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View Full Version : What battele turned the tide of the Civil war?



uncas
11-26-2004, 08:34 AM
A change of topics for history buffs.
I say Vicksburg..!
Everyone knows about Gettyburg!

[ 11-26-2004, 08:35 AM: Message edited by: uncas ]

Mrleft8
11-26-2004, 08:46 AM
What civil war?

Jack Heinlen
11-26-2004, 08:47 AM
Its a toss up. Vicksburg and Gettysburg were both important. The one brought Grant and his stubborness to the fore, and the other cut any Confederate hope of bringing France or Britain in as a mediator. Both were hoping the US would be cut in half by the way. Psychologically Gettysburg had a bigger impact, it being the one offensive deep into northern territory, but practically I'd have to say the control of the Mississippi won by Grant at Vickburg wrote the proverbial writing on the wall.

Even though the North was out generaled through the entire conflict, there was never really any question of the South prevailing, unless Lincoln decided he and the people of the North couldn't stomach it anymore. In a genuine war of attrition, which is was, the North held all the cards.

Larry P.
11-26-2004, 08:55 AM
Firing on Fort Sumpter, with the resources available to the North the Southern cause was doomed from the beginning.

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
11-26-2004, 09:12 AM
The constant and ever changing battle of words, beliefs and thought, experienced by most Americans at that time. ;)

[ 11-26-2004, 09:14 AM: Message edited by: Mr. Know It All ]

uncas
11-26-2004, 09:22 AM
I think that cutting the conferate states in half...The Anaconda approach had a greater impact.
Gettysburg was, certainly the farthest north Lee got ( not counting the occasional spat in VT. from Canada but, if Lee had not withdrawn would it have been a stalemate. Vicksburg was not a stalemate.
Needless to say, I feel sorry for Pemberton...A yankee in a gray uniform...as he had little that he could do except surrender..
As far as bringing Grant to the attention of the adiminstration...that is true...Better then Fort Pillow or Donaldson. (sp. But it was a while before Grant took command...

uncas
11-26-2004, 09:28 AM
Mrleft8
Guess you have never been below the Mason Dixon Line...This war is still being fought in western NC and elsewhere.. ;)

imported_Steven Bauer
11-26-2004, 09:30 AM
You have to wonder, though, should we have just let them go?

Jack Heinlen
11-26-2004, 09:31 AM
Inertia in all manner of thinking is a fascinating part of humans. Frontal assaults were not Lee's metier. Or any general's with any sense in 1863. Inertia. The Somme, Verdun. That he engaged Mead that way at Gettysburg was, by all accounts, unwise. He'd seen the slaughter by smaller forces in entrenched position, at Fredricksburg in particular. And Mead's army was of superior strength. Why did he do it? Longstreet, his right hand since Jackson's death, urged him repeatedly to maneuver, to move around the Union left and find better ground between The Army of the Potomac and DC. It was good advice that fell on deaf ears. The war might have turned differently with a Union defeat that summer week.

What was Lee thinking? I've never understood it. He must have written about it. Anyone?

Magwitch
11-26-2004, 09:33 AM
Marston Moor, or the Siege of Bristol, um, er, Edge Hill perhaps?
Or one of the others,,,,,,,,
Oliver Cromwells farm is just down the road from here,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

IanW

uncas
11-26-2004, 09:39 AM
LarryP...Actually, at the end of the war, more southerners had more goods or greater access to equipment for the soldiers than the north..At least as far as production is concerned. I have seen the numbers but will have to check what book it is in. All verified.
The original thought was industry in the north having the greatest advantage...This is what we are all taught...I think...plus the population size etc.
I remember a paperback book we read in 10th grade The causes of the civil war and why the south lost. Some of those, in my mind have been disproved...at least enough to make me question the prevailing beliefs.
Vicksburg cut the south in half...getting supplies from one side over the Mississippi to the other was or became extremely difficult..even the rail lines had different guage tracks.
Mobility is the key...If one can not get material to an army....the army can not function. If the army is say in Tex. and supplies are coming from say Ten. there is a problem.
Leadership is also the Key...the southern generals, for the most part were better than their counterparts.
The Little Napoleon as an example.

uncas
11-26-2004, 09:50 AM
Longstreet was already in the dog house...Lee's eyes and ears showed up a day late.
I do not think that Lee anticipated this fight as he had no idea, originally, what he was facing...
Longstreet was a great general..but in this case, a day late produced a battle that would not have necessarily been fought if Lee had known.
The stories about shoes withstanding.
Also, I think Meade was a new one on the scene...No understanding of who he was or what he would do was an issue and a problem for Lee.
Obviously, this would have been a great victory for the north...and a flag to those countries who were on the fence, if Meade had followed the Army of Virginia and ended the war then but he didn't Gettyburg would have been the turning point.
Perhaps this is why I think Vicksburg had a greater inpact on the Europeans and their potential support of the southern states.
Keep in mine the economic importance...Cotton and the industrial advancement in England and elsewhere. Cotton was needed and the south had it.
Also, a lot of publicity was placed on Gettysburg...Nov. 1863 with Lincolns\'s 12 minute speech, the cemetarty dedication etc. This is the psycological plus.

