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road_apple1861
12-05-2006, 10:43 PM
I love what if questions..because no matter what your not wrong...i mean debates can be started but every ones right....in a way....ok heres my question i have no idea if it hase ever been asked on this forum but I dont care.....What if Robert E. Lee was succesfull in defeating the Union army? where would the world stand today? Would the CSA be leading the space race? could they be our biggest allie? I want to know what you all think would have happend....Maybe after a couple of years the CSA would fall apart I dunno what do you think????!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!:neutral:

hanktrent
12-05-2006, 11:35 PM
Oh what the heck. I'll bite. The problem with "what if" questions is you never get enough information about the premise.

To extrapolate into the future, I'd need to know the reason Lee defeated the Union army in this alternate universe. Was it because the south was already more populous and industrialized over the previous few decades? Because England came to their support? Because they decided to offer any slave freedom who joined the army in 1861? Because McClellan won the election? Because an unexpected epidemic decimated and demoralized the northern army?

Any of those things is going to change who the south and/or the north were, and affect all subsequent events. An industrialized south that roared to victory on the momentum of Bull Run, using blacks and whites fighting side by side with monetary and political backing from England, is going to be a much different place, both before, during and after the war, than a worn-down, agrarian, slave-centered south that won only because the north lost its resolve and negotiated a quick peace in the winter of 1864-65.

Okay, just noticed Rog said the same thing while I was typing, but much more succinctly. ;)

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

indguard
12-06-2006, 01:25 AM
Not a fan of what ifs.

However, taking all things as the same except that Lee beat McClellan (or Grant) I would say that the USA and the CSA would still be separate nations yet today. That we would not be the world power we now are, that the CSA would be a thrid world nation and the USA barely better than that.

Slavery would not have gone away in the South, though there would be very, very few slaves. Only the ultra rich would have them as house servants and they would not be a viable laboring class like they were.

Hitler would have won WWII, Canada would be turning fascist and Mexico would have done so first. The CSA and USA would be under pressure to join Hitler. Eventually, the German's would destroy the economy and get overextended and numerous civil wars would start up all over the world.

It just might occur that the US/CS civil war would start up all over again as a result.

So, I say that if the CSA had won their independence it would bode no good for ANYONE.

tompritchett
12-06-2006, 03:38 AM
Hitler would have won WWII, Canada would be turning fascist and Mexico would have done so first. The CSA and USA would be under pressure to join Hitler. Eventually, the German's would destroy the economy and get overextended and numerous civil wars would start up all over the world.

Hate to disagree with you there. Hitler was doomed after Kurst regardless. Yes, our aid benefited Russia in her fight, especially in the first year as she was fully mobilizing her industrial might and Hitler was throwing away multiple opportunities to put Russia out of the fight before the Russian winter immobilized the German advance. All our interinvention did was 1) cause Hitler to admit defeat in the Kurst offensive earlier, probably actually saving him even further decimation of his armor corps, and 2) speed up the collapse of the German Eastern front as Hilter had to pull badly needed resources from the Eastern Front to meet the allied threat in the West. However, let's not forget that by mid-war the Russians had the best medium tank of the war, a fighter every bit as good as the Mustang, and a close-air support aircraft far superior to the Stuka and every bit as good as the Thunderbolt - all being produced at what as their counterparts were being produced in the U.S. The only difference the U.S. made was in determining how much of Europe would ultimately fall under direct Soviet influence. In fact, had the U.S. never united as the post-WW II power that she became, the USSR might still be in existence as she would not have had to devote so much of her GNP to her military, especially to meet the escalation of the Star Wars program championed by Reagan.

indguard
12-06-2006, 04:55 AM
You assume Russia would have fought against Hitler if there were no allies to join with! Remember, they wre initially allies of Hitler! (non aggression pact and all)

Still, it certainly is possible that Russia would have still beaten Hitler. Hitler was, after all, a horrible general!

Stiggs
12-06-2006, 06:03 AM
"You assume Russia would have fought against Hitler if there were no allies to join with! Remember, they wre [sic] initially allies of Hitler! (non aggression pact and all)"

Yeah, and what terminated that non-agression pact? It was Operation Barbarossa, wasn't it? Which pretty much relieved Stalin of the decision of whether or not to fight against Hitler. Would Russia have prevailed? Who knows, but they certainly would have fought without the US, or the UK for that matter.

7thMDYankee
12-06-2006, 07:23 AM
Well, the thread got started and I know better than to say anything... however, I was the kid who touched the hot cookie sheet despite my mother's warnings...

The "what if" question is dead on arrival. You have to first make the leap that the CSA made the Confederacy work better than they did. I'm not advocating the thesis that the South lost the war on their own - as many do. Rather I do believe an enormous number of men wearing blue, a just cause, and the industrial/financial backing that the North enjoyed was not only superior, but up to the challenge. Proof? - the North won.

