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NFT: Battle of Gettysburg: what happens if South wins?

SFGFNCGiantsFan : 1/10/2018 9:35 am
I've been dealing with a nasty cold since Sunday & haven't been able to sleep much so I've become somewhat of an insomniac these last couple of days. Anyways, this morning I put in 'Gettysburg', the '93 film starring Martin Sheen, Jeff Daniels, Tim Berenger, Richard Jordan, & many more. I've seen the movie a million times & 'The Killer Angels', the book that the movie is based on, is one of my favorites.

I've often wondered what would have happened if the Confederates had won this battle. The British were about to recognize them, which would have been a much needed boost, and Confederate VP Stephens was enroute to begin peace negotiations. If the South wins Gettysburg, does Northern morale dissipate? Does Lee continue onto DC? Personally, I think the North's strengths-man power, technology, etc.-would have been decisive in the end, but who knows?

I know there are a lot of BBI history geeks here so I'm curious to hear your opinions.
Who knows ...  
Beer Man : 1/10/2018 9:37 am : link
But I'm certain that you would still be dealing with this nasty cold.
If the South had won the battle decisively...  
BamaBlue : 1/10/2018 9:47 am : link
it would have only served to prolong the war. It would not have changed the outcome, merely pushed the final surrender into 1866 or l867. The South did not have the ability to logistically support or sustain operations in the North. The best thing they could have ever hoped for was a stalemate... something like the situation in Korea. No unconditional surrender, just a tense co-existence.

BTW... if you're interested in a very good historical fiction book about Gettysburg, I recommend "Killer Angels." It has been required leadership reading for Army Officers for a few decades...
This is most likely..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 1/10/2018 9:48 am : link
correct:

Quote:
If the South had won the battle decisively...
BamaBlue : 9:47 am : link : reply
it would have only served to prolong the war. It would not have changed the outcome, merely pushed the final surrender into 1866 or l867. The South did not have the ability to logistically support or sustain operations in the North. The best thing they could have ever hoped for was a stalemate... something like the situation in Korea. No unconditional surrender, just a tense co-existence.

BTW... if you're interested in a very good historical fiction book about Gettysburg, I recommend "Killer Angels." It has been required leadership reading for Army Officers for a few decades...


Along with the recommendation for Killer Angels.
What do you mean IF we won?  
GiantFilthy : 1/10/2018 9:49 am : link
I'm about to rise.
Do we..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 1/10/2018 9:51 am : link
need to torch Atlanta again?

Will put the Braves out of their misery!!
Ya never know  
lugnut : 1/10/2018 9:55 am : link
Would a big Southern victory 2+ years into the war have inflamed anti-war sentiment in the North (i.e., more draft riots), would the prolonged war have given Booth (or another assassin) time to get to Lincoln, and would a more amenable successor have negotiated a peace that included a new Southern nation? end
It would have prolonged  
joeinpa : 1/10/2018 9:55 am : link
The war. But the South didn't have the resources to defeat the Union
The wildcard in that scenario is the British support for the south  
Gross Blau Oberst : 1/10/2018 9:57 am : link
If Lee wins at Gettysburg, does the British support for the CSA increase to a point where it can sustain the CSA forces for a prolonged campaign and war?

If the South has the ability to sustain a prolonged fight, along with British naval support to prevent a USA blockade, then the outcome may have been different.

Most likely the North would have fired its senior leadership (again) and Lincoln would have come under intense political backlash for being in an - at the time - unpopular war that just experienced a very costly battle.

With a Gettysburg loss, and increased British support to the CSA, the northern population could demand an end of hostilities leading to a negotiated peace. Reunification of the south and the north could have been delayed by decades.

Maybe this question should be asked to Harry Turtledove who specializes in fictional historical outcomes.
extends the war enough  
Rocky369 : 1/10/2018 10:00 am : link
to allow Dr. Loveless to complete construction of the giant spider tank.
I think that through a variety of hypotheticals  
fbdad : 1/10/2018 10:11 am : link
based on other hypothetical and realities that didn't occur, if the South had one at Gettysburg, the Giants would have gone 12-4 and been in the playoffs this year.
RE: What do you mean IF we won?  
Section331 : 1/10/2018 10:21 am : link
In comment 13781214 GiantFilthy said:
Quote:
I'm about to rise.


