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Mr. Mercanto

Civil War Tester
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Mr. Mercanto last won the day on March 11 2017

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About Mr. Mercanto

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  • Birthday 07/01/1991

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    Ontario, Canada
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    History, Historiography, The American Civil War, reenacting, politics

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  1. The short answer is yes, sort of. First off, the raw numbers on the census did not change. Slaves were only counted by 3/5ths with respect to proportionality of Congressional representation. They were still counted as one full person on the census. The Southern states did gain more representation, however in the aftermath of the war, during Congressional Military Reconstruction, the rights of Southerners who had participated in a leadership capacity the Slave Holder's Rebellion were disbarred from holding office, and former Confederates were forced to take an oath of allegiance to restore loyalty. With black voting rights protected by the military garrisons occupying the former Confederacy, black leaders began to revolutionize the social order and structure. So while the former Confederacy did in fact gain representation, it was, for a small time, directed in a profoundly Liberal and Progressive direction. After the disasterous Slaughterhouse and Cruikshank cases, the power to enforce the XIV and XV Amendments went to the State governments, who naturally used their new found States Rights to mercilessly strip away the Civil Rights gained by Black Americans in the Civil War. The North, growing weary with Reconstruction, elected Conservatives who had little problem betraying the Black veterans of the Civil War in favour of their White Rebel counterparts. As such, Reconstruction faded, and Jim Crow allowed the former Confederacy to use its now increased representation to struggle against Civil Rights. Quite an ironic turn. With respect to population distribution. There really was not a significant diaspora out of the former CSA after the war. The first Southern Diaspora, which embraced the former Confederacy as well as loyal Southern States, didn't really begin until the late 1880s-90s. The Black Southern Diaspora didn't happen until the Depression years. While the South did gain greater numerical representation once Black Americans were counted as one person each proportionally, the South never recovered economically from the loss of slavery. Especially the Confederate South, which also had to attend to its massive proprietorial losses from the war. As such, it never regained its former political power it held in the Old Union, let alone gain greater ascendancy. Hope this answers your questions XD
  2. I left a few comments on the video, as it chance would have. I couldn't get all the way through. The narrator has some working knowledge of the period, but not a lot of in depth knowledge. He makes himself look a bit silly by claiming there are no real errors to talk about, when in fact there are several. His lauding of the film as "balanced" is also problematic. Gettysburg is one of my favourite movies, and why I'm so stir-crazy over the Civil War, but it dabbles in false-equivocation and presentism in order to create the illusion of non-bias." This is why I don't do a history vlog, I suppose. You simply can't churn out high quality content at the rate you need to produce. This is the kind of video I'd expect from a channel that doesn't really know the subject matter well enough to talk about it seriously :/.
  3. The whole "yeoman" soldier thing is a myth. Some of the best regiments on both sides came from cities (the 20th Massachusetts were a regiment of boys who'd never seen a ploughshare, and you did not want to face them in a battle). The overwhelming majority of both armies were rural, and its important to note that while the New England states were industrializing, they were still mostly rural. No evidence has ever demonstrated that rural boys fought any better then their urban counter parts. Experience was what made excellent combat regiments.
  4. Alan C. Guezlo makes a pretty good argument that Stuart's absence was irrelevant. Cavalry was tasked with scouring enemy movements, not battle lines; that role was for scouts, which failed Lee at Gettysburg. Lee's plan, to fall upon the AoP Corps upon Corps occurred without Stuart, and there is no evidence that Lee would have acted any differently with him there. Lee came to blame Stuart only about a year after the battle. Yes! Dive into the books! Always the best answer! Stephen W. Sears writes well on the topic, though I think Alan Guezlo's recent book is better. I've only heard amazing things about Pfanz's two volume series on the 2nd day, but while I have one my shelf, I haven't gotten to it yet (have a few essay collections I want to nose through first). The rifle in question is a M1863 Remington Zouave. It was comissioned by the US ordinance department as a short pattern alternative to the M1861 Springfield. Despite being an excellent gun, the rifle was not ready until 1863, and by then, the Federal government had standardized the M1861 and the M1863 Springfields as its standard arm. As a result, the Zoauve was sequestered in amouries only for a emergency use, and was never actually issued. Thus, no soldier on either side ever actually wielded the rifle. At the birth of modern reenacting, a reenactor who wanted to use a Civil War musket had to procure an original, as there were, at that time, no reproductions available. The M1863 Zouave was highly available for this purpose, as they had languished in armouries for decades before being sold as commercial surplus. As such, they were numerous and in serviceable shape. Depsite their complete absence from the Civil War battlefield, their availability made them ubiquitious in reenactment. As firearm manufactures (Chiappa, Euro Arms, Miroku, Pedersoli, et cetera), entered the repro business, many began producing the Zoauve based on its popularity. In the 80s, the Zoauve was essentially banned for being so "farby" (anachronisitc). In response, repro companies began selling their Zoauves at lower prices. Zoauves still remain popular today with those who want a cheaper Civil War(ish) alternative. Hence, they remain ubiquitious, despite their total lack of military use during the war. They shouldn't ever be in Civil War films, but c'est la vie, everyone cuts corners .
