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

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Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Listing official Unionist muster roles is not cherry picking. No one especially myself who has a threat entitled " How serious was desertion in the Union Army" has ever stated desertion was not a major problem in the Union Army.
On the other hand we should not ignore the fact that there was considerable desertion in the Confederate Army has well to offset Union desertions.
Si far no evidence had been presented that thousands of Union soldiers defected to the Confederate Army.
If the Confederacy didn't have any major problems with desertion but the Union Army did then the Confederate Army should of won.
Leftyhunter
It is when you use the muster roles of a few unionist regiments as a more reliable source than the sources of James G. Randall.

I never said the Confederates didn't have major problems. Any problem was likely to be a major one compared with the US, given the latter country's far greater manpower pool and war materiel capability.
 

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Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Desertions at the end of 1865 had zero impact on the course of the war. Got any relevant desertion numbers from the actual wartime?
Union Desertion


In view of the conditions which prevailed in the war department and in the Union army, it is not surprising that desertion was a common fault. Even so, the actual extent of it, shown in official reports, comes as a distinct shock. Though the determination of the full number is a bit complicated, the total would have been over 200,000. From New York there were 44,913 deserters according to the records; from Pennsylvania, 24,050; from Ohio, 18,354. The daily hardships of war, deficiency in arms, forced marches sometimes made straggling a necessary for less vigorous men), thirst, suffocating heat, disease, delay in pay, solicitude for family, impatience at the monotony and futility of inactive service, and (though this was not the leading cause) panic on the eve of battle—these were some of the conditioning factors that produced desertion. Many men absented themselves merely through unfamiliarity with military discipline or through the feeling that they should be "restrained by no other legal requirement than those of civil law governing a free people"; and such was a general attitude that desertion was often regarded "more as a refusal… to ratify a contract than as the commission of a grave crime."

The sense of war weariness, the lack of confidence in commanders, and the discouragement of defeat tended to lower morale of the Union army and to increase desertions. General Hooker estimated in 1863 that 85,000 officers and men had deserted from the Army of the Potomac, while it was stated in December of 1862 that no less than 180,000 of the soldiers listed on the Union muster roll were absent, with or without leave. Abuse of leave or furlough privilege was one of the chief means of desertion. Other methods were: slipping to the rear during a battle, inviting capture by the enemy (a method by which honorable service could be claimed), straggling, taking French leave when on picket duty, pretending to be engaged in repairing a telegraph line, et cetera. Some deserters went over to enemy not as captives but as soldiers; others lived in a wild state on the frontier; some turned outlaw or went to Canada; some boldly appeared at home; in some cases deserter gangs, as in western Pennsylvania, formed bandit groups.


To suppress desertion the extreme penalty of death was at times applied, especially after 1863; but this meant no more than the selection of a few men as public examples out of many thousands equally guilty. The commoner method was to make public appeals to deserters, promising pardon in case of voluntary return with dire threats to those who failed to return. That desertion did not prevent a man posing after the war as an honorable soldier is evident by a study of pension records. The laws required honorable discharge as a requisite for a pension; but in the case of those charged with desertion, Congress passed numerous private and special acts "correcting" the military record.

J.G. Randall, David Donald, The Civil War and Reconstruction pp. 329-331.

Also, see post 337
 
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Union Desertion


In view of the conditions which prevailed in the war department and in the Union army, it is not surprising that desertion was a common fault. Even so, the actual extent of it, shown in official reports, comes as a distinct shock. Though the determination of the full number is a bit complicated, the total would have been over 200,000. From New York there were 44,913 deserters according to the records; from Pennsylvania, 24,050; from Ohio, 18,354. The daily hardships of war, deficiency in arms, forced marches sometimes made straggling a necessary for less vigorous men), thirst, suffocating heat, disease, delay in pay, solicitude for family, impatience at the monotony and futility of inactive service, and (though this was not the leading cause) panic on the eve of battle—these were some of the conditioning factors that produced desertion. Many men absented themselves merely through unfamiliarity with military discipline or through the feeling that they should be "restrained by no other legal requirement than those of civil law governing a free people"; and such was a general attitude that desertion was often regarded "more as a refusal… to ratify a contract than as the commission of a grave crime."