Jack Heinlen
11-26-2004, 09:52 AM
Actually, at the end of the war, more southerners had more goods or greater access to equipment for the soldiers than the north That is not my understanding at all. Have you references? By all measures: population, food production, arms production, railroads, the North held an advantage at the firing on Sumpter that only grew. I do have references if you'd like.

The Confederacy held one advantage, which lasted through the war, which was a belief in something held holy: self determination. And that's spotty. There was much disgruntlement in the ranks over slave owners being exempt from the southern draft, for example.

An inscription on a late 19th century monument to the war dead of the Confederacy, at a square in Charleston, SC.

"Fortuna non mutat genus."

uncas
11-26-2004, 09:54 AM
Magwitch:
Would love to get into the civil war in England...Roundheads etc.what 1640+ or - to the beheading of Charles the first 1649 and beyond.
Another topic which has always interested me...
We Americans do not necessarily know a great deal about the history of England.
So...chip in...

Phillip Allen
11-26-2004, 09:56 AM
The 1st Manassas...the South failed to take Washington when there was NO ONE between the South and victory...After that there flashes of the Southern determination and brilliance but it was just playing the rest of the cards after the
Aces were gone.

uncas
11-26-2004, 09:57 AM
Jack...as I indicated, I do...just not sure where the book is...I will look for it and get back to you...
One potential reason for surpluses may be simply there were fewer troops on the Confederate side hence more goods.
Again, will check...This is something that I like to do.

uncas
11-26-2004, 10:02 AM
Phillip...an intersting point and one well taken..The first battle for the north was a disaster...and yes, there was an open road to Washington...If the south had realized the advantages of following through, and had realized that the war could drag on, the war would have been over in '61.
I guess what I see is that for the most part, people thought the war was going to be a short one regardless...Once the north was in retreat, so be it...

Jack Heinlen
11-26-2004, 10:03 AM
I do not think that Lee anticipated this fight as he had no idea, originally, what he was facing... Well, Stewart's joy rides are a factor. Lee didn't, initially, know what he was facing. But if you walk that ground, imagine peering through a telescope at the Union entrenchment on Cemetary Ridge, actually see the men and material arrayed against you, on the high ground, after having been beaten rather soundly at Little Round Top and other places the first two days, to still order Picket and his men up that rise on the third day, against good advice, speaks to a mindset I don't grasp.

It's always easy and fun to second guess. Lee had a battle hardened cadre of 80,000 men, maybe a bit more. By many tales the finest light infantry, in their esprit, ever assembled. He'd always been open to maneuver before, though Jackson might have been a large part of that. Jackson was a genius, with more than a little charisma, but Jackson was six months dead at the time of Gettysburg. Longstreet was as smart, but perhaps not as inspiring.

If Jackson had lived, the assaults of Gettysburg would never have happened. I'm firmly convinced that he would have maneuvered, in the face of Cemetary Ridge. He would have convinced Lee in a way Longstreet couldn't.

Lee'd seen the futility of frontal assaults against hardened positions. Why didn't he listen to Longstreet and move instead of sending the cream of his army to slaughter? One almost has to wonder at his commitment, as if he, perhaps, in some way, wanted to lose.

[ 11-26-2004, 12:43 PM: Message edited by: Jack Heinlen ]

uncas
11-26-2004, 10:05 AM
Jack...Have come up withe the titles...I thinkkkk!
One is called The Rebel Soldier.. ( gray cover :D ) and the other The Yankee Soldier ( blue cover. :D ) Published in the late 70's.
Will look.

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
11-26-2004, 10:09 AM
I've always heard from the old timers up here,that the south lost The Civil War because they couldn't drive in snow. ;)

After spending a winter in Texas where they got an inch of snow and the whole town shut down, I'd have to agree. :D

What do you think keeps the U.S. from invading Canada eh? tongue.gif

uncas
11-26-2004, 10:13 AM
The current exchange rate! :D

Jack Heinlen
11-26-2004, 10:36 AM
BTW, both pivotal battles came to a halt on July fourth, 1863.

I, for one, make big mojo out of such synchronicities. Gettysburg also produced some of the finest American prose ever composed, the Gettysburg Address.

When I lived in Baltimore I would often visit the battleground of Gettysburg. Words fail, and ghosts haunt that ground. Walking Little Round Top, the Devil's Den, the Peach Orchard, the rise up which Pickett charged...words fail at the recognition. And ghosts haunt that ground. It is truly hallowed.

Jack Heinlen
11-26-2004, 10:45 AM
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate - we cannot consecrate - we cannot hallow - this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that this government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from this earth.

