Edward A. Pollard

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Edward A. Pollard
Born February 27, 1832
Nelson County, Virginia, U.S.
Died December 17, 1872(1872-12-17) (aged 40)
Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S.
Nationality American (1832–1861)
Confederate (1861–1865)
Education University of Virginia
College of William and Mary

Edward A. Pollard (February 27, 1832 – December 17, 1872) was a Virginian journalist and Confederate sympathizer during the American Civil War.

Pollard is most famous for authoring The Lost Cause in 1866, followed up by The Lost Cause Regained in 1868. His work, written after the war, argued that the primary reason for Secession was not slavery but the preservation of state sovereignty, although he clearly supported the institution of slavery.[1] The Lost Cause and The Lost Cause Regained also advocated for the supremacy of the white race, supported the relegation of blacks to a second class status, and accused the U.S. government of alleged excesses committed during and after the war.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Edward Alfred Pollard was born on February 27, 1832 on the Oakridge Plantation in Nelson County, Virginia. He graduated at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1849. He then studied the Law at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia as well as in Baltimore, where he was admitted to the bar.


He worked for a newspaper in California until 1855. From 1857 to 1861, he was clerk of the United States House Committee on the Judiciary.

During the American Civil War, he was one of the principal editors of the Richmond Examiner (along with Robert William Hughes), which supported the Confederate States of America, but was hostile to President Jefferson Davis. In 1864, he sailed for England, but the vessel on which he sailed was captured as a blockade runner, and he was confined in Fort Warren in Boston Harbor from 29 May until 12 August, when he was paroled. In December of that year, he was placed in close confinement at Fort Monroe by order of the Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, but was soon again paroled by General B. F. Butler. In January, he proceeded to Richmond, Virginia to be exchanged there for Albert D. Richardson (1833–1869), a well-known correspondent of the New York Tribune, who, however, had escaped before Pollard arrived.

He wrote several books. For example, in 1859, he advocated a reopening of the slave trade in Black Diamonds Gathered in the Darkey Homes of the South. A decade later, in 1868, he urged for the necessity of white supremacy during Reconstruction in The Lost Cause Regained. A year later, he wrote a scathing biography of Jefferson Davis entitled The Life of Jefferson Davis. Meanwhile, he also edited a weekly paper in Richmond, Virginia from 1867 to 1869. Moreover, he conducted the Political Pamphlet there during the presidential campaign of 1868.


He died on December 17, 1872 in Lynchburg, Virginia, at the age of forty. He was buried in the cemetery of the Oakridge Plantation in Nelson County, Virginia.[3]


  • Black Diamonds Gathered in the Darkey Homes of the South (1859).
  • The Southern History of the War; 3 vols.:
    • First Year of the War, with B. M. DeWitt, 1862
    • Second Year of the War, 1864
    • Third Year of the War, 1864
  • Southern History of the Civil War; 4 vols. The Blue & The Gray Press:
    • First Year, Volume 1 (No publication date given)
    • Second Year, Volume 2 (No publication date given)
    • Third Year, Volume 3 (No publication date given)
    • Fourth Year, Volume 4 (No publication date given)
  • Observations in the North: Eight Months in Prison and on Parole (1865).
  • The Lost Cause (1866).
  • Lee and His Lieutenants (1867).
  • The Lost Cause Regained (1868).
  • The Life of Jefferson Davis (1869).
  • The Virginia Tourist (1870).


  1. ^ Pollard, Edward Alfred. The Lost Cause Regained /. New York :, 1868.
  2. ^ “The Lost Cause.” The Sun (1837-1989). August 13, 1866.
  3. ^ Maddex, 7, 78.
  • Maddex, Jack P. The Reconstruction of Edward A. Pollard: A Rebel's Conversion to Postbellum Unionism. The James Sprunt Studies in History and Political Science, volume 54. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1974.
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Pollard, Edward Albert". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.