Dixie Betrayed: How the South Really Lost the Civil War

Front Cover
U of Nebraska Press, Oct 1, 2007 - History - 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. 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.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Prologue
7
Birth of a Nation
17
Portrait of a President
37
The War Department
49
A Curious Cabinet
63
The Military High Command
77
State Rightisms
91
Richmond the Capital
108
The President versus the Congress
206
Military Highs and Lows
224
Slaves as Soldiers?
244
Peace Proposals
256
Epilogue Despair
276
Postlude
286
Executive Officers of the Confederate States 18611865
293
Congresses of the Confederate States 18611865
294

The Rise of Lee and Bragg
123
An Uneasy Brotherhood
134
Jockeying for Position
153
Politics Spinning Out of Control
166
Cant We All Get Along?
180
Soiled Reputations
194
Acknowledgments
300
Notes
303
Bibliography
316
Index
325
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

David J. Eicher is the author of numerous books about the Civil War, including The Longest Night.

Bibliographic information