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View Full Version : The High Water Mark of the Confederacy - military tactics and strategy thread



Paul Pless
09-14-2017, 07:35 AM
Not a political thread. Not a thread about the current use of the Confederate Battle Fag. Not a thread about Confederate monuments. Okay. . .

What if Pickett's Charge had been successful?

On a related note: Why didn't Meade pursue the defeated Army of Northern Virginia more doggedly?

skuthorp
09-14-2017, 07:46 AM
Seems some of them think it's just arrived, along with Donald being head of the whole US military.

Paul Pless
09-14-2017, 07:48 AM
sku wth? please

SKIP KILPATRICK
09-14-2017, 07:56 AM
The only way Pickett's charge could have won the battle of Gettysburg is if it never happened. Like the Charge of the Light Brigade it was doomed from the start.

Lee lost the Battle the first day when he failed to find suitable ground and let the Federals occupy the ridge. Also, it was fools errand for Lee to take the army north in the first place. It was beyond their supply capability and it would have been impossible for an army that large to live off the land.


Lee is given way too much credit for his generalship.

Lew Barrett
09-14-2017, 07:59 AM
Speculation about the charge has been an American pastime since 1863. I think the south still would have lost the war because the fundamental reasons why the south couldn't win wouldn't have changed. Smaller population, no industrial base, weaker economy, Ted Turner channels less successful than HBO. None of that changes even had Pickett carried the Union line, but he didn't. It was a bad decision to send him in. Anyone who has been to the field can see for themselves what a daunting task the charge was.

The usual reason for Meade's failure to follow up are that he had just been engaged in the most vicious three day campaign of his career after newly being appointed to overall command. He didn't know where Buford's force was after the battle and he may have wanted to keep his army between Lee and DC. The Federal forces had been chewed up just as badly as the Rebs. Huge numbers of wounded still lay in the fields, and then the rains came, adding to the misery of all. Easy to second guess now, and probably just as easy for Lincoln to second guess Meade as well. Meade doesn't get the respect he deserves. He was a good commander.

SKIP KILPATRICK
09-14-2017, 08:00 AM
Lee learned nothing from his 1862 victory at Fredericksburg.

Paul Pless
09-14-2017, 08:00 AM
Meade doesn't get the respect he deserves. He was a good commander.agreed

Lew Barrett
09-14-2017, 08:02 AM
agreed

And neither does Ted Turner!

SKIP KILPATRICK
09-14-2017, 08:10 AM
It is not easy to tell by looking at a map, but the terrain south of Gettysburg is not open. Down through Western Maryland the land is peaks and valleys running mostly north to south. Pursuit would not have been easy and the importance of protecting Washington was Meade's top priority.

S.V. Airlie
09-14-2017, 08:17 AM
The only way Pickett's charge could have won the battle of Gettysburg is if it never happened. Like the Charge of the Light Brigade it was doomed from the start.

Lee lost the Battle the first day when he failed to find suitable ground and let the Federals occupy the ridge. Also, it was fools errand for Lee to take the army north in the first place. It was beyond their supply capability and it would have been impossible for an army that large to live off the land.


Lee is given way too much credit for his generalship.Skip I'm tending to agree with this as well.

Gerarddm
09-14-2017, 08:26 AM
Lee should have listened to Longstreet, who didn't want to make a stand at Gettysburg at all. You study Old Pete's record and it shows he was one of the very best generals of the war. Lee should indeed have learned from Fredericksburg, the Union sure did ; after they had repulsed Pickett's Charge, Union soldiers yelled Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg at the retreating remnant Confederates.

As for why Meade did not pursue, remember that his army had been savaged, IIRC 25% casualty rate. Dan Sickles' corps had been completely wrecked, and drivers like Hancock had been severely wounded. Plus the heavy rain. Perhaps a Napoleon, Alexander, or Ghengis would have gone in for the kill, but Meade was not them. Sheridan might have.

