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 Civil War - General    
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John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
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E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 555

Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/19/2017 12:14:21 PM
Jim,

No Meade attacked into a box with Confederates on 3 sides. He lucked out because Gregg wasn't prepared to meet the attack and drove Gregg out of the brigades initial position. At that point Early counter-attacks and drives Meade back into the box. You had Lane on the left, Archer on the right and Gregg at the rear. The map on Wiki partially shows what I'm saying in that it had Gregg farther back than Lane and Archer and Lane and Archer lines refused to connect to Gregg. It shows a creek running through Gregg's line. What it doesn't show is that Gregg's line is masked by a patch of swampy woods. That Gregg's line is on a road with Early's and DH Hill's Divisions plus part of Pickett's in reserve.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Posts: 6103
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/19/2017 12:39:55 PM
This all started with the Southern states seceding- because the Federal government decided that it wanted to abolish slavery. The North was essentially industrial; and the South predominately farming, and farming was labour intensive- hence coloured slaves.So we have a more than a quiet altercation brewing-indeed the South blew a gasket and was shouting "Over my dead body"-the blood was up and "if it's a fight you want-I am ready to fight; and if necessary die for my beliefs".

The North now Knew that war was inevitable.Both sides started to arm but the North saw the opportunity to seize the Southerner's materiel and infrastructure for themselves.The South recognising the import of this treacherous move were incensed. They were going to defend what was theirs with tooth and nail; with an innate fervour against the hated Yankees; and this they did-Win,Lose or Draw.


Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
London, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2603

Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/19/2017 1:07:03 PM
And was this fervour enhanced or diminished by the events of 1862 ?

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Posts: 6103
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/19/2017 1:28:59 PM
I am of the opinion that the fervour when they fought increased during 1862-a win invigorated the blood and a engendered a innate need to get at the enemy again;whereas a lost battle only increased the need to get even- through sheer bitterness; but in this bubbling pot- -a spirit of kill Yankees appertained.

At times very little quarter was given as at Antietam-a tactical win for the Rebels-but a strategic win fo the Union- where there was a significant paucity of Union POWs ie. half of the Confederate POWs taken. and I suspect a degree of foul play.It has been mooted that Union soldiers were bayonneted in their tents at Shiloh.That IS savagery/

Am I correct in my thinking that the Union only won two engagements in 1862 ie. Shiloh and 2nd Bull Run ????

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 555

Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/19/2017 4:43:33 PM
Jim,

That is a very simplistic background of why the war started hence full of half truths and political correctness. The North was industrialized but the majority in the North still made their living off agriculture. The climate and disease had more to do with the introduction of the slaves in the South although the labor intensive cotton production had a lot to do with their longevity. The Federal government hadn't decided on abolition of slavery, in fact Lincoln didn't believe he had the Constitutional power to do so. He was shooting to stop the spread of slavery into the territories. Yes slavery is a large part of why the war started but there is so much more. Big government vs little, concentration of power with the Federal or the state, agriculture vs industry and yes slavery were just some of the reasons in a very complicated situation.

I've seen more that a few knowledgeable authors write the die hard Abolitionists were no more than 10% of the Northern population. As defined by those that would vote only based on the slavery issue. So where do the other votes come from, what issues make them vote Republican?
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 555

Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/19/2017 7:20:34 PM
Jim,

Union soldiers bayonetted in their tents at Shiloh? Some of the fighting took place in the camps and some of that devolved into hand to hand fighting but not as savage as your statement is implying. The Union wasn't taken so unaware that they had men surprised laying in the tents getting bayonetted.

Well 2nd Bull Run was a Union loss but yes you are wrong in saying Shiloh was the only Union victory in 1862, Forts henry and Donalson and the whole unravelling of the forward defense line in the West bringing us to Shiloh, the fall of New Orleans, Pea Ridge, Malvern Hill, Antietam and to end the year Stones River.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/19/2017 8:44:51 PM
A single or perhaps two errors- would maybe pass muster; but a complete misreading of this very important issue is unforgiveable-My thanks to you- for showing me the error of my ways- which I deeply regret.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 555

Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/19/2017 10:58:09 PM
Jim,

No I didn't mean it that way at all and if the way I wrote that conveys that impression I apologize.

