RE: Civil War 150th (Full Version)

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ilovestrategy -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/3/2011 9:41:31 PM)

How much of a fight could the Confederates put up after all? I guess they found out at the Battle of Bull Run!

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/4/2011 7:55:57 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

The unhappiness in northwestern Virginia over secession had not abated, and now the people there began to do something about it. There had been a counter-convention against the Secession Convention, held at Wheeling from May 13 through May 15. It had been decided to take no action until and unless Virginia formally seceded. That had now taken place, and so a set of delegates were chosen for a second convention, to begin on June 11.

The delegates were generally chosen for their opposition to secession, but in the time since the first Wheeling Convention, an interesting idea had begun to catch on. The U.S. Constitution did not say whether a state might leave the Union, but Article IV, Section 3 stated that a new state could be formed on part of the territory of an existing state, with the consent of the state's legislature and the U.S. Congress. What if they could form a new state, and go back into the Union?

ilovestrategy -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/4/2011 10:02:47 PM)

What a loophole!

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/8/2011 8:20:49 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

The voters of Tennessee (at that time, white males only) went to the polls. The ordinance of secession, including a peculiar ramble of the "abstract doctrine", was adopted by 108,339 votes to 47,233.

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND ORDINANCE dissolving the federal relations between the State of Tennessee and the United States of America.

First. We, the people of the State of Tennessee, waiving any expression of opinion as to the abstract doctrine of secession, but asserting the right, as a free and independent people, to alter, reform, or abolish our form of government in such manner as we think proper, do ordain and declare that all the laws and ordinances by which the State of Tennessee became a member of the Federal Union of the United States of America are hereby abrogated and annulled, and that all the rights, functions, and powers which by any of said laws and ordinances were conveyed to the Government of the United States, and to absolve ourselves from all the obligations, restraints, and duties incurred thereto; and do hereby henceforth become a free, sovereign, and independent State.

Second. We furthermore declare and ordain that article 10, sections 1 and 2, of the constitution of the State of Tennessee, which requires members of the General Assembly and all officers, civil and military, to take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States be, and the same are hereby, abrogated and annulled, and all parts of the constitution of the State of Tennessee making citizenship of the United States a qualification for office and recognizing the Constitution of the United States as the supreme law of this State are in like manner abrogated and annulled.

Third. We furthermore ordain and declare that all rights acquired and vested under the Constitution of the United States, or under any act of Congress passed in pursuance thereof, or under any laws of this State, and not incompatible with this ordinance, shall remain in force and have the same effect as if this ordinance had not been passed.

Time would show that Tennessee would be the last state to join the Confederacy. (Though some claim that effectively the state went out when the legislature adopted the ordinance on May 6th, making North Carolina the last state.) But on June 8, 1861, Maryland, Missouri, and especially Kentucky were still in the balance.

ilovestrategy -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/9/2011 4:32:37 AM)

Harlock, I love this stuff, dont stop.

xiaochun3612 -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/10/2011 5:14:21 AM)


good stuff, thanks Capt.Harlock.

I would love to be in Charleston tomorrow, to celebrate "independence" day!

ilovestrategy -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/10/2011 9:55:57 AM)

At least the spambot likes the Civil War...

parusski -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/10/2011 2:30:36 PM)


ORIGINAL: ilovestrategy

At least the spambot likes the Civil War...

Maybe we should go to Charlestown and meet the bot.

ilovestrategy -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/10/2011 3:04:02 PM)

That's actually a good idea! [:D]

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/10/2011 8:59:49 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

The first reasonably large land battle was fought at Big Bethel, Virginia. General Benjamin Butler had not been content to wait inside Fort Monroe, but took advantage of the connection to the Virginia mainland. He had set up two fortified camps (one called Camp Butler), and the few runaway slaves who had escaped to Fort Monroe now grew to a steady stream.

The Confederates naturally set up their own lines, including artillery positions. Butler decided to take the offensive, and so began the series of defeats that was to establish him as possibly the worst field general of the war. One column each set out from the two camps, totaling about 3,500 men. The confederates had only about 1,200 men, but a good defensive position. The Union columns had set out at night, and the near-inevitable confusion resulted. When the smoke cleared the Confederate position was still standing, the Union had lost 18 killed and 60 wounded, and the Confederates had had only one man killed -- probably the first loss of an enlisted man rather than an officer.

ilovestrategy -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/10/2011 9:30:17 PM)

Being the worst field general of the war is one distinction I could do without. I probably have that record in war-games though! [:D]

parusski -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/10/2011 10:00:43 PM)

Yeah, and we could give it some grammar lessons.

