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 Posted: Mon Dec 7th, 2009 11:51 pm
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DanWalker
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Anyone who wonders why the South lost the Civil War - quit wondering. Desertions. Over 2/3 of their soldiers deserted.

This is the open secret of the Civil War -- one that Confederate apologist hate to admit. They also hate to admit Jefferson Davis ran away in a dress - but the desertions were more important.

Davis said in January of 1865 that 2/3 of the soldiers were awol. Lee the last days of the war said his army was "evaporating" -- meaning he could hardly find anyone to command. Since his own profoundly stupid moves at Gettysburg, and Hood's lunacy that lead to more slaughter for the Confederate troops, the soldiers were sick of the stupidity and egos of the "leaders".


Johnston and Beauregard met with Davis and bluntly told him the most of the men had left -- and taken the horses and wagons with them. Those that remained simply refused to fight. There was no army to command. There were some men standing around -- those that couldnt walk, those that didnt have a horse or wagon to run away on.

Davis was in denial and just didn't get it -- Beauregard had to tell him like a Dutch uncle -- the soldiers wont fight. Most deserted. It's over.

Davis promptly left --dressed as a woman, and tried to get away. When captured, his wife protected him. Easily the biggest coward of the war was Jefferson Davis.

This idea that the South never had a chance is nonsense. They had more soldiers and weapons to start the war. They would have had three times as many soldiers if desertions were not a problem. And if they had freed the slaves to fight for them -- they would have had 5 times as many soldiers and recognition from England and France.

In other words -- stupidity and cowardice is why the South lost. Lincolnn outsmarted the slave rapers, is what it boiled down to.



 Posted: Tue Dec 8th, 2009 12:16 am
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Old Blu
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My goodness.  A flamer!! Troll!#%$#

Last edited on Tue Dec 8th, 2009 12:17 am by Old Blu



 Posted: Tue Dec 8th, 2009 09:18 am
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Unionblue
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DanWalker,

Sorry, the lone answer of Confederate desertions won't hold up by itself.

If anything, it should be a source of embarassment for the Union army and not the Confederate one.  Just think, with all that manpower and material, and most of the time outnumbering Confederate forces more than 2 to 1, the South holds off the North for 4 long years.

No Union veteran ever counted the Confederate army down, even with the desertion problem it experienced near the end of the war.  The men who remained in the ranks did so because of their comrades whom they did not want to let down and their belief in their cause.

Even when outnumbered, exhausted, hungry, and short of supplies, the Confederate fighting man was to be respected.

Your post takes none of that into consideration, which is why it is basically flawed.

Sincerely,

Unionblue



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Belief does not make truth. Evidence makes truth. And belief does not make evidence.


 Posted: Tue Dec 8th, 2009 02:39 pm
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19bama46
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DanWalker,
Not having a single idea of what you speak does not necessarily keep you from having an opinion, does it?

You entire post is one of untruth, misinformation, propaganda and what is generally referred to as BS.
Desertion was a problem on both sides of the issue, especially as the war dragged on and families had to be taken care of. Some men boogied, others left and came back weh the "crops were in". Your statements sully the memories of brave men and are uncalled for.

Your assertion that Davis ran away in a dress is a piece of propaganda from a drawing on a post card, or maybe a newspaper that depicted him in that fashion... a drawing, not a photograph. The fact is that when surprised by gen Wilson's troops, Mr and Mrs Davis in their efforts to get away did indeed grab each other's outter garments. Nothing more.

If you are going to make absurd statemnts, you best be prepared for the firestorm that follows

Ed



 Posted: Tue Dec 8th, 2009 02:49 pm
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javal1
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"In other words -- stupidity and cowardice is why the South lost. Lincolnn outsmarted the slave rapers, is what it boiled down to."

First you compared Southerners to Nazi's. Now this. Seems obvious you seek only to denigrate based on little grasp of facts. Either back-up your outlandish speculation with facts or don't make them. Your ability (or desire) for rational debate seems extremely limited, perhaps purposfully. Refer to Southerners as Nazi's or "slave-rapers" again and you're out of here. We have highly intellegent people here who have stopped posting due to baseless attacks like yours and I intend to put an end to it.



 Posted: Tue Dec 8th, 2009 02:51 pm
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ole
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You'll notice that responses are far more restrained than the initial post on this thread.

It is one thing to believe certain "facts;" it is quite another to express that belief so strongly. You'll get used to the board's conventions.

Welcome aboard.

Ole



 Posted: Wed Dec 9th, 2009 02:14 am
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Mark
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One point on Confederate desertions that hasn't been mentioned is the number of Johnnies who came back to their commands after going AWOL. For example, there was an epidemic of desertions in September 1862 when the ANV crossed the Potomac into MD, however, the number that returned to their posts once the Army was back in VA made up for the losses the Army had suffered at Sharpsburg. It was pretty much taken for granted that a sizable percentage of soldiers would take French leave when the Army went into winter quarters and then return in the spring prior to the opening of a new campaigning year. This was a major problem in VA regiments since often they wintered within a few days walk of their homes. I'm not saying that desertion wasn't a problem, it definitely was, especially in 1864-65, its just some food for thought when looking at raw statistics.