Your post on the politics basically said it was all and only about slavery and I'm going to answer that just about every time I see it.

In the other post your ignoring so many Union gains and victories and that had to be pointed out. When Lee took command the Confederacy was on the brink and if Shiloh had been the only victory of the year it would have been the other way around because the Republicans would have surely lost the House in the Nov elections. Personally I don't believe military victory is possible for the Confederacy. That for the Confederacy to win it has to be because the Northern people have lost the political will to back the war effort.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2603

Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/20/2017 5:21:28 AM
Jim,

Forgive me for not pitching in earlier . A couple of difficulties have prevented my participation.

I especially wanted to thank you for putting in a post when you had cast yourself adrift from the history articles you cite.

What you gave us was pure unadulterated anemone opinion, and I honour you for that.

A lot of union victories occurred in 1862, especially in the West. The fall of New Orleans was an immense blow to the South, perhaps even more for symbolic reasons than for its actual geo strategic importance.

As John says, the Confederacy was deep in the brown and sticky stuff in the spring and early summer of 1862 : the reversal of fortune was all the more dramatic on account of that.

Second Bull run was not only a union defeat, but a truly massive one. A superb Southern victory with Washington under real threat.....small wonder that Lee chose to exploit by moving into Maryland.

There are one or two things you mentioned that I'd like to comment on, in the hope that you might revise your view of this war.

Battlefield conduct was - on the whole - exemplary ; especially for a civil war. A lot of hatred was preached from pulpit and soap box, but, as so often happens in war, the soldiers themselves followed protocol when it came to confronting the enemy. Battles were bloody - sometimes in the extreme - but quarter was offered and accepted. Hundreds of thousands of men were taken prisoner, and the risk of not having surrender accepted was much smalller than in many other wars.
The notable exception was the killing of black union soldiers at Fort Pillow, The Crater at Petersburg, Prairie Grove....southerners were enraged by the sight of blacks in uniform and did sometimes refuse quarter. There were also atrocities committed in the trans Mississippi theatre, where irregular warfare prevailed .
And, of course, mortality in prison camps was appalling....more as a result of general hardship and squalour than any deliberate policy. Ordinary camp life killed hundreds of thousands of soldiers, and it's small wonder that this was worse still in PoW camps.

The story of Yankees being bayoneted in their cots inside their tents at Shiloh was a fabrication by a partisan press , anxious to depict Grant as the drunken culprit for the Union being surprised.

At Shiloh, some Southerners did indeed kill yankee prisoners....but this was a very isolated case and involved a handful of victims ; the Southern soldiers who witnessed it expressed abhorrence and prevented it from continuing.

A better exemplar of the way soldiers behaved on the battlefield is the case of a southern soldier - I think his name was Kirkland - who ventured out into the deadly space in front of the confederate defences at Fredericksburg in order to tend to wounded and dying yankee soldiers. I've seen his statue on the battlefield.
This Angel of Mercy was to be killed in action the following year at Chickamauga.

Regards , Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Lightning
Glasgow, UK
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class


Posts: 459

Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/20/2017 7:12:05 AM
Hi all,

Not seeking to derail this thread, but the above discussion about the causes of the war deserves some attention. I'd be happy to move it to another thread, if people are interested?

Certainly, the major issues were as John Price described:


Quote:
Yes slavery is a large part of why the war started but there is so much more. Big government vs little, concentration of power with the Federal or the state, agriculture vs industry and yes slavery were just some of the reasons in a very complicated situation


However, let's be clear; the Confederacy was formed and engaged in armed conflict because of the implied threat of eventual abolition of slavery - it was their red line and it was under threat by the increasing size of the Union and the explicit threat of prevention of slavery being allowed in the new states. It's hard to see so many existing states seceding from the Union on the grounds of big/little government or the gradual economic dominance of industry over agriculture. Whilst it wasn't the only cause, I hold the view that it was the irreconcilable view of the future of slavery that ultimately ensured that armed conflict was virtually inevitable.

Also from John:


Quote:
I've seen more that a few knowledgeable authors write the die hard Abolitionists were no more than 10% of the Northern population. As defined by those that would vote only based on the slavery issue. So where do the other votes come from, what issues make them vote Republican?


