How the Lost Cause changed American History and Created its Pseudo-History

Jubal Early was a major contributor to the early formation of the Lost Cause following the war. Wikimedia

2. The contributions of former Confederate leaders furthered the Lost Cause

On May 1, 1869, in New Orleans, an organization which called itself the Southern Historical Society formed to preserve the records of the Confederacy and the Civil War. Among its original members were Confederate General Braxton Bragg, as well as numerous former officers of the Confederate Army. Determined to preserve the Southern perspective of secession and the Civil War, in the latter part of the 19th century the group published the Southern Historical Society Papers. Among the leading contributors to the records was former Confederate General Jubal Early.

Early, besides becoming a leading proponent of the Lost Cause, also served as an outspoken supporter of the belief in white superiority, and a defender of slavery. After the war he wrote in defense of slavery, “The conditions of domestic slavery, as it existed in the South, had not only resulted in a great improvement in the moral and physical condition of the negro race, but had furnished a class of laborers as happy and contented as any in the world”. A monument consisting of the remains of a Civil War era fort and an obelisk erected in 1919 (Lynchburg, Virginia) were named in his honor. Numerous highways and streets throughout the South commemorate the former Confederate general as well.