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[The Civil War], HOOH! What was it good for?

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    PantsBPantsB Fake Thomas Jefferson Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    PantsB wrote: »
    Edit: Your quote isn't quite right. The bit about being sent over to observe the effects of artillery fire on fortifications and on armored ships... I don't know about that. I don't remember him ever mentioning the effects of artillery on ironclads, except very briefly, and I only read it about month or so ago. Artillery on fortifications has a little bit more, but he still focuses more on the fortifications themselves, how they were built and how they were used. "...become a combatant in the Confederate army" is an exaggeration, as well. He mentioned one instance where he was working with a small unit when he was forced to pick up a rifle. That's about it.

    Yeah. But he was full of shit. He wasn't supposed to participate and if the King of Prussia found out he would have been in trouble but he did [2nd source] The point is that he wasn't some kind of neutral expert. His expertise was in fortification and he was supposed to study that. He turned that into being part of the Confederate army.

    Helping out a bit with pontoons is quite a different from "working for the Confederacy." And as I already said, if you actually read his work, he's pretty unbiased in his military analysis.

    You have no basis for that. He was someone unqualified to make the judgments on the worth of soldiers that he did, who was deeply sympathetic to one side, spent all his time with one side and remained friends with the leadership of one side until his death. That is essentially the definition of bias. I'm sorry if you read the book mistakenly thinking it was a dispassionate analysis, but it wasn't.


    edit If you don't believe me, read it yourself
    Scheibert wrote:
    You, friends and associates, know my partiality and my passion in that war— I fought for the South and believed in it body and soul.

    or look at this review that looks at his bias
    As a historian, Scheibert, like many European observers of the Civil War, was enraptured by the myth of the Old South. "I fought for the South and believed in it body and soul." The Confederate officer was "a born leader, soldier, and manager" who learned by "bossing Negroes in numbers." Born of "austere Old English" stock, his upbringing made him "physically, mentally, and morally fitter than Yankees reared in cities." He despised careerism and was devoted "to the Cause." A "vital Christianity" and "moral code of rectitude" allowed him to match an enemy three times as strong. The Union, on the other hand, was driven by "Yankee traders" who "regarded everything as a business deal." Supply and demand, "mathematical combinations," and "technical science" ruled their hearts and souls. They eventually won because they "could muster manpower beyond measure, hordes." For the Confederacy, war was an art; for the Union, it was a science.

    This book has all the advantages and drawbacks of all contemporary accounts. It is written with passion. It conveys a gripping sense of the men and the times on which they fought. It offers an outsider's view of an intrinsically American event, and places it in a European context. On the other hand, it lacks real objectivity. The perspective of A Prussian Observes the American Civil War is Virginia in general and the Army of Northern Virginia in particular.

    Scheibert attributes changes in Confederate operations more to numerical inferiority than to the increasing effect of firepower. He remained wedded to the offensive and refused to accept the final phase of the workaday war at Cold Harbor (shovel and axe) as a harbinger of things to come. Although he recognized Northern superiority in manufacturing, he clung to a romantic belief that Southern psychological treasures could overcome mass and machines.

    I honestly don't know how you can read his loaded language and claim lack of bias

    PantsB on
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    BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    There was also a disadvantage in that man vs man, a Southerner was a better fighter than a Northerner. Hunting was a very popular sport in the South... Not so much in the North. Same with riding. So a typical Southerner had the advantage of already having experience shooting a gun, or riding a horse (although that's only applicable to cavalry, which was much better than the Northern counterpart).

    This is a popular myth that has been debunked since at least the 1960s; any advantage enjoyed by the South is easily accounted for by their being on the defensive, often in entrenched positions and close to home. As I understand it, statistically speaking, the North actually performed slightly better than an army on the offensive could be expected to.

    Just as every Southerner was not a pipe-smoking plantation owner, nor were they all Jed Clampett pegging squirrels at two hundred yards. A "typical" Southerner was not significantly more likely to own a gun or a horse - horses were fucking expensive and most people who owned them worked them, not rode them - than a typical Northerner. This whole meme is revisionist mythmaking designed to paint the picture that the Union Army was composed of weird city folk, gullible furriners, and other not-real-Americans.

    Because Justus Scheibert, a Prussian military attache to the ANV, was of course a revisionist. :P

    All I know is that a man whose job was to study the composition and performance of the Civil War armed forces wrote a whole half chapter on how and why a Southerner was a better fighter than a Northerner. Maybe he was wrong, maybe he wasn't, but I figure he's much better suited for an analysis of the situation than someone a century later, and he's certainly not a revisionist.

    Again, this is largely a result of the Union's focus on Virginia, allowing the CSA to concentrate all their best fighters there. The 3rd chapter of Scheibert's book, which deals with infantry, specifically excepts the Western theater from his claims. If the per-man advantage was inherently Confederate, why wasn't that reflected in the West as well? It's not like Texans and Tennesseans didn't hunt.

    I have no idea what Scheibert is talking about regarding cavalry. He seems to want to argue that the South had a bunch of grand cavalry shock charges, and dismisses the "English" concept of cavalry as super-mobile infantry. In fact, that idea of cavalry as super-mobile infantry that fought while dismounted was the basis behind arguably the greatest American cavalary commander ever, the CSA's Nathaniel Bedford Forrest, who famously summarized his tactical approach as "get there first with the most men." Again we see a heavy bias towards the Eastern Theater, as Forrest was bedeviling the Union in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi, rather than running around Virginia with Lee.

    I also don't understand Scheibert's contention that a slaveowning agrarian population would necessarily produce better commanders than an industrialized society. It's not like the North was a bunch of communes, their factories had foremen who also needed to be able to motivate subordinates as much as any cotton farmer. While I certainly agree the South had better individual officers, I don't see why it's necessarily a result of antebellum Southern society.

    BubbaT on
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    HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Qingu wrote: »
    If someone offered you the choice of killing one person to free four slaves, would you do it?

    If said person was the slave holder, yes. In a heartbeat.

    HamHamJ on
    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
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    Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    BubbaT wrote: »
    Again, this is largely a result of the Union's focus on Virginia, allowing the CSA to concentrate all their best fighters there. The 3rd chapter of Scheibert's book, which deals with infantry, specifically excepts the Western theater from his claims. If the per-man advantage was inherently Confederate, why wasn't that reflected in the West as well? It's not like Texans and Tennesseans didn't hunt.

    The midwest was very rural at the time. The same things that gave a man from a North Carolina farm an advantage over a New York City clerk is going to apply to a man born in the Ohio woods. Not that the Western front was entirely Midwestern men and the Eastern front was entirely Eastern men, but there's going to be enough of a bias to erase the per-man advantage of the South on the Eastern front.

