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RE: [civilwarwest] Re:Re: A "Proper" Defense in the West

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  • Harry Smeltzer
    Madelon, I think some (like Lee) believed that damaging the enemy, intensifying the effect of Union losses on those at home, would shorten the anticipated
    Message 1 of 59 , Feb 7, 2003
      Madelon,
       
      I think some (like Lee) believed that damaging the enemy, intensifying the effect of Union losses on those at home, would shorten the anticipated "wait-em-out" time.  The northern public would become sick of the war faster if the effects of the war were felt more stronlgy.
       
      Harry
      -----Original Message-----
      From: meheatherington@... [mailto:meheatherington@...]
      Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 3:01 PM
      To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [civilwarwest] Re:Re: A "Proper" Defense in the West

      In light of Hank Clark's recent notion about the 'offensive' North and
      the 'defensive' South, I have another question.

      If, with Hank, we stipulate that "all CSA successes were strictly
      offensive" (whilst acknowledging that this is a mere stipulation, yes yes
      the Hunley, torpedos, etc.), then what, really, did the South expect to
      gain by taking the offensive?

      My understanding is that the Confederacy's oft-repeated political aim
      (failing either European recognition or one grand knock-out Cannae that
      would bring the North militarily to its knees) was simply to outwait the
      Union, keep up the fighting for so long that squeamish Northern civilians
      (apparently assumed to be less stout of heart than their Southern
      counterparts) would sue for a cessation of hostilities, after which the
      South would stagger away, content to be let alone.  Winning by
      not-losing, so to speak; victory by endurance.

      So how does a flair for the offensive, with its glamor *and* its hideous
      attrition rate, advance that rather low-keyed wait-'em-out grand
      strategy?

      Or does anybody in the Southern high command think that far ahead?

      Regards,
      Madelon

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    • Alan Smolinski
      Sustaining your army off enemy resources while preserving you own is very useful to your moral. Will wrote:Two
      Message 59 of 59 , Feb 7, 2003

        Sustaining your army off  enemy resources while preserving you own is very useful to your moral.

         "Will <wh_keene@...>" <wh_keene@...> wrote:

        Two thoughts in reaction to Madelon's question:

        1)  Offensive campaigns 'liberate' areas theoretically disposed to
        join the Confederacy (ie: Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri) or lost
        through previous advances of the enemy.

        2) Offensives campaign create opportunities to engage the enemy on
        your terms in his territory.  Victories in this situation could have
        much greater impact on the will of the enemy populace and thus
        greater political impact than defensive victories within one's own
        territory.

        ~Will


        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, meheatherington@j... wrote:
        > In light of Hank Clark's recent notion about the 'offensive' North
        and
        > the 'defensive' South, I have another question.
        >
        > If, with Hank, we stipulate that "all CSA successes were strictly
        > offensive" (whilst acknowledging that this is a mere stipulation,
        yes yes
        > the Hunley, torpedos, etc.), then what, really, did the South
        expect to
        > gain by taking the offensive?
        >
        > My understanding is that the Confederacy's oft-repeated political
        aim
        > (failing either European recognition or one grand knock-out Cannae
        that
        > would bring the North militarily to its knees) was simply to
        outwait the
        > Union, keep up the fighting for so long that squeamish Northern
        civilians
        > (apparently assumed to be less stout of heart than their Southern
        > counterparts) would sue for a cessation of hostilities, after which
        the
        > South would stagger away, content to be let alone.  Winning by
        > not-losing, so to speak; victory by endurance.
        >
        > So how does a flair for the offensive, with its glamor *and* its
        hideous
        > attrition rate, advance that rather low-keyed wait-'em-out grand
        > strategy?
        >
        > Or does anybody in the Southern high command think that far ahead?
        >
        > Regards,
        > Madelon


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