Would the confederacy have won if not for southern pride??

Nov 2019
138
Memphis TN
Why didn't anyone do that then? Maybe committing your army to do extensive field works would have effectively immobilised it and allowed for the enemy to by pass it or encircle it? There's a reason why defence in depth became a thing in WWI and WW2 when there were no flanks to turn with armies numbering in the millions and frontlines extending from coast to coast. That's not the case in the ACW where field armies had to maneuver and find each other before engaging. That doesn't leave much time to make fortifications in the defence in depth sense, and whatever field works might have been done could be made useless if the enemy army continues maneuvering instead of giving battle.



But there you say it, if you have spaced out infantry their firepower is spaced out as well, while the enemy concentrates its firepower and ability to deliver shock. Light infantry was a well known concept from the 1700s on, and if had been effective on its own then nobody would have used anything but light infantry.
It leaves plenty of time if the confederacy only plays defense and puts all three effort into exactly that instead of the northern invasion...


And Mcclellan procrastination gives them the time..

This is obviously hypothetical since defense in depth was not invented


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May 2017
224
Monterrey
A) the war starts in this scenario as well lol..

The question was would the northern population keep spending lives WITHOUT the more functional firebrand events taking place..

If lee doesn’t invade and they do not fit on sumner.. the war from the northern POV is all about principles..

“It isn’t right they leave the union!”

I do not think that alone holds out under mass casualties.

I think you needed events that were instigated and perpetrated by the confederacy on and In the north specifically to do that.
That depends on how much those events really played a role.

Just like with Vietnam.. they did nothing to Americans.. so when the casualties rose, the American people tapped out..
After 20 years of fighting on the other side of the world.

If vietnam stopped a tower or 2 it probably belongs to us now.
What?

B) I honestly think teaching napoleonic tactics is likely far more intensive than modern cover to cover tactics.
You wouldn't be teaching modern tactics, (they didn't exist or apply) and I doubt it is easier actually.

C) The northern population tapping out was always their only hope.. just like with Washington and the revolution..

He did not beat the full night British empire... the politics changed back home and they tapped out..
But there is no "back home" here, just the USA. Check out how many other civil wars ended in divided countries...

D) defense in depth means you set rows of defense and plan on bleeding your target before retreating to your next line of defense..
No, it doesn't, that's more like delay tactics. Defence in depth means arraying your troops in depth to prevent breakthroughs.

They lose crazy troops reaching your lines then everyone is gone when they get there, and you start artillerying your previous position.
That's not how artillery in civil war worked, nor infantry tactics. There was no possibility of WW1 like barrages due to supply constraints. In addition, what would stop the enemy from marching around you? Like Grant did at the end of the war.

Wash rinse repeat..

That strategy kills vs napoleonic tactics.
Or, it leads to masses of surrendering CSA troops when they get cut off from their supply lines a la Vicksburg or Fort Donelson. In the East CSA couldn't give up ground, and in the West they couldn't stop the enemy from manoeuvring. Furthermore, anyone with knowledge of military tactics will tell you that giving up the initiative and just passively waiting for enemy action is not the brightest of ideas.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,389
Sydney
"The tactics of the time were informed by the weaponry of the time "
in fact during the first phase of the war , tactics lagged behind the weaponry
the officers in command had been seeped deep in Napoleonic tactics of assault
West Point teached abundantly from Jomini , the best known exponent of Napoleonic tactics
an infantry line would discharge one volley before it was down to melee
the minie bullet and rifling meant that two to three volleys , much more accurate ,could decimate an advancing enemy
Fredericksburg and Gettysburg demonstrated the folly of formal charges against a well set opponent
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,792
Republika Srpska
How long till the northern population taps out??
Such a war would still have been fought on Southern ground thus causing damage to the South which was already the less developed region. Of course, there is a possibility that the North would have given up, but that is debatable. Even if the North did give up, the two countries would settle into a new, tension-filled reality, especially concerning issues such as slave states that remained in the Union, the issue of slavery in those states etc. It is not unlikely that another war would have broken out.
 
Feb 2011
1,143
Scotland
I'm not sure you can look on Sumter as a military error. It was in essence a symbolic political act, not a military one. Militarily it was one-sided.
Whether the Confederacy should have initiated the war at all is really a separate question.

I'm assuming that the OP 'would the Confederacy have won....' implies a state of war, so whether the Confederacy should have started a war in the first place perhaps isn't salient to the question.

Assuming the war breaks out, as it did, the OP appears to assume that Southern Pride lost that war- but provides no specific instances or explanation on how it was so responsible. As far as I can see, the South did fight an essentially defensive war, with a couple of notable exceptions which were based upon political/logistical calculation. It was failure to defend effectively or successfully in the West which brought about the Confederacy's ultimate defeat; McPherson's opinion was that it might to have been able to do so, given the space and resources available.
 
Nov 2019
138
Memphis TN
That depends on how much those events really played a role.



After 20 years of fighting on the other side of the world.



What?



You wouldn't be teaching modern tactics, (they didn't exist or apply) and I doubt it is easier actually.



But there is no "back home" here, just the USA. Check out how many other civil wars ended in divided countries...



