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


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#62
The Confederate could only achieve this by concentrating the bulk of their armies at vital threatened points, but in doing so leaving vast swaths of their country undefended or poorly defended and vulnerable to the much larger Federal armies. You have mentioned this vulnerability in many of your posts. It wasn't the case that any Confederate force was only outnumbered 1.86 to 1 in those areas. You have to look at the bigger reality, not just battles and campaigns such as the beginning of the Overland Campaign (Grant 118,000 to Lee 60,000) and similar odds for Sherman and Johnston at the beginning of the Atlanta campaign.
The statistic 1.86 Union soldier to one Confederate soldier refers to PFD per battle.
So no as a general rule Confederate soldiers where not overwhelmed by the Union Army.
Yes there was a lot of space to defend but at the same time the Confederacy could and did tie down Union forces with guerrillas and Cavalry raiders although the Union could and did do so as well.
Yes the Union Army and Navy was larger then the Confederate Army and Navy in no small part due to Southerners black and white enlisting in the Union military.
It is not the Union's fault that foreign immigrants didn't make an effort to travel to the Confederacy and enlist which they could of bone via the port of Baghdad, Mexico into Brownsville early in the war.
Leftyhunter
 

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#64
The statistic 1.86 Union soldier to one Confederate soldier refers to PFD per battle.
So no as a general rule Confederate soldiers where not overwhelmed by the Union Army.
Yes there was a lot of space to defend but at the same time the Confederacy could and did tie down Union forces with guerrillas and Cavalry raiders although the Union could and did do so as well.
Yes the Union Army and Navy was larger then the Confederate Army and Navy in no small part due to Southerners black and white enlisting in the Union military.
It is not the Union's fault that foreign immigrants didn't make an effort to travel to the Confederacy and enlist which they could of bone via the port of Baghdad, Mexico into Brownsville early in the war.
Leftyhunter
My point was that the CSA was, in the end, overwhelmed by the massive size of the Federal armies. The CSA's greatest disadvantage in the war was too large a country to defend adequately with too small a population.
 
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#68
The answer should be obvious, it took the better equipt, much larger US armies four years to take the Confederate capital only about 100 miles away. :lee:
It wasn't obvious at all. Like I said, I served in the USMC and southerners enlisted more men but they sure didn't produce any hard to kills, not even close. Consequently, that's why I was wondering if the Confederates were really snowflakes and revised history or that Lost Cause jazz propagated them some stolen valor. Now, I say this with all due respect to southerners and don't want to offend anyone, but all that so-called heroism that has been doled out to Confederate troops doesn't coincide with my experience in the USMC.

Anyway, everyone who posted in here posted some interesting and informative information, especially that there's two sides to a coin.
 
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#69
My point was that the CSA was, in the end, overwhelmed by the massive size of the Federal armies. The CSA's greatest disadvantage in the war was too large a country to defend adequately with too small a population.
Not true at all. I have shown you the exact post and I showed my sources of how I arrived at the Union 1.86 to one average manpower superiority ratio. I can send links to anyone who wants to see that post.
If the Confederacy was truly united and by that I mean it took the lead and eliminated slavery and instituted equal rights for all after Ft.Sumter it most likely could of established an independent Confederacy.
Instead by fighting for slavery and only slavery it caused almost 300k Southerners to fight for the Union.
Leftyhunter
 

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#70
It wasn't obvious at all. Like I said, I served in the USMC and southerners enlisted more men but they sure didn't produce any hard to kills, not even close. Consequently, that's why I was wondering if the Confederates were really snowflakes and revised history or that Lost Cause jazz propagated them some stolen valor. Now, I say this with all due respect to southerners and don't want to offend anyone, but all that so-called heroism that has been doled out to Confederate troops doesn't coincide with my experience in the USMC.