I'd accept that, but I would be interested to hear the numbers of people who felt that slavery would (or could) survive into the long term, particularly when so many nations around the world were emancipating slaves and serfs and also given that the US Navy was assisting in suppressing the West African slave trade. The institution of slavery was, in my view, untenable in the United States and international pressure and internal public opinion would have forced its abolition by the end of the 19th century, at the latest.

Cheers,

Colin
---------------
"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/20/2017 7:24:12 AM
I guess that I an getting somewhat confused-this thread set out to study the bloodiest battles of 1862-the butcher's bill foremost and the result in second place-now we are now looking at the conduct of the soldier in the ranks and quarter.Sensibly one would expect quarter to be given to soldiers who had been captured (unlike the Japanese who despised soldiers who gave up-rather than fight-and killed them out of hand)

American soldiers of both sides generally the accepted Code of Practice in War and gave quarter as necessary; but AFAIK WI practised no quarter throughout the war,as well as isolated incidents particularly in the East where Sherman was doing quite a bit of arson= which the Confederates did not take kindly to; and shot a number of Union soldiers out of hand whom they caught fire raising.Then we have the murder of coloured soldiers in uniform-both sides shot them-an invidious position for them to be in.

Generally apeakig however and I say this guardedly, the war ,although extremely violent-saw the soldiers act honourably on the battlefield-I do not know enough about irregulars to comment on their behaviour..

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2603

Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/20/2017 9:32:08 AM
When we discuss slavery as a very major causal factor in the story of the American Civil War, aren't we avoiding the elephant in the room ?

Slavery is one thing ; had it been an issue of free versus slave labour, then the conflict might well have been averted.

What made it so insurmountable as a focal point of sectional collision was the issue of race .

The problem of the negro - am I allowed to use that word ? - and his place in society made the clash transcend beyond the remit of mere constitutional disputes.

What made the Peculiar Institution so peculiar was its immersion in racial subjugation.

This is a touchy question, very hard to discuss.....woe betide anyone who falls foul of political correctness !

I have often mused on the phenomenal fighting record of so many poor white soldiers - many of them illiterate - who served in the confederate armies.

The ownership of slaves was a pipe dream for them.

What made them fight so hard ?

I suspect that their one prized possession was their white skin ; if white supremacy was under threat, they were going to fight like blazes to preserve it.

I've said enough....best if I revert to discussing the casualty figures.

Regards, Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2603

Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/20/2017 10:03:15 AM
It seems to me that the bloodiest year of the war was 1864 ; but, for the South alone, I suspect that 1862 was bloodier.

Northern casualties in 1864 were so enormous that the year transcended....I should think that - just in the two months of May and June 1864 - Northern killed and wounded were comparable with what the South lost in the entire year of 1862.

The South was definitely profligate in its battlefield tactics of 1862.

Two years later a compelled husbandry asserted itself ; Franklin being the notorious and conspicuous exception.

I wonder if this reflects the differing perspectives from the Southern viewpoint : an all out battlefield win being seen as attainable in 1862 ; whereas in 1864 it was a question of holding on long enough and killing enough Yankees to secure an attritional outcome based on war weariness in the North.

Regards , Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
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Posts: 6103
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/20/2017 10:11:14 AM
Sure is a very touchy subject Phil-the war ended on June 22, 1865 and following that surrender, the Emancipation Proclamation was enforced throughout remaining regions of the South that had not yet freed the slaves.

Slavery however continued for a couple of months in some locations. Federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19, to enforce the emancipation.

The day of gaining freedom is now celebrated as "Juneteenth" in several states.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 555

Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/20/2017 12:03:51 PM
Phil,

This isn't the unmoderated Civil War Politics thread but I have to point out one thing, even Lincoln said on more than one occasion "free but never equal." The idea of "white supremacy" and the question of place in society weren't confined to the South in 1860.

Plus I have to add the whole idea of Southerners fighting for slavery and Northerners fighting to free the slaves isn't why the very large majority enlisted to fight the war. IMO preserving the Union and because you invaded would be the more likely answers from the rank and file.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2603

Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/20/2017 3:04:12 PM
Yes, John, point taken.

I was worried about discussing it.

There was a lot of negrophobia in the North.

I know that Alexander Stephens, advocate of white supremacy, was charitable to black people and invested his time and money in helping them.

