Did the Union or Confederacy Produce Better All-Around Soldiers?

Joined
May 9, 2014
Messages
321
Location
Sunny South
Once everyone understands and accepts we are talking about American men, north and south, and yes there were some cultural differences but they were really the same breed, so to speak, of men. Common sense dictates that those who had more battle experience were going to perform better, generally, than those that did not have as much battle experience. The South may edge out their Northern foe on that one issue the first few years of the war but then throw in most all other factors such as arms, equipment, larger supply of fresh troops, etc. in which case the North had the advantage. As the war progressed the edge grew larger and larger for the North.
 

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
5,829
Location
Texas
Edited. I knew the next sentence would include Union soldiers risking their lives for the sole purpose of freeing enslaved people. Edited. Lincoln made very clear the institution of slavery, as it existed in the cotton states, was not being threatened in any way after he was elected. Very clear.
You read into it what YOU want...Keeping the country together is a good motivator, because THAT is what the Fore Fathers designed the US Constitution for. The Union troops knew the ramifications involved with a split Country. Edited.

Kevin Dally
 

E_just_E

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
6,096
Location
Center Valley, PA
Folks,
Please take a deep breath and focus on the subject instead on each other.
This thread is about just another personal attack from being locked...


Posted as a moderator.
 

WJC

Brigadier General
Moderator
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Messages
11,457
***Posted as Moderator***
As most are aware, personal attack and personal argument are violations of our Community Guidelines.
Think before you post. Discuss this topic in a civil manner, respecting the views of others.
 

John S. Carter

First Sergeant
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Messages
1,322
From my experience in the USMC, the south enlisted the most people but the north and Midwest produced more quality than quantity. I really don't know about the CW, except that maybe at the beginning the south might had the better quality soldier, but during the middle and end of the war it was the north. In all fairness to the south, a lot were conscripted and we all know a lot of times conscription constituted dissent. Subsequently, desertion was prevalent and it started to fall apart. It seemed like morale picked up momentum for the Union rank & file as the war progressed. Nevertheless, at the start of the war who had the better trained soldiers?
If you consider that the first Union divisions lacked training due the the rapid enlistment then so did the Confederate soldier.The question is which side had the better armentents then this would have to be the Union soldier.The Confederate had the better calvary at the start but eventually the Union would excel .McClellan may have been a second rate strategist but due to his training that he instituted along with the total force of man power Meade and,Grant had the force he would need to accomplish victory over Lee ,Meade at Pa, Grant the destruction of Lee's army..May be the CSA should have lost at first Manassas/Bull Run for my Yankee associates.Could have shorten the war,the South would not have been so encouraged by the first victory.Lincoln fortitude maintained the Union in the face of this humiliation.
 
Joined
May 9, 2014
Messages
321
Location
Sunny South
You read into it what YOU want...Keeping the country together is a good motivator, because THAT is what the Fore Fathers designed the US Constitution for. The Union troops knew the ramifications involved with a split Country. Edited.

Kevin Dally
I agree with that and as I mentioned, I hope I would have handled it just like Lincoln did to keep the Union together.
 
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
16,569
Location
los angeles ca
Edited. I knew the next sentence would include Union soldiers risking their lives for the sole purpose of freeing enslaved people. Edited. Lincoln made very clear the institution of slavery, as it existed in the cotton states, was not being threatened in any way after he was elected. Very clear.
True but after the EP the ACW did become a struggle to either free slaves or keep them enslaved.
Leftyhunter
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
7,909
Location
Denver, CO
A Yankee soldier was fighting for the existing national government, with a tax structure, a credit rating, and a navy. Getting paid in dollars that retained some value bolstered courage. Watching the gunboats shell the other guys was probably motivating as well.
 
Joined
May 9, 2014
Messages
321
Location
Sunny South
A Yankee soldier was fighting for the existing national government, with a tax structure, a credit rating, and a navy. Getting paid in dollars that retained some value bolstered courage. Watching the gunboats shell the other guys was probably motivating as well.
Many on both sides were fighting either because they were conscripted and didn't want the embarrassment of deserting upon their family or because the pay was better than they could get anywhere else. There were many different reason soldiers fought for one side or the other. You really can't pick just one reason.
 

thomas aagaard

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
3,620
Location
Denmark
Edited.
Refusing to accept a source like the 1860 census made by the federal government, is NOT a view that in any way should be acceptable to people who claim to be (amateur) historians.

Historical debates should be made based on sources and proper historical method... not wishful thinking and refusing primary sources just because you don't like what they tell us.

Accepting that people can just refuse a source this central to our understanding of the period totally undermine any chance of a serious debate.
 
