Discussion Father of defeat

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
CS war secretary George Randolph is the central figure in causing the defeat of the confederacy. His poorly thought out conscript act created lasting damage when all that was needed was to increase the period Militia could be call up for federal service from 90 days to 2 or 3 years. He labored under the misguided assumption that the war secretary was something more than an administrator. His order to Holmes which lead to his[Randolph] resignation would have cost the confederacy the trans Mississippi if carried out.
Randolph must rate as the weakest performer of all the CS war secretaries.
Any opinions on GR?
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
CS war secretary George Randolph is the central figure in causing the defeat of the confederacy. His poorly thought out conscript act created lasting damage when all that was needed was to increase the period Militia could be call up for federal service from 90 days to 2 or 3 years. He labored under the misguided assumption that the war secretary was something more than an administrator. His order to Holmes which lead to his[Randolph] resignation would have cost the confederacy the trans Mississippi if carried out.
Randolph must rate as the weakest performer of all the CS war secretaries.
Any opinions on GR?
I don't think it's fair to blame anyone individual for the defeat of the Confedracy. The Confedracy lost because the Confedracy was a stupid idea to begin with. Never go to war with a larger opponent and where forty percent of the population is enslaved or at best not enslaved but treaded like dirt. That gives the other side a chance to utlize the oppressed forty percent.
Secessionists were stupid enough to think cotton was king with out taking into account Western Europe could and did buy cotton from other regions and the Union could and did seize Southern land to grow and export cotton to Western Europe.
No this is not 20/20 hindsight as Sam Houston and William Sherman already knew the outcome of the ACW even before it occurred. More then a few slave owners knew Secession was a stupid idea but the Secessionists were stupid and stupidity has consequences.
Leftyhunter
 

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Lefty is right that the failure of the Confederacy should not be ascribed to any single individual. Especially true in the case of George Randolph who was by no means the sole author of Confederate conscription policy. Remember that the Confederate legislature voted on the different conscription laws, and that they were signed into law by Jefferson Davis. Enforcement of the laws fell to hundreds of state and local government officials.
 

Piedone

Corporal
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
As soon as somebody goes shopping during summer sales he’ll recognize something about the intelligence of human people. The Confederates weren’t neither special in their political leadership deciding stupid things nor in their populace answering euphoric to the outbreak of war. The very same traits are observable everywhere in human history - and consequentially also on the side of the Union.
I deem it somehow condescending to hand down such sentences - when people in our times are everything but acting smarter. Regarding the stupidity of waging war against a superior enemy....well....just ask George Washington...
And no, I am not disrespecting the suffering of the enslaved, but I feel that oversimplifications are never helpful when looking at politics and/or history.
 
Last edited:

Piedone

Corporal
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
I don't think it's fair to blame anyone individual for the defeat of the Confedracy. The Confedracy lost because the Confedracy was a stupid idea to begin with. Never go to war with a larger opponent and where forty percent of the population is enslaved or at best not enslaved but treaded like dirt. That gives the other side a chance to utlize the oppressed forty percent.
Secessionists were stupid enough to think cotton was king with out taking into account Western Europe could and did buy cotton from other regions and the Union could and did seize Southern land to grow and export cotton to Western Europe.
No this is not 20/20 hindsight as Sam Houston and William Sherman already knew the outcome of the ACW even before it occurred. More then a few slave owners knew Secession was a stupid idea but the Secessionists were stupid and stupidity has consequences.
Leftyhunter
And I’d like to remark that the Union recruited colored troops,yes, but the majority of the enslaved people weren’t “utilized” against the Confederacy (or let themselves being utilized) - as far as I can judge I’d say that the enslaved people were anything but the decisive factor in overturning the Confederacy. There are seemingly a lot of reasons why it turned out that way but... well.... one of the things I read about was that the Union army didn’t treat African people always that nice (especially in the first years of the war)...(maybe they just chose a known evil over something they received at times mixed reports about...) and of course as long as the Confederacy wasn’t decisively beaten it was obviously far too dangerous to switch sides for enslaved people...

