Dixie Betrayed: How the South Really Lost the Civil War

Dixie Betrayed: How the South Really Lost the Civil War

David J. Eicher

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 0803260172

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

For more than a century, conventional wisdom has held that the South lost the Civil War because of bad luck and overwhelming Union strength. The politicians and generals on the Confederate side have been lionized as noble warriors who bravely fought for states’ rights. But in Dixie Betrayed, historian David J. Eicher reveals the real story, a calamity of political conspiracy, discord, and dysfunction that cost the South the Civil War.
Drawing on a wide variety of previously unexplored sources, Eicher shows how President Jefferson Davis viciously fought with the Confederate House and Senate, state governors, and his own cabinet. Some Confederate senators threatened one another with physical violence; others were hopeless idealists who would not bend even when victory depended on flexibility. Military commanders were assigned not on the basis of skill but because of personal connections. Davis frequently interfered with his generals, micromanaging their field campaigns, ignoring the chain of command, and sometimes trusting utterly incompetent men. Even more problematic, some states wanted to set themselves up as separate nations, further undermining a unified war effort. Tensions were so extreme that the vice president of the Confederacy refused to live in the same state as Davis.
Dixie Betrayed blasts away previous myths about the Civil War. It is essential reading for Civil War buffs and for anyone interested in how governments of any age can self-destruct during wartime.

Vicksburg, 1863














Southerners had never learned to like him, either, because of his limiting controls over the citizens of Richmond. It was said that it was “fortunate” for Winder that he died before the Union captured him, or else he might have suffered a fate even worse than death. John H. Worsham outlived all the elder politicians who controlled his fate in the great war of 1861-65. The young man used his friendship with Richmond’s mayor, Joseph Mayo, to become toll keeper at Mayo’s Bridge in Richmond soon

Correspondence, 616-17. 31. Campbell to “Mrs. Goldthwaite,” Richmond, VA, May 23, 1863, Campbell Papers. 13. Can’t We All Get Along? 1. Joseph G. Rosengarten, “General Reynolds’ Last Battle,” in Annals of the War, ed. McClure, 63. 2. Hood to James Longstreet, Jun. 28, 1875, in Southern Historical Society Papers, 4: 150. 3. Gerrish, Army Life, 111. 4. Evander M. Law, “The Struggle for Round Top,” in Battles and Leaders, eds. Johnson and Buel, 3: 327. 5. Longstreet, Manassas to Appomattox,

that if my life would gain this victory [before Richmond] it should be instantly offered; nay, I would seize and glory in, the chance of sacrificing it for so great a result.” He also began to sour on the prospects for the Confederacy. “England . . . may be here fitted by the annihilation of our cotton producing power,” he wrote. “Her efforts to raise this staple in India, Egypt & Africa indicate her determination to look elsewhere than to us for it.” Mallory also reflected on his lack of

shown in battlefield photographs in exhibitions in American cities, would shock the American nation with up-close evidence of death and woe. The scale of the carnage seemingly knew no bounds. In Mississippi, at Corinth, Confederates under Earl Van Dorn and Sterling Price battled fiercely with Yankees commanded by Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans, leaving a body-strewn town with the Yankee army pursuing the retreating Southerners. As the year wound down, a bloody fight took place in the far west at

established tribunals of justice,” he proclaimed. “While the pending war is in progress we have no use for a supreme appellate tribunal,” said Foote. “No, sir, the establishment of the court would have inevitable effect of bringing the sovereign States in our system in dire conflict with the central government.” Moreover, Foote asserted, he would never assent to a Supreme Court as long as “Judah P. Benjamin shall continue to pollute the ears of majesty with his insidious counsels,” further

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