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RE: Civil War 150th

 
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RE: Civil War 150th - 2/9/2011 8:20:27 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years ago today:

The Montgomery Convention named Jefferson Davis as provisional President of the Confederated States. (He would be formally elected without opposition later.) They also named Alexander Stephens provisional Vice President. This was an interesting choice, given that Stephens had given an eloquent speech to the Georgia Legislature urging them not to secede. He had also corresponded with Abraham Lincoln: their surviving letters are a model of civilized discussion and debate. (Future posters to this thread take note.)

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 31
RE: Civil War 150th - 2/11/2011 8:20:39 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years ago today:

Abraham Lincoln left Springfield, Illinois, to become the 16th and quite possibly the greatest president of the United States.

Jefferson Davis left his plantation in Mississippi to become the first and only president of the Confederated States.

By another historic coincidence, both men had been born, not in the states in which they became famous, but in Kentucky. The distance between their birthplaces is roughly the same as the distance between Washington D.C. and Richmond.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 32
RE: Civil War 150th - 2/14/2011 5:10:07 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years ago on February 13th: (it's still the 13th where I am, but the 14th is creeping around the globe:

Delegates, who had been elected on February 4, gathered in Richmond, Virginia, to consider the issue of secession. The convention rejected immediate secession, but remained in session. (The pro-secessionists clearly outnumbered the Unionists.)

Although Texas had expected several other states would join her, she would in fact be the last state to leave the Union until after Fort Sumter. Neither side realized it, but the great contest was now a waiting game, as North and deep South states vied to influence the border states. Including Delaware, more slave states were still in the Union than out of it, and the Confederacy badly wanted the population and production of the upper South states. The richest prize of all was, of course, Virginia. (Which was somewhat larger at that time than it is today, since West Virginia had not yet been created.)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 2/23/2011 3:38:00 AM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 33
RE: Civil War 150th - 2/18/2011 8:20:31 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 years ago today, Jefferson Davis was inaugurated:

Gentlemen of the Congress of the Confederate States of America:
Called to the difficult and responsible station of Executive Chief of the Provisional Government which you have instituted, I approach the discharge of the duties assigned me with an humble distrust of my abilities...

...As a consequence of our new constitution, and with a view to meet our anticipated wants, it will be necessary to provide a speedy and efficient organization of the several branches of the executive departments having special charge of our foreign intercourse, financial and military affairs, and postal service. For purposes of defence, the Confederate States may, under ordinary circumstances rely mainly upon their militia; but it is deemed advisable, in the present condition of affairs, that there should be a well instructed, disciplined army, more numerous than would be usually required for a peace establishment.
I also suggest that for the protection of our harbors and commerce on the high seas, a navy adapted to those objects be built up...

...freed from sectional conflicts which have so much interfered with the pursuits of the general welfare, it is not unreasonable to expect that the States from which we have parted may seek to unite their fortunes with ours under the government we have instituted. For this your constitution has made adequate provision, but beyond this, if I mistake not the judgment and will of the people, our reunion with the States from which we have separated is neither practicable nor desirable.


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 34
RE: Civil War 150th - 2/23/2011 3:36:20 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today: (Feb. 22)

Abraham Lincoln traveled to Washington in a roundabout way, first stopping at major cities such as New York and Philadelphia. (He would eventually enter Washington itself almost in secret.) Here is an excerpt from a speech he gave at Independence Hall:

... But if this country cannot be saved without giving up that principle, I was about to say I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it. Now, in my view of the present state of affairs, there need be no bloodshed or war. There is no necessity for it. I am not in favor of such a course, and I may say, in advance, that there will be no bloodshed unless it is forced upon the government . . .


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 35
RE: Civil War 150th - 2/24/2011 11:06:26 AM   
Rotherman

 

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From: Rotherham England
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It would be great to have a brand new hex-based Computer wargame of the battle of Gettysburg. The game would have Battalion sized units each equipped with realistic firearms, and uniforms. The map would be a work of art.

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 36
RE: Civil War 150th - 3/4/2011 8:10:06 PM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 4286
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From: Los Angeles
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150 Years Ago Today:

Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as the 16th President of the United States. Chief Justice Roger Taney, author of the infamous Dred Scott decision, had considered refusing to administer the oath of office, but bowed to tradition. Lincoln then gave one of the immortal speeches of American history:

Fellow-Citizens of the United States:

In compliance with a custom as old as the Government itself, I appear before you to address you briefly and to take in your presence the oath prescribed by the Constitution of the United States to be taken by the President "before he enters on the execution of this office."
I do not consider it necessary at present for me to discuss those matters of administration about which there is no special anxiety or excitement.
Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that—

I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.

Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations and had never recanted them; and more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read:

"Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes."