And also this point is comparable to the War of Independence - the British enlisted also the help of the enslaved people wherever that was feasible...and lost.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
CS war secretary George Randolph is the central figure in causing the defeat of the confederacy. His poorly thought out conscript act created lasting damage when all that was needed was to increase the period Militia could be call up for federal service from 90 days to 2 or 3 years. He labored under the misguided assumption that the war secretary was something more than an administrator. His order to Holmes which lead to his[Randolph] resignation would have cost the confederacy the trans Mississippi if carried out.
Randolph must rate as the weakest performer of all the CS war secretaries.
Any opinions on GR?
I don't think it's fair to blame anyone individual for the defeat of the Confedracy. The Confedracy lost because the Confedracy was a stupid idea to begin with. Never go to war with a larger opponent and where forty percent of the population is enslaved or at best not enslaved but treaded like dirt. That gives the other side a chance to utlize the oppressed forty percent.
Secessionists were stupid enough to think cotton was king with out taking into account Western Europe could and did buy cotton from other regions and the Union could and did seize Southern land to grow and export cotton to Western Europe.
No this is not 20/20 hindsight as Sam Houston and William Sherman already knew the outcome of the ACW even before it occurred. More then a few slave owners knew Secession was a stupid idea but the Secessionists were stupid and stupidity has consequences.
Leftyhunter
And I’d like to remark that the Union recruited colored troops,yes, but the majority of the enslaved people weren’t “utilized” against the Confederacy (or let themselves being utilized) - as far as I can judge I’d say that the enslaved people were anything but the decisive factor in overturning the Confederacy. There are seemingly a lot of reasons why it turned out that way but... well.... one of the things I read about was that the Union army didn’t treat African people always that nice (especially in the first years of the war)...(maybe they just chose a known evil over something they received at times mixed reports about...) and of course as long as the Confederacy wasn’t decisively beaten it was obviously far too dangerous to switch sides for enslaved people...

And also this point is comparable to the War of Independence - the British enlisted also the help of the enslaved people wherever that was feasible...and lost.
I would disagree and say African Americans played a decisive role in defeating the Confedracy. Every liberated slave is one less worker for the Confedracy. African Americans played a key role in building fortifications logistics and growing cotton that the US could export. Freed slaves could replace the labor lost by men enlisting in the Union Army. Enslaved people fled their masters when the opportunity arose. Escaping a Plantation was dangerous due to slave patrols with vicious dogs to track them down and it's not easy finding food or shelter.
The British lost the ARW not because their freed slaves didn't fight well but more due to fighting a two fry war on the Indian Subcontinent and in Colonial America the British had to fight the French and Spanish as well as the Colonial Rebels.
My pot about the British Army recruiting slaves is that the Confedrate leadership was to stupid to forsee that President Lincoln could do what Major Dunsmore did eighty odd years earlier.
Leftyhunter
 

Lost Cause

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
I don't think it's fair to blame anyone individual for the defeat of the Confedracy. The Confedracy lost because the Confedracy was a stupid idea to begin with. Never go to war with a larger opponent and where forty percent of the population is enslaved or at best not enslaved but treaded like dirt. That gives the other side a chance to utlize the oppressed forty percent.
Secessionists were stupid enough to think cotton was king with out taking into account Western Europe could and did buy cotton from other regions and the Union could and did seize Southern land to grow and export cotton to Western Europe.
No this is not 20/20 hindsight as Sam Houston and William Sherman already knew the outcome of the ACW even before it occurred. More then a few slave owners knew Secession was a stupid idea but the Secessionists were stupid and stupidity has consequences.
Leftyhunter

