Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Classic Lost Cause Images

[caption id="attachment_1979" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Lee and His Generals by George Matthews"][/caption]

Greetings Cosmic Americans!

I have been reading a lot these days about some of the relics from the Lost Cause - you know...the myth former Confederates cooked up after the war to help explain defeat. Some of the tenets, as I am sure you know: Robert E. Lee and his peerless lieutenant, Stonewall Jackson were unmatched by any of their northern counterparts. They, with an noble army of southern patriots defending their homes and hearths eventually wore themselves out defeating an army vastly outnumbering them in terms of both men and materiel. Really - they never had a chance. Or so the story goes...

[caption id="attachment_1978" align="alignright" width="223" caption="The Last Meeting of Lee and Jackson by E.B.D. Julio"][/caption]

Here are a couple of prints that capture some of those ideas. Lee and his Generals showing Lee as slightly taller than his subordinates and The Last Meeting of Lee and Jackson illustrating Lee pointing the way to certain victory.

These are without a doubt two of the most iconic Lost Cause images. Want to talk about it? Pitch in your ideas about these and other images of the Lost Cause.



  1. I always liked/hated "The Burial of Latane" to be the most striking Lost Cause painting. Rather than glorifying military heroes, it shows a funeral of a Confederate soldier. Reverent white women and male and female slaves surround the grave. It glamorizes each as dutiful and obedient to the rebel cause. Many used the painting to raise funds for Confederate troops during the war, and for memorial efforts afterwards. Of course it is pro-slavery.

  2. I always liked Mark Twain's alternate titles for the painting like "Jackson asking Lee for a Match" and "Lee Inviting Jackson to Dinner"

  3. The Lost Cause myth puzzles me. Can't put my finger on it. Southern culture and ideology aside, there is something really tragic about the destruction of Southern land and families. I can't believe I'm saying this because the patriarchy, racism, classism---the whole nine yards---had to go (was already dead), but I still feel sad about the suffering they endured. Maybe I'm a victim of the myth too. I don't know how to interpret what happened. I struggle with it. It's not cut & dry, as portrayed.