Meade did well, especially considering the circumstances succeeding Hooker. Coupled with Vicksburg the next day, they were trip hammer blows to the Confederacy.

Landrith
09-14-2017, 08:37 AM
I tried to float my revisionist History version of Pickett's charge here in the Bilge in the past. It wasn't accepted at the time. My version is that Lee knew it would end in disaster, but was under pressure to continue a war that the Confederacy had already lost. Lee needed the failure to build support for ending the war.

oznabrag
09-14-2017, 08:40 AM
. . .
What if Pickett's Charge had been successful?

No change in outcome of the war, or even the battle, most likely.

Lee lost that battle 1) When that worthless, narcissist dandy, Stuart, disappeared with the entire CS cavalry,

and 2) When Ol' Gooberhead dropped the actual battle plans, and they were recovered by the Union.

Once again, if Lee had known to use Forrest, rather than Stuart . . .



On a related note: Why didn't Meade pursue the defeated Army of Northern Virginia more doggedly?

He was busy.


Seems some of them think it's just arrived, along with Donald being head of the whole US military.

Yup.

The elephant in the room, for sure.

CWSmith
09-14-2017, 08:41 AM
SKIP is right, it was doomed from the start and Lee's senior generals knew it.

However, if the northern forces had been sufficiently weakened, Pickett's Charge would have ended in Washington. I don't believe there was much standing between Pickett and DC other than the forces within a few hundred feet of the stone wall.

If anyone has not done it, I recommend that you go to Gettysburg and walk Pickett's Charge. It is a long piece of open ground and with every step you wonder, "How could they do this? What makes a man follow orders like this?" It is a very sobering experience.

SKIP KILPATRICK
09-14-2017, 08:47 AM
Even in the unlikely event that Lee could have disengaged from Meade and moved on Washington it would have been his undoing. By this stage in the war the defenses around Washington were formidable and there is no way that the rebel army could have laid siege.

oznabrag
09-14-2017, 09:06 AM
Even in the unlikely event that Lee could have disengaged from Meade and moved on Washington it would have been his undoing. By this stage in the war the defenses around Washington were formidable and there is no way that the rebel army could have laid siege.

This, plus the fact that after three days of the Battle of Gettysburg the rebel army was beat up pretty badly, itself. If Pickett's Charge had 'succeeded', they were still outnumbered, out-equipped and outflanked in any meaningful approach to Washington.

The South lost that war when they failed to pursue the routed Union troops into the heart of Washington on July 21st, 1861.

CWSmith
09-14-2017, 09:09 AM
Even in the unlikely event that Lee could have disengaged from Meade and moved on Washington it would have been his undoing. By this stage in the war the defenses around Washington were formidable and there is no way that the rebel army could have laid siege.

True, but the psychology of it would have demoralized the northern population.

oznabrag
09-14-2017, 09:11 AM
True, but the psychology of it would have demoralized the northern population.

So, they would be the demoralized winners.

That's pretty much the historical outcome we ended up with anyway.

Ted Hoppe
09-14-2017, 09:17 AM
The high watermark for the Confederacy was at the eve of first real battle at Bull Run outside Washington. Once the two armies met, fought and shocked both sides, the morality of the south's right was gone. The cavalier attitude of swift and glorious victory was over. The death of native sons of the finest families of Virginia and North Carolina was very painful.

SKIP KILPATRICK
09-14-2017, 09:19 AM
The major reason Grant failed to take Richmond in his 1864 Overland Campaign was due to its natural defense.

Again something that is not easily seen on a map, but the land between Richmond and Fredericksburg is very wet. Much of the area is now drained but there are and were a host of small rivers with swampy pocosins between them. The Chickahominy swamp made the approach from the north near impossible.

Grant's move to cross the James and take the city from the south was brilliant even though siege of Petersburg did result into a battle of attrition. The attack from the south could be supplied from the James River.

SKIP KILPATRICK
09-14-2017, 09:22 AM
General Winfield Scott, a Virginian, won the war and is the unsung hero!