I would disagree and say African Americans played a decisive role in defeating the Confedracy. Every liberated slave is one less worker for the Confedracy. African Americans played a key role in building fortifications logistics and growing cotton that the US could export. Freed slaves could replace the labor lost by men enlisting in the Union Army. Enslaved people fled their masters when the opportunity arose. Escaping a Plantation was dangerous due to slave patrols with vicious dogs to track them down and it's not easy finding food or shelter.
The British lost the ARW not because their freed slaves didn't fight well but more due to fighting a two fry war on the Indian Subcontinent and in Colonial America the British had to fight the French and Spanish as well as the Colonial Rebels.
My pot about the British Army recruiting slaves is that the Confedrate leadership was to stupid to forsee that President Lincoln could do what Major Dunsmore did eighty odd years earlier.
Leftyhunter
Are you suggesting the USCT and previous freed slaves were the reason for the Union victory in the ACW and British loss of the American Revolution, respectively?
 
Last edited:

jackt62

Captain
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
The little I know of War Secretary Randolph is that he served very briefly in that position, and was dismissed by Davis because he dared to make decisions on his own, rather than serve as a paper pushing bureuacrat. I would be amazed to think that anything he did could be considered as making him the central figure in the defeat of the Confederacy.
 

David Knight

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Location
Pontefract, Yorkshire.
I will admit that I know almost nothing about Randolph. Having said that I doubt any one I have never heard of would be the main cause of anything as major as the defeat of the CSA.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
CS war secretary George Randolph is the central figure in causing the defeat of the confederacy. His poorly thought out conscript act created lasting damage when all that was needed was to increase the period Militia could be call up for federal service from 90 days to 2 or 3 years. He labored under the misguided assumption that the war secretary was something more than an administrator. His order to Holmes which lead to his[Randolph] resignation would have cost the confederacy the trans Mississippi if carried out.
Randolph must rate as the weakest performer of all the CS war secretaries.
Any opinions on GR?
I don't think it's fair to blame anyone individual for the defeat of the Confedracy. The Confedracy lost because the Confedracy was a stupid idea to begin with. Never go to war with a larger opponent and where forty percent of the population is enslaved or at best not enslaved but treaded like dirt. That gives the other side a chance to utlize the oppressed forty percent.
Secessionists were stupid enough to think cotton was king with out taking into account Western Europe could and did buy cotton from other regions and the Union could and did seize Southern land to grow and export cotton to Western Europe.
No this is not 20/20 hindsight as Sam Houston and William Sherman already knew the outcome of the ACW even before it occurred. More then a few slave owners knew Secession was a stupid idea but the Secessionists were stupid and stupidity has consequences.
Leftyhunter
And I’d like to remark that the Union recruited colored troops,yes, but the majority of the enslaved people weren’t “utilized” against the Confederacy (or let themselves being utilized) - as far as I can judge I’d say that the enslaved people were anything but the decisive factor in overturning the Confederacy. There are seemingly a lot of reasons why it turned out that way but... well.... one of the things I read about was that the Union army didn’t treat African people always that nice (especially in the first years of the war)...(maybe they just chose a known evil over something they received at times mixed reports about...) and of course as long as the Confederacy wasn’t decisively beaten it was obviously far too dangerous to switch sides for enslaved people...

And also this point is comparable to the War of Independence - the British enlisted also the help of the enslaved people wherever that was feasible...and lost.
I would disagree and say African Americans played a decisive role in defeating the Confedracy. Every liberated slave is one less worker for the Confedracy. African Americans played a key role in building fortifications logistics and growing cotton that the US could export. Freed slaves could replace the labor lost by men enlisting in the Union Army. Enslaved people fled their masters when the opportunity arose. Escaping a Plantation was dangerous due to slave patrols with vicious dogs to track them down and it's not easy finding food or shelter.
The British lost the ARW not because their freed slaves didn't fight well but more due to fighting a two fry war on the Indian Subcontinent and in Colonial America the British had to fight the French and Spanish as well as the Colonial Rebels.
My pot about the British Army recruiting slaves is that the Confedrate leadership was to stupid to forsee that President Lincoln could do what Major Dunsmore did eighty odd years earlier.
Are you suggesting the USCT and previous freed slaves were the reason for the Union victory in the ACW and British loss of the American Revolution, respectively?
How did you come to that conclusion? My point was simply that the Confedrate leadership was stupid because they didn't take into account that President Lincoln simply couldn't do what Major Dunsmore did eighty odd years earlier and offer the oppressed African Americans the chance to fight for their freedom. Yes absolutely African Americans played a critical role in the defeat of the Confedracy.
Leftyhunter
 