The fact is simple - the Confederacy's government was unable to meet the needs to establish and maintain itself. I agree with the thesis that Jefferson Davis needed (and perhaps wanted) the types of power that Lincoln had (or took despite its legality) to defend his own country. Even if the South was successful in its bid for independence we'd have to make the bigger leap that a confederacy would be adequate to meet all other challenges given to that country. I don't think it would. (The Articles of Confederation was dumped in part to its inadequacy to meet national goals, and clearly the CSA failed...)

To have any of the scenarios you described play out - or the others listed in subsequent posts - we'd have to assume all other events are equal and disconnected. In history this is simply not true.

You would first have to answer these quetions:
1) Could the US have become the country it did - placing a man on the Moon, assisting the Allied efforts in both world wars, etc... - having lost its southern half?

2) Would a successful Robert E. Lee spell the doom of the Union? (There was afterall a whole other set of events going on in the west that were equally important to the outcome of the war - let us not forget what Lincoln thought of the fall of Vicksburg...)

3) Would everything else in the world happen the exact same way with a weaker US?

Answer those questions satisfactorily to the majority, and then you can begin to tackle the larger hypotheticals. Of course, you could also take up cat herding and achieve the same level of success.

jda3rd
12-06-2006, 09:49 AM
Y'all assume that Hitler would even rise to power. If the US had not been able to enter WWI, would Germany have lost?

I don't believe slavery would have continued into the 20th Century, as the advances in manufacturing and mechanization of agriculture would have doomed it, just as it eventually doomed sharecropping.

I don't believe the advances in Civil Rights we know today would have occured in either the CS or the US. The CS would not have had the Federal gov't forcing it on them, and the good citizens of the US would not have had any incentive beyond morality to drive them to it, and history seems to indicate that the liberal intelligentsia in New England loves to export things like that but fights them tooth and nail when they're told they have to do it.

Frank

tompritchett
12-06-2006, 10:22 AM
2) Would a successful Robert E. Lee spell the doom of the Union? (There was afterall a whole other set of events going on in the west that were equally important to the outcome of the war - let us not forget what Lincoln thought of the fall of Vicksburg...)


Depends upon what you mean by success. Had Lee been successful in keeping the Union armies at bay but still failing in the Gettysburg campaign, definitely the Union would have won because of its increased industrial might, its much greater manpower resources, and its military successes in the West. However, had Lee been successful in his Gettysburg campaign by taking Harrisburg, severely beating Meade, and seriously threatening Philadelphia, then Lee could have very well have broken the will of several states to continue to support Lincoln's attempt to use military means to bring the Confederate states back into the Union.

However, even if Lincoln conceded that he could not force the Confederate states back into the Union, I extremely doubt that he would meekly accepted the splitting of the United States in two countries. Instead, I strongly suspect that he would have resorted to very persistent diplomatic means to rejoin the Union and would be willing to make major concessions to bring the seceding states back. For example, we now know that prior to the shots being fired at Ft. Sumter, he was back-door campaigning for a constitutional amendment to explicitly legalize slavery - an institution he personally hated despised. I suspect that Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina definitely would have been receptive to his overtures and a defection back to the Union by either of the first two would probably spell the ultimate death of the Confederacy as we know it.

Now that I have really muddied the waters by seriously challenging some of the key scenario in most peoples' "what if" assumptions -

Remise
12-06-2006, 10:27 AM
What if Napoleon had had Char B tanks at Waterloo?

B.C. Milligan

Tarky
12-06-2006, 10:38 AM
Hello, This is fun.. and I am sure many people who study the Civil War do, "What ifs" all the time in their head.

The war was over slavery. All you have to do is to read each Southern States Declaration or Proclamation of Secession to understand why they left the Union.

The Southerners were also very upset over the idea that slavery would not spread to all the territories if they became States. What would have been the result if for example North and South Dakota were about to become States, with two countries vying for them to join either the USA or the CSA? Free or slave States? If the South was an independent nation, we would have seen many bleeding States like Kansas through the end of the 19th Century, if not a continued war between the two countries.

What of slavery? Would the world have let the CSA keep the institution into the 1920's?? Would the CSA have ended up like South Africa with their secret police and arpetheid? OR, would they have succumed to world pressure and let the slaves go?

Tom Arliskas

huntdaw
12-06-2006, 11:10 AM
Get a copy of Mackinley Kantor's "If the South Had Won the Civil War". He covered this subject in a pretty good manner I think about 40 years ago.

When I was in graduate school we called this speculation stuff the 'Cleopatra Syndrome' - IF Cleopatra's nose had been bigger, she would not have been as attractive, Marc Antony would not have fallen for her and the Roman empire would have never fallen. It can be kind of fun to do but really doesn't accomplish much.

