The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

ern History of the War of the Confederates, this theory asserts that the South lost the
Civil War because of the North's overwhelming advantages in manpower and
materials rather than due to any failings or inadequacies on the part of the
South itself. It thus represents an attempt by the Confederate generation to heal
the psychological wounds of defeat by constructing a model in which the South
could not achieve victory. Although the Lost Cause is often at odds with factual
reality, it has remained a remarkably resilient interpretive construct and has pro-
vided a tool by which successive generations of Southerners have rationalized
the outcome of the Civil War. No greater statement of the myth's appeal exists
than the realization that today the Lost Cause has been enshrined as the stan-
dard popular interpretation of the war, buttressed both by mainstream writers
and Hollywood producers. As Nolan points out, "the Lost Cause represents the
national memory of the Civil War; it has been substituted for the history of the
war" (p. 12).
The goal of the nine essays included in The Lost Cause and Civzl War History, ac-
cording to editors Gallagher and Nolan, is to correct this mistake "by refuting
the Lost Cause legend and reestablishing the war as history" (p. 14). In order to
do so, the volume's contributors tackle the Lost Cause interpretation both in its
historical and modern manifestations. Among the topics addressed: Lost Cause
progenitors Jubal A. Early and South Carolina governor Wade Hampton; Lost
Cause anti-hero James Longstreet; the Lost Cause critique of Ulysses S. Grant;
and three essays on the importance of the Lost Cause myth for subsequent gen-
erations of Southerners. Rounding out the collection are two of the more strik-
ing pieces, Nolan's deconstruction of the Lost Cause myth and Lloyd Hunter's
evaluation of the Lost Cause as southern religion.
While the collected essays are impressive, the omission of a separate piece
dealing with Robert E. Lee, the supreme icon of the Lost Cause myth, is curious.
While Lee has figured prominently in recent scholarship, including to a degree
the present work, this collection would have been enriched by a comprehensive
analysis of his place in Lost Cause historiography. The same might be said of
Confederate general and later Georgia governor John B. Gordon, the first presi-
dent of the United Confederate Veterans and, along with Jubal Early, an influen-
tial early architect of the Lost Cause myth. But these comments are suggestive
rather than critical, as Gallagher, Nolan, and their contributors have largely
achieved their goal. The Lost Cause and Czvil War History is an excellent resource
and a positive first step in the campaign to finally phase out the Lost Cause myth.
Kent State University Daniel P. Barr
Civl War in the Southwest: Recollections of the Sibley Brgade. Edited by Jerry Thomp-
son. Foreword by Donald S. Frazier. (College Station: Texas A&M University
Press, 2001. Pp. xi+195. Maps, foreword, introduction, appendix, notes, bibli-
ography, index. ISBN 1-58544-131-7. $24.95, cloth.)
In 1861, a tiny army of less than three thousand Texans under the command
of Henry Hopkins Sibley tried to capture New Mexico for the Confederacy. They

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/. Accessed July 23, 2014.