Discussion The United States was inevitably going to win the war

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wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
The census could barely measure the population. It did not even try to measure the chickens, turkeys and egg production. The census claimed the population had increased by 8M people between 1850 and 1860, but the number of hogs had increased by only 3M. Does that make sense? Wouldn't that be an indication that people are letting the hogs run free, and the boundary between farm hogs and feral hogs was fluid?
 

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
The population was reported to have increased by 8M. Dairy cows increased by 2M, between 1850 and 1860, and butter production sky rocketed. But the census claimed that cheese production remained static between 1850 and 1860. Had it remained static, or had it become a home industry, with producers earning less than the census minimum of $500.00/yr?
 
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wausaubob

Major
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Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO

Krieger

Private
Joined
Oct 24, 2018
I've never been impressed by anyone's "The Union was always going to win because it had so much more of everything" argument. Any war can be won or lost with an infinite number of possible specific outcomes determined by the countless variables at play, big and small, and if you don't believe that then you must not have studied very many wars at all with the many dramatic upsets there have been throughout history which nobody could have predicted beforehand. If the Union's will to continue the war had been broken, and it certainly wasn't indestructible, none of their superior manpower or resource advantages would have changed that.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Once the US had control of the Ohio River and St. Louis, they had control the existing ship building capacity.
View attachment 345837
On the Atlantic coast it was Portsmouth, ME, Boston, Brooklyn and Philadelphia. On the rivers, it was Pittsburgh, Cincinnati/Covington, Louisville and St. Louis. And it was ship building, not ship ownership that mattered most. Because steam power was working a rapid change in warships. And all ships needed repeated re conditioning.
Based on these two factors, the border areas and naval power, the chance of a short war, featuring a small number of big killing battles, was almost nothing.
On the other hand the thought process of the secession was that after one of two major battle's the Union public not being as committed as the Confederacy would simply become demoralized and let the Confederacy leave.
Of course that's not what happened but we have hindsight vs overly optimistic Confederate foresight.
Leftyhunter
 
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wausaubob

Major
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Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
On the other hand the thought process of the secession was that after one of two major battle's the Union public not being as committed as the Confederacy would simply become demoralized and let the Confederacy leave.
Of course that's not what happened but we have hindsight vs overly optimistic Confederate foresight.
Leftyhunter
That was their theory. But the US was by no means exhausted in July of 1862. By then it had control of West, control of the three major rivers all the way down the Mississippi, below Memphis, and most of the Virginia and No. Carolina coast. The contingency that the US might quit at that point was real, but not they would surrender any part of what they controlled, slavery or no slavery.
 
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wausaubob

Major
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Location
Denver, CO
If the Confederacy could have won by winning the battles, they would have won. They won most of the battles in the Virginia theater, and caused tremendous casualties. But at every step the US was extending its railroad zone and its trade zone, while the blockade got tighter.
 
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leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Location
los angeles ca
That was their theory. But the US was by no means exhausted in July of 1862. By then it had control of West, control of the three major rivers all the way down the Mississippi, below Memphis, and most of the Virginia and No. Carolina coast. The contingency that the US might quit at that point was real, but not they would surrender any part of what the controlled, slavery or no slavery.
True but the secessionists were of the mind set of a quick and relatively painless war. Hindsight is always 20/20.
Leftyhunter
 

DaveBrt

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Location
Charlotte, NC
If the Confederacy could have won by winning the battles, they would have won. They won most of the battles in the Virginia theater, and caused tremendous casualties. But at every step the US was extending its railroad zone and its trade zone, while the blockade got tighter.
Edited. The will to win, no matter the cost, has to be factored in some how.
 
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wausaubob

Major
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Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
The US navy from its construction bases at Portsmouth, Boston and Brooklyn and its primary maintenance base in Philadelphia, was deploying along a domestic coast. The enclaves it established were populated by freed people and white Unionists. The import is that the US could have stopped and held, at any point. And the wonder is that did not do that, once they had Missouri and the river and railroad connections as far south as Memphis. At that point they could have increased their domestic firearms industry and improved their naval fire control capabilities, and finished the war later. Lots of contingencies might have intervened, but the 20th century proved that the wars continue until one side is destroyed.
 

wausaubob

Major
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Location
Denver, CO
The US was a ball rolling down hill. The US navy in particular started the war scattered and unprepared. But as it deployed its existing ships, built new ships, converted civilian ships and hired colliers and transports, it first captured Confederate coastal and river ports. Than started capturing the elite blockade runners and converting some of them. In then it was conducting blockade operations, offensive operations patrol operations in the Caribbean as far as Panama. A full list of its operational activities is worth considering. I suppose that is what David Porter tried to compile.
 
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lurid

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
If the Confederacy could have won by winning the battles, they would have won. They won most of the battles in the Virginia theater, and caused tremendous casualties. But at every step the US was extending its railroad zone and its trade zone, while the blockade got tighter.
I still cannot figure out why the Confederates did not last way longer because they were dug in. They bailed quite early...
 
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DaveBrt

2nd Lieutenant
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Mar 6, 2010
Location
Charlotte, NC
I still cannot figure out why the Confederates did not last way longer because they were dug in. They bailed quite early...
They were out of men, there was little food, they had lost the ability to connect to the rest of the country (twice), they were running out of ammunition, the enemy was about to merge 2 armies, each larger that all the Confederate armies, they no longer had a connection to the outside world, .........
 

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Population growth in Chicago, from 1860, to 1870.
1860112,172274.4%
1870298,977166.5%
This is what the US was doing. It was fighting the war with one hand and growing the economy with the other hand.
It did that because it could. The unrecorded productivity of the building trades, and of cheesemakers and dress makers, was the basis of the vast difference people observed between the north and the south.
The census only accurately reflected big business and big farms. It simply did have the resources or the science to record the small operations in either the north or the south. That created a huge bias towards the plantations, and away from the fast growing sections of the Midwest.
 

wausaubob

Major
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Dave raises the issue of whether the US might have found the war not worth continuing. Edited. The Confederates chose their tactics, and those choices, even if they were claimed to be retaliation, were unlikely to lead to a settlement that permitted Confederate independence.
 
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