Anyway, everyone who posted in here posted some interesting and informative information, especially that there's two sides to a coin.
If they were it said even less to the man for man prowess of the much larger Federal armies. :wink:
 

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#71
Not true at all. I have shown you the exact post and I showed my sources of how I arrived at the Union 1.86 to one average manpower superiority ratio. I can send links to anyone who wants to see that post.
If the Confederacy was truly united and by that I mean it took the lead and eliminated slavery and instituted equal rights for all after Ft.Sumter it most likely could of established an independent Confederacy.
Instead by fighting for slavery and only slavery it caused almost 300k Southerners to fight for the Union.
Leftyhunter
Thanks for that larger than usual deduction to Confederate manpower. Given your latest statistic, you have to wonder where were all those Yankees? It can't all be attributed to their more extensive desertion rate.
 
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#72
If they were it said even less to the man for man prowess of the much larger Federal armies. :wink:
I understand what you're saying in this thread. I always been more of a modern era historian, it's too easy for me to use modern references, especially for pre WWI military strategies. In modern warfare, your theories would be spot on, but it's palpable that modern military theories don't apply to the CW, if any, very little.
 

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#73
I understand what you're saying in this thread. I always been more of a modern era historian, it's too easy for me to use modern references, especially for pre WWI military strategies. In modern warfare, your theories would spot on, but it's palpable that modern military theories don't apply to the CW, if any, very little.
I don't see why it wouldn't apply in any war -- modern, fairly recent or ancient.
 
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#74
According to the public education I received in North Carolina in the 1960s, the individual southern soldier was far superior to northern soldiers. They were tougher, smarter, better shots and more suited to the out of doors, but all the talk means doodley squat!

1548260478332.jpeg
 

Saphroneth

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#75
Essentially, based on the war in the East, there are two possibilities.

One of them is that Union soldiers were generally worse than Confederate ones, based on the occasions when the Confederates scored well in CEV terms despite being outnumbered (That is, the Confederates did better in terms of casualties inflicted vice taken than we would expect from Lanchester Square) and the times when Confederates on the attack outperformed Union troops on the defensive.

The other option is that the soldiers were broadly comparable, and that it was the quality of the generals which changes things around.


IMO... well, a bit of both. If you ignore McClellan you can make a general claim that "when on the attack the Union got a CEV result of 0.2, and when on the defensive the Union got a CEV of less than one"; that is, the Confederates outperformed CEV by roughly a factor of two both attacking and defending. This would imply that either Lee was a thundercracker of a general to a roughly identical extent over every Union general considered (Pope, Burn, Hooker, Meade, Grant) or that Confederate troops were generally substantially better. (If the two armies were equal then the Union attacking CEV times the Union defending CEV should equal roughly one.)
But once McClellan is included the numbers change. McClellan's offensive CEV times his defensive CEV against Lee is somewhat better than one.

The way to explain this that I think makes sense is:

In the Civil War in the East, the Union troop quality overall went down over time and the Confederate troop quality overall went up over time.
The quality of Confederate generalship remained roughly static throughout (it was always Lee).
The Union generals started well (McClellan), went downhill (Pope, Burn, Hooker) and then came back up but did not reach Lee's quality (Meade, Grant).


This would imply in turn that the best Union army was the one led by McClellan early on, and indeed it is this period when the Union army was outfighting the Confederate in both CEV terms and in casualties inflicted for casualties taken; it's also the period when Lee was caught by surprise the most often. Partly this is because of the higher overall quality of the Union army which McClellan built, but the fact that his immediately following generals did much worse than McClellan (despite having more troops in their army than he did against the same AoNV) indicates McClellan's leadership was also part of it.


The quality of an army is dynamic, not static.

A possible confounding variable might be that the AoNV was depleted over time (it started the Seven Days very large and then went up and down in size but on an overall downwards trend), but CEV allows for that. It would be possible to recalculate CEVs based on the linear law, but I've used the square law here (the fact that almost all Union CEV levels are below one means it's unlikely to ruin the conclusion.)


