Did the south really fight over slavery? Hear it from the horse’s mouth in his own words.

uaskme

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
In order to pretend that slavery didn't become an issue until the EP, a person would have to ignore a lot of history. The entire 1850's, for starters.
Didn’t say slavery wasn’t a issue. Just not one that northern Whites would sign up for and die for. Lincoln knew this. Reason he used Union for the cause and called it a White Man’s Fight.

Revisionist history has emboldened this Yankee Myth that the Civil War was about the North’s moral stance against Slavery. Silly then, silly now. Lincoln didn’t do it for the Blacks, he did it to propagate a war against the South.
 

uaskme

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
April 16th 1862 was when Davis authorized the first subscription. Not just desertion but discontent with CSA authorities sprang into open resistance.

Some the most pitiful soldier letters I have are from a draftee from Strawberry Plaines. He was trapped in Vicksburg… he worried about his bees. Virtually every man from his region never returned home from Vicksburg. Is it any wonder the remanent never returned to duty?
There was a Vicksburg camp waiting to be paroled at Athens and another north of Knoxville. They were there when Longstreet assaulted Knoxville. Many of those waiting for Parole wound up in Federal Occupied Territory. So, yep, many flipped or went home. These guys were surrendered. Most had fought what would do been a normal rotation. So they had various good reasons to be done with it. Others did rejoin the Army. There were both Texans from Arkansas Post and Mississippians and others from Vicksburg who fought at Tunnel Hill who stopped Sherman’s feeble assault. Hardee went to Alabama from Tullahoma to reform these Vicksburg parolees. So it is A Yankee Myth these guys didn’t return to Duty. Many did. They didn’t have too. That was part of their parole.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Didn’t say slavery wasn’t a issue. Just not one that northern Whites would sign up for and die for. Lincoln knew this. Reason he used Union for the cause and called it a White Man’s Fight.

Revisionist history has emboldened this Yankee Myth that the Civil War was about the North’s moral stance against Slavery. Silly then, silly now. Lincoln didn’t do it for the Blacks, he did it to propagate a war against the South.
I have spent years reading & studying the letters & journals of soldiers in the Army of the Cumberland. There is nothing revisionist about the fact that the initial motive for fighting was the Union. That is a simple statement of fact. What caused the change to destroying the institution of slavery was revulsion.

Virtually none of the A of the C soldiers had any personal contact with slaves or slaveholding. When they confronted the nauseating brutality that was necessary to hold other human beings as property, they were shocked. When they discovered that slaves were people just like themselves, they were outraged at how they were treated. Racial bigotry was still a factor, but the individuals that flocked into Union lines were fellow human beings, not things to be bought & sold. Any history of the war in the West includes this fact.

No less an authority than Fredric Douglas states that Lincoln wasn’t kidding when he said he would preserve the Union with or without slavery. The emancipation of the slaves was an unintended consequence of the war, not why Lincoln called for volunteers to preserve the Union. As anybody in Tennessee would have testified, the Emancipation Proclamation only applied to areas outside Union control. It was strictly a wartime action. Douglas stated that it wasn’t until Lincoln categorically rejected a peace proposal that included returning USCT’s & their families to their masters that he expressed a firm commitment to emancipation.

There was no monolithic “South” for Lincoln to fight against. Once again, anybody from Tennessee would have known that no such thing existed.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
I can’t see much point in continuing to quote from my great granddaughter’s 5th grade American History book. Thank goodness, the lost cause is exactly that. I have received my reprint of Ed Bearss massive three volume Vicksburg Campaign history. Reading about actual historic events is not going to leave me any time to debunk counterfactuals cooked up to obscure what actually happened, so I am done with this thread.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
There was a Vicksburg camp waiting to be paroled at Athens and another north of Knoxville. They were there when Longstreet assaulted Knoxville. Many of those waiting for Parole wound up in Federal Occupied Territory. So, yep, many flipped or went home. These guys were surrendered. Most had fought what would do been a normal rotation. So they had various good reasons to be done with it. Others did rejoin the Army. There were both Texans from Arkansas Post and Mississippians and others from Vicksburg who fought at Tunnel Hill who stopped Sherman’s feeble assault. Hardee went to Alabama from Tullahoma to reform these Vicksburg parolees. So it is A Yankee Myth these guys didn’t return to Duty. Many did. They didn’t have too. That was part of their parole.
Oddly enough, I have just started reading Ed Bearss massive three volume history of the Vicksburg Campaign. Having heard Ed discuss what you call a Yankee Myth at some length, I am content to stick with the historical record & leave this myth stuff to somebody else.
 

