Great Civil War site

Discussion in '1800-1914' started by evangilder, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I found this one while stumbling. Looks like a great reference/photo site on the Civil War.

    CivilWarPhotos.net
     
  2. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the post. That is a interesting site Evan!
     
  3. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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  4. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

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    Which civil war?
     
  5. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    The US Civil War
     
  6. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Just to tag on to this thread, an American historian has just come up with a very interesting hypothesis. The accepted number for the deaths caused by The War Between the States has been around 600000. Around 250000 for the South and around 350000 for the North. The main reason for the inexactness of the number is because the statistics for the South have been sketchy and incomplete, especially for the late stages of the war. The population of the US, including slaves in 1860 was around 31M. The South with around 9M including slaves. The South had around 1M men of draft age and the North around 4M. That meant that approximately 25% of the draft age men in the South died. That must have had a huge impact, considering widows and mothers, not to mention the economic impact.

    This historian looked at the 1870 census and realised that the number of men in the age group to have fought in the War was a lot less than it should have been. Taking all into account he now says that the number of deaths was probably greater than the 600000 figure, probably about 750000. Since the Confederate records are the most incomplete, the bulk of that additional 150000 or so must have been Southern boys.

    To me the 600000 number split 350K and 250K never made much sense because both sides were said to have about twice as many deaths from disease as from battle wounds. The reason that made no sense to me was that the Union must have had better medical care than the Confederates. Everything else they had was better, food , weapons, railroads, clothing, etc. The other factor is that the Union troops, coming from more urban environments must have had a little more immunity to diseases, like flu, pneumonia, measles, etc. which were the big killers in that war. The Southern boys mostly came from rural areas where they were not quite as likely to gain immunity.

    Anyway, the startling thing about this study by the historian probably means that the deaths of Southern men in the War must have been much greater than the 250K. Perhaps as much as 100K greater which means that the 25% of the draft age men goes up a lot more than the corresponding number for the North. One does not hear this expressed much but the War set the South back economically for many years. WW2 was the catalyst which finally began to allow the South to start to catch up with the prosperity that the North and western part of out country had been enjoying prior to the Depression. This study makes one realise that the South was probably effected even more than previously understood.
     
  7. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    #7 michaelmaltby, Jun 1, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
    ".... This study makes one realise that the South was probably effected even more than previously understood...."

    Make no mistake about that ... the US Civil War had a great impact on so much ... for a moment forget the dead and focus on the living ... the wounded .... many, many amputees. Atlanta-born CocaCola [in its original formulation with cocaine] is just one of many products that were concocted for this huge population of men living day in and day out with physical pain .... not to mention the invisibly-wounded PTSD possibly only known to their wives, sons and daughters.

    Shelby Foote's multi-volume "A Narrative History of the Civil War" is a must-read for both Americans and those who care to understand America. ... :).

    MM
     
  8. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    It is a fascinating time in the history of the US from a historical, tactical, technology point of view. I have been to some of the re-enactments, put on by people that are sticklers for details and it is amazing to see how close the 2 sides were to each other, shooting at each other and missing! Granted the rifles of the time weren't terribly accurate, but it took some serious courage to stand so close to you enemy while he shoots at you.
     
  9. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I have read that the average engagement by infantry in the War was fought at 83 yards. I don't know how that was determined but that was point blank range for a rifled musket. It would be a good range for a smoothbore which fired buck and ball which some of the infantry on both sides were armed with. Actually when Stonewall Jackson was wounded by "friendly fire" he was hit by projectiles from smootbore weapons.
     
  10. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    They had standard infantry and sharpshooters at different ranges too. After standing near the cannon fire, i can only imagine the cannon armed with grape-shot shredding bodies. I believe it was during the battle of Cold Harbor that the Union cannons were firing grape-shot at point blank range. It must have been a huge amount of carnage.
     
  11. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    At Cold Harbor the Union troops were attacking so it probably was CSA guns firing and I believe it would be canister firing on infantry in attack. Canister would be a container of musket balls kind of like a monster shotgun shell. Grape shot would be much larger. At Cold Harbor the CSA troops were in trenches and fortifications. The Union took about 7000 casualties in a half hour or so. I believe that Cold Harbor was the one attack that Grant wished he had not ordered.
     
  12. javlin

    javlin Well-Known Member

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    That is correct Ren I wish I cold just find a write up all by itself on Cold Harbor but it always gets bulked in with the Wilderness Campaign(?).I have read both Fredricksburg and then Chanclorville by Sears both excellant reads.The one thing I like about Civil War reads is the battlefield is much smaller and easy to comprehend.The Battle of Gettysburg starts getting alittle complicated from the standpoint Union troops were getting moved alot to plug holes as I remember.
     
  13. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Read a few weeks ago a new book from the library about the Battle of Gettysburg. Don't remember the author or title but it was well researched. It exposed several myths about the battle, some perpetrated by the novel, "The Killer Angels." One of the myths was that Chamberlain on Little Round Top ordered a bayonet charge which swept the Alabama troops off the hill. Not accurate as the commander of the Alabama boys had already ordered a withdrawal.

    Another point that has always been hazy to me was cleared up about the CSA attack on the second day. Lee because of faulty recon work thought the Union line was along the Emmitsburg Road. He ordered Longstreet to advance in a column to pierce the Union line along the Emmitsburg Road and then turn left in ranks and roll up the Union lines. As soon as the two CSA divisions began the attack, Hood realised that the Union line was up on Cemetary Ridge and anchored at Little Round Top. In other words if he advanced in ranks as the plan provided for, he would be exposed to enfilade fire. Hood tried to redirect the attack but was hit, wounded badly and take out of the fight. The CSA troops then became confused. The commands were all mixed up and it became a badly coordinated fracas. I have a copy of "West Point Atlas Of American Wars," and it states that Lee believed the Union line was along the Emmitsburg Road but does not go into detail.

