GDG- Lost Cause and Inevitibility
CWMHTours at aol.com
CWMHTours at aol.com
Mon Jan 23 09:31:26 CST 2012
That is such a wonderful analogy!
May I have your consent to use it in my tours?
"Just the facts, ma'am."
Your Most Obediant Servant
In a message dated 1/23/2012 10:27:08 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
georgeconnell at mac.com writes:
Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
An analogy: if I were to pick a fight with Mike Tyson I would lose unless
he lost interest.
Like all analogies, this breaks down at some point, but any objective
study of comparative war making capabilities leads one to the conclusion that
the North was going to win as long as it maintained the will to fight.
While there are occasional exceptions, the outcome of modern symmetric
warfare is determined by resources, not by bravery, not by strategy, not by
wacky racial theory. Hence the rise of today's asymmetrical conflicts.
Interesting aside: in "Desertion During the Civil War," Ella Lonn points
out that one of seven Union soldiers and one of nine Confederates deserted.
(My thanks to Jack for putting me on to this great little book.)
On Jan 22, 2012, at 18:44, joadx1 at netscape.net wrote:
> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> It is a challenge to add anything to Ms. Blough's always accurate and
complete explanations of things, but I would like to try to add some related
information to the southern sense of superiority that she notes: this is
the fact that southerners not only felt socially and culturally superior to
northerners but also racially superior. As James McPherson explains (with
documented quotations) in Battle Cry of Freedom, the south concocted a
theory that the southern colonies were populated by Norman-descended Cavaliers,
while the New England Yankees were descended from Saxon-descended Round
Heads who were fit only for slavery. Southern rhetoric at the time was filled
with master race echoes that went well beyond justifications for chattel
slavery. They really did believe that one "southron" could defeat ten (or
more) "yankees." This is why, as Ms. Blough clearly explains, it was only
when they were actually were forced to face defeat that they suddenly
"discovered" that they never had a chance.
> This raises a somewhat related fact. The presentation of the southern
fighting man virtually always completely ignores some facts that the members
of this group are well aware of: ie., that not only did huge numbers of
confederate soldiers desert the colors during the war but that huge numbers
of southern men resisted the military draft that Davis instituted (before
Lincoln ever did) because an insufficient number of southerners were
enlisting "to defend their homes." More profoundly, after the one year enlistments
of the first rush of volunteers ran out, Lee saw to it that their one year
enlistment contracts were voided (talk about abuse of individual liberty)
and converted into enlistments for the duration of the war. If southern
men were so intent on fighting to defend their homes and families, they would
not have needed to be forced to do so through conscription and the forced
conversion of their original enlistments.
> In short, any version of the war that presents the Civil War as some
sort of Wagnerian grand opera, with Lee in the role of Sigfried and with the
south suffering some sort of inevitable Götterdämmerung against the evil
Yankee frost giants who were destined to win anyway, not only ignores the less
romantic facts of the case but has a Lost Cause air to it.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Margaret D. Blough <mdblough1 at comcast.net>
> To: GDG <gettysburg at arthes.com>
> Sent: Sun, Jan 22, 2012 2:58 pm
> Subject: Re: GDG- Lost Cause and Inevitibility
> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> Many, if not most, secessionists did not see the slave states as being
> disadvantage economically or militarily. The antebellum South was
> in slaves and "King Cotton", and it saw itself as superior socially and
> culturally to the "mudsills and greasy mechanics" and foreigners of the
> and certainly superior in military talent. They did not believe the
> get itself together enough to resist and they believed that, even if it
> such resistance would be ineffectual. Most were certain that the UK and
> would come to the South's support because of their dependence on "King
> There were some factual elements in this belief, primarily the wealth of
> South and the fact that, unlike the US government, they did not need to
> control of territory and populations. A lot of the rest of it was making
> fatal error of believing their own propaganda, including their
> Lincoln as an illiterate yahoo with apelike characteristics. One of the
> unexpected and movingly courageous episodes in Stephen Douglas's life
> he toured the South during the presidential campaign of 1860. It was NOT
> done thing for presidential candidates to campaign then and, by the time
> it, it was clear that he could not possibly win. Douglas not only
> the slave states not to attempt secession but not to underestimate his
> The reason that the "overwhelming resources" belief will get you
> the Lost Cause is that it was an explanation that Confederate supporters
> came up with as defeat stared them in the face. The few pro-slavery
> who argued against secession and refused to discount the US government
> will and ability to fight were ignored.
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