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bc/Scott-anaconda.jpg/1024px-Scott-anaconda.jpg

oznabrag
09-14-2017, 09:27 AM
The South lost that war when they failed to pursue the routed Union troops into the heart of Washington on July 21st, 1861.


The high watermark for the Confederacy was at the eve of first real battle at Bull Run outside Washington. Once the two armies met, fought and shocked both sides, the morality of the south's right was gone. The cavalier attitude of swift and glorious victory was over. The death of native sons of the finest families of Virginia and North Carolina was very painful.

Yes. The FIRST Bull Run/ Manassas.

You seem to believe the South retained its 'morality' from April 12th, 1861, all the way to the evening of July 20th.

Interesting.

Ted Hoppe
09-14-2017, 09:38 AM
Yes. The FIRST Bull Run/ Manassas.

You seem to believe the South retained its 'morality' from April 12th, 1861, all the way to the evening of July 20th.

Interesting.

I heard tell from old Virginia families that my sister married into that shock of that battle was overwhelming. The whole war of succession was until them a noble pursuit of ideals. Once they saw the horrors of war, the dead, the dying and the injured - they began to reconsider what this war meant and the losses they would sustain. No human property claims were worth the loss of a son, destruction of noble destruction or their entire towns.

Paul Pless
09-14-2017, 09:40 AM
The young bloods of the South; sons of planters, lawyers about towns, good billiard players and sportsmen, men who never did any work and never will. War suits them. They are splendid riders, first rate shots and utterly reckless. These men must all be killed or employed by us before we can hope for peace....Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman

Landrith
09-14-2017, 09:45 AM
You seem to believe the South retained its 'morality' from April 12th, 1861, all the way to the evening of July 20th.

Interesting.[/QUOTE]

When you read what seccessionists were writing and saying, it is understandable that they believed they were continuing the constitutional Republic. However, the battlefields I drive by are mostly from the militant abolitionists and the slavery activists before the war along the border of Kansas and Missouri. By the time the war had started, the guerrillas on both sides were already in the "total war" mode, like Quantrill, absent all morality or quarter. See the Massacre of Blunt's column https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Baxter_Springs

oznabrag
09-14-2017, 09:47 AM
I heard tell from old Virginia families that my sister married into that shock of that battle was overwhelming. The whole war of succession was until them a noble pursuit of ideals. Once they saw the horrors of war, the dead, the dying and the injured - they began to reconsider what this war meant and the losses they would sustain. No human property claims were worth the loss of a son, destruction of noble destruction or their entire towns.

Are you talking about Second Bull Run?


Union Casualties at First Bull Run (approximate) McDowell’s 28,400 men suffered 480 killed, 1,000 wounded, and 1,200 missing, for a total loss of 2,680 casualties, approximately 9.5 percent.
Confederate Casualties at First Bull Run (approximate) Beauregard and Johnston’s combined force of 30,800 had 390 killed, 1,600 wounded, and about a dozen missing, a total of approximately 2,000 or about 6.5 percent.

Both sides suffered about the same number of killed and wounded. Surprisingly, the Confederates, who were on the defensive, lost the most in these categories; usually, the side that is attacking sustains the most killed and wounded. The Union’s greatest losses were in the "missing" category, where they sustained 100 times the number that the victorious Confederates did. Some of the men who routed decided they’d had enough of soldiering, but many Federal soldiers were taken prisoner and sent to Richmond. From Richmond, a number of them were sent on to cities farther south, such as Salisbury, North Carolina. At this stage of the war, both sided practiced prisoner exchanges, allowing many of the captured to eventually return to the ranks.




