The American Civil War

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Lucrum, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. Lucrum


    • More than three million men fought in the war.

    • Two percent of the population—more than 620,000—died in it.

    • In two days at Shiloh on the banks of the Tennessee River, more Americans fell than in all previous American wars combined.

    • During the Battle of Antietam, 12,401 Union men were killed, missing or wounded; double the casualties of D-Day, 82 years later. With a total of 23,000 casualties on both sides, it was the bloodiest single day of the Civil War.

    • At Cold Harbor, Va., 7,000 Americans fell in 20 minutes.

    • Senator John J. Crittendon of Kentucky had two sons who became major generals during the Civil War: one for the North, one for the South.

    • Ulysses S. Grant was not fond of ceremonies or military music. He said he could only recognize two tunes. "One was Yankee Doodle," he grumbled. "The other one wasn’t."

    • Missouri sent 39 regiments to fight in the siege of Vicksburg: 17 to the Confederacy and 22 to the Union.

    • During the Battle of Antietam, Clara Barton tended the wounded so close to the fighting that a bullet went through her sleeve and killed a man she was treating.

    • At the start of the war, the value of all manufactured goods produced in all the Confederate states added up to less than one-fourth of those produced in New York State alone.

    • In March 1862, European powers watched in worried fascination as the Monitor and Merrimack battled off Hampton Roads, Va. From then on, after these ironclads opened fire, every other navy on earth was obsolete.

    • In 1862, the U.S. Congress authorized the first paper currency, called "greenbacks."

    • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., future chief Justice, was wounded three times during the Civil War: in the chest at Ball’s Bluff, in the back at Antietam and in the heel at Chancellorsville.

    • Confederate Private Henry Stanley fought for the Sixth Arkansas, and was captured at Shiloh, but survived to go to Africa to find Dr. Livingstone.

    • George Pickett’s doomed infantry charge at Gettysburg was the first time he took his division into combat.

    • On July 4, 1863, after 48 days of siege, Confederate General John C. Pemberton surrendered the city of Vicksburg to the Union’s General, Ulysses S. Grant. The Fourth of July was not be celebrated in Vicksburg for another 81 years.

    • Disease was the chief killer during the war, taking two men for every one who died of battle wounds.

    • North and South, potential recruits were offered awards, or "bounties," for enlisting, as much as $677 in New York. Bounty jumping soon became a profession, as men signed up, then deserted, to enlist again elsewhere. One man repeated the process 32 times before being caught.

    • African Americans constituted less than one percent of the northern population, yet by the war’s end made up ten percent of the Union Army. A total of 180,000 black men, more than 85% of those eligible, enlisted.

    • In November 1863, President Lincoln was invited to offer a "few appropriate remarks" at the opening of a new Union cemetery at Gettysburg. The main speaker, a celebrated orator from Massachusetts, spoke for nearly two hours. Lincoln offered just 269 words in his Gettysburg Address.

    • Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest had 30 horses shot from under him and personally killed 31 men in hand-to-hand combat. "I was a horse ahead at the end," he said.

    • The words "In God We Trust" first appeared on a U.S. coin in 1864.

    • In 1864, Ulysses S. Grant was promoted to Lieutenant General, a rank previously held by General George Washington, and led the 533,000 men of the Union Army, the largest in the world. Three years later, he was made President of the United States.

    • Andersonville Prison in southwest Georgia held 33,000 prisoners in 1864. It was the fifth largest city in the Confederacy.

    •By the end of the war, Unionists from every state except South Carolina had sent regiments to fight for the North.

    • On November 9, 1863, President Lincoln attended a theater in Washington, D.C., to see "The Marble Heart." An accomplished actor, John Wilkes Booth, was in the cast.

    • On March 4, 1865, Lincoln was inaugurated for a second term. Yards away in the crowd was John Wilkes Booth with a pistol in his pocket. His vantage point on the balcony, he said later, offered him "an excellent chance to kill the President, if I had wished."

    • On May 13, 1865, a month after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, Private John J. Williams of the 34th Indiana became the last man killed in the Civil War, in a battle at Palmito Ranch, Texas. The final skirmish was a Confederate victory.

    • Hiram Revels of Mississippi became the first black man ever elected to the U.S. Senate. He filled the seat last held by Jefferson Davis.
  2. People always give that number that 620,000 died in the civil war, but over 400,000 was people dying from disease.

