The War of Southern Aggression


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Zella

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#63
If your talking about Joseph Issac "Ike" Clanton of Tombstone fame, while he was born in Callaway County Missouri I've never heard that he was one of WCQ's "boys" Callaway is a fair distance from WCQ's stomping grounds except during the 64 Raid when he came out of seclusion in Howard County briefly just Prior to Fayette and returned rather quickly.
From what I've read, the Clantons of Tombstone fame had moved from Missouri to Illinois and then Texas in the 1850s and were there in Texas for the duration of the war. I think they initially lived in the Dallas area but spent the war years in Hamilton County, which is where Billy was born.
 
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#64
So after a nearly sixty post exchange, we still have no better, no more generally accepted term than "the American Civil War".
I was not seeking nor am I now seeking a word or a phrase to replace "Civil War," even though I do not find those two words entirely accurate --unless the South wished to colonize Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, and I have simply not read about that. I opened this thread to solicit thoughts about the expression "War of Southern Aggression." Most of the posts have suggested alternate phrases but none so far as I recall have argued against the use of this phrase. I would argue that none of the terms and phrases fully capture four full years of fighting. To some degree whatever words we use constitute an ellipse. E.g., even the War for Southern Independence, accurate as it is, does not capture the nuance of western expansion. To become independent is one thing. To expand by taking the property of others makes it more than a simple exercise in independence.

So, let me repeat my question with perhaps a tweak or two. In short, "Does anyone have a problem with "The War of Southern Aggression"? If so, please address this expression. I consider Secession an act of aggression every bit as much as the seizure of specific forts and ports. WJC made a very useful list of the properties (50 or so??) heisted by the South immediately after December 20, 1860, and I consider the severance of those properties from the Union an act(s) of aggression.

Do I hear a "Ditto"? And whereas not all of the above posts address this specific question, I would appeal to the Moderator to let them stand as useful commentary rather than deleting them.

James
 
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#65
While the American Civil War works just fine as a name for the conflict, I suppose I would agree with the aggression portion of War of Southern Aggression. Ft. Sumter was the match that lit the powder keg after all, and it was the rebels that struck the match.

The issue with using War of Southern Aggression as a name for the conflict, is that at no point did the Confederacy represent all of the south. West Virginia was part of the south, as was Kentucky - at least culturally. Both were Union states.

Within some states that seceded there were sections where Unionist sympathies ran high, like the hill country of Tennessee and North Carolina. Tennessee would see 42,000 of it's men serve in Union regiments, more in total than the Union states of Minnesota, New Hampshire, or Vermont.

Additionally the south included almost 4 million enslaved Americans, all of whom - at least after the Emancipation Proclamation - had a vested interest in Union victory. They voted with their feet and fled bondage in droves, were an important source of intelligence for federal armies, and supplied the majority of the 178,000 men who made up the United States Colored Troops.
 
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#66
While the American Civil War works just fine as a name for the conflict, I suppose I would agree with the aggression portion of War of Southern Aggression. Ft. Sumter was the match that lit the powder keg after all, and it was the rebels that struck the match.

The issue with using War of Southern Aggression as a name for the conflict, is that at no point did the Confederacy represent all of the south. West Virginia was part of the south, as was Kentucky - at least culturally. Both were Union states.

Within some states that seceded there were sections where Unionist sympathies ran high, like the hill country of Tennessee and North Carolina. Tennessee would see 42,000 of it's men serve in Union regiments, more in total than the Union states of Minnesota, New Hampshire, or Vermont.

Additionally the south included almost 4 million enslaved Americans, all of whom - at least after the Emancipation Proclamation - had a vested interest in Union victory. They voted with their feet and fled bondage in droves, were an important source of intelligence for federal armies, and supplied the majority of the 178,000 men who made up the United States Colored Troops.
Thank you for this reply.

