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  • Forgone Conclusion

    I am not sure about the intrest here but since we are a "tactical" Gaming comunity focusing on military games I thought I would post a question from a Civil War history forum I participate in.

    Was Union victory a for gone conlusion?

  • #2
    Re: Forgone Conclusion

    Short Answer: yes.

    Considering the Confederacy was mainly agriculturally based and they were fighting a highly industrialized North (another reason they secceeded), they just didn't have the technology to keep up with the Union. Ammo shortages and rag-tag uniforms dominated their military.

    If Lincoln hadn't released the famous Emancipation Proclamation to keep England out of the war (England wouldn't get involved with a side that supported slavery, that's why Lincoln made it about freeing the slaves), things would most certainly have been a lot more bloody.

    In that case, both sides might have fought each other to a stand-still. I doubt the South could have ever actually "won" the war though.

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    • #3
      Re: Forgone Conclusion

      Well Lincoln campaingned heavly on abolishion, which was the "final Staw", that caused the south to pull out of the union. He tried to soften his retoric during his inaguration but by then it was too late. As you said the Idustrialization of the noth and Teriffs in importeds goods from Europe combined with the New Rail road lines Had given the south a feeling of Isolation from the north.
      An underdog true but I am not so sure that it can be said that the Southern defeat was garanteed. What the south lacked in supplies was amply made up for in tactical know how. The eventual Union Victory was partly due to good luck and accedent. Had it not been for a number of issues the South's defeat would Not have been posible.The death by "friendly fire" of "Stonewall" Jackson, hurt the south emensly. U.S Grant did not have the tactical ability to match Lee in the field. The largest factor in Grants favor was the fact that he was able to put more men in the field. Supply lines in the north were often as bad if not worse than in the south. In the winter of 62-63 soldier on both sides in equil numbers were without tents, boots,and often food. Having the supplies was one thing, getting them to the troopsin the field was another matter intirely. Blunders on both sides made the war hard on the south. Gen Iverson spent the night drinking and then sent his men unlead into battle with "give em Hell" as the marching orders. Nearly 500 died in formation as the charger along the enemy lines istead of into them. This is devistating to an out numbered force. Along with actions of dishonerable men like Gen Judson Killpatrick, such as burning private farms and slaughtering livestock aided in the demoralization of the southern people.

      War is never a forgone conclusion as long as both sides have the will to fight. Look at afganastan and the USSR.

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      • #4
        Re: Forgone Conclusion

        Originally posted by NewsWrthy
        Well Lincoln campaingned heavly on abolishion, which was the "final Staw", that caused the south to pull out of the union. He tried to soften his retoric during his inaguration but by then it was too late. As you said the Idustrialization of the noth and Teriffs in importeds goods from Europe combined with the New Rail road lines Had given the south a feeling of Isolation from the north.
        Contrary to popular belief, Slavery was last on a growing list of grievances. But you are correct that it was the "last straw." Lincoln had no intentions of releasing the slaves that early on. The south forced him into it.

        An underdog true but I am not so sure that it can be said that the Southern defeat was garanteed. What the south lacked in supplies was amply made up for in tactical know how.
        Tactical know-how will only get you so far when your men can't even afford to keep their weapons in working condition. Time worked against the South. By the end of the war the South was ravaged, while the Union was left virtually untouched.

        I still figure, at the most, the Confeds could have forced a truce/stand-off. They never could have pushed North like the union pushed South. Then again, I am by no means a historian.

        War is never a forgone conclusion as long as both sides have the will to fight. Look at afganastan and the USSR.
        What about Afganistan? We took them down before lunch. Now it's just guerilla tactics on their part. Any invading force is tainted with that.

        The USSR had the most pathetic military in WW2. They lost more soldiers than anyone by almost 5 fold. The only reason the Germans didn't finish them off was due to the Soviet's "scorched earth" tactics. The US army would have stomped them into dirt if both sides hadn't stupidly horded nukes during the cold war.

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        • #5
          Re: Forgone Conclusion

          Originally posted by TheFeniX
          What about Afganistan? We took them down before lunch. Now it's just guerilla tactics on their part. Any invading force is tainted with that.

          The USSR had the most pathetic military in WW2. They lost more soldiers than anyone by almost 5 fold. The only reason the Germans didn't finish them off was due to the Soviet's "scorched earth" tactics. The US army would have stomped them into dirt if both sides hadn't stupidly horded nukes during the cold war.
          I believe he was referring to the USSR *in* Afganistan, rather than when the US and its allies went in and killed the very same people it put in power a few years previously. The Afgans kicked a whole lot of Russian ass the same way the vietcong did to the US, and pretty much for the same reasons.

          Root
          BFCL TF2 league admin

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          • #6
            Re: Forgone Conclusion

            Originally posted by TheFeniX
            I still figure, at the most, the Confeds could have forced a truce/stand-off. They never could have pushed North like the union pushed South. Then again, I am by no means a historian.
            Wouldn't that be the South winning? All they wanted to do was secede and be their own country... There's a reason why southerners don't call it the Civil War. To them it was the "War of Northern Aggression".