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
16,569
Location
los angeles ca
Many on both sides were fighting either because they were conscripted and didn't want the embarrassment of deserting upon their family or because the pay was better than they could get anywhere else. There were many different reason soldiers fought for one side or the other. You really can't pick just one reason.
Per McPherson only five to eight percent of the Union Army was conscripted. In the Northern states fleeing to Canada was definitely an option and many did .
Leftyhunter
 
Joined
May 9, 2014
Messages
321
Location
Sunny South
Refusing to accept a source like the 1860 census made by the federal government, is NOT a view that in any way should be acceptable to people who claim to be (amateur) historians.

Historical debates should be made based on sources and proper historical method... not wishful thinking and refusing primary sources just because you don't like what they tell us.

Accepting that people can just refuse a source this central to our understanding of the period totally undermine any chance of a serious debate.
What post in particular indicates the 1860 Census is not being accepted as a viable source?
 

John S. Carter

First Sergeant
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Messages
1,322
Upon what criteria is this answer to be based upon? The Union soldier was better overall supplied with the better ordinance than the CSA.Their training was longer and better due to the fact that there was more soldiers to fill the ranks of the Union divisions.They received better overall medical treatment .At the end the CSA was suffered from malnutrition ,disease,and total exhaustion.Resulting in the Union forces being a superior force at the end .This from a descendant of a CSA soldier from Alabama and Georgia
 
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
16,569
Location
los angeles ca
Upon what criteria is this answer to be based upon? The Union soldier was better overall supplied with the better ordinance than the CSA.Their training was longer and better due to the fact that there was more soldiers to fill the ranks of the Union divisions.They received better overall medical treatment .At the end the CSA was suffered from malnutrition ,disease,and total exhaustion.Resulting in the Union forces being a superior force at the end .This from a descendant of a CSA soldier from Alabama and Georgia
It certainly is fair to ask @lurid as I have in my thread " by what metric was the Confederate Army superior"?. What metrics are used to determine the OP's question. In my research I have found no evidence one side had better soldiers then the other.
Leftyhunter
 

lurid

Corporal
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
379
It certainly is fair to ask @lurid as I have in my thread " by what metric was the Confederate Army superior"?. What metrics are used to determine the OP's question. In my research I have found no evidence one side had better soldiers then the other.
Leftyhunter
I have already stated my position. I think at the beginning the Confederates were more motivated and morale was higher in the south. As the war progressed, the Union morale and espirit de corps swelled. The Union got better and better, and Confederates got worse and worse. A lot variables can be applied to the reasons why; but I believe ultimately the Union had a superior attitude and superior thinking and legit reason(s) to actually engage.
 

lurid

Corporal
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
379
Also, I tried to use my experience in the USMC during the early 1990s as a standard to analyze or to do a compare and contrast but modern models are rejected on this board.
 

CSA Today

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
19,411
Location
Laurinburg NC
I have already stated my position. I think at the beginning the Confederates were more motivated and morale was higher in the south. As the war progressed, the Union morale and espirit de corps swelled. The Union got better and better, and Confederates got worse and worse. A lot variables can be applied to the reasons why; but I believe ultimately the Union had a superior attitude and superior thinking and legit reason(s) to actually engage.
Hmm, Union desertions increased from a 4647 monthly average in 1863 to 7333 in 1864.

James Randall and David Donald, Civil War and Reconstruction, footnote 28, pp. 329-330.
 

lurid

Corporal
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
379
Hmm, Union desertions increased from a 4647 monthly average in 1863 to 7333 in 1864.

James Randall and David Donald, Civil War and Reconstruction, footnote 28, pp. 329-330.
Thanks for posting. But unfortunately, I don't believe it. The fact remains the Confederates flat out quit.
 

lurid

Corporal
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
379
Upon what criteria is this answer to be based upon? The Union soldier was better overall supplied with the better ordinance than the CSA.Their training was longer and better due to the fact that there was more soldiers to fill the ranks of the Union divisions.They received better overall medical treatment .At the end the CSA was suffered from malnutrition ,disease,and total exhaustion.Resulting in the Union forces being a superior force at the end .This from a descendant of a CSA soldier from Alabama and Georgia
Well, Confederate folklore depicts that the Confederate soldiers were so vibrant and full of valor they could have easily overcome these obstacles.
 
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
16,569
Location
los angeles ca
I have already stated my position. I think at the beginning the Confederates were more motivated and morale was higher in the south. As the war progressed, the Union morale and espirit de corps swelled. The Union got better and better, and Confederates got worse and worse. A lot variables can be applied to the reasons why; but I believe ultimately the Union had a superior attitude and superior thinking and legit reason(s) to actually engage.
I agree that Confederate morale deteriorated as the war dragged on. None the less Union troops in 1862 did manage to win some battles even though outnumbered. The AoP under General McCellen did achieve the CEVS of any commander of the AoP. I would argue overall when properly led the Union soldier was always the equal of his Confederate counterpart.
Leftyhunter
 



(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top