    It's a matter of the per-man advantage not being inherent because of a North/South dichotomy, fighting valiantly for the Cause, blah blah blah, but because of the way individuals were raised. As an inverse to the example I gave earlier, a man from an Adirondack farm is going to have an advantage over a Virginian Tredegar steel worker. It's just that the South had a higher proportion of the "outdoorsy" types.
    I have no idea what Scheibert is talking about regarding cavalry. He seems to want to argue that the South had a bunch of grand cavalry shock charges, and dismisses the "English" concept of cavalry as super-mobile infantry. In fact, that idea of cavalry as super-mobile infantry that fought while dismounted was the basis behind arguably the greatest American cavalary commander ever, the CSA's Nathaniel Bedford Forrest, who famously summarized his tactical approach as "get there first with the most men." Again we see a heavy bias towards the Eastern Theater, as Forrest was bedeviling the Union in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi, rather than running around Virginia with Lee.

    There's going to be a bias towards the Eastern theatre because that's where Scheibert was located. He's going to have a hell of a lot more experience with the ANV than, what, the Army of the Tennessee (IIRC, that's where Forrest was located... could be mistaken... either way, certainly wasn't the ANV).
    I also don't understand Scheibert's contention that a slaveowning agrarian population would necessarily produce better commanders than an industrialized society. It's not like the North was a bunch of communes, their factories had foremen who also needed to be able to motivate subordinates as much as any cotton farmer. While I certainly agree the South had better individual officers, I don't see why it's necessarily a result of antebellum Southern society.

    I don't remember that bit. The reason the Southern officer corps was so much better than the Northern was that the South was a much more martial society (ie, more people having a military career) and produced the majority of the pre-1860 officer corps. When the Southern leadership consists primarily of career officers and the Northern leadership consists of inexperienced political appointees meant to fill a void, of course the South is going to be better in that aspect!

    I think the discussion about the Southern commanding ability was one of the sections I disregarded. It talked about religion, did it not? I think his basic idea there was "the Southerner leader fights for God, while the Northern leader fights so he can get paid, therefore the Southerner is a superior commander" and so I just glossed over and ignored it. It's true to a small extent, but it wasn't one of his particularly compelling passages.

    Solomaxwell6 on
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    BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    BubbaT wrote: »
    Again, this is largely a result of the Union's focus on Virginia, allowing the CSA to concentrate all their best fighters there. The 3rd chapter of Scheibert's book, which deals with infantry, specifically excepts the Western theater from his claims. If the per-man advantage was inherently Confederate, why wasn't that reflected in the West as well? It's not like Texans and Tennesseans didn't hunt.

    The midwest was very rural at the time. The same things that gave a man from a North Carolina farm an advantage over a New York City clerk is going to apply to a man born in the Ohio woods. Not that the Western front was entirely Midwestern men and the Eastern front was entirely Eastern men, but there's going to be enough of a bias to erase the per-man advantage of the South on the Eastern front.

    It's a matter of the per-man advantage not being inherent because of a North/South dichotomy, fighting valiantly for the Cause, blah blah blah, but because of the way individuals were raised. As an inverse to the example I gave earlier, a man from an Adirondack farm is going to have an advantage over a Virginian Tredegar steel worker. It's just that the South had a higher proportion of the "outdoorsy" types.

    It's not just about the rural-ness. The Union in the East was being commanded by officers ranging from mediocre to awful. McClellan was a great organizer, quartermaster and drillmaster - he'd have been perfect as Commandant of West Point, not so much in the field. Burnside was atrocious. Hooker helped produce Lee's greatest shining moment at Chancellorsville. Meade was solid but occassionally had bizarre lapses in judgement, such as Cold Harbor.

    Confederate generals in the East were far superior, even aside from legendary figures like Lee and Jackson. Beauregard, after being transferred to the West, nearly drove Grant into the Tennessee River at Shiloh, and would have done so the next morning if not for Grant being reinforced in the middle of the night. Joseph Johnston, after being transferred to the West, held his own against Sherman, even defeating Sherman at Kennesaw Mountain in 1864, by which time the Confederate Army was certainly not better per-man than the Union. Longstreet was largely responsible for the Confederate victory at Chickamauga, probably the CSA's finest moment in the Western theater, and out-generaled Lee himself at Seven Pines, Wilderness, and I would argue Gettysburg.

    Basically, if you replace the Union and Confederate rank-and-file with robots of identical fighting capability, the Confederacy still wins those early Eastern battles. Heck, the Confederacy wins those battles if the Union and Confederate soldiers trade uniforms. It's like how they used to describe football coach Bear Bryant: "He'll beat your guys with his guys, but he could also beat his guys with your guys."

    I have no idea what Scheibert is talking about regarding cavalry. He seems to want to argue that the South had a bunch of grand cavalry shock charges, and dismisses the "English" concept of cavalry as super-mobile infantry. In fact, that idea of cavalry as super-mobile infantry that fought while dismounted was the basis behind arguably the greatest American cavalary commander ever, the CSA's Nathaniel Bedford Forrest, who famously summarized his tactical approach as "get there first with the most men." Again we see a heavy bias towards the Eastern Theater, as Forrest was bedeviling the Union in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi, rather than running around Virginia with Lee.

    There's going to be a bias towards the Eastern theatre because that's where Scheibert was located. He's going to have a hell of a lot more experience with the ANV than, what, the Army of the Tennessee (IIRC, that's where Forrest was located... could be mistaken... either way, certainly wasn't the ANV).

    Even in the East cavalry weren't used as shock troops. JEB Stuart was nicknamed "The Eyes and Ears of the Confederacy" because his cavalry specialized in recon and forward screening (with more than a bit of supply raiding thrown in), not combat. The most combat effective part of Stuart's cavalry was probably the horse artillery.
    I also don't understand Scheibert's contention that a slaveowning agrarian population would necessarily produce better commanders than an industrialized society. It's not like the North was a bunch of communes, their factories had foremen who also needed to be able to motivate subordinates as much as any cotton farmer. While I certainly agree the South had better individual officers, I don't see why it's necessarily a result of antebellum Southern society.

    I don't remember that bit. The reason the Southern officer corps was so much better than the Northern was that the South was a much more martial society (ie, more people having a military career) and produced the majority of the pre-1860 officer corps. When the Southern leadership consists primarily of career officers and the Northern leadership consists of inexperienced political appointees meant to fill a void, of course the South is going to be better in that aspect!

    I think the discussion about the Southern commanding ability was one of the sections I disregarded. It talked about religion, did it not? I think his basic idea there was "the Southerner leader fights for God, while the Northern leader fights so he can get paid, therefore the Southerner is a superior commander" and so I just glossed over and ignored it. It's true to a small extent, but it wasn't one of his particularly compelling passages.

    In the "Infantry" chapter, Scheibert writes:

    "The Southerner, mostly of the planter class, grew up outdoors and loved hunting and sports. Used to bossing Negroes in numbers, attending to their needs, and making them obey, he brought to the army the officer's qualities."

    I'm saying a factory foreman should also be used to bossing people around and getting them to follow orders.

    BubbaT on
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    SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    The union wasn't half as commited to that war as the CSA was though. If the Union citizenry had gone full tilt into that thing it would have been a much more rapid victory.

    Plus a society where nearly half of your citizens are slaves is not sustainable in any way. It will inevitably lead to an absurdly violent revolution.

    And then several years of violent civil war between different factions and foreign intervention.

    Imperial Russia, and the majority of its population being de facto serfs, showed that the model wasn't workable.

