When people say Civil War and lost cause in the same sentence, theyre usually talking about the Confederacy.
But thats not the view of Gary W. Gallagher, a professor of history at the University of Virginia.
Gallagher sees the struggle to maintain the American Union as the wars real lost cause, and hell detail the reasons why today during the 34th annual R. Gerald McMurtry lecture.
Al Zacher, board member of the Friends of the Lincoln Collection of Indiana, which is presenting the lecture with the Friends of the Allen County Public Library, calls Gallagher one of the foremost experts living on the Civil War.
Zacher says the scholar is seeking to remedy the oft-taught view that the Civil War was a war to end slavery.
He has some very interesting opinions on slavery and why slavery ended and how, Zacher says.
He also has insights on the subject of union and how the nation has pretty much forgotten what we felt about union at the time and what was being fought for.
Gallaghers talk, A Real Lost Cause: The Disappearance of Union from the Memory of the Civil War, reflects his scholarship on portrayals of the war during the last 150 years.
Among the seven books he has authored is one that looks at Hollywoods depiction of the war. Gallagher also has written an article on Ken Burns view of Civil War generals.
The Union War, published last year by Harvard University Press, and Becoming Confederates: Paths to a New National Loyalty, due out next year from the University of Georgia Press, are Gallaghers most recent books.
He also has written books about Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and co-authored or edited volumes on several Civil War battles or campaigns.