Confederate Redux, with Hindsight

Sep 2013
796
Chattanooga, TN
#41
What is your source on that? I am asking since Wikipedia is badly wrong if you are right; it lists only one sunk ship: monitor Tecumseh, which is missing from your list. Also, I don't see ANY of the ships you list in the Union order of battle (for August 5th, 1864):
Mobile Bay order of battle - Wikipedia

USS Sciota was a gunboat, not an ironclad, and while she was destroyed by a torpedo in Mobile Bay, this was in January 1865, not during the Battle. She had been assigned to clear the torpedoes: USS Sciota (1861) - Wikipedia

USS Osage was sunk in the Battle of Spanish Fort in March 29th, 1865 (still Mobile Bay, but a separate battle). She was an ironclad monitor, though: USS Osage (1863) - Wikipedia

I suspect the same is true for the other ships (conflating separate incidents), although I didn't take the time to check them.
I just did a google search on it and obtained that information from a multitude of websites. The ships I said that were sunk in the Battle of Mobile Bay were all sunk in Mobile Bay. I just assumed it was during the Battle of Mobile Bay. The point that is germane to this thread is that they were all Union ships sunk by torpedoes. You are probably correct that none of the ships I mentioned was sunk during the actual Battle of Mobile Bay. I was just doing a cursory search

With the addition of the USS Tecumseh, that makes for 9 Union ships that were damaged by Confederate torpedoes during the Civil War, with 8 of the 9 ships sinking.
 
Jan 2009
1,187
#42
I just did a google search on it and obtained that information from a multitude of websites. The ships I said that were sunk in the Battle of Mobile Bay were all sunk in Mobile Bay. I just assumed it was during the Battle of Mobile Bay. The point that is germane to this thread is that they were all Union ships sunk by torpedoes. You are probably correct that none of the ships I mentioned was sunk during the actual Battle of Mobile Bay. I was just doing a cursory search

With the addition of the USS Tecumseh, that makes for 9 Union ships that were damaged by Confederate torpedoes during the Civil War, with 8 of the 9 ships sinking.
Yes, but it changes the context dramatically for the Battle of Mobile Bay: Instead of 1 dud and 6 sinkings, it is 1 sinking and who knows how many duds, with the other 17 ships escaping unscathed.

As for the general efficiency, it is difficult to say since you'd have to look at area denial, the amount of resources spent on making the minefields vs. clearing them, how many ships were sunk by other means and at what cost...

Note that I don't attribute malice on your initial post, but I am quite happy to accept that it was a honest mistake. It happens. :) I just got curious about the absolute slaughter that your initial post claimed, since it didn't match with my memory of what I had read before on Battle of Mobile Bay. So I did some quick Wikipedia checking to see if I really remembered it so wrong, and noticed the discrepancies.
 
Likes: grey fox
Sep 2013
796
Chattanooga, TN
#43
Yes, but it changes the context dramatically for the Battle of Mobile Bay: Instead of 1 dud and 6 sinkings, it is 1 sinking and who knows how many duds, with the other 17 ships escaping unscathed.

As for the general efficiency, it is difficult to say since you'd have to look at area denial, the amount of resources spent on making the minefields vs. clearing them, how many ships were sunk by other means and at what cost...

Note that I don't attribute malice on your initial post, but I am quite happy to accept that it was a honest mistake. It happens. :) I just got curious about the absolute slaughter that your initial post claimed, since it didn't match with my memory of what I had read before on Battle of Mobile Bay. So I did some quick Wikipedia checking to see if I really remembered it so wrong, and noticed the discrepancies.
I agree that your information changes the context dramatically for the Battle of Mobile Bay. Good catch on your part, Whyte.
 
#44
With benefit of hindsight, how could the Confederacy have fought the Civil War more effectively? I think this is a bit of a challenge as the South historically exceeded reasonable expectations IMHO. resources, especially after 1861.

You list many military circumstances, but fundamentally they would have had to outlast the union. Keep the war going for as long as possible, and avoid major military defeats.

Outside of the hardcore abolitionists, the war was far from a popular venture. Indeed, the pressure against Lincoln to end the war with any means was formidable during 1864, and Lincoln actually expected to lose the presidential election on that account.

See for example: https://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jala/2...ritics-the-copperheads?rgn=main;view=fulltext

Along with some of the measures you’ve mentioned, I suspect that deep strategic withdrawals, guerrilla warfare on the Unions extended supply lines and then striking and possibly encircling the enemy would have been effective.



I don’t know much about confederate espionage, but I suspect the South could also have done more to send intelligence operatives (to the extent that existed then) North in order to fan the flames of dissent.

There were already draft riots in 1863 without much external influence. Imagine if the South had started a campaign of subterfuge among immigrants and other groups likely to be opposed to the war.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,380
Dispargum
#45
I suspect that deep strategic withdrawals, guerrilla warfare on the Unions extended supply lines and then striking and possibly encircling the enemy would have been effective.

I don’t know much about confederate espionage, but I suspect the South could also have done more to send intelligence operatives (to the extent that existed then) North in order to fan the flames of dissent.

There were already draft riots in 1863 without much external influence. Imagine if the South had started a campaign of subterfuge among immigrants and other groups likely to be opposed to the war.
Care to elaborate on "deep strategic withdrawals?" Where, when, to what aim? When I think of stragtegic withdrawal as a strategy or tactic to turn defeat into victory I think of luring the invader into a trap, like maybe the Russians luring Napoleon deeper and deeper into Russia in 1812. How could the Confederates use withdrawal?

The South did sometimes attack extended Union supply lines, like Beford Forest's and Joe Wheeler's attacks on Sherman's supply line during the Atlanta Campaign. It didn't work then, but maybe it could have worked somewhere else. Do you have a time and place for such an attack on a supply line?

To encircle an enemy usually requires the encircler to have more men than the encircled. Confederate armies rarely outnumbered their Union opponents. One time when the Confederates did have the Union troops cut off was in Chattanooga after Chickamauga. That failed but do you have another opportunity in mind?

Propaganda/subversion is an interesting idea. The South did try to use secret agents in various capacities but the different plans generally didn't work out well.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,678
#46
I don’t know much about confederate espionage, but I suspect the South could also have done more to send intelligence operatives (to the extent that existed then) North in order to fan the flames of dissent.

There were already draft riots in 1863 without much external influence. Imagine if the South had started a campaign of subterfuge among immigrants and other groups likely to be opposed to the war.
What is your basis for assuming that Confederate agents had not much involvement in the NYC and other draft riots at the same time as the Gettysburg Campaign?
 

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