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Re: Vicksburg 'not decisive' was 'Was Insignificant'

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  • William H Keene
    ... Oh, I understood what Castel was saying. It just got me wondering that if Vicksburg isn t considered decisive for those reasons, than what would be (other
    Message 1 of 15 , Nov 6, 2003
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      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, thecoys@k... wrote:
      > Dunno.....Castel just believes that Vicksburg wasn't....
      >
      > Kevin S. Coy

      Oh, I understood what Castel was saying. It just got me wondering
      that if Vicksburg isn't considered decisive for those reasons, than
      what would be (other than Appomattox)?

      > William H Keene wrote:
      > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, thecoys@k... wrote:
      > >
      > >>
      > >>I would like to mention that the subject of this
      thread, "Vicksburg
      > >
      > > was
      > >
      > >>Inignficant", is probably a misnomer. I have read the article
      and
      > >
      > > I do
      > >
      > >>not believe that Castel mentioned anywhere that Vicksburg was
      > >>insignificant. He does state that Vicksburg may not have been
      the
      > >>'decisive' event that some believe.
      > >>
      > >>Y.O.S.
      > >>Kevin S. Coy
      > >
      > >
      > > If it wasn't the decisive event, what event was? and why?
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
      http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      > >
      > >
      > >
    • brisher13
      Castel wrote possibly the best, most comprehensive book on the Atlanta campaign, and of course, he decares the fall of Atlanta to be the decisive moment, not
      Message 2 of 15 , Nov 6, 2003
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        Castel wrote possibly the best, most comprehensive book on
        the Atlanta campaign, and of course, he decares the fall of
        Atlanta to be the decisive moment, not only in the West, but in the
        entire war. Because of the timing of the fall of Atlanta (right
        before 1864 presidential election), it is hard to argue with that
        assessment. However, we must always look at the fact that he
        is an advocate of the significance of Atlanta as the reason that he
        may downplay Vicksburg.
        Several posts on this board have mentioned the moral factor as
        the main reason why Vicksburg was significant, citing the drop in
        Confederate moral. Turn that on its head and look at the sharp
        increase in moral for the Army of the Tennessee after Champion
        Hill (which led to vickburg's fall) and the fall of the city itself. At no
        time during the war did the Army of the Tennessee loose the
        idea that they were invincible. I would say that the confidence
        and experience that Vicksburg gave them was key to how they
        reacted in future campaigns. We must remember that these
        where not professional armies, just everyday men who were
        mosre succesptible to moral fluctuations. That's all.

        Brian Risher
      • hartshje
        ... From reading through the posts of this recent discussion about Vicksburg, it appears that a majority tend to agree Vicksburg wasn t all it s cracked up to
        Message 3 of 15 , Nov 6, 2003
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          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "William H Keene"
          <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
          >
          > If it wasn't the decisive event, what event was? and why?

          From reading through the posts of this recent discussion about
          Vicksburg, it appears that a majority tend to agree Vicksburg wasn't
          all it's cracked up to be. It is ironic, however, that in our poll
          about what WAS "the most important battle" in the west (1861 - 1863),
          Vicksburg gets the nod with 43%, while Henry/Donelson comes in a
          distant second with only 19%. How does this reconcile?

          Personally, I still think Vicksburg was very important and decisive
          in several ways. As mentioned before, it eliminated a major army
          from the south's defenses, and correspondingly freed up a Union army
          (to come to Chattanooga's rescue). It also solidified Grant as THE
          MAN to turn to. Also, as mentioned before, it gave the AotT it's
          aire of invincibility, which carried through the remainder of the
          war. IMO this victory in conjunction with Gettysburg gave the whole
          North a badly needed boost into the final leg of the conflict.

          As decisive as it was (again in my opinion), I still hold with the
          view that Henry/Donelson was more so, and led to Vicksburg.