    The overall commander of the CSA artillery( not Alexander) on the last day badly managed the emplacement and resupply of the guns so the barrage was not as effective as it should have been. Lee actually had two divisions of infantry ready to exploit the breakthrough. It was a well devised plan but Pickett's ( he actually had only about half the troops involved) Charge was not successful.

    On that last day there was a cavalry engagement on the Union left that supposedly was won by Custer's troops. Not true. It was indecisive and Custer played a small role. In fact, some of the Union cavalry charged a Texas regiment of Hood's division that had been badly bloodied the previous day. Bad idea. The Texas regiment were veterans and decimated the Union cavalry unit.
     
  14. PCScipio42

    PCScipio42 Member

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    Cold Harbor has two books devoted entirely to the battle, one by Ernust Fergurson and the other by Gordon Rhea. Both were available in paperback. Rhea is highly recommended.

    Gettysburg...oceans of ink spilled about this battle. Lee's second day plan was based upon old intelligence. Longstreet wanted to swing around the round tops and was denied by Lee (at least according to Longstreet). Nonetheless, the Union line was battered, but not broken, especially considering Sickles bonehead move to move the III Corps from the line on Cemetary Ridge up to the Peach Orchard. The III Corps was smashed and Meade had to send divisions from the II and V Corps to hold the line, but held it did.

    The barrage before Pickett's Charge was not successful becaue it was firing high. Smoke over the battlefield had something to do with that. After two days of fierce battle and the length of Lee's supply line it is no wonder that they were running short by the third day.

    Custer did blunt Stuart's cavalry attack on the third day until other cav units could be brought onto the field. Custer did not break or rout Stuart but bought enough time until other units could reach the field. Stuart was prevented from reaching the Union rear as Lee's orders for Sturat to do so. It was Kilpatrick who ordered the cav to charge the Texas regiments, hence his nickname of "Kilcavalry".

    Sound like a rather pro Rebel you read, would like to know the title of it.
     
  15. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    It was not pro CSA at all in my estimation. Extremely detailed and well researched. I will try to find it again in the library and post it. One of the details that got tiresome to me but shows how detailed the book was that the author at every incident in the battle where a Union soldier allegedly did some thing heroic had a footnote where so and so was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. I lost count of how many were awarded but there must have been a shortage of ribbon. Of course the CSA did not award medals for valor. All were expected to be valorous. Another interesting point in the book is that he gives the total number of deaths for each side as about 22000 which is at variance with older accounts of the battle.
     
  16. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Found the book at the public library. "Gettysburg, A Testing of Courage," published 2002 by Trudeau. He has written several books about the War and won several awards, lives in DC and is an executive producer at NPR. He has every unit on the field outlined with it's estimated strength and estimated casualties.

    Army of the Potomac (93534/22813)
    Army of Northern Virginia (70226/22874)
    5th Texas of Robertson's Brigade (409/211) all it's commanders either wounded or killed
     
  17. PCScipio42

    PCScipio42 Member

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    Thanks, I'll check it out. I didn't know Trudeau wrote a book about Gettysburg. I have three of his other books. The one he wrote on Sherman's March to the Sea was especially good. And you are correct, Trudeau, if anything, is not pro-Reb in his writings. The other two I know he wrote is "Bloody Roads South" on the Wilderness Campaign and a book on Petersburg. Those two are fairly high level, from army/corps perspective.

    Interesting, my ancestors unit the 148th PA tangled with some Texans at the edge of the Wheatfield, but can't remember if it was the 5th TX. I think it was the 1st or 2nd TX.
     
  18. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    1st or 4th or 5th Texas. Those and the 3rd Arkansas comprised the Texas Brigade, the only Texas Unit in the Army of Northern Virginia. Earlier the 3rd Arkansas replaced the 18th Georgia and Hampton's Legion. Hampton's Legion later converted to cavalry. At one time The Texas Brigade considered converting to cavalry but Texas was too far away for remounts since CSA cavalry soldiers had to furnish their own mounts.
     
  19. javlin

    javlin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks will have a look once I finish the long read I am on now.You guys are definitly well versed on the CW it seems knowing specfic regiments!and there makeup.I have only read 5-6 books thus far on the CW plus quite afew autobiograpies and enjoyed Sears writings in being able to bring personalities into play which Toland(current read "Rising Sun") does pretty well also_One thing for sure in the CW battles pincher movements are easy to see and envision like what occurred at night time at Fredersburg with the retreating Army of the Potomac but the Mississippi regiment(?) did not know they were out there to inflict damage before they crossed the river on the makeshift pontoon bridge.
     
  20. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Javlin, don't get me confused with an expert. Because I am a Texan and because I had ancestors who served in the CSA Armies, I have studied the record of the Texas Brigade, probably the brigade with the most stellar record of any brigade on either side in the whole war. Their first combat was at Eltham's Landing in 1862 during the Peninsula Campaign. They played a major role at Gaines's Mill during the Seven days, Second Manassas, on the left at The Cornfield, Dunker Church at Sharpsburg(Antietam.) They were at Fredricksburg although not heavily engaged. Missed Chancellorsville but more than made up for it at Chickamauga. Gettysburg. Helped stop the Union breakthrough at The Wilderness and were in the line the rest of the War as well as being the rear guard in the retreat from Richmond before the surrender. They had more than 50% casualties in a regiment at three battles. Gaines's Mill, at Sharpsburg they had a regiment that had a more than 82% casualty rate, the highest of any similar unit on either side in the whole war and at Gettysburg. They enlisted around 4000 men during the war and 25% died with twice as many dying from battle wounds as from disease. WHEW!
     
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