9:49AM is too early, sleep in a little longer.
The south lacked the men and resources  
Jim in Fairfax : 1/10/2018 10:24 am : link
necessary to defeat the North. However, it's possible that it would have led to their independence via politics. It's impossible to say definitively how the war progresses from there. But unless the North was able to reverse their fortunes significantly, there's a good checkable McLellan defeats Lincoln for President in 1864
Checkable = Chance  
Jim in Fairfax : 1/10/2018 10:26 am : link
.
RE: The south lacked the men and resources  
Section331 : 1/10/2018 10:32 am : link
In comment 13781310 Jim in Fairfax said:
Quote:
necessary to defeat the North. However, it's possible that it would have led to their independence via politics. It's impossible to say definitively how the war progresses from there. But unless the North was able to reverse their fortunes significantly, there's a good chance McLellan defeats Lincoln for President in 1864


Which is why Grant was willing to cut off his army from its supply lines at Vicksburg, he understood the political need for a win. It ended up being a brilliant move, basically invented mobile warfare, but even Sherman questioned it at the time.

After Vicksburg, which gave the Union control of the Mississippi, it was only a matter of time until the North won (although not necessarily pertinent to Gettysburg, as Gettysburg was fought during the conclusion of Vicksburg).
No one  
Joey in VA : 1/10/2018 10:35 am : link
Mentions the battle of Schrutte Farms??? Shameful
a more probable what if  
I Love Clams Casino : 1/10/2018 10:48 am : link
is, "What if, Washington doesn't devise a plan to surprise the British in Trenton and cross the Delaware?"

The Americans were hanging by a thread at that point.
RE: The south lacked the men and resources  
Reb8thVA : 1/10/2018 10:55 am : link
In comment 13781310 Jim in Fairfax said:
Quote:
necessary to defeat the North. However, it's possible that it would have led to their independence via politics. It's impossible to say definitively how the war progresses from there. But unless the North was able to reverse their fortunes significantly, there's a good checkable McLellan defeats Lincoln for President in 1864


People forget that Grant captured Vicksburg in the West, the day after Lee is defeated at Gettysburg that may have blunted any negative news had the South prevailed at Gettysburg. However, Jim raises what I think is the most salient point. Would Lincoln have been able to win reelection in 1864? Europe may have recognized the independence of the Confederacy creating added pressure for a negotiated end to the War in northern circles. Sherman's March through Georgia, which helps ensure Lincoln's reelection may never have happened.

To me this is more a political question than a military one. A southern victory at Gettysburg would have done nothing to change the correlation of forces in favor of the North. However, the Confederacy was an insurgency and all insurgencies need to do to win is break the will of the enemy to continues to fight and a defeat at Gettysburg may have done that.
RE: a more probable what if  
Joey in VA : 1/10/2018 11:00 am : link
In comment 13781365 I Love Clams Casino said:
Quote:
is, "What if, Washington doesn't devise a plan to surprise the British in Trenton and cross the Delaware?"

The Americans were hanging by a thread at that point.
Um wrong war
Don’t think it would have changed anything  
HomerJones45 : 1/10/2018 11:09 am : link
England had no ability to break the blockade since it had no ironclad no oven going ironclads to compete with the Union warships and would have had domestic political issues using its military to back slavery. Recognition was a Southern dream. As Britt pointed out, the Confederates were getting beat in the West with the Union in control of the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri rivers. Lee’s supply lines were vulnerable and his army beat enough, that he would not have been in a position to hang around even if he had won. The election was 18 months away. Lincoln was safe.

It would have been a lost battle but by no means crippling to the Union.
I'm surprised nobody  
Walt in MD : 1/10/2018 11:13 am : link
had mentioned the book Killer Angels. It's a good read.
Don't Forget  
Arkbach : 1/10/2018 11:15 am : link
that at the same time as Gettysburg the south was getting clobbered in the west. If a stalemate did result, my guess is England would recognize the south and the result would be two countries. Funny how we're moving towards this now anyway.
RE: If the South had won the battle decisively...  
Gatorade Dunk : 1/10/2018 11:15 am : link
In comment 13781210 BamaBlue said:
Quote:
it would have only served to prolong the war. It would not have changed the outcome, merely pushed the final surrender into 1866 or l867. The South did not have the ability to logistically support or sustain operations in the North. The best thing they could have ever hoped for was a stalemate... something like the situation in Korea. No unconditional surrender, just a tense co-existence.

