“This transformation of northern will illustrates the point made earlier that the will of either the northern or southern people was primarily a result of military victory rather than a cause of it. Events on the battlefield might have gone the other way, on these and other occasions during the war. … To understand why the South lost, in the end, we must turn from large generalizations that imply inevitability and study instead the contingency that hung over each military campaign, each battle, each election, each decision during the war.”
— Why the Confederacy Lost, 1992