            Regardless, I don't think the South could've even fought it to a truce... They might've been able to drag it out a bit longer, but they were doomed from the outset...
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            • #7
              Re: Forgone Conclusion

              The Re- Election of Lincoln was a close race. had he not won, the war would have ended withing months. much of the north had lost the taste for war. It wasn't untill July 1863 that the tides of war turn against the South with the loss at Gettysburg. Gen Wilcox wrote to his supiriors that the his Union army was " Nothing more than an armed mob". The South had made several fatal mistakes in the belief that "King Cotton" would draw help from the British who needed the cotton for thier mills and that the north wouln'd persue a war in the south and that the Union would not push the war into souther soil if they only defended them selves. Had the Confederacy Pushed deep into union territory early on whil defeat was still freash in the minds of northerners, the war would have ended quickly. many in The North were not interested in fighting a war that could not be won quickly and easily. Few believed the war would last long. When the Confederacy won a number of swift victories support wained. Lincoln would have had a hard time prosecuuting the war had those victories been deep in Union Territory. Swift action in border states like Maryland ( a slave state) prevented seccesion. I can cite many incadences where either side could have swiftly moved into a position of victory but for the blunders or sheer cowardace of leaders.Judson Killpatrick was in a position to raid Richmond and " arrest or KIll" Davis, but cowardace turned him aside at the last moment.

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              • #8
                Re: Forgone Conclusion

                Short answer: The South lost the Civil War when they went with the one crop society(Cotton) instead of working on manufacturing in the early 1800s. They could not keep up with the production or the superior numbers of the North.

                Long Answer: The South could have won the war. The best case is the First Bull Run/Manassas, where the path to D.C. was clear for the Confeds to take. There are to many variables that could have happened that could have turned the war around for the South.
                "Yes Ma'am, I am drunk, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly."
                -Winston Churchill

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                • #9
                  Re: Forgone Conclusion

                  It's pretty amasing how small things turn the tide of history.

                  The German's were the leaders in nuclear science and were the first to split the atom in 1938, but Nazi Germany decided to build V2 rockets instead of nuclear bombs.

                  Harrold getting an arrow in the eye in 1066. If the Normans had lost, we wouldn't be speaking English.

                  What if Archduke Franz Ferdinand, JFK or John Lennon had survived their shootings? What if John Paul II hadn't?

                  Margaret Thatcher had spectaculary low popularity at several points in her priministerial career. If Argentina hadn't invaded the Falklands, she wouldn't have won her next election. Thatcherism is one of the biggest influences on my county's culture -from the current Thatcherite/Blairite political centre ground to the reactionary class warism of Britpop.

                  Bush won his first election by the narrowest of margins (a negative majority?). Imagine if he hadn't have won. Would 9/11 have happened and what would have been the reaction? War in Afganistan and Iraq? I am not asking for opinions on what would have happened, it just makes you think how blind luck plays such a big part in shaping history.
                  Wintermute

                  Play EVE online. It's like being an accounting addict in space.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Forgone Conclusion

                    Actually, the Germans were working on the atom bomb with the help of Niels Bohr, it was Einstein's fear that because Bohr was such a genius he would help the Germans create the atom bomb first. However, I believe it was Seaborg that helped the US beat the Germans to the punch.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Forgone Conclusion

                      Originally posted by cookietester
                      I believe he was referring to the USSR *in* Afganistan, rather than when the US and its allies went in and killed the very same people it put in power a few years previously. The Afgans kicked a whole lot of Russian ass the same way the vietcong did to the US, and pretty much for the same reasons.
                      That's a myth: The US soldiers had a 10 to 1 kill ration in Vietnam. We were destroying them.

                      After the Tet Offensive, It was doubtful the VC could even still wage a war at all. The US lost because people at home couldn't understand the notion that people die during a war. The US soldiers performed excellently in Vietnam and all they got for their trouble was being spit on by filthy hippies.

                      On another note: How the Hell could the USSR lose a guerilla war in a desert?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Forgone Conclusion

                        Margaret Thatcher had spectaculary low popularity at several points in her priministerial career. If Argentina hadn't invaded the Falklands, she wouldn't have won her next election. Thatcherism is one of the biggest influences on my county's culture -from the current Thatcherite/Blairite political centre ground to the reactionary class warism of Britpop.
                        thanks for clearing that up, im blaiming the argentinians for allowing that cow to screw this nation in the ass for four extra ****ty years... bloody argentines.


                        www.TeamElement.com

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                        • #13
                          Re: Forgone Conclusion

                          Originally posted by TheFeniX
                          On another note: How the Hell could the USSR lose a guerilla war in a desert?
                          You're kidding, right? Afghanistan is NOT just a desert... And the Mujahadeen kicked Soviet ass...

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                          • #14
                            Re: Forgone Conclusion

                            Originally posted by Wintermute
                            Margaret Thatcher had spectaculary low popularity at several points in her priministerial career. If Argentina hadn't invaded the Falklands, she wouldn't have won her next election.
                            Which she knew full well. Thats why marines sitting a few hundred miles away when the first handful of Argentinian troops arrived with the scrap merchants, weren't sent in. Royal navy marines, for those who don't know, are special forces, unlike the US marines which are a naval owned infantry unit. If these marines had been moved, Argentinians would have simply pulled out. All those lives lost so someone could win an election. Crazy. Even crazier is the way everyone celebrated the way hardened combat troops wiped the floor with conscripts that didn't want to be there.

                            Root
                            BFCL TF2 league admin

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                            • #15
                              Re: Forgone Conclusion

                              Originally posted by TheFeniX
                              That's a myth: The US soldiers had a 10 to 1 kill ration in Vietnam. We were destroying them.

                              On another note: How the Hell could the USSR lose a guerilla war in a desert?
                              Well we'll just have to agree to differ on vietnam. I believe that the VC won through guerilla tactics, superior knowledge of the territory, and better intimidation of the local population.

                              I imagine the USSR suffered in Afganistan for exactly the same reasons. Evern their spetznaz troops had their asses handed to them on a plate. There seems to be a common denominator in both cases - the US and the USSR were mostly conscript armies, invading a foreign country, whereas the VC and the Afgans were defending their homelands.

                              Root
                              BFCL TF2 league admin

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