Why No Side Choosing During The Civil War?

Most Americans have studied the American War Between The States….but the one question that seldom gets asked is….why did the European powers not choose sides to support?

After all it would have been the perfect time to flex their muscle and make in-roads into the United States of America or the Confederated States of America. The nation would be focused on the internal struggle leaving lots of opportunities for influence peddling.

So again….why no choosing of sides?

By the beginning of the American Civil War, the United States was a little more than 50 years of age. They had started to develop relationships with all the major powers in Europe and the rest of the world.

It was evident both sides wished to gain the support of specific major powers, to enable them to take advantage of both military and financial assistance.

However, each nation remained “officially neutral” throughout the entirety of the war (although most favored one or the other). Some did not go as far as recognizing the Confederacy as a real country, but rather saw the South as an organized rebellion.

In fact, the Union told all the European countries if they recognized the Confederacy’s legitimacy, it was equal to declaring war against the Union. This neutrality for the most part, however, did not keep European countries from participating in various ways

https://www.warhistoryonline.com/instant-articles/the-american-civil-war-the-union-told-all-the-european-countries-if-they-recognized-the-confederacys-legitimacy-it-was-equal-to-declaring-war-against-the-union.html

This would be an excellent question to ask grad students in either international relations or conflict management…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Perryville

Most people know the major wars of the American Civil War…..battles like Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Bull Run, etc etc…..but how many have heard of the Battle of Perryville?

Plus I have a loyal reader that is interested in the American Civil War….https://beetleypete.com/  if you have not visited his site yet then I suggest you do so for you will not be disappointed.

It is 1862 in Kentucky…..this battle was claimed by both sides as a victory…..that tells me it was a draw and fell from the minds of historians for they like winners and losers…

Here is the people and tactics of a little known battle of the War Between The States…..

Confederate Brig. Gen. George Maney maintained tight control of the three regiments in his first line as he pressed his attack against a key position on the extreme left flank of the Union Army on the afternoon of October 8, 1862. The Battle of Perryville had begun less than an hour earlier, and Maney’s brigade was part of a sledgehammer attack by the reinforced Confederate right wing against Maj. Gen. Alexander McCook’s I Corps.

Maney’s immediate objective was to drive the Federals from an eminence known as Open Knob, one of the key positions on the north end of the battlefield. Situated atop the knob was Lieutenant Charles Parson’s eight-gun battery. It was supported by the 123rd Illinois of Brig. Gen. William Terrill’s brigade.

Maney’s Rebels, clad in faded gray uniforms that matched the flora so well that Federal staff officer Samuel Starling thought from a distance that they wore camouflage, had reached a split-rail fence overgrown with brush partway up the east slope of the knob. With his regiments suffering additional casualties from Federal fire with each passing minute, Maney gave the order to charge.

Battle of Perryville: Death in the Kentucky Hills

Class Dismissed!

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Palmetto Ranch

Your history lessons continue…..

What significance does this place hole in history?

(Pause here….and give those who need it time to use the Google machine)

In case you did not use Google then let me help….this was the very last land battle of the American Civil on this day in 1865.

By May 11, 1865, nearly everyone in the United States and in the moribund Confederacy considered the Civil War over. Both of the South’s principal armies had capitulated. Lieutenant General Richard Taylor had surrendered most of the remaining Confederate forces east of the Mississippi. President Jefferson Davis had just been captured, and his cabinet had scattered to escape Yankee vengeance. Even the elusive Confederate guerrilla William Quantrill had been fatally wounded. The martyred president, Abraham Lincoln, had been buried a week before, and Federal troops had begun their long occupation of Dixie. Arrangements were underway for a grand review — a victory parade — in Washington, and the War Department was preparing to muster out most of the huge Union Army. Peace had come at last.

As usual, things were different in Texas. Hostile forces still faced each other at the southernmost tip of the state, where the Rio Grande spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. On Brazos Santiago Island lay nearly 2,000 Union troops, including the 62nd and 87th U.S. Colored Infantry, the 34th Indiana and a few dozen loyal Texans who had volunteered for cavalry service but remained dismounted. Across the bay and several miles inland, fragmented battalions of Confederate cavalry guarded the Mexican border, beyond which French imperial forces and native Juaristas vied for control of the northern province.

Battle of Palmetto Ranch: American Civil War’s Final Battle

Now you know…..

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Who Was Newt Knight?

A True hero of the War Between the States.

Most of my regulars know that I live in the Deep South….Mississippi to be exact…..when I was in school I had to study the history of the state and not until later in life did I realize that we were not taught the whole history only a manicured version….

One situation that did not make my Mississippi History book in 1963 was the The Free and Independent Republic of West Florida…..I wrote about this here on IST….https://lobotero.com/2012/09/22/the-republic-of-west-florida/

Newton Knight was a Mississippian who was pro-North……(a Yankee lover)……

Ever hear the name Newton Knight, or the First Alabama Calvary? Not likely. The capitalist media, books, movies & TV, has always promoted stories of “former Confederate soldiers” who loyally served the Confederacy, just loved Gen. Robert E. Lee, had no issue with slavery, and so on. But there is another story, a hidden history, of poor white opposition to the Confederacy and to slavery.

Newton Knight was a poor white farmer who led a guerrilla band of “deserters” who fought the Confederacy tooth and nail. The First Alabama Calvary were anti-slavery pro-Union cavalry, mostly white but also Black, about 2,000 in total, who fought the Confederacy and eventually were escorts for Gen. Sherman during his historic march thru Georgia in 1864. But hardly anyone has heard of them.