The sense of war weariness, the lack of confidence in commanders, and the discouragement of defeat tended to lower morale of the Union army and to increase desertions. General Hooker estimated in 1863 that 85,000 officers and men had deserted from the Army of the Potomac, while it was stated in December of 1862 that no less than 180,000 of the soldiers listed on the Union muster roll were absent, with or without leave. Abuse of leave or furlough privilege was one of the chief means of desertion. Other methods were: slipping to the rear during a battle, inviting capture by the enemy (a method by which honorable service could be claimed), straggling, taking French leave when on picket duty, pretending to be engaged in repairing a telegraph line, et cetera. Some deserters went over to enemy not as captives but as soldiers; others lived in a wild state on the frontier; some turned outlaw or went to Canada; some boldly appeared at home; in some cases deserter gangs, as in western Pennsylvania, formed bandit groups.


To suppress desertion the extreme penalty of death was at times applied, especially after 1863; but this meant no more than the selection of a few men as public examples out of many thousands equally guilty. The commoner method was to make public appeals to deserters, promising pardon in case of voluntary return with dire threats to those who failed to return. That desertion did not prevent a man posing after the war as an honorable soldier is evident by a study of pension records. The laws required honorable discharge as a requisite for a pension; but in the case of those charged with desertion, Congress passed numerous private and special acts "correcting" the military record.

J.G. Randall, David Donald, The Civil War and Reconstruction pp. 329-331.

Also, see post 337
So, of the two million men who served in the US Army in the Civil War, your source says some 200,000 were, at one time or another, counted as deserters - 10%. Does your source say how many of that number were actual deserters (not just late returning from leave, stragglers or some other reason); how many deserted more than once; in other words, what was the actual total number of real, genuine deserters in the war? I'll bet it was way less than 200,000 - which would make it way less than 10% of the total number of men who served.
 
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Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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So, of the two million men who served in the US Army in the Civil War, your source says some 200,000 were, at one time or another, counted as deserters - 10%. Does your source say how many of that number were actual deserters (not just late returning from leave, stragglers or some other reason); how many deserted more than once; in other words, what was the actual total number of real, genuine deserters in the war? I'll bet it was way less than 200,000 - which would make it way less than 10% of the total number of men who served.
You bet? I'd like to see another source for that.
 
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You bet? I'd like to see another source for that.
You quoted the number 200,000 as a total number. That is an aggregate number. What is the actual net total, minus duplicates and minus the guys who turned out not to be actual deserters. Do you doubt that the net total will be considerably less than the aggregate? I don't.
 

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Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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You quoted the number 200,000 as a total number. That is an aggregate number. What is the actual net total, minus duplicates and minus the guys who turned out not to be actual deserters. Do you doubt that the net total will be considerably less than the aggregate? I don't.
I don't doubt the total was considerably less for both armies for the reasons Randall stated and you mentioned.

“it was stated that 278,644 desertions had been reported, but many of those reported had been sick on the march, injured, without official knowledge, or otherwise justifiably absent.”
 
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lurid

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So, of the two million men who served in the US Army in the Civil War, your source says some 200,000 were, at one time or another, counted as deserters - 10%. Does your source say how many of that number were actual deserters (not just late returning from leave, stragglers or some other reason); how many deserted more than once; in other words, what was the actual total number of real, genuine deserters in the war? I'll bet it was way less than 200,000 - which would make it way less than 10% of the total number of men who served.
I just ignore the obnoxious diversions that are perpetrated to overlook the real issues. I don't care if 90% of the Union Army deserted, my philosophy would be the 10% who stuck around to fight made the Confederate Army quit.
 