  5. Lmao, believe me, I was painfully tempted to mention the Veteran 1st XD. You can actually just barely see them on the 3rd Day during Armistead's assault on Cushing's Battery (they supported the 69th PA in plugging the gap). They were going to shoot Last Full Measure, but G&G literally bankrupted Turner Films (it was that much of a flop). Turner has offered rights to option LFM for sale, no bites. Given how poorly Maxwell handled G&G, this might be a blessing .
  6. lol well, I don't have time to write out a thesis long response, so I'll just point out a few in no particular order. They'll probably all revolve around the 2nd Day, since I find that day to be the most cirtical and extra-ordinary of the three days. a) Lee never pressed for the capture of Cemetery Hill. He only mentioned it once in his dispatch to Ewell, in which he stated to only take it "if practicable" and "without bringing on a general engagement." [emphasis added]. Lee had a bad tendency to autoneo-logisims and vague aphorisms, and this was one of his most egregious. Ewell was perplexed by the strange order, which seemed to forbid him from taking the hill if there would be any resistance, which there would be. Ewell demurred, the hill was not taken, there is little evidence Lee cared. b ) In keeping with the above, no nighttime confession by Ewell about failing to take Cemetery Hill, nor any impassioned complaint by Trimble, appears to have taken place. There is no record of such meetings until the mid-1870s, when William N. Pendleton and others of his ilk began the effort to shift blame for Gettysburg to Ewell and Longstreet. c) While a conference did take place in which Ewell and Early recommended Longstreet attack Cemetery Ridge in the morning, mysteriously absent from the film is Ewell's bold insistence taht his Corps must remain overspread in their present position. Lee demurred, depriving Longstreet of reinforcement which, if provided, may very well have one the day, the battle, and perhaps the Civil War on July 2. d) There is no record of Lee compromising with Longstreet to conduct a tactical defensive battle at the climax of the Pennsylvania campaign. In the words of Professor John Keegan, the very notion of such a thing is utterly absurd. McPherson aptly demonstrates in his essay on Lee's goals in Pennsylvania (to be found in "This Mighty Scourge" (2010, Harvard University Press), that Lee was seeking the occupation of the Keystone State, and the repulse from that state, if not outright destruction, of Hooker's (later Meade's) army. Furthermore, Alan Guezlo has demonstrated in Gettysburg: The Last Invasion (2013: Alfred A Knopf), that Lee had intended to destroy the Federal army in detail, corps by corps as they advanced. Needless to say, a defensive action would not be conducive to this goal. Lee meant to attack, and no "defensive agreement" as Longstreet later claimed, appears to exist. e) Lee did not know there were six Federal Corps (III, II, V, XI, XII, and I) on the hills South of Gettysburg on the morning of July 2nd; nor was the Federal position understood to be in a fish hook. Lee believed only the battered XI and I Corps were on Cemetery Ridge, and that a concerted effort en echelon, starting from his right, would sweep up the hill, flank them, and drive them back before reinforcement arrived. One of Lee's favourite scouts, Captain Johnston, confirmed the hills before them to be empty earlier that morning. The hills were, in fact, swarming with the II and III Corps, and elements of the V. Johnston scouted the wrong hill. Oops. This misinformation was critical to the delays, and confused assault ultimately essayed by Lee's army. This failure in military intelligence was also one of many reasons for Confederate failure on the 2nd day. Its misrepresentation is a key failing of the film. f) Longstreet did not intentionally, "hold on as long as I can" before attacking on the 2nd Day. First, he asked Lee for permission to await the arrival of Law's brigade before attacking, which Lee was content to acquiesce to. When Longstreet did advance, he found himself astride Federal forces do to Johnston's failed reconnaissance, and was forced to counter-march his army by files in order to appropriate a safe military route. Captain Johnston really did render excellent service to the Federal Army that day, it almost reminds one of Dan Sickles. If Longstreet made any unnecessary delays that day, it was to counter-march rather then about face his army. This was done so his lead division might still be Hood's as he wished to lead with his best brigades. Longstreet did not sabotage the plan by dragging his heels, and in-point-of-fact voiced no opposition to the July 2nd assault that was contemporaneously recorded. g) Little Round Top was a position of little military significance. Capturing it was never a major Confederate aim. Its ridge is to spiny for more then a cannon or two to be placed astride Cemetery Ridge, and its elevation is to high for the artillery to have the desired effect. Its lack of trees was its only really advantage as an