BTW... if you're interested in a very good historical fiction book about Gettysburg, I recommend "Killer Angels." It has been required leadership reading for Army Officers for a few decades...

Good thing the OP didn't mention that Killer Angels was one of his favorite books.
If anyone is looking for a good book on the topic  
pjcas18 : 1/10/2018 11:15 am : link
Killer Angels is highly recommended.

I'm surprised no one on this thread suggested it.
Biggest question  
Jim in Fairfax : 1/10/2018 11:16 am : link
Is what would the condition of the Army of the Potomac be after the battle? It's unlikely Lee could have destroyed it on the battlefield given his resources. But following on the heels of Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg, it could have crushed the morale of the AOTP resulting in it dissolving. That might have forced the transfer of Grants army east.
Homer - I disagree........  
Gross Blau Oberst : 1/10/2018 11:17 am : link
Quote:
Don’t think it would have changed anything
HomerJones45 : 11:09 am : link : reply
England had no ability to break the blockade since it had no ironclad no oven going ironclads to compete with the Union warships and would have had domestic political issues using its military to back slavery. Recognition was a Southern dream. As Britt pointed out, the Confederates were getting beat in the West with the Union in control of the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri rivers. Lee’s supply lines were vulnerable and his army beat enough, that he would not have been in a position to hang around even if he had won. The election was 18 months away. Lincoln was safe.

It would have been a lost battle but by no means crippling to the Union.



The U.S. and Foreign Navies in 1860

From
"Mr Lincoln's Navy" by Donald L. Caney
Reprinted with permission from the U.S. Naval Institute Press

Though no foreign, (i.e., European) adversary arose during the Civil War years, there was, at least up until late 1862, a distinct possibility that either Britain or France might ally themselves with the Confederacy, in part due to the much ballyhooed 'cotton diplomacy', as well as British and French complicity in fitting out raiders such as Alabama. Fortunately, this did not materialize.

However, as late as 1864, Secretary of the Navy Welles still felt it necessary to begin a program for a significant number of fast steam sloops designed specifically as commerce raiders. As the Confederacy had no commerce to speak of, these ships were obviously intended for a foreign conflict. When Emperor Maximilian appeared in Mexico, the bete noir of European interference in the hemisphere seemed to be at the doorstep.

With these factors in view, it might be well to present a short description of a selected group of foreign navies, as they were in 1860.

Great Britain in 1860 was not yet the ally she would become in the twentieth century. She was nor, on the other hand, the ogre of the era of George III. Between these two extremes there was a certain affinity, yet not complete trust.

Merely a name list of the British navy's vessels in 1860 would be sufficient to make the point that their fleet was an overwhelming force. In specifics, the inventory included fifty-three steam ships of the line (60 to 131 guns and 2400 to 4200 tons), plus twenty-one on the ineffective list. (The United States had no steam liners.) There were 128 steam cruising vessels -- corvettes, sloops and frigates -- plus ten sailing ships of the line and an equal number of sailing frigates and sloops. Screw and paddle-wheel gunboats of 2 to 6 guns numbered 197.

During the years of the Civil War, twelve new ironclads were commissioned, totaling approximately 212 guns. These were oceangoing ships with broadside batteries. As will be seen, the American ironclads were almost exclusively coastal or river vessels.
The U.S. and Foreign Navies in 1860 - ( New Window )
Couple points -  
section125 : 1/10/2018 11:18 am : link
1.) Vicksburg surrendered July 4th, virtually the same time Lee was retreating toward Richmond. This was the end of the the Confederacy in the West. It freed a large part of Grant's Army to come East. It was soon after Lincoln promoted Grant to Lt General, effectively making Grant head of the Union Army as he was the only Lt General in the Army. Major General Halleck, Chief of Staff of the Union Army, was not liked by Lincoln at all, and promoting Grant to Lt General meant that Grant could do as he pleased with the Union Army as long as Lincoln approved.