          Regards,
          Joe H.
        • Dave Smith
          Good point, Kevin. I m still struck by how moving the center of the western theater to Chattanooga in one day, and basically rendering the trans-Miss totally
          Message 4 of 15 , Nov 7, 2003
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            Good point, Kevin.

            I'm still struck by how moving the center of the western theater to
            Chattanooga in one day, and basically rendering the trans-Miss
            totally insignificant as well, was not considered "significant."

            Many (including me) argue that there was no "turning point,"
            including Gettysburg. From the firing at Sumter, to the surrenders
            in April 1865, the Confederacy endured one long, downhill slide.
            Sometimes, the terrain evened out a bit, but they were at no time
            subsequent to Sumter as close to independence as they were right
            before firing on the fort.

            That means of course that Vicksburg was not a high water mark, or
            turning point.

            A view of the war in this manner makes Castel's article seem, well,
            insignificant in its own right.

            Dave

            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, thecoys@k... wrote:
            >
            >
            > I would like to mention that the subject of this thread, "Vicksburg
            was
            > Inignficant", is probably a misnomer. I have read the article and
            I do
            > not believe that Castel mentioned anywhere that Vicksburg was
            > insignificant. He does state that Vicksburg may not have been the
            > 'decisive' event that some believe.
            >
            > Y.O.S.
            > Kevin S. Coy
          • hank9174
            ... Our modern age no longer recognizes rivers as the barriers they were in the 1860s... This thought is shown throughout the OR. Hood wished to advance to
            Message 5 of 15 , Nov 7, 2003
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              --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hartshje" <Hartshje@a...> wrote:

              Our modern age no longer recognizes rivers as the barriers they were
              in the 1860s...

              This thought is shown throughout the OR. Hood wished to advance 'to
              the Ohio'; Davis looked for military operations 'to the line of the
              Susquehanna'.

              In 1860 there were no permanent bridges across the Mississippi, the
              Ohio or the Missouri. These rivers, in effect, acted as fire-lines
              containing the CSA. In addition, control of the Mississippi gave the
              USA speedy, cheap and easy transporation to any point on the
              Confederate perimeter.

              Discussions about the 'most significant' remind me of a construction
              gang talking over the most important elements of a house. Dang if a
              roofer ever appreciates the foundation, but all are needed to get the
              structure built...


              HankC

              > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "William H Keene"
              > <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
              > >
              > > If it wasn't the decisive event, what event was? and why?
              >
              > From reading through the posts of this recent discussion about
              > Vicksburg, it appears that a majority tend to agree Vicksburg
              wasn't
              > all it's cracked up to be. It is ironic, however, that in our poll
              > about what WAS "the most important battle" in the west (1861 -
              1863),
              > Vicksburg gets the nod with 43%, while Henry/Donelson comes in a
              > distant second with only 19%. How does this reconcile?
              >
              > Personally, I still think Vicksburg was very important and decisive
              > in several ways. As mentioned before, it eliminated a major army
              > from the south's defenses, and correspondingly freed up a Union
              army
              > (to come to Chattanooga's rescue). It also solidified Grant as THE
              > MAN to turn to. Also, as mentioned before, it gave the AotT it's
              > aire of invincibility, which carried through the remainder of the
              > war. IMO this victory in conjunction with Gettysburg gave the
              whole
              > North a badly needed boost into the final leg of the conflict.
              >
              > As decisive as it was (again in my opinion), I still hold with the
              > view that Henry/Donelson was more so, and led to Vicksburg.
              >
              > Regards,
              > Joe H.
            • hartshje
              Hank, Good point! History is a continuous story, and each event is a consequence of prior events. As Dave said earlier, after Sumpter it was a downhill slide
              Message 6 of 15 , Nov 7, 2003
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                Hank,

                Good point! History is a continuous story, and each event is a
                consequence of prior events. As Dave said earlier, after Sumpter it
                was a downhill slide to defeat.