Second Battle Of Bull Run Facts
Location: Manassas, Virginia
Dates: August 28 – 30, 1862
Generals: Union: Major General John Pope | Confederate: General Robert E. Lee
Soldiers Engaged: Union: 62,000 | Confederate: 50,000
Outcome: Confederate Victory
Casualties: Union: 14,000 | Confederate: 8,000
Second Battle Of Bull Run Summary: The Second Battle of Bull Run (Second Battle of Manassas) was fought August 28–30, 1862, during the American Civil War (http://www.historynet.com/civil-war). It was much larger in scale and in the number of casualties than the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) (http://www.historynet.com/first-battle-of-bull-run) fought in July 1861 on much of the same ground.

oznabrag
09-14-2017, 09:49 AM
You seem to believe the South retained its 'morality' from April 12th, 1861, all the way to the evening of July 20th.

Interesting.

When you read what seccessionists were writing and saying, it is understandable that they believed they were continuing the constitutional Republic. The battlefields I drive by are mostly from the militant abolitionists and the slavery activists before the war along the border of Kansas and Missouri. By the time the war had started, the guerrillas on both sides were already in the "total war" mode, like Quantrill, absent all morality or quarter.[/QUOTE]

Quantrill!

That guy was a psychopath.

Ted Hoppe
09-14-2017, 09:50 AM
The young bloods of the South; sons of planters, lawyers about towns, good billiard players and sportsmen, men who never did any work and never will. War suits them. They are splendid riders, first rate shots and utterly reckless. These men must all be killed or employed by us before we can hope for peace....Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman

That is one of the best quotes that came from the war.


Sherman is quoted in a rant in 1860 where he lays it all out.

You people of the South don't know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don't know what you're talking about. War is a terrible thing! You mistake, too, the people of the North. They are a peaceable people but an earnest people, and they will fight, too. They are not going to let this country be destroyed without a mighty effort to save it … Besides, where are your men and appliances of war to contend against them? The North can make a steam engine, locomotive, or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or pair of shoes can you make. You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical, and determined people on Earth — right at your doors. You are bound to fail. Only in your spirit and determination are you prepared for war. In all else you are totally unprepared, with a bad cause to start with.

SKIP KILPATRICK
09-14-2017, 09:55 AM
^ interesting! I don't believe I have ever read that quote.

Tom Montgomery
09-14-2017, 09:56 AM
Lee ruled out withdrawing in the face of the enemy after the first day. Pickett's charge did not stand a chance. Why didn't Lee send Longstreet south and around Big Top to flank the Union position? A big mistake IMHO. I believe Lee would ordered such a maneuver had Jackson been alive.

Ted Hoppe
09-14-2017, 09:58 AM
Are you talking about Second Bull Run?

It was the first battle of Bull Run where hundreds of families of Virginia and Maryland came out with carriages, picnic baskets, party tents and supplies to watch their boys go to battle as if it was a big baseball game. When the battle began with cannons and guns, death of men and horse and a few civilians killed, the nation and especially Virginia was shocked to its core. Reading the newspapers from those dates prior to the build up and then the day and days afterward shows the evidence glowing optimism change to horror and the trepidation that followed.

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/354AAOSwt5hYd~m1/s-l300.jpg

Landrith
09-14-2017, 10:02 AM
[/QUOTE]

Quantrill!

That guy was a psychopath.[/QUOTE]

The victors write the History, so it is now less well known what the pro union militias did even after the real war was declared and they were no longer just criminally raiding and murdering into Missouri. I was in a Guard Infantry regiment at Lawrence that originated as a Red Leg militia. http://www.civilwaronthewesternborder.org/encyclopedia/red-legs

SKIP KILPATRICK
09-14-2017, 10:08 AM
Regardless of the atrocities committed by the Unionists which there were many ...... Quantrill was a psychopathic killer!

As were many of his men: Cole Younger, Frank & Jesse James to name a couple.

oznabrag
09-14-2017, 10:11 AM
Quantrill!

That guy was a psychopath.[/QUOTE]

The victors write the History, so it is now less well known what the pro union militias did even after the real war was declared and they were no longer just criminally raiding and murdering into Missouri. I was in a Guard Infantry regiment at Lawrence that originated as a Red Leg militia. http://www.civilwaronthewesternborder.org/encyclopedia/red-legs[/QUOTE]
I lived in Lawrence for a couple years.