I now reiterate these sentiments, and in doing so I only press upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which the case is susceptible that the property, peace, and security of no section are to be in any wise endangered by the now incoming Administration. I add, too, that all the protection which, consistently with the Constitution and the laws, can be given will be cheerfully given to all the States when lawfully demanded, for whatever cause—as cheerfully to one section as to another.
There is much controversy about the delivering up of fugitives from service or labor. The clause I now read is as plainly written in the Constitution as any other of its provisions:

"No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence of any law or regulation therein be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due."

It is scarcely questioned that this provision was intended by those who made it for the reclaiming of what we call fugitive slaves; and the intention of the lawgiver is the law. All members of Congress swear their support to the whole Constitution—to this provision as much as to any other. To the proposition, then, that slaves whose cases come within the terms of this clause "shall be delivered up" their oaths are unanimous. Now, if they would make the effort in good temper, could they not with nearly equal unanimity frame and pass a law by means of which to keep good that unanimous oath?
There is some difference of opinion whether this clause should be enforced by national or by State authority, but surely that difference is not a very material one. If the slave is to be surrendered, it can be of but little consequence to him or to others by which authority it is done. And should anyone in any case be content that his oath shall go unkept on a merely unsubstantial controversy as to how it shall be kept?
Again: In any law upon this subject ought not all the safeguards of liberty known in civilized and humane jurisprudence to be introduced, so that a free man be not in any case surrendered as a slave? And might it not be well at the same time to provide by law for the enforcement of that clause in the Constitution which guarantees that "the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States"?
I take the official oath to-day with no mental reservations and with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws by any hypercritical rules; and while I do not choose now to specify particular acts of Congress as proper to be enforced, I do suggest that it will be much safer for all, both in official and private stations, to conform to and abide by all those acts which stand unrepealed than to violate any of them trusting to find impunity in having them held to be unconstitutional.
It is seventy-two years since the first inauguration of a President under our National Constitution. During that period fifteen different and greatly distinguished citizens have in succession administered the executive branch of the Government. They have conducted it through many perils, and generally with great success. Yet, with all this scope of precedent, I now enter upon the same task for the brief constitutional term of four years under great and peculiar difficulty. A disruption of the Federal Union, heretofore only menaced, is now formidably attempted.
I hold that in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever, it being impossible to destroy it except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.
Again: If the United States be not a government proper, but an association of States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a contract, be peaceably unmade by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it—break it, so to speak—but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it?
Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that in legal contemplation the Union is perpetual confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was "to form a more perfect Union."
But if destruction of the Union by one or by a part only of the States be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.
It follows from these views that no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence within any State or States against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.
I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part, and I shall perform it so far as practicable unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself.
In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere. Where hostility to the United States in any interior locality shall be so great and universal as to prevent competent resident citizens from holding the Federal offices, there will be no attempt to force obnoxious strangers among the people for that object. While the strict legal right may exist in the Government to enforce the exercise of these offices, the attempt to do so would be so irritating and so nearly impracticable withal that I deem it better to forego for the time the uses of such offices.
The mails, unless repelled, will continue to be furnished in all parts of the Union. So far as possible the people everywhere shall have that sense of perfect security which is most favorable to calm thought and reflection. The course here indicated will be followed unless current events and experience shall show a modification or change to be proper, and in every case and exigency my best discretion will be exercised, according to circumstances actually existing and with a view and a hope of a peaceful solution of the national troubles and the restoration of fraternal sympathies and affections.
That there are persons in one section or another who seek to destroy the Union at all events and are glad of any pretext to do it I will neither affirm nor deny; but if there be such, I need address no word to them. To those, however, who really love the Union may I not speak?
Before entering upon so grave a matter as the destruction of our national fabric, with all its benefits, its memories, and its hopes, would it not be wise to ascertain precisely why we do it? Will you hazard so desperate a step while there is any possibility that any portion of the ills you fly from have no real existence? Will you, while the certain ills you fly to are greater than all the real ones you fly from, will you risk the commission of so fearful a mistake?
All profess to be content in the Union if all constitutional rights can be maintained. Is it true, then, that any right plainly written in the Constitution has been denied? I think not. Happily, the human mind is so constituted that no party can reach to the audacity of doing this. Think, if you can, of a single instance in which a plainly written provision of the Constitution has ever been denied. If by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might in a moral point of view justify revolution; certainly would if such right were a vital one. But such is not our case. All the vital rights of minorities and of individuals are so plainly assured to them by affirmations and negations, guaranties and prohibitions, in the Constitution that controversies never arise concerning them. But no organic law can ever be framed with a provision specifically applicable to every question which may occur in practical administration. No foresight can anticipate nor any document of reasonable length contain express provisions for all possible questions. Shall fugitives from labor be surrendered by national or by State authority? The Constitution does not expressly say. May Congress prohibit slavery in the Territories? The Constitution does not expressly say. Must Congress protect slavery in the Territories? The Constitution does not expressly say.