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
11-26-2004, 10:46 AM
I agree Jack. I visited Gettysburg as a kid with my family. Saw my first ghost there. What a place.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-26-2004, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by Magwitch:
Marston Moor, or the Siege of Bristol, um, er, Edge Hill perhaps?
Or one of the others,,,,,,,,
Oliver Cromwells farm is just down the road from here,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

IanWUncas writes:


Magwitch:
Would love to get into the civil war in England...Roundheads etc.what 1640+ or - to the beheading of Charles the first 1649 and beyond.
Another topic which has always interested me...
We Americans do not necessarily know a great deal about the history of England.
So...chip in...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Much as i would like to claim that it was the siege of Colchester, I reckon it was none of the above, but Naseby; 14th June 1646.

Unless you would prefer an earlier Civil War, in which case you could make a good case for Bosworth; 22nd August 1485.

I am unable to point to anything decisive in the wars of Stephen and Matilda, even though each captured the other at different times during the 19 years from 1135 to 1154.

uncas
11-26-2004, 11:31 AM
Jack! Have tracked it down... I gave these two books to my parents...now dead. However, the source (s) are the following:
The Life of Johnny Reb
and The life of Billy Yank..
Author: Wiley
Came out in the 30's and then 50's.
There is a lot of info there....and a lot of Stats...
Still available on Amazon..approx 35.00 dollars.
Again, from what I remember, the south had the equipment but could not get it to its troops. Numbers and stats.
PSsss. Everitt Everett...eat your heart out two hours with little response and then we have 12 minutes of great prose.
So much for a supposedly uneducated...degrees, man!

[ 11-26-2004, 11:33 AM: Message edited by: uncas ]

uncas
11-26-2004, 11:41 AM
Andrew

OKAY the Seige of Colchester...
I am not that if any familiar with this... I do know that at some point, the Scots turned over Charles the first to Parliment...
A heck of a lot of gaps...

uncas
11-26-2004, 11:55 AM
A few thoughts:
Richard the third/tudors etc...I guess there are several civil wars here throughout the history of England...I look at them slightly differently...1485 brougtt about an era of peace in many ways from 1485 to 1603 with the end of the Tudors. The royal family continued based on Henry 5th wife...a bit indirect but I have heard about looser connections
Charles vs, Cromwell and Parliment was short lived. 1649-1660.
This is just a difference...It does not suggest that both conflicts were not civil wars.
Heck, Civil wars...similar to the War of the Roses, occurred throughout the centuries....The Royal families were always at each others throats...
Stephen...etc,,, another civil war..
The difference between Charles and Cromwell and the War of the Roses, in my mind, is that it was not about replacing one generation of kings with another but rights..and power.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-26-2004, 12:01 PM
Absolutely. Stephen and Matilda's wars, and the Wars of the Roses, were simply about who was going to be in charge. The real English Civil War was quite another matter. There are really two phases to this war, and the Scots handed Charles over at the end of the second stage - they were fed up with him.

martin schulz
11-26-2004, 12:06 PM
We never had a proper revolution (y'know with heads rolling) or a decent civil war.

I guess that's the problem. No government had the chance to get rid of the old establishment.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-26-2004, 12:12 PM
I thought yours went on for thirty years, Martin?

Or was that really just about religion?

Jack Heinlen
11-26-2004, 12:17 PM
Saw my first ghost there Say some more about that Kevin. Our materialist members will scoff, but I won't.

uncas
11-26-2004, 12:35 PM
I do agree that there were two phases with about 3 years between the two.
I would have thought that James the Pretender and Bonnie Prince Charlie would have learned by 1715 not to necessaarily trust the Scots! :D Even with the paperwork of 1701!

Jack Heinlen
11-26-2004, 12:51 PM
Okay, so give a poor soul a thumbnail of the English Civil War. I know it was about monarchy, and protestantism, but a small history seems in order.

It is all a part and parcel of the same struggle for liberty, methinks. But the British machinations seem particularly obtuse. I'm not at all sure I want to understand, but give it your best shot. ;)

uncas
11-26-2004, 01:09 PM
I do not think that protestantism played as much of a role in the 1640's as did power and the allocation of power. Who had the power...the king with devine rights or parliment?
Protestantism and the Catholic Church.....Charles the first, certainly butted heads.
If England, was totally against the religion that was implemented by the Tudors throughtout the mid to late 1500's, James the 1st would have had a bigger problem on his hands throughout his reign..He was proclaimed king in 1603 and died in 1625. Keep in mind there was Bloody Mary.after the reign of Henry the 8th..The conflict between the two religions was not that obvious...although there in the laws passed etc. etc..Those who disagreed with the king and Catholisim fled the country.
If the Civil war...through Cromwell was entirely about religion, Charles the 2nd would never have become king...although the fears of a religious takeover were there.
Religion did not play a real part until James the 2nd had a child in 1687 or 88....By his being Catholic and childless up to that time, the people were willing to deal with it. With a child, one had the Glorious Rev. in 1688 and Mary...(yes William of Orange too ) as protestants were invited back to England to take over.
Followed by Anne who had what 14 children...all died. When she died in 1714...well, the rules which probably had been written prior to her death, had been changed and no Catholic could become ruler...Hence the search...way back to Charles the second and James 2 to find George 1.
Fill in the blanks Andrew... I'm, just a yank! :D
This is just a thumbnail!