                Joe

                --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
                >
                > Discussions about the 'most significant' remind me of a
                > construction gang talking over the most important elements of
                > a house. Dang if a roofer ever appreciates the foundation, but
                > all are needed to get the structure built...
                >
                > HankC
                >
                > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "William H Keene"
                > > <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > If it wasn't the decisive event, what event was? and why?
                > >
                > > From reading through the posts of this recent discussion about
                > > Vicksburg, it appears that a majority tend to agree Vicksburg
                > wasn't
                > > all it's cracked up to be. It is ironic, however, that in our
                poll
                > > about what WAS "the most important battle" in the west (1861 -
                > 1863),
                > > Vicksburg gets the nod with 43%, while Henry/Donelson comes in a
                > > distant second with only 19%. How does this reconcile?
                > >
                > > Personally, I still think Vicksburg was very important and
                decisive
                > > in several ways. As mentioned before, it eliminated a major army
                > > from the south's defenses, and correspondingly freed up a Union
                > army
                > > (to come to Chattanooga's rescue). It also solidified Grant as
                THE
                > > MAN to turn to. Also, as mentioned before, it gave the AotT it's
                > > aire of invincibility, which carried through the remainder of the
                > > war. IMO this victory in conjunction with Gettysburg gave the
                > whole
                > > North a badly needed boost into the final leg of the conflict.
                > >
                > > As decisive as it was (again in my opinion), I still hold with
                the
                > > view that Henry/Donelson was more so, and led to Vicksburg.
                > >
                > > Regards,
                > > Joe H.
              • brisher@midsouth.rr.com
                You have good arguments, Dave, but I have to disagree with your assertion that, after Sumpter, the Confederacy endured one long, downhill slide. As in every
                Message 7 of 15 , Nov 7, 2003
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                  You have good arguments, Dave, but I have to disagree with your assertion that, after Sumpter, the Confederacy "endured one long, downhill slide." As in every war, there were points of contigency in the Civil War where the direction and fate of the war stood to change remarkably. The Fall of 1862 was one of those "high tides" for the Confederacy, with offensives in both theaters. Vicksburg was huge for reasons of moral, logistics, and troop numbers. Not counting the soldiers who surrendered at Vicksburg, the South lost a great many due to combat and disease in the campaign and the siege that they could not afford. Perhaps Vicksburg was most significant by what it did for the Union army. It gave them sky-high moral and a feeling of invincibility and it gave to Liincoln his two greatest campaigners, Grant and Sherman. Atlanta was significant as well, for reasons already stated.

                  I have issues with historians who try to find "THE turnig point of the war," for in reality, no one point can change the direction of a 4 year war. There were many turnig points in the war.

                  Good debate you guys have going here,

                  Brian
                • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
                  In a message dated 11/7/2003 4:50:40 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... Actually, the downhill slide began before Beauregard fired the first shot at Sumter. It
                  Message 8 of 15 , Nov 7, 2003
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                    In a message dated 11/7/2003 4:50:40 PM Eastern Standard Time, brisher@... writes:

                    You have good arguments, Dave, but I have to disagree with your assertion that, after Sumpter, the Confederacy "endured one long, downhill slide." 

                    Actually, the downhill slide began before Beauregard fired the first shot at Sumter.  It began when Jeff Davis refused to take the advice of Robert Toombs.about firing at Ft Sumter.


                    "Mr. president at this time it is suicide, murder, and will lose every friend at the North" You will wantonly strike a hornets nest which extends from mountains to ocean, and legions now quiet will swarm our and sting us to death. It is unnecessary; it put us in the wrong it is fatal."