Paul Pless
09-14-2017, 10:15 AM
so it is now less well known what the pro union militias did even after the real war was declaredwe've all seen the outlaw josie wales. . .

Canoeyawl
09-14-2017, 10:54 AM
It was just a battle, not the war. The north had men and supplies to go on indefinitely. The south by relying on England for materiel was doomed from the start.

Lew Barrett
09-14-2017, 11:01 AM
When does somebody arrive to suggest the war was fought over states' rights and not slavery? 'Cause there's been almost no disagreement about the strategic consequences of Gettysburg since we started. And hey, weren't the Democrats responsible for it all, slavery, misanthropy, miscreants and mean people.....darn that Hillary?

oznabrag
09-14-2017, 11:13 AM
we've all seen the outlaw josie wales. . .

OK, we've seen it.

That does not transmogrify me into Landrith.

Canoeyawl
09-14-2017, 11:17 AM
You people of the South don't know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don't know what you're talking about. War is a terrible thing! You mistake, too, the people of the North. They are a peaceable people but an earnest people, and they will fight, too. They are not going to let this country be destroyed without a mighty effort to save it … Besides, where are your men and appliances of war to contend against them? The North can make a steam engine, locomotive, or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or pair of shoes can you make. You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical, and determined people on Earth — right at your doors. You are bound to fail. Only in your spirit and determination are you prepared for war. In all else you are totally unprepared, with a bad cause to start with.



Nobody listened, Sherman nailed it right there...

SKIP KILPATRICK
09-14-2017, 11:24 AM
when does somebody arrive to suggest the war was fought over states' rights and not slavery? 'cause there's been almost no disagreement about the strategic consequences of gettysburg since we started. And hey, weren't the democrats responsible for it all, slavery, misanthropy, miscreants and mean people.....darn that hillary?

rotflmao

Landrith
09-14-2017, 11:32 AM
It has been mentioned in this thread that a few mere boys under Quantrill were also Psychopaths,the James and Youngers http://www.startribune.com/historian-takes-aim-at-jesse-james-s-image-as-a-folk-hero/222388291/ , but Jesse James was made into a folk hero by Southern newspaper editors for fighting the Northern banking establishment and the industrial revolution replacement for slavery and indentured servitude.

SKIP KILPATRICK
09-14-2017, 11:43 AM
It has been mentioned in this thread that a few mere boys under Quantrill were also Psychopaths,the James and Youngers http://www.startribune.com/historian-takes-aim-at-jesse-james-s-image-as-a-folk-hero/222388291/ , but Jesse James was made into a folk hero by Southern newspaper editors for fighting the Northern banking establishment and the industrial revolution replacement for slavery and indentured servitude.

I don't understand what point you are trying to make. Could you please explain?

Gerarddm
09-14-2017, 02:21 PM
About that point about walking the field at Gettysburg: when Ike was president and had a home at Gettysburg, Viscount Montgomery, hero of El Alamein et al, came for a visit and they did indeed walk the fields. Upon surveying the locale of Pickett's Charge, Montgomery shook his head and opined that Lee "should have been sacked " for ordering such a folly. It drew a lot of controversy at the time. Poor Ike didn't want to be in the middle of it.

John of Phoenix
09-14-2017, 02:42 PM
I walked around Little Round Top and thought, "What a turkey shoot that must have been."

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/ba/Little_Round_Top1.png/350px-Little_Round_Top1.png

http://i.gettysburgdaily.com/imgs/LRT101108/LRT10110801.jpg

Osborne Russell
09-14-2017, 03:05 PM
The boyish dream of war without politics. Nothing to tarnish the romance.

