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Re: [civilwarwest] Hard hand of war.

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  • hartshje@aol.com
    In response to Laurie s statement; It was not Nathaniel Lyon s job to exercise compassion. It was his job to preserve, protect and defend the United States
    Message 1 of 56 , Dec 31, 1969
      In response to Laurie's statement;

      "It was not Nathaniel Lyon's job to exercise compassion. It was his job to "preserve, protect and defend" the United States of America. As a graduate of West Point I believe he took an oath to that effect."

      Steve responded with;

      "I have always been under the impression that the quote above was added to the oath after the war and because of the war."

      I believe Steve is correct, although I don't know any reference sources off-hand to prove it. But in any case, the North was neither "protecting" or "defending" itself at the outset of the war. I will grant you that "preserving" did fit the situation. But does ANY philosophy, ideal, law, etc., justify waging war on women and children who are not under arms? I thought this country was based first and foremost on the right of the "individual" to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

      I will admit that N. Lyon was a fighter, and a brave leader, and I don't thank God that anyone was killed. As fascinated as I am with the Civil War, I still believe it was an immense waste of the lives of hundreds of thousands of brave, patriotic men, and I believe the differences between North & South could have, and should have been settled through a peaceful process.

      Joe H.
    • J Clink
      Thanks for the info! I haven t really done a lot of reading about military tactics and practices. I do know that Napolean drafted people, but more out of
      Message 56 of 56 , Jul 2, 2000
        Thanks for the info! I haven't really done a lot of reading about military
        tactics and practices. I do know that Napolean drafted people, but more out of
        necessity -- which I guess is always the case. The book I read marked the
        decline of Napolean's success with the killing off of his veterans through
        near-continual war. (Wish I had the book at hand...) Because his army did use
        quite a few innovative tactics, once the well-trained were gone, there wasn't
        time to train their replacements as thoroughly.

        My main point, though, was more about the Civil War having been taken very
        personally by a good many of its soldiers. ('Course, apparently the conscripts
        wouldn't be the most committed!) So-called True Believers in any war seem to
        intensify the bloodshed. It seems in a democracy, if the citizen-soldiers
        actually VOTED for or against the war, they'd feel more personally involved.

        I know there's a lot I don't know, though!


        nils.feller@... wrote:

        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: J Clink <ncanfield@...>
        > To: <civilwarwest@egroups.com>
        > Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2000 8:39 PM
        > Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Hard hand of war.
        > > About the democracies -- I read a book on military tactics (just one
        > tho -- not an
        > > expert), and in Europe, which served as a model for McClellan and the U.S.
        > military
        > > in general, many of the wars were fought by hired professionals rather
        > than the
        > > general population. There were instances of conscription, but nothing like
        > what was
        > > instituted by both the U.S. and the Confederacy during the CW. In Europe,
        > most
        > > people didn't feel they had a personal stake in the war.
        > Jeanette,
        > a very interesting post, but one correction seems to be necessary: What you
        > write about conscription in Europe is true for the 18th century, but not the
        > 19th.
        > The Napoleonic Wars served as proof to military reformers like Scharnhorst
        > and Gneisenau that future wars were to be fought by armies of conscripts,
        > the French Army of the Revolution having served as an example.
        > In Prussia, compulsory military service for all men between 20 and 40 had
        > been introduced in 1814. It soon became the rule in all German states,
        > indeed in all of Europe, and by the middle of the 19th century, volunteer
        > armies were the exception rather than the rule. Actually, by the end of the
        > century, only Britain and the US among the more important powers had no
        > system of conscription (which I personally would see rather positive). I
        > hope my post doesn't seem to be too narrow-minded!
        > Nils
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