From questions of this class spring all our constitutional controversies, and we divide upon them into majorities and minorities. If the minority will not acquiesce, the majority must, or the Government must cease. There is no other alternative, for continuing the Government is acquiescence on one side or the other. If a minority in such case will secede rather than acquiesce, they make a precedent which in turn will divide and ruin them, for a minority of their own will secede from them whenever a majority refuses to be controlled by such minority. For instance, why may not any portion of a new confederacy a year or two hence arbitrarily secede again, precisely as portions of the present Union now claim to secede from it? All who cherish disunion sentiments are now being educated to the exact temper of doing this.
Is there such perfect identity of interests among the States to compose a new union as to produce harmony only and prevent renewed secession?
Plainly the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy. A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does of necessity fly to anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible. The rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that, rejecting the majority principle, anarchy or despotism in some form is all that is left.
I do not forget the position assumed by some that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court, nor do I deny that such decisions must be binding in any case upon the parties to a suit as to the object of that suit, while they are also entitled to very high respect and consideration in all parallel cases by all other departments of the Government. And while it is obviously possible that such decision may be erroneous in any given case, still the evil effect following it, being limited to that particular case, with the chance that it may be overruled and never become a precedent for other cases, can better be borne than could the evils of a different practice. At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal. Nor is there in this view any assault upon the court or the judges. It is a duty from which they may not shrink to decide cases properly brought before them, and it is no fault of theirs if others seek to turn their decisions to political purposes.
One section of our country believes slavery is right and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute. The fugitive-slave clause of the Constitution and the law for the suppression of the foreign slave trade are each as well enforced, perhaps, as any law can ever be in a community where the moral sense of the people imperfectly supports the law itself. The great body of the people abide by the dry legal obligation in both cases, and a few break over in each. This, I think, can not be perfectly cured, and it would be worse in both cases after the separation of the sections than before. The foreign slave trade, now imperfectly suppressed, would be ultimately revived without restriction in one section, while fugitive slaves, now only partially surrendered, would not be surrendered at all by the other.
Physically speaking, we can not separate. We can not remove our respective sections from each other nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced and go out of the presence and beyond the reach of each other, but the different parts of our country can not do this. They can not but remain face to face, and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory after separation than before? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens than laws can among friends? Suppose you go to war, you can not fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon you.
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it. I can not be ignorant of the fact that many worthy and patriotic citizens are desirous of having the National Constitution amended. While I make no recommendation of amendments, I fully recognize the rightful authority of the people over the whole subject, to be exercised in either of the modes prescribed in the instrument itself; and I should, under existing circumstances, favor rather than oppose a fair opportunity being afforded the people to act upon it. I will venture to add that to me the convention mode seems preferable, in that it allows amendments to originate with the people themselves, instead of only permitting them to take or reject propositions originated by others, not especially chosen for the purpose, and which might not be precisely such as they would wish to either accept or refuse. I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution—which amendment, however, I have not seen—has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service. To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose not to speak of particular amendments so far as to say that, holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.
The Chief Magistrate derives all his authority from the people, and they have referred none upon him to fix terms for the separation of the States. The people themselves can do this if also they choose, but the Executive as such has nothing to do with it. His duty is to administer the present Government as it came to his hands and to transmit it unimpaired by him to his successor.
Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world? In our present differences, is either party without faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of Nations, with His eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North, or on yours of the South, that truth and that justice will surely prevail by the judgment of this great tribunal of the American people.
By the frame of the Government under which we live this same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief, and have with equal wisdom provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals. While the people retain their virtue and vigilance no Administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can very seriously injure the Government in the short space of four years.
My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well upon this whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. If there be an object to hurry any of you in hot haste to a step which you would never take deliberately, that object will be frustrated by taking time; but no good object can be frustrated by it. Such of you as are now dissatisfied still have the old Constitution unimpaired, and, on the sensitive point, the laws of your own framing under it; while the new Administration will have no immediate power, if it would, to change either. If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied hold the right side in the dispute, there still is no single good reason for precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty.
In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it."
I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Rotherman)
Post #: 37
RE: Civil War 150th - 3/5/2011 5:12:05 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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From: Los Angeles
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March 5, 1861, was a day for several events:

Because of the importance of Virginia, the Richmond Enquirer had quite possibly the most important editorial page in America at that moment. There, at least, the reaction to Lincoln's speech was not positive.

Mr. Lincoln's Inaugural Address is before our readers—couched in the cool, unimpassioned, deliberate language of the fanatic, with the purpose of pursuing the promptings of fanaticism even to the dismemberment of the Government with the horrors of civil war. Virginia has the long looked for and promised peace offering before her—and she has more, she has the denial of all hope of peace. Civil war must now come. Sectional war, declared by Mr. Lincoln, awaits only the signal gun from the insulted Southern Confederacy, to light its horrid fires all along the borders of Virginia. No action of our Convention can now maintain the peace. She must fight. The liberty of choice is yet hers. She may march to the contest with her sister States of the South, or she must march to the conflict against them. There is left no middle course; there is left no more peace; war must settle the conflict, and the God of battle give victory to the right!

We must be invaded by Davis or by Lincoln. The former can rally fifty thousand of the best and bravest sons of Virginia, who will rush with willing hearts and ready hands to the standard that protects the rights and defends the honor of the South—for every traitor heart that offers aid to Lincoln there will be many, many who will glory in the opportunity to avenge the treason by a sharp and certain death. Let not Virginians be arrayed against each other, and since we cannot avoid war, let us determine that together, as people of the same State, we will defend each other, and preserve the soil of the State from the polluting foot of the Black Republican invader.

The question, "where shall Virginia go?" is answered by Mr. Lincoln. She must go to war—and she must decide with whom she wars—whether with those who have suffered her wrongs, or with those who have inflicted her injuries.

Our ultimate destruction pales before the present emergency. To war! to arms! is now the cry, and when peace is declared, if ever, in our day, Virginia may decide where she will finally rest. But for the present she has no choice left; war with Lincoln or with Davis is the choice left us. Read the inaugural carefully, and then let every reader demand of his delegate in the Convention the prompt measures of defense which it is now apparent we must make.



In Washington DC, Abraham Lincoln sat down at his desk for his first working day as President. There he found unwelcome news: a report from Major Robert Anderson from Fort Sumter, stating that he and his men had only six weeks of rations left. The clock was ticking.

In Montgomery, Alabama, the national flag of the Confederacy was flown for the first time. There would be some changes over the years, but the first flag was the one known as "the stars and bars", and it was not the Confederate battle flag which has become the most famous emblem of the Confederacy. Instead, it was roughly based on the original "Betsy Ross" flag, but with only three horizontal bars:




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 38
RE: Civil War 150th - 3/5/2011 6:30:06 PM   
Oberst_Klink

 

Posts: 1311
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From: Germany
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*sings* for Linncoln and Liberty too!

Hurrah for the choice of the nation!
Our chieftan so brave and so true;
We'll go for the great Reformation —
For Lincoln and Liberty too!

We'll go for the son of Kentucky
The hero of Hoosierdom through;
The pride of the Suckers so lucky
For Lincoln and Liberty too!

Our good David's sling is unerring,
The Slaveocrat's giant he slew;
Then shout for the Freedom-preferring
For Lincoln and Liberty too!

We'll go for the son of Kentucky
The hero of Hoosierdom through;
The pride of the Suckers so lucky
For Lincoln and Liberty too!

Come all you true friends of the nation
Attend to humanity's call
Oh aid of the slaves’ liberation
And roll on the liberty ball

We’ll finish the temple of freedom
And make it capacious within
That all who seek shelter may find it
Whatever the hue of their skin.

Success to the old fashioned doctrine
That men are created all free
And down with the power of the despot
Wherever his stronghold may be

They'll find what by felling and mauling,
Our railmaker statesman can do;
For the people are everywhere calling
For Lincoln and Liberty too.

Then up with our banner so glorious,
The star-spangled red-white-and-blue,
We'll fight till our Cause is victorious,
For Lincoln and Liberty too!

*picture attached - me, back when I was a young 20ish lad*






Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam
(Marcus Porcius Cato Censorius)

Visit the Gefechtsstand!

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 39
RE: Civil War 150th - 3/6/2011 12:11:23 PM   
nicwb

 

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Hi Capt Harlock,

I'm enjoying your "blow by blow" description of the run up to the war.

Just a question,

quote:

Chief Justice Roger Taney, author of the infamous Dred Scott decision, had considered refusing to administer the oath of office, but bowed to tradition. Lincoln then gave one of the immortal speeches of American history:



What's the reference for that ? I'm curious to see it - mainly due to the irony as later in the war Lincoln effectievly suspended habeas corpus and from recollection ignored Taney and the Supreme Courts efforts to enforce it - quite ironic.

(in reply to Oberst_Klink)
Post #: 40
RE: Civil War 150th - 3/11/2011 8:17:54 PM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 4286
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
150 Years Ago Today:

The Confederate Constitution was formally adopted. This time it was signed by delegates from all seven seceded states, including Texas. The Constitution was largely copied from the original U.S. Constitution, but with explicit protection for slavery, and a limit that the President could serve only a single six-year term. (Jefferson Davis' time in office would run a little less than four years and three months.)

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to nicwb)
Post #: 41
RE: Civil War 150th - 3/12/2011 11:20:48 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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From: Los Angeles
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I have not been able to find the exact date, but somewhere around March 12, 1861, General Winfield Scott informed Lincoln of his estimate of the Fort Sumter situation. Scott believed that 5,000 regular troops and 20,000 volunteers would be needed to relieve the fort. Six to eight months would be required to assemble the men, plus the fleet to carry them.