    Synthesis on
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    big lbig l Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    BubbaT wrote: »
    BubbaT wrote: »
    Again, this is largely a result of the Union's focus on Virginia, allowing the CSA to concentrate all their best fighters there. The 3rd chapter of Scheibert's book, which deals with infantry, specifically excepts the Western theater from his claims. If the per-man advantage was inherently Confederate, why wasn't that reflected in the West as well? It's not like Texans and Tennesseans didn't hunt.

    The midwest was very rural at the time. The same things that gave a man from a North Carolina farm an advantage over a New York City clerk is going to apply to a man born in the Ohio woods. Not that the Western front was entirely Midwestern men and the Eastern front was entirely Eastern men, but there's going to be enough of a bias to erase the per-man advantage of the South on the Eastern front.

    It's a matter of the per-man advantage not being inherent because of a North/South dichotomy, fighting valiantly for the Cause, blah blah blah, but because of the way individuals were raised. As an inverse to the example I gave earlier, a man from an Adirondack farm is going to have an advantage over a Virginian Tredegar steel worker. It's just that the South had a higher proportion of the "outdoorsy" types.

    It's not just about the rural-ness. The Union in the East was being commanded by officers ranging from mediocre to awful. McClellan was a great organizer, quartermaster and drillmaster - he'd have been perfect as Commandant of West Point, not so much in the field. Burnside was atrocious. Hooker helped produce Lee's greatest shining moment at Chancellorsville. Meade was solid but occassionally had bizarre lapses in judgement, such as Cold Harbor.

    Confederate generals in the East were far superior, even aside from legendary figures like Lee and Jackson. Beauregard, after being transferred to the West, nearly drove Grant into the Tennessee River at Shiloh, and would have done so the next morning if not for Grant being reinforced in the middle of the night. Joseph Johnston, after being transferred to the West, held his own against Sherman, even defeating Sherman at Kennesaw Mountain in 1864, by which time the Confederate Army was certainly not better per-man than the Union. Longstreet was largely responsible for the Confederate victory at Chickamauga, probably the CSA's finest moment in the Western theater, and out-generaled Lee himself at Seven Pines, Wilderness, and I would argue Gettysburg.

    Basically, if you replace the Union and Confederate rank-and-file with robots of identical fighting capability, the Confederacy still wins those early Eastern battles. Heck, the Confederacy wins those battles if the Union and Confederate soldiers trade uniforms. It's like how they used to describe football coach Bear Bryant: "He'll beat your guys with his guys, but he could also beat his guys with your guys."

    I have no idea what Scheibert is talking about regarding cavalry. He seems to want to argue that the South had a bunch of grand cavalry shock charges, and dismisses the "English" concept of cavalry as super-mobile infantry. In fact, that idea of cavalry as super-mobile infantry that fought while dismounted was the basis behind arguably the greatest American cavalary commander ever, the CSA's Nathaniel Bedford Forrest, who famously summarized his tactical approach as "get there first with the most men." Again we see a heavy bias towards the Eastern Theater, as Forrest was bedeviling the Union in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi, rather than running around Virginia with Lee.

    There's going to be a bias towards the Eastern theatre because that's where Scheibert was located. He's going to have a hell of a lot more experience with the ANV than, what, the Army of the Tennessee (IIRC, that's where Forrest was located... could be mistaken... either way, certainly wasn't the ANV).

    Even in the East cavalry weren't used as shock troops. JEB Stuart was nicknamed "The Eyes and Ears of the Confederacy" because his cavalry specialized in recon and forward screening (with more than a bit of supply raiding thrown in), not combat. The most combat effective part of Stuart's cavalry was probably the horse artillery.
    I also don't understand Scheibert's contention that a slaveowning agrarian population would necessarily produce better commanders than an industrialized society. It's not like the North was a bunch of communes, their factories had foremen who also needed to be able to motivate subordinates as much as any cotton farmer. While I certainly agree the South had better individual officers, I don't see why it's necessarily a result of antebellum Southern society.

    I don't remember that bit. The reason the Southern officer corps was so much better than the Northern was that the South was a much more martial society (ie, more people having a military career) and produced the majority of the pre-1860 officer corps. When the Southern leadership consists primarily of career officers and the Northern leadership consists of inexperienced political appointees meant to fill a void, of course the South is going to be better in that aspect!

    I think the discussion about the Southern commanding ability was one of the sections I disregarded. It talked about religion, did it not? I think his basic idea there was "the Southerner leader fights for God, while the Northern leader fights so he can get paid, therefore the Southerner is a superior commander" and so I just glossed over and ignored it. It's true to a small extent, but it wasn't one of his particularly compelling passages.

    In the "Infantry" chapter, Scheibert writes:

    "The Southerner, mostly of the planter class, grew up outdoors and loved hunting and sports. Used to bossing Negroes in numbers, attending to their needs, and making them obey, he brought to the army the officer's qualities."

    I'm saying a factory foreman should also be used to bossing people around and getting them to follow orders.

    You mind offering up a book recommendation or two? This is interesting.

    big l on
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    RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    [The Civil War], HOOH! What was it good for?

    iron-man-hit.jpg

    Rent on
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    BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    big l wrote: »

    You mind offering up a book recommendation or two? This is interesting.

    About any general/theater/battle in particular? The number of Civil War books out there is massive, you can find books on practically every minor skirmish that was fought in the 1860s.

    Lee's Lieutenants was one of the more notable books in the first half of the 20th century in examining the Confederate command structure, though as the title suggests it's very focused on the Eastern theater.

    Civil War Generalship: The Art of Command is a good comparison of 3 specific general vs general matchups, similar to the Commanders at War series on the Military Channel.

    America's Civil War: The Operational Battlefield is very in-depth, but also technical and grognard-y.

    And if you want to go whole hog, there's an 80-book reading list that was compiled by alt.war.civil.usa at

    http://www.faqs.org/faqs/civil-war-usa/reading-list/

    BubbaT on
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    PicardathonPicardathon Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Has anyone brought up the fact that the Civil War pushed the southerners out of congress, allowing for the passage of the Homestead Act and the law that would build the continental railroad (don't remember the name, gonna feel like a silly goose).
    Furthermore, it is noted in "Battle Cry of Freedom" that the Civil War was in no way a drain on the North's resources. In fact, the enormous amount of military demand could be considered the cause of the embryonic industry that grew to support it, industry that would build into our industrial revolution.
    The south is a drain on our resources today, and black people weren't truly freed, but your thesis is wrong on the other point, Qingu.

    Picardathon on
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    big lbig l Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    BubbaT wrote: »
    big l wrote: »

    You mind offering up a book recommendation or two? This is interesting.

    About any general/theater/battle in particular? The number of Civil War books out there is massive, you can find books on practically every minor skirmish that was fought in the 1860s.

    Lee's Lieutenants was one of the more notable books in the first half of the 20th century in examining the Confederate command structure, though as the title suggests it's very focused on the Eastern theater.

    Civil War Generalship: The Art of Command is a good comparison of 3 specific general vs general matchups, similar to the Commanders at War series on the Military Channel.

    America's Civil War: The Operational Battlefield is very in-depth, but also technical and grognard-y.

