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 Posted: Wed Jun 15th, 2011 11:52 pm
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I found "In the South no opposition was allowed to the government which had been set up and which would have become real and respected if the rebellion had been successful."

which is not quite the same as

'if left alone, the south would have established a real and respected nation.'


HankC



 Posted: Thu Jun 16th, 2011 01:09 am
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President Davis letter ,The gray book. Page 36.  Personal memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant. Two volume set. 1885. Sorry Hank, Dont see the difference.Key word, If the Rebellion had been successful. Bet you did not think Grant wrote it, Or anyway, A real and respected nation.

Last edited on Thu Jun 16th, 2011 01:39 am by pender



 Posted: Thu Jun 16th, 2011 01:54 pm
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Your choice of that quote from Grant intrigues me Pender... as I understand it, one of the tenants of the Lost Cause is that it was inevitable that the Confederacy would eventually succumb to overwhelming numbers of Federal men and equipment. Pretty much all of the early Lost Cause writers advocated this point of view. So, I’d like to pose that question to you, Pender: do you think that the Confederacy could have won its independence? I’m just curious how the more modern lost cause movement compares to the earlier one.

Mark



 Posted: Thu Jun 16th, 2011 03:28 pm
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Is ‘the gray book’ the name of the book?

Grant is addressing the recourse of the opposition in the south. The pro-union sentiment in the mountains is a good example. While the war continues, they can look to the US for sustenance and protection.

If the south wins independence then the US has no legal or political basis to intervene on their behalf. Diplomatic pressure could be brought to bear (as by any country) but the CSA would be a ‘real’ country and it’s laws and boundaries ‘respected’.

The quotation by Grant speaks nothing of his opinion of the *viability* of the Confederate nation.

One hopes there is a difference between a real quotation, such as I provided, and a non-existent one, as you did.



 Posted: Thu Jun 16th, 2011 11:40 pm
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Thank you Mark, For your question. I would say,That I agree with the majority of the lost cause books, letters,and histories. Of the old south. I would also agree with their statments. The war was lost. Due to the man power,resources,and navy(etc). I would also argue that the lost cause was not a movement. But simply their histories. Modern lost causers. I can not speak for others,but me personally, I believe you could sum up my point of you in the postwar writings . Do I think the south could have won the war. Looking at all the above mentioned,I will say it is hard to phantom. The loss of the mississippi. The blockade. But I must say one figure comes to mind Stonewall Jackson. I know there is a lot of what ifs. And alot of speculation. But lets say he was not killed at Chancellorsville,took Culps hill at gettysburg,and won the battle. The southern army marches into Washington. This is all speculation I know. As panicked as Lincoln was about Washington. Would have he gave in if the whole southern army marched in. I know this has been short. Maybe later we can get into more detail. Let me ask you Mark,if you dont mind. What made you interested in this subject?  

 

Last edited on Fri Jun 17th, 2011 12:07 pm by pender



 Posted: Fri Jun 17th, 2011 12:30 am
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Mark-

  You asked the question of pender: "Do you think that the Confederacy could have won its independence?" Now that he has given his response, I wish to give you my view.

  I believe that the answer is: "Yes." I believe that they had a viable chance when the war began. If they had made some different decisions, and if some circumstances beyond their control had gone differently, they might have been successful.

  I don't know which, if any, : "Lost Cause" theory you might ascribe it to, but as I have stated previously on this forum, I believe that the situation was still in doubt until November of 1864, three years and nine months after the establishment of the CSA in February of 1861.

  Since organized warfare began, wars have only been fought when both sides believed that they could somehow prevail.  In the case of the Confederacy, they recognized the fact that they were the weaker side when it came to population, almost all categories of military equipment, and other types of resources.

  Southerners often compared their situation to that of the colonists in the Revolutionary War. They referred to their struggle as: "The War for Southern Independence," or "The Second American Revolution." They recognized that they could not win a total military victory against the north, just as the colonists could not win a total war against the British Empire. But in both cases, they had a chance to gain their independence by employing the classic weaker side strategy. That strategy was to continue the struggle and exact such a cost in blood and treasure that the stronger side would come to the conclusion that it was not worth the cost to continue the battle.

  The problem for the weaker side has always been to sustain its military forces in the face of a better equipped enemy. This was often done by employing irregular warfare, and avoiding decisive battles. In most cases where the weaker side eventually prevailed, it had to continue the struggle for a number of years. But the weaker side could not achieve its goals as long as the stronger side was willing to pay any price to persevere in the conflict.