And, of course, I do not intend this expression to cover every aspect of the War. I don't know any phrase that does all by itself. And I agree with you that the "South" is far too inclusive of a noun to be surgically precise. And even if we restricted it to South carolina instead of the entire South, it would not exhaustively be true to call it the War of South Carolina Aggression, as there were many in the State who woould not wish to be identified with it. In short, I'm not so sure we can come up with a 2-10 word name for the conflict that fits all circumstances.
 
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#69
My favorite was always the "War of Secession". Since that's more accurate in a roundabout way.

I do like "War of Southern Independence" though.
"War of Secession" is brand new to me, but it certainly fits. And do we not have every right to call it what we think it was with almost 160 years of hindsight? Whoever coined "Civil War" certainly had no monopoly on reality --though I do not disagree that that is what it was partially. Maybe the grammatical trick is not to try to exhaust what it was in a simple phrase or even a total paragraph. The War is a sipper, not a gulper, eh?
 

Desert Kid

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#70
"Treason in Defense of Slavery" is the most accurate term, but I always use the Civil War because it was good enough for the people who fought in the Civil War.
The first time I ever heard that one used was from a know-nothing hipster who thought they knew everything about the war, in 2015, right after Charleston.
 

Desert Kid

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#71
"War of Secession" is brand new to me, but it certainly fits. And do we not have every right to call it what we think it was with almost 160 years of hindsight? Whoever coined "Civil War" certainly had no monopoly on reality --though I do not disagree that that is what it was partially. Maybe the grammatical trick is not to try to exhaust what it was in a simple phrase or even a total paragraph. The War is a sipper, not a gulper, eh?
First time I ever heard "War of Secession" was from the movie Legends of the Fall, the father in that movie, played by Anthony Hopkins, is a dying Union veteran who states that term when lambasting his two sons going off to Canada to go enlist in the Canadian army in 1914 because the Great War will "only last a few months? They said the same thing about the War of Secession!".
 

16thVA

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#72
The issue with using War of Southern Aggression as a name for the conflict, is that at no point did the Confederacy represent all of the south. West Virginia was part of the south, as was Kentucky - at least culturally. Both were Union states.
I think a caveat is needed here, although historians make this same statement frequently but at heart it is not true. I can't comment on the situation in Kentucky as I have not studied it to any degree, but I am very familiar with West Virginia. West Virginia was a Union state on paper. For any historian to say West Virginia was a Union state without making some qualifications to that statement is incorrect, the implication being that it is not really different from Ohio or Pennsylvania. As Arthur Boreman, West Virginia's first governor (from Pennsylvania) said in 1863-

"After you get a short distance below the Panhandle...it is not safe for a
loyal man to go into the interior out of sight of the Ohio River."

After the capture of Gen. Scammon (US) in 1864 and his men on a steamer on the Ohio River, the Gallipolis Journal wrote-

"With the commanding General of the Department, and his Quarter Master, in Libby Prison, captured by rebels within 35 miles of Gallipolis [Ohio]-a government steamer burned at the same time, it might seem to an unpracticed eye, that the State of West Virginia was not so intensely loyal as some persons wish it to be considered. The fact is that region of country is just as well stocked with rebels both armed and unarmed as any other portion of the South."

Unionism in West Virginia and Union control over West Virginia is greatly exaggerated by historians who have actually devoted very little attention to the situation there, as I noted in the lack of publications over the course of the sesquicentennial.
 
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#73
Let's not forget War Between The States. It was the States that provided the men. One set of States rebelled and another suppressed the rebellion.
I wondered when someone was going to mention War Between The States ( I'm just now going down the forum). I think this is one name no one can really disagree with, unlike some of the others.
 
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#74
While the American Civil War works just fine as a name for the conflict, I suppose I would agree with the aggression portion of War of Southern Aggression. Ft. Sumter was the match that lit the powder keg after all, and it was the rebels that struck the match.

The issue with using War of Southern Aggression as a name for the conflict, is that at no point did the Confederacy represent all of the south. West Virginia was part of the south, as was Kentucky - at least culturally. Both were Union states.

Within some states that seceded there were sections where Unionist sympathies ran high, like the hill country of Tennessee and North Carolina. Tennessee would see 42,000 of it's men serve in Union regiments, more in total than the Union states of Minnesota, New Hampshire, or Vermont.

Additionally the south included almost 4 million enslaved Americans, all of whom - at least after the Emancipation Proclamation - had a vested interest in Union victory. They voted with their feet and fled bondage in droves, were an important source of intelligence for federal armies, and supplied the majority of the 178,000 men who made up the United States Colored Troops.
The biggest hand on that match was Lincoln's.
 

jgoodguy

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#75
I wondered when someone was going to mention War Between The States ( I'm just now going down the forum). I think this is one name no one can really disagree with, unlike some of the others.
I like because I think it is accurate. Lincoln/Davis are both helpless without the support of the States. The Federal government is very weak at this time.

However, The term is Southern in nature and suggests that secession was 'legal'. As such it is not popular for Unionists and for some odd reason it fails to trip off the tounges of Southerners.
War Between the States

The term "War Between the States" was rarely used during the war but became prevalent afterward among proponents of the "Lost Cause" interpretation of the war.[12]
The Confederate government avoided the term "civil war", because it assumes both combatants to be part of a single country, and referred in official documents to the "War between the Confederate States of America and the United States of America".[8]European diplomacy produced a similar formula for avoiding the phrase "civil war". Queen Victoria's proclamation of British neutrality referred to "hostilities ... between the Government of the United States of America and certain States styling themselves the Confederate States of America".[8]
After the war, the memoirs of former Confederate officials and veterans (Joseph E. Johnston, Raphael Semmes, and especially Alexander Stephens) commonly used the term "War Between the States". In 1898, the United Confederate Veterans formally endorsed the name. In the early 20th Century, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) led a campaign to promote the term "War Between the States" in the media and in public schools. UDC efforts to convince the United States Congress to adopt the term, beginning in 1913, were unsuccessful. Congress has never adopted an official name for the war. The name "War Between the States" is inscribed on the USMC War Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. This name was personally ordered by Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., the 20th Commandant of the Marine Corps.
 
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#77
I wondered when someone was going to mention War Between The States ( I'm just now going down the forum). I think this is one name no one can really disagree with, unlike some of the others.
Good point. That seems all comprehensive.

I don't think it has been mentioned yet, but Wisconsin's fabled William Hesseltine called it "The War Against the States" for reasons I would not have to explain to anyone on this thread.
 
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#79
I like because I think it is accurate. Lincoln/Davis are both helpless without the support of the States. The Federal government is very weak at this time.

However, The term is Southern in nature and suggests that secession was 'legal'. As such it is not popular for Unionists and for some odd reason it fails to trip off the tounges of Southerners.
War Between the States

The term "War Between the States" was rarely used during the war but became prevalent afterward among proponents of the "Lost Cause" interpretation of the war.[12]
The Confederate government avoided the term "civil war", because it assumes both combatants to be part of a single country, and referred in official documents to the "War between the Confederate States of America and the United States of America".[8]European diplomacy produced a similar formula for avoiding the phrase "civil war". Queen Victoria's proclamation of British neutrality referred to "hostilities ... between the Government of the United States of America and certain States styling themselves the Confederate States of America".[8]
After the war, the memoirs of former Confederate officials and veterans (Joseph E. Johnston, Raphael Semmes, and especially Alexander Stephens) commonly used the term "War Between the States". In 1898, the United Confederate Veterans formally endorsed the name. In the early 20th Century, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) led a campaign to promote the term "War Between the States" in the media and in public schools. UDC efforts to convince the United States Congress to adopt the term, beginning in 1913, were unsuccessful. Congress has never adopted an official name for the war. The name "War Between the States" is inscribed on the USMC War Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. This name was personally ordered by Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., the 20th Commandant of the Marine Corps.
"War between the Confederate States of America and the United States of America"

Hmm, maybe "War between the states" is not so totally accurate after all. Since Abe claimed the North was a monolithic Union instead of an aggregation of individual states, maybe it should be the "War between Several States and the Union." Not as euphonic, I agree.
 



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