Jantzen64

Corporal
Joined
Aug 10, 2019
I have spent years reading & studying the letters & journals of soldiers in the Army of the Cumberland. There is nothing revisionist about the fact that the initial motive for fighting was the Union. That is a simple statement of fact.
I think that point extends beyond the AotC to the majority of Union volunteers. But let's not forget that "fighting for the Union" meant fighting to preserve a democratic republic where the losing side/minority has to respect/abide by the results of an election; and the particular election in question was all about a proposed federal policy preventing the territorial expansion of slavery. While "fighting for the Union" did not initially encompass the emancipation of people currently held in slavery, it certainly did encompass the people's right to prevent the territorial expansion of that peculiar institution.
 
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uaskme

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
Oddly enough, I have just started reading Ed Bearss massive three volume history of the Vicksburg Campaign. Having heard Ed discuss what you call a Yankee Myth at some length, I am content to stick with the historical record & leave this myth stuff to somebody else.
I’ve read some of your post. Don’t think you are as innocent of embellished as you portray. I’m going to read Bearss trilogy if I get get it. I bought it at the same place you did probably. Others have reading glasses.

You rail on the Lost Cause. Never saw you admit reading all of Pollards book? I read part of it. He is not much of a writer. Can‘t imagine a large population reading Pollard’s book and immersing themselves in the Lost Cause Narrative. Lost Cause has become the Catch Phrase for anything not reflected in the National Narrative. One would have to assume that the National Narrative is True to come to this conclusion. My reading glasses have taught me that this isn’t true. So, in retrospect, I guess anything that isn’t a Yankee Myth is Lost Cause.
I have spent years reading & studying the letters & journals of soldiers in the Army of the Cumberland. There is nothing revisionist about the fact that the initial motive for fighting was the Union. That is a simple statement of fact. What caused the change to destroying the institution of slavery was revulsion.

Virtually none of the A of the C soldiers had any personal contact with slaves or slaveholding. When they confronted the nauseating brutality that was necessary to hold other human beings as property, they were shocked. When they discovered that slaves were people just like themselves, they were outraged at how they were treated. Racial bigotry was still a factor, but the individuals that flocked into Union lines were fellow human beings, not things to be bought & sold. Any history of the war in the West includes this fact.

No less an authority than Fredric Douglas states that Lincoln wasn’t kidding when he said he would preserve the Union with or without slavery. The emancipation of the slaves was an unintended consequence of the war, not why Lincoln called for volunteers to preserve the Union. As anybody in Tennessee would have testified, the Emancipation Proclamation only applied to areas outside Union control. It was strictly a wartime action. Douglas stated that it wasn’t until Lincoln categorically rejected a peace proposal that included returning USCT’s & their families to their masters that he expressed a firm commitment to emancipation.

There was no monolithic “South” for Lincoln to fight against. Once again, anybody from Tennessee would have known that no such thing existed.

Something we can agree on. Lincoln used the Negro to fight a war of submission of the Confederacy. Northern Whites didn’t enlist or die to fight against Slavery.

These mid-western soldiers were taught during the 50s that Blacks would destroy their lands. Most of the soldiers were between 18 and 25. So, most of their lives they were taught this. Lincoln was a Free Soiler. He repeated that he believed the western territories should be reserved for Free White Families. Said in one f the Douglas Debates that you don’t want to look over your shoulder and see a Black plowing. Most mid-western states had Black codes that refused Black immigration. North repeatedly said blacks weren’t welcome after the Civil War,
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
Lost Cause has become the Catch Phrase for anything not reflected in the National Narrative. One would have to assume that the National Narrative is True to come to this conclusion. My reading glasses have taught me that this isn’t true. So, in retrospect, I guess anything that isn’t a Yankee Myth is Lost Cause.

