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  #61  
Old 22 Feb 11, 11:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Jordan View Post
Does anyone know how the scythe of disease played into the two sides' casualty rates? I would expect with their better food supply and greater logistics, the North would have a lower permanent loss rate from disease than did the South -- which, as pointed out, would play a bigger role in deciding the war than battle casualties.
Jon, I have posted this before, but will do so again....it may help you with your question:

Logisitically, Lee could not sustain his army. The previous summer (1862) was one of the worst on record. Rivers were reduced to trickles, lakes to pond sized pools. The water table itself was down considerably. The Perryville Campaign the previous September was one of great suffering for troops on both sides. While not nearly as bad as the year before, the sustained inclusion of 70,000+ soldiers & all of their pack mules & horses were making things worse (just on the Confederate side). Fromhttp://www.gdg.org/Research/Authored%20Items/maust.html
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As if there were not already enough problems at the Second Corps hospital -- shortage of surgical staff, lack of proper food, insufficient or inadequate shelter, and horribly unsanitary conditions -- now a new problem was rearing its ugly head, and this one had the potential of being the most deadly of them all. "I begin now to suffer from thirst, for the only water they bring us is from a neighboring run which is warm and muddy and has the additional properties belonging to human blood and dead bodies." Being shot through both legs was bad enough for John Dooley, without having to drink contaminated water as well. "I have therefore determined to refrain from this nauseating and unhealthy draught as long as I possibly can....."

Dooley was absolutely right; the runoff from the almost daily thunderstorms, carrying the effluvia of decomposing and insufficiently buried soldiers, putrescent horse carcasses, and the hastily and carelessly located latrines of tens of thousands of men was tainting the water supply all around Gettysburg. In addition, the approximately 72,243 horses that came to town with both armies, from July 1 to 4, produced a staggering 433,458 gallons of urine, and over 1,950 tons of manure. All of this battlefield drainage had to go somewhere.

Compounding the shortage of potable water was the fact that the water table of the entire region was being stressed far beyond its capacity. Most wells and cisterns had been drained dry within days by the mouths of thirsty soldiers, both friend and foe alike. Even with the extensive rainfall, it was simply going to take time to restore the depleted water table. In the meantime, all that remained for patients and staff of the Second Corps Hospital was the brackish and polluted drainings from the battlefield.

Dr. Bushrod Washington James remembered that noxious water and its effects very well. "There came a shower which washed the battle-field soil and drained it into the stream at the outskirts of the woods, it overflowed and infected the spring from which we obtained water for drinking and cooking, and it was only a few hours until nearly every one in the camp was more or less affected with the dangerous poison."

This was a problem with no apparent solution, because, in all the supplies being imported into Gettysburg, and then forwarded to the hospitals, from the very basic foodstuffs to the most exotic delicacies, there were no shipments of bottled water. "There appeared to be no help for it! We must use it or suffer with thirst. No one can tell how many more of those on that fearful field might have lived -- maimed or crippled, perhaps -- if it had not been for that infectious water, which must have involved almost every stream and spring near by the late field of carnage."

Even the hospital staff were not immune to the effects of this fetid water; a number, including the indomitable Dr. James, were suffering nausea and severe gastric problems from drinking the water, even after boiling it for protracted periods. James opted, like Dooley, to refrain from using the brown water, but the summer heat and exertion finally forced him to partake of it sparingly. "I refrained from drinking it until it was impossible to do without it longer, then I drank tea or coffee made with the water, and even after boiling, it had the power to sicken me; but it was the poor patients tossing with fever and begging for water who were most to be pitied. We knew that there was danger in the draught, and we gave it sparingly."
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  #62  
Old 22 Feb 11, 11:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
Celts are people who speak a Celtic language. DNA markers mean little because people are mixed; thus language is the best way to define most ethnicities.

And yes, Scots is a Germanic tongue. As is English. And the English are a Germanic people with strong origins in Germany and speaking a Germanic tongue. And with a German royal family.
I disagree that Celts have to speak a Celtic language these days. There are several "Celtic" areas in the UK that speak English (Cornwall/Dorsetshire, Cumberland, Wales, North Ireland and Scotland). This is a result of assimilation (sometimes forced) of these areas. The language in Ireland itself is still English. Heck, I remember reading a while back that they did DNA tests in the North of England and found a local that had a Y blood marker that indicated he was a West African! The article also said there were mostly West Germanic blood markers in the Eastern parts of Britain, which leads to the question of whether the Belgae were Celts or Germans. If there had been an appreciative language difference in Britain I think the Romans would have commented on it. This leads me to think the Gauls and Germans were speaking a similar language.

Ethnic groups can change religion and language over time, especially if they find an advantage in it.

Just what are you calling a Scots language? The Scots were invaders from Ulster. They took over Lowland Scotland and then the Highlands.

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  #63  
Old 22 Feb 11, 12:27
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The interesting point about disease during TWBTS was that on both sides disease killed about twice as many as battle wounds. Medicine at that time was almost a black art and little was known about sanitation and germs. Proper camp sanitation, despite the statements of some of the members of this forum concerning POW camps, was almost unknown. Epidemics swept through the camps and caused many deaths and absence from duty. On the one hand, Union soldiers who were more likely to come from urban environments might have some immunity from diseases like smallpox, measles, colds and pneumonia. On the other hand, CSA soldiers were more likely to be a little more hardy in what was essentially camping out.