I think that if Napoleon had those Char B's at Waterloo, Wellington would have had some 88's that he borrowed from Blucher, he would have placed them masterfully in a defensive mode and the French would have still been defeated.

reddcorp
12-06-2006, 12:41 PM
The premise seems to assume the Robert E. Lee was in command of all Confederate forces throughout the war, a position that he did not assume until, Jan. 1865, I think.
By that time, the war in the West was pretty much over. Many consider that the Union's success in the West likely dictated the ultimate outcome of the war, strategically, irrespective of Lee's success or failures in the East.
But, I digress.
What if Johnston had thought to use his tourniquet at Shiloh?
Sometimes the debate around the campfire is what if a nuclear bomb had been made available in 1864....Would Lee have used it? Most agree that he would not, being a proper gentleman. Would Sherman have used it? Heck, yeah.
Something to ponder.
AWRedd

Jari
12-06-2006, 01:06 PM
[QUOTE=Tarky]Hello, This is fun.. and I am sure many people who study the Civil War do, "What ifs" all the time in their head.


Indeed, this is fun and I thought I'd throw a little humor into the mix.


IF GRANT HAD BEEN DRINKING AT APPOMATTOX -James Thurber
("Scribner's" magazine is publishing a series of three articles: "If Booth Had Missed Lincoln," "If Lee Had Won the Battle of Gettysburg," and "If Napoleon Had Escaped to America." This is the fourth.)

The morning of the ninth of April, 1865, dawned beautifully. General Meade was up with the first streaks of crimson in the sky. General Hooker and General Burnside were up and had breakfasted, by a quarter after eight. The day continued beautiful. It drew on. toward eleven o'clock. General Ulysses S. Grant was still not up. He was asleep in his famous old navy hammock, swung high above the floor of his headquarters' bedroom. Headquarters was distressingly disarranged: papers were strewn on the floor; confidential notes from spies scurried here and there in the breeze from an open window; the dregs of an overturned bottle of wine flowed pinkly across an important military map.
Corporal Shultz, of the Sixty-fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, aide to General Grant, came into the outer room, looked around him, and sighed. He entered the bedroom and shook the General's hammock roughly. General Ulysses S. Grant opened one eye.
"Pardon, sir," said Corporal Shultz, "but this is the day of surrender. You ought to be up, sir."
"Don't swing me," said Grant, sharply, for his aide was making the hammock sway gently. "I feel terrible," he added, and he turned over and closed his eye again.
"General Lee will be here any minute now," said the Corporal firmly, swinging the hammock again.
"Will you cut that out?" roared Grant. "D'ya want to make me sick, or what?" Shultz clicked his heels and saluted. "What's he coming here for?" asked the General.
"This is the day of surrender, sir," said Shultz. Grant grunted bitterly.
"Three hundred and fifty generals in the Northern armies," said Grant, "and he has to come to me about this. What time is it?". "You're the Commander-in-Chief, that's why," said Corporal Shultz. "It's eleven twenty, sir."
"Don't be crazy," said Grant. "Lincoln is the Commander-in-Chief. Nobody in the history of the world ever surrendered before lunch. Doesn't he know that an army surrenders on its stomach?" He pulled a blanket up over his head and settled himself again.
"The generals of the Confederacy will be here any minute now," said the Corporal. "You really ought to be up, sir." Grant stretched his arms above his head and yawned. "All right, all right," he said. He rose to a sitting position and stared about the room. "This place looks awful," he growled. "You must have had quite a time of it last night, sir," ventured Shultz. "Yeh," said General Grant, looking around for his clothes. "I was wrassling some general. Some general with a beard."
Shultz helped the commander of the Northern armies in the field to find his clothes. "Where's my other sock?" demanded Grant. Shultz began to look around for it. The General walked uncertainly to a table and poured a drink from a bottle. "I don't think it wise to drink, sir," said Shultz. Nev' mind about me," said Grant, helping himself to a second, "I can take it or let it alone. Didn' ya ever hear the story about the fella went to. Lincoln to complain about me drinking too much? 'So-and-So says Grant drinks too much,' this fella said. 'So-and-So is a fool,' said Lincoln. So this fella went to What's-His-Name and told him what Lincoln said and he came roarin' to Lincoln about it. 'Did you tell So-and-So was a fool?' he said. 'No,' said Lincoln, 'I thought he knew it.'" The'General smiled, reminiscently, and had another drink. ""That's how I stand with Lincoln," he said, proudly,
The soft thudding sound of horses' hooves came through the open window. Shultz hurriedly walked over and looked out. "Hoof steps," said Grant, with a curious chortle. "It is General Lee and his staff," said Shultz. "Show him in," said the General, taking another drink. "And see what the boys in the back room will have." Shultz walked smartly over to the door, opened it, saluted, and stood aside.
General Lee, dignified against the blue of the April sky, magnificent in his dress uniform, stood for a moment framed in the doorway. He walked in, followed by his staff. They bowed, and stood silent. General Grant stared at them. He only had one boot on and his jacket was unbuttoned.
"I know who you are," said Grant.'You're Robert Browning, the poet." "This is General Robert E. Lee," said one of his staff, coldly. "Oh," said Grant. "I thought he was Robert Browning. He certainly looks like Robert Browning. There was a poet for you. Lee: Browning. Did ya ever read 'How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix'? 'Up Derek, to saddle, up Derek, away; up Dunder, up Blitzen, up, Prancer, up Dancer, up Bouncer, up Vixen, up -'".
"Shall we proceed at once to the matter in hand?" asked General Lee, his eyes disdainfully taking in the disordered room. "Some of the boys was wrassling here last night," explained Grant. "I threw Sherman, or some general a whole lot like Sherman. It was pretty dark." He handed a bottle of Scotch to the commanding officer of the Southern armies, who stood holding it, in amazement and discomfiture. "Get a glass, somebody," said Grant, .looking straight at General Longstreet. "Didn't I meet you at Cold Harbor?" he asked. General Longstreet did not answer.
"I should like to have this over with as soon as possible," said Lee. Grant looked vaguely at Shultz, who walked up close to him , frowning. "The surrender, sir, the surrender," said Corporal Shultz in a whisper. "Oh sure, sure," said Grant. He took another drink. "All right," he said. "Here we go." Slowly, sadly, he unbuckled his sword. Then he handed it to the astonished Lee. "There you are. General," said Grant. "We dam' near licked you. If I'd been feeling better we would of licked you."