leftyhunter

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Number theory: many members here believe whatever army had the most men during a given battle should have won, or all victories during the CW were attributed to numbers advantage. I'm talking about those crazy frontal assaults that seemed to take precedence over every other strategy. Like I said, my grandmother could have got all she wanted once the enemy was in the kill zone. Those canisters and repeaters did some serious damage. I'm not arguing with you Lefty, I'm just trying to look at a different angle.
Certainly frontal assaults are inherently dangerous especially in the face of canister shot and repeating rifles plus the ACW had early versions of the machine gun such has the "Coffee Grinder" and Gattling Gun.
On the other hand one hundred years latter Philo Caputo a young ROTC Marine Officer was taught " yo diddle diddle straight up the middle". Unfortunately sometimes the enemy needs to be destroyed quickly and not encircled.
The best known example in the ACW would be Gettysburg. Once Lee knew that he was outnumbered he could not advance or retreat if he is more or less surrounded by a larger army that could easily pick off his foraging parties. If Lee can't break up the AoP in one mass frontal assault then Lee at best has to conduct a dangerous retreat.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

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It is when you use the muster roles of a few unionist regiments as a more reliable source than the sources of James G. Randall.

I never said the Confederates didn't have major problems. Any problem was likely to be a major one compared with the US, given the latter country's far greater manpower pool and war materiel capability.
It's much worse then that for the Confederacy. If a Union soldier deserts but then lives a low key law abiding life and has a job then he is not a security problem for the Union. If a soldier deserts and flees to Canada then he is not a security problem for the Union.
Many Confederate soldiers who deserted defected to the Union Army or became Unionist guerrillas or free lance bandits. That's a real security issue for the Confederacy.
Leftyhunter
 
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It's much worse then that for the Confederacy. If a Union soldier deserts but then lives a low key law abiding life and has a job then he is not a security problem for the Union. If a soldier deserts and flees to Canada then he is not a security problem for the Union.
Many Confederate soldiers who deserted defected to the Union Army or became Unionist guerrillas or free lance bandits. That's a real security issue for the Confederacy.
Leftyhunter
Still, according to you, the Confederates were only outnumbered 1.86 to 1. Something mighty bad must have happened to an awful lot of Yankees.
 

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Still, according to you, the Confederates were only outnumbered 1.86 to 1. Something mighty bad must have happened to an awful lot of Yankees.
Has I have started many times the 1.86 to one average manpower superiority ratio only includes present for duty soldiers at the battlefield not support troops.
Leftyhunter
 
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Guarding supplies ,building bridges and repairing roads, escorting wagon train's, suppressing guerrillas, hospital duty, cooking and so forth.
Leftyhunter
So all these people were in relatively safe positions and still deserted like rats off a sinking ship? 7333 was roughly equal to two divisions. If the Confederate army had lost an average of two division a month to desertions, or any other reason, in 1864 it would have been long gone before April 1865.
 

leftyhunter

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So all these people were in relatively safe positions and still deserted like rats off a sinking ship? 7333 was roughly equal to two divisions. If the Confederate army had lost an average of two division a month to desertions, or any other reason, in 1864 it would have been long gone before April 1865.
If desertions were that high in the Union Army then what major malfunction prevented the Confederate Army from winning?
Leftyhunter
 
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Lost Cause

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If desertions were that high in the Union Army then what major malfunction prevented the Confederate Army from winning?
Leftyhunter
Guarding supplies ,building bridges and repairing roads, escorting wagon train's, suppressing guerrillas, hospital duty, cooking and so forth.
Leftyhunter
The Union army supplemented losses with almost as many USCT.
 
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leftyhunter

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The Union army supplemented losses with almost as many USCT.
Glad to see acknowledgement that black soldiers are equal to white ones. Of course several poster's have stated that the Confederate Army had tens of thousands of black soldiers which should offset the USCT. We also had a thread that USCT soldiers were coerced into serving and were highly unmotivated . So something is not adding up.
Leftyhunter
 

Lost Cause

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Glad to see acknowledgement that black soldiers are equal to white ones. Of course several poster's have stated that the Confederate Army had tens of thousands of black soldiers which should offset the USCT. We also had a thread that USCT soldiers were coerced into serving and were highly unmotivated . So something is not adding up.
Leftyhunter
The Union treated them as equals?
 
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