Golden Thread Anyone ever change their mind?

Henry Brown

Retired User
Joined
Apr 11, 2017
Location
In Transit
i tend to think of most soldiers as martyrs who gave their lives for their country.
i asked why would men be so quick to die for their country especially if they had no vested interest in the politics. someone here said that a better question would be why were they so quick to kill for their country ? for me that changes everything.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Location
Portland, Oregon
I have learned here that there is never going to be any consensus on any aspect of the Civil War.

Thank God, can you imagine how boring that would be?

The Civil War, and history in general, is just too vast to ever be black and white. History, being the story of people- with all of our transcendence, stupidity, courage and cowardice- will never be easily understood.
 

kevikens

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Location
New Jersey
i tend to think of most soldiers as martyrs who gave their lives for their country.
i asked why would men be so quick to die for their country especially if they had no vested interest in the politics. someone here said that a better question would be why were they so quick to kill for their country ? for me that changes everything.
I don't think too many soldiers in ANY war are all that interested in becoming martyrs for their respective countries. Even when the odds don't look good soldiers have a tendency not to see themselves as imminent dead heroes. I heard it put it this way once. If a regiment of a thousand troops were told before a coming battles that 999 of them would die on the field, every single one of them would silently say to themselves. "Those poor guys".
 

unicornforge

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
Location
Near Gettysburg, PA
Yes I learned and changed my view of what happened. But what really changed my thinking was reading books by people who were actually in the conflict expressing their feelings and sharing their experiences, the reasons that they participated, the politics and behaviors they observed, etc...... People on forums, and books, can express their opinions on the thinking and politics of over 150 years ago, but to really understand what they were thinking and experiencing I believe there is no substitute for first hand sources.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Location
Portland, Oregon
I've changed some of my views regarding personalities such as McClellan. I used to think he was just an awful general. Now I think of him for as a talented general with a fatal flaw. If he had only been a little less afraid of failure then he may have won the war. He was like a man who was one card short of a full house.
 

jackt62

Captain
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
I've changed some of my views regarding personalities such as McClellan. I used to think he was just an awful general. Now I think of him for as a talented general with a fatal flaw. If he had only been a little less afraid of failure then he may have won the war. He was like a man who was one card short of a full house.

My opinion of McClellan has also risen a notch. He was actually a skilled strategist, and his Peninsula campaign, with its use of amphibious landings, and joint army-navy cooperation was a brilliant plan. So I would give him credit for that way of thinking, even though his other flaws are still serious enough, including his failure to properly execute his plan.
 

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