Jari Villanueva

Mothers-Finest
12-06-2006, 01:24 PM
I do not believe if the south would have won it would stay a seperate nation. But if it did then state rights would never last. Lets sat the south did win.Had their own goverment and everything. Eventually it would fall apart. Say you lived in Georgia, but North Carolina had better jobs, you get paid more and its cheaper to live there. Wouldnt you want to move there? Well then would everybody else who lives in Georgia. North Carolina would be overran and be forced to either expand or keep people out causing another war between themselves. I like state rights but it would never work with so many people like today.

tompritchett
12-06-2006, 03:38 PM
I do not believe if the south would have won it would stay a seperate nation.

I tend to agree strictly because of financial reasons. After the war, the Southern states were essentially bankrupt and badly needed capital to rebuild their infrastructures as well as modernize their industries. The Confederacy did not have the revenue raising measures to generate the level of funds needed to assist the states nor did the South have anywhere near the level of private capital and finances that were available in the North. If states such as Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia, all of which did not secede during the slavery related secessions, wanted to rebuild, they would have all had to rejoin the Union. Once they left, other states ravaged by the war would not be far behind.

road_apple1861
12-06-2006, 03:48 PM
Well I did make this thread pretty much because I was bored:D but never thought It would slowly move into nuclear bombs and hitler some how.......any how just cool to hear what you guys think would have happend ...yea I know i should have given more detail to the question. but thats some where back with "Canada would turn to Facistism" ;) would that be a bad[ I was just kidding there!!!!(wanted to say that before this thread takes a turn about something totaly diffrent)]

Rob Weaver
12-06-2006, 05:18 PM
What if a stunning military success in Maryland had paved the way for European recognition in the fall of 1862? The South is still largely fresh; the war in the west hasn't been lost yet. Does the Confederacy have a chance to win a short war with the backing of France and/or England (which is still peeved over that ambassador affair in the spring of the same year)?

Captain of Kopenick
12-06-2006, 06:13 PM
What if a stunning military success in Maryland had paved the way for European recognition in the fall of 1862?

To incorporate another thread, the CSA actually won the war the first time. Some evil spawn of a Yankee created a time machine and went back in time and shot Johnston at Shiloh and left a copy of Lee’s orders at Antietam. Otherwise, Johnston defeats Grant at Shiloh and Grant goes back to the bottle. Lee destroys Pittsburgh. The war is over in 1862. As irony would have it and not realizing the ineptitude of Union generals our time traveler’s ancestor is killed at Antietam so the time machine is never re-invented. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me.

Like some said, “nobody is wrong with ‘what if’s’ questions.”
;)

Daniel Keith

Frenchie
12-06-2006, 09:15 PM
What if Napoleon had had Char B tanks at Waterloo?

