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Author Topic: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread  (Read 761 times)

Offline Union General

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OK, this is a bit late (The war began 150 years and 7 months ago), but I figured I'd start up a thread better late than never. Discuss!   :icon_cool:

The first shots were fired in April, 1861. Let's pick up from there, shall we?



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Offline MrDWhitey

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2011, 01:28:03 PM »
I would like to reiterate how the better looking side won.
I thought he should act responsibly and just kill himself.

Offline wissenlander

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2011, 01:29:01 PM »
I wanted to go to the events at Manassas on the Anniversary but it was just too hot (and too crowded).  I ended up going to Chancellorsville and the Wilderness instead.  Meant to be a driving tour, but ended up getting out and walking around a fair bit anyway.  Not nearly as many people.
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Offline Union General

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2011, 01:36:00 PM »
I was initially planning to attend the reenactment with my unit at Manassas, but the weather turned me away from it. Wool+100-degree weather=very unhappy reenactors.

Interesting fact: The Battle of Fredericksburg is always depicted as being icy-cold. However, the actual temperature was somewhere around the upper 30's in the morning, and warmed up to the high 40's and low 50's later in the day.


I would like to reiterate how the better looking side won.

Indeed. The Union Army could actually manufacture uniforms. Confederate soldiers, more often than not, went into battle in what were essentially street clothes at the time.

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Offline wissenlander

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2011, 01:39:56 PM »
I heard a lot of reenactors shied away from the event which is unfortunate.  I had a buddy in town and he and his girl wanted to do something so I probably would've ended up sucking it up and going if not for the heat.

Also, there's been a bit of a stink going on at Brandy Station.  A fellow who lives on Fleetwood Hill started digging out his pond to expand it for jet skiing purposes and it ended up flooding out after a heavy rain.  It was halted becuase the Army Corps of Engineers were made aware of it and weren't happy he damned up a creek and didn't get the proper authorization.  Huge pissing contest between the current president of the Brandy Station Foundation (who was ok with all the actions) and former board members (most of whom resigned after they realized they didn't like the way the guy operated).
« Last Edit: November 18, 2011, 01:44:26 PM by wissenlander »
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Offline commandant

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2011, 08:24:55 PM »
It proves that being better was not match for having more.   Or rather if you are going to fight a war with somebody that has more soldiers than you get it over quickly :)

Offline S.O.F

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2011, 08:30:24 PM »
The Confederacy = The Alliance of Cotton and Ignorance
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Offline commandant

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2011, 09:15:20 PM »
I think that is making the case a lot simplier than it is.   The confederacy boasted some of the best minds in the world, a further vice president of the US fought for the confederacy.   I think people are underestimating how important State loyalty was to people in the south :)

Offline Inarticulate

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2011, 12:11:22 AM »
Well we all though the South would beat you Yanks.
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Offline oak_prince

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2011, 12:35:53 AM »
I find Lee and Jackson a lot more likable than Grant and Sherman. I mean, it seems silly to "cheer" for one side when you're reading about a historical war and know the outcome. But still.  :happy:
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Offline GamesPoet

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2011, 12:37:01 AM »
How are you defining likeability?
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Offline t12161991

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2011, 01:55:18 AM »
It proves that being better was not match for having more.

Except that they were not, you know, better. Union training, equipment, and transportation was better in every way than that of the south. I will give you the south had better generals for the first half of the war though.
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Offline oak_prince

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2011, 02:36:41 AM »
How are you defining likeability?

Grant's drunkenness and attrition tactics really rub me the wrong way. He and Sherman targeted civilians to make the South tired of war - also not cool in my book.
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Offline t12161991

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2011, 03:57:02 AM »
Many horrible things have been done in the course of history. Those tactics won the war.

Not saying that they're good in any sort of sense, but bad things happen on all sides.
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Offline GamesPoet

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2011, 06:35:04 PM »
Grant and Sherman recognized that the Confederate armies had to be eliminated as a force that could fight.  They couldn't be left in the field nor supplied and supported by anyone.  And it is my understanding that Grant's drunkness tended towards being observed when he wasn't on campaign, if I recall correctly, yet a bummer that anyone has such battles in life with things like alcohol.
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Offline commandant

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2011, 06:55:04 PM »
It proves that being better was not match for having more.

