GDG- Lost Cause and Inevitability

CWMHTours at CWMHTours at
Mon Jan 23 15:43:46 CST 2012

Temper your description. Mention it, I suggest, as the worst  national 
nautical disaster in history.
I assume you have seen the pictures of the Sultana listing to  one side as 
everyone rushed to see the camera?
"Just  the facts, ma'am." 

Your Most Obediant Servant

In a message dated 1/23/2012 4:37:11 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
jlawrence at writes:

Esteemed  GDG Member Contributes:
I have April 1865. Some of the concept of my post  was drawn from it.
As an aside, the real problem with the winter of 1865  was not availability 
or production. It was the utter failure of the failure of  the Confederacy 
to ignore ii, during time of war. Plenty of foodstuffs were on  hand in the 
tidewater areas, especially the neck.
But the basic thrust of  my post was that the south had indeed lost it's 
desire for war. They just  realized that they were getting out of that war 
what they were putting into  it.
My favorite part bof the book is the sinking of the Sultan a, still  
described as the worst naval disaster in our  history.

CWMHTours at  wrote:

>Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>"Failure of will of  will in the South".
>The concept is good, Jack, but in light of  the situation in  winter '65 
>wouldn't you say that it was obvious  to everyone in the South, except  
for Jeff 
>Davis who had flies in  his eyes, that the war was lost?
>At some point, regardless of  the strength of your will to  fight, after 
>taking some bruising  you eventually have to admit that you just  can't 
win in 
>the face  of the odds.
>"Will to fight" had nothing to do with it in the  South at the  end of the 
>By that time staying  in the fight for Southernors was almost a  matter of 
>Hence the high level of desertion in  Richmond/Petersburg, some  200 a day?
>Circa/post  Appomattox, the South DID have options.  There  was serious  
>consideration to just taking Johnston's and Lee's armies into  the  
>and beginning a REALLY BIG guerilla war.   Which easily could  have been 
>and was quite a concern to the  Union high command.
>Jay Winik in his EXCELLENT book (Look! I  am praising a  book for a 
>"April 1865" Jay goes  into the issues rather  well.  Loved his book and 
>is a  speaker not to be missed.  A nice  man.  Professor at U. Md in  
>To risk a HOOK(!) in jumping to the  modern times George W.  Bush read his 
>book, passed it onto his  staff, and invited Jay to dinner at the  White 
>where he  proceeded to pump his brain for  perspective on 
>Will to fight...  You could enter a  boxing ring to box  with Michael 
>(THNX George) with the  hughest-ever will-to-fight and once he  beats the 
>crap out of you  and you are lying on the canvas barely alive you can  
>have  the will to fight.  Won't do you much good,  tho. 
>"Just  the facts, ma'am." 
>Your Most Obediant  Servant
>In a message dated  1/23/2012 2:15:59 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,   
>jlawrence at writes:
>Esteemed  GDG Member  Contributes:
>>> We can never know.  These are   hypotheticals.  My point is that the 
>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 
>nothing  inevitable about Union  willingness to fight to the last man and 
>dollar (or  anything near that).  In fact a lot of evidence shows that  a  
>more setbacks would have caused a voting majority of the  north to  throw 
>the towel.  Lincoln sure thought so in  the summer of  1864.  Grant feared 
>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 
>(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 
>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 
>will in the   south.
>The confederate armies had 275,000 men under arm at the  time of  
>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 
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