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Paper Topic:

The Lost Cause of the South in the Civil War



The civil war is a war between different groups of people who belong to the same country . The American Civil War (Osterweis , 1973 ) was fought between the North (Union states ) and the South (Confederate states . The civil war occurred between 1861 to1865 . It was triggered by the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 . Lincoln wanted to end slavery and to keep the Union together . In his speech he commanded , to put it bluntly , that all slaves must be free . In fact , the United States Constitution was

br revised with the approval of Amendment 13 - Abolishment of Slavery Amendment 14 - Equal Protection of the Laws , Amendment 15 - Voting Rights for All . The following paragraphs will explain the why the South lost because their were simply outnumbered in terms of men and resources and not because they were less equal in terms of military and political strategy


The conflict between the North (the Yankees ) and the South (the Rebels ) started because of their different ways of living . The North wanted the South (Gallagher , 1995 ) to give up their farms , build factories , and abolish slavery . Congress treated the slaves as personal property and would not take away rights of ownership . Thus , the American states took sides in the issue of slavery that would take the lives of more than 620 ,000 of its citizens and injure more than 375 ,000 people . Most of the battles took place in the South so that the recovery from the destruction in property had taken many years . Robert Lee (Foster ,1987 ) was the North Virginian leader who was offered the Union command but chose not to fight Virginia and opposed secession . He urged the Southerners to accept defeat and reunite . In the civil war Thomas "Stonewall " Jackson was one of the most skilled confederate generals from Virginia . The war truly ripped the entire nation apart where relatives living on opposite sides of the CONFLICT were sent to fight each other

One reason for the confederates (Harsh , 1999 ) defeat was that the Southern states were simply outnumbered by the resources and men of the North . In fact General Lee himself stated in his farewell to the Army of Northern Virginia of the "overwhelming resources and numbers that the Confederate army fought against . In his letter to Early , Lee asks information about the number of union men and resources from May 1864 to April 1865 . This was the epic civil war period where his army fought against Lt . Gen . Ulysses S . Grant (the Overland Campaign and the Siege of Petersburg . Lee stated in his letter that his sole object is to put it in writing transmit for future generations to know the truth in to give justice to their confederate brave Soldiers during the war with the North . General Lee also stated in another famous letter that he wanted the world to see that statistics wise and in terms of destruction of property by the Federal soldiers ( the war was fought in the South ) the North had the strength in numbers as compared to the South (Harsh , 1998 ) which had only a few member states namely Alabama Arkansas , Florida , Georgia , Louisiana , Mississippi , North Carolina South Carolina , Tennessee , Texas , and Virginia . Just by looking at the United States map , you will notice that the North had the numbers stacked very highly in their favor . There were more states that joined the Union than the states that joined the confederates . This proves that the south was defeated mainly because the confederates were simply outnumbered Furthermore , another reason is that the Southern troops (Mosgrove 1999 ) were young and poorly equipped and much of the war took place in the Southern cities . Because of this , large cities like Atlanta and Richmond had been devastated with diseases . Since the South was the battle ground , the North could easily use its factories and homes to make war materials to destroy more Southern factories and homes . The North were living in peace where the residents continued to produce the needs of the Northern soldiers like food and war materials . The South , however , was a destroyed scene . Many houses and factories had been damaged thereby it was hard to work in a destroyed city or county where danger to life and property were higher than in the Northern cities and counties

Also , resources wise , the North had more resources than the South The north had factories , favored (economics wise ) taxes that protected them from foreign competition and did not have plenty of money but were developing . They also to FREE the slaves . The northerners had an urban society and people had jobs . The North had a strong central government that wanted the entire nation to stay together . Whereas , the Southerners had (economics wise ) large plantations , opposed taxes that would increase prices and hurt sales to New England states . The South also living in farming specially tobacco and cotton where the depended so much on the slaves to do the work . The also to divorce or secede from the nation and put up its own government

In terms of resources , the war would favor the North winning because the south had less resources than the North

Lastly , The South proved that they could not be defeated militarily and through political strategy in many occasions . In fact it was on April 12 , 1861 that the South fired the first shot at Fort Sumter which is located near the harbor of Charleston , South Carolina which started the Civil War . Union troops , were forced to retreat the next day . The South won in this military scene . In the First Battle at Bull Run (1861 , this was the first major battle between the two sides . It was the shortest major war . Many volunteer soldiers fell in line in their colorful uniforms as people with picnic baskets watch the war on the hillsides . But after around 10 hours of fighting , about nine hundred soldiers were dying . The South won in this battle causing the Union troops to scamper hurriedly back to Washington . A more convincing evidence that the south was militarily as strong as or even stronger than the North occurred in the bloodiest battle of the Civil War , the Battle of Shiloh . This specific battle had garnered more than 23 ,500 men who were either killed or missing in action . As a result , General Grant knew that the South were truly militarily and politically and strategically as strong as or even stronger than the North . In the battle of Antietam (1862 ) General Lee led the Confederate troops as they advanced further into the Northern territories . The battle ended in a draw either side . As a result of this battle , President Abraham Lincoln issued of the Emancipation Proclamation


The South should not be blamed for their LOST CAUSE . General Lee stated that it was not he could not be blamed for the South 's loss as claimed by news accounts of the Civil War . The theory of the LOST CAUSE is proven true because first , General Lee stated in his goodbye s to the Virginian army at the close of the war that the South were simply outnumbered by the resources and men of the North . Another reason the South 's lost cause is that the Southern troops were young and poorly equipped and since the war occurred in the Southern cities trying to survive in a war environment is very dangerous . In fact the two large Southern cities of Atlanta and Richmond were completely damaged and the Southern States were devastated with diseases . Also , the North had more resources than the South . Surprisingly , the South proved that they could not be defeated through military and political strategy in many encounters . In conclusion then , the Lost Cause belief that the South had no chance to win and that it lost because it was overwhelmed by greater resources rather than defeated by military and political strategy is true as evidenced by the above data


Osterweis , R , The Myth of the Lost Cause , 1865-1900 , Shoestring Press Hamden , CT , 1973 .

. 42

Gallagher , G , Jubal A . Early , the Lost Cause , and Civil War History : A Persistent Legacy , Marquette University Press , Milwaukee , WI , 1995 ,

br 5

Foster , G , Ghosts of the Confederacy : Defeat , the Lost Cause , and the Emergence of the New South , 1865 to 1913 , Oxford University Press , New York , 1987 ,

. 25

Harsh , J , Taken at the Flood : Robert E . Lee and Confederate Strategy in the Maryland Campaign of 1862 , Kent State University Press , Kent , OH 1999 ,

. 480

Harsh , J , Confederate Tide Rising : Robert E . Lee and the Making of Southern Strategy , 1861-1862 , Kent State University Press , Kent , OH 1998 ,

. 185

Mosgrove , G , Kentucky Cavaliers in Dixie : The Reminiscences of a Confederate Cavalryman , University of Nebraska Press , Lincoln , NE 1999 .

. 227 ...

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