A Long Shadow: Jefferson Davis and the Final Days of the Confederacy

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9780878052950: A Long Shadow: Jefferson Davis and the Final Days of the Confederacy
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A Long Shadow is a fascinating narrative account of the fall of the Confederacy told from the perspective of Jefferson Davis, his official entourage, and his family as they tried to hold the government together while staying one step ahead of their Union Army pursuers.

The "martyred" Davis is one of the most enduring symbols of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy. Michael B. Ballard maintains that this image began to take form during the last days of Davis's presidency as the doomed leader rose nobly to adversity, handling sensitive political and military issues and devastating setbacks with dignity and faith. It was Davis's willingness to sacrifice everything, combined with his postwar imprisonment, Ballard contends, that cemented his status in the hearts and minds of southerners.

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About the Author:

Michael B. Ballard is the university archivist at the Mitchell Memorial Library of Mississippi State University.

From Library Journal:

A sprightly account of the Confederacy's last gasps, focusing on Davis's flight from Richmond to his capture. The story has been well told before in Burke Davis's The Long Surrender ( LJ 3/15/85). What is new here is Ballard's argument that Davis's deft handling of such controversial issues as arming black troops, organizing retreat, and appointing generals raised Davis's stature among southerners and laid the base for his postwar emergence as the symbol of the Lost Cause. But in the absence of any evidence of public responses, Ballard claims too much in insisting that Davis's policies won over a previously disenchanted public. Still, Ballard's fresh information on the sociology of the confederate government's collapse and his insights on Davis's character make this worthwhile. For Civil War and university collections. History Book Club selection. Randall Miller, History Dept., St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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