Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by Old_Glory, Jan 29, 2017.
An entire bale of nitrocellulose would be .... really something.
After 14 pages in this thread has @Old_Glory the OP of this thread presented any evidence of a conspiracy of nefarious northern business men to instigate the Civil War so they could control the Southern cotton trade?
Easier than digging a tunnel to blow a hole in the earthworks.
True, Might need a Trebuchet to launch it. Stuff is sensitive. Navy experimented with compressed air cannon to get around that problem.
Conspiracy theories do not require proof, one need only hint at the plausible. Follow this with a vigorous shout, after the incident, of "Follow the money!" and the gullible will rush to your side connecting random dots as they go.
One will turn a deep shade of blue awaiting Old Glory to prove this one. I exhaled at post #1.
Holy smokes! Or, rather, holy smokeless. I never knew about the USS Vesuvius. 70 atm's is a whole lot of pressure for a cannon to produce.
I will respond in another thread.
But RE: if you're going to accuse me of carelessly ignoring or discounting black Southerners.
I'm not accusing you of carelessness. I am saying that as a matter of fact, it is wrong to keep, for example, talking about what "the South" did or did not believe, or talking about what was in the best interest of "the South," without making reference to the views of enslaved/freed Southerners. The views and beliefs of "Southerners" are misrepresented when these "other" Southerners are not included in the conversation.
Didn't Lewis and Clark carry an Austrian Army air gun during their adventure to the west?
Yes. Yes they did. Not sure how it worked out.
Frightened every one who saw it fired.
If it's demonstrably untrue then demonstrate it.
Also that percentage of families statistic includes black families. What's the percentage if we consider only white families in the confederate states?
Nice catch on the black families.
It's no different than discussing "the North" as if it was one monolithic block of thought and opinion.
You're right, the North was not a monolithic block of thought and opinion. We agree on that.
But it is also true that racially, the North was 98% European descent. As mentioned, the Confederacy was 60% European descent, 40% African descent.
Meanwhile, the North was 100% free, the Confederacy was 39% enslaved.
So, I agree with your comment. But in fact, the South had a sharper, larger divide in terms of race and enslavement and representation, and if we're talking about issues involving race and enslavement and representation, those issues are clearly more pointed when talking about the Confederacy and its constituent states.
Perhaps there is something to be said for being magnaminous in victory as well as defeat...
"On the evening of April 9, 1865, General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain received orders from General Grant that Chamberlain would receive the formal surrender of the Confederate Army. “A representative body of Union troops was to be drawn up in battle array at Appomattox Courthouse, and past this Northern delegation were to march the entire Confederate Army, both officers and men, with their arms and colors, exactly as in actual service, and to lay down these arms and colors, as well as whatever other property [that] belonged to the Rebel army, before our men.” The Confederates had heavily protested this ceremony calling it an act of humiliation. General Grant insisted on the ceremony, specifically citing the generous terms that he had offered to the fallen South.
The night before the formal surrender, General Chamberlain had decided to salute the Army of Virginia. The decision “was one for which I sought no authority nor asked forgiveness. Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood: men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness could bend their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn, and famished, but erect, with eyes looking level into ours, waking memories that bound us together as no other bond; was not such manhood to be welcomed back into a Union so tested and assured?” The next morning, on April 12, the salute was rendered.
“When General Gordon came opposite of me, I had the bugle blown and the entire line came to ‘attention’…The General was riding in advance of his troops, his chin drooped to his breast, downhearted and dejected in appearance almost beyond description. As the sound of that machine like snap of arms, however, General Gordon started, caught in a moment of its significance, and instantly assumed the finest attitude of a soldier. He wheeled his horse facing me, touching him gently with the spur, so that the animal slightly reared, and as he wheeled, horse and rider made one motion, the horses head swung down with a graceful bow and General Gordon dropped his swordpoint to his toe in salutation…On our part, not a sound of trumpet more, nor the roll of drum; not a cheer, nor word nor whisper of vain-glorying, nor motion of man standing again at the order, but an awed stillness rather, and breathing-holding, as if it were the passing of the dead.” After the war, General Gordon would address Chamberlain as “one of the knightliest soldiers of the Federal Army.”
As other units passed Chamberlain, one Confederate said as he was delivering his flag, “boys, this is not the first time you have seen this flag. I have borne it in the front of battle on many victorious fields of battle and I had rather die than surrender it to you.” Chamberlain replied, “I admire your noble spirit, and only regret that I have not the authority to bid you keep your flag and carry it home as a precious heirloom.” One officer said to Chamberlain, “General, this is deeply humiliating; but I console myself with the thought that the whole country will rejoice at the day’s business. Another officer said, “You astound us by your honorable and generous conduct. I fear that we should not have done the same to you had the case been reversed.” A third officer went even farther by saying, “I went into that cause I meant it. We had our choice of weapons and of ground, and we have lost. Now [pointing to the Stars and Stripes] that is my flag, and I will prove myself as worthy as any of you.”