Landrith
09-14-2017, 10:57 PM
Answer to Skip Kilpatrick post #42

The thread and the original post called for speculation about what would have happened if Pickett's charge had succeeded. There hasn't been much speculation about what would have happened, but a sub theme developed about the morality of the South in the war implying the support of slavery not the defense of state's rights and the constitution limits on federalism determined the virtue of the South was gone before even the battle of Bull Run. I pointed out that both the Bushwackers trying to expand slavery into the Western territory of Kansas to keep the balance in Congress and the anti slavery abolitionist settlers had abandoned all morality in violent raids in furtherance of their political agendas before the war had started. An effective but notorious raider, Quantrill was said to be a psychopath and furthermore his child soldiers that included what would become the Jesse James gang were also psychopaths. I pointed out that in the occupied South, newspaper editors made Jesse James into a folk hero for attacking banks. I did not elaborate, but even mainline History doesn't hold that the Civil War was over just slavery. Mostly it was over increased power of a new merchant capital and industrial system that had economically conquered the agrarian South long before the War began. The editors that made the James gang into folk heroes were carrying on the moral opposition to the North and its new financial power that had made the Southern States less than equal in a more powerful way to exploit humans and consolidate wealth into a small ruling elite than even the feudal serfdom of Europe, or the indentured servants and black slavery of the Americas. https://prezi.com/zsaav7ugyxsx/a-deeper-analysis-of-the-slavery-issue/

Keith Wilson
09-14-2017, 11:10 PM
Good God, do we have to go over this again? The north fought for many reasons; the south seceded and fought to preserve slavery. They said so themselves, in the clearest possible terms. One example (source (https://www.civilwar.org/learn/primary-sources/declaration-causes-seceding-states#Mississippi)), the Mississippi Declaration of Secession. You will note that it mentions not one single reason other than the defense of slavery.


A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union

In the momentous step, which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery - the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product, which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin. That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove.

The hostility to this institution commenced before the adoption of the Constitution, and was manifested in the well-known Ordinance of 1787, in regard to the Northwestern Territory.

The feeling increased, until, in 1819-20, it deprived the South of more than half the vast territory acquired from France.

The same hostility dismembered Texas and seized upon all the territory acquired from Mexico.

It has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves, and refuses protection to that right on the high seas, in the Territories, and wherever the government of the United States had jurisdiction.

It refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union, and seeks to extinguish it by confining it within its present limits, denying the power of expansion.

It tramples the original equality of the South under foot.

It has nullified the Fugitive Slave Law in almost every free State in the Union, and has utterly broken the compact which our fathers pledged their faith to maintain.

It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.

It has enlisted its press, its pulpit and its schools against us, until the whole popular mind of the North is excited and inflamed with prejudice.

It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists.

It seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better.

It has invaded a State, and invested with the honors of martyrdom the wretch whose purpose was to apply flames to our dwellings, and the weapons of destruction to our lives.

It has broken every compact into which it has entered for our security.

It has given indubitable evidence of its design to ruin our agriculture, to prostrate our industrial pursuits and to destroy our social system.

It knows no relenting or hesitation in its purposes; it stops not in its march of aggression, and leaves us no room to hope for cessation or for pause.

It has recently obtained control of the Government, by the prosecution of its unhallowed schemes, and destroyed the last expectation of living together in friendship and brotherhood.

Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property. For far less cause than this, our fathers separated from the Crown of England.

Our decision is made. We follow their footsteps. We embrace the alternative of separation; and for the reasons here stated, we resolve to maintain our rights with the full consciousness of the justice of our course, and the undoubting belief of our ability to maintain it.