Newton Knight – abolitionist guerilla leader in Mississippi A hidden history of the anti-slavery struggle

The movie “Free State of Jones” was about the exploits of Newton Knight…..the movie gave a basic look at the man although there were many incidents that were not accurate but made for some good Hollywood license.

Learn about the true man….this site gives you what Hollywood portrayed and what was real…..https://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/free-state-of-jones/

I love history and Mississippi has had some great history as well as some really tragic history….Mississippi has now embraced this hero of the American Civil War….and is finally being given his due…..

“We Stood firm to the union when secession Swept as an avalanche over the state. For this cause alone we have been treated as savages instead of freeman by the rebel authorities.”

Newton Knight, Petition to Governor William Sharkey, July 15, 1865

http://mshistorynow.mdah.state.ms.us/articles/309/newton-knight-and-the-legend-of-the-free-state-of-jones

This is great story that everyone should know before they talk bad about Mississippi….for not all Mississippians were not supporters of the Confederate cause.

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That Confederate Narrative

Let’s take some time out of all the doom and gloom around the Covid-19 crisis and do some history……

I grew up in the South and I had heard the narrative around the American Civil War…..most of the well worn narratives are myths that have been told to justify one thing or the other….slavery.

Myths like the war was not about slavery…..

Myth #1

The Civil War had nothing to do with slavery

Many Americans grow up learning that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery. Let us begin with the simple truth: Slavery had everything to do with the Civil War. Don’t take my word for it, take theirs. As the vice president of the Confederacy, Alexander Hamilton Stephens famously told a crowd in Savannah in March 1861, Confederates rejected Thomas Jefferson’s declaration that “All men are created equal” and the founder’s belief that slavery “was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically.” Instead, Stephens told the crowd slavery was a good thing, that “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.” While uncomfortable to read now, in 1861 this was widely understood to be the cause of the war by anyone paying attention.

Mississippi’s secession declaration began its list of “the prominent reasons which have induced our course” with the statement, “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery.”

https://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/charleston/debunking-some-of-the-myths-surrounding-the-confederate-narrative/

There are those that continue to spread lies…..

It always amazed me that Southerns could not move past the fact that they got their asses handed to them by the North….and in the same breath are proud of the loss.

For those that want to know about the myths that were false……let’s call them lies shall we?

The most widespread myth is also the most basic. Across America, 60 percent to 75 percent of high-school history teachers believe and teach that the South seceded for state’s rights, said Jim Loewen, author of “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong” (Touchstone, 1996) and co-editor of “The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The ‘Great Truth’ about the ‘Lost Cause'” (University Press of Mississippi, 2010).

“It’s complete B.S.,” Loewen told LiveScience. “And by B.S., I mean ‘bad scholarship.'”

https://www.livescience.com/13673-civil-war-anniversary-myths.html

Class Dismissed!

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“lego ergo scribo”

Death Of MLK, Jr

An important day in American history was basically ignored.  I realize that history is the furthest thing from most people’s minds…..but some of it is just too important….

The virus is sucking all the knowledge out of the days…yesterday we overlooked an important day….a day we should never forget…..the assassination of MLK. Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968, an event that sent shock waves reverberating around the world. A Baptist minister and founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), King had led the civil rights movement since the mid-1950s, using a combination of impassioned speeches and nonviolent protests to fight segregation and achieve significant civil rights advances for African Americans. His assassination led to an outpouring of anger among black Americans, as well as a period of national mourning that helped speed the way for an equal housing bill that would be the last significant legislative achievement of the civil rights era.

https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/martin-luther-king-jr-assassination

Further Reading:

https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/assassination-martin-luther-king-jr

This day should never be pushed aside…no matter the crisis….MLK’s memory is too important to the nation to be marginalized for any reason.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Pony Express

Yesterday, 03Apr, a day that should be remembered was overlooked in all the chaos and confusion around Covid-19….I am here to help solve that problem.

160 years ago a new mode of mail delivery began….it was the Pony Express…..a unique way of sending a letter West…..

Pony Express summary: Three men in the mid-1800s had an idea to open up a mail delivery system that reached from the Midwest all the way to California. The lack of speedy communication between the mid-west and the west was accentuated by the looming threat of a civil war. Russell, Waddell and Majors designed a system that spanned a number of over one hundred stations, each approximately two hundred forty miles long, across the country.

The Pony Express employed about eighty deliverymen and had around four hundred to five hundred horses to carry these riders from one post to the next. Monthly pay for these riders was fifty dollars, which were good wages at the time. Although this method of carrying mail was dangerous and difficult, all save one delivery made it to their destination.

This new way of mail delivery carried mail between Missouri and California in the span between ten and thirteen days, an astonishing speed for the time. Nineteen months after launching the Pony Express, it was replaced by the Pacific Telegraph line. The Pony Express was no longer needed. While it existed, the Pony Express provided a needed service but it was never quite the financial success it was hoped to be. The founders of the Pony Express line found that they were bankrupt.

Even though the Pony Express Company was no longer operating, its logo lived on when Wells Fargo purchased it and used it from 1866 until 1890 in their freight and stagecoach company.

Pony Express

There are a few things about the Pony Express that most Americans do not know….like there was a weight limit for riders……

https://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-pony-express

As unique as the Pony Express seemed to be it was not the first to employ the use of riders to deliver the mail…….that privilege belong to the Persians in 500 BCE……..

In Ancient Persia, during the period of 550 BC to 521 BC, a true postal system was developed in Assyria. It is disputed whether it was Cyrus the Great or his successor Darius I, who was responsible. The postal system of Persia was operated by a series of stations. Each man would ride to the next station, where a fresh horse was waiting. When he reached the end of his shift, a fresh man would also be waiting, keeping the mail moving constantly towards its destination.

Early History of Postal Systems

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Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”