Depends; assuming they're used better than they were in May 1940, they're manned by infantry and not cavalry, and the crews are told they won't get their wine ration until after they win the battle, Bonaparte would have never seen Elba. And L'Empereur's personal tank would have been painted red.

road_apple1861
12-06-2006, 09:43 PM
Lol nice one there....your right no answer can be wrong...... time machine I give you credit on that one!:p

Gary
12-06-2006, 10:01 PM
What if Napoleon had had Char B tanks at Waterloo?

B.C. MilliganLe Haye Sainte would have fallen a lot easier and the British squares crushed before Blucher's Prussians could have arrived. However, Ney would have waited for those mechanical monstrosities and would have frittered away his cavalry before they arrived.

Remise
12-07-2006, 07:42 AM
I guess my post wasn't obvious enough. When I was in the wargame design biz, we and our gamers propounded "what ifs" all the time.

The trouble with changing one variable -- "what if the South had won?" -- is that it introduces untold numbers of new ones. I know this is fun, though. So far, the best "what if" I have read here was by Robert Benchley. That was great.



B.C. Milligan

Jim Mayo
12-07-2006, 09:10 AM
[QUOTE=Tarky]Hello, This is fun.. and I am sure many people who study the Civil War do, "What ifs" all the time in their head.


Indeed, this is fun and I thought I'd throw a little humor into the mix.


IF GRANT HAD BEEN DRINKING AT APPOMATTOX -James Thurber
("Scribner's" magazine is publishing a series of three articles: "If Booth Had Missed Lincoln," "If Lee Had Won the Battle of Gettysburg," and "If Napoleon Had Escaped to America." This is the fourth.)

The morning of the ninth of April, 1865, dawned beautifully. General Meade was up with the first streaks of crimson in the sky. General Hooker and General Burnside were up and had breakfasted, by a quarter after eight. The day continued beautiful. It drew on. toward eleven o'clock. General Ulysses S. Grant was still not up. He was asleep in his famous old navy hammock, swung high above the floor of his headquarters' bedroom. Headquarters was distressingly disarranged: papers were strewn on the floor; confidential notes from spies scurried here and there in the breeze from an open window; the dregs of an overturned bottle of wine flowed pinkly across an important military map.
Corporal Shultz, of the Sixty-fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, aide to General Grant, came into the outer room, looked around him, and sighed. He entered the bedroom and shook the General's hammock roughly. General Ulysses S. Grant opened one eye.
"Pardon, sir," said Corporal Shultz, "but this is the day of surrender. You ought to be up, sir."
"Don't swing me," said Grant, sharply, for his aide was making the hammock sway gently. "I feel terrible," he added, and he turned over and closed his eye again.
"General Lee will be here any minute now," said the Corporal firmly, swinging the hammock again.
"Will you cut that out?" roared Grant. "D'ya want to make me sick, or what?" Shultz clicked his heels and saluted. "What's he coming here for?" asked the General.
"This is the day of surrender, sir," said Shultz. Grant grunted bitterly.
"Three hundred and fifty generals in the Northern armies," said Grant, "and he has to come to me about this. What time is it?". "You're the Commander-in-Chief, that's why," said Corporal Shultz. "It's eleven twenty, sir."
"Don't be crazy," said Grant. "Lincoln is the Commander-in-Chief. Nobody in the history of the world ever surrendered before lunch. Doesn't he know that an army surrenders on its stomach?" He pulled a blanket up over his head and settled himself again.
"The generals of the Confederacy will be here any minute now," said the Corporal. "You really ought to be up, sir." Grant stretched his arms above his head and yawned. "All right, all right," he said. He rose to a sitting position and stared about the room. "This place looks awful," he growled. "You must have had quite a time of it last night, sir," ventured Shultz. "Yeh," said General Grant, looking around for his clothes. "I was wrassling some general. Some general with a beard."
Shultz helped the commander of the Northern armies in the field to find his clothes. "Where's my other sock?" demanded Grant. Shultz began to look around for it. The General walked uncertainly to a table and poured a drink from a bottle. "I don't think it wise to drink, sir," said Shultz. Nev' mind about me," said Grant, helping himself to a second, "I can take it or let it alone. Didn' ya ever hear the story about the fella went to. Lincoln to complain about me drinking too much? 'So-and-So says Grant drinks too much,' this fella said. 'So-and-So is a fool,' said Lincoln. So this fella went to What's-His-Name and told him what Lincoln said and he came roarin' to Lincoln about it. 'Did you tell So-and-So was a fool?' he said. 'No,' said Lincoln, 'I thought he knew it.'" The'General smiled, reminiscently, and had another drink. ""That's how I stand with Lincoln," he said, proudly,
The soft thudding sound of horses' hooves came through the open window. Shultz hurriedly walked over and looked out. "Hoof steps," said Grant, with a curious chortle. "It is General Lee and his staff," said Shultz. "Show him in," said the General, taking another drink. "And see what the boys in the back room will have." Shultz walked smartly over to the door, opened it, saluted, and stood aside.
General Lee, dignified against the blue of the April sky, magnificent in his dress uniform, stood for a moment framed in the doorway. He walked in, followed by his staff. They bowed, and stood silent. General Grant stared at them. He only had one boot on and his jacket was unbuttoned.
"I know who you are," said Grant.'You're Robert Browning, the poet." "This is General Robert E. Lee," said one of his staff, coldly. "Oh," said Grant. "I thought he was Robert Browning. He certainly looks like Robert Browning. There was a poet for you. Lee: Browning. Did ya ever read 'How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix'? 'Up Derek, to saddle, up Derek, away; up Dunder, up Blitzen, up, Prancer, up Dancer, up Bouncer, up Vixen, up -'".
"Shall we proceed at once to the matter in hand?" asked General Lee, his eyes disdainfully taking in the disordered room. "Some of the boys was wrassling here last night," explained Grant. "I threw Sherman, or some general a whole lot like Sherman. It was pretty dark." He handed a bottle of Scotch to the commanding officer of the Southern armies, who stood holding it, in amazement and discomfiture. "Get a glass, somebody," said Grant, .looking straight at General Longstreet. "Didn't I meet you at Cold Harbor?" he asked. General Longstreet did not answer.
"I should like to have this over with as soon as possible," said Lee. Grant looked vaguely at Shultz, who walked up close to him , frowning. "The surrender, sir, the surrender," said Corporal Shultz in a whisper. "Oh sure, sure," said Grant. He took another drink. "All right," he said. "Here we go." Slowly, sadly, he unbuckled his sword. Then he handed it to the astonished Lee. "There you are. General," said Grant. "We dam' near licked you. If I'd been feeling better we would of licked you."