There are complexities here.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2603

Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/20/2017 3:09:33 PM
At the beginning of 1862, I imagine, there were plenty of Southerners who believed that one of their kinsmen could whip three, five - or as many as you like - Yankees,

By the end of 1862, I suspect that most of them had changed their minds.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Lightning
Glasgow, UK
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class


Posts: 459

Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/20/2017 4:17:57 PM

Quote:
At the beginning of 1862, I imagine, there were plenty of Southerners who believed that one of their kinsmen could whip three, five - or as many as you like - Yankees,

By the end of 1862, I suspect that most of them had changed their minds.

Regards, Phil
--Phil andrade


Phil,

That reminds me of similar statements by British staff officers at the outbreak of the second Anglo-Boer War; there was talk of British brigades being able to smash four times their number of Boer commandos. The banks of the Modder and Tugala were stained red alright, but with British blood. Such pigheadedness is rarely warranted in war.

Cheers,

Colin
---------------
"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/21/2017 5:34:48 AM
Agreed Colin-1899 was disastrous for British arms, which at that time were headed by General Buller-who was not particularly bright at the best of times.Boer marksmanship made a bloody mess of British parade ground manoeuvres.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
London, UK
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Posts: 2603

Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/21/2017 6:01:59 AM
Was phenomenal Boer resistance inspired, to a degree, by the same racial codes that might have accounted for the ferocity of southern fighting in the civil war ?

Regards , Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
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Posts: 6103
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/21/2017 6:02:02 AM
The Peninsula Campaign was a major Union offensive against the Confederate capital of Richmond led by Major General George B. McClellan in the spring and summer of 1862.

After moving his Army of the Potomac by boat to Fort Monroe on the Atlantic coast in late April, McClellan planned an advance toward Richmond via the peninsula formed by the York and James Rivers.

Due to a habit of consistently overestimating his enemy’s numbers, the Union general refused to act until late May. The first stage of the Peninsula Campaign ended in the inconclusive Battle of Seven Pines, during which Confederate General Joseph Johnston was injured and command passed to Robert E. Lee.

Beginning on June 25, Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia held off the Army of the Potomac in a series of engagements known as the Seven Days’ Battles, effectively ending McClellan’s campaign toward Richmond.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/21/2017 6:32:22 AM
Now and then a gem reaches out and grabs you as you survey the history.

Here's one : the Battle of Secessionville, June 16, 1862.

In terms of scale it's hardly on the radar, with fewer than one thousand casualties in total.

What it likes in size, it makes up for in intensity and and it's singularly symbolic, too.

The very name of the place says it all.

This was a pleasant hamlet area outside Charleston in South Carolina ; this was where rich plantation owners had their " summer villas ".

If ever the North wanted to strike at the heart of the Confederacy, there could be no better place.

An expedition was mounted under the command of the Union general Hunter - much hated in the South after his depredations in the Shenandoah.

Several thousand yankee soldiers disembarked and sought to attack Charleston by way of Secessionville,

Barring the way was a rebel fort and a garrison of 500 soldiers under the command of an officer by the name of Lamar.

He possessed some powerful artillery ; but the only reinforcements were some distance away, under the command of General " Shank" Evans.

The Yankees were only able to attack through a narrow, swampy causeway, and this channeled them into a good field of fire, and meant that they could only come on regiment by regiment....in effect, it was a kind of Thermopylae .

The ensuing fight was fierce and often at very close quarters.

The Yankees were repulsed.

They suffered close to 700 casualties ; the confederates, 200. Of these casualties, 107 Yankees and 52 rebels were posted as killed. The high proportion of dead among the Confederate casualties attests the fierceness of the battle. The Union reports emphasise that their missing were also killed, so the total was far greater than the 107 officially returned. Indeed, one of the rebel officers reported that 341 enemy dead were interred in front of the defences....my goodness, what a disparity ! To what can we attribute such widely contradictory reports ?

What I found that delights me - after googling around the place - is a 66 page section from the Official Records, of reports compiled by officers on both sides, who described in detail their experiences of this engagement.

There are very meticulous inventories regarding arms and accoutrements....some interesting allusions to the failure of the new enfield rifles to live up to their reputation.