Elco's
11-26-2004, 01:37 PM
Vicksburg.

uncas
11-26-2004, 01:43 PM
Back to the original thread...not that I minded the diversion!
I have my reasons for agreeing with you...what are yours?

Psss. for those who referred to Gettysburg and walking around that battlefield I agree but I preferred walking around Antietam in the early morning...Solace, peace and quiet...no so many crowds...Then again, one should not expect many at say 5AM. ;)

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-26-2004, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by uncas:
I do not think that protestantism played as much of a role in the 1640's as did power and the allocation of power. Who had the power...the king with devine rights or parliment?
Protestantism and the Catholic Church.....Charles the first, certainly butted heads.
If England, was totally against the religion that was implemented by the Tudors throughtout the mid to late 1500's, James the 1st would have had a bigger problem on his hands throughout his reign..He was proclaimed king in 1603 and died in 1625. Keep in mind there was Bloody Mary.after the reign of Henry the 8th..The conflict between the two religions was not that obvious...although there in the laws passed etc. etc..Those who disagreed with the king and Catholisim fled the country.
If the Civil war...through Cromwell was entirely about religion, Charles the 2nd would never have become king...although the fears of a religious takeover were there.
Religion did not play a real part until James the 2nd had a child in 1687 or 88....By his being Catholic and childless up to that time, the people were willing to deal with it. With a child, one had the Glorious Rev. in 1688 and Mary...(yes William of Orange too ) as protestants were invited back to England to take over.
Followed by Anne who had what 14 children...all died. When she died in 1714...well, the rules which probably had been written prior to her death, had been changed and no Catholic could become ruler...Hence the search...way back to Charles the second and James 2 to find George 1.
Fill in the blanks Andrew... I'm, just a yank! :D
This is just a thumbnail!Not many blanks to fill in there; you are right. I could just make it longer...

The English Civil War was partly about religion; between the Episcopalian Protestants who supported the Divine Right of Kings, thus monarchical absolutism (if God created the episcopal sucession, he created monarchy as well...) and the Congregational Protestants who did not believe in Bishops or the Divine Right of Kings but who did believe in "No taxation without representation". That phrase may have a familiar ring to it!

As King James 1 ("the most learned fool in Europe") put it - " No Bishop - no King!"

This is, in a constitutional sense, part of the history of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and for that matter India.

Elco's
11-26-2004, 02:01 PM
instead of high jacking this thread, why didn't you start your own concerning the English civil-war?

are these folks so anti-American that they can't stand a thread devoted to the American civil-war?

[ 11-26-2004, 02:07 PM: Message edited by: Elco's ]

Meerkat
11-26-2004, 02:04 PM
Originally posted by Steven Bauer:
You have to wonder, though, should we have just let them go?You might find a series of books by Harry Turtledove. They're alternate fiction wherein the South wins the Civil war (I think that title was "The Guns of the South") to become the "Confederate States of America" (CSA) and then continues on in a series called "The Great War" about the USA/German/?? alliance against the CSA/British/French/Canadian alliance in WW 1. The north wins this time! Custer (yes, the Little Bighorn Custer!) is a hero for his innovative use of tanks (only they're called "barrels")! ;)

Captain Pre-Capsize
11-26-2004, 02:22 PM
ATTENTION PEOPLE!!!

Free thinker alert! Back to the American Civil War for a bit. I read a terrific book by Victor Davis Hanson entitled "The Soul of Battle". In it he argues VERY convincingly that it was not one single battle but rather the campaign of William Techumseh Sherman through the South that turned the tide.

Essentially Grant had 'em tied up in the north and Sherman took off with his 80,000 (?) men through the South. They had to keep on the move or starve. There was no supply chain - they were their own source of supplies. Pockets of resistance were skirted and pockets they were as the Rebs were all up north fighting.

His mission was psychological , not military. Note that no ground was captured - just destroyed. That the South "howled" (and still does to this day) at the mention of Sherman's name is testament to the effectiveness of the strategy. It worked, and how. A little insight as to my feelings... our oldest boy is named Grant William... ;)

Hanson goes on to cite Patton's success in Europe during WW 2 as the same strategy of flanking and skirting major resistance on the way to his goals. Not getting tied down but rather isolating and manuevering around fortified installations was the key. Note that Schwartzkopf employed the same strategy during the first Gulf War. He tied them down and them flanked 'em. Works every time.

