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Mr. Mercanto

Civil War Tester
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Posts posted by Mr. Mercanto

  1. Lieutenant-General Ulysses Simpson Grant. The best general officer produced on either side of the conflict. The only general able to perfectly harmonize political policy, military strategy, and operations under one Grand Strategy. No other General on either side so capably understood how to effectively marshal his governments resources, nor did any other General, save perhaps Lee, act with such synchronicity with his government's national policy and strategy. He never lost a campaign, captured three armies, and gained critical victories in three major departments of warfare. He did all of it with a quite efficiency. No officer in the Civil War can match this record. 

    Grant demonstrated the temperament of excellent military leadership. Despite certain old and tired myths, Grant was innovative, adaptable, and highly mobile in his military thinking. Vicksburg and Appomattox stand out as two of the most extra-ordinary campaigns in American Military History, and no other general officer in the Civil War came close to success so complete. 

    Grant's maxim of war was simple, and could be applied to any conflict from Xenaphone to the Second Great War, "Find the Enemy as soon as you can, hit him as hard as you can, and keep moving on." 

    After the war, Grant was one of the few American Presidents to advocate for Civil Rights. Unfortunately, Grant was undermined by an increasingly Conservative Congress. Grant's efforts to achieve peace and equitable relations with the Indigenous were sadly also undermined by his former friend, General William Techumseh Sherman (with whom Grant had a falling out over the matter). Grant's Presidency was that of an honest man who put his faith in lesser men. 

    Grant was not perfect,  but he was a good man, and a phenomenal General


    • Like 2
  2. 1st Vermont made more sense...

    Ok, look. I wrote A LOT about the causes of the war already...I don't really want to again. Just pop my name in the search bar lol. 

    Fundementally, the war was totally over the issue of slavery. Jefferson Davis stated this in no uncertain terms in several speeches, most notably his 1860 speech in Vicksburg, where he delcared that if the Yankee hordes wished to abolish slavery he would, "accept the God of Battle upon this very spot." Alexander Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederacy declared slavery to be the "foundation, the cornerstone of our nation" founded upon the "ethical, philosophical and moral truth" of the white man's superiority to the black man. Every Ordinance of Secession written by every citizen state declared the cause of secession to be the unwarranted "aggression" of Northern states against the institution of slavery. Countless Confederate soldiers wrote of the horrors of Abolition in their letters justifying their continued service. 

    Lee does not represent the Confederacy, indeed, he was a reluctant Rebel. However, when he stated that Christianity would end slavery, he did so to discredit Abolitionism, and state why the government should not take action against slavery. This is not exactly anti-slavery. There were one or two Confederate Generals who were unsure about slavery, one thinks of Richard Herron Anderson, for example. Lee is hardly the best example of this. Even if Lee were an Abolitionist, it would not change the causes for Secession thus indicated. 

    No idea why the Confederates would intervene in Korea. Confederate racial ideology looked down upon the "Oriental race."  Realistically, the Confederacy would have achieved victory via prolongation of the war (not the conquest of Washington, which I agree is not a historically accurate conclusion to the game). If the French were still actively attempting to suppress Benito Juarez in Mexico, the Confederacy would likely have intervened in favour of Napoleon III, and then annexed large portions of Mexico's fertile ground for the Confederacy, and the expansion of slavery. After this, Cuba would likely have been the next target. 

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  3. On 1/12/2018 at 8:42 PM, Zajuts149 said:

    My knowledge of the ACW is minuscule, so I don't have any pertinent questions to ask about it directly, but I am a bit curious about one of the effects, namely the census effects on the freeing of the slaves. Taken at face value, the effect of making all the slaves count as 1 whole person in the census after the war vs. 3/5 of a person prior to the war, did the Southern states actually gain representation in Congress due to a rise in the census following the war? Is it even possible to tell, since losses in the war and after, migration to some degree, etc would warp the numbers?

    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

    • Like 1
  4. On 2/19/2018 at 12:07 PM, Hussar91 said:

    I think this belongs here:

    I personally love the channel, but I'm curious what some of you might have to say. Especially you Gael since you've take part in it :)

    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 

     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 :/. 

