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  #16  
Old 08 Dec 16, 07:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stvermont View Post
I would suggest Gary Gallaghers discussion on the civil war where he goes into detail on the reaction to the battle from soldiers, newspapers, generals etc at the time of the battle and aftermath. The south viewed [at the time] Gettysburg not as a defeat, but a great victory on day 1 , followed by a bloody tactical draw on day 2-3. Long after Lees men, and the south at large, always spoke of lee as never being defeated and never would. Lee offered his resignation for not earning the major victory and failing health issues. Lee himself did not see Gettysburg as a disaster because it was not a loss, but a draw, and accomplished the secondary goal of coming back to Virginia with massive supplies from the north.

neither did the north view it totally as a great victory, they failed to win the field and just held their ground after the first days losses. Were bloodied bad enough to not be able to invade for 10 months.
By your "interpretation" of reality the Battle of the Little Bighorn would have been a great victory for Custer because for the first few hours he thought he had the Indians right where he wanted them.
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  #17  
Old 08 Dec 16, 07:40
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Originally Posted by midaeu View Post
I say Fort Donaldson and Henry. They opened up the way South and put the Confederacy on the defensive. They also, as American 87 referenced about Belmont, put Grant in the public eye and started his rise. It also marked the start of cooperation between the Army and Navy. That cooperation led to all of the victories along the Mississippi.
If the CS chad won Shiloh, that would have negated Henry and Donaldson.
I have to agree with others that Atlanta was it because of the 1864 election.
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Old 08 Dec 16, 09:43
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IMO without a doubt it was Antietam.

IF the CSA had won that one it was a very good chance that the UK and possibly even France would have become more active in support of the South to include trying to break the blockade. The out come to which is a guess a minute.
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Old 08 Dec 16, 10:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Pint John View Post
IMO without a doubt it was Antietam.

IF the CSA had won that one it was a very good chance that the UK and possibly even France would have become more active in support of the South to include trying to break the blockade. The out come to which is a guess a minute.
Good point. Plus it led to the Emancipation Proclamation which, despite its drawbacks and limitations, changed the nature of the war.

But still, that could've been negated if Lincoln wasn't reelected.
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  #20  
Old 08 Dec 16, 14:05
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The battle of New Orleans. The South pretty much lost the Civil War that night. Despite heroic efforts throughout the war, their chances of carrying out a war of attrition were greatly diminished after losing New Orleans.
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Old 08 Dec 16, 15:42
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Vicksburg. That closed the last crossing of the Mississippi and marked the first real stage in the Union breaking up the Confederacy and defeating it piecemeal. By doing so, it cut off Texas in particular which meant no more moving supplies in around the blockade via Mexico and the loss of a major source of cattle for food and such to the South.
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Old 08 Dec 16, 17:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Pint John View Post
IMO without a doubt it was Antietam.

IF the CSA had won that one it was a very good chance that the UK and possibly even France would have become more active in support of the South to include trying to break the blockade. The out come to which is a guess a minute.
Excellent point and one worth noting.
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  #23  
Old 08 Dec 16, 17:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savez View Post
The battle of New Orleans. The South pretty much lost the Civil War that night. Despite heroic efforts throughout the war, their chances of carrying out a war of attrition were greatly diminished after losing New Orleans.
Diminished yes, but in Aug. 64 Lincoln thought he would lose the election.
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  #24  
Old 08 Dec 16, 17:59
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I agree with Half Pint John's comments on Antietam.

I've seen Vicksburg mentioned a couple times. I agree that it destroyed the long term prospects of the Confederacy, but I think the capture of Atlanta had a more conclusive impact on the war, both because it secured Lincoln's election and because it destroyed the South's major industrial sector.
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Old 08 Dec 16, 18:20
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The capture of New Orleans has also been mentioned a few times, but I don't see the importance. How many supplies did the South lose because it couldn't use N.O. as a port? Didn't the North occupy Pensacola? A Union blockade effort might be made from there, no? I'm not not up on my Gulf operations
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Old 08 Dec 16, 19:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D1J1 View Post
By your "interpretation" of reality the Battle of the Little Bighorn would have been a great victory for Custer because for the first few hours he thought he had the Indians right where he wanted them.
It was not my interpretation, but that of the south after the battle and of many in the north. Plus i would ask you to read my entire post, than you wont be taking a small section out of context.


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Originally Posted by Viperlord View Post
We do not judge battles by individual time frames taken out of context, but by the end result.



Such is a common theme in accounts from the side that lost in many wars, to ease the bitter taste of defeat. It should not obviate what actually happened on the field at Gettysburg. Lee sought battle and was clearly defeated on the field, suffering a major repulse and taking a horrible attritional beating that in the long term he certainly could not afford.

I do strongly sympathize with not seeing Gettysburg as decisive; the strategic tempo in the eastern theater did not ultimately change as a result of it. It would take Grant's promotion and arrival in the east to do that. But arguing it as anything other than a defeat is not justified.


That's something of an exaggeration. As much as Gettysburg, Meade also lost troops for a time to the New York draft riots, at a time when he very much wanted to continue offensive operations against Lee; the Army of the Potomac, unlike at Antietam, followed Lee over the Potomac when he withdrew, and continued to pursue him, though it was unable to immediately bring him to battle, and the War Department called Meade off. And of course, there was maneuvering and minor engagements throughout late 1863; greater efforts were disrupted by both sides detaching troops to the west.

