Discussion Biggest Blunders

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Polloco

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Richmond and Washington pulled some pretty good sized " boo-boos". But I'm assuming we are talking militarily here , right ?
 

damYankee

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The southern states believing that by forfeiture of representation at the Federal level, they could postpone indefinitely the inevitable. By giving up the power granted them by representation in the Senate and the House, they lost the ability to negotiate, something they had done very well .
Second place, forming a confederation in which the national governing body was weaker than the individual state members, thus gutting the ability of the CSA military to conduct it's responsibilities across state line, in other words allowing state militias the same authority the national commander.
Case in point, the siege of Savannah, So. Carolina govenor refused to send state militias to its aid, Florida and Texas ignoring Davis's calls for more men etc.
Worse yet, the CSA had no system in place to litigate disagreements between member states or between the national governing body and the states, it had no supreme court, . Eventually this would have lead to in fighting over water rights and create power struggles with no options other than war between the member states.
 
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OpnCoronet

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From the top of myhead there are three. Bragg's turning way in his invasion of Ky to attend to the inauguration of a secessionist gov. and uncovering, the escape route for Buell's army to escape. and McClellans delaying his attack on Lee at Antietam, 24 hrs. Ifg he had attacked a say sooner, Lee would have been defeated, before Jackson could reinforce him. and, Hookers retreat from Chancellorsville, after Jackson's flank attack. When the bulk of the larger AoP was betweenthe smaller forces of Lee and Jackson(usually considered a recipe for defeating the enemy in detail, in most military handbooks).




P.S. For honorable mention, I nominate McClellan's decision to retreat rather than fight for his supply lines, on the first days of battle against Lee, during the Seven Days.
 
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leftyhunter

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"Id recommend Ed Cotham's Sabine Pass: The Confederacy's Thermopylae:"

So Texas was never controlled by the Union during the war because of this battle ?
Texas was never a top priority for the Union. Securing the Border States was far more
Important as well as trying to capture nearby Richmond. The Union Army did for a time occupy Brownsville, Texas which was close by the important parts of Montomoros and Baghdad,Mexico which were used to subvert the Union blockade.
Once Vicksburg fell the Union Army left Brownsville.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

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What do people think was the biggest mistake of the war in terms of bad tactics and loss of men. The ones that come to mind are Grant @ Cold Harbour, Sherman @ Kennesaw Mountain, John B Hood @ Franklin , Lee @ Gettysburg Pickett's Charge. For me they are all bad but Franklin was the worst.
Nobody has yet mentioned the highly underrated battle of Perryville. As Lincoln himself said " to loose Kentucky is to loose the game". Kentucky was a critical state for the Union to hold as it was the gate way to Tennessee.
Leftyhunter
 
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jackt62

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What do people think was the biggest mistake of the war in terms of bad tactics and loss of men. The ones that come to mind are Grant @ Cold Harbour, Sherman @ Kennesaw Mountain, John B Hood @ Franklin , Lee @ Gettysburg Pickett's Charge. For me they are all bad but Franklin was the worst.
Interestingly, all those engagements you mentioned were frontal assaults against an entrenched defender. With the possible exception of the assault on Missionary Ridge by the Army of the Cumberland, those type of assaults always ended badly for the attacker.
 

jackt62

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From a strategic point of view, Jeff Davis' "cordon" defense in the early months of the war, which involved defending all of the confederacy's borders and seacoasts was untenable, as he and the leadership came to realize by 1862. As Napoleon said; "He who defends all, defends nothing."
 
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leftyhunter

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Both conservative types in terms of tactics in what I have read , it’s like the Ewell Gettysburg debate ie what if Jackson was there.
Some posters have argued that even if Longstreet's Corps was in position around Chattanooga Hooker's relief Corps of approximately 20 k men would of still been able to establish the Cracker Line. It's an interesting what if plus of course Sherman's Corps was also in its way to Chattanooga.
Leftyhunter
 
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jackt62

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Who was responsible for the blunder of keeping so much cotton off of the European market?
Confederate government policy in the early days of the war was to maintain its cotton surplus in the hopes of "starving" textile producing nations such as Great Britain into taking steps to end or interfere in the war in a way that would benefit the Confederacy and/or ensure its independence. This strategy failed when Britain and others sought new sources of cotton from places like Egypt and India. Moreover, the working class in England who stood the most to lose as a result of shuttered factories still never rallied to the southern cause.
 

leftyhunter

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Confederate government policy in the early days of the war was to maintain its cotton surplus in the hopes of "starving" textile producing nations such as Great Britain into taking steps to end or interfere in the war in a way that would benefit the Confederacy and/or ensure its independence. This strategy failed when Britain and others sought new sources of cotton from places like Egypt and India. Moreover, the working class in England who stood the most to lose as a result of shuttered factories still never rallied to the southern cause.
Yes and no. There was the Lancashire Cotton Famine which hit the UK hard plus also led to layoffs in France and Czarist occupied Poland.
@jgoodguy. A former member had a good sourced thread on Indian cotton . It was a low quality but partial substitute for Southern cotton.
Lack of cotton hurt both the Confederacy and Western Europe. The Confederacy really needed a blue water Navy to break the blockade.
Leftyhunter
 
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thomas aagaard

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Who was responsible for the blunder of keeping so much cotton off of the European market?
Not one person was responsible.
There was no legal embargo, but individual cotton exporters that followed the idea.

And it did not really matter, since by 1860 the UK had cotton for a few years and the world market and finished products made of cotton for a few years.
The civil war actually was real helpful to the factory owners in the UK, since they could blame the Americans for closing down production... something they would have had to do anyway because over massive overproduction preceding years handfull of years.
 

leftyhunter

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What do people think was the biggest mistake of the war in terms of bad tactics and loss of men. The ones that come to mind are Grant @ Cold Harbour, Sherman @ Kennesaw Mountain, John B Hood @ Franklin , Lee @ Gettysburg Pickett's Charge. For me they are all bad but Franklin was the worst.
Certainly a major blunder was the secessionists forgetting that eighty odd years prior to the ACW the British Army had successfully recruited slaves in the American Colonies and offering the enslaved men and their families freedom. Not smart to not study history.
Leftyhunter
 
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