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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2011 02:22 pm
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Hosford1
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The "Lost Cause" position:  the South lost the war due to a shortage of men and material relative to the North.  The implication being the Southern troops were better, the Generals better, etc., and it was only the comparative resources that made the difference.  All objectively true.

The Southern troops were better - not because the men were stronger or smarter - but because the Generals that lead them, for the most part, were more capable.  When one compares a roster of Generals on both sides I don't think many would disagree that the South had the balance.  It was a lack of resources that doomed Antietam, the Overland Campaign, Vicksburg, Atlanta, the March through Georgia, Sherman's march throug the Carolinas, Petersburg and the final retreat of Lee.  Except for possibly Vicksburg - where is there objective argument against that?     

Consider how Grant - the North's top General - would have fared had he the diminished resources of the South.  Grant's great attribute - one that is undeniable and in which I greatly admire - was his tenaciousness.  He was relentless.  Marshaling his forces, he went in and never letting up.  A quality that was made only possible through his resources.  He certainly showed a gift for tactics in his Vicksburg Campaign - but that too was only made possible through the richness of his resources.  I don't fault him for using what he had - I'm simply saying that what made him successful was his employment of those resources, not a showing of skill and brilliance on the battlefield.  I believe it was one of his own aids (Dana?) that said he possessed no great intellect, only a simple and straightfoward determination (qualities without question). 

Moreover, it lacks logic to say the "Lost Cause" is a myth because the South could have won in some other way.  Whether the South could have won the war by another strategy is irrelevant to the question - in the context of the way it was fought, resources was the deciding factor.  (Besides, the South having alternatives that would have made the war sucessful is pure conjecture - and there is no particular reason to believe that those alternatives would have made the disparity in resources any less critical). 

The Lost Cause position IS the reason the South lost the war that was fought.  Period.



 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2011 05:15 pm
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HankC
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but that's true for virtually every war. As Napoleon said, 'God tends to be on the side of the bigger battalions'.

The 'Lost Cause' focuses on the myth that the South sacrificed all (or at least a good portion of the population) for a set of shining ideals of which they, and only they, are the guardians.

The reverse being that the North sacrificing more (in numbers) to end slavery (though that was not the original intent) is somehow not such a shining ideal...


Cheers,
HankC



 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2011 05:33 pm
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Hosford1
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Good points, Hank. I've not understood the "Lost Cause" position to be as you described - though that sentiment is certainly part of the Southern belief. In so far as the loser in most wars are the ones with the fewest resources, I agree. Which, I think, makes the "Lost Cause" belief, as I understand it, all the more credible.



 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2011 05:39 pm
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Hosford1
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Hank - I've thought a little harder about your definition of the "Lost Cause" myth. I've never seen it in that light. Regardless of whether your definition is the mainstream postition of the "Lost Cause", it certainly is a fresh perspective for me. From some sources I've read the South had over a hundred thousand men at the end of the war that were evading. That is significant.  That being the case, however, wouldn't have shifted the disparity - 100,000 men spread out over the armies of Kirby Smith, Johnson and Lee and others would have certainly prolonged things but doubtfully changed the outcome. 

Regardless, that point is certainly a good rebuttal to the "Lost Cause" idea.

Last edited on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 05:42 pm by Hosford1



 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2011 07:33 pm
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9Bama
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Hosford1 wrote: Hank - I've thought a little harder about your definition of the "Lost Cause" myth. I've never seen it in that light. Regardless of whether your definition is the mainstream postition of the "Lost Cause", it certainly is a fresh perspective for me. From some sources I've read the South had over a hundred thousand men at the end of the war that were evading. That is significant.  That being the case, however, wouldn't have shifted the disparity - 100,000 men spread out over the armies of Kirby Smith, Johnson and Lee and others would have certainly prolonged things but doubtfully changed the outcome. 

Regardless, that point is certainly a good rebuttal to the "Lost Cause" idea.


What is the advantage of having  100,000 starving, shoeless, weaponless, soldiers who had plenty of spunk, but that's about all.

when you speak of resources, you must consider things like rations, ammo, replacement rifles, canon, and ammo for them, railroad rolling stock, fuel, telegraph and other communications and all of the myriad ot things needed to sustain an army. the south was outta all of them, and they were gettin a bit short on senior leaders as well.

 

BTW, I think Hank's definition of the lost cause is closer than is yours. The lost cause, as developed in the late 19th / early 20th centuries was almost mystical.



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 Posted: Tue Apr 5th, 2011 01:38 pm
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9Bama
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Natty wrote: The South wanted freedom and independence from the North.

We have helped many other countries fight for such freedom and independence.

The South won the war of attrition, killing 300,000 Yankee soldiers.

It would be hypocritical to say the North fought to end slavery, since they still had slavery in the Northern/Union states during the war, and even after the war was over.

The South lost the war because of the North's brutal use of waging war upon civilians, i.e., Terrorism.
Natty,first of all, you seem to be mixing your centuries. It is true tha the US (WE) has helped many countries fight for freedom and independence, but that was in the 20th century, not the 19th.  Secondly, there were many reasons, on both sides, why the war was fought, but underlying every one of them was the issue of slavery. It literally was the bedrock reason for the sectionalism that comsumed the country from at least 1832, others say from the literal founding of the country. It was behind the secession movement and while Lincoln initially stated the war was to save the union, after the emancipation proclamation, it became a war to end slavery.finally, war brings on brutality. It happens in every war and usually by both sides. Now, I am a southerner, as I suspect you are, but regions do not determine facts. History is a record of what happened, not what we wish had happened.