No, it doesn't, that's more like delay tactics. Defence in depth means arraying your troops in depth to prevent breakthroughs.



That's not how artillery in civil war worked, nor infantry tactics. There was no possibility of WW1 like barrages due to supply constraints. In addition, what would stop the enemy from marching around you? Like Grant did at the end of the war.



Or, it leads to masses of surrendering CSA troops when they get cut off from their supply lines a la Vicksburg or Fort Donelson. In the East CSA couldn't give up ground, and in the West they couldn't stop the enemy from manoeuvring. Furthermore, anyone with knowledge of military tactics will tell you that giving up the initiative and just passively waiting for enemy action is not the brightest of ideas.
I don’t think they make it to Vicksburg (my hometown FYI) before the northern population taps out..

I think without the big “punches in the nose” of sumner and the northern invasion ignited support behind Lincoln..

I do not think secession alone would keep the norther random joe invested enough to be willing to lose their sons..
imho without those firebrand moments the war is only about the principles of secession from the northern POV at least..

B) I think trying to line fight vs a dug I opponent is WAY worse.



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Nov 2019
138
Memphis TN
I'm not sure you can look on Sumter as a military error. It was in essence a symbolic political act, not a military one. Militarily it was one-sided.
Whether the Confederacy should have initiated the war at all is really a separate question.

I'm assuming that the OP 'would the Confederacy have won....' implies a state of war, so whether the Confederacy should have started a war in the first place perhaps isn't salient to the question.

Assuming the war breaks out, as it did, the OP appears to assume that Southern Pride lost that war- but provides no specific instances or explanation on how it was so responsible. As far as I can see, the South did fight an essentially defensive war, with a couple of notable exceptions which were based upon political/logistical calculation. It was failure to defend effectively or successfully in the West which brought about the Confederacy's ultimate defeat; McPherson's opinion was that it might to have been able to do so, given the space and resources available.
A) yup the war happens in the OP regardless.

B) your right sumner was only political that is my point.. it held zero military value but they sacrificed the “moral highground” by firing first..

Now the US wasn’t stopping secession.. they were attacked and defending themselves.. in the narrative I mean.. shooting first handed the narrative to Lincoln.

Even one of Jeff Davis’s advisors is recorded saying exactly that.. they even knew it was over southern pride..

C) the northern invasion and sumner were my examples of blunders..




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Jun 2017
630
maine
I am not a militarist. My interest in the Civil War grows out of a project that I am doing on ~275 men from my town in Maine; I have been immersing myself in biographies and memoirs (right now I am reading Porter Alexander's Fighting for the Confederacy and Joshua Chamberlain's Passing of Armies. From what I have read, it is my own conclusion that "southern pride" didn't start the war but it sustained it. The south had no chance of winning this war--but sheer its doggedness and perseverance dragged the conflict out for years.

As I see it, before 1861, the south was in the very unhealthy position of a small number being in control of wealth and power. As the overall economic trends shifted in the country, the survival of this elite was very much at risk--and they convinced the majority of their fellow-southerners that THEIR interests and "way of life" was under threat. It turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Those poor men fought on, long after common sense would have told them to go back to their homes, dying en masse for someone else's economic well-being. That pride was pretty strong--and pretty much all they had going for them.
 
Nov 2019
138
Memphis TN
Such a war would still have been fought on Southern ground thus causing damage to the South which was already the less developed region. Of course, there is a possibility that the North would have given up, but that is debatable. Even if the North did give up, the two countries would settle into a new, tension-filled reality, especially concerning issues such as slave states that remained in the Union, the issue of slavery in those states etc. It is not unlikely that another war would have broken out.
For sure it would have been a disaster , but I think they do give up if you remove the few fire brand events and only defend.. well unless attacking is easy..


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Nov 2019
138
Memphis TN
I am not a militarist. My interest in the Civil War grows out of a project that I am doing on ~275 men from my town in Maine; I have been immersing myself in biographies and memoirs (right now I am reading Porter Alexander's Fighting for the Confederacy and Joshua Chamberlain's Passing of Armies. From what I have read, it is my own conclusion that "southern pride" didn't start the war but it sustained it. The south had no chance of winning this war--but sheer its doggedness and perseverance dragged the conflict out for years.

As I see it, before 1861, the south was in the very unhealthy position of a small number being in control of wealth and power. As the overall economic trends shifted in the country, the survival of this elite was very much at risk--and they convinced the majority of their fellow-southerners that THEIR interests and "way of life" was under threat. It turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Those poor men fought on, long after common sense would have told them to go back to their homes, dying en masse for someone else's economic well-being. That pride was pretty strong--and pretty much all they had going for them.


The south had no chance of beating the fullly marshaled might of the American people...

The full night was never marshaled even at the end..

This is Shelby foote’s line but” the Ivy League rowing tournaments still took place all 5 years of the war..

The confederacy absolutely had the same chance the founding fathers did.. just be annoying and hope for a political shift.. I think if the south doesn’t do anything in the north, that would happen..

Imagine all the deaths without sumner, the town that was burned or any of the northern soil defeats that pissed off the population....


At that point all the deaths are for the intangible secession.. and I don’t think that does it.


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