|View single post by Texas Defender|
|Posted: Mon Dec 3rd, 2007 04:37 pm||
The Confederates seized arsenals, ships, mints, forts, etc. because they considered that they were a sovereign nation and could not tolerate the presence of: "foreign" troops and installations on their soil. I have said many times that it was the wrong approach for them to take.
My position in my last posting was that war was inevitable even if they had never seized a US arsenal, or a ship, or a mint, or a fort. It was inevitable because the new president of the United States declared that he would not accept secession. Therefore, any approach taken by the Confederates would in the end have not made any difference.
Both sides were pathetically unprepared for war, but the north had many inherent advantages (numbers, manufacturing, railroads, ships, and many more). I have previously described the Confederacy as: "Eleven little oligarchies" that continually squabbled with the central government. Of course such an arrangement was not a competent way to run a war.
So- who was: "the aggressor?" You can point to the southerners' actions against federal property and maintain that they were. Someone with a different point of view can ask: "Who invaded whom?"
Here is a short piece on Virginia in 1861.
Virginia: Spring 1861
Your attention is invited to the entry for May 24th. It states: "At 2:00 AM, just hours after Virginia voters had approved secession, 11 regiments of Union soldiers invaded Virginia and began occupying the countryside across the Potomac River from Washington, DC." It does not say: "Virginia secedes and Virginia militia marches on Washington."
Militarily, it was in the interests of the Union to invade Virginia. Virginia seceding on May 23rd was the signal to send troops. The U.S. Government clearly considered that it was now fighting a war.
We can argue endlessly over which side was the real aggressor, but no purpose would be served by it, because it made no difference.
We differ, I think, in that I believe that Mr. Davis was sincere when he said: "We propose no invasion of the north, no attack on them, and ask only to be left alone." However, I also believe that even in 1861, he realized that it would not be so.