What caught my attention especially was the mutual regard between the commanding officers on both sides, and their determination to uphold " Christian and civilised " conduct of warfare. The wounded and dying left in enemy hands were cared for, the dead treated with respect, and prisoners decently treated. There was acknowledgement and gratitude expressed reciprocally, and the impression is strongly conveyed that, for all its bloodiness, this war adhered to high standards of battlefield protocol.

That this occurred in the very hotbed of secessionist South Carolina is all the more significant : one might have expected heightened bitterness and commensurate lack of restraint. It's all the more remarkable that one year later, a black regiment - the 54th Massachusetts - fought on ground close by, and was also repulsed with great loss of life, with, it would appear, the amenities of war honoured.

I thought that this would be a fitting contribution to this thread : a reminder that size doesn't always matter, and that some of those " footnote" engagement make for the most interesting research and discussion.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2603

Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/21/2017 6:34:51 AM
Jim,

To my dismay, your post on Seven Pines is yet another Copy and Paste.

How much we would all like you to ask questions and venture opinions.

Forgive my bitching....have a lovely 86th birthday and enjoy your trip to Majorca !

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Lightning
Glasgow, UK
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class


Posts: 459

Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/21/2017 7:36:49 AM

Quote:
Was phenomenal Boer resistance inspired, to a degree, by the same racial codes that might have accounted for the ferocity of southern fighting in the civil war ?

Regards , Phil
--Phil andrade


Certainly the Boers, like their Confederate counterparts, were fighting to oppose what they saw as a powerful neighbour looming over the rights and freedom. Neither the Union nor the British establishments were particularly concerned with the black population (with notable and vocal exceptions), but were more keen on ensuring that opposition to their future plans and ambitions was silenced.

The Boers and Confederacy share similar traits; a largely agrarian society, with civilians well used to using firearms and horses and armed also with a strong sense of individualism and fear of big government.

Cheers,

Colin
---------------
"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Posts: 6103
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/21/2017 9:15:54 AM
"To my dismay, your post on Seven Pines is yet another Copy and Paste.

How much we would all like you to ask questions and venture opinions."

Herewith-an opinion

With the McClellan's defeat in the Seven Days Battles-Lincoln sent Halleck to see McLellan to see what "in tarnation" he intended to do.McClellan was sitting tight because he thought and reported that Confederate forces numbered 400,000.

Halleck was aghast; so he asked McLellan to consult his officers,which he did. and it was their opinion that with another 20,000 men they would advance on Richmond. McLellan now revised his opposition's strength at 200,000 men-making the plan for attack nonsense.

Halleck returned to Washington and reported his findings to Lincoln-who told Halleck that such numbers did not exist; and he instructed Halleck to order McLellan's withdrawal; and so ended the Union's best chance of ending the war quickly. IMHO McLellan was totally unfit for high command and was in need of Psychiatric help with his phobias and delusions.

Command of the Army of Tennessee was passed to the reinstated General Grant-the soldier with the fighting spirit and the will to win.

1862 is well named the Gateway to Victory

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
London, UK
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Posts: 2603

Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/21/2017 12:50:53 PM
McClellan's phobias and delusions....he seems like a chef who's been asked to make an omelet , suffering from an aversion to breaking eggs.

He did, however, knock up the biggest bloody omelet of the war at Antietam on 17 September 1862, and alluded to it as a masterpiece of art !

One of the best examples of delusion at high command level can also be ascribed to an 1862 battle : at Second Bull Run ( Mannassas ) General Pope wired Washington on 29 August, boasting that the rebels had been so smashed up that they were in full retreat.

The next day he was swept away by Longstreet's massive attack.

The Second Battle of Bull Run was another extremely hard fought affair.

I visited the field in 1985 and was impressed by the strong evocation.

The more famous site of the First Battle of Bull Run was rather redolent of a golf course , swarming with tourists.....but the battlefield of the Second Bull Run was neglected and imparted more atmosphere.

There's a place called Grover's Cut. This was a part of a defensive position that Stonewall Jackson's men had held against fierce yankee attacks...it was actually a railroad cut, a kind of earthworks that was manned by the rebels .

Grover was a yankee commander, either at divisional or brigade level - whose men managed to storm this position at bayonet point and capture it for a while after the most terrific hand to hand fight.

Just being in that place made the hairs on my neck bristle.