Not surprisingly, given that there were a number of Southern sympathisers in Washington, rumors began to spread that Sumter would be surrendered. Secretary of State William Seward, who at this point still felt that he rather than Lincoln should have been president, quietly encouraged them. He knew that an expedition such as Scott described would mean war, and on bad terms for the Union. Nearly all the border slave states could be expected to join the Confederacy if the North attacked first, and if Maryland went, Washington D.C. would be surrounded.



_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 42
RE: Civil War 150th - 3/14/2011 9:02:14 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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March 14th, 1861:

Sometimes it's both what you know and who you know. Postmaster-General Montgomery Blair has a brother-in-law named Gustavus Fox, who is a former naval officer. Fox puts together a plan to reinforce Fort Sumter entirely by sea. The idea is to have two tugs loaded with supplies sail to the fort, backed by a steamer carrying troops in case of trouble.

Because at this time the Postmaster-General is a cabinet member, Blair is able to arrange for Fox to meet with president Lincoln and present his idea. Lincoln is impressed, and decides to submit it to the rest of the cabinet the next day.

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 3/15/2011 2:17:14 AM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 43
RE: Civil War 150th - 3/15/2011 8:33:59 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

President Lincoln submits the Fox plan for reinforcing Fort Sumter to his cabinet, and asks for their responses in writing (a boon to historians). Only Postmaster-General Blair was entirely in favor. There was one other conditional 'yes', but the remainder of the cabinet was opposed. Back to the drawing board.

Especially opposed was Secretary of State William Seward, playing a double game. He hoped to arrange a peaceful evacuation of Fort Sumter, gaining credit with the South for giving them what they wanted, and with the North for avoiding bloodshed. In this amateur historian's opinion, he was foolish. Nearly all other Federal property in the seceded states (Forts, naval bases, court-houses, etc.) had been seized. (The Union managed to keep Fort Pickens, off of Pensacola, Florida.) Northern indignation was running high, and there was talk that surrender of Sumter would be treason.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 44
RE: Civil War 150th - 3/15/2011 9:43:16 PM   
RedArgo


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Thanks for posting, I have enjoyed reading this.

You should publish one of those calendars where each day has it's own page and put your historical info on it.


(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 45
RE: Civil War 150th - 3/16/2011 8:22:26 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Governor Sam Houston, who was to Texas what George Washington was to the 13 original states, refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy. He was ousted from office and replaced by lieutenant-governor Edward Clark.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to RedArgo)
Post #: 46
RE: Civil War 150th - 3/24/2011 4:21:24 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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In late March 1861, both Lincoln and Davis played for time -- and both their countries were unhappy about it. Northern opinion grew more and more restless. "The bird of our country is a debilitated chicken, disguised in eagle feathers." was a typical comment. "Have We a Government?" shouted some newspapers, and even the New York Times declared, "The Administration must have a policy of action." In the South, the people were scarcely less displeased. "If something is not done pretty soon," complained a newspaper in Mobile, Alabama, "the whole country will become so disgusted with the sham of southern independence that the first chance the people get at a popular election they will turn the whole movement topsy-turvy." This was exactly what Lincoln's policy of "voluntary reconstruction" had in mind.

However, Lincoln's inaugural speech had come back to haunt him. If he meant "to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government", he had to reinforce Fort Sumter. But doing so would be seen as an aggressive move, both by the vital Upper South states, and Great Britain. And this would violate his pledge that "The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors." This dilemma gave Davis the edge. Both sides were running out of time, but Lincoln's time was running out faster.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 47
RE: Civil War 150th - 3/28/2011 12:23:59 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Winfield Scott submitted another report to Abraham Lincoln. Scott gave the opinion that yielding either Fort Sumter or Fort Pickens alone would not be enough to gain the allegiance of the border states -- it would have to be both. But these were the only two significant pieces of Federal property still in Union hands. Scott was advocating "giving away the store" for no guarantees.

At a formal dinner later in the evening, Lincoln pulled aside the members of his cabinet who were attending, and read them the report. Stunned silence followed, except for Montgomery Blair who forcefully advised keeping both forts. Lincoln scheduled a second cabinet vote for the following day.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 48
RE: Civil War 150th - 3/29/2011 2:05:50 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Lincoln convened his cabinet members, and gave them additional information, including Gustavus Fox's latest report on Major Anderson and his garrison at Sumter. Surprisingly, but not too surprisingly, Secretary of War Simon Cameron was absent; time was to show him the weakest member of an otherwise remarkably talented team. The remaining six generally reversed their opinion of two weeks before. This time only Secretary of State Seward and Secretary of the Interior Caleb Smith were against reinforcing the forts.