Lost Cause

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
I don't think it's fair to blame anyone individual for the defeat of the Confedracy. The Confedracy lost because the Confedracy was a stupid idea to begin with. Never go to war with a larger opponent and where forty percent of the population is enslaved or at best not enslaved but treaded like dirt. That gives the other side a chance to utlize the oppressed forty percent.
Secessionists were stupid enough to think cotton was king with out taking into account Western Europe could and did buy cotton from other regions and the Union could and did seize Southern land to grow and export cotton to Western Europe.
No this is not 20/20 hindsight as Sam Houston and William Sherman already knew the outcome of the ACW even before it occurred. More then a few slave owners knew Secession was a stupid idea but the Secessionists were stupid and stupidity has consequences.
Leftyhunter

I would disagree and say African Americans played a decisive role in defeating the Confedracy. Every liberated slave is one less worker for the Confedracy. African Americans played a key role in building fortifications logistics and growing cotton that the US could export. Freed slaves could replace the labor lost by men enlisting in the Union Army. Enslaved people fled their masters when the opportunity arose. Escaping a Plantation was dangerous due to slave patrols with vicious dogs to track them down and it's not easy finding food or shelter.
The British lost the ARW not because their freed slaves didn't fight well but more due to fighting a two fry war on the Indian Subcontinent and in Colonial America the British had to fight the French and Spanish as well as the Colonial Rebels.
My pot about the British Army recruiting slaves is that the Confedrate leadership was to stupid to forsee that President Lincoln could do what Major Dunsmore did eighty odd years earlier.

How did you come to that conclusion? My point was simply that the Confedrate leadership was stupid because they didn't take into account that President Lincoln simply couldn't do what Major Dunsmore did eighty odd years earlier and offer the oppressed African Americans the chance to fight for their freedom. Yes absolutely African Americans played a critical role in the defeat of the Confedracy.
Leftyhunter
Thanks for the clarity, you are insinuating the EP was ineffective?

I assume you are aware that African Americans “built fortifications logistics and grew cotton” where the planters and govt benefited financially on both sides. Moreover, the mortality rate for these USCT troops vs regular Union troops assigned to non combat roles was indeed higher.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Thanks for the clarity, you are insinuating the EP was ineffective?

I assume you are aware that African Americans “built fortifications logistics and grew cotton” where the planters and govt benefited financially on both sides. Moreover, the mortality rate for these USCT troops vs regular Union troops assigned to non combat roles was indeed higher.
No I never said the EP was ineffective. The EP allowed people of color to join the Union Army and encouraged slaves to flee their master's when practical. Confedrate soldiers who built fortifications or impressed slaves also suffered high mortality rates. In war people die.
Leftyhunter
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Piedone

Corporal
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
I don't think it's fair to blame anyone individual for the defeat of the Confedracy. The Confedracy lost because the Confedracy was a stupid idea to begin with. Never go to war with a larger opponent and where forty percent of the population is enslaved or at best not enslaved but treaded like dirt. That gives the other side a chance to utlize the oppressed forty percent.
Secessionists were stupid enough to think cotton was king with out taking into account Western Europe could and did buy cotton from other regions and the Union could and did seize Southern land to grow and export cotton to Western Europe.
No this is not 20/20 hindsight as Sam Houston and William Sherman already knew the outcome of the ACW even before it occurred. More then a few slave owners knew Secession was a stupid idea but the Secessionists were stupid and stupidity has consequences.
Leftyhunter