I remember reading the account of a confederate officer on Jackson's staff. His name was Henry Kyd Douglas , and he was a Marylander.

He described how the aftermath of battle presented a grotesque difference between the Northern and Southern dead. The southerners had been starving, and had no body fat. The Northerners had been well fed and were relatively plump. The weather had been very warm. The dead rebels retained their colour and dimensions. The yankees, on account of their body fat, were corrupted by the sun and bloated up, and turned a startling black colour. You could discern the lines of battle by the colour of the dead.

The numbers of casualties in this fighting reached nine thousand five hundred for the South and sixteen thousand for the North. Of these, the number confirmed as killed was very similar for the two sides : about 1,500 for the South and 1,750 for the North....but we can be fairly confident that many of those poor, bloated blackened yankees had been recorded as missing, and had not been counted among the killed.

Their bodies were left to rot for a long time ; Lee's army was too busy gearing up for the move into Maryland to attend to battlefield clearance. In that age of profound Christian belief , the prospect of being left without proper burial was appalling.

The plains of Mannassas remained a charnel house for years, with skulls and fragments of humanity remaining as a reproach.

Regards, Phil


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anemone
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/21/2017 1:22:19 PM
Thank you for your answer Phil

"He did, however, knock up the biggest bloody omelet of the war at Antietam on 17 September 1862, and alluded to it as a masterpiece of art !"

Lincoln was bitterly disappointed with McLellan's performance at Antietam,his overly cautious and hesitant moves reduced this battle that should have been an overwhelming victory down to a dubious draw and his refusal to pursue the beaten Confederates was the last straw-he sacked McLellan and rightly so -he was the poorest Field General imaginable -he should have stuck with making railroads.

"He described how the aftermath of battle presented a grotesque difference between the Northern and Southern dead. The southerners had been starving, and had no body fat. The Northerners had been well fed and were relatively plump. The weather had been very warm. The dead rebels retained their colour and dimensions. The yankees, on account of their body fat, were corrupted by the sun and bloated up, and turned a startling black colour. You could discern the lines of battle by the colour of the dead."

McLellan was completely averted by the sight of dead bodies and had he seen this "shambles"-he might well have fainted.

Talking about Lee leaving a field full of dead bodies-I think sometime during the war that he complained to a Union General for doing the same.The Biter- Bit !!!

Regards

Jim
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Phil andrade
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/22/2017 5:35:59 AM
Lee's back garden became the interment plot for countless thousands of those Yankee dead ....I bet a good many of them were from the battlefield of Second Mannassas.

Hence the origins of Arlington National Cemetery.

McClellan was aptly described by Grant as one of the war's great mysteries .

I wonder if he ever really had his heart in the kind of aggressive war against the South that the Republicans wanted. He certainly advocated a compromise peace with the Southerners keeping their slaves. Maybe this is why he was so slow to move in his initial advance against Richmond.

He actually wrote a letter to Lincoln from Harrison's Landing which set out his vision for the conduct of the war - this was after the Seven Days.

I'm tempted to suggest that - when he saw the Union threatened by confederate advance - he was galvanised into more alacrity : he moved quickly in the South Mountain manoeuvres and got things together quite quickly. Perhaps he was not reconciled to invading the South, but made a decent account of himself when countering an invasion of the North - if Maryland can be considered such.

There was a sharp skirmish at Antietam the night before the big battle. McClellan was there in person, actually in the front line.

For a man averse to combat, he showed himself reconciled to conducting the bloodiest one day of battle of the entire war.

He was a good organiser and trainer of men ; the Army of the Potomac was very much his creation.

When asked who had been his most able opponent , Lee answered quickly and unequivocally McClellan, by all the odds .

There you have it, then..... the war's great mystery !

Regards , Phil
---------------
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"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Phil andrade
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/22/2017 5:46:57 AM

Quote:


Talking about Lee leaving a field full of dead bodies-I think sometime during the war that he complained to a Union General for doing the same.The Biter- Bit !!!

Regards

Jim
--anemone


You allude to Cold Harbor, Jim.

This was the on same ground where so many of Lee's own soldiers had perished two years earlier as they were deployed in frontal assaults against yankee breastworks. That had been called the Battle of Gaines's Mill, and had been a confederate victory, 27 June 1862.