Except that they were not, you know, better. Union training, equipment, and transportation was better in every way than that of the south. I will give you the south had better generals for the first half of the war though.

The general leadership and training of the Confed army, at least in the first half of the war was far better than that of the union.   This can be seen mostly, but not only, in the cavalry units.   It is only when the union's more (the fact they could withstand early losses etc) kicked in that the confed started loosing.   Also it is worth noting, the command was far better in the east then in the west for the confed and better in the west than in the east for the union.

The equipment of the confed was not worse than that of the union, just the union had more of it, a lot more of it.

Offline Union General

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2011, 06:58:26 PM »
Well we all though the South would beat you Yanks.

Up until 1862.  :biggriin:
If I recall correctly, your Lord Palmerston announced after the Battle of Antietam that Great Britain would not recognize the Confederacy.

How are you defining likeability?

Grant's drunkenness and attrition tactics really rub me the wrong way. He and Sherman targeted civilians to make the South tired of war - also not cool in my book.

The thing is, the tactics worked. Were their ethics questionable? Sure. However, it was a surefire way to end the war quickly.

Grant and Sherman recognized that the Confederate armies had to be eliminated as a force that could fight.  They couldn't be left in the field nor supplied and supported by anyone.  And it is my understanding that Grant's drunkness tended towards being observed when he wasn't on campaign, if I recall correctly, yet a bummer that anyone has such battles in life with things like alcohol.

The reason for his drunkenness was actually his rampant depression. While he was away from his wife and son, he went into several different depressive episodes, and performed much better when they were actually, you know, around.


It proves that being better was not match for having more.

Except that they were not, you know, better. Union training, equipment, and transportation was better in every way than that of the south. I will give you the south had better generals for the first half of the war though.

The Union had a sizable manufacturing base, whereas the Confederacy had to import or improvise a good amount of its weaponry. Its first ironclad, the CSS Virginia, was actually made of melted-down railroad iron cast over a ship frame. The Union Army was also able to draw from an (essentially) infinite pool of money, equipment, resources, and, most of all, manpower. Although Chancellorsville was a slaughter, it cost the Army of Northern Virginia a sizable chunk of its fighting force. Moral and tactical victory? Very much so. Strategic victory? Debatable.

I'm also always willing to argue that the railroads won the war for the Union Army. When the war broke out, the government basically nationalized the entire railroad network and turned it into a giant war machine. Yes, the Confederacy had a railroad network. However, the system was in a horrible state of disrepair and had a whole variety of gauges (track widths), ranging from standard (about 1.4 meters, or 4 feet, 8.5 inches) to broad gauges of approximately 1.52 meters or 5 feet. Interchanges between the two interfered horribly with efficiency and productivity. Locomotive technology also lagged slightly behind the North, and the railroads were one of Sherman's primary targets when he marched through Georgia.

It proves that being better was not match for having more.

Except that they were not, you know, better. Union training, equipment, and transportation was better in every way than that of the south. I will give you the south had better generals for the first half of the war though.

The general leadership and training of the Confed army, at least in the first half of the war was far better than that of the union.   This can be seen mostly, but not only, in the cavalry units.   It is only when the union's more (the fact they could withstand early losses etc) kicked in that the confed started loosing.   Also it is worth noting, the command was far better in the east then in the west for the confed and better in the west than in the east for the union.

The equipment of the confed was not worse than that of the union, just the union had more of it, a lot more of it.

Their artillery was also a good deal behind, and by the end of 1863, the Confederate economy was fairly dead. Inflation was rampant, and cotton diplomacy had failed miserably. 


Just my two cents (In Union currency, of course. I won't accept Confederate money.)

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Offline jlutin

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2011, 03:15:04 PM »
Grant's tactics were not dispicable.  The union was fighing an offensive war, on the enemy's territory.  An enemy that had the full support of it's citizens.  That is always a very difficult proposition.