    And if you want to go whole hog, there's an 80-book reading list that was compiled by alt.war.civil.usa at

    http://www.faqs.org/faqs/civil-war-usa/reading-list/

    This is great, I read Foote but he wasn't grognardy enough for me.

    big l on
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    Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    BubbaT wrote: »
    It's not just about the rural-ness. The Union in the East was being commanded by officers ranging from mediocre to awful. McClellan was a great organizer, quartermaster and drillmaster - he'd have been perfect as Commandant of West Point, not so much in the field. Burnside was atrocious. Hooker helped produce Lee's greatest shining moment at Chancellorsville. Meade was solid but occassionally had bizarre lapses in judgement, such as Cold Harbor.

    Confederate generals in the East were far superior, even aside from legendary figures like Lee and Jackson. Beauregard, after being transferred to the West, nearly drove Grant into the Tennessee River at Shiloh, and would have done so the next morning if not for Grant being reinforced in the middle of the night. Joseph Johnston, after being transferred to the West, held his own against Sherman, even defeating Sherman at Kennesaw Mountain in 1864, by which time the Confederate Army was certainly not better per-man than the Union. Longstreet was largely responsible for the Confederate victory at Chickamauga, probably the CSA's finest moment in the Western theater, and out-generaled Lee himself at Seven Pines, Wilderness, and I would argue Gettysburg.

    Basically, if you replace the Union and Confederate rank-and-file with robots of identical fighting capability, the Confederacy still wins those early Eastern battles. Heck, the Confederacy wins those battles if the Union and Confederate soldiers trade uniforms. It's like how they used to describe football coach Bear Bryant: "He'll beat your guys with his guys, but he could also beat his guys with your guys."

    I do agree with most of what you're saying (both here and points below). The Southern advantage over the North early on was largely due to a superior officer corps. My point about the man to man advantage in the rank and file wasn't a completely negligible difference, especially really early on. I certainly didn't mean it as anything along the lines of "the North would've won the war a month in had the good strong fighting Southron men been a bunch of nambly-pambly city slickers like them Yankees." Honestly, I just brought it up as a little aside for people to chew on, I didn't expect it to be picked apart. :P

    As for your last thing, paragraph, yes, the Confederacy still would've won those battles. But to the same extent? With the same casualty ratios? I don't think so.

    Perhaps it's because it's 5:30 in the morning and I'm exhausted and mind-drained right now, but I had to stare at the "...trade uniforms" sentence for about 30 seconds wondering how exchanging uniforms would have any but the most insignificant, completely negligible effect on the war. :P

    As another aside, I've actually heard some pretty compelling arguments that McClellan got the short end of the historical stick and is unfairly judged. I don't entirely agree with them (the guy I was debating with about it seemed to be pretty much of the belief that had he gotten true support from Lincoln, McClellan was so skilled he would've been able to single-handedly take Richmond, and then probably hop in a few ships and conquer Europe as an encore), but it was enough for me to start to disagree with the general opinion of McClellan as an overcautious man who was too afraid to enter any sort of battle. A big part was getting shown some more accurate troop counts... The ones typically shown in Antietam are "present for duty" for the North and "engaged in battle" for the South, or something along those lines... it actually makes a pretty big difference and really cuts down the Northern numerical advantage.

    Even in the East cavalry weren't used as shock troops. JEB Stuart was nicknamed "The Eyes and Ears of the Confederacy" because his cavalry specialized in recon and forward screening (with more than a bit of supply raiding thrown in), not combat. The most combat effective part of Stuart's cavalry was probably the horse artillery.

    I recall Scheibert mostly mentioning them as raiders, as you say... He brought up a couple of stories of Stuart basically going deep behind enemy lines, and just materializing out of nowhere, wreaking general havoc, and then suddenly disappearing before organized resistance forming.
    In the "Infantry" chapter, Scheibert writes:

    "The Southerner, mostly of the planter class, grew up outdoors and loved hunting and sports. Used to bossing Negroes in numbers, attending to their needs, and making them obey, he brought to the army the officer's qualities."

    I'm saying a factory foreman should also be used to bossing people around and getting them to follow orders.

    I agree, hence me saying that was one of the blatantly biased bits of Scheibert that I glossed over, and that the Southern advantage was more a matter of experience and the fact that they were career officers rather than political appointees. :P

    Solomaxwell6 on
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    BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited March 2010
    McClellan's personal diary makes for interesting reading. After being given command he was feted by all manner of people (and boosted by undeniable popularity within the army itself) telling him that he was the saviour of the North and that only he could beat the South and so on. After about eight seconds he decided that this was the God's honest truth and that Lincoln and others in the government were standing in the way of his glorious victory and would they kindly stop bothering him? He developed a messianic complex pretty quickly, stating that his labours were the most important and most incredible ever to weigh on the shoulders of any man throughout the whole of history.

    Bogart on
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    Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    So, everybody always talks about how great the Southern commanders were, and how incompetent the northern commanders were (other than Grant). I wonder if that's really deserved. For most of the war, in most of the major battles, the South was on the defensive. And it just so happens that the new military technology- especially rifles- really favored a defensive army with an entrenched position. The only time Lee was majorly defeated, at Gettysburg, was when he faced the task of assaulting an entrenched Union position. It seems like a lot of their "tactical genius" was mostly the result of being on the lucky side of the technological shift.

    Pi-r8 on
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    Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    So, everybody always talks about how great the Southern commanders were, and how incompetent the northern commanders were (other than Grant). I wonder if that's really deserved. For most of the war, in most of the major battles, the South was on the defensive. And it just so happens that the new military technology- especially rifles- really favored a defensive army with an entrenched position. The only time Lee was majorly defeated, at Gettysburg, was when he faced the task of assaulting an entrenched Union position. It seems like a lot of their "tactical genius" was mostly the result of being on the lucky side of the technological shift.

    One can argue that the problem with Picket's Charge is that they didn't charge with enough troops due to Confederate commanders having about as much faith in the plan as a soggy cornflake. The "high water mark" was beyond the crucial wall. If the Confederate had blown the Union centre, i.e. enough reinforcements had been fed forward, then the Union army would have been shattered.

    While the victory would have been strictly phyrric (due to the large loss of Confederate men and the ambushing of the Confederate cavalry) the political fall out from a 'decisive' Confederate victory would be almost impossible to calculate (would it stiffen Union resolve, would it shatter the government?).

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    Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    So, everybody always talks about how great the Southern commanders were, and how incompetent the northern commanders were (other than Grant). I wonder if that's really deserved. For most of the war, in most of the major battles, the South was on the defensive. And it just so happens that the new military technology- especially rifles- really favored a defensive army with an entrenched position. The only time Lee was majorly defeated, at Gettysburg, was when he faced the task of assaulting an entrenched Union position. It seems like a lot of their "tactical genius" was mostly the result of being on the lucky side of the technological shift.
    The problem for Northern generals in the East is that, being so close to DC and the other media centers of the Northeast, they were constantly under a microscope. Any mistakes led to the media and politicians calling for your replacement. That meant that even the good Union generals in the East had a tough time gaining experience and learning from their mistakes.