[ 11-26-2004, 02:24 PM: Message edited by: Captain Pre-Capsize ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-26-2004, 02:37 PM
Originally posted by Elco's:
instead of high jacking this thread, why didn't you start your own concerning the English civil-war?

are these folks so anti-American that they can't stand a thread devoted to the American civil-war?Allen,

(1) read the title of this thread, you wally.

(2) the English Civil War was your civil war too

(3) I should think this thread is big enough to allow discussion of more than one civil war

(4) I agree with Captain Pre-Capsize that Sherman's march was probably more important, in bringing the war to an end, than any one battle

(5) I had ancestors on both sides of your Civil War, so why shouldn't I talk about it?

[ 11-26-2004, 03:06 PM: Message edited by: Andrew Craig-Bennett ]

uncas
11-26-2004, 02:46 PM
Elco...hate to say this...I started the thread...an American...X number of generations...
At least from 1620 on.. Just because I am an American, does not say that I have no interest in other's histories as many of those histories play a part in why I am an American! A little diversion never hurts...Many of us have English ties.I've got English Scotish and Russian..so start your own thread! Read the threads before posting to complain or read something only you see into the post. Sorry it isn't about the election...Must rteally piss you off that it is a dead subject...Go back to Florida.
Where are you from?...East coast of what?...South America...Africa...No address no response. I don't even know whether you are an American. I don't hide...you don't even put your e-mail address on your profile...give me a break...as far as I know, you are a North Korean...case closed Elco!
Captain and Meerkat...Will look into these. Am not familiar with them although they sound interesting.
I like this thread.. I hope a few posts from...the left field? doesn't turn everyone off.
Bring any topic up with relations to the original thread and I will try to give my 2 cents...inflation you know.

[ 11-26-2004, 02:49 PM: Message edited by: uncas ]

Hughman
11-26-2004, 02:51 PM
Originally posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett:
[QB]Read the title of the thread, you wallyPint to you, ACB! smile.gif

George.
11-26-2004, 03:00 PM
Do you all really think modern wars (and the US Civil war would be the first modern war) are won by battles, or by attrition? I understand the South basically ran out of resources, plus of stomach for things like Sherman's march to the sea. WWI was definitely an attrition war, and so was WWII - the Germans were actually much better in battle, but the Allies could throw more men and materiel at the problem. What do you think?

PS: Elco, you are an idiot.

Victor
11-26-2004, 03:07 PM
Funny thing about Sherman's march - there were hardly any casualties on either side. Guess it just goes to show you can kill as many of the enemy as you want, but if you want to win the war you gotta destroy his STUFF.

uncas
11-26-2004, 03:10 PM
George!
Attrition...new thought..well new to the thread.
I am not sure about ww1 as we never crossed the borders...so have no idea what Germany had behind the lines.
ww2 I think that Hitler's suicide, the continual bombing of cities played a major part...Hence defeat by psycology...the Gernans did not want to continue.
On the Allies side, psycology played a part as well...they were winning and knew it and fought harder.
Sherman's march was the final straw...again the psycological impact...Vicksburg, Petersburg, Gettyburg were somewhere in the recent past...
Bringing the war to one's doorstep and
having one's home destroyed takes the fight out of anyone.
An earlier comment indicated that few actually died in Sherman's march...in comparison to say Antietam...This may support this thinking.

[ 11-26-2004, 03:15 PM: Message edited by: uncas ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-26-2004, 03:24 PM
A Civil War is such a horrible thing - more horrible than a war between nation states - that perhaps no single battle can end one?

The Thirty Years War, a civil war about religion, fought in Germany by Germans, but used as a "proxy war| by the nations on either side of the religious divide, made a mess of Germany for two hundred years, yet was there really a winner? It just petered out from exhaustion.

The English Civil War ended not with a decisive battle but with the execution of the King - or perhaps with the return of his son?

And perhaps the American Civil War was brought nearer to an end by Sherman's march through Georgia than by any of the terrible battles that took place?

Captain Pre-Capsize
11-26-2004, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett:


And perhaps the American Civil War was brought nearer to an end by Sherman's march through Georgia than by any of the terrible battles that took place?Read the book I mentioned (above) and there is little doubt. Sherman's march made the war so very real to the plantation owners who sent their minions off to fight. Prior to Sherman's "visit" they had to depend on the news to find out what was going on. Suddenly they became the news. As Sherman destroyed town after town (contrary to myth - very little rape took place) the Southern "Gentlemen" decided that this was not something they had signed up for!

[ 11-26-2004, 04:24 PM: Message edited by: Captain Pre-Capsize ]

uncas
11-26-2004, 05:35 PM
So, the consensus is that Sherman's march to the sea was what broke the camel's back so to speak...However, back to the original thought...What were the reasons or battles which caused several European countries to reconsider support for the south...This gets back to a battle. By the time Sherman marched south...the south was on its knees with little if any support from those who could have given it...The psycological battle that Sherman began was just that...a quicker way to end the war..
If there had been no Vicksburg ( #1 in my books ) and if there had not been a Gettysburg..(#2 in my books ) would the south have gained the necessary support to surivive and win.

