The Peninsula Did the Seven Days campaign effectively end confederate hopes of independence?

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I don't think the 7 Days Battle ended the Confederacy's chances for victory, it increased them.

However after the failure to capture Richmond, the stakes of the war grew higher. A long war meant more disruption and change then a short war. One of the unintended consequences of the 7 Days was emancipation.
 

jackt62

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A long war meant more disruption and change then a short war.

Lee certainly understood that time was ultimately not on the side of the Confederacy, hence his aggressive moves to derange federal forces and induce war weariness in the northern public. If the Confederacy could not achieve that within a reasonable period of time, the northern advantage in manpower and logistics was eventually going to overwhelm the south.
 

Dead Parrott

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I don't think the 7 Days Battle ended the Confederacy's chances for victory, it increased them.

However after the failure to capture Richmond, the stakes of the war grew higher. A long war meant more disruption and change then a short war. One of the unintended consequences of the 7 Days was emancipation.

I wonder … do we have any contemporary quotes, not post-war stuff, but actually at the time, from CSA generals musing about a Long War dooming them?
 

Rhea Cole

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I wonder … do we have any contemporary quotes, not post-war stuff, but actually at the time, from CSA generals musing about a Long War dooming them?
By chance, this morning I read Three Years in the Army of the Cumberland page 121 James A. Connolly.

In a Letter to his wife written from south of Chattanooga September 16, 1863 Col. Connoly wrote:

"We captured a large rebel mail at Tyner's on the railroad 9 miles east of Chattanooga, some days since, & I read probably 200 of the letters & heard as many more read, & sun a gloomy, despondent bunch of manuscript, relating to Southern Confederacy I never dreamed of. They all agreed that the Confederacy was ruined, that it was whipped, that it was not use fighting any longer, that they intended to desert, &c, & c. Among them I read letters written by officers of Buckner's staff acknowledging they are whipped, & one advising his brother-in-law in Richmond to convert his property into gold & make preparation for them both & their families, to fly the country, as they couldn't possibly hold on much longer. Day before yesterday a captain & he company deserted, all together, & came marching into our lines."
 

Lost Cause

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If Grant would of just sat in Northern Virginia and not tried to seize Richmond how would of that helped the Confederacy to win it's independence?
In the meantime the blockade is only getting tighter every month and significant parts of the Confederacy are revering to anarchy.
Leftyhunter
Yes Grant sacrificed a portion of his army to defeat Lee, and yes there were portions reverting to anarchy (border regions and portions of Sherman’s march especially).
 

leftyhunter

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Yes Grant sacrificed a portion of his army to defeat Lee, and yes there were portions reverting to anarchy (border regions and portions of Sherman’s march especially).
Grant was ordered to conduct the Overland Campaign vs Grant wanted to invade Virginia via the back door for New Berne, North Carolina.
Leftyhunter
 

James N.

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I've got to thinking, and I have come to the conclusion that the Seven Days campaign killed the confederacy's chance at being independent. I say this because of all of the Frontal assaults Lee ordered. Yes, they were effective, but he lost way too many men, way too soon in order for it to be justified in my opinion. Because of the massive casualty list, I don't think he had enough men for a clear victory at Sharpsburg. Sharpsburg was another hit the Army of Northern Virginia did not need.

Or was the Seven Days just like any battle, being that any casualty was one they couldn't afford?


Thoughts?
The Seven Days had less to do with the performance of the ANV in the Maryland Campaign than the serious straggling that followed a month's hard marching and fighting at Cedar Mountain, Groveton, and Second Manassas. The army was already in bad shape from those and supposedly there were many who refused to cross the Potomac on the grounds they had enlisted to defend their states and not invade others.
 

Dead Parrott

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Do we know how seriously Grant considered the New Berne approach? The little I've read on that seems to indicate that he discarded the idea quickly.

Great question. We know Grant considered it with an excellent sense of sound strategic thinking (nod to his 1862 predecessor with similar thoughts). My guess is that Grant didn't get very far in fleshing out that idea because the overland directive was given quickly, and Grant being a good soldier type took it as a fait accompli.

Our written info on this sparce (and we don't have the verbal), so we should be careful making judgments on exactly when and what was discussed. But it seems it wasn't in consideration for very long.

Good question.
 

jackt62

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We know Grant considered it with an excellent sense of sound strategic thinking (nod to his 1862 predecessor with similar thoughts).

It seems to me that the waterborne route (either as originally taken by McClellan, or amphibious operations along the Carolina coast), were a more effective and bolder means of striking the ANV and attaining its destruction. But the Lincoln administration was skittish about protecting the Washington environs, and as a result, seemed stuck in the paradigm of the overland route, from the commands of Burnside, Hooker, Meade and Grant. Even McClellan contemplated more ambitious amphibious operations along the southern coast, and at least he was able to successfully plan and land an army of over 100,000 on the Peninsula by way of the water route.
 
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