Retrieved 6: Did the Lost Cause Myth Help Reconciliation?

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!

Potomac Pride

First Sergeant
Oct 28, 2011
The noted historian, Bruce Catton, argued that the Lost Cause myth actually helped achieve national reconciliation between the North and South. In his book, Reflections on the Civil War (1981), he wrote:
"The things that were done during the Civil War have not been forgotten, of course, but we now see them through a veil. We have elevated the entire conflict to the realm where it is no longer explosive. It is a part of American legend, a part of American history, a part, if you will, of American romance. It moves men mightily, to this day, but it does not move them in the direction of picking up their guns and going at it again. We have had national peace since the war ended, and we will always have it, and I think the way Lee and his soldiers conducted themselves in the hours of surrender has a great deal to do with it."