I dont disagree, however at that time the south viewed it, as a victory on day 1 were they pushed back the north, and than stalemated them the other days. Not a big defeat but a draw following a great day 1.

I would remind you I was not giving my opinion, but that of the the south and many in the north at that time. Gettysburg was a tactical draw, no matter how you describe it, and the campaign as a whole accomplished its secondary mission.

Last edited by 1stvermont; 08 Dec 16 at 20:26..
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Old 08 Dec 16, 19:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drusus Nero View Post
IMOH...The Battle of the WILDERNESS, 1864.....

The Army of the Potomac: KNEW they had found the man they been wanting, who was not intimidated by Lee, who could conduct a drawn or lost battle and still move "Forward by the right..."

The Army of Northern Virginia: KNEW their days of holding the field and claiming victory were DONE.

Grant: KNEW that Lee's Army was not the unstoppable force that other Eastern Union Generals had been mezmerized by for two years. Grant began to "take the measure" of Lee, and to "second guess" him...most of the time.

Lee: KNEW that once Grant was in charge, there was going to be NO REPLACEMENT, and no more "rebound" moves that turned defensive Offensives into offensive stalemates. Lee realised that he would have to either surround and smash Grant's army altogether, or keep moving southward, from entrenchment to entrenchment, and end up on the outskirts of Richmond itself.

JEFFERSON DAVIS: REALISED that Lee, although retained as commander of the South's largest army grouping, was not going to use the large amounts of men and material allocated to him for anything else in the rest of the war but a defensive strategy. Davis saw the writing on the wall after the Wilderness, and began to re-organize his higher General officers in other Armies along the lines of more "offensive minded" men, who could do what Longstreet had (supposedly) at Chickamauga and completely dominate the field, to turn a tactical victory into a strategic advance....(until his good Freind Braxton interfeared!)

Finally,

Lincoln: He REALISED that Grant's strategy was the first of it's kind in the war, a plan that encompassed both Eastern and Western theaters, with everyone moving to the tune of a cohesive plan. I mean, it didn't always GO as planned, but, at least the force in question could retire, regroup, and then commence something similar strategically to what it had been doing before, rather than changing commanders and re-inventing strategy, tactical planning, intelligence , and all the other factors that change with a removal at command level.

Shiloh was the shock that woke the country up to the true nature of the conflict...(Seeing the elephant). Vicksburg had rendered the Confederacy an isolated element from one side to the other, "pocketed" to use a later phrase, but it had not stopped foreign and Rebel shipping from supply..

New Orleans and other ports had strangled the CSA...but slowwwly...

Gettysburg was the national awakening to the REAL power of the Union....


BUT...only The Wilderness represented the actual "switch hit", where the Conferderacy, in the minds of many participants, had numbered days left....where the writing was on the wall...the pinpoint of light getting bigger for the Union suddenly came through the tunnel. They KNEW they COULD WIN after The wilderness...

It was just a matter of "Heads down, asses up...and lets FINISH what we started all those months ago....now, some of us are gonna' die...but we will prevail!"

Drusus

I disagree with much you have said and agree with some as well. But given the south best chance for victory [ before Atlanta fell and the 64 election] was in part because of grants long losses during the campaign and failure to destroy lee or capture Richmond before Lincoln's reelection, its hard to see the wilderness that started the bloodletting, as the big positive impact you portray.
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Old 08 Dec 16, 22:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by American87 View Post
The capture of New Orleans has also been mentioned a few times, but I don't see the importance. How many supplies did the South lose because it couldn't use N.O. as a port? Didn't the North occupy Pensacola? A Union blockade effort might be made from there, no? I'm not not up on my Gulf operations
I think you're right. New Orleans was important for closing the mouth of the Mississippi to the South but the blockade could be sustained without New Orleans in Union hands.
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  #29  
Old 08 Dec 16, 22:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
Vicksburg. That closed the last crossing of the Mississippi and marked the first real stage in the Union breaking up the Confederacy and defeating it piecemeal. By doing so, it cut off Texas in particular which meant no more moving supplies in around the blockade via Mexico and the loss of a major source of cattle for food and such to the South.
To be on point, Port Hudson was the last crossing closed but Port Hudson was going to fall at some point once Vicksburg was taken.
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Old 09 Dec 16, 00:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stvermont View Post
It was not my interpretation, but that of the south after the battle and of many in the north. Plus i would ask you to read my entire post, than you wont be taking a small section out of context.





I dont disagree, however at that time the south viewed it, as a victory on day 1 were they pushed back the north, and than stalemated them the other days. Not a big defeat but a draw following a great day 1.

I would remind you I was not giving my opinion, but that of the the south and many in the north at that time. Gettysburg was a tactical draw, no matter how you describe it, and the campaign as a whole accomplished its secondary mission.
If you had left this as an opinion, I would have moved on, but to your claim of widespread Southern view of Gettysburg as a victory or draw, I'd like to ask for some primary source material.
There are many here with a much broader understanding regarding the nuances of the War. But I am a major primary source nut. Journals, diaries, autobiographies etc. have been an interest for years. There might be an odd local town paper trumpeting junk, however, I do not recall any missive or notation at the time that viewed it as anything but disappointing to say the least.

Most Universities have some material on hand. If you want a treasure of Southern personal viewpoints, I'd suggest the UNC library on line. Very strong.
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