'Bitterly Divided: The South's Inner Civil War'

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Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
A socialist web site is not where I normally go for Civil War history, but a friend sent me a link to this short essay that takes off on on the movie 'Free State of Jones' to talk about Unionist or anti-Confederate whites in the South:

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/07/26/civi-j26.html

I'm not familiar with the work of David Williams. Any opinions out there?
 

Borderruffian

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Location
Audrain County Missouri
There were Unionist Guerilla's every where in the seceded states, in everyone of them. Some where passable guerilla fighters some weren't,really it's no new discovery it's just not a talked about fact either in the South or the North . There were also Southern Guerilla's in all the border states and in Seceded states that came under Union Control and many times they are over shadowed by the bands in Missouri in terms of being discussed.

Why I don't know. Perhaps people don't like to uncover the warts of either the Lost Cause or the Treasury of virtue, or perhaps Partisan warfare and the reasons men became willing to engage in it are not always in nice little box tied by a cute little ribbon.
 

1NCCAV

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Perhaps people don't like to uncover the warts of either the Lost Cause or the Treasury of virtue,.....
I haven't heard it put that way before but I like it. I believe there is indeed a "Lost Cause" mythology and few modern day Confederate sympathizers will admit it. But I also believe there is a "Treasury of Virtue" mythology, that mythology is indeed a reasonable description of it, and that few modern day Union sympathizers will admit it.
 
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Borderruffian

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Audrain County Missouri
I haven't heard it put that way before but I like it. I believe there is indeed a "Lost Cause" mythology and few modern day Confederate sympathizers will admit it. But I also believe there is a "Treasury of Virtue" mythology, that mythology is indeed a reasonable description of it, and that few modern day Union sympathizers will admit it.
Oh there is indeed both a Lost Cause myth and a Treasurey of Virtue Myth.Both attempt to gloss over the very real faults of both sides in an attempt to make what ever they did seem noble and enlightened and both get to the point were they believe their own hype like it came from a prayer book.They refuse to believe anything bad could be done by their side.
 

Yankeedave

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Location
Colorado
Oh there is indeed both a Lost Cause myth and a Treasurey of Virtue Myth.Both attempt to gloss over the very real faults of both sides in an attempt to make what ever they did seem noble and enlightened and both get to the point were they believe their own hype like it came from a prayer book.They refuse to believe anything bad could be done by their side.
yup.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
A socialist web site is not where I normally go for Civil War history, but a friend sent me a link to this short essay that takes off on on the movie 'Free State of Jones' to talk about Unionist or anti-Confederate whites in t

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/07/26/civi-j26.html

I'm not familiar with the work of David Williams. Any opinions out there?
A socialist web site is not where I normally go for Civil War history, but a friend sent me a link to this short essay that takes off on on the movie 'Free State of Jones' to talk about Unionist or anti-Confederate whites in the South:

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/07/26/civi-j26.html

I'm not familiar with the work of David Williams. Any opinions out there?
I have read and quoted that book quite a bit. Williams book is well written and well sourced. It is esential reading on Unionism.
Leftyhunter
 
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Yankeedave

1st Lieutenant
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Dec 3, 2012
Location
Colorado
And if it doesnt match that antuquated book they read...dunno. seems many just spit out what they read with little thought on the subject. It has to be this way because anything outside of it leaves them with little to say.
 

matthew mckeon

Colonel
Retired Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
"Bitterly Divided" is a good book. The thesis is that the Confederacy was so pro planter that it ultimately couldn't rally enough support to win the war, and that significant parts of the southern population were reluctant or hostile to the Confederate effort and grew more so as the war continued. Not only was it a "rich man's war" but a rich man's government.
 
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Waterloo50

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Myth has always been a lazy person's substitute for in depth research. What is worse is that too many people are more comfortable with myths and refuse to consider the truth. It explains almost all disputes on this website.
Ah, but myth tends to spur people on to find the truth, which in turn often results in them doing more in-depth research. The other problem is, if you are new to a subject, how do you know if what you have read/been told is myth or not?
 

matthew mckeon

Colonel
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Oct 3, 2005
Ah, but myth tends to spur people on to find the truth, which in turn often results in them doing more in-depth research. The other problem is, if you are new to a subject, how do you know if what you have read/been told is myth or not?
I agree. How many people were drawn into the Civil War by a book like "Killer Angels" a great book, but not history. We all start somewhere.
 
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PeterT

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Mar 29, 2015
Location
Melbourne Australia
"Bitterly Divided" is a good book. The thesis is that the Confederacy was so pro planter that it ultimately couldn't rally enough support to win the war, and that significant parts of the southern population were reluctant or hostile to the Confederate effort and grew more so as the war continued. Not only was it a "rich man's war" but a rich man's government.
Agree that this a good book. Well written and researched. It really gave me an insight of the "war within a war".
 
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Carpetbagger

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Jul 23, 2015
I would skip William's book. It is basically a reiteration of the 1988 book "Why the South Lost" by Richard , Beringer, Herman Hattaway, Archer Jones, Still. At 586 pages it is a more thorough treatment of the subject than William's.

But their thesis (and William's) has failed to convince many historians that internal divisions was a primary reason the South lost. Gary Gallagher and Jim McPherson haven both spoken against it. The North was divided , too, although less so than the South because they larger and more prosperous middle class. It was part of the reason the South less, but how much? Most of the historians who engage this argument use fugitive slaves as a substantial part of the equation (who knew the slaves didn't like the slaver owners? Wow). But what I think most people are interested in was the unity of the Southern white population.

These types of books have good anecdotal information, but I've never seen much useful data analysis. Its a good thing that the old nonsense of a unified South has been destroyed, but that happened in a 1925 book (and that still hasn't stopped the unified South perpetrators from twisting it to make it true).
 
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Yankeedave

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Location
Colorado
I would skip William's book. It is basically a reiteration of the 1988 book "Why the South Lost" by Richard , Beringer, Herman Hattaway, Archer Jones, Still. At 586 pages it is a more thorough treatment of the subject than William's.

But their thesis (and William's) has failed to convince many historians that internal divisions was a primary reason the South lost. Gary Gallagher and Jim McPherson haven both spoken against it. The North was divided , too, although less so than the South because they larger and more prosperous middle class. It was part of the reason the South less, but how much? Most of the historians who engage this argument use fugitive slaves as a substantial part of the equation (who knew the slaves didn't like the slaver owners? Wow). But what I think most people are interested in was the unity of the Southern white population.

These types of books have good anecdotal information, but I've never seen much useful data analysis. Its a good thing that the old nonsense of a unified South has been destroyed, but that happened in a 1925 book (and that still hasn't stopped the unified South perpetrators from twisting it to make it true).
"How the south lost" is a worthwhile read.
 
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