Jari Villanueva

This post makes more sense than some of the others I have seen posted in this thread.

Doesn't anybody read Harry Turtledove?

Union Navy
12-07-2006, 12:09 PM
What if a stunning military success in Maryland had paved the way for European recognition in the fall of 1862? The South is still largely fresh; the war in the west hasn't been lost yet. Does the Confederacy have a chance to win a short war with the backing of France and/or England (which is still peeved over that ambassador affair in the spring of the same year)?
Some big success in Maryland wasn't necessary. All that was needed was for Farragut to have failed at New Orleans. England and France were both ready to recognize the Confederacy in early 1862, and were only a week or two away from doing so. But the loss at Shiloh, and especially at New Orleans (the South's largest city, by far) caused them to back off, permanently, as it turned out. New Orleans was a near thing. If the Confederate government would have taken the threat seriously, they might have rushed to completion the ironclads CSS Louisiana and CSS Mississippi, and Farragut's passage of the forts might have become impossible. As it was, the city fell, taking with it the Leeds foundry and the South's largest port. In spite of some later successes, it was all downhill for the South from there.
If Farragut lost and the Continental powers decided to "stop the fratricidal war," England's navy could have reopened the blockaded ports and forced a negotiated settlement. The Union navy was building up, but still not ready to take on the Royal Navy. But the persistent weakness of the Confederate central government would eventually doom the country to fracture, faction or financial ruin. Or it would become what it hated, a strong central government trampling the rights of the states.

GrumpyDave
12-07-2006, 12:15 PM
If Lee would have defeated the AOP, he still would have had 12 other Federal armies to go.

7thMDYankee
12-07-2006, 12:39 PM
On the first point... success could be measured either way. And I believe the outcome would still be the same. We would have to assume that the will of the Union to persist in the fight would have been singularly dashed by events in the East. We cannot, however, forget that - IMHO - the more important victory at Vicksburg happened at the same time. We cannot forget that Grant was brought east due to his successes in the West! It is logical that Lincoln would have still done what he did... bring Grant east. It might have taken longer to suppress the ANV having to build a new one - assuming that the AOP was "beaten/captured/etc..." However, I think the will to see this conflict to the end would have been pursued (if the Union cause wasn't crushed by the events of 1862, what would do it?).

On the second point... I agree completely. However, I don't think he would have achieved success. I am also suspsicious that the negotiation on an amendment would have gone far. Of course that depends on whether or not the Radical Republicans would have felt so powerful in a negotiated peace as they did with a southern surrender.

I guess this is my whole point. The "what if" question can be entertaining, but avail nothing. There are too many variables at play. Before you are done you need to re-analyze virtually everything that happened (or may not have happened) to make one theory "work."

On another note... I liked Jari's post... that was great.

tompritchett
12-07-2006, 01:19 PM
If Lee would have defeated the AOP, he still would have had 12 other Federal armies to go.