After the meeting, Lincoln gave orders for ships to reinforce Fort Pickens. He did not openly decide to reinforce Sumter just yet, but had already quietly requested Fox to prepare a list of ships for an expedition there. William Seward, who had been all but promising to Southern envoys that Sumter would be surrendered, was thus kept guessing for a short time.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 49
RE: Civil War 150th - 3/29/2011 1:14:34 PM   
Anthropoid


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The idea that the American Civil War was about anything other than slavery to me has always seemed insane. The southern economy was based on slave-manned agriculture particularly cotton. The concern about Lincoln being elected among southern Democrats was that he was not sufficiently pro-slavery, and would thwart the expansion of slavery into future Western states. The harboring of the abolitionist sentiment in the north and the whole John Brown thing were part of straw that broke the back. Faced with no other options for fighting a successful war to restore the Union as it was, Lincoln determined to emancipate the slaves and restore the Union as it should have been. When the war was done, slavery was done too.

You can qualify and technicalize it all you want. At the end of it, it was about the "rights" of the Southern patriarchs to own other people with brown skin in their own states.

Thank the almighty that the Confederacy was crushed uterly and will NEVER rear its disgusting head again.

I spent most of my life living in the south (southern Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia) and there is much that I love about contemporary southern society. But the Confederacy was perhaps the most repugnant political entity in the last 10,000 years, so rife with hypocrisy, ethnocentrism, and inhumanity, it has always boggled my mind that anyone could without shame continue to think themselves in anyway aligned with that polity. No society is perfect, and many have a history that is checkered and full of guilt. But the Confederacy was fighting to maintain an ancient tradition of evil and there is in my mind no excuse, no justification, no technical detail of political controversy that can dilute that basic fact sufficiently to restore any measure of nobility or merit to the Confederacy. Doesn't mean all southerners were "evil," or even that some of the most influential leaders were "evil." But the cause itself was evil, and cumulatively, the self-indulgent hubris, narrow-mindedness, dogma, delusion and racism of the individuals it comprised made up the evil of the Confederate States of America.

_____________________________

The x-ray is her siren song. My ship cannot resist her long. Nearer to my deadly goal. Until the black hole. Gains control...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkIIlkyZ328&feature=autoplay&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CocLGbd6tpbuQRxyF4FGNr&playnext=3

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 50
RE: Civil War 150th - 3/30/2011 5:25:03 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

"Leaks" in Washington are an old tradition. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury George Harrington hurried over to William Seward's house to give him the news that Lincoln had met with the Navy and determined to reinforce Fort Sumter.

According to Doris Kearn Goodwin's "Team of Rivals", Seward said, "Thunder, George! What are you talking about? It cannot be." In this amateur historian's opinion, it is likely that Seward used stronger language. His attempt to play both sides of the fence was about to backfire: the friends he had in the South would leave him. He now needed something to secure his standing in the administration.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Anthropoid)
Post #: 51
RE: Civil War 150th - 3/30/2011 9:23:31 AM   
ilovestrategy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthropoid

The idea that the American Civil War was about anything other than slavery to me has always seemed insane. The southern economy was based on slave-manned agriculture particularly cotton. The concern about Lincoln being elected among southern Democrats was that he was not sufficiently pro-slavery, and would thwart the expansion of slavery into future Western states. The harboring of the abolitionist sentiment in the north and the whole John Brown thing were part of straw that broke the back. Faced with no other options for fighting a successful war to restore the Union as it was, Lincoln determined to emancipate the slaves and restore the Union as it should have been. When the war was done, slavery was done too.

You can qualify and technicalize it all you want. At the end of it, it was about the "rights" of the Southern patriarchs to own other people with brown skin in their own states.

Thank the almighty that the Confederacy was crushed uterly and will NEVER rear its disgusting head again.

I spent most of my life living in the south (southern Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia) and there is much that I love about contemporary southern society. But the Confederacy was perhaps the most repugnant political entity in the last 10,000 years, so rife with hypocrisy, ethnocentrism, and inhumanity, it has always boggled my mind that anyone could without shame continue to think themselves in anyway aligned with that polity. No society is perfect, and many have a history that is checkered and full of guilt. But the Confederacy was fighting to maintain an ancient tradition of evil and there is in my mind no excuse, no justification, no technical detail of political controversy that can dilute that basic fact sufficiently to restore any measure of nobility or merit to the Confederacy. Doesn't mean all southerners were "evil," or even that some of the most influential leaders were "evil." But the cause itself was evil, and cumulatively, the self-indulgent hubris, narrow-mindedness, dogma, delusion and racism of the individuals it comprised made up the evil of the Confederate States of America.



Slavery wasn't "THE" reason, it was "A" reason.

_____________________________

After 16 years, Civ II still has me in it's clutches LOL!!!
Now CIV IV has me in it's evil clutches!