2.) The Union Navy still blockaded all the Southern Ports, so resupply by England would have been challenged. Grant knew how the coordinate Army and Naval attacks.

Lee could not hold Gettysburg and would have had to retreat anyway as he could not sustain his Army in the North. Meade still had the bigger army and probably would have held Lee from taking Washington until Grant arrived or at least made changes to how the war would be fought. Grant knew how to take advantage of the size and might of the industrial North.

Of course all bets were off if Lincoln lost the election in 1864. However, I think Grant would have turned the Union Army around and would have started winning before then.

You could argue that the North would have lost recruiting options with a loss at Gettysburg.

BTW, read Grant's Memoirs (1700 pages). Great account of his battles through the war. YOu get a whole different perspective of Grant and his abilities after reading it.
Worst case scenario would be a political truce  
WideRight : 1/10/2018 11:21 am : link
Leading to indepedence. With states opting for slavery joining the south, others joining the north....

I think of this fairly often as a hypothetical excercise in unintended consequences. The south would have destroyed generations of African American lives to sustain an inferior economic model. It would ultimately fail, so I'm pretty sure the south is much better off for having lost, in spite of what they thought then or some may think now...
One line from Longstreet in the movie worth considering  
mfsd : 1/10/2018 11:35 am : link
paraphrasing...the British would never join sides with the Confederacy as long as they maintained the institution of slavery.

More to the equation than just that, of course, but it’s probably no stretch to say recognition/support from the British or any other nation was doubtful as long as slavery continued...which made long term existence/sustainability/viability of the South as it existed a doubtful proposition, regardless of who won at Gettysburg. Beyond a military victory, the South needed countries to trade with them to survive, and the world was changing both against slavery and to allow faster transport of goods around the world, meaning more countries could look elsewhere for their cotton and tobacco.

I’m not as well read as some of you on the history and the period, but I’d did read Killer Angels. Great book, highly recommend.
good discussion  
Gross Blau Oberst : 1/10/2018 11:46 am : link
Quote:
Couple points -
section125 : 11:18 am : link : reply

[quote]2.) The Union Navy still blockaded all the Southern Ports, so resupply by England would have been challenged. Grant knew how the coordinate Army and Naval attacks.


The British had not decisively weighed into the American Civil War yet, and was providing limited support. the British were hedging their commitment on the success of failures of the CSA forces before deciding to commit decisively in support of the CSA. The outcome of the Gettysburg battle pretty much doomed decisive British support to the CSA.

Agreed that even if the British navy was decisively committed to support the CSA, the blockade of southern ports would have been contested. In a prolonged blockade fight, the American naval forces would have been under a British naval siege and would/could have been starved out - forcing a US Naval decision to escape or surrender. They would have been trapped between the British Naval forces at sea and the CSA forces ashore.

Quote:
Lee could not hold Gettysburg and would have had to retreat anyway as he could not sustain his Army in the North. Meade still had the bigger army and probably would have held Lee from taking Washington until Grant arrived or at least made changes to how the war would be fought. Grant knew how to take advantage of the size and might of the industrial North.


Lee never intended to hold ground in the north. Lee's intent was to threaten Washington D.C. and cause the union army to divert focus west, and alleviate Northern pressure in VA. Lee always intended to redeploy his forces south into VA. Lee was fighting a quantitatively superior force. His strategy was to inflict losses (military and then politically) while retaining his ability to fight again another day at another place. Lee did not want a decisive fight at Gettysburg. Was not part of his strategy nor was the Northern Army of VA able to have such a battle.
about to read Grant biography  
giantfan2000 : 1/10/2018 11:48 am : link
I am about to start Grant biography by Ron Chernow
the same guy that did Hamilton biography that musical was based on.

and also I have heard Grant's autobiography is one of the best presidential memoirs ever written.
Grant – by Ron Chernow - ( New Window )
RE: about to read Grant biography  
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 1/10/2018 11:52 am : link
In comment 13781453 giantfan2000 said:
Quote:
I am about to start Grant biography by Ron Chernow
the same guy that did Hamilton biography that musical was based on.

and also I have heard Grant's autobiography is one of the best presidential memoirs ever written. Grant – by Ron Chernow - ( New Window )