You are not the worst field general, I am.[&o]

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/11/2011 7:15:13 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

The Second Wheeling Convention began in Virginia. As the first order of business, the Convention ruled that 88 delegates representing 32 counties were entitled to seats in the convention, though other delegates would be accepted later. Arthur I. Boreman was selected to serve as president, and he declared, "We are determined to live under a State Government in the United States of America and under the Constitution of the United States."

In Missouri, Governor Jackson and Sterling Price met with Congressman Blair and Nathaniel Lyon in a last attempt to preserve the Price-Harney truce. The hot-tempered Lyon would have none of it. Above all, he insisted that the Federal government had the right to recruit troops in the state, while Jackson's "Military Bill" specified that all recruits go to the Missouri State Guard. (Which was under his control.) Jackson and Price offered instead to disband all regiments, Missouri and Union, and forbid any further troops, North or South, from entering the state. (How that could be enforced without troops was not clear.) After four contentious hours, Lyon rose and ended the meeting, declaring "This means war."

ilovestrategy -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/11/2011 7:50:21 PM)

Wow Lyon seemed like a hard case! [X(]

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/12/2011 5:12:20 PM)


Wow Lyon seemed like a hard case!

Yep. And his bite was as big as his bark, as subsequent events would show.

ilovestrategy -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/12/2011 6:32:35 PM)

I just had never realized that there were so much politics behind the curtains. It seems just as viscous as the physical fighting.

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/13/2011 5:28:17 AM)

June 13, 1861:

At the Second Wheeling Convention, delegate John Carlile introduced the first part of the radical plan to split Virginia:

Declaration of the
People of Virginia
Represented in Convention at Wheeling

June 13, 1861

The true purpose of all government is to promote the welfare and provide for the protection and security of the governed, and when any form or organization of government proves inadequate for, or subversive of this purpose, it is the right, it is the duty of the latter to alter or abolish it. The Bill of Rights of Virginia, framed in 1776, reaffirmed in 1860, and again in 1851, expressly reserves this right to the majority of her people, and the existing constitution does not confer upon the General Assembly the power to call a Convention to alter its provisions, or to change the relations of the Commonwealth, without the previously expressed consent of such majority. The act of the General Assembly, calling the Convention which assembled at Richmond in February last, was therefore a usurpation; and the Convention thus called has not only abused the powers nominally entrusted to it, but, with the connivance and active aid of the executive, has usurped and exercised other powers, to the manifest injury of the people, which, if permitted, will inevitably subject them to a military despotism.

The Convention, by its pretended ordinances, has required the people of Virginia to separate from and wage war against the government of the United States, and against the citizens of neighboring State, with whom they have heretofore maintained friendly, social and business relations:

It has attempted to subvert the Union founded by Washington and his co-patriots in the purer days of the republic, which has conferred unexampled prosperity upon every class of citizens, and upon every section of the country:

It has attempted to transfer the allegiance of the people to an illegal confederacy of rebellious States, and required their submission to its pretended edicts and decrees:

It has attempted to place the whole military force and military operations of the Commonwealth under the control and direction of such confederacy, for offensive as well as defensive purposes.

It has, in conjunction with the State executive, instituted wherever their usurped power extends, a reign of terror intended to suppress the free expression of the will of the people, making elections a mockery and a fraud:

The same combination, even before the passage of the pretended ordinance of secession, instituted war by the seizure and appropriation of the property of the Federal Government, and by organizing and mobilizing armies, with the avowed purpose of capturing or destroying the Capitol of the Union:

They have attempted to bring the allegiance of the people of the United States into direct conflict with their subordinate allegiance to the State, thereby making obedience to their pretended Ordinance, treason against the former.