    Out of 3 million people, 100k per year dying from disease is about 3% of the combined military population. I can't imagine disease from everyday life was much less than that in the 1800s when they only had cures for a few diseases.

    With all our healthcare and medicines today and the fact that we've eliminated many diseases, still about 1% of our population dies of disease every year.
  3. joederp


    One more factoid: the Civil War had as much to do with freeing southern slaves, as the Iraq War had to do with securing enemy weapons of mass destruction.

    Let's see how the resident line-towing Democrats/Republicans on the board respond to that one...
  4. newwurldmn


    Today disease includes heart disease and diabetes.

    Then it was stuff like gangrene and cholera. I bet if you use their definition of disease its like .1percent now.
  5. fhl


    You are correct.

    Before Lincoln was elected, he supported slavery, and new laws to strengthen the practice. In a speech in New York, he even said, 'we have abolitionists in Illinois, we shot one the other day'.

    Both Lincoln and congress stated publicly that their purpose in going to war was not to disturb slavery, but to "preserve the union".

    Lincoln's emancipation proclamation freed slaves in 'rebel territory', but not in union territory. iow, it freed slaves he had no control over and left slaves in slavery that he did have control over. lol Not only that, but the emancipation proclamation was only a war measure and would have become defunct if the war was over the next day. Attempting to make the war about slavery at that point in time with a bogus law was because the union was losing the war and european powers were about to support the confederacy and this proclamation was seen as a way to drum up support and prevent them from doing so.

    Perhaps the biggest joke of all is the recent propaganda movie by Speilberg about lincoln where the entire movie was about Lincoln's marvelous political skills and chicanery in getting the 13'th amendment passed outlawing slavery. The screenplay wad collaborated on by Doris Kearns Goodwin, the hard left historian and confirmed plagiarist. But, the preeminent Lincoln historian, a Harvard academic, who wrote a five volume set on Lincoln, said in his books that there was not one scintilla of evidence that Lincoln did anything at all to help get the 13th amendment passed. Imagine that. And a whole movie written with the help of a plagiarist historian that said it was Lincoln's doing. lol

    The reason for the war was that the south contributed a lot of money to the gov't and the north wanted even more. Two days before Lincoln's inauguration import duties were more than doubled. Lincoln said in his inauguration address that it was his duty to collect duties and imposts (tariffs) and there would be no war unless it became impossible for him to collect them because of secession. The south seceeded. The north went to war to 'preserve the union' and collect the import duties.

    The whole historical fable that LIncoln went to war to free the slaves is nothing but a liberal wet dream that makes them feel good and they can use to keep blacks on the liberal plantation. As far as the establishment right, who would expect people like john mccain and pals to ever disagree with the liberal notion and risk ridicule from the media? It makes them feel good, too, to be able to try and make a case that republicans were the party to free the slaves.

    The plain truth is Lincoln was becoming president of a gov't that was disintegrating and the first job of pols and gov't is to preserve itself.
    In addition, Lincoln't backers and power base were big business who desperately wanted the south to be subject to those import duties.
    The gov't needed the money to survive. LIncoln's business friends needed southern business competition to be surpressed. Now that's where wars come from.

    Politics was no different then than it is today. The official line is generally nothing but a great big pile of steaming........
  6. Lucrum


    I don't necessarily disagree, but I was posting more along the lines of interesting facts. Rather than a political discussion.
  7. gwb-trading


    The reality is that the Civil War had many base causes, slavery is just one of them -- or more specificly the U.S. policy about 'extending (or not) slavery to western territories which caused violent unrest in Kansas & other places even before Fort Sumter.

    I will note that many soldiers joined the union army because of strong anti-slavery sentiment in the North. My ancestors were Pennsylvanian -Dutch farmers who were strongly pro-abolition. Most of men in the family signed up for the same regiment (they were raised locally) early in the war and all killed/wounded at the Second Battle of Bull Run (Second Manassas) as documented in our family bible from the 1700s.
  8. Lucrum


    VERY interesting gwb. Other than knowing 90% + of my DNA originates in the British Isles I know little of my ancestors beyond my grandparents.
  9. joederp


    Absolutely; my apology for the detour. In the interest of 'hitting the root' on an event and era as transformational as this was, I offer a set of 'prequel' notes from historical research in the economic basis:

    War of 1812: "New England shipping took a severe hit during the War of 1812 and the embargo. After the war ended, the British flooded America with manufactured goods to try to drive out the nascent American industries. They chose the port of New York for their dumping ground, in part because the British had been feeding cargoes to Boston all through the war to encourage anti-war sentiment in New England. New York was the more starved, therefore it became the port of choice. And the dumping bankrupted many towns, but it assured New York of its sea-trading supremacy. In the decades to come. New Yorkers made the most of the chance...The war ended in 1815, and American markets reopened to the cheaper, better made British products. In spite of the protective Tariff of 1816, the American economy collapsed in 1819.[1]"

    Ascension of New England shipping industry, 1820s: "Four Northern and Mid-Atlantic ports still had the lion's share of the shipping. But Boston and Baltimore mainly served regional markets (though Boston sucked up a lot of Southern cotton and shipped out a lot of fish). Philadelphia's shipping interest had built up trade with the major seaports on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, especially as Pennsylvania's coal regions opened up in the 1820s. But New York was king. Its merchants had the ready money, it had a superior harbor, it kept freight rates down, and by 1825 some 4,000 coastal trade vessels per year arrived there. In 1828 it was estimated that the clearances from New York to ports on the Delaware Bay alone were 16,508 tons, and to the Chesapeake Bay 51,000 tons."

    1830s credit boom, and later bust (**sound familiar?**): “United States borrowing in Britain began in the 1830s at the level of the separate states; most of the Southern members among them later defaulted, if not shortly after 1837 [the collapse of the cotton boom], at least during the Civil War, with massive losses for British (and Continental) investors. The federal government had borrowed in the Netherlands in the 1790s, and in 1803 for the Louisiana Purchase. With the outbreak of war with Mexico, it began borrowing in European capital markets more generally. The capital inflow was to rise in the 1850s, and spread from London to Continental centers such as Frankfurt where the federal government, the states, and even such cities as Wheeling, Covington and Sacramento, to say nothing of New York, San Francisco and New Orleans, were to have their bonds listed in 1854-1856. The borrowing shifted from governments to railroads...The houses of Morgan, Seligmann and Drexel fanned out...over Europe to raise money for investment in the United States.[2]”

    [1] Douglas Harper.
    [2] Charles Kindleberger. An Economic History of Western Europe (1984), p. 222
  10. joederp


    The 1830s to 1850s, when the proverbial fault lines began appearing, and the true nature of a brewing economic injustice was masked by politics and scapegoat-ed with the issue of slavery:
    "After 1830 the industrial North had become wedded, not only to the South's production of cotton, but to the institution of slave labor which made such valuable production possible." Northern factories based their profits on a steady flow of cotton."[3]

    "The price of raw cotton was low during this period, and lagged behind the price of cotton goods. Northern bankers grew rich by extending liberal (but risky) credit to Southern planters against next year's crop. Cotton was already America's leading export by 1821. By 1850, Southern cotton accounted for nearly 60 percent of the nation's total exports, and was a major factor in Northern shipping prospects. While the looms of Lawrence and Lowell sucked up raw cotton, the ships of Boston bulged with it as they crossed the Atlantic, and their owners looked forward to increasing production on the slave plantations, which meant increased profit for them.

    Northern politicians were ever ready to sacrifice whatever anti-slavery sentiments they had for the sake of a tariff deal. Rumors after the Compromise of 1850 linked it to logrolling for tariff protection. Illinois votes for the Compromise were connected to railroad land grants that Illinois obtained in 1850. Southern congressmen claimed to have won over Pennsylvania's delegation by promising to repay a vote for the Compromise with "adjustments" in the tariff rates. At the same time, the Pennsylvania legislature voted to repeal laws that handicapped efforts to recapture fugitive slaves.

    In the 1820s or '30s, no one would disagree that the tariff was the chief political issue disturbing the United States. But it was not then purely a regional split: many Northern farmers and merchants joined the Southern planters to oppose high tariffs. After the Missouri Compromise, slavery was a deeply troubling, but minor, irritant on the political scene. So how, in 25 years or so, did this national conflict shift to Southern slavery -- which was the same thing it had been in 1820 and '30 -- so much so that the declarations of independence of the various Southern states in 1860 and '61 seem to make it their chief reason for secession?

    The answer is the combination of economic self interest and political machination which was itself, rather than slavery, the power that split the country. In opposition to the Democratic Party, the Whigs made a high tariff their strongest plank. But it wasn't enough."[1]

    [1] Douglas Harper.
    [3] Thomas H. O'Connor, Lords of the Loom, New York: Charles Scriber's Sons, 1968, p.47
    #10     Jul 21, 2013