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Re: Where the War REALLY was Won (and who won it)

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  • Ron Black
    ... Americans, ... and ... the ... popular ... Easterners ... have ... was ... strategic ... else ... the ... Jim: Your description between the western and the
    Message 1 of 62 , Oct 8, 2007
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      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "jbissla" <gabriel@...> wrote:
      > 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
      > however, STILL assume the "real war" occurred mostly in Virginia,
      > Gettysburg was the war's turning point. For those of us who believe
      > war's outcome was shaped in the Western Theater instead, the
      > lack of awareness is a kind of continuation of the insults
      > used to heap on Westerners ("armed rabble," "drunkards," etc.). I
      > just joined the small group of writers who argue the war's outcome
      > shaped in the Western Theater by Westerners while Easteners were
      > achieving no more than (as Richard McMurry puts it) "a bloody
      > stalemate." The battlefields of Virginia and nearby were great for
      > creating widows and orphans, but until Grant came east, not much
      > that might end the war. My new book, "Blood, Tears, and Glory: How
      > Ohioans Won the Civil War" (see wwww.orangefrazer.com/btg) makes
      > argument from one point of view; I hope others will chime in with
      > theirs. James (Jim) Bissland
      Your description between the western and the eastern theaters, I
      believe to be correct. The war was basically a war of stalemate in
      the east until Grant arrived and a war of manever in the west that
      continued to the end. The North Carolina campaign and the battle of
      Bentonville shows that the western armies were still marching. The
      western war I find more interesting but greatly under appreciated.
      The attention of the public to the eastern battlefields, the greater
      number of authors writing about the eastern war and the commerical
      success of the books and guided tours concerning the eastern area is
      frustrating. In the civil war magazines, about 80% of the advertised
      guided tours are all going east.
      However, those interested in the western war actually may hinder any
      attempts to increase interest in the western theater. They do this
      by promoting their special interest in local battles and small
      skirmishs while not considering the overall theater. The western
      theater was very vast, large, complicated and with difficult terrain
      and problems of manpower, supplies, armaments, transportation and
      communications. Its the efforts and attempts by the confederate
      goverment, state governors and leaders, and the military command and
      the movements of the armies to solve these problems that increases
      the interest in this area. Here, a campaign was featured by much
      marching, long time-factors and sharp fighting. The tactial problems
      presented by the events and movements create extremely interesting
      situations. This large area created strategic and tactial situations
      and campaigns that were of interest and is the offset to the short
      marchs and more frequent battles in the eastern stalemate. Also,
      there are areas that have been ignored by authors thus not creating
      interest in them, such as the Trans-Mississippi and eastern Tennessee
      areas. Both of strategic value. Many jewels of military planning,
      manevers and battles have been passed over.
      I guess, what I'm saying is that the western theater of operations is
      still a fertile field awaiting to be plowed while the field down the
      road to the east is all played out.
      Please allow me the opportunity to mention a complaint. I am very
      tired and upset about the large number of books about the battle of
      Gettysburg. How many times can you write about the same thing?
      Hope this has meaning for you.
    • fwnash@comcast.net
      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
      Message 62 of 62 , Nov 4, 2009
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        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. 


                                         Pittsburgh, PA,

                                         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.


        All six boats were built and manned from the Pittsburgh region.  The Clara Poe and the Horizon were owned and operated by my guys from Georgetown , PA. 


        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. 

        Fran Nash





        ----- Original Message -----
        From: fwnash@...
        To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
        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)

        Mr K

        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 .  

        Fran Nash

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "edkiniry" <wah_mei_1388@...>
        To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
        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 civilwarwest@yahoogroups.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.

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