  5. On 3/9/2017 at 11:18 AM, Kiefer Cain said:

    With a sweeping generalization... could it be said that Country/rural brigades were (are ;)) better soldiers/fighters than their populous urban counterparts?  Was it not for the rural troops of the North, would most battles have been decided by the 'country' heavy brigades of the south... haven't been in a Civil War book for the better part of ten years, but I always got that distinct impression?  Were Wisconsin/Minnesota/Michigan troops, Vermonters and Mainers the backbone of the Northern army? 

    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. 

    • Like 1
  6. 18 hours ago, Mukremin said:

    Thanks for clearing up mate, i appreciate it. Some good points there, although i cannot get into detail because i lack the historical knowledge about Gettysburg and the Civil War.

    To me, the feeling what i had at the end was that Lee was responsible for the losses and failure that day along with the absence of Stuart and his Cavalry. It felt like Longstreet wanted to re-deploy and fight on better ground, so he confronted Lee several times in the movie about it.

    Guess i will have to dive into the books :)

    And that with the rifle, all good movies have that :D you have to have a sharp eye and knowledge to see that, i recognized some rifles because of Ultimate General game.

    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! :D 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 ;).  

    • Like 2
  7. 3 hours ago, Buford Protege said:

    Mr Mercanto left out the most glaring omission on the second day.  The attack of the 1st Minnesota :D.


    Also, the missing engagements on Culp's Hill late on the 2nd day were very intriguing.  Alas, if they were to fit everything in it would be a very long movie.  


    My biggest complaint of the Civil War movies is the lack of a movie to go along with "The Last Full Measure" by Jeff Schaara.  Unfortunately they didn't develop enough of the characters needed for that in G&G or Gettysburg.  I would have loved to see Brian Mallon carry on his portrayal of Hancock and the emergence of John Gordon on the Southern side.  Tom Berenger I'm sure would jump at the chance to play Longstreet again.  He is said to have loved the role so much that he owns a bar in Charleston, SC that he named after his role.

    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 :(.

  8. 16 hours ago, Mukremin said:

    I watched Gettysburg on Blu-Ray yesterday. What a great movie, i liked and enjoyed every second of it. This is the 10th time i watched it. The acting is great, Pickets charge, Armistead getting hit, Chamberlains bayonette charge.

    Can someone explain what exactly are the historical errors? Minor or major issues?

    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? 


    Farby Reb Gettysburg.jpg

    • Like 2
  9. 1 hour ago, Andre Bolkonsky said:

    At the risk of repeating myself. 


    The five most deceptive words in the English language are 'based on a true story'. 

    Completely unwatchable, pandering to a desired storyline, Hollywood history wrapped in a period-correct wrapper to cover up its flaws. 

    I have no more to add; except if you think this is a truly great movie, my opinion of you has suffered irreperable harm. B)

    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. :P 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.

  10. 50 minutes ago, Buford Protege said:

    I think there are a couple major things being missed in the answers to the question.  The first being that even IF little Mac wins the election in 1864, he would not take office until March 4th, 1865.  There was a much longer gap between winning the presidency and taking office than there is now due to many logistical reasons.  I believe, that if Lincoln had lost the election he would have pushed harder for an earlier end to the war, or at the very least an earlier start to what proved to be the final campaigns.



    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. 


    52 minutes ago, Buford Protege said:


    If one goes with the current timeline, we see that by March 4th Grant is besieging the Richmond/Petersburg line and the last supply lines are nearly severed.

    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. 