I want to read that biography too. I heard it's pretty good.
RE: about to read Grant biography  
Simms11 : 1/10/2018 11:58 am : link
In comment 13781453 giantfan2000 said:
Quote:
I am about to start Grant biography by Ron Chernow
the same guy that did Hamilton biography that musical was based on.

and also I have heard Grant's autobiography is one of the best presidential memoirs ever written. Grant – by Ron Chernow - ( New Window )


Interesting point was that Grant was destitute when he wrote his autobiography. He had to make money somehow and needed to provide for his family and so he had to write it. Non-the-less, it is a very good read too.
Also I would recommend any book written by Michael Shaara's  
Simms11 : 1/10/2018 12:01 pm : link
son Jeff, as well. They're all well researched and written. Jeff wrote the follow on novels to "The Killer Angels" as his father passed away.
A battlefield win for the South  
Bill2 : 1/10/2018 12:07 pm : link
Would have been a disasterous retreat.

The North did not pursue and the deployment at the end allowed an organized yet vulnerable retreat by the inferior forces in unsafe territory

All the what ifs that hypothesize a southern "victory" should instead be talking about a "draw"

They did not have the forces to breakthrough and hold. They were deployed wide and thin. It was a very bad job to even chose to fight by Lee.

They did not have the food to hold another day. They could never have enough troops to follow a breakthrough in any one place.

Someplace between a noble defeat and a draw was the best they could have done. All the "so close" here and there were not wins for a reason.

Please name a defensive loss any battle any where in the world fighting with the same weapons and anything less than a 3 to 1 manpower advantage for the offense???
Lee's army  
buddyryansux10 : 1/10/2018 12:12 pm : link
Wasn't part of the reason why Lee was in the North was to take/attack Washington D.C.? So wonder if Gettysburg was lost, most likely that would that have lead to the invasion of Washington, and from there... ? I'm very far from expert, but Civil War ( especially Gettysburg ) always interested me.
RE: RE: a more probable what if  
I Love Clams Casino : 1/10/2018 12:18 pm : link
In comment 13781379 Joey in VA said:
Quote:
In comment 13781365 I Love Clams Casino said:


Quote:


is, "What if, Washington doesn't devise a plan to surprise the British in Trenton and cross the Delaware?"

The Americans were hanging by a thread at that point.

Um wrong war


Um, Yah, I know ya bastid...
So if I want to watch  
RinR : 1/10/2018 12:20 pm : link
a documentary on the Civil War is Ken Burns' the way to go? Any others worth watching?
RE: RE: about to read Grant biography  
RobCarpenter : 1/10/2018 1:16 pm : link
In comment 13781478 Simms11 said:
Quote:
In comment 13781453 giantfan2000 said:


Quote:


I am about to start Grant biography by Ron Chernow
the same guy that did Hamilton biography that musical was based on.

and also I have heard Grant's autobiography is one of the best presidential memoirs ever written. Grant – by Ron Chernow - ( New Window )

Interesting point was that Grant was destitute when he wrote his autobiography. He had to make money somehow and needed to provide for his family and so he had to write it. Non-the-less, it is a very good read too.


I've been making my way through the Grant biography by Chernow, it's excellent, I'd highly recommend it.

As to the OP, even if the South won at Gettysburg -- which I really take to mean if they had been successful on the second day, because that was really the pivotal day in the battle -- Grant was scoring victories in the West and the eventual outcome would have likely been the same, with Grant taking over control of the Union armed forces and coordinating activities by Sherman and Sheridan. Maybe a defeat at Gettysburg would have moved up the date in which Grant was put in control of the Union armed forces.

On the question of the 1864 election - and this fact is discussed in the book -- things looked shaky in the summer of 1864 for Lincoln until Sherman took Atlanta on September 2.
RE: Homer - I disagree........  
HomerJones45 : 1/10/2018 1:23 pm : link
In comment 13781411 Gross Blau Oberst said:
Quote:


Quote:


Don’t think it would have changed anything
HomerJones45 : 11:09 am : link : reply
England had no ability to break the blockade since it had no ironclad no oven going ironclads to compete with the Union warships and would have had domestic political issues using its military to back slavery. Recognition was a Southern dream. As Britt pointed out, the Confederates were getting beat in the West with the Union in control of the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri rivers. Lee’s supply lines were vulnerable and his army beat enough, that he would not have been in a position to hang around even if he had won. The election was 18 months away. Lincoln was safe.

