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Any American Civil War Buffs in the House??

Saint_of_Me
Posts: 2,402
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7/7/2015 4:38:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I am a huge student of the American Civil War. And its usually one of my most frequent topics of debate on other Net History Forums I engage in. But I never see it mentioned here.

So I was wondering is perhaps anybody would like to begin a thread on it? Any topic of the War, You choose. (Although, I would humbly ask that we do not engage in the old "Was the Civil War fought over Slavery or States Rights?" That one has been done enough.

Rather, I would rather discuss matters more pertaining to the actual fighting. The Generals. The Battles. The Strategies. The Blunders.

Let's go. This could be an very interesting and fun thread.

Thanks!
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.
j50wells
Posts: 345
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7/10/2015 3:21:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
For the most part, the first half of the Civil War was a complete blunder for the Union. The only general who was winning battles in the first two years was Grant. McClellan was a class act loser. He almost cost the north the war. The very first battle, The Battle of Bull Run, was a complete route by the south. Union soldiers, and civilian onlookers who came to watch the battle, were forced to flee, back into town. They should be happy that the Confederates didn't pursue them into town or that might have been the end of the war right there.
Lincoln retired McClellan, and for the next two years hired and fired more generals, neither one being able to win battles nor dominate the south. Meanwhile, Ulysees S Grant was winning battles on the Mississippi. After his siege of Vicksburg, and it's final surrender, Grant was the man that Lincoln saw as the general who would do what other generals tried to do but could not. Grant had weathered the war well, including overcoming a horrific battle at Shiloh and regathering his men together, (who had fled in terror) to come up and fight the Confederates.
Three years after the start of the war, Lincoln made Grant the commander of all of the Union armies. Grant came out of the gate like a warrior. He fought four furious and deadly battles over a six week period in the summer of 1864. These battles were as deadly as all of the battles in the whole war, however there were four, in a very short period. These battles were key to winning the war for they pushed Lee, and all of his armies, out of the north and back to Richmond, where Grant encircled them. The siege of Richmond led to Lee's surrender and the end of the war.

The Civil War is one of the most interesting wars to study. It doesn't have all of the looting and raping that other wars had. It is a war involving two armies with different ideas, but also with respect for each other. Many battlefields had Confederate and Union soldiers drinking together before the battle. In a sense, the war games of the Civil War were just that, war games. The hatred was not there. Neither side had raped or pillaged their foe. They were closely related in the ideas of civility and honor. The only difference between them was the slavery issue. States rights could be understood by both sides, but the north knew that leaving the union over the issue of slavery was not an option.
In general, I think that the Civil War would be one of the most honorable wars to fight in in human history.
xus00HAY
Posts: 1,393
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7/10/2015 3:27:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Should Lincoln have demanded unconditional surrender or made a deal for a peace treaty?
Long before Appomattox the south lost the war. Our unbeatable U.S.Navy blockaded the southern ports. The Europeans found other sources to buy cotton from, therefore slaves were not necessary to keep the cotton industry alive. The goose who laid the golden eggs had been killed.
Had Lincoln been a shrewd man he would make Jefferson Davis an offer. The confederate government could keep Georgia if the other states were reposessed by the USA. The slaves of Georgia had already been freed during Sherman's march to the sea.
Look, I have been to Georgia, its definately not worth fighting over!
Such a deal may have made it possible for the war to be over in January 1865.
xus00HAY
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7/10/2015 3:38:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
As for the siege of Richmond, at this point the rebels had lost so many men they were Island of grey in an ocean of blue uniforms. it was time to say check mate.
Saint_of_Me
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7/10/2015 4:58:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/10/2015 3:21:03 PM, j50wells wrote:
For the most part, the first half of the Civil War was a complete blunder for the Union. The only general who was winning battles in the first two years was Grant. McClellan was a class act loser. He almost cost the north the war. The very first battle, The Battle of Bull Run, was a complete route by the south. Union soldiers, and civilian onlookers who came to watch the battle, were forced to flee, back into town. They should be happy that the Confederates didn't pursue them into town or that might have been the end of the war right there.
Lincoln retired McClellan, and for the next two years hired and fired more generals, neither one being able to win battles nor dominate the south. Meanwhile, Ulysees S Grant was winning battles on the Mississippi. After his siege of Vicksburg, and it's final surrender, Grant was the man that Lincoln saw as the general who would do what other generals tried to do but could not. Grant had weathered the war well, including overcoming a horrific battle at Shiloh and regathering his men together, (who had fled in terror) to come up and fight the Confederates.
Three years after the start of the war, Lincoln made Grant the commander of all of the Union armies. Grant came out of the gate like a warrior. He fought four furious and deadly battles over a six week period in the summer of 1864. These battles were as deadly as all of the battles in the whole war, however there were four, in a very short period. These battles were key to winning the war for they pushed Lee, and all of his armies, out of the north and back to Richmond, where Grant encircled them. The siege of Richmond led to Lee's surrender and the end of the war.

The Civil War is one of the most interesting wars to study. It doesn't have all of the looting and raping that other wars had. It is a war involving two armies with different ideas, but also with respect for each other. Many battlefields had Confederate and Union soldiers drinking together before the battle. In a sense, the war games of the Civil War were just that, war games. The hatred was not there. Neither side had raped or pillaged their foe. They were closely related in the ideas of civility and honor. The only difference between them was the slavery issue. States rights could be understood by both sides, but the north knew that leaving the union over the issue of slavery was not an option.
In general, I think that the Civil War would be one of the most honorable wars to fight in in human history.

Great post and I agree with most of it.

Especially what you said about the Union during the first couple of years of the War. Say, up until Gettysburgh or Vickburgh. (No coincidence that when Lincoln promoted Grant from the Western to the Eastern Theater that the Union began kicking som butt, eh?)

I am not that big of a Grant fan, mind you. But that is a different post.

McLellan's cowardice was probably more costly than history has shown. I believe a couple of times he was in a position to smash the opposing rebel Army--or even take Richmond--that it may have ended the War much earlier.

There was no way the South was ever going to win. I always like Shelby Foote's (RIP) saying about this. To people who think the South actually had a chance...

"Look, for the first couple of years of the way the Union sort of fought like they had one hand tied behind their back. But when things heated up, they could always just bring out that other hand. And once they did that it made the match-up between the two Armies just too unbalanced and unfair."
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.
Saint_of_Me
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7/10/2015 5:01:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/10/2015 3:27:57 PM, xus00HAY wrote:
Should Lincoln have demanded unconditional surrender or made a deal for a peace treaty?
Long before Appomattox the south lost the war. Our unbeatable U.S.Navy blockaded the southern ports. The Europeans found other sources to buy cotton from, therefore slaves were not necessary to keep the cotton industry alive. The goose who laid the golden eggs had been killed.
Had Lincoln been a shrewd man he would make Jefferson Davis an offer. The confederate government could keep Georgia if the other states were reposessed by the USA. The slaves of Georgia had already been freed during Sherman's march to the sea.
Look, I have been to Georgia, its definately not worth fighting over!
Such a deal may have made it possible for the war to be over in January 1865.

I agree that the South tried to hold on for way too long, costing tens of thousands of lives.

They should have surrendered after Vicksburg fell, which basically cut the Confederacy in half. And with the blockades on the coast, well. No chance, amigo.

It is a great topic of debate all in itself about when the CSA should have tossed in the towel. I say, at the very LATEST is should have been after Sherman sacked Atlanta and began his march to the Sea.

But noooo...that was in Fall of '64. So the Sought fought for ( more months! Crazy.
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.