I live in the South and of course a hot topic in this region is the American Civil War….there is always someone that has to analyze this conflict…Hell they even play out each battle in their re-enactments…..
Of course one of the hot topics for discussion is what really started the war. The most popular cause was the institution of slavery….but is it really? In the South the common cause is the state’s rights thing….some even say it was economics that started the war….that is pretty close because Southerns did not want to pay the help…..
The first reason is that neither side had actual armies formed up and in position to fight at the time of the Fort Sumter attack. Abraham Lincoln, on April 15, had to put out a call for 75,000 soldiers to come forward and form an army because he had nothing with which to fight the South, and it would take weeks after that call for the first elements of the army to arrive at Washington. The South was in no better position and had to begin creating its own armies if it was to carry out its part in a war.
The second reason that war could not begin on April 12 or for weeks afterward is far more subtle than the first. As of April 12, 1861, only seven states had declared their independence and joined the Confederacy. Those states were South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, and Texas. Notably missing were Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky, states that would only secede later.
Now the next question to be asked….why did the South lose the war?
“The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike at him as hard as you can and as often as you can, and keep moving on.”
Put that way, the business of fighting and winning wars sounds simple enough. And perhaps it was simple in the mind of the man who so concisely described the complex art: General Ulysses S. Grant. After assuming command of all Union armies in March 1864, Grant crushed the Confederacy in about one year.
But the American Civil War, like any war, was not simple. The North and South engaged each other for four long years. More than half a million people were killed. Families were torn apart, towns destroyed. And in the end, the South lost.
Your history lesson is complete…off we go until tomorrow…..chuq