It would have been a lost battle but by no means crippling to the Union.




The U.S. and Foreign Navies in 1860

From
"Mr Lincoln's Navy" by Donald L. Caney
Reprinted with permission from the U.S. Naval Institute Press

Though no foreign, (i.e., European) adversary arose during the Civil War years, there was, at least up until late 1862, a distinct possibility that either Britain or France might ally themselves with the Confederacy, in part due to the much ballyhooed 'cotton diplomacy', as well as British and French complicity in fitting out raiders such as Alabama. Fortunately, this did not materialize.

However, as late as 1864, Secretary of the Navy Welles still felt it necessary to begin a program for a significant number of fast steam sloops designed specifically as commerce raiders. As the Confederacy had no commerce to speak of, these ships were obviously intended for a foreign conflict. When Emperor Maximilian appeared in Mexico, the bete noir of European interference in the hemisphere seemed to be at the doorstep.

With these factors in view, it might be well to present a short description of a selected group of foreign navies, as they were in 1860.

Great Britain in 1860 was not yet the ally she would become in the twentieth century. She was nor, on the other hand, the ogre of the era of George III. Between these two extremes there was a certain affinity, yet not complete trust.

Merely a name list of the British navy's vessels in 1860 would be sufficient to make the point that their fleet was an overwhelming force. In specifics, the inventory included fifty-three steam ships of the line (60 to 131 guns and 2400 to 4200 tons), plus twenty-one on the ineffective list. (The United States had no steam liners.) There were 128 steam cruising vessels -- corvettes, sloops and frigates -- plus ten sailing ships of the line and an equal number of sailing frigates and sloops. Screw and paddle-wheel gunboats of 2 to 6 guns numbered 197.

During the years of the Civil War, twelve new ironclads were commissioned, totaling approximately 212 guns. These were oceangoing ships with broadside batteries. As will be seen, the American ironclads were almost exclusively coastal or river vessels. The U.S. and Foreign Navies in 1860 - ( New Window )
As proven in Hampton Roads two years before Gettysburg, wooden steam warships were no match for even a jury-rigged ironclad like the Merrimack/Virginia. Monitor alone would have destroyed steam ship of the line after steam ship of the line until it ran out of ammo- and the Union had more than one Monitor-type ship. The British had two or three ironclad warships but they were having trouble with the guns and anyway, two or three would not have been of much help. Sending a fleet of wooden warships, steam powered or not, against the monitors would have been suicidal.

By 1863, the most powerful Navy in the world, at least in its home waters, was the US Navy.
Ya gotta remember...  
M.S. : 1/10/2018 1:32 pm : link
...that the more strategic Battle of Vicksburg was being waged at the exact same time as Gettysburg, and Vicksburg fell to the North, thus geo-splitting the Confederacy. It was the fulfillment of Scott's Anaconda Plan.

That aside, no way the South wins the war with a victory at Gettysburg. The South was mangled and -- win or lose -- Lee would have had to withdraw his troops back South for R&R and replenishment.
They would have marched on Charlottesville  
gmenatlarge : 1/10/2018 1:50 pm : link
with torches and guns...Oh, wait!
My guess neither side initially expected it to ba as bad  
idiotsavant : 1/10/2018 2:17 pm : link
(The War) and as long as it was.

So. Whereas Lee probably should have ran initially and tried to hide and drag it out longer from a rational point of view, not gone north...both sides probably wanted to force the issue one way or the other, decisively, and end it.

Which decisive victory wasn't in the cards for the south. Probably there were those on that side who simply didn't want to drag it out short of full victory, such ad via insurgency, didn't want to do that thing too long. They probably wanted to get back to living one way or the other.

So...
homer, while your pride in the US Navy is admirable......  
Gross Blau Oberst : 1/10/2018 2:25 pm : link
Quote:
By 1863, the most powerful Navy in the world, at least in its home waters, was the US Navy.


Where is the assertion backup by fact?

The British Navy had 12 ocean going ironclads available for employment. The US had far fewer.