I agree, which is why you often see me put "Lost Cause" in quotes when I mention it. The term has become the lazy way to criticize and label any bit of Civil War history that doesn't bash the South non-stop, whether it actually has any of the "lost cause" tenets in it or not.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
I think that point extends beyond the AotC to the majority of Union volunteers. But let's not forget that "fighting for the Union" meant fighting to preserve a democratic republic where the losing side/minority has to respect/abide by the results of an election; and the particular election in question was all about a proposed federal policy preventing the territorial expansion of slavery. While "fighting for the Union" did not initially encompass the emancipation of people currently held in slavery, it certainly did encompass the people's right to prevent the territorial expansion of that peculiar institution.
You have it exactly. Andrew Jackson’s campaign against the barracoons of self liberated slaves in Florida was about slavery. Annexing Florida & the Seminole War was about slavery. The Texas revolution was about slavery. The war with Mexico was about lebensraum for slavery. Bloody Kansas was about slavery. The Missouri Compromise was about slavery. Oddly enough, the one thing that is missing is any desire or intent by “the North” to impose emancipation on “ the South “ by violence.
 
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Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
I agree, which is why you often see me put "Lost Cause" in quotes when I mention it. The term has become the lazy way to criticize and label any bit of Civil War history that doesn't bash the South non-stop, whether it actually has any of the "lost cause" tenets in it or not.
I assume you are including all the history books reviewed on CWT in this condemnation. There are 60,000,000 Google citations online. Oddly enough, I have yet to read an academic paper about that counter factual narrative that is about “bashing the South.” Mostly the determination of Jubal Early & the Southern Historical Society to rewrite history is the major focus.
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
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Location
South Carolina
I assume you are including all the history books reviewed on CWT in this condemnation. There are 60,000,000 Google citations online. Oddly enough, I have yet to read an academic paper about that counter factual narrative that is about “bashing the South.” Mostly the determination of Jubal Early & the Southern Historical Society to rewrite history is the major focus.

You assume incorrectly. The condemnation of books or authors that appear even remotely sympathetic to some small aspect of the CS, or who don't attack the South viciously enough, as "Lost Cause" is very real. I saw it fairly quickly once I began reading Civil War history, which is why I'm now skeptical of many claims about the "Lost Cause".

It's like your claims that Pollard's book was the origin of the "Lost Cause" mythology. My own impression of it was very different, as I've noted several times now. I could give other examples from various claims that I've read or which have come up in discussion. When I see a lost cause claim and then investigate and see something quite different, it makes me take all the other claims with a grain of salt. I look at them with a skeptical eye.

It doesn't matter how many Google citations there are. It's the quality of the research that matters, not the amount. It's the desire for truth that is important as well. A falsehood repeated a thousand times is still a falsehood.
 
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Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
You assume incorrectly. The condemnation of books or authors that appear even remotely sympathetic to some small aspect of the CS, or who don't attack the South viciously enough, as "Lost Cause" is very real. I saw it fairly quickly once I began reading Civil War history, which is why I'm now skeptical of many claims about the "Lost Cause".

It's like your claims that Pollard's book was the origin of the "Lost Cause" mythology. My own impression of it was very different, as I've noted several times now. I could give other examples from various claims that I've read or which have come up in discussion. When I see a lost cause claim and then investigate and see something quite different, it makes me take all the other claims with a grain of salt. I look at them with a skeptical eye.

It doesn't matter how many Google citations there are. It's the quality of the research that matters, not the amount. It's the desire for truth that is important as well. A falsehood repeated a thousand times is still a falsehood.
“It’s the quality of the research that matters…”

I await the list of books & publications with poor quality research that are referred to. Page numbers or chapters that contain specific examples must be at hand. How many of the 6,300,000 citations re the Lost Cause counterfactual narrative contain the kind falsehoods referred to? Titles, authors & citations are obviously necessary to support such a damning condemnation. I am stuck at home recovering from knee replacement surgery & will have plenty of time to read the list.
 
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Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
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Location
South Carolina
I’ve read Pollard’s book. He was pretty clear that the war was about slavery, at least from a southern point of view. Was he wrong too?

Doesn't "the Lost Cause myth" say that the war was not about slavery?


There are six main parts of the Lost Cause myth, the first and most important of which is that secession had little or nothing to do with the institution of slavery. Southern states seceded to protect their rights, their homes, and to throw off the shackles of a tyrannical government. To the proponents of the Lost Cause, secession was constitutional, and the Confederacy was the natural heir to the American Revolution. Because secession was constitutional, those who fought for the Confederacy were not traitors. Northerners, specifically Northern abolitionists, caused the war with their fiery rhetoric and agitating, even though slavery was on its way to gradually dying a natural death. They also argued secession was a way to preserve the Southern agrarian way of life in the face of encroaching Northern industrialism.​
So if Pollard says that secession was over slavery, how did he inspire "the lost cause" mythology that says the opposite?