Larry P.
11-26-2004, 05:45 PM
Uncas my counter contention is that from the very beginning of the war the Southern forces were on the defensive in the sense that with the exception of Lee's foray into PA they were always fighting on Southern soil and familiar territory. Given the North's numerical superiority and industrial capacity my thesis is the the South was doomed to failure bofore the first shot was fired.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-26-2004, 06:27 PM
Well, I can say nothing about other European states, but I am quite sure that Britain would have remained neutral no matter what.

Palmerston was Prime Minister, Russell was Foreign Secretary, Gladstone was Chancellor of the Exchequer. No Southern supporters there - only Gladstone had any connection with the cotton interest and the idea of Gladstone supporting slavery is laughable.

seafox
11-26-2004, 06:59 PM
their is a book called I belive"the night the war was lost" about farrigate taking new orleans. with it went the south largest city and a milion people it lost quite a bit of agricultural land, the second most importan manufacturing center. and even though the mouth of the missippie had been blockaded their was still some running occuring from nearby ports and rivers like belle lafouch(sp) and the alaplatcha(sp) I belive the naval war had much more effect than is givem credit also lst at new oeleans was a third or more of the first wave of confederat ironclads Mallory wanted big invincible ships and so he started off with 6 the virgina at norfork. the indianola? on the cumberland the arkansas and the tennesse at memphsis and the lusians and missippie at new orleans. this battle IIRC was feb 28 the losiana was afloat but not quite redy the missippie had finally got her propeller shafts all in and launched but was not ready and their was also the manassas a single gun ram with an inch and a half of iron armor.
had the forts not been bipassed,if they had been taken in a couple of months by butler in a seige farigate ( a southener who turned traitor to his native state) might have been discraced as well as porter but while porter might have recovered it would have been much more unlikely for farigate. given the extra time it is possable that new orleans night ot have fallen and with its fleet of gient iron clads kept the missippie in confederat hand at least up to vicksberg for several more years.

a side note I havn't researched this to a surity but I belive the ironclad building at memphsis were sent away on may 5( the arkansaw) and burnt on the stocks( the tennesse) when in fact it was another month till june 5th before the southern fleet was destroyed at the battle of memphsis. had that month been used to finish the arkansaw. maybe the south would have won the battle and at least goven another month maybe the tennesse culd have been launched and towed to yazoo river asthe arkansaw was to be finished
jefery

bamamick
11-26-2004, 07:13 PM
My vote goes to Vicksburg. Really, there's no doubt in my mind. With no navy and far too much ground to cover for the troops available it was just going to be a matter of time. That the war lasted four years rather than two is a testament to the will of the people commanding the southern armies, but it would never be enough.

I think that the declaration of war was predicated on three things: 1. the people involved really believed that they had the right to secede. If you read Jefferson Davis' memoir after the war he makes a very compelling (and very boring!) case. 2. there would be European intervention. Wrong! They can grow cotton in Egypt, it seems. 3. that the north would never allow their people to be killed in numbers over this issue. They bet wrong. Abraham Lincoln's will was equal to the test.

I have visited Gettysburg, Antietam, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, and Vicksburg, as well as many smaller battlefields. My house actually sits on the site of Fort McGregor in Spanish Fort. Five minutes away is the site of one of the last 'major' battles of the war in Blakely. That battle was fought the week after Lee surrendered.

Gettysburg is by far the best site to visit if you can. It's one of the very few sites that you can actually see what the soldiers saw. Mostly when you visit a site it's just woods, or in some cases, a development of some kind.

Interesting stuff.

Mickey Lake

seafox
11-26-2004, 08:58 PM
just as no woman has a right to leave the union she volenterarly formed with her husband no matter how abused she has been; no state can leave the union it volenterarly joined dispite abuse or subjagation.

not to mention the treaty by which texas joined the US spicificle alowes it to leave when ever it wants and the provision in the costution where by all states are equell that if one can leave any can leave.

lincoln precipitated the war and goaded the south carolinans into atacking first to rally suport to use force to keep the southern states in the union. the south made several mistakes early on besides letting the war start early before they were more prepaired. maybe the greatest was not shipping out the 1860 and 1861 cotton crops before the blockade became very effective. they though the lack of cotton would induce european intervention, insteed having money in the bank would have bought more help
another was mallorys supership first plans. had the albemaral class been built first the effort and materials that went into building the missippie could have built 14 to 16 small 2 gun ships that would have been ready to face faragates fleet with out the delay of the huge center propeller shaft that had been sent all the way to treger in richmond for reworking and I think was on a rail car on a sidding in missippie when new orleans fell. beyone that had the css virgina been built as a 4 gun ship insteed of 10 guns she could have been used by nov 61 and been queen of the hampton roads area for 4 or 5 months before the monitor was sent to challanger her in march of 62.
jeffery

seafox
11-26-2004, 09:17 PM
about shermans march it was stratiically brilliant and it cut the eastern confederacy in two logisticaly wise. after his army had passed while men might cross the swath the rail roads were destroyed an also alanta was by 64 a major industrial center. other major centers like charlote north carolina and columbia south crolina were cut off from the naval cannon facotory in selma alabama and the navy yard at columbus georga.