In a British naval siege of the US naval vessels attempting to blockade the southern ports, the US forces would have run out of food, ammunition and means and will to sustain the blockade. The US naval forces would have been pinned between the British naval siege force and the CSA forces ashore opposing the blockade.

If the siege occurred, in a matter of weeks, the US would have been forced to either:

1. Disengage from their blockade
2. Attack landward (doubtful due to few marines aboard and lack of infantry)
3. Attack seaward to confront the British siege forces.
4. Surrender.

None of these options are favorable to the US naval forces.
I recommend the movie "Gettyburg"  
Post Time : 1/10/2018 2:33 pm : link
It's based on an excellent book called "Killer Angels".
RE: I think that through a variety of hypotheticals  
Jay on the Island : 1/10/2018 2:46 pm : link
In comment 13781273 fbdad said:
Quote:
based on other hypothetical and realities that didn't occur, if the South had one at Gettysburg, the Giants would have gone 12-4 and been in the playoffs this year.

Fucking butterfly effect.
Ah  
Bill2 : 1/10/2018 3:34 pm : link
How many places in the world did the British Navy need to be from 1860 to 1865?

Those ironclads were commissioned in 1861 to offset rapid French naval growth and an aggressive colonial expansion interest under Napoleon III.


Shortly before, during and after the Civil War England fought the Second Opium War against China, Fought against Japan, Russia in the Crimea, Blockaded the Danes in the North Sea, monitored Germany, blockaded Italy, Cleaned up the Seas around India and Hong Kong, tried to dominate the Straights of Malacca, Gibraltar, and the Suez. During that time the British Navy's goals included the drive to the Straits Settlement of 1867, support for the Brits in China leading to the Taipeng Rebellion, continued expansion of the Crown Rule of India established at the end of 1857 and on and on. Indonesia, Borneo, Australia...that's where the British Navy was. All over the world

Our American centric view of the world continues to over estimate our importance.

In truth, the South was in a bind because New England took over the rent extraction added to raw cotton by dominating textiles at exactly the same time England went to India and Egypt for their raw cotton. Cotton depletes the soil so in Southern America yields were down exactly as England and Europe went cheaper via their own colonies. The financing of the transport was int eh hands of NY banks and the real money was in the Industrial Revolution Textile manufacturing of the Massachusets and Rhode Island mill river basins.

We do this to ourselves all the time. We for example, think we fought the Brits to a draw in 1812. Ah, no, they were in the Napoleanic Wars all over Europe and the Mediterraean at the time. They sent a small force of lesser troops and went straight to our capital and burned it...in response to our aggression vis a vis Canada while they were fighting Napoleon. The War of 1812 had total American, Brit, French, Canadian and Indian losses of 20,000. The Napoleonic Wars took 3.5 million Europeans.

Britan taking on the Confederate burden and another front in another part of the world was a strawman flirtation never seriously taken as a serious part of British Global Strategy 1860 to 1865.

at least not as they tell it and at least not as i read all sides of the story
RE: about to read Grant biography  
HomerJones45 : 1/10/2018 3:41 pm : link
In comment 13781453 giantfan2000 said:
Quote:
I am about to start Grant biography by Ron Chernow
the same guy that did Hamilton biography that musical was based on.

and also I have heard Grant's autobiography is one of the best presidential memoirs ever written. Grant – by Ron Chernow - ( New Window )
Grant's Memoirs are very good. What is striking is that one of his principal worries during the Civil War - horse fodder.

Sherman's Memoirs are very good also.
RE: Couple points -  
Section331 : 1/10/2018 3:42 pm : link
In comment 13781412 section125 said:
Quote:

BTW, read Grant's Memoirs (1700 pages). Great account of his battles through the war. YOu get a whole different perspective of Grant and his abilities after reading it.


Great rec. A tremendous read, Grant was a far better writer than I thought. I think he gets a short shrift on many sides. He was a far better general than many give him credit for, and was a far better politician as well. Not saying his presidency didn't have its issues, but I think his record is better than many (certainly better than I) thought.
RE: homer, while your pride in the US Navy is admirable......  
HomerJones45 : 1/10/2018 4:09 pm : link
In comment 13781746 Gross Blau Oberst said:
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By 1863, the most powerful Navy in the world, at least in its home waters, was the US Navy.