I have offered 6,000,000 readily available online sources… more than that I cannot do.

On the contrary, anyone can say "go Google it". That's not really offering a source.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Doesn't "the Lost Cause myth" say that the war was not about slavery?


There are six main parts of the Lost Cause myth, the first and most important of which is that secession had little or nothing to do with the institution of slavery. Southern states seceded to protect their rights, their homes, and to throw off the shackles of a tyrannical government. To the proponents of the Lost Cause, secession was constitutional, and the Confederacy was the natural heir to the American Revolution. Because secession was constitutional, those who fought for the Confederacy were not traitors. Northerners, specifically Northern abolitionists, caused the war with their fiery rhetoric and agitating, even though slavery was on its way to gradually dying a natural death. They also argued secession was a way to preserve the Southern agrarian way of life in the face of encroaching Northern industrialism.​
So if Pollard says that secession was over slavery, how did he inspire "the lost cause" mythology that says the opposite?



On the contrary, anyone can say "go Google it". That's not really offering a source.
Since you ask, “… how did he inspire “the lost cause”…” it is obvious that actually reading any of the millions of scholastic papers, articles & books is out of the question, so be it. At least 3 times i have stated that it wasn’t the actual content of the book, but the ideas it spawned that are important. I have also made it glaring obvious that nobody actually read or reads Pollard’s book because of his writing style.

If you want to learn how Pollard’s themes were manufactured into the Lost Cause, it is Jubal Early & the Southern Historical Society’s 50 years of publications you need to read. They are also available online. I can keep pointing to sources all day long, if that is what this is about. Actually reading one of them would be a better place to start.
 
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GwilymT

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
Doesn't "the Lost Cause myth" say that the war was not about slavery?


There are six main parts of the Lost Cause myth, the first and most important of which is that secession had little or nothing to do with the institution of slavery. Southern states seceded to protect their rights, their homes, and to throw off the shackles of a tyrannical government. To the proponents of the Lost Cause, secession was constitutional, and the Confederacy was the natural heir to the American Revolution. Because secession was constitutional, those who fought for the Confederacy were not traitors. Northerners, specifically Northern abolitionists, caused the war with their fiery rhetoric and agitating, even though slavery was on its way to gradually dying a natural death. They also argued secession was a way to preserve the Southern agrarian way of life in the face of encroaching Northern industrialism.​
So if Pollard says that secession was over slavery, how did he inspire "the lost cause" mythology that says the opposite?



On the contrary, anyone can say "go Google it". That's not really offering a source.
What do you say, was slavery the cause?
 

Zack

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 20, 2017
Location
Los Angeles, California
Didn’t Pollard portray slavery as good though? Like it was a war of slavery yes but slavery was the noble side as it created the chivalrous south?

"Slavery established in the South a peculiar and noble type of civilization. It was not without attendant vices; but the virtues which followed in its train were numerous and peculiar, and asserted the general good effect of the institution on the ideas and manners of the South. If habits of command sometimes degenerated into cruelty and insolence; yet, in the greater number of instances, they inculcated notions of chivalry, polished the manners and produced many noble and generous virtues. If the relief of a large class of whites from the demands of physical labour gave occasion in some instances for idle and dissolute lives, yet at the same time it afforded opportunity for extraordinary culture, elevated the standards of scholarship in the South, enlarged and emancipated social intercourse, and established schools of individual refinement. The South had an element in its society - a landed gentry - which the North envied, and for which its substitute was a coarse ostentatious aristocracy that smelt of the trade, and that, however it cleansed itself and aped the elegance of the South, and packed its houses with fine furniture, could never entirely subdue a sneaking sense of its inferiority. There is a singularly bitter hate which is inseparable from a sense of inferiority; and every close observer of Northern society has discovered how there lurked in every form of hostility to the South the conviction that the Northern man, however disguised with ostentation, was coarse and inferior in comparison with the aristocracy and chivalry of the South." Edward Pollard, The Lost Cause, Pages 50-51

From the American Battlefield Trust link defining The Lost Cause that @Andersonh1 provided:
"Second, slavery was portrayed as a positive good; submissive, happy, and faithful slaves were better off in the system of chattel slavery which offered them protection. Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens declared in 1861 'Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.' After the war, these formerly enslaved people were now said to be unprepared for freedom, which was an argument against Reconstruction and the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments of the Constitution."

If what Pollard wrote is not the Lost Cause then I don't know what is.
 
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