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No need to start with an easy question, right?   Ok so I'm going to keep this short because its 3 am where I live lol . The short answer to your question is, they tried exactly what you are saying

Lee marched onto Gettysburg and met the Yankees on their own turf.  We all know how that story ends.  And so, 1stVermont slinks back to the USB as Lee did over the Rappahannock River. Though, des

"Hannibalbarca" was banned as spammer (There were multiple reports leading to case that he is our old spammer "1st Vermont").

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7 hours ago, Andre Bolkonsky said:

:rolleyes:

 

You can read Brookes D. Simpson's scholarship for more on this. Sorry to be so blunt, but its one of the myths I've grown weary of hearing about. Its a lazy calumny on Grant's character. Grant wasn't perfect (he was painfully and cripplingly nepotistic, for example), however his pre-war struggle with alcoholism was shamelessly and disgustingly exploited by his detractors during the war, and political opponents and rivals afterward. The historiography of the mythology is very easily traced to these unsubstianted claims made by interested parties. 

Not only is it unfair to Grant, its also just bad history, which annoys me. 

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8 hours ago, Corporal Bridge said:

 If the Pathfinder won the election how much you would think that would effected the Civil War instead of having Buchanan?

The short answer is, the Civil War would have happened in 1856. The Civil War is caused by Southern secession, and secession by the election of an anti-slavery President, and the loss of power and security in the slave-holding class that such an election indicated. Frémont was no less a determined and passionate fellow then Lincoln, and would have pursued war as necessary solution to maintaining the government. Perhaps the Confederacy might have stood a better chance, as Lincoln was a far superior political and military leader to Frémont (who demonstrated his naive political sensibilities and the limits of his personal self-control while acting as head of the Missouri Department). In Lincoln, the Confederates had a powerful foe. I  suppose one might argue that the state of technology might also have aided the Confederacy. The rifle musket was available (which gave the South a tremendous advantage fighting defensively), however the various mechanically advantageous instruments of the Union, the New Model Sharps Carbine and repeating Spencer, had yet to be manufactured in prototype. That having been said, the metal cartridge was well on its way to military service, and the original Sharps falling block needed only some improvements and modifications to achieve the sterling quality of the 1859 model, so these likely would have simply been produced a few years earlier to meet wartime demand. Warfare has a way of speeding up such processes. 

Otherwise, it is possible that the people of the North would have been less incensed, as the pro-Southern slavery "doughface" actions of Buchanan did a great deal to further exacerbate tensions over the expansion of slavery, most notably in the cases of the Le Compton Constitution in Kansas, and Buchanan's intervention in the Dredd Scott case. however, within the parameters of your question, a Frémont victory in 1856 would indicate that the people were already sufficiently chagrined by the aggressive expansion of slavery, and needed no more such aggregious actions on the part of the pro-Slavery interest. 

Free will! Free men! Free soil! Frémont! 

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Mr Mercanto, I am really curious as to why you would single out DiLorenzo and fail to to mention Ed Sebesta or Chandra Manning.  DiLorenzo is not the first author to allow his politics to get into the way of historical interpretation.  Many do it, including such popular authors as David Blight, James McPherson, Barbara Field's, etc.  DiLorenzo's views on Lincoln have been thoroughly discredited, by the academy, yet the academy still allows many of the others to continue without challenge.

As far as the volunteer system used by the US, it greatly predated the War of 1812.  It was used during the Colonial Period, and was the basic means of recruitment for Continental Army regiments.  

For the record I am a college professor of Military History and a retired Lt. Col of the US Army.

 

 

 

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Regarding another post on the closing of the Mississippi River.  Gary Gallagher, was not the first to suggest that the capture of New Orleans meant its loss to the Confederacy.  Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones stated as much in Why the North Won.  Even during the Civil War many Confederate leaders viewed the fall of Vicksburg as not the catastrophy as it is portrayed.

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I know Brooks Simpson personally, and consider him a friend.  Regarding Grant's sobriety during the war there is a possibility that Grant went on a bender when he was bumped to Deputy Commander of what would be the "Army of Tennessee" by Halleck before Corinth. What we do have to keep in mind is that alcohol consumption was significantly higher then in comparison to today.  Personally, I have not seen enough evidence that Grant was a drunkard during the Civil War.

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I noticed someone mentioned Sun Tzu.  Sun Tzu is really not taught that much at the higher level of military schools such as the different War Colleges.  Much of what comprises Sun Tzu is Oriental mystical nonsense and his views of military strategy are formulaic and filled with fantasy.  "He" ignores human nature.  For further reading on why Sun Tzu is not given as much credit as say Clausewitz see Michael I. Handel's Classical Strategic Thought which is a textbook at these schools.  If you want to understand Civil War thinking read Jomini instead.

