Why didn't the south realize the effort was moot?

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leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
I vaguely recall reading about a prominate planter family from Natchez, Mississippi who thought secession and war was madness.
I can dig up sources where some planters had their slaves send food to their mossback sons. Two of the best generals in the Union Army Gen.Thomas and Brig.Gen .Guitar of the Mo state Militia owned slaves (although Thomas only owned two and at least one stayed on has a servant post war) At least one Unionist Colonel was a slave owner their may of been others. I think his name was Maynard and he commanded a Tn Unionist regiment.
Leftyhunter
 
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Don't you really have to put a date on this question? There is a vast difference in the state of things in April 1861 vs. April 1865. When South Carolina left the Union, did South Carolina really expect to fight (and win) a massive war against the massed states of that Union? When finally there were 11 states standing together, did they have cause to believe (and act as if) victory was not possible in 1862 or 1863? Certainly, with the notable exception of Davis, it was quite clear to all by April 10th 1865 that victory was long gone - and for most people that unsettling feeling already had been created by the fall of Vicksburg and Lincoln's re-election. People tend to fight on, even when the chance to win has departed - viz. Germany and Japan in 1945

And moot doesn't mean "pointless" - it means subject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty, and typically not admitting of a final decision. "To moot" means to bring up an idea or suggestion. In old English it meant a meeting for discussion - to which Tolkien refers in having Merry and Pippin attend the Ent-Moot called by Treebeard.
 

Allie

Captain
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Don't you really have to put a date on this question? There is a vast difference in the state of things in April 1861 vs. April 1865. When South Carolina left the Union, did South Carolina really expect to fight (and win) a massive war against the massed states of that Union? When finally there were 11 states standing together, did they have cause to believe (and act as if) victory was not possible in 1862 or 1863? Certainly, with the notable exception of Davis, it was quite clear to all by April 10th 1865 that victory was long gone - and for most people that unsettling feeling already had been created by the fall of Vicksburg and Lincoln's re-election. People tend to fight on, even when the chance to win has departed - viz. Germany and Japan in 1945

And moot doesn't mean "pointless" - it means subject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty, and typically not admitting of a final decision. "To moot" means to bring up an idea or suggestion. In old English it meant a meeting for discussion - to which Tolkien refers in having Merry and Pippin attend the Ent-Moot called by Treebeard.
Usage has wandered, creating a secondary definition: "of little or no practical value or meaning; purely academic."
 
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unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
All odds where against them
All odds were against the Continental Army, too......
In fact, in my own view, it was the example of the American Revolution that inspired the Confederacy to take on such long odds.

It had in its historical memory a small bunch of colonists fighting off the world's mightiest empire and winning its independence despite being faced with such long odds.

Spirit, fighting spirit, counted so much with the Confederacy, and rightly so, as it had seen it work for the Rebels of '76.

In my opinion.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2013
Location
Hannover, Germany
All odds where against them
Honestly, I'm also thinking they did not imagine a four year massive war, when seceding. I still see the secession in itself not as aggressive act. The southern states saw their own interests or rights endangered and went away. They did not want to “conquer“ the North, but they wanted to be left alone. And they would have thought that some minor battles will show that they did it in earnest and then be left alone. They did not see the point in preserving one Union, when two groups of united states, one under a federal government principle, the other as a confederacy, would fit everyone's interests ...

My point is the south never had the means to sustain a war of any kind
... and as I said above they would have thought that they did not have to sustain a war of any kind! They did not want aggression, they wanted secession. Of course they would have been aware that it will not happen without shedding any blood. They did not expect the Federal government to say “So what“ and continue with their own business. But I am deeply convinced that the South thought that they would eventually find understanding if not consent, both in America and in Europe if they make clear that they want to secede in earnest. One of our great Prussian reformers, Carl von Clausewitz, said that war is merely an extension of diplomacy by other means.
I think that this was what the Confederacy had in mind also.

In fact, in my own view, it was the example of the American Revolution that inspired the Confederacy to take on such long odds.

It had in its historical memory a small bunch of colonists fighting off the world's mightiest empire and winning its independence despite being faced with such long odds.

Spirit, fighting spirit, counted so much with the Confederacy, and rightly so, as it had seen it work for the Rebels of '76.

In my opinion.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
And as usual you are speaking my thoughts with clarity and elegance. Thank you!
 
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Eagle eye

First Sergeant
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Location
Michigan City,In
Human nature is often to fight to the death. Why did the Germans not surrender after Stalingard? Why did communists in Spain fight Franco as guerrillas even has late as the 1960s? Some people will fight to the death and some won't. Many CSA soldiers deserted, many joined the other side and many fought to the bitter end. Different strokes for different folks.
Leftyhunter
----------------
With all due respect Lefty, the Germans did surrender at Stalingrad. Well 95,000 or so did. Only about 5000 of them ever returned to Germany in the mid fifties. Whatever POW camp they were at must have made Andersonville & Elmira look like a Club Med port.
Please excuse me if I offended you … that isn't my intention & I apologize if I did. I admire your posts.
 

Allie

Captain
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
----------------
With all due respect Lefty, the Germans did surrender at Stalingrad. Well 95,000 or so did. Only about 5000 of them ever returned to Germany in the mid fifties. Whatever POW camp they were at must have made Andersonville & Elmira look like a Club Med port.
Please excuse me if I offended you … that isn't my intention & I apologize if I did. I admire your posts.
A CSA army surrendered at Vicksburg too, but the county didn't.
 
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Eagle eye

First Sergeant
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Location
Michigan City,In
In fact, in my own view, it was the example of the American Revolution that inspired the Confederacy to take on such long odds.

It had in its historical memory a small bunch of colonists fighting off the world's mightiest empire and winning its independence despite being faced with such long odds.

Spirit, fighting spirit, counted so much with the Confederacy, and rightly so, as it had seen it work for the Rebels of '76.

In my opinion.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
-------------------
UB…do you think the Rebels of 76 could have won without the support from France?
 
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Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
On a more serious note, the Confederate government was built on delusion. So, it makes sense that they would be no more rational about their odds in the war. And nothing is ever really set in stone: someone mentioned Gettysburg and Vicksburg but it could be argued that if Lincoln was not re-elected, the South could have won.

And for the common man, you fight for what you bleed for. That's human nature as lefty said, to not back down, to go on to the death: they're fighting for what they see as their rights.
Delusion? Could you expand on this a wee bit more and give a source?
 

kholland

Captain
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
Location
Howard County, Maryland
My point is the south never had the means to sustain a war of any kind
On this point what would have happened if the Confederate army had followed the routed Union forces back to Washington DC after 1st Manassas?. You lose your queen in the opening move- game, set, match? But both armies were citizens in army uniforms at this point so that is a big if.
 
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War Horse

Captain
Member of the Year
Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017
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Location
Lexington, SC
And yet they did, for several long years. Remember that they didn't have to conquer the North in order to win, they just had to make the North get sick of the whole business and go home.
They did indeed. What the south processed was not bought, forged or grown. Leadership, Lee, Jackson, Longstreet are at the top of the list but I could name many more.
 
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