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How did the civil war divide the country? - General Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Sat Jan 22nd, 2011 02:54 am
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Albert Sailhorst
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Hellcat, that is very chivalrous of you, and I admire you for it!!



 Posted: Sat Jan 22nd, 2011 04:35 am
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Hellcat
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I'm not sure it was chivalrous or if I even deserve to be admired to be perfectly honest. I shouldn't have gotten involved in the first place and when I did I should have appologized to elizabethsmith for contributing to the tangent from their question. You were one of those who tried sticking to it and really your comment about returning to the topic was more chivalrous as, in my opinion and quite likely my opnion only, it should have both returned the focus to where it was meant to be while perhaps unintentionally, or intentionally, scolding folks for diverging this way. Not really chivalrous to apologize for taking part if you feel like a heel after something like that.

Anyway, on the topic I think the obvious answer is the one we're likely to be taught in school. That is the country was seperated into the North and the South and that it was as simple as choosing one side over the other. But then I look at thing's like Daniel N. Rolph's My Brother's Keeper: Union and Confederate Soldiers' Acts of Mercy During the Cvil War. By the time I'd graduated from high school I knew a little about Richard Kirkland. But that was from my own studies at home. Not once did I hear anything about Kirkland or any other soldier showing any kind of kindness to the other side in any history lesson. Not once. Those lessons in elementary and high school always made it sound so simple and that no one on either side could possibly show compassion for the folks on the other side.

But when you start looking into it things weren't as simple as it sounds. And as I type this I have to wonder if we were really as divided as we think. Certainly we were didvided, there's no doubt for me about that. But certainly there were instances when what divided us were set aside. I mean think about Kirkland, even when they realized what he was doing why didn't the Federal's keep firing on him? By the simplistic view they should have despite the fact that he was, indeed, lending aid and comfort to the enemy, their comrades. But that's just it, they realized he was trying to help their comrades and they ended up cheering him for it.

And he's not the only one Rolph mentions in the book. He's got a chapter on the Freemasons in the war and it turns out that many times the Freemasons from one side willingly helped those from the other side. Despite being Freemasons shouldn't they have treated each other as such simplistic views would lead us to believe, as the enenmy  to be treated as nothing more or less than such? In this simplistic view shouldn't they have set aside such bonds for only their Masonic brothers fighting on their side?

What about the infamous exchange of goods between soldiers of the Army of the Potomac and soldiers of the Army of Northern Viriginia which saw things like coffee traded for tobacco by toy/paper boat? That certainly suggests the divide wasn't as great as the simplistic view leads one to believe.

 

Not to mention there were multiple divides really. You had folks in the North who symphasized with the South.



 Posted: Sun Jan 23rd, 2011 02:55 am
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Albert Sailhorst
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Excellent point, Hellcat!!

Even Gen. Sherman didn't hate Southerners.....it is well documented that he liked the Southern people and the South.....

I think soldiers develope a respect for one another. That respect, coupled with hardships of soldier life, being away from family, starting to wonder why they are fighting, wanting the war to be over....led to a mutual desire to just quit and go home. But, they couldn't do that, so the war had to be prosocuted. A good soldier did his duty, but a compasionate man recognized and sympathized and did what he could to help his fellow man, as far as circumstances would allow......

After the war, when reunions were held, I believe there was very little animosity among the Veterans of both sides......

Grant wasn't vindictive after the war, Lincoln didn't want to be vindictive after the war and most soldiers were just glad to be going home.....

Lee didn't hate the Yankees.....Forrest, in his farewell addres, admonished his troops to be good citizens.....Sure, there were politicians and some military leaders that wanted to fight a guerilla war.....There were a few "whack-jobs" (J W Booth, the James-Younger gang, ect) that refused to surrender, but I think most wanted peace......

Yes, there was hate after the war.....and that hate spawned modern hate groups. Who, in my opinion, are too ignorant to recognize that, in the end, we are all Americans.....

Who has a hatred, to this day, for Southerners???.....Do they hate Audie Murphey, Sgt York, Daniel Boone, Davey Crocket, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, Elvis, ZZ Top, BB King, George Strait......solely because they are Southern???



 Posted: Sun Jan 23rd, 2011 03:11 am
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9Bama
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Albert, you and Hellcat have both made excellent posts. to continue in that vein, after most wars, solders are not the ones doing the hating or the dividing. i have friends who have returned to vietNam and have no hate in their hearts for former enemies. In my humble opinion, the seeds of hatred and discord that followed the war were sown by the policies of reconstruction.Even today, reconstruction is referred to by older southerners as "hard times" or "dark times".



 Posted: Sun Jan 23rd, 2011 03:38 am
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Albert Sailhorst
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9Bama, you bet.....I agree with you 100%!!!!.....It's the governments and a few "hot-heads" that ruin the peace of a nation and a people......



