The Collapse of the Confederacy
Edited by Mark Grimsley and Brooks D. Simpson
History Book Club selection
”The essays are of uniformly excellent quality.”Civil War Book Review
”Collectively, these essays serve as both a case study for strategic studies in the problem of what political scientists now call “war termination.” They also, however, should be of interest not only to historians of the Civil War itself, but especially as an introduction for those interested in the historical problems of Reconstruction.” — Journal of Military History
”The six essays of this volume make for splendid, provocative reading and, cliché as it has become, make a significant contribution to the biography of the fall of the Confederate States of America.” — Civil War History
“Challenging the arguments that the Confederacy was destroyed from within and that it was the superior military strength of the Federal army that defeated the South, this volume provides further interpretation of the final months of domestic strife and is a welcome addition to our understanding of the end of the American Civil War.” — Carole Bucy, American Nineteenth Century History
Practically all Civil War historians agree that after the fall of Atlanta in September 1864 and Lincoln’s triumphant reelection in November, the South had no remaining chance to make good its independence. Well aware that Appomattox and Durham Station were close at hand, historians have treated the war’s final months in a fashion that smacks strongly of denouement: the great, tragic conflict rolls on to its now-certain end.
Certain, that is, to us, but deeply uncertain to the millions of Northerners and Southerners who lived through the anxious days of early 1865. The final months of the Confederacy offer fascinating opportunities-as a case study in war termination, as a period that shaped the initial circumstances of Reconstruction, and as a lens through which to analyze Southern society at its most stressful moment. The Collapse of the Confederacy collects six essays that explore how popular expectations, national strategy, battlefield performance, and Confederate nationalism affected Confederate actions during the final months of the conflict.
Mark Grimsley is an associate professor of history at Ohio State University.
Brooks D. Simpson is a professor of history at Arizona State University. Grimsley and Simpson are coauthors of Gettysburg: A Battlefield Guide (Nebraska, 1999).
2001. v, 201 pp. Maps.