  The Confederacy sought to make the northern people pay such a severe price that they would abandon the struggle. I would maintain that if the US president had been a less determined individual than Mr. Lincoln, the southerners would have achieved their independence. In my view, the matter was settled after General Sherman made his March, because it resulted in the re-election of Mr. Lincoln. By re-electing Mr. Lincoln, the northern people signaled their willingness to pay whatever price in blood and treasure that was necessary to achieve a complete military victory. At that point, the Confederacy was doomed to run out of the resources that it needed to continue the struggle.

 



 Posted: Fri Jun 17th, 2011 03:45 am
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Hank, I Would like too say,before I begin. That under no circumstances did I suggest that Grant was sympathetic too the lost cause. What I Said was I thougt it was interesting that Grant wrote,that if the south was left alone it would become a real and respected nation. I was going by memory,as it had been a while since I had read them. I still stand by that sentiment. I think your exposition on Grants memoirs,is out landish,untruthful,and down right deplorable. As for your facts,we will let the members of the board decide. Though many would disagree,with my lost cause views. I think that after seeing the whole paragraph,there will be no doubt that Grant was indeed writing that about the Confederacy. And you had better believe I will quote this time. Grants memoirs.Chapter 68:"The arts of peace were carried on in the north. Towns and cities grew during the war. Inventions were made in all kinds of machinery. To increase the products of a days labor in the shop,and in the field. In the south no opposition was allowed to the goverment which had been set up.And which would have become real and respected if the rebellion HAD BEEN successful. No rear had to be protected. All the troops in service could be brought to the front to contest every inch of ground threatened with invasion. The press of the south,like the people who remained at home,were loyal to the southern cause." I see no recourse or Grant addressing any body. He is simply writing about the north and the south. The only pro union sentiment is in the figment of your imagination. All Grant is saying is there was no opposition allowed by the confederate goverment. The rest of the paragraph, explians this perfectly. My intent was to show that Grant,though he opposed the Confederate goverment. He respected alot of its people(see civil war journals:west point class mates).I think another good example of this is in Grants memoirs on Appomattox.  Grants memoirs. Chapter 67:"When I left camp that morning, I had not expected so soon the result that was then taking place and consequently was in rough garb. I was without a sword, as I usually was when on horse back on the field, and wore a soldiers blouse for a coat. With the shoulder straps of my rank to indicate to the army who I was. When I went into the house, I found General Lee. We greeted each other and after shaking hands took our seats. I had my staff with me a good portion of whom were in the room during the interview. What General Lee's feelings were , I do not know. As he was a man of much dignity with an impassible face. It was impossible to say whether he felt inwardly glad that the end had finally come, or felt sad over the result. And was too manly to show it. Whatever his feelings, they were entirely concealed from my observation, but my own feelings, which had been quite jubilant on the receipt of his letter,were sad and depressed. I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the down fall of a foe who had fought so valiantly and had suffered so much for a cause. Though that cause was,I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse. I do not question, however, the sincerity of the great mass of those who were opposed to us."I believe this sums up Grants feelings on the matter. To answer your question. Yes the name of the book is THE GRAY BOOK. I would like to give you a couple more quotes before 1860 to ponder on.Quote: Any people whatever have a right to abolish the existing goverment and form a new one that suits them better.(Abraham Lincoln congressional records,1847)Quote:If the union was formed by the accession of states,then the union may be dissolved by the secession of states.(Daniel Webster U.S. Senate Feb 15 1833) Now in closing I would like to ask a question. Since you just post facts. I would like to hear your fact on this.(though I think your facts are flawed.) After the war, If the union was fighting to free the slaves. Why not free the slaves, take them north. And let the south go in peace. If to preserve the union, that the south did not want to be a part of. WHY? All the north has wanted to do is vilify the south. Make fun of. Call us liars. Always show the north was good. The south was bad. Why not be separated? If we are so dumb,Why would you want us in the union? Never under stood that. No Pro northerner would ever provide an non existent quote. Just please dont tell the southerners under Reconstruction.

Pender

Last edited on Fri Jun 17th, 2011 03:54 am by pender



 Posted: Fri Jun 17th, 2011 02:48 pm
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Pender,

You seem to have difficulty with quoting sources.

Yours is: "In the south no opposition was allowed to the goverment which had been set up.And which would have become real and respected if the rebellion HAD BEEN successful."

