I have not one doubt that your recitation of the facts concerning The Lost Cause are true. In fact, I recall having read some of what you mentioned in Pollard's, The Lost Cause - a book I was never able to finish; just too much heavy reading for me at the time and too small printing. The specifics you mention, i.e., concerning Longstreet, the deification of Lee, and so on are not what runs through my mind when I think about The Lost Cause.
Not having been born and bred in the South, I did not grow up being taught the prayers of my Southern ancestors, the dreams of battles and glory they believed in, or the inherited need to preserve in my own children the memories and realities of The Lost Cause.
My introduction to all this came much later in my life as did my own now visceral feeling that the Confederacy was separate, different and, I believe . . . right. All this came to me through the prism of my Greats and Great Greats as I came to learn of their lives, their beliefs and how the War so deeply affected them and their families during and, even moreso - after the War.
Much of what you mentioned hsa been lost to history with the exception of folks like those one finds on this board, in SCV Camps and at reenactments. The battlefields seem to be vanishing, people are trying to desecrate the Confederate Battle Flag every day and everywhere, and erase every tangible piece of evidence that there ever was once a Confederacy. Not long ago, I visited the Museum of the Confederacy in New Orleans. In a sense, it is exquisite and highly personalized around a central theme of Louisiana and its people in the War. On the other hand, they are struggling just to keep the doors open or, at least, that is what I was told and the impression I received while there.
My feelings about The Lost Cause are, I believe, far more persistent than any tangible evidence that can be destroyed for they are rooted in the existence of my own family past, and now exist in the mind of my children, or at least one of them. My feelings are not blurred by racism, by commercial encroachment or by much that is so often discussed on this board. It is as if, I was taught about The Lost Cause directly by my Great Grandfather who died the year before I was born, but who left behind extensive writings about his beliefs.
Funny thing is, I do subscribe to the belief that the first wave of secession that swept over the South was instigated by Southern Planters and other like-minded people who were slave owners and wanted to preserve the economic benefits of being slave owners. However, after that, I also believe that those states that followed and came to represent 90+ percent of the Confederate Armies, were made up of men whose motives had little if anything to do with slavery, but much to do with states rights, protection of one's home and family, etc. That, Mike, in a nutshell is what my own ancestors have taught me to think about when I think of The Lost Cause.
Funny thing is, our current state of affaires in this country is heading in a direction down which those same causes - states rights, protections of one's home and family are becoming ever more visible as our national government continues to suppress representative government, a free market economy and individual rights on a daily basis. Left to its own course, the political forces now at work will do far more than my poor words can do to clearly demonstrate that the Cause, thought to have been lost 140 years ago, has only been dormant; not Lost at all, and may well be dusted off, resurrected and once again make an appearance, but this time in the form of a National Lost Cause.
Thanks to my ancestors, Mike, that's the way I think about The Lost Cause, and that's what I have tried to teach my own children.
Thanks for responding to my post, Mike. Good to hear from you