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39 minutes ago, philknox said:

Mr Mercanto, I am really curious as to why you would single out DiLorenzo and fail to to mention Ed Sebesta or Chandra Manning.  DiLorenzo is not the first author to allow his politics to get into the way of historical interpretation.  Many do it, including such popular authors as David Blight, James McPherson, Barbara Field's, etc.  DiLorenzo's views on Lincoln have been thoroughly discredited, by the academy, yet the academy still allows many of the others to continue without challenge.

As far as the volunteer system used by the US, it greatly predated the War of 1812.  It was used during the Colonial Period, and was the basic means of recruitment for Continental Army regiments.  

For the record I am a college professor of Military History and a retired Lt. Col of the US Army.

 

 

 

I've mentioned Chandra Manning several times on this forum, though I've posted a great deal, so I can hardly expect anyone to have read every post. I must admit that I am unfamiliar with Ed Sebesta.

I spoke about DiLorenzo because a) while no historian is free from influence, personal, political or historiographical, what makes DiLorenzo's history poor is that his politics come first. He has a poor tendency to manufacture evidence or ignore contrary evidence. While Blight and McPherson have their political views, their scholarship is extreemly sound, employs reliable sources, and can be defended. Surely as a scholar, you would agree that this is a crucial distinction. b ) the person who I was debating continually refered to DiLorenzo as a source. Believe me, I would be very happy to never discuss DiLorenzo again lol. 

As for Barbara Fields, I think her scholarship is interesting, but flawed. I broadly agree with Gallagher's critique of her work in The Union War 

I was under the understanding that the volunteer system was reformed during and after the 1812 war, though I freely admit that that is not my area of expertise.

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2 minutes ago, philknox said:

I noticed someone mentioned Sun Tzu.  Sun Tzu is really not taught that much at the higher level of military schools such as the different War Colleges.  Much of what comprises Sun Tzu is Oriental mystical nonsense and his views of military strategy are formulaic and filled with fantasy.  "He" ignores human nature.  For further reading on why Sun Tzu is not given as much credit as say Clausewitz see Michael I. Handel's Classical Strategic Thought which is a textbook at these schools.  If you want to understand Civil War thinking read Jomini instead.

Have you read Donald Stroker's new book. He definitely seems to suggest Clausewitz is more crucial then Jomini on understanding the war. I'd be very curious to hear your thoughts on the matter. 

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Unfortunately, too many allow their personal views to cloud their work.  I like James McPherson, his Battle Crime of Freedom is used in my courses, but in later works he often allows his politics to shape his views.   Too many do it, Eric Foner, though an expert on Reconstruction, has made a career of it.   The problem is the Civil War should not be interpreted using today's eyes only.  If you do, and are honest, neither side comes out well.

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2 minutes ago, Mr. Mercanto said:

Have you read Donald Stroker's new book. He definitely seems to suggest Clausewitz is more crucial then Jomini on understanding the war. I'd be very curious to hear your thoughts on the matter. 

Yes I have.  Since Jones, Hattaway, and even Connelly, there has been little on the grand strategy side of things. 

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Just now, philknox said:

Unfortunately, too many allow their personal views to cloud their work.  I like James McPherson, his Battle Crime of Freedom is used in my courses, but in later works he often allows his politics to shape his views.   Too many do it, Eric Foner, though an expert on Reconstruction, has made a career of it.   The problem is the Civil War should not be interpreted using today's eyes only.  If you do, and are honest, neither side comes out well.

I suppose I fall into the position that it must be interpreted with both. On the one hand, history needs to be contextualized to be understood. Indeed, much of the confusion about the causes of the war, Emancipation, et cetera, exist because our views are anachrnoistically imposed on historical contexts. 

However, the Civil War is a seminal event in American history, and the questions over which it was fought are not yet entirely resolved, and resonate today. The public memory of the war is as much a crucial area of Civil War historioraphy as any other, perhaps more crucial, if like myself you view historians as having a responsiblility to aid the public in understanding the framework and context of the country, community, et cetera. In this respect, I would argue that the Civil War must also be viewed with modern eyes. 

So in a sense, I think Civil War historians need to walk a fine line of doing both. Either way, Foner and McPherson use undeniably excellent research, as does Blight; and their contributions to the historiography have been tremendous.

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3 minutes ago, philknox said:

Yes I have.  Since Jones, Hattaway, and even Connelly, there has been little on the grand strategy side of things. 

What did you think of it? I loved it, personally, though I'll warrant I've read far less on the subject then yourself.

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The question is that they will most likely never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction.  My problem with Blight is that he generally seems to be mad at white 19th Century Northerners for them not being 21st Century American liberals.  The Civil War was never about racial egalitarianism, at least on the social level.

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I like Stoker's book and agree that the Chattanooga line was far more deadly to the Confederacy than the Mississippi line.  My one problem is that he does underestimate the Confederacy's need for Virginia industry a little too much.  Why so many historians ignore Northrop of the Confederate Commissary is a problem ?

