leadership would have known better than to attack if winning was not a hope. There was hope from Confederate leadership that, like the French in the Revolutionary war, France or England would recognize the Confederate States as an independent nation. Such recognition from an international body would force the union to withdraw and for the United States to see their opponents as an independent entity (Henry, S.C.). So why then does this myth persist? The northern army was never sure of

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