Where the War REALLY was Won (and who won it)
- The American Civil War Western Theater Discussion Group is a great
forum for the 600-plus men and women who see significance in what
happened westward from the Appalachians. Millions of other Americans,
however, STILL assume the "real war" occurred mostly in Virginia, and
Gettysburg was the war's turning point. For those of us who believe the
war's outcome was shaped in the Western Theater instead, the popular
lack of awareness is a kind of continuation of the insults Easterners
used to heap on Westerners ("armed rabble," "drunkards," etc.). I have
just joined the small group of writers who argue the war's outcome was
shaped in the Western Theater by Westerners while Easteners were
achieving no more than (as Richard McMurry puts it) "a bloody strategic
stalemate." The battlefields of Virginia and nearby were great for
creating widows and orphans, but until Grant came east, not much else
that might end the war. My new book, "Blood, Tears, and Glory: How
Ohioans Won the Civil War" (see wwww.orangefrazer.com/btg) makes the
argument from one point of view; I hope others will chime in with
theirs. James (Jim) Bissland
This letter, published in the S&D Reflector in Dec 1969, was written by the mayor of Pittsburgh to recognize six steamboat captains and their vessels for their service to the country.
Feb 19th, 1862
I desire that the captains of the following
steamers be placed on record for the patriotic
and liberal (volunteering) of their services
and boats, without renumeration, to proceed
immediately to the Cumberland River to relieve
the sick and wounded soldiers: Rocket, Capt
Wolf; Clara Poe, Capt Poe, Horizon, Capt
Stockdale; Emma, Capt Maratta; Westmorland,
Capt Evans; Sir William Wallace, Capt Hugh
B. C. Sawyer, Jr., Mayor.
My search for the original letter has failed to date. To whom the letter was addressed is unknown. What words were replaced? The subject of the paragraph in the S&D Reflector was salaries of the captains of the steamers during the war. Apparently, boats and crews who worked for no salary were not uncommon especially when pressed to service.
The letter was also interesting from the steamer point of view. Three boats were destroyed during the war. In Jan 1865, the Emma collided with the Louisville ferry. Both vessels were disabled and both floated helplessly over the falls. A dramatic ending for the Emma. The Clara Poe, bound for Nashville with supplies, was burned on 17 Apr 1865 by rebels along the Cumberland River . That date was curious. Hostilities in the west continued for about thirty days after Appomattox . While running at night without lights, the Horizon collided with the Moderator near Vicksburg on 1 May 1863 resulting in the deaths of many soldiers.
Another description of the impact of the Civil War on river commerce is found in a brief editorial - The Golden Age of Steamboating. If the hyperlink fails, the web page is:
Research on RR capabilities during the Civil War continues.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, October 4, 2009 12:21:32 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Where the War REALLY was Won (and who won it)
Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing. I often wonder what our great great grandchildren will think of our lives and artifacts.
Your phrase “marched along the RR towards Vicksburg ” peaked my interest. As you are probably aware, my interest involves inland river steamboats from 1850-1870. I am also interested in Civil War railroads in Pittsburgh . There is a CWWT topic “Railroads” dated 20 Oct 2002. After I read the entries, I may throw out another possibly nutty idea .
Speaking of crazy, did we reach any conclusion on where the war was won, and who won it? Vicksburg and the Pook Turtles or Pittsburgh and the rivermen or?!? Currently, t he topic has more than sixty entries and, in my opinion, the discussion h as been quite interesting and entertaining .
----- Original Message -----
From: "edkiniry" <wah_mei_1388@...>
Sent: Saturday, October 3, 2009 12:35:53 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Where the War REALLY was Won (and who won it)
Thank you for asking. The story is in a small notebook that my mother used as a diary and a record of her collage days, about 1918. I found this story under a heading "Stories my father told me about the Civil War."I will parapharase.
I took sick after Shiloh and was sent to a hospital in Mound City. after a few weeks I wanted to return to my unit but the doctors thought I should still nurse. I found two soldiers who wanted to stay and nurse but were to be released and did not want to go. Me and my partner changed names with them and we left. We were traveling to the unit, in Tennessee, when we were caught by the sentries. we were taken before General Grant for a disposition. He said to the sentries "These boys are all right, let them return to their unit, but you shall make sure they get there." They joined the battery in time for Grant's march along the RR toward Vicksburg, and fell back when Van Dorn raided their supply depot at Holly Springs.
I couldn't believe what I was reading, swapped identities, a meeting of two privates under guard, with General Grant and it turned out O. K. and it was MY grandfather.
I am extremely glad that "mom" quieried her father about his experiences and recorded them.
An interesting side note: The Federals could not communicate with Sherman, that they would not make their part of the attack, but the rebels notified Pemberton of what had happened. It was approximately the same distance, but Forrest had made havoc with the Federal communications in Tennessee, and Grant could not tell Sherman that it was "all off."
--- In email@example.com, "carlw4514" <carlw4514@...> wrote:
> David, we would love to hear that story... and I too scold keeno2 [will?] for being dense and saying none were built in ILL.