What if... Virginia Chose Neutrality?

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wbull1

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Except there is no evidence of attempted murder at all, Camp Jackson was scheduled to muster out at the end of the week, there is no evidence of a plan to conduct at attack at all, The paroles were judged non binding as the attack wasnt justified. Emmitt MacDonald didnt accept the parole, went to court and won.

Why also the union offered amnesty later to those who joined the MSG to lay down their arms and return, because the call of the MSG was a legal action by a sitting elected state government in response to an unjustified attack.

Its amazing how badass those 600 must have been, considering there around 12k Union troops around STl, the weapons had been removed from the arsenal anyway, no one seems to stop to even consider how unrealistic and ludicrous it was for them to have been some imminent threat...… The fact that Camp Jackson was about to disband and Harneys return was imminent and Lyon would miss some deluded opportunity for glory seems far more likely......

Its rather funny, Lyon admits the weapons had been removed from the arsenal...so there was nothing left to threaten and Union forces had been reinforced then even arming the home guard had been allowed, so Lyon had multiple times the force at Camp Jackson to counter any move, which there is no evidence of at all.....

But never let the facts get in the way of a good yarn Lyon later spins

However perhaps you were confused with the actual murder at Camp Jackson when union troops fired indiscriminately into a crowd killing women and children.

It was a tragedy that the soldiers responded to being surrounded and harassed by a crowd by shooting. So why do you think the men assembled at Camp Jackson? To toast marshmallows? My sources say there was a plan to seize the arsenal and that to counter the risk the arms were removed. Governor Jackson, who modestly named the camp after himself, spent the war as the pretend Confederate Governor of Missouri I believe.
 

steve59p

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The problem with neutrality is that the US then picks an Iowa route for the national railroad, and if the US concedes division, moving the capital becomes imperative. Maryland loses out. Without any obstruction from southerners, the free line with respect to escaping slaves. moves immediately from the Canadian border to the Ohio river.
International borders meant tariffs in that era. Since the US was going to need a much stronger military, tariffs start rising and neutral states face being on the outside of tariff wall.
A large neutral section in which the Confederates can smuggle tariff free goods into the US would never have been accepted.
wausaubob

Not quite sure what you mean here? If Virginia and Kentucky stay neutral in the conflict and stay in the union then why is it necessary to move the capital? If this happened and the union raised tariffs I would expect then both would be inside that tariff barrier. Agree that the union would bitterly oppose tariff free goods being smuggled in from an independent south.

Or are you assuming that the union rejects this neutrality, seeks to occupy/march through either/both, they join the south as a result and the south including them wins independence? That would fit what you say about the free slave border being the Ohio and also about the two states being outside the US tariff wall.

Of course, especially if the US raises its tariffs even higher than being outside that wall would probably be viewed favourably by the bulk of the populations of those states as they could buy cheaper on the world market.

Or am I missing some other interpretation please?

Steve
 
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wausaubob

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Neutrality is a pro Confederate stance. It essentially maintains that those citizens are not obligated to help the US. As soon as the US is sufficiently prepared, it concedes separation, and ejects the so called neutral states. The capital sitting between two slave states is unacceptable. Any long term acceptance of neutrality is a step towards accepting separation.
 

W. Richardson

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The "Lincoln administration" sent rifles? You mean the US Government?
Yes, the U.S. Government, headed by who?.......President Abraham Lincoln, with Abraham Lincoln's knowledge and approval. I could be wrong, but that seems to me like the "Lincoln Administration".....................

But I do like your shirt!!!

Respectfully,
William
 

steve59p

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Neutrality is a pro Confederate stance. It essentially maintains that those citizens are not obligated to help the US. As soon as the US is sufficiently prepared, it concedes separation, and ejects the so called neutral states. The capital sitting between two slave states is unacceptable. Any long term acceptance of neutrality is a step towards accepting separation.
Their stance would be their not obliged to help in a military operation they disapprove of. If I'm reading you correctly you mean the union would tool up and then attack, rejecting that neutrality? In which case that would force the two states fully into the rebel camp.

The capital was sitting between two slave states OTL, one of which was openly in rebellion and it wasn't moved then so don't see why it would be moved in this case.

Agree that elements in the Washington government would suggest that the neutral stance in the war would be a step towards separation but your suggestion would actually make this a certainty.
 
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NedBaldwin

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If the United States government accepts the neutrality of Virginia, North Carolina (agree with you on that), Kentucky, and any other border states which choose to remain neutral, the Union has very limited options. They could impose the blockade and try to secure key points along the coast like Port Royal, Pensacola, Ship Island, etc. as bases for further operations. Perhaps they could "starve out" the Confederacy by cutting off exports (cotton) and imports, but that would likely be a prolonged process, uncertain of result, and hardly likely to inspire ongoing popular support. Use of the Mississippi would depend on the attitudes of Missouri, Tennessee, and Arkansas. And any effective action would likely push the neutral states into outright opposition and secession.
Without the need to built up a massive army on the Potomac, the US would have more resources to commit coastal operations
Effective action along the Gulf Coast could push neutral states into greater willingness to stay out of it and seek compromise so as to avoid the hard hand of war.

If they were going to allow states to remain neutral, what about Maryland? The federal government could be in the odd position of not being able to bring troops to its own capital.
The US dealt with that in reality, so dont see it as a big deal

If states could opt out of Lincoln's call for troops, how would that affect recruiting in the north? States or individuals who remained loyal to the United States might still be reluctant to commit troops/themselves to war once it became clear that they didn't have to.
The Upper North, which was more hawkish than Lincoln, would have supplied more men to make up for the lack of patriotism among the middle states.
 

JKT

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Kentucky, a slave state, refused Lincoln's call for volunteers and chose to remain neutral.
What if Virginia had followed Kentucky's lead?
Probably 3 things: a) as the most populous Confederate state the war would likely had ended sooner; b) “neutral” states seem to invite both sides (& families) to scrap more viciously (note Kentucky, Missouri) and a bigger chunk of “western” Virginia leaving; c) finally for better or worse the capital stays in Montgomery (or more likely drops down to Raleigh).
 

JKT

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Virginia was as close to an “industrial” output state as the South could muster & I believe, led in southern railway transport ability. Also given the lack of arms production , the Rebel government would have been scrambling even more for production sources. The Tredegar Ironworks in Richmond was the only facility capable of producing heavy artillery.
 
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leftyhunter

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Kentucky, a slave state, refused Lincoln's call for volunteers and chose to remain neutral.
What if Virginia had followed Kentucky's lead?
Kentucky was far from neutral in the ACW. Per Steven Freeling Kentucky sent 50k men to the Union Army vs 25k men to the Confederate Army. There were many Confederate guerrillas and many Unionist home guards.
There were many Union Army bases in Kentucky.
Whatever the state legislature if Kentucky stated was irrelevant.
Leftyhunter
 

Ethan S.

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I believe that if VA chose to remain neutral, it would result in bloody guerrilla warfare, and fast bloody attacks like Kentucky. Both armies would still fight in VA, but I think it would be worse do to both sides in-fighting each other.
 

wausaubob

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If the US accepts neutrality from Virginia, it has to accept neutrality from all 8 middle states, including Maryland. Lincoln made it clear that involved moving the capital, and without saying, it meant that Missouri and steamship business, would not participate in the western railroad project. Since the US had a weak revenue system, it meant a revenue border along the Mason/Dixon line and the Ohio River.
 
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wausaubob

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As soon as the US moves to empty out the arsenal at Harper's Ferry and tow all the ships out of Norfolk navy yard, neutrality would fall apart anyway.
 

jackt62

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Virginia was the linchpin of the upper southern states that did not initially secede with South Carolina and the other six states of the lower south. In that respect, had Virginia proclaimed "neutrality" (thereby not seceding), it is likely that the other 3 states (Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina might have followed Virginia's lead and stayed loyal to the Union, or declared "neutrality." Whether or not neutrality was a sensible option it was basically meaningless in terms of assisting the Confederacy.
 

wausaubob

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Thus it would not have made much difference, as the US was going to make moves on HF and Norfolk. Nor was there much to keep the US from invading Maryland, western Virginia and Missouri. But a gain of 60-90 days would have been very valuable. Lincoln realized that the Virginians were playing him for time so they could seize those two military assets, and that's when he provoked a shooting match.
 
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wausaubob

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Virginia was the linchpin of the upper southern states that did not initially secede with South Carolina and the other six states of the lower south. In that respect, had Virginia proclaimed "neutrality" (thereby not seceding), it is likely that the other 3 states (Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina might have followed Virginia's lead and stayed loyal to the Union, or declared "neutrality." Whether or not neutrality was a sensible option it was basically meaningless in terms of assisting the Confederacy.
The neutral parties withhold their support from the US and form a roadblock to any Union advance. 6 months of neutrality leads to the concession of separation.
The provocations that lead to war then occur in the far west, or on the high seas when US naval vessels clamp down on the slave trade.
 

mike1w

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I don't think Lincoln would have allowed it. He seized Baltimore, so that he could keep Maryland and stop Washington from being cut off from the North. He would have probably declared war, although he would not have called it that, on the "sovereign territory of Virginia," or at least excluding the part that would probably still join the union as West Virginia. Without Richmond, no confederacy really. The union would have just adapted it's strategy, concentrating more on the Mississippi Valley and the naval battles, while maintaining a defensive line along the Potomac. In the end, Virginia would have been surrounded, and sooner than 1865.
 
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