The South Was My Country
Questions prepared by Jack Bareilles
History Teacher, McKinleyville High School, McKinleyville, CA
Who was John Mosby? What does it mean he was a "partisan leader"?
How did Mosby feel about slavery? Based-upon your knowledge of the antebellum (pre-
Civil War) South, how did most people feel about slavery?
Why did Mosby fight for the South during the Civil War?
What political party did Mosby join after the war? What effect do you think joining this
party had on how other Virginians felt about Mosby?
In the wake of Reconstruction, a growing number of Southerners began to make what
argument about the cause of the Civil War?
Some Southern apologists (people who defend an idea or cause) even went so far as to
say what about slavery?
Eventually the viewpoint held by Southern apologists became known as the "Lost
Cause." In one short sentence, define the "Lost Cause."
What did Mosby say was the cause of the Civil War? What was his opinion of the "Lost
Cause" and of those who said slavery was not the cause of the war?
When does Mosby write this letter? How many years after the end of the Civil War is the
What word does Mosby use to describe his opinion of the "Reunion speeches"? Hint:
These speeches would have been given at a reunion of veterans from the Civil War.
According to Christian, the person who wrote Mosby about what was said at the reunion,
what were the "Virginia people" claiming?
Which Virginians spoke against slavery? Which Virginians supported slavery? Ask you
teacher what the difference might be.
What did the Virginia Code of 1860 make it a crime to do?
Why do you think a supporter of the idea that Virginians weren't pro-slavery wouldn't
mention the Virginia Code of 1860?
Even though Mosby says, "I think as badly of slavery as Horace Greeley did" (Greeley
was a leading Northern newspaper man and opponent of slavery) how does Mosby feel
about the fact that his family owned slaves?
What does Mosby mean when he says, "People must be judged by the standard of their
own age. If it was right to own slaves as property it was right to fight for it."?
According to Mosby, why did the South secede and go to war?
Mosby goes back to the idea that "modern" Virginians went against what "old"
Virginians believed when he says John Calhoun (the greatest Virginia politician and
political leader in the years after Jefferson and Madison retired--1815-1850), attacked
Thomas Jefferson's idea that the Northwest Territories (the future states of Ohio, Indiana,