Discussion The Confederacy's Fatal Mistake.

Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Location
Georgia
Your and @Copperhead-mi ´s post are extremely informative. Thank you very much. As far as I know I always thought a first convention rejected the idea of secession - if that's correct: do one of you know what motivations led to that first rejection?
You are correct that Virginia had originally voted not to secede from the Union in 1861. However, even before the secession convention met, the Virginia General Assembly had passed an ordinance that opposed any type of federal coercion against states that wanted to withdraw from the Union. The Virginia Anti-Coercion Resolution of Jan. 1861 stated : “Resolved, that when any one or more of the states has determined or shall determine, under existing circumstances, to withdraw from the Union, we are unalterably opposed to any attempt on the part of the federal government to coerce the same into reunion or submission, and that we will resist the same by all the means in our power.”

The state of Virginia originally desired to remain a part of the Union. In fact, the Virginia Convention initially voted by a margin of 2 to 1 not to secede from the Union on April 4, 1861. However, after the attack on Ft. Sumter, certain events caused the Virginia Convention to reverse itself. They then voted to secede from the Union by a clear majority on April 17th. The reason for the change in the secession vote in such a brief period was Lincoln's Proclamation calling for troops on April 15th to suppress the other southern states. Virginia refused the request for troops because they considered it to be a violation of the Constitution and an abuse of power. Furthermore, the secession delegates reiterated that they were opposed to any type of federal coercion against the states. The sentiments of the citizens of Virginia were echoed in the response of Governor Letcher to Lincoln's Proclamation when he stated "Your object is to subjugate the Southern states....an object in my judgment, not within the purview of the Constitution or the act of 1795 - will not be complied with. You have chosen to inaugurate civil war, and having done so, we will meet it in a spirit as determined as the administration has exhibited toward the south." Governor Letcher's response to Lincoln was presented to the Virginia Convention and the next day (April 17th) they voted to secede from the Union.

 

shooter too

Private
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
The Virginia Anti-Coercion Resolution of Jan. 1861 stated : “Resolved, that when any one or more of the states has determined or shall determine, under existing circumstances, to withdraw from the Union, we are unalterably opposed to any attempt on the part of the federal government to coerce the same into reunion or submission, and that we will resist the same by all the means in our power.”


Well, that tells the end of the tale don't it.
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Does anybody else hear echos of Yamamoto’s warning against starting a war with the US?
What? "There's a surplus rifle behind every blade of European grass?"

Neither side was prepared for war. The arsenals had worn out and obsolete weapons, but the North had the industrial capacity to produce the material for war. So- "There's a factory behind every blade of grass."
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
What? "There's a surplus rifle behind every blade of European grass?"

Neither side was prepared for war. The arsenals had worn out and obsolete weapons, but the North had the industrial capacity to produce the material for war. So- "There's a factory behind every blade of grass."
The story of the Tennessee Militia in the immediate prewar period is a sterling example of what kind of armament was available. The muskets were, by & large, holdovers from the War of 1812. There were even Tower of London muskets recovered from the Battle of New Orleans. There are numerous accounts of soldiers beating their worthless muskets against trees to bend the barrel before discarding them.

60% of CSA infantry at the Battle of Stones River were armed with smoothbore muskets. 40% of Rosecrans' troops had smoothbores.

Without importation of British & European muskets, both sides would have been reduced to throwing rocks early on.
 
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Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Location
Georgia
What? "There's a surplus rifle behind every blade of European grass?"

Neither side was prepared for war. The arsenals had worn out and obsolete weapons, but the North had the industrial capacity to produce the material for war. So- "There's a factory behind every blade of grass."
You make a very good point in your post because neither side was prepared for war. However, industries in the north produced over 90% of the armaments in the entire U.S. The Union also produced 90% of the manufactured items in the country. The northern states also had over twice the population of the south. In terms of railroad mileage, 71% of the total track miles were in the northern states. The industrial capacity of the north was far superior compared to the south.
 

Piedone

Private
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
You make a very good point in your post because neither side was prepared for war. However, industries in the north produced over 90% of the armaments in the entire U.S. The Union also produced 90% of the manufactured items in the country. The northern states also had over twice the population of the south. In terms of railroad mileage, 71% of the total track miles were in the northern states. The industrial capacity of the north was far superior compared to the south.
Absolutely correct.
Do you know how fast they could/did purchase weapons?
They of course had some kind of luck that they waged war in the 19th century - for a quick start they needed mainly just muskets / rifled muskets some lead for the balls and gun powder.
Just a few years later it would have been very different (and much more difficult) - as they probably would have had to import also ammunition for repeating rifles....
 
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