However, most of the Confederates were too humiliated to be reversed so quickly. General Wise told Chamberlain, “You may forgive us but we won't be forgiven. There is a rancor in hour hearts which you little dream of. We hate you, Sir...you go home, you take these fellows home. That’s what will end this war.” Chamberlain replied, “Don’t worry about the end of the war. We are going home pretty soon, but not till we see you home.” No matter how ill Chamberlain’s salute to the fallen South may have been received, it still remains one of the greatest acts of honor in the military history of the United States".
Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence.“Bayonet! Forward” My Civil War Reminiscences.
Gettysburg: Stan Clark Military books, 1994.
Chamberlain, Joshua Lawrence. The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the
Armies. Gettysburg: Stan Clark Military books, 1915.
Dllard, Wallace M. Soul of the Lion; A Biography on General Joshua L. Chamberlain
Gettysburg: Stan Clark Military books, 1960.
All of the above no doubt is true. The problem was when these same Confederate vets got home many joined various Democratic Party Paramilitaries and fought with Union vets of Unionist regiments and the USCT. Many of course also terrorized black people who were merely trying to exercise their constitutional rights. That of course is not a criticism of Chamberlain for he could not know the future. I am just trying to point out that peace and adherence to the law did not occur after Appomattox.
I've been impressed by this account of Chamberlain's respect for the defeated foe ever since I first learned of it.
I understand. My thought in sharing was more that an example had been set by Chamberlain that, if followed...even now...would still have the capacity to bind so many wounds. In regards to what happened after that, I assume the 'lion of the South' was not going to stop roaring just because the North had 'recaptured' it. How do you tame something so proud and majestic, lethal in so many ways? Perhaps Chamberlain was on the right track, not desiring further humiliation of the defeated army, respecting them in many ways as equals. It has me wondering if the North required an utter and complete humiliation of a people already broken by the war and its consequences...if that is the case, then I would be bitter, too.
Have a look at this:
Wartime cotton prices spread corruption, but the problem grew exponentially after Appomattox. Though Dunning-era scholars wrote on the topic at length, and more recent historians have examined the wartime trade, revisionists have understated the topic's relevance to Reconstruction. The state's experience is admittedly atypical because, "as the rebel Territory became contracted, the [Confederate] property was concentrated mostly in Alabama. Planters had pledged cotton to the Confederate government, as a coerced investment or in payment of taxes. Surrendering Confederates turned the list over to the Union forces, reportedly 150,000 bales worth. The cotton was considered a prize of war, and northern taxpayers expected the proceeds. But planters were hardly going to hand over the cotton voluntarily, and the Confederate government had never taken possession, so they felt justified. Treasury agents needed to seize the bulky bales before planters could hide them or disguise their origin. A repossession scramble thus was superimposed on the emancipation transition at this very moment.
Federal authorities had the legal right to the cotton, but the seizures might have been counterproductive. Nineteenth-century government had a fiscal leakage problem, and these conditions were less than optimal. Cotton agents received a full quarter share, which encouraged unscrupulous men to declare all cotton that crossed their paths Confederate. Numerous opportunities existed for government officials or army officers to interpose themselves in the marketing of cotton, in sort of a politicized protection racket. One chaplain noted that Union officers were offering to buy Confederate cotton on their own account, threatening seizure if the planters refused. Outraged, he offered testimony to superiors who found other matters to pursue. Treasury agents also could operate with northern cotton buyers, and if Confederate cotton was sold to third parties, with the accompanying proof of ownership, it was worth considerably more. These practices encouraged other kinds of leveraged transactions. Ex-colonel George E. Spencer went into the cotton business predicting vast profits. He persuaded one impressionable merchant that, under federal confiscation acts, the private cotton he held could be seized. Spencer bought it for perhaps a third of its value, to the astonishment of the co-owners of the bales.
According to a grand jury, less than a seventh of the cotton seized wound up m government hands. This is difficult to confirm because the corruption tales are so profuse. The US Treasury official in Mobile, T. C. A. Dexter, was charged with theft in early August. He responded that numerous agents were scattered throughout the cotton belt, responsible only to the secretary of the treasury. Dexter agreed that only a small portion of the proceeds found its way into government coffers. The official sent to replace him claimed he saw Dexter with a huge stack of bonds, apparently in the act of bribing someone. But that officer, T. M. Tomeny, was also convicted of theft, only to be pardoned by Andrew Johnson. All of these officers accused each other in lurid detail, a complicated saga that must have had considerable basis, and at least one other officer confessed outright. Even visiting reporters noticed the suspiciously elegant clothes and diamond rings of one treasury official.
Soldiers found the entire situation sordid. One wrote, "all we are kept here for is to guard these cotton speculators & Government thieves," and when they were done, he figured he could probably head home. The complaints died down late in the summer, as the cotton disappeared, but other damaging federal interventions ensued.
Separate names with a comma.