 Posted: Tue Apr 5th, 2011 06:57 pm
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Mark
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Sorry Hos, I've got to disagree with your analysis there. There is no way you can claim that Confederate leaders were any better or worse than their Federal counterparts. There was just as much backbiting and incompetance in the Confederate high command as there was in the Union Armies. In fact, a case could be made that Bragg's leadership failures led to the loss of the Mississippi River and later on, the entire western half of the Confederacy. A case can also be made that the Confederacy had just as many advantages as the Federals. Consider the ammount of terrain that the Union army had to seize. Its roughly the same amount of territory that Napolean had to take to get to Moscow in 1812. Also, think of the rivers, most of which run east to west. All those had to be overcome. Just some things to think about. Many historians think the Confederacy collapsed from the inside and not from external pressures.

Mark



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 Posted: Wed Apr 6th, 2011 02:01 pm
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9Bama
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No, I did not admit that Lincoln started the war. I said he STATED the war was to pereserve the union

I suggest you do some more reading.


 

Last edited on Wed Apr 6th, 2011 03:48 pm by 9Bama



 Posted: Thu Apr 7th, 2011 01:08 pm
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j harold 587
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Natty,

You admit the south made billions on cotton, tobbacco, sugar and rice. These were highly intensive agricultural practices which with the technology of the 19th century required a large labor force (slaves). Tobbacco and cotton in particular deplete the soil unless crop rotation and soil fertilization are practiced. Those practices were not utilized by most of the large planters.  Therefore the need for relocation to more fertile soil to raise the same soil depleting crops was necessary. Humans are creatures of habit. When Lincoln made it clear that his administration would opose admission of slave states it was clear that the new territories would probably not be available for the standard practices of agriculture as was practiced.

Also the southern land owners tended to reinvest in more slaves and ground  to produce more raw materials, rather than in processing and manufacturing operations to have a product ready for retail distribution. One again humans are creatures of habit. Their parents and several generations before had lived using that system why shoud they think it would not continue?   



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 Posted: Thu Apr 7th, 2011 02:39 pm
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9Bama
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Natty wrote: j harold 587, "why should they think it {slavery} would not continue"?

They should think that it would continue, since Lincoln had said he would not interfere with slavery where it already existed, and he said he had no right to do so.

And like I stated in my post, the US Supreme Court also supported slavery.

As for Lincoln making it "clear that his administration would oppose admission of slave states"...

Lincoln made West Virginia a new state and it was OK for them to keep slavery.


Obviously, as for both cases listed here, 'Honest Abe' was a liar.
Do you still use a typewriter? a transistor radio? whiteout? do you have "rabbit ears" on your TV? The point is that at one time, each of these was an every day accepted technology and tool. today, I imagine there are thousands of people who have no idea what they are or why they were important. Life changed and so did views of slavery. there was plenty of advance warning that as brother Dylon observed a shile back "The Times, they Are-A-Changin" Southerners in general and slaveholders in particular did not heed these warnings. Yes the Supreme court and Lincoln did the things you state, but the times were changin, 2 years of war helped to change them and opinions changed with the times. Lincoln had lots of faults, and Ifind it somewhat amusing that I am defending him, but as the war dragged on, he searched for a way to get an edge and found it. As a master politician, he used that advantage, and once used the times would not allow a reversal. You cannot unring a bell.On the surface things look one way, but if you study in depth, they often reveal themselves in far different ways. That was why I suggested you continue reading. Your arguments right now are surface arguments and need depth.





 Posted: Thu Apr 7th, 2011 03:56 pm
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HankC
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>They should think that it would continue, since Lincoln had said he would not >interfere with slavery where it already existed, and he said he had no right to do >so.

>And like I stated in my post, the US Supreme Court also supported slavery.
 
The Supreme Court does not support issues - it interprets the Constitution.
 
Slavery was legal in the Constitution.
 
The Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure and good only for the duration of the war - hence the need for the 13th amendment.

>As for Lincoln making it "clear that his administration would oppose admission of >slave states"...
 
>Lincoln made West Virginia a new state and it was OK for them to keep slavery.
 
See the previous comment - West Virginia was a state not in rebellion; it could choose freedom or slavery.
 
 
HankC




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 Posted: Thu Apr 7th, 2011 07:57 pm
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9Bama
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It's sort of like trying to teach a pig to pole vault. you just get dirty, and wizz off the pig.
My suggestion is that you do some growing up, develop some maturity, read in depth some books about the war and try to understand thsoe concepts that are not on the surface.
Your interest here is not a discussion but an exercise in name calling.

Last edited on Thu Apr 7th, 2011 07:58 pm by 9Bama



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 Posted: Thu Apr 7th, 2011 08:35 pm
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9Bama
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Natty wrote: I have read many books about the War.

 Such as War crimes Against Southern Civilians by Walter Cisco. 
http://www.amazon.com/War-Crimes-Against-Southern-Civilians/dp/158980466X

I also have read the Pulitzer prize winning book by James M Mcpherson Battle Cry of freedom  http://www.amazon.com/Battle-Cry-Freedom-Civil-War/dp/0345359429 in which he states that the Union invasion of the South resulted in 50,000 Southern civilian deaths.

I will  only post truthful, accurate, historical facts here.

If anyone is offended by these truths they should not be on a history site.

"The truth is a heavy burden, therefore some choose not to carry it".






Have a nice life.



 Posted: Thu Apr 7th, 2011 08:43 pm
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javal1
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"If anyone is offended by these truths they should not be on a history site."

Anyone who disagrees with your "facts" shouldn't be on a history site? Really? Understand something - one person decides who should and shouldn't be on this history site and as you can probably guess it's not you. Read more, talk less. You're walking a very fine line.



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