 Posted: Sun Jan 23rd, 2011 04:06 am
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Hellcat
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The irony is that people don't stop to think about Washington being a Southerner. Or Jefferson. They think of them in terms of the Revolution. And I think to some extent that may be the thing, folks who were from the South but they came before the war they ignore what part of the country they were from, strictly speaking they were Americans pure and simple. Now it seems that division is more there in terms of politics for people to think of someone as being from the South. Otherwise it's just like "Oh their from the South. Hey, that's a nice bit of trivia." The division is still there to some extent, folks don't want to live in certain parts of the country just because of the views of that part of the country that they hold. Or they have a good laugh at some percieved view about that part of the country.

But when it comes to well known figures it seems the division is only still there when it comes to politicians. Others seem to use the division to their advantage, using the notions of where they came from (ie how people view the part of the country they actually may hail from or are currently living in when they become a celebrity) to their advantage. It seems there is more "Oh, their from that part of the country so they have no clue about anything" when you're talking politicians and some people are going to be more likely to vote against them just because of that.

 



 Posted: Sun Jan 23rd, 2011 03:45 pm
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jsalerno
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Lynyrd Skynyrd sang Sweet Home Alabama not The Allman Brothers



 Posted: Mon Jan 24th, 2011 12:27 am
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9Bama
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jsalerno wrote: Lynyrd Skynyrd sang Sweet Home Alabama not The Allman Brothers

When you are trollin and slingin BS, facts don't much matter...

after all, one southern band is just like all the rest, right ! :)



 Posted: Mon Jan 24th, 2011 01:33 am
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Doc Ce
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What can one expect from a greenie? On a more serious note, one cannot just lump the north and south as 2 entities, they were both extremely varied in their regional attitudes toward secession and the war, i.e. the eastern areas of Tenn., northern Ala., the butternut areas of southern Ind/Ill, deep south, new england, etc. An interesting book I'm almost finished with is The Cousins War which relates the English Civil War, Revolutionary War, CW and how these conflicts shared similarities.

Doc Ce
(LSU School of Med. 1979)

Last edited on Mon Jan 24th, 2011 01:35 am by Doc Ce



 Posted: Mon Jan 24th, 2011 01:03 pm
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wardenerd
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Wow what a hipocritical bigot you are.  Remember the state moto of most southern states is We don't care how you did it where you came from.  Morally the south did not force the deaths of a million people in the invasion of the south and you are right Antietam and Gettysburg were losses for the South and for federalism.  The nation has never been as strong as when states held some check on the federal government.  if you are uncomfortable in the south stay home and freeze.



 Posted: Mon Jan 24th, 2011 01:06 pm
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wardenerd
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I always laugh when I recall Harry Truman's mother being upset her son was president of Yankeeland after they burned her home place for her familily's southern sympathies.



 Posted: Mon Jan 24th, 2011 01:08 pm
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wardenerd
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One of the reasons the war was fought was a desire by the whigs turned Republicans to put down those damn Virginians who kept using the constitution they wrote to foil federal takeover of everything.  They succeeded.



 Posted: Mon Jan 24th, 2011 01:11 pm
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wardenerd
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To the guy who tunes out the southern accent i would remind him that in the 50's golden age og baseball.  All three New York teams had souther broadcasters.  Two from Alabama. 



 Posted: Mon Jan 24th, 2011 01:15 pm
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wardenerd
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Before we canonize St. Lincoln and St.Sherman we need to remeber they were the first civilized men to unleash unlimited war on civilians. But they were just southern women and children so maybe it does not count.



 Posted: Mon Jan 24th, 2011 01:35 pm
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javal1
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Back to the original question or the thread will be closed. Enough of the immature snark.



 Posted: Mon Jan 24th, 2011 01:41 pm
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Albert Sailhorst
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Thank you, Javal!!!!

Hope all is well with you!!



 Posted: Mon Jan 24th, 2011 09:37 pm
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wardenerd
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hey I just follow the thread.  I did not take it over.  I think Gettysburg was the licnpin battle of the war with or without any political rhetoric.



 Posted: Mon Jan 24th, 2011 10:26 pm
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Doc Ce
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The CW divide continues to this day. A good example is Confederate in The Attic. By the way Doc J, god speed your recovery. An even more provocative question is how the 150th anniversary will play today?

Doc Ce



 Posted: Tue Jan 25th, 2011 01:24 am
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9Bama
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wardenerd wrote: hey I just follow the thread.  I did not take it over.  I think Gettysburg was the licnpin battle of the war with or without any political rhetoric.

give us more than a one sentence ambush then. Boards like this don't mind controversial topics, threads and posts, but we do mind opinions stated as facts, and statements not substantiated by research.

If you say 12:00 always follows 11:00, then no one will bat an eye becasue it is universally known, but if you say somethig like " there was a hundred and fifty thousand black confederates in the war"... then it might be a good idea to have some sources handy to back up the statement.. see the difference..?



 Posted: Tue Jan 25th, 2011 06:46 am
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Hellcat
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Javal, is discussing how one may sees the divide still being in effect so far off the original question as to be unwarranted in the thread?



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