artillery platform (due to the 140th's slightly ostentatious monument to the regiment/Paddy O'Rorke, the scene in the film was shot on Big Round Top, which the film accurately reports as to thick with trees for effective artillery). Little Round Top is also to small to launch an offensive of more then a brigade. Cemetery Ridge was the target of Lee's attack, as he believed that was the flank of the AoP. The attack was shifted to include South Cemetery Ridge and Little Round Top when it was discovered there were Federals there too. It was incidental. Exciting, but incidental. h) Joshua Chamberlain did not singlehandedly defend Little Round Top. Colonel Paddy O'Rorke, and Colonel James Clay Rice deserve as much credit. Colonel Strong Vincent deserved more credit then any of them. It was his intiative that ansered Major-General Gouvenor K. Warren's desperate summons, and brought the brigade to the hill before securing official approval from Major-General Sykes. Weed's brigade and Hazlett's battery also supported Vincent's 3rd brigade mid-battle. However, Vincent died, O'Rorke died, and Rice clearly needed a better publicist. As a result, Chamberlain gets all the credit. There are several other little omissions, changes, and Hollywoodesque moments, but these are some of the key problems, at least with the 2nd Day. Oh, and then there's this guy carrying a M1863 Remington Zouave Rifle. More like Gettysfarb, ammirite?
  7. LOL!!! Actually, there was a time where I would defend G&G to the hilt...oh how niave I once was.
  8. Its definitely the best history of Reconstruction on film, granted there are few other films that touch this, but those that do, do quite poorly. If you're looking for a 100% historically accurate Civil War film, then I wish you the best of luck, and I suspect you'll find it with the Tooth Fairy . As for its watch ability. The film has terrible pacing, but meh, I'm viewing it as a historian, not a popcorn eating spectator. You want watchable, watch National Treasure lol.
  9. No seriously, its a great film historiographically. When you have Bynum and Blight as advisers, you really can't go wrong.
  10. I feel I covered this in my response concerning an 1864 peace :P. An outright victory in Feb 1865 is not really logistically possible. Union success inapril 65 was dependent in part on Confederate desertion. Said desertion would certainly have been stymied by a McClellan win. At this time, Grant was pressing the Petersburg-Weldon railroad. He was unable to push further to the South Side railroad. With far less desertion in the Rebel ranks, it is hard to imagine him taking the South Side railroad at this time. As it happens, we have an experimental historical laboratory for this. In October of 1864, Grant launched a major offensive in order to break Rebel lines to ensure a Union victory. The attack was motivated by political expediency, similar to the post-election campaigns you propose, and were repulsed. Political necessity granted no military power necessary for victory, until the Rebellion had suffered sufficient desertions to afford and opportunity. I think a more likely break would be the Western Silversits from the Gold Standard Yankee North in the mid 1870s, but its all hypothetical
  11. The Andre Awards

    You guys also won the Mercanto Award for "Best New Civil War Game, 2017." Just so ya know
  12. No third way really could have been achieved, as Bruce Catton expresses the idea, the issues were simply to contrasting. Freedom vs Slavery, Democracy vs Anarchy, Union vs Secession; there is simply no alternative. The Confederacy must be free to dissolve the US Constitution, and carry slavery to the furthest borders of the continent, and beyond, or the Union must preserve the Nation and Constitution, and free itself of the pestulance of slavery. "The madness of going forward was matched only by the impossibility of going back...The Trumpet had been sounded, which could never call retreat...the nation had drawn the Terrible Swift Sword, and the scabbard had been thrown away." - Bruce Catton
  13. Cool question! Both scenarios are pretty different. For the record, considering the Federals had about 20 odd thousand troops garrisoned in Washington, seperate from the Army of Virginia, in July, 1861, I'd say Rebel occupation was unlikely; however, let us pretend Joe Johnston had a tactical nuke, or something ;). A July 1861 occupation of Washington would likely have brought the Confederacy all it desired, access to the New Mexican and Arizona territories, and almost certainly Kentucky and Missouri. The Family of Nations would likely have sided with the Confederacy on the basis that the war was clearly won, and a cessation of hostilities was in the best interest of said nations (especially with the added bonus of the death of Republican Democracy). The United States would therefore likely had to give into all Confederate demands. It is possible that some minor concessions be made, such as the free navigation of the Mississippi River by both parties, and a Free Trade agreement. Such concessions would have