    56 minutes ago, Buford Protege said:


    But, to play to the fancy that says the Confederates win.  I get the feeling we would see 3-4 nations come in what we know of today as the United States by the end of the 1800's.  We would have the Union, the Confederacy, a Mormon state in Utah and possibly a nation comprising California, Oregon, Washington state and possibly more.  The U.S. military had just quieted a Mormon issue in 1858 and I believe that Brigham Young would have taken full advantage of the splitting of the nation and the focus on the new border to proclaim his own nation.  Also, the fact that California and the other western lands at the time were not well garrisoned, it is possible that the small minority that wished independence (Bear flag republic) would have been able to sway more people than was done historically.  I definitely ascribe to the historiography that there would have ended up being at least 3 nations in what we know of as the United States today.  Essentially one growing to keep the North and South in check (much like Germany grew to keep England and France in check) more than the North and South ganging up to fight in Mexico.  I just feel there wasn't enough push from the populace at the time to fight another war in Mexico when the nations would likely have had to deal with reconfiguring their borders and how to deal with each other.

    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 :P

  11. On 9/21/2017 at 3:30 PM, thedauphin said:

    Thanks Mr Mercanto for your abstract... :)

    Mr Slotkin's angle gives an even more tragic edge to General McClellan - his indeciscion fueled by too much weight felt on his shoulders. And while being indecided (and indecisive) in his actions, not lacking in conviction or vision how the Union may be saved. We well know that President Lincoln's vision prevailed - which seems obvious to us in 2017, but probably seemed unlikely to the people of 1861. Even though the exact manifestation of that vision was as much shaped by the escalation of the war as by Lincoln's agenda.

    I think it has been already been speculated about in this thread, what would have become of the Union if McClellan had won the 1864's election? Yet I still wonder - what if McClellan had been a tad more succesful... what if he had been a bit more diplomatic and thus had more support in both civil and military administration? Could he have stayed in command throughout '63 and '64 and then challenge Lincoln? In a war less escalted through causalities and Emancipation Act? Could a President McClellan achieve victory not by crushing the CSA but giving the seceding states an option to return to the Union 'in honor'?

    Would there have been a third way, besides a triumphant North or an independent South?


    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

    • Like 1
  12. On 12/26/2017 at 2:50 PM, GDSPathe said:

    What would a Peace between the Union and the Confederacy look like if President Mcclellan won in 1864 or if the Confederacy had managed to occupy Washington D.C following victory at first bull run

    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)

    • Like 2
  13. On 12/26/2017 at 5:02 PM, Mukremin said:

    anyone know the first person Civil War shooter? Its a crowd funding project which uses the Crytek engine. Pretty decent :)


    I have ordered books about the Civil war based on the recommendation here, are there any good visual documentaries about the civil war. The battles, generals and the war in general.?

    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!

    :D 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) :P

    • Like 1
  14. On 9/18/2017 at 11:53 AM, thedauphin said:

    Hi there, just found this forum and this thread, which both seem to more civilized and informed than the usual steam posts. And this thread seems to be really fun in scope and execution.

    Anyways, being European my knowledge to the ACW is limited to some TV shows, Mr. Burns documentary and McPhersons 'Battlecry of Freedom'.

    I noticed having a soft spot for General McClellan. Unlike so many generals throughout history, he seemed to value the integrity of army and the health of his men above acquiring laurels. I do not doubt he is duely critcised for not being active enough, and also has these strange streaks of megalomia in his letters, but... well, the question being: Is newest historiography kinder on him than it used to be the case?

    Hiya! Welcome to the thread and thanks for your kind words! This is a really cool question

    New historiography has not been much kinder to McClellan, though some scholars have moved away from the answer provided by @Andre Bolkonsky, that being that Little Mac loved his army to much to risk its harm. Military historian John Keegan (A Military History of the American Civil War) and military historian/McClellan biographer Stephen W. Sears (Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam, and To the Gates of Richmond), suggest that McClellan was so afraid to lose, that he did not risk victory. They charge that McClellan, ahving never failed anything in his life, was petrified of failure. This, by extension, plays into recent historiography concerning Ulysses S. Grant, which has at time argued that Grant's success was in part duie to his boldness, which in turn may have been caused by his many failures in life. Having failed in so many ventures, Grant understood that failure was an option, and could be recovered from. 