True, but if he had defeated the AOP while in PA and then had nothing to prevent him from threatening Harrisburg and, more importantly, Philadelphia, given the sentiments of the Northern governors at the time, Lincoln most likely would have had to sue for peace or lose the support of some of the largest states in the Union. Remember the ultimate objective of military strategy is not necessarily destroy your enemy's army but instead break his will to fight - a lesson we never understood in Vietnam but the NVA exploited against us but also a lesson we applied successfully against the Japanese at the end of WW-II.

tompritchett
12-07-2006, 01:27 PM
On the second point... I agree completely. However, I don't think he would have achieved success. I am also suspsicious that the negotiation on an amendment would have gone far. Of course that depends on whether or not the Radical Republicans would have felt so powerful in a negotiated peace as they did with a southern surrender.

I suspect that if Lincoln was forced to sue for peace because of severe reverses in the East that ultimately threatened capitals such as Harrisburg or a major city such as Philadelphia, the Northern voters would have done to the Radical Repulblicans what the Americans did do the GOP this last mid-term election. I am not sure that Lincoln could have even won a second term given the potential backlash. His only saving grace would have been the Democrats had selected Bobby Mac as their canidate - someone who also would have had to share much of the blame for the loss because of all the opportunities to end the war that he wasted. That would be like the Republicans trying to run Rumsfield in the next election if the situation in Iraq has not significantly improved by then.

Huck Finn
12-07-2006, 09:32 PM
What is really great is that the North saved the Union. We should be grateful every single day that the American Civil War turned out the way it did. If not:

Who would have stopped Hitler?
Who would have saved the French several times?
How would we have a Super Bowl or World Series without an international incident?
Would we still have to change trains seven times from Atlanta to Washington, DC?
Would the Wright Brothers have needed a passport to get to Kitty Hawk?

****. for all I know we may be speaking farcie by now.

I bet most of you have better, more creative things to do with your time. X-Box 360, maybe?

7thMDYankee
12-08-2006, 07:19 AM
Good point. However, the men in the ranks adored Little Mac up to the end, but had no trust in him as their leader. I remember reading several times in soldiers' letters (sorry I don't have the specifics) late in the war making rather kind remarks about Little Mac - only to be thankful he was canned. Seemed most odd to me. He may have fared just as well as he did in the '64 election, though. I doubt that Rumsfeld shares that same adoration, and I agree he would likely find as much success in a general election run as Little Mac did.

Question: You made reference to the Radical Republicans during the war. I've always been under the impression they became more radical after the war. I'm going to embarass myself here and admit I have researched and read volumes on the experiences of soldiers, battles, and some of the classics, but my knowledge of the politics (beyond the battlefield) is really hurting. I have a volume on the economics of the period - supplied as a gift - that's on my list. Could you recommend a volume that would shed some light on the politics? I'd appreciate it, thank you in advance.

MDRebCAv
12-08-2006, 07:37 AM
A Southern Star for Maryland: Maryland and the Secession Crisis, 1860-1861 by Lawrence Denton should help shed some light on the hometown politics in the state.

BTW...I like the quote in your signature...LOL

tompritchett
12-08-2006, 09:56 AM
Question: You made reference to the Radical Republicans during the war. I've always been under the impression they became more radical after the war. I'm going to embarass myself here and admit I have researched and read volumes on the experiences of soldiers, battles, and some of the classics, but my knowledge of the politics (beyond the battlefield) is really hurting. I have a volume on the economics of the period - supplied as a gift - that's on my list. Could you recommend a volume that would shed some light on the politics? I'd appreciate it, thank you in advance.

I really do not have any specific reference to the pre-war politics but rather have spent much of my research on the issues that led us to the war so my views are from impression gathered from multiple sources - none of which specifically focus on the political landscape during that time period.

As far as the increase of radicalization you are referring to, that occurred during the midterm elections of 1866 when Andrew Johnson's "Reconstruction" policies, which were centered on appeasing, and often returning to power, many of the leaders of the Confederacy and which were strongly oriented around respecting each individual's state right of self-determination versus direct federal intervention in states' affairs, alienated many of the more moderate members of the Republican party. For a good discussion of the post-war politics of the Reconstruction period, I would recommend Eric Foner's "Reconstruction - Americal' Unfinished Revolution" published by Perennial Classics (ISBN 0-06-093716-5)

7thMDYankee
12-08-2006, 09:59 AM
Hey thanks!