Where is the assertion backup by fact?

The British Navy had 12 ocean going ironclads available for employment. The US had far fewer.

In a British naval siege of the US naval vessels attempting to blockade the southern ports, the US forces would have run out of food, ammunition and means and will to sustain the blockade. The US naval forces would have been pinned between the British naval siege force and the CSA forces ashore opposing the blockade.

If the siege occurred, in a matter of weeks, the US would have been forced to either:

1. Disengage from their blockade
2. Attack landward (doubtful due to few marines aboard and lack of infantry)
3. Attack seaward to confront the British siege forces.
4. Surrender.

None of these options are favorable to the US naval forces.
The US Navy had nearly 50 monitor-type ships including double turret monitors which, unlike GBR ironclads did not require sails to move at anything more than a crawl. It also had New Ironsides-types. This does not count the ironclad City-class gunboats of which there were around a dozen. Even assuming GBR mustered its entire ironclad fleet (which they couldn't), and that fleet had guns that wouldn't blow themselves up (they didn't), they sure as hell couldn't blockade the Union and other than temporarily piercing the blockade here or there, could not have broken it before being overwhelmed or requiring repair and having to leave.

And remember, we are only talking about a few ports: Mobile, New Orleans, Savannah, Charleston, Norfolk, Wilmington that had any viable connection to a rail network. It does no good to land goods in Florida where there was no way to distribute them to the interior or Texas where there was no way to get goods over the union-controlled Mississippi. By the following year, the Union held most of the rail networks: Scott's Anaconda was almost superfluous at that point.

This is all fun speculation, but this business about "we were so close to recognition" is another of these Lost Cause fables.
My 8th grade histoty teacher says,  
Pete in MD : 1/10/2018 4:56 pm : link
"Every time a bell rings, 'Killer Angels' gets recommended to somebody."
You're all forgetting the Russians!  
JohnF : 1/10/2018 6:40 pm : link
How The Russian Navy Saved The Union In The Civil War

As Bill2 said, the British were spread out defending their empire, with a lot of envious eyes from Prussia, Italy, Austria Hungary and Russia. We obsess over what happened here, but there was a lot of things going on elsewhere.

Here's a quote from the article linked above:

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Union morale was therefore at its lowest ebb in 1863, despite the victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg. In the midst of the Laird rams crisis, rescue came from an unlikely source—Tsarist Russia.

At this time, Russia was also facing its own insurrection from her subject Poles, who were supported by Britain and France. Facing the same hostile coalition brought the governments of Lincoln and Tsar Alexander II together. Alexander had also freed the Russian serfs and thus sympathized with the Union cause. On September 1863, the Russian Baltic Fleet arrived in New York and the Far East Fleet in San Francisco.

The real reason Russia sent her fleet to the US might be self-serving: She didn’t want it bottled up in case the threatened war with Britain over Poland erupted. But its presence was nonetheless salvation for the Union in its hour of desperation. “God bless the Russians!” exulted Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles. After the war, Oliver Wendell Holmes hailed Alexander “who was our friend when the world was our foe.” The Russians showed themselves willing to fight for the US. When the Confederate cruiser Shenandoah prepared to attack San Francisco, the Russian admiral gave orders to defend the city in the absence of Union warships.

The British realized that with Russia on the US side, the cost of military intervention would be too high. Besides, the Union victories of 1863 signaled that the Confederacy was a losing cause. Had the British attacked, it might have meant a world war in which the US and Russia, allied perhaps with Prussia and Italy, would face Britain and France supported by Spain or Austria. The First World War exploding in the 1860s was a distinct possibility.


Here is the quote from Tzar Alexander II himself! (link)

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This Union is not simply in our eyes an element essential to the universal political equilibrium. It constitutes, besides, a nation to which our august master and all Russia have pledged the most friendly interest; for the two countries, placed at the extremities of the two worlds, both in the ascending period of their development, appear called to a natural community of interests and of sympathies, of which they have already given mutual proofs to each other.


Alexander need friends...he was at the brink of war with England over the Polish revolt at that time. And England would not have wanted another two front war like she had during the American Revolution.
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