    However, I think new and fascinating light has been shone on McClellan in Richard Slotkin's newest book Long Road to Antietam: How the Civil War Became a Revolution. The book dissects the political crisis facing the US government in the wake of the 2nd Mannassas,  the challenges posed by the threat of a McClellan coup, and Lincoln's efforts to radically change the direction of the political and military strategy of the war. In the process, Slotkin does much to advance McClellan historiography. 

    In essense, Slotkin argues that McClellan viewed the Radical Left Republicans to be as a great a threat, or even a greater threat, to the Union then the Reactionary Secession Right. McClellan was politically a Conservative Northern War Democratic, and believed that the Union must be preserved through a compromise that would maintain the pre-war institutions and power-structures (ie Slavery). He considered Abolitionism politically suicidal, detrimental to the country, and destructive to a restoration of the Union. McClellan could observe that the administration was taking on a more radical policy, and viewed himself as the saviour of the Republic. He felt he must influence the President towards what he considered a wiser conciliation, and bring both parties together with as little conquest as possible. In his Harrison Landing Letter, he reffered to this as fighting the war "on the highest Christian virtues" urging the President to protect property in slavery. 

    Slotkin argues that McClellan's belief in himself manifested into a conviction that he was the only man that could save the Union; coupled with a the highly theological school of history that he and his wife subscribed to, McClellan began to view himself as the Divine Instrument of the Union. Were he to lose a battle, then he would be removed from his command, and thus the Union itself would perish. It became imperative that he be retained. No risk could be balanced against his dismissal, which would open the floodgates of Red Republican Radicalism. At Antietam, McClellan sought a limited victory, committing his troops piecemeal in order to guard against total defeat. When the Rebels withdrew, McClellan saw no need to pursue; by winning victory and ensuring his tenure as commander, he had already saved the Republic from the true enemy, Lincoln. 

    Slotkin also briefly addresses the Young Napoleon's love of his army. He argues that while Little Mac certainly loved his army, it was ultimately because that army worshiped and adored him, serving as a constant source of validation. It was the belief that he was invaluable to re-uniting the Union and preventing Abolitionist Radicalism, rather then simple love of his men, that prevented him from taking risks on the battlefield. 

    Personally, I find Slotkin's argument extremely convincing, and I think it does much to advance the strange historiography of that unusual General, George B. McClellan. 

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  15. On 7/18/2017 at 11:59 AM, Andre Bolkonsky said:



    Fred Sanford refers to a burr under my saddle blanket named 1st Vermont.

    Vermont was a great and scholarly troll -- and I use the words Great and Scholarly very losely -- who once lived under a bridge on the roads leading into this forum. He took great pride in cutting and pasting entire arguments off other websites and stored them on a USB drive more precious to him than the Ring was to Gollum. Vermont then posting them here as if they were a legitimate argument. In particular, he had great affection for @Mr. Mercanto and constantly wanted to cuddle up and debate with him. Creepy, really. Mercanto had to put out a restraining order and the State of Texas sent him a gift pack with several firearms to choose from. 

    No joke, @Koro I think, cut and pasted an opening post of one of his threads and I think it was just 20 pages in Microsoft Word of things cut and pasted from old arguments, wikipedia articles, other forum commentary. Simply bizarre. 

    The villagers lit torches and gathered pitchforks and protested loudly outside city hall. 

    Good times. 

    It's true. The bastard got a great Sharps off of me. Still, at least I can sleep with the blinds open now...

  16. Honestly though, if you want an excellent and readable intro to Civil War, James M. McPherson's "Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era" (Harvard University Press: 1988) is the book toi read. Its the perfect place to begin Civil War studies. 

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  17. Catton uses stronger research, includes references, and writes in magisterial style. Foote includes no references, falls victim to more myths, and makes significant errors when discussing the causes of the war. Foote's writing is enjoyable, but not as strong. Catton earned the respect of modern scholars, Foote's poor grasp of Reconstruction and the war's causation, as well as his propensity for losing himself in myth, has not fared so well against scholarly review. 

    Needless to say, I would strongly recommend Catton. 