-Mark

PS. Glad to see its safe to come out of the foxhole again...



 Posted: Wed Dec 9th, 2009 09:13 am
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ole
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Excellent point, Mark. Lots of those listed as deserters at one point or another came back. Many of the AWOLs were listed as deserters.

The real deserter had no intention of coming back. With the AWOL, there was still a chance.

Ole



 Posted: Wed Dec 9th, 2009 09:27 am
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ole
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It has been postulated that desertion was the primary cause of Lee's defeat. I'll stop short of primary. It certainly didn't help. Looking at desertion a bit deeper, we might observe that the Rebs weren't getting fed or paid and more than many were needed at home.

I've tried to read the desertion rate as those disaffected with the cause, but I'm drawn to the reality that they were actually compelled to go home to plant and to see that their families had something to survive on until harvest.

To be kind, some had slaves to provide that service, but most didn't.

Next question: did Sherman's March through Georgia have anything to do with the desertion rate?

Ole



 Posted: Wed Dec 9th, 2009 11:11 am
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Old Blu
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ole wrote: It has been postulated that desertion was the primary cause of Lee's defeat. I'll stop short of primary. It certainly didn't help. Looking at desertion a bit deeper, we might observe that the Rebs weren't getting fed or paid and more than many were needed at home.

I've tried to read the desertion rate as those disaffected with the cause, but I'm drawn to the reality that they were actually compelled to go home to plant and to see that their families had something to survive on until harvest.

To be kind, some had slaves to provide that service, but most didn't.

Next question: did Sherman's March through Georgia have anything to do with the desertion rate?

Ole
Good question, Ole.  I think that the Southern boys understood war enough to realize the end was near and Sherman was the straw that broke the camels back.



 Posted: Wed Dec 9th, 2009 04:23 pm
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ole
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Agreed, Old Blu. Seems like the soldiers saw it coming well before their leaders had to toss in the towel. The sensible bailed, but I have to hand major kudoes to those who stuck it out.

Ole



 Posted: Wed Dec 9th, 2009 08:52 pm
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Old Blu
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Ole, would you know of any books that has letters written by soldiers after the end of the war?



 Posted: Wed Dec 9th, 2009 10:19 pm
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HankC
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'Lee's Miserables' is a pretty good book covering, mostly, the last 6 months of the ANV.

Reliable estimates give Lee 50,000+ men in the trenches at the time of Fort Stedman.

This understandably diminishes to 28,000 at Appomattox.

The south did pretty well for itself considering they had to garrison every port, harbor major city and their entire border.

 

HankC



 Posted: Fri Feb 12th, 2010 04:42 am
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csamillerp
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i think the south lost because of the apparent reasons. for one the union naval blockade, two being so out numbered and three because of slavery. the union naval blocade prevented the south from getting need supplies and exporting goods which would have increased the value of the confederate dollar, Being so outnumbered the south couldnt defend vital points like Vicksburg and Mobile. Slavery was the souths number one problem. While the North had only one enemy to defend against the south had two. Once the slaves began being freed the threat of slave uprising increased.



 Posted: Fri Feb 12th, 2010 05:39 am
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ole
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i think the south lost because of the apparent reasons. for one the union naval blockade, two being so out numbered and three because of slavery. the union naval blocade prevented the south from getting need supplies and exporting goods which would have increased the value of the confederate dollar, Being so outnumbered the south couldnt defend vital points like Vicksburg and Mobile. Slavery was the souths number one problem. While the North had only one enemy to defend against the south had two. Once the slaves began being freed the threat of slave uprising increased.


Believe you give too much credit to the blockade. Much of what the CSA survived on came on blockade runners. Unfortunately, and here some credit is due, there wasn't enough. As the blockade tightened, less and less got through, which was apparent in the diminishing supplies later in the war.

And, being outnumbered simplifies. Not only could the Union field larger armies with a smaller percentage of it's military-age population, but it could feed and equip itself. Kinda makes one wonder what they were thinking, doesn't it?


Don't think I've heard the one about freed slaves causing an increased threat of slave uprising. Would you elaborate on that?

Ole

Last edited on Fri Feb 12th, 2010 06:01 am by ole



 Posted: Fri Feb 12th, 2010 04:14 pm
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csamillerp
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well if a slave got word of the emancipation proclamation and knew there was union forces nearby then there would be an increased chance of uprisings. In mississippi in jones county there was an uprising. it lasted through the last two years of the war. I read a book on it. its called the State of Jones



 Posted: Fri Feb 12th, 2010 06:15 pm
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ole
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Possibly an increased chance, and there might have been a few murdered masters, but I've seen no reference to that either. I suspect the slaves were busy preparing their families for the escape to enemy lines.

Ole



 Posted: Fri Feb 12th, 2010 06:19 pm
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ole
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I can only think of Compay Aiytch, Old Blu. There are, of course, regimental histories and memoires, but don't dig deeper than brigade-level history.

Sorry 'bout that.

Ole



 Posted: Fri Feb 12th, 2010 07:50 pm
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csamillerp
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well if you get a chance check out the book state of jones the entire county of Jones Mississippi was in a state of mutiny. its a great book.



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