Landrith
09-14-2017, 11:40 PM
Keith, You are upset that I said : “even mainline History doesn't hold that the Civil War was over just slavery” ? I think it has been the official line in Academia through the 70’s-90’s. Recently some scholars argue it was exclusively slavery. I think this blog in HuffPo is the current best informed view:

“That “terrible cause” of the South is usually thought of as the defense of slavery. This is what we are all taught in school; and the idea is strongly entrenched today. In the April 10, 2011, Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. defined the Civil War as a conflict over property rights, the property being of course four million slaves living in the South at the time. He concludes that the “Civil War was about slavery, nothing more.”
I disagree. Yes, slavery was of course the central point of contention, but as an example of state sovereignty versus federal authority. The war was fought over state’s rights and the limits of federal power in a union of states. The perceived threat to state autonomy became an existential one through the specific dispute over slavery. The issue was not slavery per se, but who decided whether slavery was acceptable, local institutions or a distant central government power. That distinction is not one of semantics: this question of local or federal control to permit or prohibit slavery as the country expanded west became increasingly acute in new states, eventually leading to that fateful artillery volley at Fort Sumter.
Specifically, eleven southern states seceded from the Union in protest against federal legislation that limited the expansion of slavery claiming that such legislation violated the tenth amendment, which they argued trumped the Supremacy Clause. The war was indeed about protecting the institution of slavery, but only as a specific case of a state’s right to declare a federal law null and void. Southern states sought to secede because they believed that the federal government had no authority to tell them how to run their affairs. The most obvious and precipitating example was the North’s views on slavery. So yes, the South clearly fought to defend slavery as a means of protecting their sordid economic system and way of life, but they did so with slavery serving as the most glaring example of federal usurpation of state powers of self-determination. The war would be fought to prevent those states from seceding, not to destroy the institution of slavery. The war would be fought over different interpretations of our founding document.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-schweitzer/slavery-and-the-civil-war_b_849066.html

Keith you are still upset that I stood up for Venezuela's Bolivarian Socialism against USA Deep State Imperialism, before it broke in the mainstream. Next thing, American Special Forces operators will be covertly slashing the tires of Uruguayan President Jose Mujica's VW Beetle in an effort to start a war.

Gerarddm
09-15-2017, 12:11 AM
Puh-lease. Chavez was nothing but a typical South American caudillo clothed in different lies. ' Bolivarian Socialism ' , LOL.

Yessiree, Venezuela is such a raving success under Maduro now, isn't it? It would be a joke if the consequences weren't so deadly serious for Venezuelans.

Landrith
09-15-2017, 12:35 AM
Puh-lease. Chavez was nothing but a typical South American caudillo clothed in different lies. ' Bolivarian Socialism ' , LOL.

Yessiree, Venezuela is such a raving success under Maduro now, isn't it? It would be a joke if the consequences weren't so deadly serious for Venezuelans.

Maybe Bolton can get the UN Security Council to meet and seize the beaches from Uruguayan President Jose Mujica's beaches and make them safe for European super models...

skuthorp
09-15-2017, 03:09 AM
Well Donald may need a war as a distraction, and there is precedent a-plenty.
Is Ollie still with us?

Keith Wilson
09-15-2017, 07:39 AM
No, Lanrith, I'm not upset. Wryly amused, perhaps. By now I fully expect you to take a contrarian position on just about every issue, with a strong dose of paranoia and conspiracy theories.

FWIW, I've been reading mainstream histories of the US Civil War since I was a kid, grew up on Bruce Catton during the centennial. The standard line was always pretty much 'it was about slavery'. The 'states' rights' stuff originally appeared after Reconstruction, aspects of the attempt to reestablish white rule in the south and rehabilitate the Lost Cause, the same movement that put up all those statues people are arguing about now. But don't listen to me, read what the people at the time said about their reasons for seceding; they were intelligent men, thought they were doing the right thing, and wanted to explain why.

Chavez and Maduro and Socialismo Bolivariano have been a total flaming disaster for Venezuela. Whatever one may think of US actions, the disaster is entirely of their own making, not ours. Don't confuse them with Mujica in Uruguay, he's quite a different animal, and has been pretty competent; Uruguay has done well for quite a long time. Along with Costa Rica and Chile after Pinochet, it's one of the best-functioning countries in Latin America. Of course, they don't have the Curse of Oil.