aided both parties. Also, the Fugitive Slave Act would likely be repealed, and the US Capitol moved to a Free State. The future of Maryland and Delaware is hard to determine in this scenario. Marlyand might have been partitioned, but more likely wholly annexed by the Confederacy. Delaware would have been disinclined to joining the new nation, but fearing the death of slavery in its borders otherwise, would likely have joined the CSA. If Little Mac takes the Presidency in 1864, we must consider a number of factors. The Union armies have advanced much, and in his last few months in office, Lincoln has likely pushed his generals to the extremity to win the war before March 9. If Lincoln is successful, and according to the Blind Memorandum, he intended to be, Sherman is in the Carolinas, ready to pounce on Lee's rear, Wilmington has fallen with Fort Fischer, Johnston's Army of the South is scattered, Kirby Smith is still cut off from the rest of the Confederacy. The situation is, militarily, not great. THis gives the Federals a good deal of power at the negotiation table. McClellan has promised Reunion in his Chicago Platform, but will try to achieve with negotiation. This means an armistice, which is foolishness, as it will be very difficult, or impossible to resume the war from an armistice. In McClellan the Rebels will find a President of weak moral firmness, a poor choice for negotiation. It is possible that the Rebels rest from him a recognition of their independence, however, given the powerful military position Lincoln could place the armies in by March, Old Abe might make such cowardice on the part of the Young Napoleon impossible. Thus, a compromise might be reached, an obvious answer might be Mexico. In the midst of her own war against Napoleon III, the US and CS might enter into an alliance to preserve Mexican democracy and the Monroe Doctrine (as insane as this sounds, this idea was optimistically maintained through to Lincoln's 1865 River Queen conference with the Confederate Peace Delegation). Such a scheme might be meant by McClellan to reunify the country, but meant by the Confederates to establish themselves as a separate nation. The result would likely be in the Confederates favour, with a treaty establishing an Alliance Defensive between the two nations, as well as amicable free trade relations and navigation of the Mississippi. Mac might secede New Mexican and Arizona territories, for a price. The purchase, and victory over the French might be used to ausage the sting of defeat for the Union. The alternative, of course, is that McClellan might refuse to acknowledge Rebel independence if he inherited a military situation that was undeniably excellent, and force the war to a pro-Union settlement. In this case, McClellan would likely repeal the 13th Amendment, or insure that the slave states re-entered the Union in time to block it. This however, would not be recorded in a "treaty" as a treaty implies two or more legitimate sovereign powers, which in this instance, the CSA does not constitute. Obviously, the McClellan case is more complicated, and is largely determinant upon Lincoln's capacity to wage the war after losing the election, and McClellan's moral fiber. Personally, I have more faith in one then the other. For more on Confederate efforts to negotiate a peace (or lack thereof) read Steven E. Woodsworth's "The Last Function of Government: Confederate Collapse and Negotiated Peace" in Mark Grimsely and Brooks D. Simpson's collection of edited essays "The Collapse of the Confederacy" (University of Nebraska Press: 2001)
  14. War of Rights is a lot of fun :). A few of us from this forum, including your's truly, are on its Pre-Alpha list. Its a $69 USD investment to get on, and well worth it! I'm glad that this thread has led to some book purchases, and I might hope a few of my suggestions made the cut . Ken Burn's "The Civil War" is...well its ok. Its not a half bad overview of the struggle, but it fails to adequately explore how the war was started. Its reliance on Shelby Foote, who a) is painfully misguided by Lost Cause Mythology and b), was not a historian, bogs its down somewhat. Two stand out documentaries from the top of my head that I would recommend are the National Park Service documentary on the Battle of Antietam, and the documentary "This Republic of Suffering" based on Drew Giplin Faust's monograph of the same name. The Antietam documentary, despite being old, remains highly relevant of an excellent caliber. Plus, you get to hear Darth Vader talk about the Civil War, which is great. Here's a link "This Republic of Suffering" tackles the fascinating and complex questions about how the 19th century culture of death was changed by and adapted to the Civil War. It should hopefully be on Netflix, and its fantastic. If you want a Civil War movie, "The Free State of Jones" is probably, from an Academic standpoint, one of the best Civil War films ever made. Glory, Lincoln, and Gettysburg, are also fine choices, though Lincoln, and Gettysburg are fraught with errors (read: artistic licence)