Southern Perspective(s) of the Civil War

Posted on February 9, 2009 by


I know, I’ve talked about this before, but clearly, the view of the Civil War in terms of “Southern perspective” suggests something… singular… even an implied “unity” as a people in support of “Cause.”  It is reflected in the way that some people represent “Southern perspectiveas “Confederate perspective.” Plurality is missing, and therefore the singular representation misleads, sometimes to the point of inducing delusion. Furthermore, the delusional suggestion that perceived affronts to Confederate heritage are attacks against Southern culture is to suggest that Southern culture and Confederate culture are one in the same, which is, of course, absurd… since they are not. Therefore, is not Confederate remembrance rather selective in its representation of the Southern people and culture? It appears that representation, therefore, is actually misrepresentation. Would not even true Confederate perspective of the war, in terms of those who were Southern participants, be multi-faceted (thus, Confederate perspectives) and rather complicated to accurately serve in “remembrance” activities?     

Nevertheless, I was just thinking… if one work were to capture the many perspectives that made up the Southern perspective… excuse me… I mean “Southern perspectives” of the American Civil War, just how many categories of perspectives would there be? Could a single work even come close to capturing all of the perspectives without becoming unwieldy? More importantly, how would such a work diminish the suggestion that, in terms of reflecting on the Civil War, Confederate perspective is Southern perspective?