The actual qoutation is a single sentence ( no period between 'up' and 'and' ). The sentence's subject is the 'opposition to the government' and anything occuring later in the sentence refers to the subject(the 'opposition').

It could also mean that Grant believed in the two-party system and that the 'opposition' (hereto suppressed) that would become 'real and respected', but I doubt that is his meaning.

There is a fundamental difference between a 'government' and a 'nation'. Governments (and their authority) come and go; nations continue. Grant says nothing of a confederate 'nation'. That word is inserted in your imaginery quotation.


In general, in response to your final few sentences, the North believed the 2 sections are stronger united than apart...


HankC



 Posted: Sat Jun 18th, 2011 01:08 pm
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Hi again Pender. Sorry for the late response. I've been rather busy at work lately. Thanks for the response. I am interested in how you view the war as a self-described Lost Causer because how Americans in general remember the Civil War fascinates me.

In response to your last couple comments to Hank... The attachment to the "Union" is a concept difficult to understand in a nineteenth century context. However, remember that Americans of that time believed that the United States was quite literally the last best hope of mankind in a world overrun by aristocratic monarchies. This sediment was as acutely felt in the South as in the North--both believed that they were the heirs of the American Revolution and protecting the future of democracy and humanity. That is why even most Southerners had such a difficult time making a final break from the Federal Union. If the American experiment failed, the small flame of democratic government would be snuffed out and probably never relit. I hope that helps your understanding!

Mark



 Posted: Sat Jun 18th, 2011 04:27 pm
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Thank you Mark,for your response. I know what you mean about work. It has been pretty busy on my end too. I Would agree with you whole hearty that the southern men had a difficult time leaving the union. I have just read my favorite generals account of it William Dorsey Pender. As with Pender he went to many relatives and friends about the matter before he made his choice. But once the choice was made they fought with their whole heart. As for how most americans view the war. I would say the public school system has alot to do with it. As you know it is mostly learned in northern light. Or should I say a view that supports a unionist version. The reason I told right up front on these post I believed in the lost cause point of view. Is so the members of the board will know where I stand. If they agree or not. And we can discuss why we believe what we do. I view the war as a struggle for Independence. If I had to give the war a name I would entitle it Lincolns war. For if the north had not invaded the south,there would have been no war. The south would have peacefully left the union. I know that some would argue the firing on Fort Sumter, would be the reason for the invasion. But, I Would argue that Fort Sumter was Southern soil. The fedreal garrison could have left peacefully. Just as today we would not want a foreign power to occupy our borders or bases. So the south did not want a foreign power to occupy its soil. The main cause a southerner fought was to repel invasion.That is why, I would call it Lincolns war. Or Lincolns war of aggression. After the war southerners, wrote of their struggles, battles and causes. Which was quickly countered by the radicals. As you know history is wrote by the victors. As far as American Democracy. In the aftermath of the civil war(Lincolns War). I would argue that it was Dictatorship. Before the war it was a union of the consent, the union after the war is one of force. After the war, we where nothing more than a nothern province. Or you could say slaves, because we where held against our will. May be this will help you understand in a little more detail, my views of the war. Mark as this discussion board is a good way to learn of other peoples views. I would like to ask you? How your views on what I Have wrote would differ. Not for arguement, but I as you said I am interested in the other side of the coin. I would like to ask you and Texas Defender also on your thoughts on Grants memoirs. As I am sure you two have seen those post. I can see no pro union seniment in the paragraph. And believe Grant is indeed refering to the Confederacy,as would have became real and respected. As I told Hank, I am not arguing that Grant supported the lost cause in any shape or form. But that he did, write that about the Confederacy. I would like your thoughts,and also Texas Defenders thoughts on it. If indeed Grant means the southern nation. I would not like to know this for no reason, but if that is what Grant meant or not,the truth. Am I missing some thing in this memoir. If both of you would be so kind as to respond. Now me and my son shall declare war on the grass.

Pender

Last edited on Sat Jun 18th, 2011 06:22 pm by pender



 Posted: Sat Jun 18th, 2011 06:01 pm
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Mark-

  It hardly seems like a credible selling point for the: "Last best hope of mankind" when the: "Future of democracy and humanity" must be: "Protected" by forcing literally millions of unwilling people to stay cobbled to it at the point of a bayonet.