I would disagree and say African Americans played a decisive role in defeating the Confedracy. Every liberated slave is one less worker for the Confedracy. African Americans played a key role in building fortifications logistics and growing cotton that the US could export. Freed slaves could replace the labor lost by men enlisting in the Union Army. Enslaved people fled their masters when the opportunity arose. Escaping a Plantation was dangerous due to slave patrols with vicious dogs to track them down and it's not easy finding food or shelter.
The British lost the ARW not because their freed slaves didn't fight well but more due to fighting a two fry war on the Indian Subcontinent and in Colonial America the British had to fight the French and Spanish as well as the Colonial Rebels.
My pot about the British Army recruiting slaves is that the Confedrate leadership was to stupid to forsee that President Lincoln could do what Major Dunsmore did eighty odd years earlier.
Leftyhunter
Yes, of course you are right with African Americans being a important part of the South’s workforce - but I never read that there were any serious shortages.
The enslaved workers mostoften didn’t flee unless Union forces gained control of an area - and having done so the whole area and it’s productive capabilities were lost to the South anyway (as they nearly never regained control of lost territories).
I deem the increasing economical problems were more a consequence of the blockade and the southern railroads becoming decrepit.
I read in another thread about huge amounts of rice in Charleston in 1864/65 which couldn’t reach the starving armies because of transportation problems.
This demonstrates also that the rice plantations were still productive just like Tredegar et.al.
Hence I am at the moment not convinced that this serious workforce shortages developed - but it might have been so (I just don’t know for sure)... did you read anything about such problems somewhere?
 

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
What role do you think a secretary of war should have. The president is commander in chief of the army and navy. You have uniformed officers in the army commanding forces in their depts. Should not the secretary be an administrator seeing to it that the war department operates with efficiency. Randolph played a key role in pushing through the first conscription and by including a provision that extended enlistments for the men who had enlisted for 1 year damaged the army. 1 year was the limit yeoman farmers could stay away from home, not only were their families thrust into hardship but these men were the farmers producing foodstuffs vitally needed for both civilian and military population. Randolph wanting to play general by issuing troop movements doesn't address problems like feeding the army, paying soldiers and so on. The civil war was in large part a logistics war and the better management was going to prevail.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
No problem feel free to start one and just tag me.
Leftyhunter
Oh...sorry...I just overlooked Viper21’s advice. Maybe better to continue over there. Will you start a thread @leftyhunter or shall I?
Yes, of course you are right with African Americans being a important part of the South’s workforce - but I never read that there were any serious shortages.
The enslaved workers mostoften didn’t flee unless Union forces gained control of an area - and having done so the whole area and it’s productive capabilities were lost to the South anyway (as they nearly never regained control of lost territories).
I deem the increasing economical problems were more a consequence of the blockade and the southern railroads becoming decrepit.
I read in another thread about huge amounts of rice in Charleston in 1864/65 which couldn’t reach the starving armies because of transportation problems.
This demonstrates also that the rice plantations were still productive just like Tredegar et.al.
Hence I am at the moment not convinced that this serious workforce shortages developed - but it might have been so (I just don’t know for sure)... did you read anything about such problems somewhere?
I have read of slave owners often females with their husbands and sons gone having trouble making their slaves work. Hence the " 20 slave rule" which exempted large slave owners from Conscription. If Union troops were nearby even on the march such has Sherman's March through Georgia the slaves would flee.
Conscription isn't good or bad there have been conscripted armies that have performed well and conscripted armies that have failed and some with mixed records.
Leftyhunter
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
I am 5'6" and 3/4. I always mention the 3/4. My only claim to athletic accomplishment is to be a bowler.

If I had ever gotten in a ring with Mohammed Ali, or Frazier, or Foreman. We know what would have happened. At best I'm in intensive care...at worst in the morgue. I'm the South...the other 3 are the Union.

While there are numerous instances that given the exact sequence of events the South could have won. They were flukes. The basic situation was that the North with its enormous resources was bound to win.
 
Top