  18. I demonstrate on the far left, keeping the Rebel force tied down there with artillery, given that I cannot move artillery across the center ford. I start by attacking with my left, and once I take the forest, I attack the Rebel fortification from the forest. I thin move my best troops across the ford, and keep them as far from the fort, along the shoreline. Then, I consolidate my force, and join it in the assault on the fort. When possible, I fire at one entrenched brigade with three or more brigades at once, until it breaks. Failing this, I essay a bayonet charge with one brigade while firing with the others. 

    The key is to attack them brigade by brigade. Converge multiple brigades on singular entrenched enemies; once they break, exploit it. 

    Its tough, but doable. Attack carefully, charge when necessary, and never engage their whole force, attack them piece by piece.

  19. On 9/3/2017 at 8:27 PM, brian79 said:

    After 14 hours of play i have had no successful outcomes.  I always choose easy level and confederate side.  

    Units move too slowly, easily routed, and  always become outnumbered by Union troops. 

    There is little fun in this.



    Expanding on @Andre Bolkonsky's excellent post, often the key to victory in Linear Tactics is flanking. Always consider how you can place one or two of your brigades on the enemy's flank, whether its by luring them into an ill-conceived attack, and then counter attacking (my personal favourite) or by moving your weaker units in a direct assault against the enemy, only to flank them with your stronger units once they engage (this is called a "demonstration). Remember to look for isolated units and converge on them, knocking out one or two enemy brigades can lead to the collapse of an entire battle line. Surprising your enemy by concealing your troops behind ridges, then striking their flanks or isolated units, is highly effective to accomplish this. Conversely, you must remember to tie down the flanks of your brigades, and avoid isolation. Often an extended close formation line battle is decided when one commander makes a mistake by offering a single brigade's flank to enfilade. Don't be that commander, secure your flanks, and hold one or two elite reserve units for the moment your enemy exposes his flank.

    Finally, in my personal opinion the game accurately reflects the military proportions of the Civil War; that being that Infantry is the key to victory. While every Corps should have Cavalry, and must have Artillery, it is ultimately infantry which strikes the hardest blows, takes the greatest punishment, and achieves success. Artillery supports Infantry from the rear or through the occasional emergency canister, Cavalry dismounted with carbines can be used to temporarily plug gaps and harass the enemy, or to delay them, allowing your Infantry to occupy critical positions. Skirmishers, in turn, should be used to suss out enemy positions, delay enemy deployment, and to harass the enemy when they are engaged with your infantry. As you can see, in all of these cases each branch of your army must be deployed in service to your Infantry, which should be the overwhelming majority of your force. 

    For example, I used my dismounted Cavalry at Stone Mountain to prevent Jackson from deploying his two left flank brigades on Stone Mountain, though they were eventually driven back, they presented me with the five minutes necessary to deploy two of my brigades on his flank, which attacked his brigades en echelon. Meanwhile, I advanced some of my weakest brigades to his front, threatening him with an attack if he pulled troops out of their cover to resist my flanking attack. Having threatened his front, I moved more brigades to his flank, starting with my weaker troops. As I pushed his flank, I relieved my initial flanking attack with my best troops in my Corps, and pressed the assault with new vigor. As he moved troops from his entrenchments to counter attack, my brigades at his front converted their demonstration to an attack, and thus, in attempting to counter attack, he exposed his flank. By the time my reinforcements arrived, my men already controlled the mountain. In this way, i was able to drive back Jackson's Valley Corps with the weakest Corps of my army, before my stronger units even deployed, and before Longstreet could join battle. 

    Learning these tricks takes time, and if you are unfamiliar with the Civil War, its even harder. Play some Historical Battles on Colonel, especially Bull Run; which is an excellent learning level. 

    Also, quit the seceshia and fight for the Union! Liberty and Freedom!

    I couldn't help it... ;P 

    Hope this helps; this game is harder then most casual tactics games (nowhere near as complicated as Scourge of War though, thank God), it takes some time, but the game is truly rewarding, and you owe yourself another go at it :). 

    All the Best,

    Mr. Mercanto

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