A fun side fact. McClellan's CEV at Antietam is almost identical to Meade's CEV at Gettysburg (both are about 0.7; this means Lee's CEV was in both cases about 1.4). However, at Antietam the Union army was on the attack; either this is a drastic drop in the quality of the Union army from 1862 to 1863 (where they fight only as well behind walls in 1863 as they do attacking the Sunken Road and Dunker Church in 1862) or the general has something to do with it...
 
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#76
According to the public education I received in North Carolina in the 1960s, the individual southern soldier was far superior to northern soldiers. They were tougher, smarter, better shots and more suited to the out of doors, but all the talk means doodley squat!

View attachment 259171
Good enough to lose to those supposedly inferior Yankee troops?
 

Saphroneth

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#77
According to the public education I received in North Carolina in the 1960s, the individual southern soldier was far superior to northern soldiers. They were tougher, smarter, better shots and more suited to the out of doors, but all the talk means doodley squat!
This actually contains an interesting point. Most of it's not true, but the point about "better shots" contains a kernel of truth.

There was almost no rifle training in the ACW armies until at least 1864, and not much then. This meant that only the men who came into the army with rifle skill would have it in the armies, and most of the men didn't.
So if both sides had roughly the same number of rifle-trained men in their populations pre-ACW (i.e. not many) and the Union had a larger population, then a mostly random sample of men called up to fight would tend to result in the CS army having about two-three times as many of the rifle-trained men per 100 men as the US army did. Since these rifle-trained men who could shoot straight were probably responsible for the lion's share of infantry casualties inflicted, then the CS Army may on average have shot better purely by chance and despite not recognizing or trying to amplify the effect.
 

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#78
According to the public education I received in North Carolina in the 1960s, the individual southern soldier was far superior to northern soldiers. They were tougher, smarter, better shots and more suited to the out of doors, but all the talk means doodley squat!

View attachment 259171


I taught North Carolina history for five years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, I hope my presentions made more lasting impressions than that. :unsure:
 
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#79
This actually contains an interesting point. Most of it's not true, but the point about "better shots" contains a kernel of truth.

There was almost no rifle training in the ACW armies until at least 1864, and not much then. This meant that only the men who came into the army with rifle skill would have it in the armies, and most of the men didn't.
So if both sides had roughly the same number of rifle-trained men in their populations pre-ACW (i.e. not many) and the Union had a larger population, then a mostly random sample of men called up to fight would tend to result in the CS army having about two-three times as many of the rifle-trained men per 100 men as the US army did. Since these rifle-trained men who could shoot straight were probably responsible for the lion's share of infantry casualties inflicted, then the CS Army may on average have shot better purely by chance and despite not recognizing or trying to amplify the effect.
Correct me if I'm wrong, the United States did not recognize any Confederates for any awards/medals/citation, but it certainty did for Union soldiers? Therefore, the Confederates were snubbed and we can't analyze heroism individually but more collectively pertaining the confederate soldiers. I think this is rather significant because it reveals and narrows down to a degree the "quality" of soldiers both sides produced. As result, the only measuring stick we have is to combine the subsequent wars the US fought and tally up all the Congressional Medal of Honor recipients and other medals if pertinent. It is clear that New York and Pennsylvania together produced more CMH winners than entire south did in its totality. Factor in the rest of the northeast and the Midwest and it's a landslide x 10, so it's clear that the build up during the CW and after the north adjusted and the tables turned.
 
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#80
According to the public education I received in North Carolina in the 1960s, the individual southern soldier was far superior to northern soldiers. They were tougher, smarter, better shots and more suited to the out of doors, but all the talk means doodley squat!

View attachment 259171
Really? Growing up in Pennsylvania in the 1980s nobody even mentioned the south per se when the war was discussed. Never a good or bad remark about the Confederacy, it was never mentioned. We won, if necessary we'll win again. Lincoln the great liberator. That's all that was said..
 

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