But - and this is crucial - it was not leaving a field of enemy dead that bothered Lee in June 1864 : it was leaving their wounded that he considered outrageous.

Hundreds and hundreds of Yankee soldiers were left to die between the lines ; many of these would have survived had Grant agreed to a truce to clear the field....and even if they had not survived, at least they would have been afforded some care and comfort in their final moments if they had been tended by their friends in hospital. As it was, they endured the worst fate that can befall soldiers in battle, and Grant was considered the culprit.

Regards, Phil


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"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/22/2017 6:21:13 AM
GM Phil-thanks for the reply-It is said that Grant was a man, who at heart; cared for his men.This sort of brutal abandonment of his wounded and dying soldiers certainly gives the lie to that idea.His wartime career as a field general showed that he only cared for winning at whatever cost to his troops-so (indeed) another Napoleon.I do find it somewhat difficult to decry him too much.This ferocious war had to be won by the Union by any means possible; and that meant "Total War"-no holds barred.And as we know it got bloodier and included terrorising of the Southern populace by Sherman

Regards

Jim
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/22/2017 12:06:58 PM
The way Sherman treated civilians was extremely genteel compared with the atrocities extant in other civil wars, and would look like kid gloves compared with conduct in the wars of the twentieth century.

Sherman conducted a harsh war, but it was directed against property - not the persons - of the civilian population .

Of course, this exposed southern civilians to hardship and hunger, and surely this had fatal consequences.....there were also mortality rates among black people who attempted to follow the union army, and were left to drown or starve in some cases.

But - make no mistake - the American Civil War was conducted with great restraint in terms of physical violence against civilians.

Regards , Phil
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"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/22/2017 1:03:05 PM

Quote:
The way Sherman treated civilians was extremely genteel compared with the atrocities extant in other civil wars, and would look like kid gloves compared with conduct in the wars of the twentieth century.

Sherman conducted a harsh war, but it was directed against property - not the persons - of the civilian population .

Of course, this exposed southern civilians to hardship and hunger, and surely this had fatal consequences.....there were also mortality rates among black people who attempted to follow the union army, and were left to drown or starve in some cases.

But - make no mistake - the American Civil War was conducted with great restraint in terms of physical violence against civilians.

Regards , Phil
--Phil andrade


Let us set aside the atrocities to the civil populaces in the 20 th Century; and take a good hard look at Sherman's behaviour in this war under discussion

He vowed that he would make the South so hate what he was about to do -"they would not even think about waging war against the Union ever again".Chilling Words indeed.He starved the people by taking their food-livestock and any other victuals that his soldiers could lay their hands on ,he burnt their farms and barns,took away their horses and transport by ripping up railways,destroying bridges and telegraphs-the damage then was estimated at $100 million-about over 1 billion dollars today.What about mercy-well according to Sherman- that was double edged tactical weapon- which cut both ways.


Quote:
In his 1875 Memoirs, he wrote, “My aim then was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us.” For sheer cold calculation, rage, and ruthlessness, no Union general had a better understanding of the kind of war against civilians that could defeat a democracy such as the Confederacy.


Phil-I feel that I have painted a more "realistic" picture of General Sherman's Eastern Campaign; and great restraint did not come into this region.He even had a hand in te burning of Atlanta-by doing nothing to stop it happening

Regards

Jim

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Phil andrade
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/23/2017 3:43:31 PM
You'll take my point, I hope, Jim, that these actions by Sherman and co were unaccompanied by the deliberate killing of civilians....a fact that differentiaiates this war from so many others : especially civil wars.

Regards, Phil
---------------
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"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/24/2017 3:17:55 AM
I have to agree the ACW did not include deliberate killing of civilians to any degree- as in the Boer War by the British and their despicable way to win a war- via committing Boer women and children to Concentration Camps.No Genocides as per WW1 and 2.

However it was the ruthless and relentless Union Generals who won that civil war.

Regards

Jim
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Phil andrade
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/24/2017 3:20:26 AM

Quote:
I have to agree the ACW did not include deliberate killing of civilians to any degree- as in the Boer War by the British and their despicable way to win a war- via committing Boer women and children to Concentration Camps.No Genocides as per WW1 and 2.

However it was the ruthless and relentless Union Generals who won that civil war.