(in reply to Anthropoid)
Post #: 52
RE: Civil War 150th - 4/1/2011 8:12:45 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today:

Seward made his play:

Some thoughts for the President's Consideration,
First. We are at the end of a month's administration, and yet without a policy either domestic or foreign.
Second. This, however, is not culpable, and it has even been unavoidable. The presence of the Senate, with the need to meet applications for patronage, have prevented attention to other and more grave matters.
Third. But further delay to adopt and prosecute our policies for both domestic and foreign affairs would not only bring scandal on the administration, but danger upon the country.
Fourth. To do this we must dismiss the applicants for office. But how? I suggest that we make the local appointments forthwith, leaving foreign or general ones for ulterior and occasional action.
Fifth. The policy at home. I am aware that my views are singular, and perhaps not sufficiently explained. My system is built upon this idea as a ruling one, namely, that we must CHANGE THE QUESTION BEFORE THE PUBLIC FROM ONE UPON SLAVERY, OR ABOUT SLAVERY, for a question upon UNION OR DISUNION: In other words, from what would be regarded as a party question, to one of patriotism or union.
The occupation or evacuation of Fort Sumter, although not in fact a slavery or a party question, is so regarded. Witness the temper manifested by the Republicans in the free States, and even by the Union men in the South.
I would therefore terminate it as a safe means for changing the issue. I deem it fortunate that the last administration created the necessity.
For the rest, I would simultaneously defend and reinforce all the ports in the gulf, and have the navy recalled from foreign stations to be prepared for a blockade. Put the island of Key West under martial law.
This will raise distinctly the question of union or disunion. I would maintain every fort and possession in the South.
FOR FOREIGN NATIONS,
I would demand explanations from Spain and France, categorically, at once.
I would seek explanations from Great Britain and Russia, and send agents into Canada, Mexico, and Central America to rouse a vigorous continental spirit of independence on this continent against European intervention.
And, if satisfactory explanations are not received from Spain and France,
Would convene Congress and declare war against them.
But whatever policy we adopt, there must be an energetic prosecution of it.
For this purpose it must be somebody's business to pursue and direct it incessantly.
Either the President must do it himself, and be all the while active in it, or Devolve it on some member of his Cabinet. Once adopted, debates on it must end, and all agree and abide.
It is not in my especial province; But I neither seek to evade nor assume responsibility.


Lincoln was not fooled by the last sentence; Seward was attempting to make himself "the power behind the throne". The President composed and sent his reply the same day:

HON. W. H. SEWARD.
MY DEAR SIR:--Since parting with you I have been considering your paper dated this day, and entitled "Some Thoughts for the President's Consideration." The first proposition in it is, "First, We are at the end of a month's administration, and yet without a policy either domestic or foreign."
At the beginning of that month, in the inaugural, I said: "The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government, and to Collect the duties and imposts." This had your distinct approval at the time; and, taken in connection with the order I immediately gave General Scott, directing him to employ every means in his power to strengthen and hold the forts, comprises the exact domestic policy you now urge, with the single exception that it does not propose to abandon Fort Sumter.
Again, I do not perceive how the reinforcement of Fort Sumter would be done on a slavery or a party issue, while that of Fort Pickens would be on a more national and patriotic one.
The news received yesterday in regard to St. Domingo certainly brings a new item within the range of our foreign policy; but up to that time we have been preparing circulars and instructions to ministers and the like, all in perfect harmony, without even a suggestion that we had no foreign policy.
Upon your Closing propositions--that,
"Whatever policy we adopt, there must be an energetic prosecution of it.
"For this purpose it must be somebody's business to pursue and direct it incessantly.
"Either the President must do it himself, and be all the while active in it, or,
"Devolve it on some member of his Cabinet. Once adopted, debates on it must end, and all agree and abide"--
I remark that if this must be done, I must do it. When a general line of policy is adopted, I apprehend there is no danger of its being changed without good reason, or continuing to be a subject of unnecessary debate; still, upon points arising in its progress I wish, and suppose I am entitled to have, the advice of all the Cabinet.
Your obedient servant,
A. LINCOLN.


A humbled Seward would serve loyally for the remainder of Lincoln's time in office, and would redeem himself by quite possibly preventing a war with Great Britain during the Trent affair.

Events were also happening in the South. South Carolina Governor Francis Pickens received a telegram from one of the Northern commissioners negotiating over Fort Sumter: "I am authorized to say this Government will not undertake to supply Sumter without notice to you." The last four words were the key ones, indicating the Fort might not be given up at all. Pickens resolved to take sterner measures towards Sumter and its garrison.

P.G.T. Beauregard, the first man to be made a general in the Confederacy, had been directing improvements to the cannons and mortars ringing the fort. On April 1, he telegraphed to the Confederate government in Montgomery: "Batteries ready to open Wednesday or Thursday. What instructions?"


< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 4/1/2011 8:58:30 PM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to ilovestrategy)
Post #: 53
RE: Civil War 150th - 4/2/2011 3:33:04 AM   
Anthropoid


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I've been reading Davis "Battle at Bull Run" which is I understand one of the classic discussions of that battle. I generally like his style and the overall sense of what transpired that I get from his synthesis. Moreover, he seems to be fairly reasonable in martialiing his facts and reaching sound conclusions. However, one peccadillo he consistently shows in his analysis (at least so far at about halfway through the book) is that he portrays Beauregard as a delusional self-important bordering on megalomaniac, but seems to take a rather positive view of McDowell. He seems to feel that McDowell actually did a pretty good job at trying to plan that battle, and approach it with a proper stance, but was foiled by (a) Patterson's bumbling and (b) Tyler's recklessness. Haven't finished it yet but those are the big themes that crop up so far. Been having great fun playing that battle with Take Command Second Manassas.

Kind've jumping the gun to July 21 and Bull Run, but thought I'd get that in there in advance

_____________________________

The x-ray is her siren song. My ship cannot resist her long. Nearer to my deadly goal. Until the black hole. Gains control...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkIIlkyZ328&feature=autoplay&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CocLGbd6tpbuQRxyF4FGNr&playnext=3

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 54
RE: Civil War 150th - 4/2/2011 3:15:26 PM   
parusski


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I have enjoyed following your great thread and just wanted to thank you very much.

_____________________________

"I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast."- W.T. Sherman

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 55
RE: Civil War 150th - 4/2/2011 8:39:17 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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150 Years Ago Today,

South Carolina Governor Francis Pickens gave his orders. All courtesies to the Sumter garrison would stop, and no one from the fort would be allowed to land on shore.

It made little difference, for the situation in the fort was already serious. General Beauregard had sent bottles of expensive brandy and boxes of cigars to Major Anderson as generosity to a fellow commander, but Anderson had returned them, fearing the appearance of impropriety. Likewise, the garrison has been counting on its own rations rather than anything from Charleston. These would last for only two more weeks.



_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to parusski)
Post #: 56
RE: Civil War 150th - 4/4/2011 12:30:51 AM   
ilovestrategy


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Reading this is like reading an intense page turner! 

_____________________________

After 16 years, Civ II still has me in it's clutches LOL!!!
Now CIV IV has me in it's evil clutches!

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 57
RE: Civil War 150th - 4/5/2011 1:59:47 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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April 4, 1861:

Lincoln privately met with John Baldwin, a pro-union Virgina man. The purpose was to see if a bargain could be reached to to yield Fort Sumter in exchange for adjournment of the Virginia convention, without secession. What exactly was said has not been preserved, but nothing was agreed, and Lincoln seems to have decided that Unionist sentiment in Virginia was too weak to count on. He gave the order for the Fort Sumter relief expedition to sail the same day.

The expedition got off to an unpromising start. Because the preparations had been kept secret, a mix-up in paperwork had gone undetected. The USS Powhatan, the most powerful warship in the Union navy, had been assigned to both the Sumter and Pickens forces. Because the Pickens mission had been given the go-ahead already, the Powhatan's captain set sail for Pensacola, where her firepower would be unnecessary.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to ilovestrategy)
Post #: 58
RE: Civil War 150th - 4/5/2011 2:38:58 AM   
Anthropoid


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rotherman

It would be great to have a brand new hex-based Computer wargame of the battle of Gettysburg. The game would have Battalion sized units each equipped with realistic firearms, and uniforms. The map would be a work of art.


What I want is a combination of Forge of Freedom for the Strategic/Political (except with WeekLong turns instead of monthlong) + a 3D tactical interface similar to that used in Take Command Second Manassas, with virtually all the playable area east of Kansas playable and realistic relative to 19th century.

That's not too much to ask is it?

ADDIT:

quote:

ORIGINAL: ilovestrategy

Reading this is like reading an intense page turner!


Agree this thread is great. I hope you will keep it up for the whole four years! If you get burned out, let us know. I could fill in maybe.

< Message edited by Anthropoid -- 4/5/2011 2:39:30 AM >


_____________________________

The x-ray is her siren song. My ship cannot resist her long. Nearer to my deadly goal. Until the black hole. Gains control...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkIIlkyZ328&feature=autoplay&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CocLGbd6tpbuQRxyF4FGNr&playnext=3

(in reply to Rotherman)
Post #: 59
RE: Civil War 150th - 4/6/2011 8:25:44 PM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 4286
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April 6, 1861:

The key problem at Fort Sumter was food. Eventually, the men would need many other kinds of supplies, including new uniforms and fresh ammunition, but those could wait. Lincoln used this to find a middle path to the dilemma of whether to reinforce or not to reinforce the fort. He wrote a proposal to South Carolina Governor Pickens, offering to supply the garrison with food only, and entrusted it to a special messenger.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Anthropoid)
Post #: 60
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