We, therefore the delegates here assembled in Convention to devise such measures and take such action as the safety and welfare of the loyal citizens of Virginia may demand, having mutually considered the premises, and viewing with great concern, the deplorable condition to which this once happy Commonwealth must be reduced, unless some regular adequate remedy is speedily adopted, and appealing to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for the rectitude of our intentions, do hereby, in the name and on the behalf of the good people of Virginia, solemnly declare, that the preservation of their dearest rights and liberties and their security in person and property, imperatively demand the reorganization of the government of the Commonwealth, and that all acts of said Convention and Executive, tending to separate this Commonwealth from the United States, or to levy and carry on war against them, are without authority and void; and the offices of all who adhere to the said Convention and Executive, whether legislative, executive or judicial, are vacated.

(In other words, the Wheeling Convention would replace the entire state government of Virginia.)

Elsewhere in Virginia, Colonel Thomas Jackson received a message from Adjudant General Samuel Cooper in Richmond:

"You will consider yourself authorized, whenever the position of the enemy shall convince you that he is about to turn your position . . . to destroy everything at Harper's Ferry . . . and retire."

Jackson was well aware that Harpers Ferry was almost impossible to defend, being surrounded by high ground. He decided that his position could be turned at any time, and immediately started giving orders for the second, but by no means the last, evacuation of Harpers Ferry.

ilovestrategy -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/13/2011 7:51:15 AM)

I love the quality of the language used in the declarations. You don't see that anymore. 

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/14/2011 8:38:07 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

At Harpers Ferry, Jackson's men busied themselves loading what could be moved into wagons, and blowing up what could not. The most spectacular demolition was the 800-foot combined highway-railroad bridge. With this, the main line of the B&O Railroad was to be effectively shut down for almost ten months.

Interestingly, one of the few major buildings left standing was the engine house in which John Brown and his men had made their final stand before being captured or killed by the marines under the command of Robert E. Lee.

At Wheeling, debate began in earnest over rejoining the Union. Virtually all the delegates at the Convention recognized the differences between eastern and western Virginia as irreconcilable and supported some sort of separation; the disagreement was over how this separation should occur. John Carlile argued that the language of the Constitution made it necessary to form a "loyal government" of Virginia, whose legislature could then authorize the creation of a new state. It was proposed to call this "Kanawha", after the largest river in western Virginia.

ilovestrategy -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/15/2011 5:46:26 AM)

Kanawha? Naaaaaa. [:D]

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/15/2011 8:19:06 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

Nathaniel Lyon proved as good as his word when he had said "This means war." His troops now took control of Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri. Governor Jackson, along with most of the state government, had decided they could not hold against the more numerous (about 1,700) and better-equipped Union forces. They had therefore abandoned the city and retreated to Boonville, where they hoped to raise more men. Lyon installed a pro-Union government, left 300 soldiers as a garrison, and marched towards Boonville the next day.

ilovestrategy -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/16/2011 2:42:34 AM)

You know, even though I'm a Confederate fanboy I'm starting to like Nathaniel Lyon.

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/17/2011 1:08:17 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

Nathaniel Lyon's forces reached Governor Jackson's camp, resulting in the Battle of Boonville. It was little more than a skirmish, but it had serious consequences for Confederate hopes in Missouri.
Lyon's troops marched along the Rocheport Road toward Boonville at around 7 AM. Sterling Price had fallen ill, so the Southerners were poorly led. Ill-equipped State Guard companies waited on a ridge behind the bluff, totalling about 500 men. They had no artillery support, since the workable guns were elsewhere. Inexplicably, Governor Jackson, who was observing from about a mile's distance, held his only effective soldiers in reserve; they took no part in the battle.
Whatever his flaws as a diplomat, Lyon was a capable soldier. His men brushed aside the State Guard pickets, and his artillery was quickly set up and brought into action while his infantry closed with the line of State Guard. After several volleys, the guardsmen began to retreat. Some attempts were made to rally and resist the Federal advance, but these collapsed when a Union company flanked the Guard's line, supported by a gun on a river steamer. The Guard's retreat rapidly turned into a rout. Some continued on to their homes, while the rest retreated with the Governor all the way to the southwest corner of Missouri. Lyon's force occupied Boonville before noon, and the victory gave the Union control of central Missouri for a time.
Union losses were five men killed or mortally wounded and about seven with lesser wounds. There are no reliable casualty figures for the Southerners, which is true of a number of engagements. Killed and wounded were likely similar to the Northerners , while about 80 were made prisoners. Lyon's men captured much of the State Guard's supplies, including two 6-pounder cannon without ammunition, 500 obsolete flintlock muskets, and 1200 pair of shoes.This last was probably the most serious loss: the South had few shoe-making factories, and would be plagued throughout the war by a shortage of footwear for its soldiers.