every one centrs on shermans march from alanta to the sea when he droped his supply lines yet he did as much damage to the south as a whole in first fighting to alanta and then the aftermath after he had taken savanah (christmas 1864) he moved up the coast with naval suport taking charleston (january 65) and forcing the evacuation of wilmington north carolina though that had been sealed off about january 15 by the capture of fort fisher.

fort fisher's loss wasn the turning point it was more like on of the las nails because with it gone supplys from overseas were almost entirely cut off
jeffery
ps the western confederacy could still get supply from mexican ports acrost the rio grand .

yorgie
11-26-2004, 10:24 PM
The 'Battle of Ridgeway' when the Fenians invaded Upper Canada.It was fought on my family's farm and the father of my still living great-great aunt witnessed it.

Jack Heinlen
11-26-2004, 10:44 PM
Thank you gentlemen, and Uncas. I've learned a little about the English Civil War, and thought about the American in more depth.

Jeffery,

Whatever one thinks of Lincoln philosophically, he was a man of destiny. He was determined that the US should remain as one, not two, and accomplished that. The world would be a very different place if these few battles and men we've discussed had turned differently. It's interesting to speculate, but things turned as they did, in large part because of strength of will in a few men.

I'm glad to see continued interest in the American Civil War. It is a pivot of history...our and the world's, and deserves close study. Strong, honorable men, on both sides, and a truly horrific, fratricidal war.

P.S. I've said this before, but will say it again. As much as I admire Walt Whitman's poetry, I admire him more for his volunteer work in the DC hospitals. He was too old for a soldier at the time, yet felt a responsibility. He spent uncounted hours with the survivors of the horrific wounds of modern war. Amputees, men deformed in the face, men blinded. He brought small gifts, wrote letters, sat and talked with men who were frightened and alone. He could only do it for a couple years, and then had to turn away because of the horror. He references it occasionally in his writing, but not much. It was too difficult, eventually, to see young men so consumed, but God bless his efforts.

[ 11-27-2004, 12:40 AM: Message edited by: Jack Heinlen ]

imported_Steven Bauer
11-26-2004, 11:55 PM
jeffery says
just as no woman has a right to leave the union she volenterarly formed with her husband no matter how abused she has been What's up with this? Are you serious?

Steven

Captain Pre-Capsize
11-27-2004, 12:06 AM
A little known fact of Sherman's march but first the setup:

He takes off deep into enemy territory without supply lines 80,000 men strong. Always on the move lest his troops starve they literally and figuratively eat up the countryside on the way to Atlanta. Surrounded by the enemy but always on the move it was the sheer terror imparted on the South that kept the horrified southerners at bay. Then, having broken nearly every rule of engagement known to the military mind of 1864 he decided to break another.

He divided his army in half in order to wreak more destruction!!! Now that is some powerful kind of self confidence! Divide your army in half deep in enemy territory with no supply lines??? Madness!!!! But it worked like nobody's business.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-27-2004, 05:12 AM
Originally posted by Steven Bauer:
jeffery says </font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> just as no woman has a right to leave the union she volenterarly formed with her husband no matter how abused she has been What's up with this? Are you serious?

Steven</font>[/QUOTE]No, he's not! :D

This is very interesting:

The English believe that "the Americans do not understand, or use, irony", which is why British humour sometimes falls flat in the States, and if the Americans ever do understand it then only the citizens of the Eastern seaboard get it; hence the British joke that sarcasm seldom crosses the Atlantic, and never the Rockies.

Now, here we have a perfect display of irony by Jeffrey, living rather well to the West, and Steven, living well to the East, does not get it.

I believe this may be a "first", and should be recorded in the history books ;)

[ 11-27-2004, 06:27 AM: Message edited by: Andrew Craig-Bennett ]

rbgarr
11-27-2004, 07:09 AM
I don't think it was a battle that was the turning point, but the appointment of Grant to be the commanding general of all Union armies and his pressing into Virginia that turned the tide of the war. Grant's determination to pursue Lee in the series of battles after Vicksburg/Gettysburg, through the siege of Petersburg, while Sherman kept other Confederate armies occupied further south was what did it. If foreign nations had come in to support the Confederacy after Gettysburg, it would definitely have been a major political problem for Lincoln, but my guess is that Grant could have found a way to blunt the impact militarily. Lincoln backed him to the hilt.