    Grant made a bunch of mistakes in his campaigns in the West. But, he wasn't under the same level of scrutiny and micro-management by politicians as his colleagues back East. He was able to acquire experience and learn from his mistakes.

    That being said, MacLellan's timidity was inexcusable. He had all the resources and manpower he need to take Richmond early in the war, if he has just had the fortitude to push forward.

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    PantsBPantsB Fake Thomas Jefferson Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    My point about the man to man advantage in the rank and file wasn't a completely negligible difference, especially really early on. I certainly didn't mean it as anything along the lines of "the North would've won the war a month in had the good strong fighting Southron men been a bunch of nambly-pambly city slickers like them Yankees." Honestly, I just brought it up as a little aside for people to chew on, I didn't expect it to be picked apart. :P

    Yes, but the problem is that is malarkey. There's no basis for it in real life. The reason its being picked apart is because its part of the romanticizing of the South, where the Union is cast as a "horde" winning through sheer brute strength of numbers over the noble and individually superior Confederate who, unlike the soldiers who had been bribed, coerced or drafted by the aggressive and oppressive North, fought solely for the Cause and defense of their homeland with the nobility of a modern day ethnically pure Lancelot. Its part and parcel of the apologetic and revisionist framing of the Civil War to cast the Confederacy as the good guys.

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    legionofonelegionofone __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    Its been a good discussion so far, minus the pro South revisionism the last few pages. I saw people were mentioning the idea of Britain or France coming in to aid the South, and the pros and cons. I didn't see anyone who mentioned that either one joining the fight would be like 9/11 times 100 or so in the "insane responses" department, as far as the North goes. I'm thinking WWII Japanese Home Islands being invaded type responses.

    As far as what the Civil War was good for, I thought it pretty firmly established that the Federal Government supercedes the states. But then again I look around at these Tea Party whackos and the nonsense coming from them about "states' soverignty" and "nullification orders" and I wonder if we're going to have to refight this thing in my lifetime.

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    SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    TNC had a great post on slavery a few weeks ago.
    The Big Machine

    innocent choice, it would not be enough for him to simply realize slaveholding was wrong. Many slaveholders knew that well. He would have to emancipate his slaves, and at the very minimum risk the loss of personal and familial social status. More potently he risked bankrupting himself and his family, and virtually destroying any prospect of inheritance for his children. It's fine to think of manumitting slaves as a moral act. But it's also good, not to be crass, to think of it like walking away your house after you'd paid it off.  In my studies of the Civil War, I hear a lot about the impeccable honor of Robert E. Lee. But pictured above, is George Henry Thomas, the great Rock of Chickamuaga. Thomas, like Lee, was born to wealthy Virginia planters. And like Lee, Thomas, as he grew older, came to question the justness of slavery. Unlike Lee, when War came, Thomas fought for the Union, winning a series of tremendous victories, culminating in the destruction of the Army of Tennessee in 1864.  Arguably no general made fairer, and better, use of black soldiers than Thomas, who post-war, fought the Klan and worked to protect the freedman. For his courageous attempt to excise himself from the machine, Thomas earned the excommunication of his planter family, the enmity of Lost Causers, and the virtual amnesia of the country he fought to save. In light of that high price, I don't spend much time wondering why more people didn't walk Thomas's path. The game is rigged.  Hence, for me, the search for individual racists, and narrow individual acts of racism, is about as useful as the search for a pack of low-fat Oreos. I guess it helps. Kinda. We should be proud that in the 21st century we have a black president, the clearest evidence that white supremacy, and white racism, as a system of consumption, has been vanquished. But we should be humbled by the clear evidence that we don't really understand what we defeated, how we did it, or how it's legacy haunts us today.  I once thought the curse of not grappling with a system that sent 600,000 men to their deaths would be racial violence. Now, I think that curse might be the habit of sweeping things under the rug. In the case of people, it's fine. The old die and the young forget. But I'm not so worried that we don't get the deeper meanings behind Selma. I'm worried that intellectual laziness is addictive. We can get away with not understanding slavery; the 99 cent hamburger, not so much. People forgive. They have to. Planets are different.

    Speaker on
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    Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    As far as what the Civil War was good for, I thought it pretty firmly established that the Federal Government supercedes the states. But then again I look around at these Tea Party whackos and the nonsense coming from them about "states' soverignty" and "nullification orders" and I wonder if we're going to have to refight this thing in my lifetime.
    Are you wiling to fight to force Texas or some other state to remain in the Union? There's no real moral issue worth fighting over- I would personally be opposed to using force against a State or States where the majority of people decided they no longer wanted to be part of the USA.

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    Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Being one single country, indivisible, isn't a moral issue worth fighting over to you? Upholding the law, which states that secession is illegal, isn't a moral issue worth fighting over to you? Man, you are one hell of a goose.

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    BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    As another aside, I've actually heard some pretty compelling arguments that McClellan got the short end of the historical stick and is unfairly judged. I don't entirely agree with them (the guy I was debating with about it seemed to be pretty much of the belief that had he gotten true support from Lincoln, McClellan was so skilled he would've been able to single-handedly take Richmond, and then probably hop in a few ships and conquer Europe as an encore), but it was enough for me to start to disagree with the general opinion of McClellan as an overcautious man who was too afraid to enter any sort of battle. A big part was getting shown some more accurate troop counts... The ones typically shown in Antietam are "present for duty" for the North and "engaged in battle" for the South, or something along those lines... it actually makes a pretty big difference and really cuts down the Northern numerical advantage.

    I dunno, some of his failures in recon/intelligence were pretty glaring. He repeatedly overestimated the size of the Confederate army, leading him to use tactics that would be effective when outnumbered - even though the Army of the Potomac's size advantage during his command rarely dipped below 2:1. This led to an army that displayed almost no initiative.

    For example, at 1st Bull Run in July 1861 the Confederates deployed ~35k troops. By August 8 McClellan estimated the rebel army to number 100k, causing him to declare a state of emergency in DC. By August 19 he believed the rebels to number 150k. In truth, the Confederate army numbered ~60k at its peak in 1861. McClellan's Army of the Potomac, OTOH, was well over 100k at the time. McClellan should have been on the offensive of the defensive.

    Another example is the "Quaker Guns" - where Confederate general Joseph Johnston had for months fooled McClellan into thinking the Confederates had numerous cannon ready to annihilate any Union advance. The "guns" turned out to be logs painted black.

    McClellan did have some outstanding qualities that contributed significantly to the Union's victory, they just weren't the type that contributed to battlefield command. He was a great organizer and excelled at logistics. He was incredibly important in terms of training and drilling the Army of the Potomac from an armed mob into an actual army. In another era or role, his wartime service might be as highly regarded as Baron von Steuben (Washington's Inspector General in the American Revolution) or George Marshall (US Army Chief of Staff in WWII).