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12 minutes ago, philknox said:

The question is that they will most likely never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction.  My problem with Blight is that he generally seems to be mad at white 19th Century Northerners for them not being 21st Century American liberals.  The Civil War was never about racial egalitarianism. 

We will have to agree to disagree on that. I happen to agree with Downes, Blight, and Foner that a "Golden Opportunity" did exist during Reconstruction, and that, no matter how you sice it, traitors were allowed to be citizens, and loyal men cast into apartheid; and it was done to appease the traitors, all due to race. These ideas are not exclusive to these historians, such contemporary views in the 1860s and 1870s are very well documented.

Indeed, the Civil War was not about racial egalitarianism, but I think Reconstruction in many respects was. Obviously Reconstruction had several agendas, and one can argue if Reconciliation failed them by failing to secure racial equality and create a truly pro-Union South, or if it succeeded by creating in the South a power structure which could embrace the Union. All of this depends on which agenda one decides fits Reconstruction. 

My own view is that Reconstruction should have aimed to deconstruct the power structures that created secession and the war, above all the planter class and the hegemony of racism. Such would achieved by the appropriation of planter property for social uplift of white yeomens and Freedmen, and by racial equalty. Failing this, Reconstruction settled for allowing the old antebellum families to return to power, a new system of laws restablish racial hierarchy, and a memory of the war to flourish that celebrated treason, and buried the memory of Southern Unionists, black and white. In doing so, Reconstruction failed to destroy the heart of secession, and thus, in my estimation, was a failure. 

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8 minutes ago, philknox said:

I like Stoker's book and agree that the Chattanooga line was far more deadly to the Confederacy than the Mississippi line.  My one problem is that he does underestimate the Confederacy's need for Virginia industry a little too much.  Why so many historians ignore Northrop of the Confederate Commissary is a problem ?

I also liked his focus on Chattanooga, it always seemed to me that for such a central railroad depot, it receives very little attention.

Can you elaborate on Northrop? I'm not very familiar with that and you've sparked my curiosity.

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The problem with Blight, Goodwin, McPherson, and others is that they expect too much from mid-19th century Americans, particularly on the ideas of racial equality.  They tend to minimize the many forms of abolitionism, and ignore, or castigate when they do acknowledge it, that most white abolitionists were not interested in overturning the existing social order.  The problem with DiLorenzo is that he is unfair to Lincoln.  He found that Lincoln had fairly conventional American views on race, whooppee, excuse my academic term for big deal.

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3 minutes ago, Mr. Mercanto said:

We will have to agree to disagree on that. I happen to agree with Downes, Blight, and Foner that a "Golden Opportunity" did exist during Reconstruction, and that, no matter how you sice it, traitors were allowed to be citizens, and loyal men cast into apartheid; and it was done to appease the traitors, all due to race. These ideas are not exclusive to these historians, such contemporary view in the 1860s and 1870s are very well documented.

While the Civil War was not about racial egalitarianism, but I think Reconstruction in many respects was. Obviously Reconstruction had several agendas, and one can argue if Reconciliation failed them by failing to secure racial equality and create a truly pro-Union South, or if it succeeded by creating in the South a power structure which could embrace the Union. All of this depends on which agenda one decides fits Reconstruction. 

My own view is that Reconstruction should have aimed to deconstruct the power structures that created secession and the war, above all the planter class and the hegemony of racism. Such would achieved by the appropriation of planter property for social uplift of white yeomens and Freedmen, and by racial equalty. Failing this, Reconstruction settled for allowing the old antebellum families to return to power, a new system of laws restablish racial hierarchy, and a memory of the war to flourish that celebrated treason, and buried the memory of Southern Unionists, black and white. In doing so, Reconstruction failed to destroy the heart of secession, and thus, in my estimation, was a failure. 

There was never any chance of a "Golden Opportunity" for racial equality in the Reconstruction Period when, from what we can tell, most abolitionists did not agree with the concept.  Why else would the Liberal Republicans gain such widespread support.  I have yet to find any widespread spread for support true racial egalitarianism from white abolitionists, and much evidence to the contrary.  Even such abolitionist luminaries such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Sumner, William Seward, Carl Schurz, Charles Francis Adams, Cassius Clay and many other did not support 20th and 21st Century views on racial equality.

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I would also be careful and avoid overusing the word traitors when in reference to the South.  I am not Lost Cause apologist, but we have to keep in mind that all Americans that supported the Revolution after 1776 were traitors to Great Britain, and the South was not the first region to seriously contemplate secession.  New England farmers with the knowledge, and complicity of their state governments supplied the British Army with foodstuffs during the War of 1812.  That was known at the time of 1861.  I direct my students to Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address.

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