[ 11-27-2004, 07:12 AM: Message edited by: rbgarr ]

Magwitch
11-27-2004, 07:16 AM
Originally posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett:
[QBrcasm seldom crosses the Atlantic, and never the Rockies.

Now, here we have a perfect display of irony by Jeffrey, living rather well to the West, and Steven, living well to the East, does not get it.

I believe this may be a "first", and should be recorded in the history books ;) [/QB]Andrew, are you insane? If ever the whole country "got it" and began to practice sarcasm, irony and caustic wit, the damage they could cause beggars belief. Keep SICW out of the hands of America for Gods sake.
I understand that a lab has been found in Montana containing precursor phrases that could be used in the production of irony and may be intended for people who refuse to stay democratised by high explosives,,,,,,,,

IanW

Mrleft8
11-27-2004, 07:57 AM
My wife's great great grandpappy fired the "first shot" at ft. Sumpter. (actually he didn't fire the first shot, but was credited with it for the last hundred and twenty years...) You'd think he single handedly saved the entire human race from some grave illness the way they brag about him....
And all the relatives get together and show off their ancestor's CSA jacket buttons, and they all have typwritten "histories" of how this or that brave ancestor lost his arm, or leg, or life at the battle of so-and-so... Typwritten on cheap yellowing foolscap in 1949.
They can't understand why I am not only unimpressed, but rather dismissive of all their pride in one of the world's darkest moments.

uncas
11-27-2004, 09:57 AM
Andrew!
Perhaps the British gov...Palmerston etc was not going to get into the fray..One point...Found my book on Pemberton...."Pemberton, Defender of Vicksburg " by John C. Pemberton (grandson ) 1942
Page 227...the statement...a " J. A. Roebuck's proposal to the House of Commons that her Majesty's gov enter into negotiations with foreign powers for the recognition of the Confederacy..." This coincided with the battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg.
Another...Grant's Memoirs...his view was that Pemberton's surrender with the largest body of troops at the time on the continent sealed the fate of the Confederacy.
Perhaps he was biased though.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-27-2004, 10:05 AM
Dunno who Roebuck was!

Certainly there were supporters of the South amongst "the cotton interest" (the Lancashire mill owners) who were worried about cotton supplies, and who, as cotton buyers, had close social relations with the cotton growers who sold them their raw material. (The latter might be the more important point.)

The mill workers, though, were firmly on the side of the North after the Emancipation Proclamation, and maybe before - they tended to be Nonconformists who were opposed to slavery, despite being thrown out of work by the cotton shortage.

It was a reasonably strong administration (it lasted ten years) and none of the leading figures was disposed to support the South, so an intervention by a cotton interest MP would not have led to much change in Government policy. Palmerston in particular was not a man to be told what to do.

uncas
11-27-2004, 10:11 AM
The Proclimation was signed in Nov...after both battles...I can check that..After that...the war became less states rights and more a war over slavery.
So, the mindset may have been different prior to Nov. 1863 in England...back to states rights vs. centralized gov. rights. Pemberton...interesting guy...joined the Confederate army because of his feelings regarding state vs. fed rights not slavery and he was a Quaker...at least from a long line of Quakers.

uncas
11-27-2004, 10:15 AM
Pssss. One thing great about Queen Vic's reign were her PMs. Amazing guys and in some ways. complete opposites. I like old Disraeli (sp) myself...If nothing else, he knew how to deal with a queen such as Victoria...A tough woman!
This book also brings up a correlation between Vicksburg and the Dardenelles...cutting the breadline to defeat an enemy.
Just a question.

Elco's
11-27-2004, 04:49 PM
ROTFLMAO!!!
Magwitch, CLASSIC!

Magwitch
12-05-2004, 08:17 AM
Originally posted by Elco's:
ROTFLMAO!!!
Magwitch, CLASSIC!:D :D ;)

Gonzalo
12-06-2004, 10:59 AM
A couple of years ago I read an interesting (and well regarded) book that disputes the continuing claim that the South had better generalship than the Union during the American Civil War. It is called "The Warrior Generals" by Buell. It is an interesting study of 2 Union and 2 Confederate generals of similar backgrounds and responsibility. I think they were Grant & Lee, and Thomas & Gordon.

It is a resonably good argument that it wasn't only strength of numbers and material that defeated the Confederacy. The author is critical of Confederate generalship on a number of points of logistics, planning, intelligence, communications, and mapmaking.

Another fine book called "Two Great Rebel Armies" by McMurry makes some of the same critiques of the Confederate generals, especially in the western theater. The book is not really about the comparison of Union vs. Confederate generalship, but some of the critiques of Confederate generals in this book go hand in hand with those made by Buell. The book is out of print now, but it should still be available in used booksellers or libraries. My wife found a copy for me on the internet.