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150th Anniversary of the Civil War

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Brooklyn Bridge, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. Brooklyn Bridge

    Brooklyn Bridge Well-Known Member

    150 years ago shots were fired on Fort Sumter in the opening salvo of the War of Northern Aggression. Bloody battles that left more than 600,00 dead from Vermont to New Mexico (but mostly in the south). Gave us Lincoln, Grant, Lee and the Monitor, but also Andersonville and Sherman's March.

    First Hand account from the Post and Courier.


    National Geographic on the Battle that started it all


    and the WaPo on who is really to blame for the start of war


    I must admit I only began to appreciate what happened during these formative years as I got older. I went to Fort Pulaski outside of Savannah a couple years back and can only imagine what it must have been like for these soldiers who were basically sitting ducks.
  2. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    I've been to more battlefields and forts than I can easily name, but I do feel it's pretty cool that I have gotten to visit both Ft. Sumter/Moultrie and Appomattox Court House.

    The war was so bloody because you spanned two centuries of warfare in four years. At First Manassas, the armies were basically following the Napoleonic line of battle by just standing in front of each other and firing volleys. By Petersburg, it had turned to trench warfare later to be seen in WWI. All the while, weapons were vastly improving but medicine could not keep pace.

    To mention Andersonville, you have to throw Camp Douglas into that argument as well.
  3. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    "War is cruelty. You cannot reform it." -- William Tecumseh Sherman
  4. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    O/U: 11 a.m. EDT.
  5. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    Right away I took issue with the first sentence. Northern aggression it was not. And the revisionist history that it was over anything but slavery is also silly.

    Time Magazine has a great article about the buildup, noting that it was Bleeding Kansas that more or less kicked it off even before Fort Sumter. It's really unbelievable to me how hard the hearts, minds, and souls of so many people could be just 150 years ago. The times have significantly changed.
  6. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    Actually, that it was only about slavery is your revisionist history. It was as much about Northern aggression as anything when Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to invade the South. The war had many causes with no single one standing out.

    To quote Lincoln himself in a letter to Horace Greeley:

    As to the policy I "seem to be pursuing" as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt. I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.
  7. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    Not if everyone can have an intelligent discussion about historical facts and leave PC views out of it.
    Oh, wait ... 10:30!
  8. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Asserting that slavery was not the overwhelmingly dominant reason for the Civil War is not a good way to start.
  9. hickory_smoke

    hickory_smoke Member

    From South Carolina's Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union:
    We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has
    been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of
    deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of
    the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have
    permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the
    property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes;
    and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

    Georgia's Declaration of Secession:
    The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and theworld the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have hadnumerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederateStates with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistentlyrefused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference tothat property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic.

    Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery--the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

    Alabama [guess what "domestic institutions" means]:
    Whereas, the election of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin to the offices of president and vice-president of the United States of America, by a sectional party, avowedly hostile to the domestic institutions and to the peace and security of the people of the State of Alabama, preceded by many and dangerous infractions of the constitution of the United States by many of the States and people of the Northern section, is a political wrong of so insulting and menacing a character as to justify the people of the State of Alabama in the adoption of prompt and decided measures for their future peace and security, therefore:

    WHEREAS, The recent developments in Federal affairs make it evident that the power of the Federal Government is sought to be made a weapon with which to strike down the interests and property of the people of Texas, and her sister slave-holding States, instead of permitting it to be, as was intended, our shield against outrage and aggression

    Missouri, though the loyal government prevailed, with references to "institutions":
    instrumentality of domestic traitors to usurp the State government, seizing and destroying private property, and murdering with fiendish malignity peaceable citizens, men, women, and children, together with other acts of atrocity, indicating a deep-settled hostility toward the people of Missouri and their institutions
  10. CarltonBanks

    CarltonBanks New Member

    I re-read Andersonville again recently...amazing book. The war was to preserve the Union, but the only way that could be attained was through abolishing slavery. That is not revisionist history, that is common sense. How can you possibly think these are mutually exclusive aims?
  11. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    And that is the real answer. There was no one single factor. It was a combination of things. If you boil it down, the true cause will probably lead to the answer money/power.
  12. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Lincoln would have, as he said, tolerated slavery to maintain the Union. But after the Emancipation Proclamation, he insisted that abolition was a requirement for ending the war. Wars are not static events. They change as they go along. And although to say it was a war of northern aggression is a major perversion of historical fact, even if it was, good. Slavery was evil. If it took war to rid America of that evil, so be it. That's on the slaveowners, not the north.
    BTW, in my home town, Lexington, Mass. the town records of the period call the Civil War "The War of the Slaveholders' Rebellion." I think it's an excellent name, and propose to use it as often as possible in the next four years.
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