Dixie Betrayed: How the South Really Lost the Civil War
U of Nebraska Press, 2007 M10 1 - 338 pages
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. ø 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. ø 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.
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