View Full Version : Book Review: "Hist. of the Confederacy 1832-1865," sad but revealing story

12-11-2016, 08:01 PM
Book Review: History of the Confederacy 1832-1865
(Apollonian, 10 Dec 16)

Clifford Dowdey's work, History of the Confederacy 1832-1865, Marboro Books Corp., Barnes & Noble, Inc., NY, 1955, 438 pp., 415 text, Bibliography, Index, is another outstanding expository work on the Civil War--which wasn't really, technically, a "civil" war, two or more factions fighting for control, as Confederates (CSA--Confederate States of America) merely wanted independence. The work is without footnotes or endnotes, but contains an impressive bibliography, and is most excellently written in readable style.

Dowdey's work is notable as he provides a useful prelude for the actual war itself, beginning decisively w. the Tariff issue of the late 1820s and early 1830s when state of S. Carolina decided to nullify the tariffs of 1828 and -32, there arising then a crisis as Pres., Andrew Jackson threatened force against the state. Thus arose thematic controversy regarding true and proper nature of the federal union, relation of states.

Thus John Calhoun and nullifiers followed on the original expo of Jefferson and Madison in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, regarding the "compact" theory, whereby the union was compact among the states, the state acting as effective agent of the people of states in formation of the union. This compact theory was rejected by Webster, Sen. fm Massachusetts, Judge Story of US Supreme ct., John Quincy Adams and others, including most significantly, the President Andrew Jackson, who threatened coercion, which coercion was supported by majority of states, who all insisted, generally, the union was creature of the whole people acting apart and aside fm the states as agents--but which empty, even absurd assertion is nowhere demonstrated or demonstrable. Interestingly, even the aging James Madison seemed to side decisively w. the anti-nullifiers, including Webster.

So Dowdey's pt. is there ensued a "cold war" period working up to 1861 and outbreak of overt war btwn states (or at least the southern states against the feds), a period of nearly 30 yrs of steady growing apart btwn the sections, evermore industrializing north vs. agrarian south, the two sections working for the alliance w. western states. Dowdey pt.s out the southern states lacked much of the basic wherewithal for necessities of sustained warfare, w. no navy, and even no arsenal of modernized weapons, including not only artillery, but also for basic fire-arms, esp. in way of rifles for the soldiery.

Hence the south, consisting at first of mere seven states, should have worked for a delay as it armed and prepared properly against the northern behemoth led by a treacherous murderer and psychopath, Lincoln.

The southern states were reluctant to separate fm the union and finally did so rather suddenly upon election of Lincoln in 1860 following a strictly sectional vote whence Lincoln rec'd just over 39% of pop. vote and no electoral votes fm the south. But secession and separation of the states, beginning w. the seven "deep south" states, was so sudden, question arises for overall wisdom of its activities leading to firing on Ft. Sumter in view of the great potential strength of the northern states for population and industrial base. For what eventually happened was the southern states were steadily smothered and strangled, cut-up into pieces, and ground-down by much superior force even despite some significant battlefield losses suffered by the North in course of its seeming inevitable conquest.

South relied so tragically in vain upon political sympathy of north for basic Constitutional principles. And even in face of horrendous casualties of warfare, north persisted in the grim and murderous work of southern subjugation.

Thus Dowdey does so well describing this tragic process of war of attrition applied against the south, the heroes being individuals like Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and the soldiery who fought so bravely against the northern juggernaut. The great tragedy for the South which effected too precipitately the combat, was failure to anticipate ruthless, even murderous, application of steady, ever-growing, and overwhelming military force against an out-matched strategic conception, beginning w. the Southern President, Jeff. Davis, which failed the people of the south in so many ways which Dowdey very well describes, as in the simple lack of rifles for the infantry, not to mention lack of navy and facilities.

Surely the south, even though it had instituted its own government, could have moderated its undue truculence to continuing participation in the federal gov., working to negotiate upon the natural principles of gov. Firing upon Ft. Sumter should have been avoided in stead of negotiations and continued providing for arms, including building of a navy, and developing foreign alliances, esp. w. England for example, which would have solved the naval problems.

Thus Dowdey well and brilliantly describes the decisive pt. of military defeat for the south, esp. for CSA Pres. Davis's gross mis-management of the war, esp. in the West which was disaster practically fm the beginning, Davis adopting a passive, stand-pat, static defensive which failed beginning w. loss of the Mississippi navigation and the capture of New Orleans in early 1862, barely a year into the war, not to mention the Ft.s Henry and Donelson fiasco (see http://www.nnnforum.com/showthread.php?t=298154), giving the river waterways (Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers) to the North, thus the state of Tennessee, including the vital manufacturing center of Nashville.

Thus Davis stuck w. the disastrous general Braxton Bragg who threw away several opportunities for success in the Tennessee theater of the war, and allowed the decisive drive of Sherman's troops against Atlanta which further cut the south into pieces. And when Atlanta was captured due to the stupidity of the incompetent Gen. Hood, Dowdey well explains all hope was lost. For Hood was chosen by the incompetent Pres. Davis in what was only his latest fiasco and failure.

So Dowdey does greatest service in basic analysis of the war, given the run-up fm 1832 when southern leadership should have been much better and more prepared, to the beginning phase, up to 1863, when North then decided upon TOTAL WAR (like emancipation), which phase was mis-managed in passivity and confusion by the south, to the most decisive loss, as of aforementioned city of Atlanta, the final phase merely that of mopping-up for the ruthless northern monster.

Thus Dowdey presents and gives us REAL HISTORY, most poignant, for not only the war as it happened, but for circumstances for the lead-up, showing thereby the inadequate management and even basic strategic conception of Southern leadership, so deficient in so many ways. With such hindsight as we're now afforded we can thereby see far better what was the problem and how things thereupon developed to the present day for steady consolidation of dictatorship, tyranny, and oppression and the New (Jew) World Order now working for Agenda-21 genocide.