 Posted: Sat Jun 18th, 2011 10:22 pm
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TD-not if you believe that those millions of people have been hoodwinked and hijacked into secession by a aristocratic planter class (I'm not saying that is true, but that was the prevailing wisdom of most northerners until about mid-1862). Beyond that, you have the rule of law. As most northerners saw it, if the rebellion was allowed to succeed, it would prove to the world that men could not govern themselves and the American experiment with democracy had failed. If the states could withdraw from the Union at will, it could only end in the complete balkanization (to use a 20th century phrase) of North America and eventually anarchy and despotism. Once again, I'm not saying that is a true characterization of what would have happened, and I'm not commenting on the constitutionality of secession (if pressed I would say that most of the founders probably would have supported the right of secession-at least in their lifetimes). I'm just trying to explain why the Northern people would not allow the South to depart peacefully.

Pender, I've yet to get out my copy of Grant's book and find the quote, so it would be silly of me to comment on it without seeing the context. I'll try take a look at it later this weekend. Cheers all!

Mark



 Posted: Sat Jun 18th, 2011 11:23 pm
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Mark-

  I agree completely that many in the north actually believed those things. That they could is an indication to me that my ability to understand the minds of 19th century men will always be limited to some degree.



 Posted: Mon Jun 27th, 2011 12:48 am
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I would like to get back to the thought of my first post on this thread. I think we would all agree the southern men were out numbered, out supplied, and out gunned. Especially, toward the end of the war when the union troops were carrying the seven shot spencer rifles. How could it be a lost cause myth? Look at the difference in just the supplies. Our southern boys were almost starved at Petersburg and Atlanta. As an example, of man power, the sixteenth N.C. started out with 1200 men when they left Raleigh. They took heavy casualties at Seven Pines battle. At the Seven days battle the regiment had a force of 721 men. Its casualties were 33 killed and 199 wounded. At second Manassas 8 killed and 44 wounded. The regiment had 6 killed and 48 wounded at Fredricksburg, 105 casualties at Chancellorsville and at Gettysburg. Of the 321 left, thirty seven percent was disabled. And the overland campaign had not even begun. General Grant had not even took command yet. And there was not alot of the sixteenth boys left. The reason I gave a little history of the sixteenth N.C. is because it was a typical confederate regiment. The confederate army was bleed to death. To say the south was not over matched in man power, equipment, supplies(etc). And to call this a lost cause myth, to me is absurd. Also one of the things I have found researching this subject is one of the first things attacked, was when the ladies began to decorate the graves of confederate soldiers. I considered this grasping at straws. Alot of the ones that began the lost cause myth idea or unionist point of view use the decorating of those graves as the begining of the lost cause movement. ( I never believed there was a movement.) How could someone possibly attack that. Even today don't we decorate our loved ones graves. And most seem to say that Edward A. Pollard and Jubal A.Early was the beginning of the post war lost cause writers. Early came out with a book in 1866, attacks began on these two men. Almost as soon as their writings were read. As I just read Early's book a couple of months back, I thought it dealt mostly with th 1864 valley campaign. The only lost cause mentality I saw in the book was maybe, in the preface. After reading from the detractors of the book, I thought it would be oozing with lost cause dogma. But, at any rate,how could a southern man say anything that would be correct? When there is so much differance in what you beleive according to geography. And also, in pro unionist books. Such as, Gary Gallagher and Allen Nolans book "The Myth Of The Lost Cause And Civil War History." I felt as if the book done nothing more than demonize southerners. The same old, same old! The north was good, the south was bad. Seems to me, the agenda of so many of these books is to stamp out everything southern. And erase it completely. Total bias. Especially in more modern books and documentaries. Such as the History Channels "Gettysburg". Every time a southerner was shown we had to be told he was a slave owner. Though it was probably truthful, what about the other 80% of confederate soldiers? (probably, closer to 92%) Who were not slave owners? Were we watching the battle of Gettysburg or the politics of slavery? It is agenda pushing. Or consider, PBS Ken Burns "Civil War". Out of the total length of the film, what did we get from the confederate side? Maybe an hour? If that? We were shown the Lookout Mt. and Missionary Ridge battle for how long? Second Manassas battle, a total confederate victory, what two minutes? Total bias! Such as Gary Gallagher's attack on Shelby Foote, (Civil War Times) because Foote thought Forrest was an unique genius. Shelby Foote was one of the most unbias historians of our time. He just presented history and pushed no ones agenda. His only fault was praising a southern general. I think most modern writers would come out better on the "lost cause" issue, if they would present both sides. Then, let the reader decide! Instead of pushing there agenda. One of the fairest accounts of the confederate soldier was given by union hero, Joshua Chamberlain, at the surrender at Appomattox. Chamberlain said, "before us in proud humiliation...the embodiment of manhood, men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness could bend from their resolve... thin, worn, and famished, but erect, and with eyes looking level into ours.... bound us together as no other bond."