If Grant's tactics had been used from day one, the war would have been much shorter and the over all pain much less.  I say that and it might be incorrect.  You cannot minimize the importance of the Union taking the Mississippi.  When that was accomplished, the Union was capable of assaulting a wide swath of the Confederacy by water at will.  If the East had used Grant's tactics from day one, the fight (and better generals might have moved west and the western campaign would have been quite different.
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Offline Thomas Aagaard

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2011, 03:58:24 PM »
Grant's drunkenness and attrition tactics really rub me the wrong way. He and Sherman targeted civilians to make the South tired of war - also not cool in my book.
1.The drunkness is a myth.

2. So they should have gone on only fighting the CSA armies and let the war drag on another 4 years and another 400.000 dead?
(offcause that is only if Lincoln still won the elections)
Yes, it was brutal, but it ended the war far quicker and with fewer dead than doing it the "old" way.
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Offline GamesPoet

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2011, 05:37:33 PM »
Those interested in the Pennisula Campaign in the Spring of 1862, I've continued to be fascinated by this lesser known and visited fighting, Wargames Illustrated, in Issue 287, Sept 2011, has articles on the Seven Days fighting, including reviewing Pender's activities, Mechanicsville(with a scenario), Gaines Mill (with a scenario), the Battle of Glendale (with a scenario), and a brief round up regarding Malvern Hill.

I haven't painted any Civil War soldiers since my youth, but this has gotten me thinking that I might do some soon.
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"Until death it is all life." Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Offline commandant

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2011, 06:25:31 PM »
Those interested in the Pennisula Campaign in the Spring of 1862, I've continued to be fascinated by this lesser known and visited fighting, Wargames Illustrated, in Issue 287, Sept 2011, has articles on the Seven Days fighting, including reviewing Pender's activities, Mechanicsville(with a scenario), Gaines Mill (with a scenario), the Battle of Glendale (with a scenario), and a brief round up regarding Malvern Hill.

I haven't painted any Civil War soldiers since my youth, but this has gotten me thinking that I might do some soon.

I have it, it is very interesting.   I am thinking of getting into ACW or Historical in general if there are people to play in Brussels?

Offline Fandir Nightshade

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2011, 12:17:35 PM »
So the end justifies the means.....interesting and I disagree.

Offline wissenlander

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2011, 03:02:29 PM »
Grant and Sherman's issues are generally overblown but I wouldn't call them straight out myths. 

Grant's drinking issues are summed up here, I believe:  http://hnn.us/articles/42366.html  I've never really gone into great detail of how much of a drunk he was or wasn't, but as is generally the case I think it lies somewhere in the middle.

My issue with Sherman is that he sets himself a set of rules and then says similar tactics are under handed by the enemy.  I don't believe he actually specifically targeted civilian property for destruction, though not much was really done to stop extra damages.  Seem to recall they were a bit rougher in South Carolina, too, since that was the birthplace of the rebellion.  Orders were given to not harm anyone but his whole campaign was designed specifically to live off the land.  The route he took was designed to reap the biggest reward.  Reason I think this is a generally overblown issue is that both armies lived off the land.  Sometimes they'd pay, but in case of the CSA that money was near worthless towards the end.  I guess it's the intent and the fact Sherman proclaimed it the campaign to break the back of the south that digs people the wrong way.  Pope gets a similar bad rep when he takes over in Virginia and then the issues late in the war in the Shenandoah and in the parts of Virginia where Mosby operated.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 03:07:41 PM by wissenlander »
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Offline oak_prince

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2011, 06:43:53 PM »
2. So they should have gone on only fighting the CSA armies and let the war drag on another 4 years and another 400.000 dead?
(offcause that is only if Lincoln still won the elections)
Yes, it was brutal, but it ended the war far quicker and with fewer dead than doing it the "old" way.

Or just let them go. I think that if I was a Northerner during the civil war, I'd have been a Copperhead.  :engel:
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Offline jlutin

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Re: The Official 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War Discussion Thread
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2011, 06:51:46 PM »
Or just let them go. I think that if I was a Northerner during the civil war, I'd have been a Copperhead.  :engel:

Why do you see that as preferable to keeping the Union together and freeing the slaves?
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