kibitzers:Formal Debate: Vicksburg vs. Gettysburg which affected outcome of war more.

jgoodguy

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#1

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re: Brass Napoleon's 1st talking point:
  • It gave the Union free navigation of the Mississippi River, which was important both to Union offensive operations, but also in effectively cutting off Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas from the rest of the Confederacy.
I would just add that not only was Union control of the river important for military operations, but it was important for political reasons -- namely, for maintaining political support for the Union cause in the "western" (what we now call Midwestern) states. Farmers in those states needed to get their products to market via the Mississippi, and they were growing increasingly restive. Lincoln, ever the genius politician, as well as being one of those Midwesterners himself, was keenly aware of how badly an open Mississippi was needed to maintain political support in the west.
 
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#13
Brass Napoleon says: "And thanks @Scotsman for agreeing to participate and for taking what I think is the much more difficult assignment of the two"....

No less an expert than James M. McPherson would seem to agree with you. In Battle Cry of Freedom, I find this on p. 637:
The capture of Vicksburg was the most important northern strategic victory of the war

and on p. 638:
The Union ultimately won the war mainly by victories in the West

This should be a great debate!
 

ole

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re: Brass Napoleon's 1st talking point:
  • It gave the Union free navigation of the Mississippi River, which was important both to Union offensive operations, but also in effectively cutting off Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas from the rest of the Confederacy.
I would just add that not only was Union control of the river important for military operations, but it was important for political reasons -- namely, for maintaining political support for the Union cause in the "western" (what we now call Midwestern) states. Farmers in those states needed to get their products to market via the Mississippi, and they were growing increasingly restive. Lincoln, ever the genius politician, as well as being one of those Midwesterners himself, was keenly aware of how badly an open Mississippi was needed to maintain political support in the west.
When the Mississippi was closed, the railroads quickly filled in making New York almost immediately the largest exporter of Western grain -- a title which had always belonged to New Orleans. Of course, it cost more for rail shipment, but it got done.
 

OpnCoronet

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#17
Brass Napoleon says: "And thanks @Scotsman for agreeing to participate and for taking what I think is the much more difficult assignment of the two"....
No less an expert than James M. McPherson would seem to agree with you. In Battle Cry of Freedom, I find this on p. 637:
The capture of Vicksburg was the most important northern strategic victory of the war
and on p. 638:
The Union ultimately won the war mainly by victories in the West
This should be a great debate!


I agree that this should be a great debate, but, your McPherson quote does point to a potential problem. The main difference between the two battles is the difference between Strategic and Tactical victories. Arguments talking past the other could be a problem.
 
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#18
I'm totally all Team Brass. His opening was:wavespin::dance::wavespin:

But Scottie is showing he's no push over.
Maybe it's just because I'm still a lot more of a newbie than I think, but I was very impressed with Scotsman's whole line of thinking regarding the ascendancy of Grant: that Gettysburg led to a temporary shift of emphasis to the West, which led to Grant coming to Chattanooga, which led to..... I'd never thought about that angle of the debate before. Cool insight!
 

alan polk

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#19
Maybe it's just because I'm still a lot more of a newbie than I think, but I was very impressed with Scotsman's whole line of thinking regarding the ascendancy of Grant: that Gettysburg led to a temporary shift of emphasis to the West, which led to Grant coming to Chattanooga, which led to..... I'd never thought about that angle of the debate before. Cool insight!
Kansas,
I thought the same thing! Scotsman really brought up a strong proposition, one I have not thought about either. I really cannot wait to see how Brass organizes his response! Knowing Brass, it's gonna be a "hum dinger!"
 
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Kansas,
I thought the same thing! Scotsman really brought up a strong proposition, one I have not thought about either. I really cannot wait to see how Brass organizes his response! Knowing Brass, it's gonna be a "hum dinger!"
We are extremely fortunate to have here so many thoughtful and knowledgeable people. Though I get peeved with CWT from time to time, I keep coming back because of the high quality of expertise and articulateness among so many scholars here, both professional and amateur. I always learn something -- and most exciting of all, I find new doors opening all the time, opening up whole new fields to explore that I hadn't even been aware of before someone here turned me on to them! (the latest, for me, being @18thVirginia's thread on the free people of color -- "gens de couleur libre" -- in New Orleans)
 

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