    As for getting support from Lincoln, remember that McClellan was incredibly insubordinate. If he were around today he'd probably be court-martialed. He called Lincoln a baboon who was unworthy of the Presidency, and described Lincoln's creation of the War Board as a plot to ensure the failure of the Penninsula campaign. When Lincoln visited his house he famously made the President wait for 30 minutes before having a servant tell Lincoln that McClellan had gone to bed and wouldn't seeh Lincoln that night. He called his superior, General Scott "either a traitor or an incompetent."
    Bogart wrote: »
    McClellan's personal diary makes for interesting reading. After being given command he was feted by all manner of people (and boosted by undeniable popularity within the army itself) telling him that he was the saviour of the North and that only he could beat the South and so on. After about eight seconds he decided that this was the God's honest truth and that Lincoln and others in the government were standing in the way of his glorious victory and would they kindly stop bothering him? He developed a messianic complex pretty quickly, stating that his labours were the most important and most incredible ever to weigh on the shoulders of any man throughout the whole of history.

    This attitude of McClellan's is reflected in this delusional letter to his wife in 1861 (pdf):
    I find myself in a new and strange position here - Presdt, Cabinet, Genl Scott & all deferring to me - by some strange operation of magic I seem to have become the power of the land. ... I almost think that were I to win some small success now I could become Dictator or anything else that might please me - but nothing of that kind would please me - therefore I won't be Dictator. Admirable self-denial!

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    Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Being one single country, indivisible, isn't a moral issue worth fighting over to you? Upholding the law, which states that secession is illegal, isn't a moral issue worth fighting over to you? Man, you are one hell of a goose.
    Secession is legal if agreed to by the leaving States and the remaining States.

    If a bunch of guys take up arms and claim their State is now independent, that's rebellion. But, if the people of a State decide, through the democractic process, that they no longer want to be part of the USA and commence negotiations for the departure of that State from the Union, would you support sending in the Army? I wouldn't.

    If it ever gets to the point where this country starts to fracture, I'd rather see it split up using the Czechoslovakia model, rather than the Yugoslavia one.

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    Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Being one single country, indivisible, isn't a moral issue worth fighting over to you? Upholding the law, which states that secession is illegal, isn't a moral issue worth fighting over to you? Man, you are one hell of a goose.
    Secession is legal if agreed to by the leaving States and the remaining States.
    Cite? I'm pretty sure that secession is illegal no matter what method is used.

    Captain Carrot on
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    HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Dammit, Shepard!Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    As far as what the Civil War was good for, I thought it pretty firmly established that the Federal Government supercedes the states. But then again I look around at these Tea Party whackos and the nonsense coming from them about "states' soverignty" and "nullification orders" and I wonder if we're going to have to refight this thing in my lifetime.
    Are you wiling to fight to force Texas or some other state to remain in the Union? There's no real moral issue worth fighting over- I would personally be opposed to using force against a State or States where the majority of people decided they no longer wanted to be part of the USA.

    The Southern states didn't even try to leave the Union by legal means. Hell, they didn't even wait for an actual antislavery bill to appear in Congress. They just flipped their collective shit when Lincoln was elected. Oh and then they attacked a federal military base.

    If Texas wanted to amend the Constitution to allow their secession, it would at the very least be a debate worth having. But if Texas had a unilateral secession plan that entailed invading, say, Arizona, things would be very different.

    Hachface on
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    HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Dammit, Shepard!Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Being one single country, indivisible, isn't a moral issue worth fighting over to you? Upholding the law, which states that secession is illegal, isn't a moral issue worth fighting over to you? Man, you are one hell of a goose.
    Secession is legal if agreed to by the leaving States and the remaining States.
    Cite? I'm pretty sure that secession is illegal no matter what method is used.

    Anything is possible with a constitutional amendment.

    Hachface on
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    Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Being one single country, indivisible, isn't a moral issue worth fighting over to you? Upholding the law, which states that secession is illegal, isn't a moral issue worth fighting over to you? Man, you are one hell of a goose.
    Secession is legal if agreed to by the leaving States and the remaining States.
    Cite? I'm pretty sure that secession is illegal no matter what method is used.
    SCOTUS has ruled that unilateral secession is illegal. But, the Constitution is silent on the question of secession that has been agreed upon by the States. Barring a SCOTUS ruling to the contrary, the States retain the power under the 10th Amendment to change the membership of the USA.

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    legionofonelegionofone __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    As far as what the Civil War was good for, I thought it pretty firmly established that the Federal Government supercedes the states. But then again I look around at these Tea Party whackos and the nonsense coming from them about "states' soverignty" and "nullification orders" and I wonder if we're going to have to refight this thing in my lifetime.
    Are you wiling to fight to force Texas or some other state to remain in the Union? There's no real moral issue worth fighting over- I would personally be opposed to using force against a State or States where the majority of people decided they no longer wanted to be part of the USA.

    I would be first in line to crush the shit out of those idiots in Texas.

    I'm sorry, but you don't get to take the ball and go home because you don't like the rules. The rest of the states would not vote to allow Texas to "peacefully" secede, and I highly doubt the federal government is going to allow it. Have you heard any of the tea party rallies down there? The ones where the governor is toying with the idea of succession and others are screaming "Don't mess with Texas!!" like its 1860?

    You don't like the fact that hey the rest of the US isn't into executing retards and minorities on the basis of "oh yeah this dude I know is totally legit said that he totally did let's hook him up" and want you to knock it off? Sorry but that's called being part of the United States.

    Texas (and the majority of the South) is more than happy to suck from the federal teat when it benefits them. They don't get to invalidate what "dem weird coasties" vote for on a federal level while being more than happy to take our tax dollars.
    SCOTUS has ruled that unilateral secession is illegal. But, the Constitution is silent on the question of secession that has been agreed upon by the States. Barring a SCOTUS ruling to the contrary, the States retain the power under the 10th Amendment to change the membership of the USA.

    Yeah, but the Civil War was the "answer" to this question. The people who are flirting with this mentality are playing a really dangerous game with our republic for their own gain.

    legionofone on
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    enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Being one single country, indivisible, isn't a moral issue worth fighting over to you? Upholding the law, which states that secession is illegal, isn't a moral issue worth fighting over to you? Man, you are one hell of a goose.
    Secession is legal if agreed to by the leaving States and the remaining States.
    Cite? I'm pretty sure that secession is illegal no matter what method is used.
    SCOTUS has ruled that unilateral secession is illegal. But, the Constitution is silent on the question of secession that has been agreed upon by the States. Barring a SCOTUS ruling to the contrary, the States retain the power under the 10th Amendment to change the membership of the USA.

    Scalia was just asked about this. And he told the states that they could kindly fuck off and stay in the Union.

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    Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I would be first in line to crush the shit out of those idiots in Texas.
    That puts you in the same camp as Slobodan Milosevic, then.
    I'm sorry, but you don't get to take the ball and go home because you don't like the rules. The rest of the states would not vote to allow Texas to "peacefully" secede, and I highly doubt the federal government is going to allow it. Have you heard any of the tea party rallies down there? The ones where the governor is toying with the idea of succession and others are screaming "Don't mess with Texas!!" like its 1860?
    Why do you care if they want to leave? It's generally accepted that people have the right of self-determination. That even applies to people who you might not like. Texas peacefully leaving the USA after a resolution of releveant issues (allocation of the national debt, status of Federal property in Texas etc.) doesn't harm you or me in the slightest. Why would you want to force people to stay in the USA if they did not want to?
    You don't like the fact that hey the rest of the US isn't into executing retards and minorities on the basis of "oh yeah this dude I know is totally legit said that he totally did let's hook him up" and want you to knock it off? Sorry but that's called being part of the United States.
    Um, what? What does that have to do with the question of peaceful secession? I doubt anyone in Texas wants to secede because they feel they're not executing enough people currently.
    Texas (and the majority of the South) is more than happy to suck from the federal teat when it benefits them. They don't get to invalidate what "dem weird coasties" vote for on a federal level while being more than happy to take our tax dollars.
    Texas pretty much breaks even when it comes to the money it pays into the Treasury versus what it gets back. But, if they were a drain on the Federal treasury, wouldn't that be an argument in favor of letting them go?
    Yeah, but the Civil War was the "answer" to this question. The people who are flirting with this mentality are playing a really dangerous game with our republic for their own gain.
    The Civil War had nothing to do with States amicably leaving the Union. If that had been the approach of the Southern States, they might well have achieved independence.

    I share your opposition to armed rebellion as a mechanism for secession. But, I can't understand why you would favor forcing a State to stay in the US if they wanted to peacefully secede.

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    Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Being one single country, indivisible, isn't a moral issue worth fighting over to you? Upholding the law, which states that secession is illegal, isn't a moral issue worth fighting over to you? Man, you are one hell of a goose.
    Secession is legal if agreed to by the leaving States and the remaining States.
    Cite? I'm pretty sure that secession is illegal no matter what method is used.
    SCOTUS has ruled that unilateral secession is illegal. But, the Constitution is silent on the question of secession that has been agreed upon by the States. Barring a SCOTUS ruling to the contrary, the States retain the power under the 10th Amendment to change the membership of the USA.

    Scalia was just asked about this. And he told the states that they could kindly fuck off and stay in the Union.
    Hre was talking about unilateral secession, which is pretty clearly unconstitutional. I don't think anyone on this thread disagrees with that.

    On the other hand, the States and/or Congress do have the power to change the borders of the Union by adding and removing States. It seems weird to claim that, barring violent secession, there is no way for States to leave the Union (even with approval from the remaining States).

    Modern Man on
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    BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Grant made a bunch of mistakes in his campaigns in the West. But, he wasn't under the same level of scrutiny and micro-management by politicians as his colleagues back East. He was able to acquire experience and learn from his mistakes.

    A second big difference was McClellan was "The Man" in the East. Grant wasn't "The Man" for a large part of his service in the West. Both Halleck and Buell outranked him, and Halleck pretty much hated Grant, believing him to be a drunk. After Halleck was promoted back to DC Grant fared much better, capturing Vicksburg and then securing Tennessee in the Chattanooga campaign. Being "The Man" is like being quarterback of a football team - you get more credit when things go well, and more blame when they don't.

    A third big difference is McClellan never had the kind of massive successes that Grant had in the West, the kind that would make people forget his mistakes. Grant made a mistake at Shiloh, but he also captured 12k Confederates at Fort Donelson. And then captured another 30k at Vicksburg, while also seizing Union control of the Mississippi and splitting the Confederacy. McClellan at best fought Lee to a draw at Antietam, he never had successes like Grant's to balance the scales against his mistakes.

    BubbaT on
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    legionofonelegionofone __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    I would be first in line to crush the shit out of those idiots in Texas.
    That puts you in the same camp as Slobodan Milosevic, then.

    Haha haha. After seeing you in the Isreal thread I shouldn't be surprised.

    If you want to make a better analogy, you should say it puts Slobodan Milosevic in the same camp as William Tecumseh Sherman.

    See what I did there.

    Why do you care if they want to leave? It's generally accepted that people have the right of self-determination. That even applies to people who you might not like. Texas peacefully leaving the USA after a resolution of releveant issues (allocation of the national debt, status of Federal property in Texas etc.) doesn't harm you or me in the slightest. Why would you want to force people to stay in the USA if they did not want to?

    Same reason I care about case law and legal precedent. Because if you let one go, then there's nothing that stops the others from going. And you're pretending like the people leading this charge are rational actors, which they most certainly are NOT. You're either being a silly goose or purposefully obtuse in pretending that this is going to be handled with a handshake and a fare thee well. There is a good minority in Texas that is itching for a fight with the federal government that involves firearms and bodies everywhere.
    Um, what? What does that have to do with the question of peaceful secession? I doubt anyone in Texas wants to secede because they feel they're not executing enough people currently.

    Again, you're either being a silly goose or willfully obtuse. They don't like the federal government telling them how to do ANYTHING. They want to secede because they don't like the fact that DC says you can have these guns but not those, or that gays are people, or can't kick the darkies out of your restaurant or schools.
    Texas pretty much breaks even when it comes to the money it pays into the Treasury versus what it gets back. But, if they were a drain on the Federal treasury, wouldn't that be an argument in favor of letting them go?

    Texas only breaks even because of the massive (federal) military presence there that artificially raises the population and tax base. Take that away and you've got...oil. And your second "argument" takes about a second to rip apart. If Texas is a drain, do we really need "Cowboy Mexico" as well as "Narco Mexico" on our borders?
    The answer is no.


    I share your opposition to armed rebellion as a mechanism for secession. But, I can't understand why you would favor forcing a State to stay in the US if they wanted to peacefully secede.

    Because we're viewing this through different prisms. You see this as being a polite business arrangement. A brother moving out of his parent's house. I see this as a threat to the republic being orchestrated by private corporate entities who are wrapping themselves in the mantle of "small government" to try and weaken federal government regulations. They're more than happy to use the disgruntled, poorly educated white underclass as their foot soldiers in this and present it as a "new Confederacy" without saying such.

    In response to your edit, the Confederate States, being as how they came about, weren't going to leave "peacefully". The entire idea of a war against the Federal Government had consumed the movement almost as much as the argument about the slavery issue.

    These people are killing police officers and flying planes into federal buildings for fuck's sake. These are not people who are grounded in reality. These are people who think that the government is a bunch of jack booted thugs who are going to make them quarter inner city families in their houses and take all their guns before shoving them into re-education camps.

    legionofone on
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    joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Class Traitor Smoke-filled roomRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    The very first thing I thought about after reading the OP was that Ron Paul basically had the same things to say during the last presidential primary. He got ripped apart for being "unpatriotic", "how dare you disagree with Lincoln", etc.

    Not saying that the viewpoint itself is bad, it's just curious to me to see a viewpoint of Paul's shared on these boards.

    joshofalltrades on
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    Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Haha haha. After seeing you in the Isreal thread I shouldn't be surprised.

    If you want to make a better analogy, you should say it puts Slobodan Milosevic in the same camp as William Tecumseh Sherman.

    See what I did there.
    You made a false analogy. Sherman worked to put down a violent rebellion. Milosevic opposed peaceful attempts of various Yugoslav Republics to go their own way. There is a difference.

    Same reason I care about case law and legal precedent. Because if you let one go, then there's nothing that stops the others from going.
    So what? Assuming everyone goes peacefully, what do you care? If the people of a State or States no longer want to be part of the US, we'd be better off without them.
    And you're pretending like the people leading this charge are rational actors, which they most certainly are NOT. You're either being a silly goose or purposefully obtuse in pretending that this is going to be handled with a handshake and a fare thee well. There is a good minority in Texas that is itching for a fight with the federal government that involves firearms and bodies everywhere.
    We've already discussed the issue of violent secession and we're in agreement that it's illegal and unconstitutional, so why do you keep falling back to that issue?
    Again, you're either being a silly goose or willfully obtuse. They don't like the federal government telling them how to do ANYTHING. They want to secede because they don't like the fact that DC says you can have these guns but not those, or that gays are people, or can't kick the darkies out of your restaurant or schools.
    Again, so what? No one would be forced to live in an independent Texas. If the new nation did not suit them, people would be free to leave and re-settle in the US.
    Texas only breaks even because of the massive (federal) military presence there that artificially raises the population and tax base.
    A large Federal presence actually means that a State is getting tax Dollars from the Feds. So, if you took those military bases away the ratio of tax Dollars flowing into the treasury from Texas compared to what flows back would actually increase. You haven't thought this point through.
    Because we're viewing this through different prisms. You see this as being a polite business arrangement. A brother moving out of his parent's house. I see this as a threat to the republic being orchestrated by private corporate entities who are wrapping themselves in the mantle of "small government" to try and weaken federal government regulations. They're more than happy to use the disgruntled, poorly educated white underclass as their foot soldiers in this and present it as a "new Confederacy" without saying such.
    Again, so what? If you dislike Texans and other Southerners so much, I'd think you'd be happy to see them go.

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    Mr. PokeylopeMr. Pokeylope Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    As far as what the Civil War was good for, I thought it pretty firmly established that the Federal Government supercedes the states. But then again I look around at these Tea Party whackos and the nonsense coming from them about "states' soverignty" and "nullification orders" and I wonder if we're going to have to refight this thing in my lifetime.
    Are you wiling to fight to force Texas or some other state to remain in the Union? There's no real moral issue worth fighting over- I would personally be opposed to using force against a State or States where the majority of people decided they no longer wanted to be part of the USA.

    I would be willing to let them go and then treat Texas just like every other oil rich country with a longing for American Democracy. Can't you just hear their cries for freedom? After we bomb their cities we will be welcomed as liberators by a thankful people. We'll set up special camps to take care of the Texans needs and help them find productive work. Plus by putting Texan resources in the hands of Americans we will insure those resources are used with greater efficiency and would be able to pay for the Liberation without costing the US anything.

    It would be easier than Iraq too, the insurgents would be too fat to run away.

    Mr. Pokeylope on
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    legionofonelegionofone __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    You made a false analogy. Sherman worked to put down a violent rebellion. Milosevic opposed peaceful attempts of various Yugoslav Republics to go their own way. There is a difference.

    Uh no, that would be you. You've presented no evidence to lead anyone to believe that its going to be a "peaceful" secession when history and current events all point towards a violent rebellion.

    We've already discussed the issue of violent secession and we're in agreement that it's illegal and unconstitutional, so why do you keep falling back to that issue?

    Because you keep pretending its going to be peaceful. Like in the Isreal thread where you maintain that if Hamas laid down their arms Isreal wouldn't engage in a massive land grand.
    Again, so what? No one would be forced to live in an independent Texas. If the new nation did not suit them, people would be free to leave and re-settle in the US.

    If you can't see the huge immigration issues that would cause, plus the problems with having a religious dictatorship on our borders, well I really don't know what to say.

    A large Federal presence actually means that a State is getting tax Dollars from the Feds. So, if you took those military bases away the ratio of tax Dollars flowing into the treasury from Texas compared to what flows back would actually increase. You haven't thought this point through.

    Way to strawman. I pointed out that in response to your contention that Texas does just fine when it comes to balancing out tax dollars. And it would cost MORE in the short term. Those bases wouldn't just magically disappear, they'd have to be moved. Fort Hood is the largest base in the continental US, last I checked. You can't just plop that down somewhere. Fort Sam Houston is the headquarters for the US Army Medical Command.

    This cost alone, even if it was in some sort of peaceful scenario, would run in the billions of dollars.
    Again, so what? If you dislike Texans and other Southerners so much, I'd think you'd be happy to see them go.

    Because I don't want to see the rise of a third world theocratic plutocracy on the borders of the US? I'd rather have them drug to glory and prosperity, kicking and screaming the entire way then worry about them at my back the entire time?

    You really haven't made any counter argument here, just a lot of hand waving that "no way it wouldn't be like that" and everything will work out just fine in the end. Its not going to if things keep getting worst.

    legionofone on
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    BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    It's a nice thought exercise, but Texas is too valuable to the US to imagine them being able to negotiate (read: buy) their secession. It's #2 in gross state product, and a high-ranking state in a number of economic sectors.

    This isn't the 1830s, when Texas was a bunch of nothing and Mexico didn't even care that much about losing it.

    BubbaT on
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    joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Class Traitor Smoke-filled roomRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    BubbaT wrote: »
    It's a nice thought exercise, but Texas is too valuable to the US to imagine them being able to negotiate (read: buy) their secession. It's #2 in gross state product, and a high-ranking state in a number of economic sectors.

    This isn't the 1830s, when Texas was a bunch of nothing and Mexico didn't even care that much about losing it.

    This is correct. It fails hard at education, though.

    joshofalltrades on
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    Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Uh no, that would be you. You've presented no evidence to lead anyone to believe that its going to be a "peaceful" secession when history and current events all point towards a violent rebellion.
    Well, you're the one arguing in favor of using violence against seceding States.

    If you can't see the huge immigration issues that would cause, plus the problems with having a religious dictatorship on our borders, well I really don't know what to say.
    Except, that's not what we'd have on our border in the case of a secession by Texas or any other State. The complaint of people like the Tea Partiers is that the Federal government is too oppressive, not that it's not oppressive enough. The idea that they would secede and form a dictatorship is just silly.

    Way to strawman. I pointed out that in response to your contention that Texas does just fine when it comes to balancing out tax dollars. And it would cost MORE in the short term. Those bases wouldn't just magically disappear, they'd have to be moved. Fort Hood is the largest base in the continental US, last I checked. You can't just plop that down somewhere. Fort Sam Houston is the headquarters for the US Army Medical Command.
    Your opposition to secession comes down to moving costs?
    Because I don't want to see the rise of a third world theocratic plutocracy on the borders of the US? I'd rather have them drug to glory and prosperity, kicking and screaming the entire way then worry about them at my back the entire time?
    You'd rather force people, at gunpoint if necessary, to stay under your preferred government than peacefully exercise their right of self-determination? No offense, but you're kind of making the Tea Partiers' argument for them. Secessionists may or may not be silly gooses, but they don't actually want to force anyone to live under their favored governmental system.
    You really haven't made any counter argument here, just a lot of hand waving that "no way it wouldn't be like that" and everything will work out just fine in the end. Its not going to if things keep getting worst.
    Your arguments consist of a self-fulfilling prophecy- you support using force to put down peaceful secession, then argue that secession would be violent. Well, duh.

    Modern Man on
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