Hah, you must agree! It is a catchy quote, isn't it?

old reb46
12-09-2006, 05:45 PM
What if the Apache had had Apache helicopters? Would they have loaned them to other tribes, or kept them all for their own defense of their homeland? What if the Comanche had had M-16 and Humvees? And the Sioux, what if they had had weapons of mass destruction? Would things have been different? Or would there sitll be casinos on the rez and white folks lining up to lose their money?;)

Tom TwoFeathers

RJSamp
12-09-2006, 08:54 PM
Don't like the technological leaps of faith....
Char B's at Waterloo...Frenchie? No Gas, no munitions, who cares.
Apache Helicopters for Apache's? No Av Gas and no trained helo mechanics means they sit on the ground....even if you could find a pilot.

Mr. Pritchett, if Lee Defeats Meade it doesn't mean that the AOP, the PA Militia, the Garrison's in numerous locations, and the armies in the field disappear. Taking Harrisonburg would be a toughie...an unblooded Corps didn't attempt it....what happens when Gamble's rested Cavalry Division captures Cashtown, Gettysburg, and all of the 8,000+ wounded and wagon train of the CSA? US Cavalry clearly has the upper hand on JEB. What happens when Richmond falls? The VI and XII Corps basically in good shape....run in a few more Corps from the Coast in a few days time into Phila, NY, etc. train a few Corps into you name it and Lee would be in deep wampu.


Champions Hill seals the fate of Pemberton at Vicksburg....Confederate victories at Donelson, Shiloh, New Orleans and they might have a chance..... IFF France and Britain came to their rescue.

For a technological leap of faith.....Federal Army Adopts Spencer Repeaters in 1862......and mobile mounted infantry ala Wilder, Wilson, and Sheridan saves the day....we just have to figure out how to get the requisition past the Ordnance Dept.

I'm wondering what happens out West..when the CSA makes good with the Indians and CSA governs the West, not the North.....

Frenchie
12-09-2006, 10:55 PM
Apparently, RJ, you care. You took my post seriously? Maybe I should have pasted little smiley faces all over it. Did you notice the digs at the cavalry and where I said Bonaparte's tank would be painted red? I was a provisioner for several years, I know what kind of logistics are needed to maintain armored fighting vehicles in the field.

Someone asked you a cogent question a while ago, and I haven't seen an answer to it: Why are you always so angry?

flattop32355
12-10-2006, 07:17 PM
Someone asked you a cogent question a while ago, and I haven't seen an answer to it: Why are you always so angry?

I don't think he's angry, just frustrated from being under-utilized, as are most buglers. It is not without merit.

7thMDYankee
12-11-2006, 07:42 AM
Thank you, I'll check it out.

bob 125th nysvi
01-05-2007, 03:59 PM
What if Napoleon had had Char B tanks at Waterloo?

B.C. Milligan

Lost after all he was leading Frenchmen using a French tank.

They would have screwed it up somehow.

And remember this Napolean WASN'T French he was an Italian living under French rule.

The the last really GREAT French General was Italian!

How bad can it be!

(Disclaimer I am one half Italian extraction the family name being Celandine from Naples).

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY

bob 125th nysvi
01-05-2007, 04:16 PM
was dead from the get go it assumes that the ANV would have wiped out the AOP enough to force Lincoln into negotiations.

Defeating it wasn't enough.

It also assumes that the north, as Shelby Foote put it, would not have untied the other hand and waged war with all its resources. Not only did the North wage and win a modern industrial war its civilian economy grew by tremendous leaps and bounds DURING the war.

The south never had a chance.

But to follow the premise the CSA would be long dead on the dust pile of history because it was based on a quicksand foundation. Any state could do what it wanted whenever it wanted. Even during the war they weren't all pulling together all the time.

Peace would have had them all flying off into different parts of the universe. Some would have folded back into the Union fairly quickly and some after stavation was staring them plainly in the face. Do any of those states have the resources to go it alone as an independent nation?

The question also assumes that the people of the south were uniform in their desire to break away from the Union. Tennessee would have degraded into a guerilla war almost immediately. Large parts of Lousiana would not have wanted independence.

And even winning the war would have left the South hemmed in because the Union held everything north and west of Texas.

Ecomonically the South still would have been dependent on the North because Northern imports and food stuffs would be cheaper than bringing them in from anywhere else.

And quite honestly the North due to its larger population, industrial and agricultural might would have continued to gain strength while the South wedded to an agricultural system (slavery) doomed to failure and a cash crop (cotton) no longer essential in the world without room to expand would have weakened to the point of economic chaos with an underclass (the slaves) forming almost 1/3 of the population.

KABOOM!

The greatest service Lee ever did to the south was lay down his arms peacefully when the inevitable called at the door.

As to what might or might not have happened in Europe, who knows. Maybe a North would have united with Germany to defeat a hereditary enemy (England) in WWI and there would have been no Hitler or Communists for that matter.

A better 'what if' might be Lincoln saying, "You know what we're better off without you. Call me when you need to buy some food."

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY