Confederate failure to make Lee commander of all forces

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,792
Republika Srpska
How is it any different from what I said (that you attempted to rebut)? That's the right question.

I said the movement was "significant,"which is what you questioned, and you said the movement was "widely" denounced. Somewhere between those two modifiers, which are not necessarily mutually exclusive, is the optimum qualifier. When a President signs an order, the national legislature passes an enactment, and 7 out of 11 governors in a strong states'-rights confederation make a call for something - the movement threatens the threshold for what is "significant."
Speaking of the 7 governers, 5 of them were forced to explain that they never wanted to arm the slaves, so this shows that their proposition was rejected in the South at the time.
 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
4,441
Caribbean
So, yes, Democrats did have other interests besides preserving and protecting slavery.
And when the (Republican) Corwin Amendment passed the House 133 to 65, and the Senate 24-12 on March 2, does anyone have a breakdown showing how many Republicans voted to preserve and protect slavery?
 

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
4,441
Caribbean
Speaking of the 7 governers, 5 of them were forced to explain that they never wanted to arm the slaves, so this shows that their proposition was rejected in the South at the time.
Does it somehow enhance your criticism of my label "significant" to point out that it was significant enough to attract significant opposition across the region?
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,792
Republika Srpska
Does it somehow enhance your criticism of my label "significant" to point out that it was significant enough to attract significant opposition across the region?
It attracted significan opposition, true. That doesn't automatically make it significant. Especially since most Southerners vehemently opposed it, and while it had strong backers, none of them (except Robert E. Lee) were willing to go all the way. The governors you mentioned deliberately avoided mentioning the recruitment of black soldiers and instead chose to say that the blacks should be forced into "service as may be required".

Jefferson Davis was also deliberately ambiguous. During his November 7th address, he opposed arming the slaves at that time and only said:
"Should the alternative ever be presented of subjugation or the employment of the slave as a soldier, there seems no reason to doubt what should then be our decision."
So, he wasn't willing to go all in with his idea of recruiting blacks, instead he presented it as a possible alternative at a later, unspecified date.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
I recall one Confederate saying something to the effect that if blacks could be good soldiers, then the justification of the the Confederacy was wrong. Making blacks soldiers would expose it as a lie that they were inferior and incapable of governing themselves.
 
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Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,792
Republika Srpska
I recall one Confederate saying something to the effect that if blacks could be good soldiers, then the justification of the the Confederacy was wrong. Making blacks soldiers would expose it as a lie that they were inferior and incapable of governing themselves.
It was Howell Cobb and he said:
"If slaves will make good soldiers our whole theory of slavery is wrong."
 
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sculptingman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2009
3,673
San Diego
Lee is outrageously over-rated as a General.
He pulled off a HANDFUL of remarkable wins doing things he was expressly taught NOT to do at West Point... because he simply had no choice.
And because he was up against Union commanders who were TIMID and incapable of imagining that Lee might thwart military expectation out of necessity, Lee often managed to come out smelling like a rose.

Lee was NEVER offered overall command of the south because he never demonstrated any ability to effectively manage a larger organizational responsibility than a single Army in the field. And he was BARELY competent at that.

Lee’s Sole offensive campaign ended disasterously, because Lee made impetuous decisions and refused to listen to the input from his staff.

Compared to Grant- who rose and was able to master every level of organizational command because he was capable of delegating, and effectively commanding them with clear concise instructions.

And, No... absolutely Nothing the South could have done would have changed the outcome of the war.
The North was not going to let them split the nation in two, and the North had both the manpower and the money to outlast the South in every parameter.

Attrition wins wars. It has very little to do with any daring do on the field of battle.

As long as the North was willing to expend the resources... they were destined to prevail.
 
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Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
Keep in mind that the Confederacy didn't necessarily need to defeat the Union to succeed. If they could convince the majority of the Union population the war wasn't worth the effort to continue, the Confederacy could achieve its goal without having to actually defeat the Union. If the war dragged on long enough, perhaps Union would give up. Unlikely scenario, but there were "Copperheads" in the Union like McClellan would have allowed the South succeed if they had their way.
 
Oct 2018
53
Minneapolis, MN
Keep in mind that the Confederacy didn't necessarily need to defeat the Union to succeed. If they could convince the majority of the Union population the war wasn't worth the effort to continue, the Confederacy could achieve its goal without having to actually defeat the Union. If the war dragged on long enough, perhaps Union would give up. Unlikely scenario, but there were "Copperheads" in the Union like McClellan would have allowed the South succeed if they had their way.
Jefferson Davis early on seemed to fight for just that. Much like George Washington, avoid the battles that could destroy his army, retreat instead, and attack when he had numbers.

But the problem was he had all the senators saying they needed their state protected. So he was forced to create that cordon defense and spread his armies out so thinly that they were sure to be broken through somewhere and couldn't just retreat and allow states to fall. And the people and papers were calling for the attacks. They didn't want to be sitting back waiting and only defending.

I don't think even if they could have kept the attrition style in favor politically, that they would have held out. Georgia was rebelling against the Confederacy in a hurry calling their troops back and saying they wouldn't provide more to the cause. Desertion was as high as it was on the US side. Food and resources were scarce and they weren't breaking blockades or gaining allies to help change that. They didn't have the manufacturing to replace weapons, uniforms, and ammo.