                    JEJ





                  • james2044
                    ... assertion ... slide. ... I m going to come in on the other side too. While agreeing that a CSA win is unlikely, impossible is to strong. In the Fall of
                    Message 9 of 15 , Nov 7, 2003
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                      > > You have good arguments, Dave, but I have to disagree with your
                      assertion
                      > > that, after Sumpter, the Confederacy "endured one long, downhill
                      slide."
                      >

                      I'm going to come in on the other side too. While agreeing that a
                      CSA win is unlikely, impossible is to strong. In the Fall of 1862,
                      victories at Antietam & Perryville might have resulted in a CSA
                      win. If nothing else, by 1864 the Union would have not been so far
                      South and that might have made Lincoln's reelection harder.

                      Other possible improvements:

                      Davis had removed Bragg sooner, replaced him with JEJ, backed JEJ
                      and never given Hood the AoT.

                      Lee had been much more careful of his men's lives, no other Malvern
                      Hill attacks. More defensive battles as he did in 1864 vs Grant.

                      Davis and company had taken more intrest in the west and tried to
                      keep TN in the CSA.

                      James2044
                    • carlw4514
                      Well, Joe, I think you are starting to see the dissenters weigh in now, Hank, Will, Dave Smith, Dave Powell, you, me, [apologies to anyone I missed]...
                      Message 10 of 15 , Nov 9, 2003
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                        Well, Joe, I think you are starting to see the dissenters weigh in now, Hank, Will, Dave Smith, Dave Powell, you, me, [apologies to
                        anyone I missed]...

                        --- In 23714, "hartshje" <Hartshje@a...> wrote:

                        >
                        > From reading through the posts of this recent discussion about
                        > Vicksburg, it appears that a majority tend to agree Vicksburg wasn't
                        > all it's cracked up to be. It is ironic, however, that in our poll
                        > about what WAS "the most important battle" in the west (1861 - 1863),
                        > Vicksburg gets the nod with 43%, while Henry/Donelson comes in a
                        > distant second with only 19%. How does this reconcile?
                        >
                        > Personally, I still think Vicksburg was very important and decisive
                        > in several ways. As mentioned before, it eliminated a major army
                        > from the south's defenses, and correspondingly freed up a Union army
                        > (to come to Chattanooga's rescue). It also solidified Grant as THE
                        > MAN to turn to. Also, as mentioned before, it gave the AotT it's
                        > aire of invincibility, which carried through the remainder of the
                        > war. IMO this victory in conjunction with Gettysburg gave the whole
                        > North a badly needed boost into the final leg of the conflict.
                        >
                        > As decisive as it was (again in my opinion), I still hold with the
                        > view that Henry/Donelson was more so, and led to Vicksburg.
                        >
                        > Regards,
                        > Joe H.
                      • Daniel F. Giallombardo
                        Ladies and Gentlemen, Our system has been down for a few days. Now we have a new server (AT&T). We ll see what happens this time...Dan
                        Message 11 of 15 , Nov 16, 2003
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                          Ladies and Gentlemen,
                          Our system has been down for a few days. Now we have a new server (AT&T). We'll see what happens
                          this time...Dan

                          james2044 wrote:

                          > > > You have good arguments, Dave, but I have to disagree with your
                          > assertion
                          > > > that, after Sumpter, the Confederacy "endured one long, downhill
                          > slide."
                          > >
                          >
                          > I'm going to come in on the other side too. While agreeing that a
                          > CSA win is unlikely, impossible is to strong. In the Fall of 1862,
                          > victories at Antietam & Perryville might have resulted in a CSA
                          > win. If nothing else, by 1864 the Union would have not been so far
                          > South and that might have made Lincoln's reelection harder.
                          >
                          > Other possible improvements:
                          >
                          > Davis had removed Bragg sooner, replaced him with JEJ, backed JEJ
                          > and never given Hood the AoT.
                          >
                          > Lee had been much more careful of his men's lives, no other Malvern
                          > Hill attacks. More defensive battles as he did in 1864 vs Grant.
                          >
                          > Davis and company had taken more intrest in the west and tried to
                          > keep TN in the CSA.
                          >
                          > James2044
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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