Regards

Jim
--anemone



Brilliant summary, Jim...your ruthless and relentless is a phrase I'd like to borrow !

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/24/2017 3:59:02 AM
Famous Civil War Generals & Commanders during the American Civil War. There were hundreds of generals commissioned in the American Civil War on both the Union and Confederate armies. Some, like Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Ulysess S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman are household names; but what of Longstreet,Thomas,Hooker,McLellan and Rosencrans,etc, etc.????

Regards

Jim
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Phil andrade
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/24/2017 4:36:27 AM
Perhaps we should review these generals in the light of the 1862 battles we've been discussing : after all, that year was a maker and breaker of generals.

Take Albert Sydney Johnston, for example.

No tactical genius, surely. But...and it's a big but ....he posssessed charismatic features that are invaluable attributes of command.

His death unleashed a fatal toxicity in the relationships between confederate commanders in the west.

Had he lived, it's feasible to imagine a more successful southern war in Tennessee and Mississsippi, and with it, perhaps, a different outcome to the Civil War.

Maybe I'm just tilting at windmills here.

1862 made Lee, Jackson, and, by association, Longstreet. Indeed, Longstreet's juggernaut attack at Second Mannassas deserves acknowledgement as one of the war's supreme battlefield achievements.

1862 broke McClellan.

It made Grant, but only with a residual fragility based on the grisly price of Shiloh.

Rosecrans did well in 1862....a general who possessed real tactical flair but was subject to bouts of hyper mania under stress.

Then we have Hood. The nearest thing to Richard the Lionheart in that war. What a superb effort at Gaines's Mill, Second Mannassas and Antietam....truly a divisional commander of the highest calibre ; and that's no small thing.

Shame about episodes two years later !

Much to discuss here.

Regards, Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/24/2017 5:20:54 AM
GeneralThomas (Hero of Chiccamauga) attacked on December 15, 1864, in the Battle of Nashville and effectively destroyed Hood's command in two days of fighting.


Quote:
Thomas was appointed a major general in the regular army, with date of rank of his Nashville victory, and received the Thanks of Congress:-

... "to Major-General George H. Thomas and the officers and soldiers under his command for their skill and dauntless courage, by which the rebel army under General Hood was signally defeated and driven from the state of Tennessee."


Poor old McLellan was far too "bugged" by his own imagination and fears-he was introspective and overly cautious-always seeing his enemy as greater than it was. His career ended after Antietam after refusing to continue his attack on Richmond.

Regards

Jim
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Lightning
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/24/2017 7:35:58 AM

Quote:
I have to agree the ACW did not include deliberate killing of civilians to any degree- as in the Boer War by the British and their despicable way to win a war- via committing Boer women and children to Concentration Camps.Jim --anemone


At no point was it official or unofficial British policy to murder anyone in the concentration camps. The purpose of them was to deny the Boer commandos assistance from their kin on the veldt; obviously the camps were deathtraps due to lack of planning, sanitation and provision, but it wasn't deliberate. The myth that somehow the British camps were the prototypes to the Nazi death camps of the 1940s needs to be challenged.

Cheers,

Colin
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Lightning
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Re: 1862--A Year of Bloody Battles
Posted on: 7/24/2017 7:45:43 AM

Quote:
Take Albert Sydney Johnston, for example.

No tactical genius, surely. But...and it's a big but ....he posssessed charismatic features that are invaluable attributes of command.

His death unleashed a fatal toxicity in the relationships between confederate commanders in the west.

Had he lived, it's feasible to imagine a more successful southern war in Tennessee and Mississsippi, and with it, perhaps, a different outcome to the Civil War.

Maybe I'm just tilting at windmills here.---Phil


Phil,

The Union could afford to lose territory in the West; with the sea lanes open and the blockade of the South in place, the Union could essentially cede ground in the West as long as it gained it in the East. Any Confederacy success in the West was icing on the cake - they needed to win where the papers were read.

The East was key; successful moves against the capital and key areas of the cities may have brought a clamour for peace and/or foreign mediation. McLellan may not have destroyed Lee at Antietam, but he prevented a potentially war-winning thrust by the Confederacy. In the heat of battle, he was aware of the stakes and believed himself outnumbered, yet still made attacks with the ambition of ending it once and for all.

Cheers,

Colin
---------------
"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."

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