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

jackt62

Captain
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Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
I''m not blaming him for that problem during the Seven Days but just pointing out that poor staff work played a role. I am "blaming" him for never adapting after that.

For some reason, Lee if not the entire Confederate military organization never got its act together in terms of setting up a workable staff system at both the tactical level and the strategic command level. At least the Union was able to do better in that regard; notwithstanding General Halleck's flaws, his main strength was in administrative staff work at the central level. And Grant and many of the Union commanders had larger and more effective staff organizations than did Lee.
 

arjo1861

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May 1, 2020
Location
Cornwall UK
The Confederates had a reasonable chance of forcing a political solution up to the battle of Antietam Creek.
However, by July of 1862, the US had achieved its territorial control of the Missouri River and the far west. The news would have come out of the west very slowly, but by August it would have been accepted that the US was in control of the west, and slavery was never going to spread there.
An armistice based on the fact could have been acceptable. But fights over the west and over slave raids into the Confederacy would have renewed.
I think the armistice would have seen both sides plotting for the renewal of the war. And the Confederacy was unlikely to catch the US unprepared, a second time.
I don't think Lincoln would have sanctioned any armistice that didn't see the South coming back into the Union.
 

arjo1861

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Location
Cornwall UK
For some reason, Lee if not the entire Confederate military organization never got its act together in terms of setting up a workable staff system at both the tactical level and the strategic command level. At least the Union was able to do better in that regard; notwithstanding General Halleck's flaws, his main strength was in administrative staff work at the central level. And Grant and many of the Union commanders had larger and more effective staff organizations than did Lee.
I think you could argue that after 1863 Lee did a lot of his own staff work. :-(
 

arjo1861

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Location
Cornwall UK
I''m not blaming him for that problem during the Seven Days but just pointing out that poor staff work played a role. I am "blaming" him for never adapting after that.
You said his staff work was appalling during the Seven Days. I don't see how it could have been otherwise given the fix he was in. I agree that his staff remained I inadequate thereafter.
 

Joshism

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Location
Jupiter, FL
Lee also never figured out how to take steps towards a modern concept of a staff. Grant, on the other hand, did. Lee's staff 's work during the Seven Days was abysmal.

Europeans had a much better concept of staff at the time. Probably because they had experience with much larger armies than their American counterparts.

Has anyone written on the subject of developing and using staffs during the ACW?
 

wausaubob

Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
This map is from a 1911 school book.
1600211826419.png

Its not absolutely accurate, but it is easy to read, which is why someone digitalized it. Its easy to envision the contest between northern Democrats and Republicans proceeding on different terms and something close the August 1, 1863 being adopted as the armistice line.
Different terms that might have been mentioned include enough accomplished for now, and there are more important issues in the west. The Republicans may have advocate abolish slavery based on 21 paid labor states v 6 slave states, and then waiting until public opinion solidified in favor of abolition. If the August 1863 line is fictionalized, some sort of Confederate independence is possible.
What the map does not show is the US Navy preparing for a theater wide effort to close Confederate ports and steadily support US logistics. The navy was also active in making the main commercial routes to Britain and to and from Panama too hot for the Confederate raiders.
What does not show on the map was the US railroad industry, along with its iron, coal and equipment vendors, gearing up a huge effort to build and operate a military railroad from Louisville to Atlanta.
What the map doesn't show is that US had control of the west, immigration was returning to normal levels and the Midwest economy was surging.
 
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OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Or was the Seven Days just like any battle, being that any casualty was one they couldn't afford?
Thoughts?












The battle did, IMO, set the tome and substance of all further confrontations between the ANV and the AoP. But I believe the battle can be seen as the best opportunity for Lee and the ANV to have cruushed the AoP and perhaps, even have caused its surrender. In this respect I think it can be argued That the battle did, in the end, set in motion the events from which hopes for southern independence were finally crushed.
 

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
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 short answer is No, the Seven Days battle did not effectively end the Confederacy's chances of gaining independence. At least that is my opinion.

Lee's victory left the Union leadership stunned and demoralized. A more effective follow-up, especially a clear Confederate victory in the Maryland campaign, might well have changed the course of the war, What the South needed in late 1862 was a collapse of support for the war in the US Congress, but Lincoln addroitly succeeded in avouding that.
 
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