Pender



 Posted: Mon Jun 27th, 2011 06:12 pm
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Pender, I don't think anyone is arguing that the Confederate armies were virtually always outmanned and outgunned on the battlefield and generally preformed heroicly throughout the war. The question is, was defeat inevitable? The orginial lost cause writers like Early and Gordon argued that the inbalence in materiel and manpower made it impossible to win, and the important thing to take away from the war was Southern valor against impossible odds. I would suggest that those writers were wrong in their assessment and that he Confederacy had several important advantages such as war aims and geography. I think it is concievable to see the Confederacy achieving its independence as late as the Northern elections of 1864 (note how quickly the Confederacy crumbled after it was clear that the war would continue as long as Lincoln was in office). The Confederates were simply unable to use their advantages to overcome the Federal advantages in numbers and industry.

Mark



 Posted: Tue Jun 28th, 2011 02:51 pm
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"After the war, If the union was fighting to free the slaves. Why not free the slaves, take them north. And let the south go in peace. If to preserve the union, that the south did not want to be a part of. WHY? "

This is an interesting point, but begs the question: why should the freed slaves leave?

After all, they are on the 'winning' side. why not keep the freedmen and kick out the white confederates?

The short answer, of course, is they *all* are Americans and the south is their home.

No one is forced to leave. no gulags are created, there are no trails of tears or forced migrations.

In 1865, new rights are given to many, which also means new responsibilities are given to others to respect those rights...


HankC



 Posted: Tue Jun 28th, 2011 11:41 pm
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HankC wrote: "After the war, If the union was fighting to free the slaves. Why not free the slaves, take them north. And let the south go in peace. If to preserve the union, that the south did not want to be a part of. WHY? "

This is an interesting point, but begs the question: why should the freed slaves leave?

After all, they are on the 'winning' side. why not keep the freedmen and kick out the white confederates?

The short answer, of course, is they *all* are Americans and the south is their home.

No one is forced to leave. no gulags are created, there are no trails of tears or forced migrations.

In 1865, new rights are given to many, which also means new responsibilities are given to others to respect those rights...


HankC


I did not say the slaves should have been taken north. My question was why did the union not take them north? Point being ,if they were so concerned about them. Why not take them and help feed and educate and help them get their new life started. It is my understanding that Lincoln wanted to send them back to Africa or colonize them. As he did not believe the white and black race could live together. As far as kicking out the white confederates, I would asume the north did not want to contend with guerrilla warfare. If you will study the near ending of the war,a great concern of the union was Lee and Johnston disbanding their armies for guerilla warfare. It was suggested by General Edward Porter Alexander. So I believe if you try to kick out confederates from their homes you would have yourself a guerilla war. I think it interesting that most slaves stayed on with their fromer masters as share cropers. Imagine that,staying on with them ol mean slave owners. Had the freedom to go north and they stayed south. Seems strange also you called the south their home. Would not have figured you would have called them slave huts a home. Also why would the south want to respect any northern puppet goverment. Set up during reconstruction,after being stripped of all their rights. Forced as slaves to stay in a union they wanted no part of.                                                     

Pender



 Posted: Thu Jun 30th, 2011 12:40 am
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"I think it interesting that most slaves stayed on with their fromer masters as share cropers. Imagine that,staying on with them ol mean slave owners. Had the freedom to go north and they stayed south. Seems strange also you called the south their home. Would not have figured you would have called them slave huts a home. "

Interesting question.

Why are North Dakotans returning to their flooded homes? Why do the folks in Joplin rebuild their tornado-devestated houses? Why did Katrina victims put their lives back together?



 Posted: Thu Jun 30th, 2011 02:42 am
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and for that matter, why did Scarlett return to Tara ;)



 Posted: Thu Jun 30th, 2011 07:24 am
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Where was it I recently saw or heard it said that either during or after the war there were free blacks who said they prefered the racism of the South to that of the North because they at least had it in their face in the South and could better deal with it whereas in the North there was no way of telling what you faced for the racism until it was sprung on you.

That might be a partial explination why so many former slaves remained in the South. Another being that's all they had known so though they were now free the status quo didn't really change.



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