The Battle of Vienna, Virginia was an engagement between a Union Army force of 271 men of the 1st Ohio Volunteer Militia and about 575 men of the South Carolina 1st Infantry. It was basically an ambush of a Union troop train in Faifax County, Virginia. Eight Union men were killed and four wounded (cannon fire hitting a train tends to be lethal) and no Confederate casualties were reported. The one thing remarkable is that, as far as your humble correspondent knows, this was the first combat involving train-carried troops anywhere.

ilovestrategy -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/18/2011 12:54:20 AM)

Now that was interesting about the first battle involving train carrying troops anywhere. In many ways The Civil War was the first modern war.

Ugly Guy -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/18/2011 1:56:58 AM)


ORIGINAL: ilovestrategy

Now that was interesting about the first battle involving train carrying troops anywhere. In many ways The Civil War was the first modern war.

I can't say I am extremely familiar with European military history during this time frame, but it did seem that the ACW brought about many paradigm shifts in the conventional thinking of warfare.

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/18/2011 1:01:34 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

The Confederacy began its ocean-going navy. The CSS Sumter under Capt. Raphael Semmes sailed from New Orleans, evading the Union blockade, to begin a career of commerce raiding. The Sumter had begun life as a merchant steamer, but with the addition of five guns she became a potent warship in Semmes' hands. During the next six months she would capture or burn 18 U.S. vessels.

And the Confederacy had plans for more and better. About this time James D. Bulloch arrived in Liverpool, England, and began negotiating to buy or build more powerful ships.


ilovestrategy -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/18/2011 9:09:41 PM)

Oh Bulloch caused havoc. After the war he spent his remaining days in Britain.

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/20/2011 8:11:26 PM)

150 Years Ago Today:

After several days' debate, the Second Wheeling Convention had come to consensus and unanimously adopted the plan to create a new government. Now, the delegates selected officials to fill the offices of the "Restored Government of Virginia". Francis Pierpont, of Marion County, was elected governor, and Daniel Polsley, lieutenant governor. Over the next few days, more selections would follow, including two U.S. Senators and three Congressmen.

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/24/2011 8:40:29 PM)

Late June, 1861:

Chief General Winfield Scott had come up with a plan for subduing the South with the minimum loss of life. He proposed surrounding the Confederacy, both on land and by sea, and slowly strangling it into submission. No effort was made to keep this plan secret: is was widely discussed and dubbed the "Anaconda Plan":


But at this point it was politically impossible. Public opinion wanted a swift end to the war. Especially vocal was Horace Greely, easily the most influential newspaper editor in America at the time. (And the originator of "Go West, young man".) Greely would blow hot and cold: before Fort Sumter he had advocated letting the "Cotton States" leave in peace. But now he published headlines demanding that Richmond be occupied before the Confederate Congress had its first session there, scheduled for July 20.

More, neither the Union Army or Navy was as yet up to the job. Already it was clear that Lincoln's first call for 75,000 state militia, most enlisted for just 90 days, would not be adequate. Union recruiters covered the country looking for more, and longer-serving, troops, and the Confederates were not far behind. But neither side had the equipment to expand their armies that fast. Agents from both sides were scouring Europe for arms, and as often as not sending home obsolete and/or damaged weapons. The word "shoddy" comes from re-manufactured wool which was used for uniforms because it could be produced quickly.

Lastly, the encirclement could not as yet be completed. Missouri and Arkansas bordered Indian territory, Texas was not cut off from Mexico and never would be, and Kentucky required gentle handling. The Union turned a blind eye to trading with the Southern states: Lincoln is supposed to have said that he hoped to have God on his side, but he must have Kentucky.

ilovestrategy -> RE: Civil War 150th (6/25/2011 2:44:14 AM)

Man, what a political quagmire. I always thought the Civil War was cut and dry, but I was wrong!

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