GDG- Lost Cause and Inevitability

Jack Lawrence jlawrence at
Mon Jan 23 13:15:14 CST 2012

 >> We can never know.  These are hypotheticals.  My point is that the will 
to fight is a practical matter, a matter of empirical experience, not an 
abstract principle.  The point some of us are making here is that, in 
practice, there was nothing inevitable about Union victory because there was 
nothing inevitable about Union willingness to fight to the last man and last 
dollar (or anything near that).  In fact a lot of evidence shows that a few 
more setbacks would have caused a voting majority of the north to throw in 
the towel.  Lincoln sure thought so in the summer of 1864.  Grant feared so 
as late as the spring of 1865.

These Lincoln in defeat theorieare all conjectural hypothesis.
Using a more factual basis, Lincoln got 55% of the popular vote in the 1864 
(The common wisdom that after Atlanta fell, Lincoln's poistion improved. 
This also is conjectural.
Most of the soldiers who went home to vote voted for Lincoln.
The country has a record of strong "peace" movements during wartime coupled 
with a reelecton of a sitting president
(don't count Wilson, do count Lincoln and the president during the 
unpleasntness that occurred in the 1960's.
Lincoln was the first p[resodent who was reelected in 30 years or so.

Conversely, what is laways overlooked in this discussion is the failure of 
will in the south.

The confederate armies had 275,000 men under arm at the time of Appomattix. 
Even so, after Lee's surrender, the south folded like a cheap card table.
They had no will to fight.

They could have done it 4 years later and saved everyone a lot of trouble.



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