An interesting point about the ratio of disease deaths to combat deaths is the experience of the Texas Brigade. The Texas Brigade played a major role in almost every battle the ANV fought. It missed Chancellorsville but more than made up for it at Chickamauga. It arguably had the best battle record of any brigade on either side in the whole war. Since the distance back home was the greatest of any CSA unit and new uniforms were the responsibility of the home state, the Texas Brigade was shoeless and threadbare much of the time. CSA cavalry had to furnish their own horses and at one time the Texas Brigade was going to be cavalry but the distance home put paid to that idea because remounts would be so hard to get. The Texas Brigade enlisted about 4000 men during the war and about 1000 died. That mortality rate of around 25% is the same as the overall mortality rate of the CSA army. But if you take the three Texas regiments, the battle deaths were almost exactly twice the deaths from disease. That is the opposite ratio for the armies of both sides during the whole war. Wonder why?
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  #64  
Old 22 Feb 11, 13:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
I disagree that Celts have to speak a Celtic language these days. There are several "Celtic" areas in the UK that speak English (Cornwall/Dorsetshire, Cumberland, Wales, North Ireland and Scotland). This is a result of assimilation (sometimes forced) of these areas. The language in Ireland itself is still English. Heck, I remember reading a while back that they did DNA tests in the North of England and found a local that had a Y blood marker that indicated he was a West African! The article also said there were mostly West Germanic blood markers in the Eastern parts of Britain, which leads to the question of whether the Belgae were Celts or Germans. If there had been an appreciative language difference in Britain I think the Romans would have commented on it. This leads me to think the Gauls and Germans were speaking a similar language.

Ethnic groups can change religion and language over time, especially if they find an advantage in it.

Just what are you calling a Scots language? The Scots were invaders from Ulster. They took over Lowland Scotland and then the Highlands.

Pruitt

the Celts were in the Iberian peninsula and central europe too..
Julius Caezar mentions the Celts in his Gaul writings. when he got to the British Isles, he used different terms for the native of Britain.

ethnography of them is just as stilted as for just about any other ethnic group.
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  #65  
Old 22 Feb 11, 17:28
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Kick,

Notice that Julius mentions the Druid priests coming into Gaul and fomenting rebellion? When the Romans took Britain, they invaded the Island off Wales that trained the Druids and killed all they could find. Julius was very creative when he labeled his Celts. He labeled them by location. What is a bit sad is he raised several Legions in Cisalpine Gaul that were probably overwhelmingly manned by local Gauls.

A language family is not always a good indicator of culture groups. The Iroquois where a large language group in the Northeast United States. Yet six tribes formed a confederacy and they conquered a vast area. Many of their victims also spoke an Iroquois dialect.

renrich,

Cavalry remounts were never simple. The Texas Cavalry operating in Louisiana had herds brought in so they could get remounts in the Lake Charles area (several times). Also, Louisiana sent almost 10,000 men to Virginia in two brigades. In 1865, they had been consolidated and only a little over 300 were left to lay down their arms. There were probably about the same number of Texans left then. Think how hard it was to get replacements for the Arkansas regiment in the Texas Brigade!

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  #66  
Old 24 Feb 11, 15:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellboy30 View Post
It really sticks in my craw when I hear folks call Grant "butcher", especially when you look through the statistics of all of his battles. He wasn't out trying to get his men killed-he was simply one of those men who understood what needed to be done to win. In the case of the 64 campaign where he suffered his greatest casualties, he was relying on his subordinate commanders to do what they were supposed to so that the men wouldn't have to suffer as much. Had Hunter done what he was supposed to in the Valley & (more importantly), had Butler taken Petersburg when he was supposed to, the 64 campaign would have gone a lot smoother for Grant & his men. The failure of those 2 generals cost the Union thousands more men than it should have & put the war off from being won by almost a year.

I would essentially agree with Bonekemper.
Well said, I agree completely.
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  #67  
Old 25 Feb 11, 03:30
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sticks in my craw
when anybody calls Grant, Lee etc a butcher
they were fighting a war
the only way they knew how

ancient tactics ran straight into
increasingly industrialized forms of warfare
medical care was non existent
and both sides were playing for keeps

now if you want to call Dr Mengele' a butcher
or Mao
or the man of Steel
I'll side with you on that

Last edited by KICK; 25 Feb 11 at 03:33..
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  #68  
Old 25 Feb 11, 11:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renrich View Post
.
I believe that Lee was physically and mentally worn out. The burden of the fate of the Confederacy must have weighed heavily on him and he was probably suffering from angina.
In other words it was now or never.
IIRC, Lee suffered a serious heart attack following the Battle of Chancelorsville, several months before the Army of Northern Virginia's march into Pennsylvania. It has been theorized that Lee had not fully recovered from the heart attack and was also subject to bouts of illogical thinking, not to mention, poor tactical planning.
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  #69  
Old 25 Feb 11, 12:37
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The tactics of the Civl War

Having fought the way that the eurpeans did, with columns of infantry plodding ahead into the enemy, it is no surprise that when the Confederates started seeing how trenches helped on defence that both sides began toi use trenches to the point of a standstill by the end of the war. Until the advent of tanks, trenches were the new castle when it came to defensive positions. Lee was just as much a butcher of men as Grant or any other general except that, most of the time, Lee was the defender.
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Old 25 Feb 11, 12:46
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Originally Posted by RustyColeman View Post
Lee was just as much a butcher of men as Grant or any other general except that, most of the time, Lee was the defender.
I don't know about that:
  1. Seven Days Battles (Lee attacked)
  2. 2nd Manassas (Lee attacked)
  3. Antietam (Lee on operational offensive, tactical defensive)
  4. Fredericksburg (Lee defended)
  5. Chancellorsville (Lee on operational defense, tactical offense)
  6. Gettysburg (Lee on offensive, operationally and tactically)
  7. Wilderness (Lee on operational defense, tactical offense)

After Wilderness, Lee himself was usually on defense, but the situation at North Anna begged offense to him and in July 1864 he still sent Early north on an expedition into Maryland.
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