Restricted The Mythical Civil War and the Historians' Civil War

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
I also found The Union War to be a good source. Another one is What this Cruel War was Over by Chandra Manning. Interestingly, I've read statements from Gallagher which sound like he saw his book as a refutation of Manning's. I read both and don't really see where they disagree. Seems like Gallagher didn't like her tone more than anything.

I got that impression too from conversations and articles I had read. Yet, like you, can't see much difference when reading their two books.

Go figure. :smile:
 

Joshism

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Location
Jupiter, FL
If it was just a myth with no relevance to our modern politics, it wouldn't be an issue.

I think that's a big part of the problem. From 1865 to present day, anyone who thought the South was right (i.e. should have succeeded and/or was legally entitled to do so), anyone answering yes was and is practically guaranteed to be a devout member of one specific political party. Whether their politics shapes their interpretation of history or vice versa, the two go hand in hand.

I think that is very insightful. So many civil war buffs seem to have some of their personal identity wrapped up in the war. I'm not sure that is true of those who study other American wars.

Many people feel the need to defend their ancestors. It's an unhealthy extreme form of family loyalty.
 

Belfoured

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
If you are going to consult soldier's letters to home as the reason and justification for why the Union went to war, do the same for the Confederate soldier. Lets see how many you come up with that state they went to war to protect slavery. I'm betting it would be a very small percentage.
If you're interested in that topic, I also suggest reading Manning's book What This Cruel War Was Over. She used letters as her sources and you might be surprised by the results. Her work ties in with Glathaar's excellent book on the ANV showing how many of its soldiers had direct ties to slave ownership, either themselves, their families, or those they were closely affiliated with. It's never 100%, of course, or even close to that but it's a lot higher than folks tend to think.
 

Viper21

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Rockbridge County, Virginia
If you're interested in that topic, I also suggest reading Manning's book What This Cruel War Was Over. She used letters as her sources and you might be surprised by the results. Her work ties in with Glathaar's excellent book on the ANV showing how many of its soldiers had direct ties to slave ownership, either themselves, their families, or those they were closely affiliated with. It's never 100%, of course, or even close to that but it's a lot higher than folks tend to think.
Or better yet, here's link to an incredible resource including thousands of transcribed letters of Soldiers. https://altchive.org/private-voices/letters

I was able to find over a dozen letters of my own ancestors. All of which, I didn't know existed until I found them here.
 

Viper21

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That link doesn't work, but you can get through to "Private Voices" simply with: https://altchive.org (not to be confused with the Internet Archive, archive.org).

jno
That is weird. The bookmark I've been using for a long time doesn't work anymore either. I usually go to the site with a bookmark to my own ancestors letters. I can't access it from that path anymore. However, your provided link work just fine. Weird. :O o: They must've made some spam, or security changes to their site.
 

BuckeyeWarrior

Sergeant
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Location
Ohio
That's because you fail to evaluate the economic consequences to the Northern states that would arrive from Northern secession. I've provided plenty of evidence documenting their fears of economic loss, which I presume you've read. So, we'll just have to agree to disagree.
Here’s my opinion of it. Protecting slavery was 90% of the reason that the southern state’s rebelled. Every other reason makes up 10%. Preserving and defending America was 90% of the reason that the rest of the union went to war. Every other reason makes up 10%.

So in your opinion what would the percentages of the reasons for the south seceding and the north going to war be?
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
I know how you feel.

I've been in FaceBook groups where many participants equate the reasons for secession with the reasons for the Civil War without ever questioning the basic premise. When anyone suggests that slavery was not the only cause of the war they reply with remarks such as "How can you be so dense? Just look at the declaration of causes for the seven cotton states. Nearly all admitted that slavery was their chief reason for seceding." The worst of them will post tiresome excerpts from those declarations with abundant bold lettering. Such participants have been conditioned to emphasize the point by the academics that educated indoctrinated them during the past 35 years.

But they never consider why the North would not let the seven cotton states leave in peace. If they were to do so they'd realize that their secession-necessarily-equals-war argument collapses like a house of cards. Even Eric Foner shows his blind spot by admitting that he cannot explain why the North would not let the cotton states leave in peace, which was that the Yankees wanted to avoid the economic consequences of disunion. The reasons for secession and the reasons for war were not the same. To understand both it is necessary to consider the perspectives of both sides, not just why the South seceded.
Why should the slave states leave in peace. What's to prevent a foreign power from now stationing troops in the now independent slave republic? How does the US know if that slave republic will one day attack them in concert with one more other nations? There was no legal right for a state to secede President Lincoln had no choice put down an unlawfull rebellion.
Leftyhunter
 

CowCavalry

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
Why should the slave states leave in peace. What's to prevent a foreign power from now stationing troops in the now independent slave republic? How does the US know if that slave republic will one day attack them in concert with one more other nations? There was no legal right for a state to secede President Lincoln had no choice put down an unlawfull rebellion.
Leftyhunter
Using this logic, the USA should have extended its territory from the tip of South America to the Arctic Archipelago to include Canada.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Using this logic, the USA should have extended its territory from the tip of South America to the Arctic Archipelago to include Canada.

I was one stationed in Hawaii where I had some German friends come visit us. Naturally, my wife and I, took them down to the Arizona Memorial. The German husband and his wife stared at the roll call of names of the men lost that day in that surprise attack, listed at the memorial.

He then turned to me and said, "Now I understand why you Americans have bases all over the world."
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Using this logic, the USA should have extended its territory from the tip of South America to the Arctic Archipelago to include Canada.
No because that would involve siezing foreign nations although Southern politicans especially Jefferson Davis were enthusiastic about siezing half if Mexico vs the congressmen Lincoln who was not.
Leftyhunter
 

CowCavalry

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
No because that would involve siezing foreign nations although Southern politicans especially Jefferson Davis were enthusiastic about siezing half if Mexico vs the congressmen Lincoln who was not.
Leftyhunter
Why not, the USA had already grabbed the first half.
 

CowCavalry

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
I was one stationed in Hawaii where I had some German friends come visit us. Naturally, my wife and I, took them down to the Arizona Memorial. The German husband and his wife stared at the roll call of names of the men lost that day in that surprise attack, listed at the memorial.

He then turned to me and said, "Now I understand why you Americans have bases all over the world."
We got to be able to get at'im if we need to.
 
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