The Confederacy was never single-minded. From the fateful year of 1861 until Appomattox, the South was a complex of heroism and cowardice, grief and frivolity, nationalism and state rights. But at the same time the Southern nation underwent a complete career from birth through maturity to death. In The Confederacy Charles P. Roland is faithful to both the larger career and the internal complexity. Paying careful attention to President Davis' struggle against dividing forces within, the author skillfully narrates the attempt of the Confederacy to wage total war against superior forces. All the poignant events and conditions are here: the formation of the government, the upper South's final commitment to the cause, the doomed attempts to combat the Northern blockade at home and Northern diplomacy overseas, an agrarian economy's heroic defiance of an industrial enemy, the desperate measures by which the Davis government tried to sustain the Confederacy, and, at last, the dissolution and flight of the administration in 1865.
With accuracy, sensitivity, and balance, Mr. Roland develops the epic themes of his story against a background of vivid historical detail and re-creates the Confederacy with a tragic splendor-the prime quality of its surviving image among Southerners.